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On Wednesday, the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) released its Black Policy Agenda: State of The Union Edition, outlining policies that they would like President Joe Biden to uphold this year and in 2024, if re-elected.

The groundbreaking agenda, a first for the organization, highlights the pressing concerns of Black Americans ranging from health care and voting rights to police reform. The new agenda was released ahead of President Biden’s final State of the Union address on Thursday night.

While the NAACP acknowledged Biden’s efforts to protect Black voters’ access to the ballot box by reintroducing the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act to the Senate in February, the organization urged for the 81-year-old Democrat to pass the legislation, “which would restore critical protections for voting rights and protect democracy.”

Health care, police reform, and technology were also key issues.

As the election season draws near, equitable compensation and just labor laws are pressing concerns for Black Americans nationwide. With the rise of artificial intelligence (AI) and other technological advancements threatening job security, the NAACP stressed the importance of President Biden enacting fair labor regulations specifically tailored to protect Black workers. These laws would guarantee equitable wages and provide safeguards against technological disruptions that could jeopardize their livelihoods.

Outlined in the Black Policy Agenda, the NAACP also expressed concern about the use of advanced technology within police forces across America, advocating for reform and regulation of emerging technology used to perpetuate the ongoing threat of violence against Black communities. As officers continue to be held unaccountable for police brutality events in recent months, the organization said that it was imperative to abolish qualified immunity and establish a national database to remove officers with patterns of misconduct. The NAACP pushed for the passage of the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act and advocated for mandatory, enhanced training to address bias and promote de-escalation tactics.

“The Biden Administration must take action now to stem these disparities, particularly those created by predictive policing technologies,” the organization penned.

With over 10 million individuals of color losing their Medicaid health coverage during the pandemic, the NAACP noted the importance of ensuring that every American has access to the high-quality, life-saving care they deserve. The disparity underscores the urgent need for comprehensive healthcare reform to address and prevent inequalities, the agenda stated.

In a statement, NAACP President & CEO, Derrick Johnson, shared that the Black Policy Agenda was created to “educate, engage, and prepare the Black electorate to mobilize,” ahead of the 2024 election.

“Let’s be clear – democracy cannot work without the Black vote. But Black voters refuse to remain tone-deaf to the reality of actions, or lack thereof on behalf of any politician.”

Johnson added, “We appreciate the Biden Administration’s continued efforts to include our community in all important conversations. I look forward to hearing from the Commander in Chief on how his administration plans to continue fulfilling their commitments to our community. It’s up to all of us to ensure that Democracy works, for everybody.”


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