29 Apr 1998 Black Leadership Network Praises Congressional Efforts on Behalf of Minority Communities
Republican congressional leaders are to be commended for tackling key issues of concern among minority communities, says Project 21, an African-American leadership network. Project 21 members contend that initiatives made during the 105th Congress constitute one of the greatest leaps forward for minorities in the past 30 years.
Project 21 member Kimberley Wilson says, “After three decades of black political efforts to coddle the residents of the inner city with worthless social programs and a celebration of victimhood, the Republican-led 105th Congress has actually taken concrete measures to encourage self-sufficiency in minority communities.”
Project 21 singled out work on the following issues for special praise:
* Needle Exchange: H.R. 3717 prohibits the federal government from subsidizing the distribution of hypodermic needles or syringes for the injection of illegal drugs. It repeals a provision of the FY 1998 Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act that allows the federal government to fund needle exchange programs after March 31, 1998.
* School Choice: The District of Columbia Student Scholarship Act would provide 2,000 Washington, D.C. students with tuition supplements that could be used for public or private schools.
* The Renewal Alliance for America’s Urban Families & Communities: This bill would restore authority and resources to religious, non-profit, and volunteer groups seeking to reweave the social fabric of inner-city neighborhoods. It targets tax and regulatory relief and savings incentives to restore the shattered economies of inner-city neighborhoods.
* Fathers Count: This Republican initiative to help low-income fathers, encourage marriage and better parenting is the next step in welfare reform.
* Census: A commitment to a Census that counts everyone. The leadership also stands ready to ban sampling for apportionment purposes on the grounds that it is unproven.
* The HIV Prevention Act of 1997 will reduce the rate of HIV infections among all Americans by focusing on public health and prevention.
Kevin Pritchett, a policy analyst and member of Project 21’s advisory council, adds: “After years of liberal neglect and bad policies, conservatives in Washington and around the nation have stepped up to the plate and taken on the hard issues important to minority communities: crime, school choice, harmful regulation, saving community-based organizations and promoting resonpsible fatherhood. These policies are not just good for minority communities, but for Americans of all races. Conservatives have a positive, color-blind agenda, not just the same old spendthrift, race- and quota-based remedies that many have posited in the past and still push today.”
Project 21 member Renee Stikes, special projects director of the Small Busines Survival Committee concludes “Republicans in Congress have done more to address the problems facing the African-American community than our so-called leaders. While members of the Congressional Black Caucus were off shadowing President Clinton in Africa, Republican leaders enhanced community-building legislation like the American Renewal Project. They understand that problems facing the inner-cities will never be solved until the community-based organizations that are ‘in the trenches’ are given the assistance necessary to build values in our communities. Fortunately, the constituents of the Congressional Black Caucus were well served by Republican leaders who chose to take care of business back home instead of investing in symbolism.”