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10 Things Black Women Need Most From the President

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The well-being of African-American women may be the best gauge of the status of all citizens. And measures that help us will also heal the country. The Obama "Blueprint for Change" plan includes policies we want to see implemented.

The Issue: HEALTH CARE
What we need: An overhaul of the health care system and an HIV/AIDS policy targeting African-American women by:
•Fulfilling the pledge to see that everyone has health insurance.
•Enacting the proposed legislation to establish community outreach programs in underserved areas.

The Issue: THE ECONOMY
What we need: A jumpstart for the economy of our depressed neighborhoods by:

•Hiking the minimum wage to $9.50/hour by 2011 as promised.
•Following through on the pledge to assist with day care and invest $1 billion in jobs and career programs.

The Issue: EDUCATION
What we need: Intervention with early-childhood education and financial assistance with college tuition by:

• Increasing Head Start funding.
• Creating the proposed American Opportunity Tax Credit worth $4,000 tuition assistance in exchange for community service.

The Issue: THE CRIMINAL JUSTICE SYSTEM
What we need: More emphasis on rehabilitation, through education, drug programs and work enrichment by:

• Ending sentencing disparities; developing more prison-to-work and drug rehab programs as promised.
• Providing a means for formerly incarcerated persons to get bonding, which can improve employment prospects.

The Issue: HOUSING
What we need: Homelessness prevention programs, options for affordable housing and mortgage assistance by:

• Extending the federal five-year lifetime limit for Temporary Assistance for Needy Families.
• Creating additional units of affordable housing, and restore cuts to public housing operating subsidies as promised.

Do you have an issue you think President Obama should address? Post your comment below.

—Compiled by Janice K. Bryant

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