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Civil rights group: Racial justice, COVID-19 must be Biden’s priorities

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There will be a change in the leadership in the nation within a few weeks. Now, civil leaders’ advocacy groups have called President-elect Joe Biden and suggested that he prioritize few things. Two high priority things included in the list are pandemic created by COVID-19 and systematic racism. But, they have also told him to prioritize food insecurities and problems that are impacting communities of color.

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They are also willing to give inputs since Biden is crafting his plan, filling top posts in his administration, and selecting people for heading key agencies. Derrick Johnson said, ‘Every time, the president of the national NAACP said the transition phase is one of the most important. The phase sets the perfect tone for how everything in the future will operate. We have to make the right voices are standing at the table.’

This year protestors have called for racial justice many times in communities all over the country. The pandemic has hit Latino as well as Black communities at disproportionate rates. Hence, advocates, civil rights leaders, and even lawmakers urge that administration listen to the concerns raised by them and act accordingly. They all hope that Joe Biden prioritizes early, and they suggest his list must include criminal justice reforms, immigration changes, voting rights protections, and an accurate Census.

A senior vice president of Policy and Advocacy of UnidosUS, Eric Rodriguez, said, ‘It is a critical and crucial moment. Hence changing the tone can be pretty key. We feel like we all are in an exhaustion point.’ UnidosUS is a nonpartisan group that is advocating for problems that are important to Latinos.

The majority of the national civil rights groups and the National Urban League and the NAACP are entirely disappointed. The same was their request for a meeting with Biden, which was expected three weeks ago hasn’t happened. They planned to discuss problems like the pandemic, and they couldn’t do it.

The president of the National Coalition, Melanie Campbell, said, ‘You have majorly focused onset of issues which concern for Black people.’ The National Coalition is actually on Black Civic Participation, and it is among the 7 groups requesting participation in the meeting.

He added, ‘We have to be at Biden’s decision-making table. We expect that diversity should be reflected from the top, the entire Cabinet itself. We need to understand all that matters like who is running the agencies, etc.’

Voters of color: They should return the favor. Apart from the group, even some congressional lawmakers said, ‘We are also highly concerned with civil rights groups. Voters of color were a key to winning in swing states like Georgia, Arizona, and Pennsylvania.

A chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee and a Democrat from Mississippi, Rep. Bennie Thompson, said, ‘you have pop the champagne and done with all high fives. Now, it is time for you to make sure that all the groups surround you at the table.’

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Thompson added, ‘it is time, and you have to return the favor. You are now successful, and you must remember the people who got you there. That is nothing but politics 101.’ The top priority that is added in the list by civil rights and advocates groups are addressing the pandemic resulted from COVID-19, which has impacted communities of color disproportionately.

Indigenous Americans, Hispanics, and Blacks are at least four times more likely to be affected and hospitalized for coronavirus than whites. They are over 2.5 times more likely to die due to viruses, based on the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Apart from this, people of color have suffered financially. Most of them were working in service industry jobs, and the industries were now furloughed. Remaining are in health care, and that is the other way they have become vulnerable to COVID-19 infections.

President-elect Joe Biden has set the COVID-19 advisory board, and it was formed earlier this month. He also said to CNN on Thursday that, ‘I would ask people to wear masks at least for 100 days.’ Campbell spent over three weeks in intensive care when he was battling COVID-19. She said, ‘advocates are trying to ensure that the administration addresses this pandemic along with prepared for others.’ She added, ‘we need to engage with the ongoing president-elect since we are the ones helped get elected.’

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