Biden-Harris’ Build Back Better agenda and the black community

Don Graves

By Janice K. Neal-Vincent,

Contributing Writer,

Don Graves

During a recent telephone interview with Deputy Secretary Don Graves, U. S. Department of Commerce, he explained the restoration process for a better black community. The Biden-Harris plan is part of a comprehensive set of transformational investments to grow the economy which is poised for the next 25 years.

The investment includes fixing roads, bridges, tunnels and transit for people from their homes to their jobs. Additionally, providing clean, working water systems for the overall health of the citizens is inclusive.

The agenda supports the planning, removal, or retrofitting of existing transportation infrastructure that creates a barrier to community connectivity, including barriers to mobility, access or economic development. 

Funding specifically for neighborhoods where historic transportation investments cut people off from jobs, schools and businesses is proposed.

In light of this, the Reconnecting Neighborhoods Program will provide $15 billion in new competitive grants for planning, technical assistance (TA) and capital investments. 

The program will begin to correct past harms and reduce pollution, create more public and green spaces, support local businesses, increase job opportunities and lay the groundwork for more equitable transit systems and affordable housing solutions. This initiative proposed investment will fund and accelerate reconnecting neighborhoods across the country.

Graves indicated further that America’s broadband “deprives folks of access to the internet, [but] this country should never be in a place where parents are trying to get more than one child on the computer.”

In a recent statement, Vice President Kamala Harris summed up the plan this way: “Build Back Better is our collective responsibility as a society to support parents, to support the children of parents in the work place. That is noble, good and important work.”

“Underemployed parents or unable to work parents need affordable child care,” said Graves. Women of color are the vast majority for child care. So the Build Back Better Agenda “will help them get access to training and provide everyday Mississippians lower cost of child care and get child care providers back to work.”

Harris contended that there are hardworking families that are in favor of the Build Back Better Agenda “which is to support these families in a way that if they were our neighbor or a relative of ours, we’d all want to do.”

This includes addressing eldercare and their levels of comfort. To move them to unfamiliar living establishments may not be the wisest thing to do, given their current status. The eldercare situation entails, then, “providing resources that seniors and elderly relatives need to be able to live in their homes, where they want to stay, with dignity,” concluded Harris.

Disinvestments within the black community across America are rampant. Disparities in wealth rank high. The median black American family has thirteen cents for every one dollar in wealth held by white families. To get at this problem, the Biden-Harris Administration is expanding access to two key wealth-creators – homeownership and small business ownership – in communities of color and disadvantaged communities.

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