Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Project21 offers Proposals, a Blueprint, to substantially mend the rift between black Americans and law enforcement

Black Leaders Urge Reduced Police Role in Regulatory Enforcement, Increased Autism Training and Gun Legalization to Improve Community-Police Relations


To improve community-police relations, police should get out of the regulation business, be given greater training in identifying and dealing with those with autism and other cognitive disabilities, build stronger bonds with the communities they serve by offering gun safety training and be given greater recognition for the good deeds they do. These innovative policy proposals and more are being offered by the Project 21 black leadership network as part of its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America."
Tens of thousands of police officers from across the nation are gathering in Washington, D.C. to commemorate Peace Officers Memorial Day on May 15 and to celebrate National Police Week. Project 21, which is unveiling its Blueprint in its entirety over the next several weeks, views this week's events as a perfect time to address and discuss means for promoting stronger bonds between law enforcement and the black communities it serves. 

Black confidence in policing has decreased due to a series of high-profile black fatalities involving officers in recent years. Some of these fatalities occurred while police were enforcing relatively minor infractions. Project 21 contends that involving police in the enforcement of regulations or minor infractions with little relevance to improving public safety needlessly increases the risk mistakes will be made. Its Blueprint suggests defunding federal police powers at regulatory agencies such as the Environmental Protection Agency and Internal Revenue Service. Those dollars can instead help citizens learn more about gun use and safety from local police and fund training about dealing with people with cognitive disabilities. Project 21 also asks for increased community engagement, such as religious institutions highlighting first responders at special services and a new community-recommended presidential award for exemplary police service.

"Proposals offered in Project 21's Blueprint can substantially mend the rift between black Americans and law enforcement," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Council Nedd II, a Pennsylvania state constable and Anglican archbishop. "Politicians and bureaucrats have inflicted mission creep on officers that hurts their standing in the black community. Project 21 suggests reining in that overreach, working with communities to highlight the value of good policing and keeping situations from unnecessarily escalating."

Nedd – "America's Constable" – authored a commentary, to be posted today by the Daily Caller, in which he describes law enforcement careers and the dangerous uncertainties faced regularly by police.

Last month, Nedd and other Project 21 leaders began briefing key staff at the White House and with congressional leadership about the 57 policy ideas – spread out over 10 subject areas and covering education, criminal justice, economics and more – that are available in its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America."

There are eight specific proposals to offer a "better deal" in public safety and community-police relations:
  • End police enforcement of regulations such as smoking bans and childrens' lemonade stands as well as any unnecessary focus on minor infractions that can escalate into major incidents.
  • Provide officers with special training to identify and handle people with autism, Alzheimer's disease and other cognitive disabilities, because people with those disabilities can respond unpredictably – and incidents have resulted in inappropriate police responses.
  • Increase use of body cameras by officers.
  • Prevent "SWATting" to remove the threat of civilians incurring physical harm and property damage when police departments are pranked into mistakenly dispatching tactical units when no threat exists.
  • Disarm federal agencies lacking direct law enforcement responsibilities and redirect those funds to local departments for community-relations efforts.
  • Lift restrictions on civilian gun ownership and give local police responsibilities in teaching gun safety to the public.
  • Encourage local houses of worship to sponsor "First Responder Sundays" in which police, fire and rescue personnel attend in uniform and programming is geared toward strengthening community ties to them.
  • Establish a "Presidential Medal for Exemplary Law Enforcement," based on community recommendations, to honor acts of extreme kindness, compassion and service by first responders.
"Most agree our justice system desperately needs repair. Too many families are torn apart because minor infractions have escalated into major crises," said Project 21 member Derrick Hollie, the president of Reaching America. "More training, more compassion and better understanding and respect between police officers and the communities they serve will help reduce arrests and incarceration for many low-income and minority individuals. The respect, however, must be reciprocal."

"I'm excited about the forward-thinking nature of the proposals set forth in the Blueprint. Project 21 hits the mark in addressing important issues to improve police-community relations," said Project 21 member Richard Holt, a political consultant. "By making sure officers are doing the most important work, things are kept in perspective as communities are protected. This means not stopping somebody for just a broken tail light, or going a few miles over the speed limit." 

Each Monday between now and July 7, Project 21 will release reform recommendations from its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America" covering a specific subject area. The tentative release schedule is as follows:
  • Improving Higher Education (May 21) 
  • Reforming the Criminal Justice System (May 29 –Tuesday)
  • Reducing Economic Harm of Excise Taxes (June 4)
  • Promoting K-12 Educational Choice (June 11)
  • Strengthening Faith-Based Communities (June 18)
  • Stopping Wealth Transfer from the Poor to Non-Citizens (June 25)
  • Promoting Self-Determination (July 2)
  • Ending Excessive Regulation (July 9)
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National 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.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here.

Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News or general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.





The National Center for Public Policy Research
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Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Black Leaders Demanded A Better Deal for Black Employment - Project 21 Calls for Repeal of Discriminatory Laws Hindering Black Economic Prosperity



 Jim Crow-era regulations created for the express purpose of denying blacks economic opportunity are still on the books and must be repealed to promote black prosperity, according to the Project 21 black leadership network in its forthcoming "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America."


Recommendations in Project 21's Blueprint meant to encourage employment opportunities for black communities are being released just after the U.S. Department of Labor' Bureau of Labor Statistics announced its April jobs report.

While the latest jobs report indicates that the overall black unemployment rate is at an all-time low (6.6 percent in April, according to the federal Bureau of Labor Statistics), it remains above the overall unemployment rate of 3.9 percent. There is also a three-point disparity between overall black and white unemployment, and black teen unemployment is an unacceptably high 29 percent.

Employment policy proposals found in Project 21's dynamic new Blueprint aim to enhance the competitiveness of black workers and the marketability of unskilled, at-risk youth.
In seeking improved black employment figures, Project 21 calls for a repeal of the 1931 Davis-Bacon Act in its Blueprint. It notes that the Davis-Bacon Act, which requires contractors to pay "prevailing wages" for most federal construction projects, was originally designed to prevent non-union blacks from competing with white union workers and "continues to serve its original purpose" today.

Project 21's Blueprint also calls for reducing or eliminating the minimum wage in special low-income zip codes. Like the Davis-Bacon Act, the federal minimum wage law was originally designed to deny blacks opportunity. It was first included in the 1933 National Recovery Act (NRA) during the presidency of Franklin D. Roosevelt. It was derided by black leaders at the time as the "Negro Removal Act."

"The most effective means of ending race divisions in America is to have a robust growing economy – one that allows all Americans to have a taste of the American Dream," said Project 21 Co-Chairman Horace Cooper, the former chief of staff of the U.S. Department of Labor's Employment Standards Administration. "There has been record progress for blacks under the Trump Administration, but there is so much more potential in the free market. Solutions that build on the private sector will be more significant and more enduring."
In late April, Project 21 leaders began briefing key staff at the White House and in congressional leadership about the 57 policy ideas – spread out over 10 subject areas and covering education, criminal justice, economics and more – found in its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America."

There are five specific proposals for a better deal in employment policy for black Americans that create incentives and remove barriers to work:
  • Improving welfare reform, including more work requirements for eligibility in programs such as the Supplemental Nutritional Assistance Program (SNAP, or food stamps), in recognition of past success in reducing the number of people requiring government assistance.
  • Repealing the Davis-Bacon Act – the Jim Crow-era regulation essentially requiring union wages for most federal contracting – that can hurt small minority-owned businesses and lower-skilled, non-union minority workers.
  • Allowing employers in special low-income zip codes to not pay Social Security and Medicare taxes for school-age employees under 22 years old.
  • Exempting employers in special low-income zip codes from minimum wage laws so they can hire workers at a discounted wage.
  • Analyzing the impact of new federal regulations on the hiring of young, low-skilled workers, and requiring congressional approval for all regulations that cannot be modified to mitigate negative impacts.
"Project 21's 'Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America' can help President Trump fulfill his promise to help black communities. It lays out a comprehensive agenda for reducing, discouraging and eliminating restrictions that make black workers less attractive to prospective employers," said Project 21 member Derryck Green, who has authored a monthly jobs-related economic analysis for Project 21. "Giving employers greater ability to set wages, to make them proportionate to applicants' experience and skillsets, would certainly help in economic deserts where people most need jobs but often lack the skills and experience necessary to be competitive."

"As the owner of a small construction-related business for over two decades, I have personally seen the positive effects new jobs bring to economically depressed communities," added Project 21 member Kevin Martin, a U.S. Navy veteran whose company specializes in environmental remediation. "As the one doing the hiring, I have been proud to bring aboard unskilled workers who learned a trade and eventually moved on to bigger and better jobs. It's like the old biblical maxim about giving a man a fish – one will feed him for a day, but teaching him to fish provides him with a bounty that shall be limitless!"

Cooper added: "There's nothing like the independence you get from a good high-paying job. Instead of trying to divide the pie along racial lines, let's make sure there's so much pie that everyone gets what they want."

Each Monday between now and July 7, Project 21 will release reform recommendations from its "Blueprint for a Better Deal for Black America" covering a specific subject area. The tentative release schedule is as follows:
  • Improving Relationships Between Police and Black Communities (May 14)
  • Improving Higher Education (May 21)
  • Reforming the Criminal Justice System (May 29 –Tuesday)
  • Reducing Economic Harm of Excise Taxes (June 4)
  • Promoting K-12 Educational Choice (June 11)
  • Strengthening Faith-Based Communities (June 18)
  • Stopping Wealth Transfer from the Poor to Non-Citizens (June 25)
  • Promoting Self-Determination (July 2)
  • Ending Excessive Regulation (July 9)
Project 21, a leading voice of black conservatives for over 25 years, is sponsored by the National 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.

Founded in 1982, the National Center for Public Policy Research is a non-partisan, free-market, independent conservative think-tank. Ninety-four percent of its support comes from some 60,000 individuals, less than four percent from foundations and less than two percent from corporations. Sign up for email updates here.










Follow Project 21 on Twitter at @Project21News for general announcements. To be alerted to upcoming media appearances by Project 21 members, follow our media appearances Twitter account at @NCPPRMedia.