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Black women on COVID-19 stimulus package: A good start but much more to do!

Statement of In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President & CEO Marcela Howell

WASHINGTON — This week, Congress passed a $1.9 trillion stimulus package, President Biden is expected to sign tomorrow. In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda President and CEO Marcela Howell issued the following statement in response:

“Throughout the last year of the COVID-19 pandemic, we have watched as the health and safety of Black women, men and children — who already face health inequities — has been further threatened. The passage of the ‘American Rescue Plan’ will provide health and economic relief to millions. Will it be enough to balance the last year and more than half a million deaths? No! But we finally have a government that acknowledges the importance of a national effort to fight the pandemic and has included policies to offer relief to the families and communities hardest hit.

“When President Biden signs the stimulus package into law, nearly everyone in the U.S. will benefit. Hundreds of millions will receive stimulus checks of up to $1,400 per person and families with children will receive tax credits — cutting child poverty rates in half; unemployment benefits that were about to expire will be extended; state and local governments will receive much-needed funds to continue to manage vaccine distribution and the safe reopening of schools, businesses and services.

“The ‘American Rescue Plan’ is a good start but there is much more to do. Congress must prioritize implementing policies that will make sustainable improvements. It’s time to raise the minimum wage so that people working full time no longer live in poverty. We also must address the racist and sexist underpinnings of disparities in pay, education, health care and housing.

“This country was built on the underpinnings of white male supremacy. To build back better, we need to pour a new stronger foundation based on equality and justice for all.”

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In Our Own Voice: National Black Women’s Reproductive Justice Agenda is a national Reproductive Justice organization focused on lifting up the voices of Black women leaders at the national, regional and state levels in our ongoing fight to secure Reproductive Justice for Black women, femmes, queer, trans and gender non-conforming people and youth. Our strategic partners include Black Women for Wellness, Black Women’s Health Imperative, New Voices for Reproductive Justice, SisterLove, Inc., SisterReach, SPARK Reproductive Justice NOW, The Afiya Center and Women With A Vision.

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