Democracy, Decency and Diversity Prevail in 2020 Election

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With the results of this contentious election now clear, we have affirmed that the essence of our country—democracy, decency and diversity—will prevail. We congratulate President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris, who represents many firsts as a Black and Indian American woman at the highest level of our government. The damage caused by the outgoing administration will have long lasting effects, so we must seize this opportunity for healing, recovery and rebuilding to achieve a more inclusive and equitable nation.

We are optimistic about the future. More Americans than ever turned out to make their voices heard, despite the COVID-19 pandemic and a disturbing array of voter suppression efforts. In particular, the turnout of Black voters was the difference across almost all of the tipping point states, and the engagement of Black, Latino and Native American voters looks likely to have a profound, long-term impact in places like Georgia and Arizona.

We recognize the hard work and deep divisions that remain ahead, but believe that this election can mark a turning point. The pandemic and economic recession have cost too many their lives and livelihoods. Regardless of political affiliation, too many families are struggling to meet their essential needs: housing, education, employment and health care. The nation’s current racial reckoning also underscores that we must grapple with entrenched systemic racism that continues to result in the disproportionate impact of these burdens on communities of color. We encourage our leaders to work together to unify our nation and respond to the crises we face, specifically in ways that center Black and Latino people, immigrants and low-income communities, who are most deeply affected by current and historical inequities.

We believe the Biden-Harris Administration will be a strong partner in advancing communities of equity, opportunity and well-being. The incoming administration’s platform includes several key policy priorities that LIIF and other CDFIs have long advocated for, including greater and more equitable investment in affordable housing and high-quality early care and learning environments, as well as building on our industry’s long track record of working in underserved communities to reverse imbalances in access to capital and power.

“LIIF looks forward to working with the new Administration and Congress on public policy that moves our communities towards equity, opportunity and well-being for all,” said LIIF’s CEO Daniel A. Nissenbaum. “LIIF is committed to centering racial equity as we work to ensure everyone has access to affordable housing, quality early care and education and other elements that make families and communities strong and healthy. We believe LIIF, and the CDFI sector broadly, can be allies to the Biden-Harris Administration on both immediate actions and long-term strategies to address the crises facing our nation in ways that directly tackle systemic racial inequities.”

“The past four years have been marked by attacks on people of color and immigrants, whose tremendous strengths and contributions this country is built on. This has only sharpened the pain and trauma of our communities, which also face systemic racism and economic inequity that precede the current administration, and unchecked, will continue beyond,” said LIIF’s Chief Strategy Officer Lucy Arellano Baglieri. “We must come together in solidarity to support a strong pandemic recovery and fight for long-term racial and economic equity. Achieving this will require equitable representation and investment in people of color and low-income communities. As we look to our shared future, we must act with urgency and resolve to make the equitable systemic changes we need to build a better future for us all.”