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Monday, July 22, 2024

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Biden-Harris Investment in Black Press Goes Beyond Swing States

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Senior National Correspondent

The Biden-Harris Campaign’s recently announced a $1.5 million advertising deal with the National Newspaper Publishers Association (NNPA) goes beyond swing states and serves as a reminder of what the current administration has done for African American-owned small businesses, including the Black Press of America.

“In August of last year, our campaign announced the earliest and largest investment into Black media for any reelection campaign in history,” said Jasmine Harris, Director of National Black Media for Biden-Harris 2024. “This partnership with the NNPA is a continuation of those efforts and will strengthen our work in meeting Black voters where they are, to underscore the stakes of this election for Black America. President Biden and Vice President Harris are responsible for creating millions of new jobs for Black workers and record low Black unemployment. Black America has far too much to lose this election.”

The Black Press, which dates to 1827, has remained a steadfast pillar for African American voices. That mission persists today as the Black Press approaches its 200th anniversary in 2027. “I think the campaign realizes that, by advertising with NNPA newspapers, it also serves to support the 230+ Black-owned small business media companies, which will have the effect of stimulating the local economy,” said NNPA Sales and Business Development Director Ron Burke.

The NNPA is a trade association made up of Black-owned media companies.

President Biden and Vice President Harris have already unveiled a comprehensive plan aimed at economic growth, job creation, and business support. The administration earlier announced that over 18 million new business applications have been filed since they took office, with Black-owned small businesses reaching their highest levels in 25 years. Officials at the Small Business Administration noted that, “Under the Biden-Harris Administration, the United States has experienced a historic small business boom being led by women and people of color, and FY23 furthered that trend with 11 percent more loans delivered to small businesses than in FY22. Black-owned small businesses are crucial to this monumental growth.”

The administration’s economic policies have led to the creation of over 2.5 million jobs for Black workers, helping to reduce the Black unemployment rate to historic lows. As of April 2023, the unemployment rate for Black workers fell to 4.8%, the lowest on record, and has continued to trend below historical averages. The administration is also prioritizing homeownership as a means to build generational wealth. The American Rescue Plan has provided significant support through emergency rental assistance and mortgage forbearance programs, benefiting millions of Americans, including a large proportion of Black families. The Federal Housing Administration has played a key role in supporting mortgages for Black and Hispanic borrowers, ensuring stability and security for senior homeowners through its Home Equity Conversion Mortgage programs.

Addressing the burden of student loan debt, which disproportionately affects Black Americans, President Biden has delivered over $167 billion in student loan debt relief, despite interference by Republicans, federal judges, and the U.S. Supreme Court. Further, the administration’s expansion of the child tax credit under the American Rescue Plan has significantly reduced poverty rates among Black children. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, Black child poverty nearly halved from 2020 to 2021, showcasing the direct impact of these policies on vulnerable communities.

The Biden-Harris administration said they remain committed to reversing these trends and ensuring that economic growth benefits all Americans, particularly those who have been historically marginalized, including a commitment to closing the racial wealth gap and empowering Black families.  “The partnership between Biden-Harris 2024 and the NNPA is urgent because we must pool all of our resources to keep Donald Trump out of office,” said Fran Farrer, the NNPA’s National Secretary and Publisher of The County News in Charlotte, N.C. “Biden has helped the Black community grow, and he and the vice president are on the ground fighting for our community and all of America.”

For the Black Press to tell the story properly, it must have resources, Michigan Chronicle Publisher and Real Times Media CEO Hiram Jackson demanded. “The initial advertising deal between the campaign and the Black Press is a great first step. It symbolizes that the campaign understands the significance of the Black Press, but it can’t only be a first step. There must be many more steps to increase engagement, voter registration, and excitement.”

Black-owned media voices can “shape political messaging, mobilize voters, and advocate for Black issues,” stated Bobby Henry, NNPA’s national chairman and publisher of the Westside Gazette in Florida.  Further, if Biden wants to win, “he and his campaign must have a commitment and dedication to the African American community and what our experience in America has been,” said Philadelphia Tribune Publisher Robert Bogle.

Biden-Harris 2024  is being responsive to the interests of Black America through the campaign’s advertising initiatives with the NNPA, said NNPA President & CEO Dr. Benjamin F. Chavis Jr. “The Black vote throughout the United States will be a key determinative factor to the outcome of the 2024 national elections. We profoundly thank the Biden-Harris 2024 Campaign.”

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