Op-Ed: President Biden has kept his promise to our community

By Jaime Harrison

From jobs and infrastructure to education and health care, President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris have shown us that government can work for our community — and they’re just getting started.

COVID was rough for so many of us. Many in our neighborhoods lost jobs, and homes, and saw prices soar sky-high. Despite it all, President Biden and Vice President Harris have worked hard to turn the page on the failed economic policies of the past and rebuild the economy by empowering working people, investing in our communities, and supporting small businesses.

That’s what President Biden means when he says we’re rebuilding the economy from the bottom up and middle out — not the top down — and that’s exactly what Bidenomics is doing.

Even as Republicans have tried to roll back progress at every turn, President Biden has helped create over 13 million new jobs, the lowest Black unemployment rate, and the highest Black labor force participation rate since 2008.

And thanks to the once-in-a-generation Inflation Reduction Act — which passed without a single Republican vote — we’ve capped the price of insulin at $35 per month for seniors and are lowering costs for prescription drugs.

We’ve also made historic investments in our nation’s infrastructure. We’re repairing our roads and bridges, and expanding access to high-speed internet because no parent should have to park outside McDonald’s so their kid can do their homework.

This progress is all the more remarkable when you remember that Republicans have fought tooth and nail to prevent it. Like they did during the Obama administration, from stalling aid for Black farmers to filibustering the John Lewis Voting Rights legislation, they have stood in the way – but that hasn’t stopped President Biden.

In the last year, we’ve seen them try to block student loan forgiveness — even as many of them had their PPP loans forgiven. This administration has forgiven over $116.6 billion for more than 3.4 million borrowers — and President Biden has forgiven more student loan debt than any president in history, despite Republicans’ best efforts to hold us back.

Democrats have put Black communities at the center of their agenda. They’ve appointed more Black judges to the appellate courts than all other presidents — combined. And they confirmed the first Black woman, Ketanji Brown Jackson, to serve as a United States Supreme Court Justice.

When Republicans stalled the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act, President Biden used his executive power to ban federal chokeholds, limit no-knock entries, and pardon those convicted of simple federal marijuana possession.

Democrats delivered a historic $7.3 billion to our HBCUs. They protected our pensions. They’ve put Black maternal health equity at the forefront of their agenda.

In 2020, Black voters were a critical part of the coalition that elected President Biden and Vice President Harris and we know that their votes are critical to winning a second term.

As a Black man, the husband of a Black woman, and the father of two Black boys, this isn’t something that I take lightly. I know what it feels like to have our community taken for granted and only have folks show up for us when they need our vote on Election Day. That’s why we’re putting the work in early to engage and mobilize Black voters well ahead of next year’s election.

On the ground, we are listening to what matters most to voters and sharing our accomplishments. And we will continue to put in the work to make sure that Black voters know what is at stake in 2024. It is a race between hope and fear. Hope must always prevail.

At every turn, these Republicans have tried to use fear to stop progress, but just as President Biden and Vice President Harris never let it stop them, neither will we.

We’re going to use hope to build a country where we all have the opportunity to reach our full potential. But to do that, we have to reelect President Biden, and elect Democrats to Congress to give him the support he needs to finish the job.

Jaime Harrison, an American attorney and politician, is the current chair of the Democratic National Committee, elected in January 2021