The challenges for the incoming Biden-Harris Administration are formidable, not only due to the crippling impact that COVID-19 has on our economy, but how it has exposed the continuing scourge of structural racism, which further complicates our recovery efforts. With 8 million more people falling into poverty since the beginning of the pandemic, the first few months of the new presidency will set the tone for the next four years and identify the real values of the White House: a robust COVID-19 response, full economic recovery and achieving racial equity.
The Shriver Center’s advocacy team and Legal Impact Network have identified and laid out a comprehensive set of priority actions for the Biden-Harris Administration. We support realizing solutions to ensure equity, opportunity, and justice can reach everyone.
Everyone deserves access to affordable, comprehensive, culturally appropriate health care, no matter their income, race, gender, or where they’re from. People need to stay healthy so they can work, take care of their families, and be active members of their communities.
Recommendation #1: Take bold and immediate action to address the COVID-19 pandemic. To protect families’ access to care and financial security, reduce racial, health, and economic inequities, and to save jobs and promote economic recovery, we implore you to work with Congress to provide relief from the disruptions resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Recommendation #2: Increase healthcare coverage through administrative action that makes it easier and more affordable for states to cover uninsured populations through the Affordable Care Act and Medicaid.
Recommendation #3: End racial injustice in health and health care, and ensure all individuals and families have equal opportunity to live a healthy life, free from health disparities and barriers to care because of who they are, where they live, what language they speak, or how they identify.
Our institutions and policies must support people by ensuring fair work at a living wage and providing the income supports they need to be successful.
Recommendation #1: Provide immediate economic relief to people in need.
Recommendation #2: Increase wages. Raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour, index it to inflation, and extend minimum wage and overtime protections to workers currently excluded.
Recommendation #3: The Executive Branch should champion comprehensive legislation to enact vital worker protections.
Recommendation #5: Reverse the harm done under the Trump Administration to SNAP, public charge, and joint-employer rules, which furthered hunger and economic insecurity in recent years.
All people should have the right to a safe, stable home to build better futures for themselves and their families–and be protected from housing discrimination based on their race, criminal record, immigration status, and more under the law.
Recommendation #1: Take the necessary emergency steps to stave off/mediate the emergent pandemic-induced housing crisis.
Recommendation #2: Rollback Trump-era regulations and restore and bolster the Fair Housing Act as a tool to fight systemic inequities.
Recommendation #3: Increase and preserve the supply of safe and affordable housing and protect resident rights.
Recommendation #4: Ensure access to housing for justice-involved individuals.
Recommendation #5: Prioritize environmental justice in federally assisted housing.
For all communities to thrive, we must prioritize policies that keep families together, support families’ basic human needs, and end the inequities that systematically and disproportionately disenfranchise Black and Brown people.
Recommendation #1: Criminal justice reform that centers on reducing the number of people incarcerated, root out racial inequities in the system, and strengthen individuals to return to their communities with the resources and ability to survive.
We center parents in advocating for policies and laws that strengthen families and end the harmful removal of children from their homes.
Recommendation #1: Invest in supports for families to reduce the need for foster care.
America’s greatest strength is its diversity. We must ensure that immigrant families and communities are protected from discrimination and receive the support they need to thrive.
Recommendation #1: As the Biden Administration and the new Congress work toward a COVID-19 relief package, we call on them to include all families in the final bill.
Recommendation #2: Stop implementing the Public Charge Rule, rescind the Public Charge rule, and take affirmative steps to reduce the impact of the Public Charge rule.
Recommendation #3: Broader immigration reform and access to government benefits.
The Shriver Center on Poverty Law convenes the Legal Impact Network, a dynamic collaborative of advocacy organizations from across the country working with communities to end poverty and achieve racial justice at the federal, state, and local levels.
Recommendation #1: Prioritize comprehensive assistance for families experiencing economic hardship during COVID-19 and beyond.
Recommendation #2: Strengthen the rights of workers.
Recommendation #3: Increase access to safe, decent, affordable, and accessible housing.
Recommendation #4: Strengthen the rights of consumers.
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