Yesterday, the National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network sent a letter to moderate Democrats in the House of Representatives urging them to continue to support important investments in the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) that will support the needs of low-income LGBTQI+ people–and to swiftly vote to pass the Act.
The Network sent the letter to the offices of Representatives Ed Case (D-HI), Jared Golden (D-ME), Josh Gottheimer (D-NJ), Stephanie Murphy (D-FL), Kathleen Rice (D-NY), Kurt Schrader (D-OR), Scott Peters (D-CA), and to Abigail Spanberger (D-VA). The letter explains how the BBBA’s programs will provide critical support for LGBTQI+ workers, seniors, families, and communities that is urgently needed now.
The National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network is a member-based coalition of over 100 national, state, and local organizations working in the LGBTQI+, anti-poverty, and anti-hunger movements to increase awareness about and action on LGBTQI+ poverty.
The full letter can be read inline below, and can also be downloaded as a PDF here.
November 17, 2021
The National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network (“The Network”) urges your boss to support quick passage of the Build Back Better Act (BBBA) in the House of Representatives this week. The Network is a member-based coalition of over 100 national, state, and local organizations working in the LGBTQI+, anti-poverty, and anti-hunger movements to increase awareness about and action on LGBTQI+ poverty. LGBTQI+ people disproportionately experienced poverty before March 2022, and the pandemic has exacerbated this. Low-income LGBTQI+ people and families cannot wait any longer for the BBBA to pass. The time is now.
BBBA would be transformational for addressing poverty among LGBTQI+ people and their families through:
- Universal preschool for all 3 and 4 year olds;
- Extending the improvements to refundable tax credits. BBBA would extend the expanded Child Tax Credit (CTC) monthly payments to families for another year and make the CTC permanently refundable, helping millions of low-income people who have been locked out of the full benefit for so many years. BBBA would also extend the Earned Income Tax Credit to around 17 million low-wage workers, including many low-wage LGBTQI+ workers.
- Affordable high-quality child care, ensuring that families pay no more than 7 percent of their income on child care, expanding care to about 20 million children per year, and improving the wages of child care workers who are currently underpaid;
- Paid family and medical leave that includes critical, inclusive family definitions so LGBTQI+ people are not excluded from caring for loved ones;
- More affordable in-home care for older adults and people with disabilities, while supporting workers providing this care;
- Making housing more affordable for families and individuals by investing in long-term rental assistance for hundreds of thousands of families and repairing public housing. BBBA will also build and maintain housing affordable to extremely low-income renters, which is where the largest supply gap is. Further, BBBA will provide down payment assistance for first-time, first generation home buyers
- Investments in immigration reform to reduce backlogs, expand legal representation, and make the asylum system and border processing more efficient and humane – critical supports for LGBTQI+ people seeking asylum;
- Investments in workforce development and equity in college education by raising the maximum Pell Grant and providing supports to Historically Black Colleges & Universities, Hispanic, tribal colleges and universities, and other institutions serving students of color;
- Expanding health care coverage to millions, by extending Medicaid to 4 million low income families and individuals, and expanding Medicare to cover hearing benefits;
- Support nutrition assistance for children by expanding access to nutrition programs during the school year and the summer;
- Creating jobs and advancing environmental justice through investments in clean energy and sustainability which prioritize disadvantaged communities; and
- Fully paying for these investments in our communities by ensuring that the ultra-wealthy and large corporations pay more of their fair share of taxes.
The majority of people in the United States support these policies, which will provide a strong foundation for the country to have an equitable recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic and ensure we do not return to the pre-pandemic status quo of inequities for LGBTQI+ people, people of color, and women. We urge you to support swift passage of the BBBA this week.
For any questions, please contact National Center for Lesbian Rights Senior Policy Counsel Tyrone Hanley at [email protected] or 202.236.4397.
The National LGBTQ Anti-Poverty Action Network