Thursday, September 30, 2010

On the Record Conversation with House Majority Whip James E. Clyburn

The Urban Politico staff was honored to be among the Black Bloggers invited to speak with House Majority Whip Jim Clyburn earlier this morning about the specific issue of the accomplishments that the Federal Government has achieved within the Black Community over the past 20 months since Obama has taken office.  Congressman Clyburn was very insightful in addressing the sentiment among the Black Community that either (A) not enough has been done or (B) that what has been done is not working fast enough. (you might recall this one sister HERE who told Obama himself that she was sick and tired of defending him and his policies).  Clyburn feels that many people in the Black Community, as well as the progressive community at large, are losing sight of the big picture of progress and becoming too impatient (at one point he jokingly yet firmly noted that he's been patiently waiting for change for 70 years but some Democrats can't seem to be patient for 2 years). He also reminded those who claim that nothing has been done that the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), which has 42 members, is necessary to reach majority in a House of 435 Congress men and women where a majority needed to pass any vote = 218 (the Democrats make up 253 votes in the House but without the CBC the Democrats make up only 212 votes).

Clyburn addressed these concerns by outlining 4 points that he felt all Black Bloggers in the Blogosphere should be reiterating to our viewership in an effort to change the narrative that's out there.  They are as follows:

#1. Health Care
The Black Community is no stranger to illness or hospital bills.  Many families within the Black Community have children with "pre-existing conditions" who will now benefit tremendously from the new Health Care Reform that went into effect Thursday, September 23, 2010 that prohibits health insurance companies from dropping or denying coverage to children with pre-existing conditions. 

#2. Wall Street Reform
'Nuff said.

#3. Consumer Financial Protection Bureau
How many Black families have been destroyed by predatory lending?  Now, built into the financial system for the first time in history, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, headed by Elizabeth Warren, is able to help families who have previously been taken advantage of by predatory lenders in housing, credit cards, and other important areas.

#4. Help for Small Businesses
The CBC voted as a block to help pass the Small Business Lending Funding Act which as of Monday, September 27, 2010, provides $30 Billion dollars towards small businesses, many of them Black owned. Per the associated press:  "Democrats claim that the new small business incentives are likely to result in up to $300 billion in new small business credit and 500,000 new jobs over the next few years."

What are your thoughts on what Congressman Clyburn said?
Is our generation impatient or do we have a legitimate gripe that not enough is being done within the Black Community?
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