September 16, 2021

Twenty-eight leading organizations that advocate for the health, well-being, and economic security of Black, Latinx, Asian, Indigenous, and other communities of color called on Congress “to enact a robust budget reconciliation package of at least $3.5 trillion in investments in our communities funded through fairer taxes on the rich and corporations. This legislation would advance racial equity by narrowing racial income and wealth gaps, as well as by funding these long-overdue investments.” 

In their letter to Speaker Pelosi, Senate Majority Leader Schumer, House Ways and Means Chairman Neal and Senate Finance Committee Chairman Wyden, the 28 groups implore Congressional leaders “in the  name of racial equity and justice to stand up to the demands of the wealthy and big corporations [seeking] to preserve their privileges and escape paying their fair share of taxes.” 

“The pandemic and protests of the past year-and-a-half have brought a long-overdue focus to the structural and systemic racism within our economic systems,” note the authors. “President Biden’s tax reforms will increase racial equity in the tax code and raise the revenues we need to support an equitable recovery. But if those reforms are weakened, the tradeoffs are stark: every dollar not raised from a billionaire means a dollar less for child care or the Child Tax Credit; every dollar not raised from a multinational corporation is a dollar not available for paid family and medical leave or affordable health care; every dollar not raised by cracking down on rich tax cheats is a dollar not available for affordable housing or combatting climate change.”

Key signers of the racial equity letter to Congress added the following:

Derrick Johnson, NAACP President: “To progress toward racial equity, we must prioritize investments in our physical infrastructure, which will create millions of jobs and improve the lives of countless Black families and communities. Additionally, we must invest in our human infrastructure, ensuring that communities of color receive the assistance they need to break the cycle of poverty and pursue possibilities for generational wealth creation. This can be achieved only by requiring the wealthiest individuals and corporations to pay their fair share and invest in the advancement of racial equity and justice.”

Becky Pringle, National Education Association President: “No matter what we look like, where we live or where we’re from, everyone deserves equal access to high-quality public schools and public services. This deadly pandemic, which we are still fighting, has exposed and exacerbated the long-standing inequities that plague our most vulnerable students — especially Black, Brown, and Indigenous communities. If this country is serious about advancing racial equity, we need to have true, sustainable community investment where our students and educators work and live. This letter makes clear to Congress that a robust reconciliation package is critical to and has real implications for communities of color who have suffered disproportionately from COVID-19 and have experienced an uneven economic recovery. Congress has an opportunity to protect and uplift students and working families by strengthening public education and other public services. By signing onto this letter, the 3 million members of the National Education Association are showing that they’re watching how Congress responds to this crisis.”

Alvina Yeh, Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO, Executive Director: “Despite popular representations of us as ‘Crazy Rich,’ Asian Americans have the widest economic disparity out of any racial group in the country. This legislation makes the investments that our most precarious and least visible community members need and pays for them by making the tax code fairer and more equitable. Both the investments and revenue raisers are needed to drive equity for Asian American and Pacific Islander working people as well as to build back a better economy that works for all communities of color.”

Alejandra Montoya-Boyer, Prosperity Now, Director of Policy: “Racial inequities have been cemented into our tax code for generations and continue to shape the economic outcomes of American families and communities. This letter is a reminder to House Democrats that if they are serious about addressing systemic racism and closing racial wealth gaps, they must change our tax system by ensuring wealthy individuals and corporations pay their fair share so we can provide robust investments in housing, child care, jobs, and education for all families and communities.”

Jeremie Greer, Liberation in a Generation Co-Executive Director: “The consequences of the Covid pandemic and recession were — and remain — unequal because our economy is unequal by design. The federal tax code is a powerful way to dismantle systemic exclusion and redistribute power. Historic injustice and longstanding inequity deepened this economic crisis for most Black and brown folks, and it’s past time for Congress to rectify this. Without direct government investment and intentional, progressive policy change, the lives and livelihoods of people of color will continue to be disproportionately destroyed, in times of shared crisis and not.”

Here is the full list of letter signers:
Asian Pacific American Labor Alliance, AFL-CIO
Center for American Progress
Center for Popular Democracy
Coalition on Human Needs
Collective Power for Reproductive Justice
Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights (COLOR)
Color of Change
Community Change Action
Friends Committee on National Legislation
Fund Black Founders Inc
Groundwork Collaborative
The Institute on Race and Political Economy and Darrick Hamilton, Henry Cohen Professor of Economics and Urban Policy, The New School
Liberation in a Generation
Movement for Black Lives
National African American Clergy Network
National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP)
National CAPACD – National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development
National Coalition for Black Civic Participation
National Council of Asian Pacific Americans (NCAPA)
National Education Association
National Immigration Law Center
National Women’s Health Network
Network Lobby for Catholic Social Justice
Prosperity Now
Rainbow PUSH Coalition
Service Employees International Union
SisterSong Women of Color Reproductive Justice Collective