New York, NY â€“ National Urban League President and Chief Executive Officer Marc H. Morial issued the following statement on Rep. Chaka Fattahâ€™s (D-PA) proposed legislation, Americaâ€™s FOCUS Act:
â€œThe National Urban League applauds Rep. Chaka Fattahâ€™s commitment to strengthening Americaâ€™s future competitiveness by investing in critical human service programs. H.R. 1360, Americaâ€™s FOCUS ActÂ creates a mechanism to target three distinct programs for improving the economic wellbeingÂ of our country; Department of Education, NIH and the Department of Justice. This debt neutral legislation directs revenue that isÂ generated by corporate civil and criminal penalties including bank fines and settlements to impact criminal justice reform, education and medical research.
â€œThe National Urban Leagueâ€™s 105+ years of advocacy in human capital services provided by our 95 affiliates in over 300 communities in 36 states and the District of Columbia continue to look for innovative approaches to solve the problems of our nationâ€™s most vulnerable populationsâ€”youth and underserved populations.Â Collectively, our movement has served over 2.2 million children in the last decade, providing youth and children a variety of high-quality programs, supports and services ranging from STEM-focused after school learning opportunities to running charter schools.Â We are convinced that Americaâ€™s FOCUS Act of 2015 will help our country meet the high demands of ensuring that all communities will have an equal chance to compete.
â€œToday, we proudly continue the march towards civil rights in calling for an economic system that ensures â€œquality and equalityâ€ and that allows our country toÂ maintain our competitive edge. The challenges we face as a nation in the Digital Age cannot be addressed with an underfunded antiquated educational , justice and medical research system. As our economy becomes more and more reliant on a healthy educated workforce, our goal to create an excellent and equitable educational system is even more pressing. â€œPoverty must not be a bar to learning.â€ Instead, education â€œmust offer an escape to povertyâ€ for historically disadvantaged students and students of color.
â€œThe Americaâ€™s FOCUS Act of 2015 is a commonsense measure that will benefit all of these groups and help America maintain its leadership in the global economy.”