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Obama’s Policy Agenda: Implications for Black Communities and the Role of Philanthropy

Obama’s Policy Agenda: Implications for Black Communities and the Role of Philanthropy






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    Obama’s Policy Agenda: Implications for Black Communities and the Role of Philanthropy Obama’s Policy Agenda: Implications for Black Communities and the Role of Philanthropy Presentation Transcript

    • Obama’s Policy Agenda: Implications for Black Communities and the Role of Philanthropy john a. powell Director, Kirwan Institute for the Study of Race and Ethnicity Williams Chair in Civil Rights & Civil Liberties, Moritz College of Law ABFE Annual Board Retreat February 10, 2009 New Orleans, LA
    • Presentation Overview
      • The current recession – racially disparate effects
      • The need for racially sensitive policies
        • Targeted universalism
      • Assessing the current stimulus package
        • Implications for communities of color
        • How do the issues connect?
      • Looking ahead
        • Opportunities for foundations
    • The Current Recession: Racially Disparate Effects
      • “ In this economy, people of color benefit the least compared to their white counterparts during economic booms and suffer disproportionally more during economic downturns. As W.E.B. DuBois once said,
      • ‘ To be a poor man is hard, but to be a poor race in a land of dollars is the very bottom of hardships.’”
    • The Current Recession
      • The current recession has affected everyone – but not all to the same degree.
      • Although the U.S. has been in a recession for more than a year, people of color have been in a recession for nearly five years and have entered a depression during the current economic crisis.
      • Although the black poverty rate fell 8.5% from 1989 to 2000, the African American family poverty rate increased 2.8% from 2000 to 2007.
        • Poverty rates for Hispanic families grew .5% from 2000 to 2007. The Hispanic family poverty rate (19.7%) is roughly twice that of the overall poverty rate (9.8%).
    • The Recession in Racial Terms Unemployment rates by demographic group projected to 2010 Mishel, Lawrence and Heidi Shierholz. “Without Adequate Public Spending, A Catastrophic Recession for Some.” EPI Issue Brief # 248. 1-13-09 35.7% 16.3% Hispanic 55.7% 30.9% Black 30.1% 16.4% All   Teenagers: 13.1% 5.9% Hispanic 18.2% 8.6% Black 8.9% 4.3% White   By race/ethnicity: 10.2% 4.8% Unemployment Rate (overall) Projected 2010:2 2007:4  
    • The Recession in Racial Terms The Future of Underemployment without Recovery Package Mishel, Lawrence and Heidi Shierholz. “Without Adequate Public Spending, A Catastrophic Recession for Some.” EPI Issue Brief # 248. 1-13-09
    • This ratio was at a record high of 63.5% in 2000. Once the 2001 recession and weak economic recovery hit, these gains were lost and have yet to be recovered. Austin, Algernon. “What a Recession Means for Black America.” EPI Issue Brief # 241. 18 Jan. 2008.
    • The Need for Racially Sensitive Policies Targeted Universalism
    • You say crisis, I say opportunity
      • “ You never want a serious crisis to go to waste," Rahm Emanuel, Mr. Obama's new chief of staff, told a Wall Street Journal conference of top corporate chief executives
        • A crisis creates a sense of urgency
        • No one can deny that the system is broken
        • An opportunity to learn what worked and what did not
      • Civil War  Reconstruction
      • Depression  New Deal
      • 2008-2009 Recession  ?
    • Learning From Our Mistakes?
      • If we fail to pay attention to populations and the resources that communities possess, we are likely to repeat the mistakes of the New Deal.
        • White Americans may benefit disproportionately
      • How do we avoid the New Deal mistakes?
        • We must be intentional.
        • Policies should be targeted and programs should be structured so that they reach certain populations and communities.
    • We Need A New Paradigm
      • Targeted policies alone are not desirable because they appear to show favoritism toward a certain group, thus stigmatizing them.
      • Universal policies alone are not useful.
        • They fail to account for the fact that people are situated differently in the economic and social landscape of society
        • “ Universal” policies are often based on a non-universal standard
          • Ex: Social Security: able-bodied white males working outside the home full-time for pay
      • Thus… Targeted Universalism
    • Targeted Universalism
      • This approach supports the needs of the particular while reminding us that we are all part of the same social fabric.
          • Universal, yet captures how people are differently situated
          • Inclusive, yet targets those who are most marginalized
        • Example goal: Every school as a performing school
          • What does each school need to get there?
          • What does each student, family, teacher, community need?
          • What are their strengths and constraints?
    • Targeted Universalism
      • Targeted Universalism recognizes racial disparities and the importance of eradicating them, while acknowledging their presence within a larger inequitable, institutional framework
      • Targeted universalism is a common framework through which to pursue justice.
        • A model which recognizes our linked fate
        • A model where we all grow together
        • A model where we embrace collective solutions
    • Ex: Economic Stimulus Package
      • The economic stimulus package fails to directly account for race.
      • Yet, race is a key component of many major economic issues.
        • Ex: Subprime/Foreclosure crisis:
          • People of color are more than three times as likely as whites to have subprime mortgages.
          • Borrowers of color were more than 30 percent more likely to receive a higher-rate loan than white borrowers, even after accounting for differences in risk.
      • Besides considering race-sensitive design,
      • we must be concerned about the impacts.
      Rogers, Christy. “Subprime Loans, Foreclosure, and the Credit Crisis – A Primer.” Dec. 2008.
    • Assessing the Economic Stimulus Plan The Implications for Communities of Color
    • Analyzing the Stimulus and Our Values
      • Questions to consider:
        • What are our public values for the next century?
        • Does the stimulus package advance fair investment in all people and communities?
        • Does it promote economic and environmental sustainability?
        • Does it have transparent controls for personal, institutional, and regulatory accountability?
        • Is it sensitive to the needs of racially marginalized groups and communities?
    • Money Allocation
    • Assessing the Stimulus Package
      • Projections indicate that the stimulus package will not impact all groups to the same degree.
      • People are not only spatially segregated, but segregation also occurs by sector.
    • Stimulus: Projected Distribution of Jobs by Race
    • African Americans are underrepresented relative to their presence in the U.S. population (13%). Hispanics/Latinos, also at 13% of the U.S. population, are overrepresented.
    • These overestimates/underestimates are often industry specific. Consider the construction industry, a key component to the stimulus plan’s infrastructure building: Call out of construction sector jobs by race
    • Applying Targeted Universalism
      • These “shovel ready” stimulus package jobs “can benefit unemployed people of color and women if specific incentives and enforcement tools are enacted to ensure fair access to these opportunities.
        • All stimulus projects should require local resident hiring goals and create a link to community-based groups as the first line contact for construction jobs.
          • Local hiring requirements are a proven approach to bring jobs to under-represented constituencies in construction trades. These requirements can be applied to permanent jobs as well.”
      Center for Social Inclusion. “Economic Recovery for Everyone: Racial Equity and Prosperity.” Talking Points.
    • http://www.racewire.org/ An alternative analysis: Comparing projected state spending with the racial demographics of each state
    • Seeing the Connections
      • Attempts to address singular issues in isolated ways will ultimately fail
      • Targeted interventions must recognize the interconnected nature of our structures
      • While many policy areas can appear distinct, we must think of them collectively.
        • Ex: Transportation
          • Is this an urban policy issue?
          • An environmental issue?
          • A jobs/economic issue?
    • Systems Theory Highlights These Relationships
      • Systems Theory is a transdisciplinary model that focuses on a web of relationships and processes and not on linear, singular causation or the intent of one or even a few individuals.
      • In a complex systems model, actions and inactions have multiple effects, and the delayed or distant consequences are often different from more proximate effects.
      • From a systems perspective, causation is cumulative and mutual.
        • Outcomes are caused by many actors’ and institutions’ actions and inactions over time and across domains.
        • Outcomes are the result of causes that accumulate over time and across domains.
    • Visualizing Systems Theory
    • System Interactions Source: Barbara Reskin. http://faculty.uwashington.edu/reskin/ We must pay attention to how people are situated by looking at multiple indicators and the relationships that exist between those indicators.
    • Ex: Connecting Housing Policy & Education Policy
      • With lower profits and decreased access to capital, fewer corporations are investing in affordable housing (construction or renovation) while homelessness is on the rise.
      • The economic recovery bill passed by the House (1-28-09) “would temporarily allow state housing agencies to exchange some credits for federal grants, which they would then distribute to developers to support the production of affordable rental housing.”
      • This is an opportunity for us to re-think how we target LIHTC projects to high-opportunity areas.
      Fischer, Will. “Exchange Plan in House Recovery Bill Offers Best Fix for Low-Income Housing Tax Credit.” Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. February 2, 2009.
    • Ex: Connecting Housing Policy & Education Policy
      • LIHTC often concentrates housing units in racially isolated school districts.
      • This exacerbates the educational challenges facing low-income children, particularly children of color.
    • Looking Ahead
    • Racially Sensitive Policies
      • We must embrace a systems thinking perspective when forming policies.
      • What do racially sensitive policies look like?
        • Targeted : They recognize the nature of our interconnected structures / larger inequitable, institutional framework.
        • Pay attention to situatedness : They account for the fact that people are situated differently in the economic and social landscape of society.
        • Driven by outcomes : It may seem great if unemployment is cut in half, but if all the jobs go to white males, serious problems remain.
    • Racially Sensitive Policies (con’t)
      • What do racially sensitive policies look like?
        • Transparent : - Transparency allows for gauging progress and making corrections if necessary.
        • Multi-faceted : Incentivize a systems approach. Reorient how we think about policy.
        • Include people of color in the process : Their input is vital.
        • Serve as a bridge to the next economy : These policies should be the stepping stones for the future.
    • Race-Sensitive Policy Analysis of the Stimulus
      • How do we make the stimulus fair, sustainable, accountable?
        • Incentives for inclusion of people of color
        • Investment in public transit (prioritize projects that connect people to jobs)
        • Grants and loans for small and minority-, women-, and community-disadvantaged businesses
        • Collect data by race and gender to understand impacts of economic recovery policy
      Wiley, Maya. “Economic Recovery for Everyone: Racial Equity and Prosperity,” Center for Social Inclusion, 12/2008.
    • Opportunities for Philanthropy
      • The stimulus offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to influence federal and state policy.
      • Short term:
        • Foundations need to shape and direct the flow of money.
          • Intervene in the public dialogue:
            • Targeting the flow of stimulus money dispersed to states
            • Connecting education and housing policy through the targeted use of LIHTC funds
        • Draw on your experience and research
          • Present a clear, informed perspective regarding communities of color that have been devastated by the economic recession
    • Opportunities for Philanthropy
      • Long term :
        • Employ strategic communications regarding race
          • Help push national dialogue to overcome the common binary of (1) we’re in a post-racial world where race ‘doesn’t matter’; (2) we’re stuck in the past where race is ‘everything’
          • Emphasize productive discussions around race that thoughtfully inform policy design and advocacy
        • Capacity building
          • Increase the participation of marginalized groups in policy design
          • Improve data collection, monitoring, and evaluation of state and federal programs
        • Legal advocacy
    • Questions or Comments? For More Information, Visit Us Online: www.KirwanInstitute.org
    • Appendix
      • Obama’s Policy Agenda –
      • Selected notes from www.whitehouse.gov
    • Economy – ‘ American Recovery and Reinvestment Plan’
      • Double the production of alternative energy in the next 3 years
      • Modernize more than 75% of federal buildings; improve the energy efficiency of 2 million American homes
      • Make the immediate investments necessary to computerize all of America’s medical records
      • Equip schools, community colleges, and public universities with 21st century classrooms, labs, and libraries
      • Expand broadband across America
      • Invest in the science, research, and technology that will lead to new medical breakthroughs, new discoveries, and entire new industries
    • Urban Policy
      • Create a White House Office on Urban Policy
      • Fully fund the Community Development Block Grant
      • Increase access to capital for underserved businesses
      • Strengthen core infrastructure, including roads and bridges
      • Increase the supply of affordable housing throughout metropolitan regions
      • Reduce recidivism by providing ex-offender supports
      • Foster healthy communities – playgrounds, parks
    • Education
      • “ Zero to Five Plan”- a comprehensive plan that places emphasis on early care and education so children are ready to enter kindergarten
      • Expand Early Head Start and Head Start
      • Increase access to affordable, high-quality child care and after school programs
      • Reform No Child Left Behind – lessen emphasis on standardized tests
      • Make math and science education a national priority
      • Address the dropout crisis
      • Simplify the application process for financial aid in higher ed
    • Healthcare
      • Strengthen employer coverage, make insurance companies accountable, and ensure patient choice of doctor and care without government interference
      • Provide affordable, accessible health care for all Americans, build on the existing health care system, and use existing providers, doctors, and plans
      • Promote public health - Require coverage of preventive services
      • Make health insurance work for people and businesses, not just insurance and drug companies
      • Reduce costs and save a typical American family up
      • to $2,500
    • Environment
      • Invest in alternative and renewable energy, end our addiction to foreign oil, address the global climate crisis and create millions of new jobs
      • Put 1 million Plug-In Hybrid cars -- cars that can get up to 150 miles per gallon -- on the road by 2015, cars that we will work to make sure are built here in America
      • Ensure 10% of our electricity comes from renewable sources by 2012, and 25% by 2025
      • Implement an economy-wide cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050