Last week an important report was released by the Institute for Policy Studies (IPS) and Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED). You probably saw it mentioned on social media or in your email, The Ever-Growing Gap: Without change, African-American and Latino families won’t match white wealth for centuries.
If you haven’t yet had the chance to explore this report, stop what you are doing and get to it. This can’t be overlooked.
The data highlighted in the report is deeply troubling – Latino and Black households have shockingly lower wealth than White households – 6 and 7 times less wealth respectively. We know that having wealth is incredibly important:
“While income is necessary to meet daily expenses, wealth helps families get through lean times and empowers them to climb the economic ladder. Wealth is money in the bank, a first home, a college degree and retirement security – it’s the countless opportunities afforded by having savings and investments.” (p. 6)
It’s not surprising then that the racial disparity in wealth accumulation has significant negative repercussions in the lives of Black and Latino people. Please make sure you read the full report, there is too much powerful data to be captured in this quick email.
What we can say in an email is this: we can remedy this injustice. Policies and decisions – intentionally harmful and obtusely negligent – got us into this terrible mess. Polices and action will be essential to rebalancing wealth and making sure that we ALL have access to opportunity.
Oregon is already working on the policy solutions identified in The Ever-Growing Gap, which is great news.
- The Oregon Housing Alliance is working on Oregon’s mortgage interest and real estate tax deductions. More information will be coming soon.
- During the 2015 legislative session, the Working Families Tax credit was combined with the Child and Dependent Care Tax Credit, improving the benefits for families with the lowest incomes. Many groups in Oregon are looking to continue to strengthen the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) as well.
- The Oregon Retirement Savings Plan is doing great work to increase Oregonians’ access to retirement savings via a state sponsored plan.
- The Oregon Asset Building Coalition is developing a policy proposal to create a universal, statewide Children’s Savings Account.
Join us this November to explore these solutions in depth with Kylie Patterson, Senior Program Manager for the Racial Wealth Divide (RWD) team at CFED and our other exciting speakers:
- Dr. Crystal Hall, professor at the Evans School of Public Policy & Governance in Seattle
- Laura Choi, Senior Researcher, Community Development, at the Federal Reserve Bank of San Francisco
- Bob Friedman, Founder and Chair Emeritus of our national partner, Corporation for Enterprise Development (CFED)
Get your tickets now, you won’t want to miss this conversation.
Note: A previous version of this post indicated that Dedrick Asante-Muhammad, the report’s author, would be speaking at the Neighborhood Partnerships RE:Conference. Due to a scheduling conflict, he is not available. We are excited to hear from his colleague Kylie Patterson in his stead.