National Urban League: Fattah’s Proposal Gives “All Communities An Equal Chance to Compete”

New York, NY – National Urban League President and Chief Executive Officer Marc H. Morial issued the following statement on Rep. Chaka Fattah’s (D-PA) proposed legislation, America’s FOCUS Act:

“The National Urban League applauds Rep. Chaka Fattah’s commitment to strengthening America’s future competitiveness by investing in critical human service programs. H.R. 1360, America’s FOCUS Act  creates a mechanism to target three distinct programs for improving the economic wellbeing  of our country; Department of Education, NIH and the Department of Justice. This debt neutral legislation directs revenue that is  generated by corporate civil and criminal penalties including bank fines and settlements to impact criminal justice reform, education and medical research.

“The National Urban League’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 nation’s most vulnerable populations—youth and underserved populations.  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.  We are convinced that America’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.

“Today, we proudly continue the march towards civil rights in calling for an economic system that ensures “quality and equality” and that allows our country to  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. “Poverty must not be a bar to learning.” Instead, education “must offer an escape to poverty” for historically disadvantaged students and students of color.

“The America’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.”