EQUITY INVESTMENT ACT
Communities most harmed by the systematic inequities of the criminal justice system and the racist War on Drugs are still caught in a downward economic spiral resulting from over-policing, imprisonment, and a lifetime of limited opportunity in jobs, housing, access to capital and more. The COVID-19 Pandemic is disproportionately impacting these same communities sending them further into the economic margins.
Oregon needs to mitigate the economic harm caused by decades of systematic racism.
In terms of equity programs, Oregon is embarrassingly behind the times. As Oregon’s tax revenues grow, the communities most economically hurt by over-policing and other systematic inequities are left behind while other communities prosper. The Equity Investment Act (SB 1579) seeks to close that gap.
How can we achieve equity?
Passage of the Equity Investment Act will strengthen Oregon’s economy, increase jobs, provide a path for entrepreneurship, workforce development, and paths to home and land ownership, and create generational wealth for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx communities.
Decades of over-policing, mass incarceration and the inequitable wealth-stripping impacts of the criminal justice system have exacerbated wealth disparities for Black, Indigenous, and Latinx (BIL) communities. The wealth gap between white households and households of color continues to grow. 2018 data from the Oregon Employment Department showed that average wages for Black, American Indian, and Latinx workers ranged from $39,000 to $45,000 annually. By contrast the average white worker earned at least $10,000 more. To raise the future prospects for all Oregonians, we must create opportunities for all communities and families to thrive.
Why the Equity Investment Act Now?
The COVID-19 Pandemic is disproportionately impacting communities of color and other historically disadvantaged communities sending them further into the economic margins. The impacts of rising food prices, affordable housing shortages, and volatility for small businesses has pushed communities at the economic margins further into distress. The Equity Investment Fund’s investments into wealth-generating programs for economically disadvantaged communities is needed now.
“Black and Brown business owners have faced a disproportionate share of COVID-19 failures: from February to April of this year, there was a 41% decline in Black-owned businesses and a 32% drop in Latinx business owners. White entrepreneurs experienced only a 17% decline.”
(Minority entrepreneurs at a tipping point as Black-owned banks dwindle in the U.S., CNBC, August 31, 2020).
Equity Investment PAC
P.O. Box 42307
Portland, OR 97242