The Chamber of Commerce sent a letter to members of Congress Tuesday formally endorsing 13 bills in Congress that would close opportunity gaps for Black Americans and people of color.
The letter, which was sent to all 535 Members of Congress, is part of the Chamber’s national Equality of Opportunity initiative. The initiative seeks to develop real, sustainable methods to close systemic, race-based gaps in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and criminal justice.
Included in the bills, many of which have bipartisan support, are the Minority Business Development Act of 2019, which supports entrepreneurship in minority communities; the REAL Act of 2019, which would expand educational and occupational opportunities for incarcerated Americans, and the Driving for Opportunity Act of 2020, which would assist criminal justice efforts.
“This is the next step in our commitment to listen, learn, and lead the way to solutions addressing the longstanding, systemic challenges and bridge the opportunity gaps that Black Americans and people of color face,” Neil Bradley, Executive Vice President and Chief Policy Officer of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce said in the letter. “The Chamber and our hundreds of partners across the country are putting the collective muscle of American business behind these bills, which will get us closer to all Americans having equal opportunities to succeed.”
Additionally, the Chamber is meeting and working with its network of more than 1,500 local and state chambers nationwide to advance policy solutions and to identify and scale private-sector solutions and best practices to help close opportunity gaps.
Other bills endorsed by the Chamber include the College Transparency Act, the Improving Corporate Governance Through Diversity Act of 2019, the Act Targeting Resources to Communities in Need, the Minority Business Resiliency Act of 2020, the Clean Slate Act of 2019, and the Necessary Entrepreneurship Workshops via the SBA to Transform and Assist Re-entry Training Act of 2019.
Many of theses bills are stuck in the Senate as Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has refused to put them up for a vote along with many others.