Tuesday, August 27, 2013

All-in Nation: An America that Works for All

The Center for American Progress and PolicyLink have collaborated to write “All-In Nation: An America That Works for All.” Making the case that strong communities of color - and other communities that have been left behind - are critical to America’s economic future, the book includes a series of essays that lay the groundwork for federal policies that can create an equitable economy where everyone has the opportunity to participate and thrive.

As the book illustrates, communities of color have continued to face substantial barriers and inequities when it comes to economic security, educational attainment, health and other critical outcomes. In the midst of our nation’s economic recession, black family wealth fell 31 percent between 2007 and 2010, with Hispanic family wealth falling by 44 percent. Yet, white family wealth fell by only 11 percent within the same period. The impact of our struggling economic climate has continued to intensify the disparities that have long existed in communities of color.

Highlighting the economic imperative of ensuring success in communities of color, “All-In Nation” uses economic indicators to demonstrate the how racial disparities perpetuate inequality. According to the book, if racial and ethnic disparities were eliminated, the average total personal income in 2011 would have been 8.1 percent higher and 13 million people would have been lifted out of poverty. As demographics shift across the nation – the book estimates that communities of color will be 53 percent of the population by 2050 - our policies must reflect the need to ensure that these communities have access to the tools, resources and skills needed to succeed.

“All-In Nation” explores a policy agenda that includes infrastructure, jobs, health care, education and workforce development, immigration, criminal justice and democratic participation – issues that many communities across the nation are working hard to tackle. For example, many low-income communities have limited access to healthy, affordable food options. However, the federal Healthy Food Financing Initiative has spurred access to loans and funding for local grocery stores in an effort to increase access and, as a result, healthy food options. Milwaukee’s Fondy Farmers Market, for example, supports more than 36,000 shoppers and brings in nearly $500,000 in annual sales. Similarly, without access to reliable transportation, residents in low-income communities are often disconnected from jobs, as well as access to health care, education and other essential services. However, as the book suggestions, ensuring that transportation funds are invested in projects that increase mobility in marginalized communities can increase jobs and improve the well-being of children and families.

Want to learn more about “All-In Nation” and the policy agenda it explores? Click here.

Want to learn more about policy strategies that can improve outcomes for communities? Check out the PolicyforResults.org.

No comments:

Post a Comment