With the second day of the 52nd Congressional Black Caucus Foundation (CBCF) Annual Legislative Conference (ALC) bringing out major celebrities and thought leaders — from hip-hop mogul Diddy to author and professor Dr. Michael Eric Dyson — many congressmen, including Rep. Steven Horsford, made major announcements about legislative and federal progress for the Black community.
Horsford, Nevada Democrat and chairman of the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC), said that he and his colleagues will wage a vigorous fight against Republican lawmakers who want to scrap programs that have helped minority business owners for decades.
The Small Business Administration (SBA) has temporarily suspended new applications to its 8(a) programs after a July 19 ruling by the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Tennessee ruled against people using social disadvantage as a status to gain entry to the program.
“The Congressional Black Caucus will fight, defend, and walk the line when it comes to these programs,” said Horsford, who was flanked by Isabella Casillas Guzman, administrator of the U.S. SBA.
“It is very important that we create wealth and my question to these individuals who are standing in the way and filing these lawsuits is what are they afraid of,” Horsford said.”Why are they trying to prevent economic prosperity and wealth-building in communities of color? It is important for all of America to know who is bringing these lawsuits, why they are doing it, and what they are attempting to do. They are attempting to take us back at a time when we are making so much progress.”
Since Biden took office there have been 13.1 million new business applications filed, a rate 20% faster than pre-pandemic numbers, and a total loan dollar amount of $13.1 billion.
“When you talk about equality, equity and access, whether it is through housing, education, employment, or health care we realize the power of our dollars,” said Prince George’s County Council member Sydney Harrison. “It is important to keep the dollar in our community. That’s why I am here to see what my colleagues are doing in other jurisdictions. And you see what we can do better in Prince George’s County.”
Other Day Two Highlights
Nationally renowned civil rights and personal injury attorney Ben Crump held a forum in another part of the Walter E. Washington Convention Center with the families of those killed by police brutality.
The group discussed a path forward for police reform since the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act has still not passed in Congress. They also shared what reforms have been successful on the local level with lawmakers.
“I’ve got to believe a greater good has to result from my son being killed,” said RowVaughn Wells, the mother of Tyre Nichols.
Other participants included Mona Harden, mother of Ronald Greene; Gwen Carr, mother of Eric Garner; Tiffany Crutcher, sister of Terence Crutcher; Allisa Findley, sister of Botham Jean. The lawmakers present included Rep. Lucy McBath (D-Ga.); Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas), Horsford, and Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.).