U.S. REP. ALCEE L. HASTINGS
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan would be beyond devastating for the African-American community.
They would build an administration based on the same failed policies that forced our nation into a great economic recession. They have vowed to cut education funding and to repeal the Affordable Care Act that would disproportionately affect African-Americans in Florida who are still recovering.
President Obama understands that too many of us have been hurt by declining wages and unemployment over this past decade. From growing our economy, to providing more opportunities for our children to receive a better education, the Dream Act, to Obamacare, President Obama has demonstrated a commitment to African-Americans and to the future of our community for generations to come.
More work to do
Together, we’ve accomplished a lot, but there is much more work to be done. This is why it is crucial that we make it a priority to register to vote by October 9 and support the re-election of President Obama.
Through the Minority Business Development Agency, the Obama administration helped African-American clients secure more than $929 million in contracts and financing in 2009 and $2.4 billion in 2010. And by signing the Small Business Jobs Act of 2010, more capital was put into the hands of minority-owned businesses.
Aside from helping to grow our economy, the president also has focused largely on higher education opportunities that have helped African-American students. Forty-six percent of African-Americans in undergraduate programs receive Pell grants. Without these scholarships, college for many of us would simply be a dream.
Mitt Romney would eliminate the president’s college tax credit, slashing Pell Grant scholarships for nearly 10 million students. Meanwhile, President Obama is working to provide hundreds of thousands more grants by 2020.
His contributions to the African-American community don’t stop here. By signing the Affordable Care Act, 41 million Black Americans witnessed a reduction of health disparities.
And now, nearly a quarter of African-Americans will no longer be denied access to health insurance because of pre-existing conditions. This will change under a Romney administration that wants to take away the healthcare and benefits many of us depend on to live a healthy and sustainable life.
Mitt Romney and Paul Ryan have vowed to cut the programs that are crucial to the benefit and upward movement of the African-American community. With just five weeks left before the voter registration deadline, we have to take advantage of every day and educate ourselves on these facts and get our community registered and to the polls on November 6. We’ve come too far to turn back now.
For our community, the right to vote was not simply handed out, but won through hard-fought battles. To continue this fight, we have got to not only register everyone we know, but we have to vote!
The 2008 presidential campaign brought us a historic election and record participation of African-American voters. More than four million more African-American and Latino voters cast ballots in 2008 than they did in 2004. Such high levels of civic participation are cause for celebration as well as a clarion call to “shock the world” again and show how much we are invested in our own progress.
If you want to vote on Nov. 6 but are not registered, log on to www.GottaVote.org. The site is part of President Obama’s voter-protection program that provides millions of people with the information they need to register to vote.
We cannot stop at the election of President Obama. It is imperative that we send him back to the White House with a Democratic Congress. If we want to see anything accomplished in Washington, we need a Congress that has the president’s back.
Let’s make history on Nov. 6 and keep moving this country forward!
Alcee L. Hastings represents Florida Congressional District 23.