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Statement of Rep. John Lewis (GA) on the Jobs and Justice Act

May 11, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. On Friday, May 11, 2018, the Congressional Black Caucus (CBC) introduced the Jobs and Justice Act, a comprehensive bill to increase upward social mobility of African Americans and to help ensure equal protection under the law. 

Upon introduction of this bill, Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) made the following statement:

“I applaud Cedric Richmond, our chair, for his vision and hard work in preparing this bill.  I am proud to join my Congressional Black Caucus colleagues as an original cosponsor of this landmark legislation.  This is a good, necessary, and timely bill.  We took our time to develop thoughtful proposals to serve those who expect us to give voice to the real issues and challenges African Americans face in very corner of our country.

“On August 28, 1963, I spoke on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom.  The Jobs and Justice Act advances the vision outlined by A. Philip Randolph, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., and the leaders and foot soldiers of the Civil Rights Movement.  With this legislation, the CBC provides a clear proposal of tangible, meaningful policies to improve the lives of communities of color throughout our nation.”

The Jobs and Justice Act includes six bills that Congressman Lewis authored:

  • H.R. 271, the Stephanie Tubbs Jones Assets for Independence Act, a bill to update the eligible uses for individual development accounts (IDAs) so that low-income individuals can save for the purchase of a home, continue their education, and improve their financial literacy;
  • H.R. 272, the Back to Basics Jobs Act, a bill to amend Title XX Block Grants to allow states to help low-income and long-term unemployed individuals develop their own businesses and self-employment opportunities;
  • H.R. 266, the Law Enforcement Inclusion Act, a bill that allows Federal grant funding to be applied towards the recruitment, hiring, and training of law enforcement officers who are residents of the communities they serve in order to develop a more diverse and inclusive law enforcement workforce;
  • H.R. 2612, the Community Reentry Act, a bill to require the Bureau of Prisoners to place a returning citizen in a residential reentry center that is within 50 miles of their permanent legal address;
  • H.R. 3908, the SAFETY through Nonviolence Act, a bill to establish Federal grants for the purpose of preventing and alleviating the effects of community violence by providing education, mentoring, and counseling based on principles of nonviolence in conflict resolution; and
  • H.R. 12, the Voter Empowerment Act, a comprehensive Democratic bill to improve the United States’ voting processes and standards by restoring access, integrity, and accountability in the administration of elections in the United States.

The Jobs and Justice Act also includes the Voting Rights Advancement Act, a bill that responds to the Shelby v. Holder decision by restoring the heart and soul of the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Jobs and Justice Act: