Congresswoman Lee Joins National Leaders in Launching the Progressive Agenda to Combat Income Inequality

Washington D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Barbara Lee joined Mayor Bill de Blasio and other progressive leaders in launching the Progressive Agenda. She released this statement:

“It’s an honor and privilege to join so many Governors, Senators, Members of Congress, Mayors – including Oakland Mayor Libby Schaaf – labor leaders and other progressive champions in renewing our commitment to an economy that works for everyone, not just a select few.

More than 45 million of our fellow Americans are living in poverty. Poverty in America is far from color blind, it is disproportionally impacts communities of color. 

More than one in four African Americans is living in poverty. The African American poverty rate is nearly three times the rate of white Americans and the Latino poverty rate is nearly two and half times the rate of white Americans.

Communities of color are also disproportionately affects by unemployment. The unemployment rate for African Americans (9.6 percent) is more than twice the unemployment of white Americans (4.7 percent). The unemployment rate in the Latino community is also disproportionately high at 6.9 percent.

We must address these inequalities head on and fight for economic and racial justice for all.

This progressive agenda:

  • Lifts the floor for people by raising the minimum wage and fighting for a living wage,
  • Supports families with educational opportunities from Head Start to affordable college, and
  • Advances basic tax fairness by ending corporate welfare.

The Progressive agenda directly combats income inequality and helps restore the opportunity to live the American dream to all by investing in families instead of the super rich and special interests.

We must keep up the fight so every family has the opportunity to live the American dream.”


Congresswoman Lee is a member of the Appropriations and Budget Committees, the Steering and Policy Committee, is a Senior Democratic Whip, former chair of the Congressional Black Caucus and co-chair of the Progressive Caucus. She serves as chair of the Whip’s Task Force on Poverty and Opportunity.