Ferguson, MO/Washington, D.C. – On the eve of the fifth anniversary Michael Brown's death,Project 21 will hold a press conference where they will present Ferguson Mayor James Knowles III with its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black Americans."
On Thursday, August 8, at the Ferguson City Hall, members of the black leadership network will discuss Blueprint recommendations with the mayor that are designed to provide the community with innovative means for helping black Americans reach their full potential and obtain better access to the American dream. Members of the Ferguson City Council are also expected to be in attendance.
"Project 21's 'Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America' is a resource for making the streets safer, the schools better and getting people back to work," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Stacy Washington. "Ferguson is a community that deserves the best, and we look forward to working with city leaders to implement new policies that improve government-community relations and increase opportunity."
Mayor Knowles will meet with Washington and Project 21 member Christopher Arps – both residents of the St. Louis area – on Thursday, August 8 at 10:00am Central Time in the Ferguson City Council chambers at 110 Church Street. They will make brief remarks and take questions.
Project 21's Blueprint contains 57 policy recommendations over 10 key areas that are designed to remove barriers that keep black communities from reaching their full potential and ensure that access to the American dream is attainable for everyone. Many of the ideas proposed in the Blueprint can be implemented at a local level. Last week, Project 21 sent copies of the Blueprint to the mayor and city council of Baltimore after conditions in that city were criticized in President Donald Trump's tweets.
Included among Project 21's Blueprint recommendations:
- Requiring criminal charges and convictions to validate asset forfeiture, and a 30-day return of assets if no charges are filed.
- Making a person's ability to pay a consideration in levying fines and fees, and a prohibition on denying privileges such as driver's licenses for nonpayment of fines and fees.
- Encouraging religious institutions to sponsor events such as "First Responder Sundays" that promote better police-community relations.
- Exempting certain areas from minimum wage laws to encourage the hiring of young and low-skilled workers.
- Assessing new regulations for their impact on minority communities with the goal of ending any disparate impact on those communities.
- Barring illegal immigrants from accessing non-emergency public services so local taxpaying citizens get the services for which they've paid.
"I was a witness to the rioting in Ferguson five years ago, but I see a community today that truly wants to thrive," said Arps. "Project 21's Blueprint offers new perspectives and bold approaches that cities need to nurture our recovering economy and a city on the mend."
Project 21 has previously discussed the recommendations in the Blueprint with White House staff, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, Department of Labor staff, Department of Health and Human Services staff, Environmental Protection Agency staff and congressional staff.
To schedule an interview with a member of Project 21 about this issue, contact Judy Kent at (703) 759-0269.
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by theNational Center for Public Policy Research. Its members have been quoted, interviewed or published over 40,000 times since the program was created in 1992. Contributions to the National Center are tax-deductible and greatly appreciated, and may be earmarked exclusively for the use of Project 21.
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