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National Urban League Opportunity Compact – 2007 – Blueprint for Economic Equality

Posted by DallasBlackBlog on Sunday, August 12, 2007

The Opportunity Compact is the culmination of extensive research and policy analysis by the National Urban League Policy Institute and is based upon the input of dozens of policy experts from academia, public policy think tanks, nonprofit service and advocacy organizations, the business sector and the Urban League movement.

The foundation for the resulting plan includes the following, which are accompanied by a list of 10 priorities and recommendations for change:

I. The Opportunity to Thrive (Children);

II. The Opportunity to Earn (Jobs);

III. The Opportunity to Own (Housing); and

IV. The Opportunity to Prosper (Entrepreneurship).

Opportunity to thrive (children)

— Every child in America deserves to live a life free of poverty that includes a safe home environment, adequate nutrition, and affordable quality health care.

•Action 1: Commit to mandatory early childhood education beginning at age 3 as well as guarantee access to college for all.

•Action 2: Close the gaps in the health insurance system to ensure universal health care for all children.

— Every child in America deserves a quality education that will prepare them to compete in an increasingly global marketplace.

•Action 3: Establish policies that provide tools for working families to become economically self-sufficient.

Opportunity to earn (jobs)

—Every willing adult in America should have a job that allows them to earn a decent wage and provide a reasonable standard of living for themselves and their families.

•Action 4: Create an urban infrastructure bank to fund reinvestment in urban communities (parks, schools, roads).

•Action 5: Increase economic self-sufficiency by indexing the minimum wage to the rate of inflation and expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit to benefit more working families.

—Every adult in America should have equal access to the resources that enhance employability and job mobility, including postsecondary education and other investments in human capital.

•Action 6: Expand “second chance” programs for high school dropouts, ex-offenders and at-risk youth to secure GED’s, job training and employment.

Opportunity to own (housing)

— Every adult in America should have access to the financial security that comes from owning a home.

•Action 7: Adopt the “Homebuyer’s Bill of Rights” as recommended by the National Urban League.

•Action 8: Reform public housing to assure continuing national commitment to low-income families.

Opportunity to prosper (entrepreneurship)

— Every individual in America who possesses entrepreneurial vision, ingenuity, drive and desire should have access to the resources needed to establish and grow a viable business enterprise.

•Action 9: Strongly enforce federal minority business opportunity goals to ensure greater minority participation in government contracting.

•Action 10: Build capacity of minority business through expansion of micro-financing, equity financing and the development of strategic alliances with major corporations.

This Compact was developed by the president CEO of the National Urban League. Established in 1910, The Urban League is the nation’s oldest and largest community-based movement devoted to empowering African Americans to enter the economic and social mainstream.

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