To mark the start of Black History Month, Florida Democratic Party Executive Director Marcus Dixon released the following statement:
“Black History Month is a time to remember, recognize, and honor the contributions of Black Americans to the rich fabric of our nation. Here in Florida, from our local communities to industry, from our City Halls and State Capitol to the halls of Congress, Black Floridians have innovated, trailblazed, and made enormous contributions to our greater good.
“This month, we learn about and reflect on our collective struggles and triumphs. With the first Black woman Supreme Court justice on the horizon, we also take this time to shine light on the Biden-Harris Administration’s policies that are currently transforming and improving the lives of Black Americans today.
“In Florida, President Biden’s American Rescue Plan is providing direct economic relief to our communities that have been hit so hard by the pandemic. And the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law is building a road forward that will bring good, union jobs and equitable infrastructure investments to communities that have been the victims of underinvestment for far too long.
“President Biden, Vice President Harris, and Florida Democrats up and down the ballot remain committed to dismantling barriers to economic and societal progress and creating lasting opportunities for Black Americans.”
Improving Health Outcomes: The Biden-Harris Administration has gotten shots in arms, expanded healthcare access, lowered premiums for more than 360,000 Black Americans who get their healthcare through Obamacare, and even enacted a law to ban surprise medical bills.
Creating Economic Opportunity: To help our communities weather the pandemic and help workers keep food on the table, the Biden-Harris Administration has sent billions of dollars to minority-owned small businesses, kept workers from missing a paycheck, created programs to lend money minority-owned businesses with limited access to banking, and cut the unemployment rate for Black Americans from 9.2 percent in January 2021 to 7.1 percent in December 2021.
Prioritizing Affordable Housing: President Biden’s American Rescue Plan helped Americans stay in their homes by providing emergency aid to cover back rent, including $21.6 billion in emergency aid for low-income renters, and placing a moratorium on evictions. The American Rescue Plan also provided $10 billion for first-time homeowners struggling to pay their mortgage and a further $4.5 billion for those struggling to pay high utility bills.
Redefining Criminal Justice: President Biden is working to reform our criminal justice system at the federal level, implementing new bans including the use of chokeholds and carotid restraints except where force is necessary. He has also pledged not to renew contracts for privately-operated prisons and appointed more Black women to the U.S. Court of Appeals than any other administration ever.
An Equitable Covid Response: The American Rescue Plan included funding to improve outreach and access to vaccines in communities of color, an effort that zero Republicans supported. President Biden and Democrats in Congress put money into the pockets of parents and Black Americans, and cut taxes for working- and middle-class families. 171 million stimulus checks of up to $1,400 were delivered to Americans. Under the expanded Child Tax Credit, monthly checks of up to $300 per child were sent to roughly 35 million households, including to the families of nearly 9.4 million Black children.
Investing in HBCUs: Democrats provided over $36 billion in American Rescue Plan funding to institutions of higher education, including a cumulative $5.8 billion investment in and support for Historically Black Colleges and Universities so far.
Honoring Juneteenth: President Biden signed legislation making Juneteenth, a day we remember the emancipation of slaves in the United States and reaffirm our commitment to equality, a federal holiday.