With just six months to go before the 2020 presidential election, presumptive nominee Joe Biden has outlined his plan for Black America. The former VP focused on overarching issues that affect much of the community but was careful to highlight specific issues faced by Black women.
Last month the country recognized Black Maternal Health Week with articles, virtual events, podcasts and social media campaigns. Biden has dedicated a few lines of his proposal to highlight the disparities in pregnancy-related deaths. “California came up with a strategy that halved the state’s maternal death rate,” the Democratic candidate states. “The Biden plan takes the California strategy nationwide.”
As it pertains to health care, Biden also says that he will expand access to reproductive health, including increasing access to contraception and protecting a woman’s right to choose. In that same vein, he promises to make considerable efforts in addressing health disparities often seen in cancer treatment, mental health, and in community health centers.
Along with taking on health equity, Biden says he will “fight for equal pay.” At the tail end of March, the United States recognized Equal Pay Day, but financial experts have long stated that Black Women’s Equal Pay Day comes far after their White counterparts. Biden says he wants to change that. As President, Biden promises to codify into law an Obama administration order that protected workers against retaliation from discussing wages and required employers to collect and report wage gaps to the federal government.
The Lift Every Voice plan for Black America also includes protections for Black trans women. “As a direct response to the high rates of homicide of transgender people—particularly transgender women of color—the Biden administration will make prosecuting their murderers a priority,” the plan denotes. “And, during his first 100 days in office, Biden will direct federal resources to help prevent violence against transgender women, particularly transgender women of color.”
HBCUs, small businesses, education and the criminal justice system all received the attention of the vice-president in his plan for Black America. According to Biden, he’s rooting out racism in laws, policies and institutions because “African-Americans can never have a fair shot at the American Dream so long as entrenched disparities are allowed to quietly chip away at opportunity.”