Marc Morial Speaks With Housing Policy Leaders On The Importance Of Homeownership In Communities
National Urban League President and CEO Marc H. Morial recently joined former Fannie Mae CEO Franklin Raines, Mark Calabria of the Cato Institute, and National Community and Reinvestment Coalition CEO John Taylor in an interactive discussion of the future of housing finance in America's cities. "It's the Economy: Prospects for Strengthening the Housing Market" was the centerpiece discussion of the 2012 NCRC National Conference in Washington, DC. The three-day public event included housing counseling training sessions, interactive workshops, and plenary meetings of the National Neighbors network and other housing-related coalitions. An online link featuring video of the full discussion will be posted to IAMEMPOWERED.com
The U.S. Economy added 635,000 jobs in the first quarter of 2012, thanks to better than expected job growth for January and February (over 230,000 jobs per month). With the best first quarter job growth since the recovery began, the black unemployment rate fell below 15% for the first time since July 2009. Economists predict that between 140,000 and 162,000 new jobs can be expected for April 2012 -- numbers that will have little or no effect on the unemployment rate, now at 8.2%, but are more consistent with current trends in economic growth. What will these numbers mean for the job prospects of new college graduates entering the labor market for the first time? What are the chances that there will be significant improvements in the labor market through the spring and summer months?
Congress Considers Measure to Restore Voting Rights to Millions of Ex-Offenders
Nationwide, 13% of African-American men have lost the right to vote due to a previous criminal conviction. If current incarceration rates continue, three in ten of the next generation of African American men will lose the right to vote at some point in their lifetimes. This racial disparity also impacts the families of those who are disfranchised and their communities by diminishing their collective political voice.
On April 25, 2012, NULPI staff attended a congressional briefing led by Senator Benjamin Cardin (D-MD) who introduced legislation in the Senate to address this issue, the “Democracy Restoration Act (DRA)” (S. 2017). Representative John Conyers (D-MI) has introduced the bill in the House as H.R. 2212. The National Urban League supports this legislation and views its passage as an important part of the “Occupy the Vote Campaign.” The DRA would, among other provisions, restore voting rights in federal elections to approximately 4 million Americans released from prison and reintegrated back in their communities.
Senator Cardin was joined at the briefing by representatives from the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), the American Probation & Parole Association, the Florida Rights Restoration Coalition, and Justice Fellowship. Members of the panel reiterated an important and common theme that restoring the right to vote to individuals who have successfully reintegrated into their communities as law-abiding citizens restores their sense of dignity and full citizenship, their political equality, helps to prevent recidivism, and incurs no cost to society.