Economic Inequality in America Is Fueling Dire Need for Action

by Community Change | April 30, 2015 4:18 pm

For Immediate Release: Thursday, April 30, 2015
Contact: Donna De La Cruz, [email protected] (202) 339-9331

CCC’s Deepak Bhargava Calls for Bold Measures to Put Families First

(WASHINGTON)—The recent unrest in Baltimore over the death of Freddie Gray while he was in police custody shines a harsh spotlight on the alarming economic crisis America’s working families are facing. Community Change (CCC), along with dozens of advocacy, civil rights and grassroots organizations across the country, are committed to taking bold action to eliminate economic inequality through “Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All,” a campaign that will fight for the biggest changes our economy has seen in generations.

At the “Color of Wealth” summit held today in Washington, D.C., CCC’s Executive Director Deepak Bhargava discussed the campaign’s blueprint to guarantee good wages and benefits and create new jobs that sustain all families by meeting America’s needs for infrastructure, education, childcare and a clean energy future.

“The vast talent of the emerging majority of color in the country is the principal asset of the United States in the 21st century.  Making a major investment in areas of concentrated poverty, largely African American and Latino communities, is necessary to create a level playing field after generations of deliberate disinvestment,” Bhargava said. “Building on the assets and unleashing the talent in these communities is an indispensable condition for true racial equality and shared prosperity.  Our campaign agenda makes the bold call for creating two million new jobs per year that will cut unemployment among people with incomes below the poverty level in these high-poverty communities by over 60 percent.”

CCC, along with the Center for Popular Democracy, Jobs With Justice, The Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights and the Working Families Organization launched the “Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All” campaign on Wednesday with a goal of winning breakthrough changes in the rules of our economy and to set the terms of the economic debate in the 2016 election cycle.

Together, these five organizations are working on campaigns in 41 states and have a combined membership of approximately 2.88 million. They are supporting nearly 110 economic justice campaigns on a local, state, and national level. At the launch, advocates announced new statewide campaigns in Ohio, Maine and Washington state, and additional campaigns will kick off throughout the lead up to the 2016 election.

At the “Color of Wealth” summit, sponsored by the Center for Global Policy Solutions, Bhargava was part of a panel discussing “The Great Inequality Debate: Economic Equity and the Potential for Policy Action.” Bhargava said America is grappling with economic inequality because mainstream liberal and conservative arguments have stood in the way of breakthrough solutions.

“Sticking to the belief that wealth comes solely from corporations or entrepreneurs must be tossed aside. Wealth is created by people’s hard work,” Bhargava said. “We must stop believing in this discredited myth, and we need to stop blaming people for falling into poverty. We have the power to change the rules of the game, and we must be bold in our actions to solve this serious crisis.”

For more information on Putting Families First: Good Jobs for All, go to www.putfamiliesfirst.org.

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