NCLEJ’s Call to Our Next President
NCLEJ celebrates the democratic process that has resulted in voters selecting Joseph R. Biden to be America’s 46th President. We urge President-elect Biden to prioritize the following key issues during his first 100 days in office.
- Restore and Expand Access to SNAP, Medicaid, Child Care, and Other Supportive Benefits. The incoming Biden administration must restore and expand a meaningful social safety net that provides low-income Americans with the assistance that they need and deserve. NCLEJ asks the incoming administration to: reverse policies that limit access to benefits by imposing work requirements and other burdensome restrictions; and, work affirmatively to eliminate racial, gender, and disability-based discrimination in the availability and implementation of benefits programs.
- Protect and Secure the Rights of Low-Wage Workers. NCLEJ asks the incoming administration to swiftly: secure adequate health and safety protections, provide decent wages and benefits; and, expand fair labor protections for low-wage and other vulnerable workers across the country.
- Combat Abusive Fines, Fees and Debt Collection Practices. Abusive debt collection practices impose insurmountable barriers to struggling individuals through the garnishment of wages, tax refunds and stimulus payments, jailing and the suspension of driver’s licenses. Moreover, municipalities frequently target low-income Black and Latinx communities for fines and fees, compounding harms caused by increased debt and over-involvement in the criminal legal system. NCLEJ asks the incoming administration to support low-income Americans struggling to conserve scarce financial resources.
- Advance the Civil and Human Rights of People with Disabilities. The COVID-19 pandemic has been especially harmful for people with disabilities in many ways, including lack of access to adequate healthcare, dangerous conditions in nursing homes and other congregate settings, and discriminatory government policies and practices. NCLEJ asks the incoming administration to: advance civil and human rights protections to ensure full access and equality for people with disabilities; and, pursue robust compliance with existing federal disability rights laws in the development and implementation of government programs and services.
Over the past four years, the current administration has relentlessly attacked civil and human rights, furthering the marginalization and exclusion of marginalized and vulnerable communities – particularly Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, people with disabilities, immigrant communities, women, and LGBTQ+ persons.
The change in our federal administration will come at a critical moment when the COVID-19 pandemic has magnified existing systemic racism and inequities that pervade our country’s institutions and left marginalized communities more vulnerable than ever. The Trump administration’s negligence during the COVID-19 pandemic inflicted widespread and catastrophic public health and economic consequences for poor and working-class people, communities of color, and individuals with disabilities. Tens of millions of Americans remain unemployed, food insecure, and at imminent risk of losing their homes during a global pandemic as the current administration continues to attack the social safety net.
NCLEJ applauds this historic election and urges President-elect Biden to commit to advancing economic justice and combatting the marginalization of low-income individuals, communities of color, people with disabilities, and other vulnerable groups, as we continue our urgent work.