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Close the Racial Wealth Gap by Achieving Economic Justice

Answer

1. INVEST IN LOCAL INITIATIVES THAT BUILD COMMUNITY WEALTH

Even before the coronavirus pandemic, over half of Miami-Dade County households were considered in poverty or the working poor (United Way Miami, 2020). There exists a staggering racial wealth gap in our region, where the median net worth is $107K for White-Americans, $22K for Cuban-Americans, and $3,700 for American-born Blacks (OSU, 2019). It is important to build community wealth and address this disparity head on.

  • Provide seed incentives for every M-DCPS kindergartener through the Future Bound Miami college savings account program
  • Increase the budget for Community-Based Organization grants, currently at $13M a year

2. ELIMINATE HARMFUL IMPACTS OF FINES & FEES

The inability to pay fines and fees can lead to mounting debt, driver's license suspensions, and jail for our residents. Across the country, millions of Americans get trapped in the justice system simply because they can’t afford to pay fines and fees. We must reform this system to eliminate disproportionate punishment for those solely because they have limited finance.

  • End driver's licenses suspensions for non-moving violations, including parking tickets
  • Eliminate debt related arrests for failure to appear at debt hearings, which result in incarceration in already overcrowded jails
  • Eliminate fines and fee debt for minors
  • Institute a remediation program for those who have been harmed by unjust fines and fees without any regard to their ability to pay. Create payment plan that tailors payment amounts to a person's financial abilities, including community service and volunteer programs
  • Place caps on allowable revenue from fines and fees
  • Support a community ID program
  • Provide phone calls at no cost to people who are incarcerated in County jail facilities
  • Eliminate the $35 water utility reconnection fee

3. SUPPORT SMALL BUSINESS REVITALIZATION

The Beacon Council says it best, "Small businesses are the lifeblood of Miami-Dade County, representing a large portion of the local economy." When we support small local businesses, we are more likely to maintain our community identity, be environmentally friendly, create local jobs, and reinvest in our neighborhoods.

  • Refocus economic development policy and initiatives on local small and micro businesses
  • Curb over-proliferation of formula retail businesses to ensure that large national chains do not crowd out local small businesses


Primary Partners: Future Bound Miami, Beyond the Bars, Opa-Locka CDC