(CNSNews.com) – Sen. Kamala Harris (D-Calif.) in a speech to Rev. Al Sharpton’s National Action Network on Friday proposed giving families making less than $100,000 a year a $6,000 tax credit which they can draw from each month.
“I have proposed what economists have described as what would be the largest tax cut in a generation for working families who make less than $100,000 a year,” she said. “What I have proposed would be for families that make less than $100,00 a year, they will receive a tax credit of up to $6,000 that they can collect at up to $500 a month.”
The senator said her proposal “will impact one in two Americans, two in three children, and will lift 60 percent of black households out of poverty. Economic justice.”
She also proposed a tax credit for people spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent and utilities to help them make ends meet.
“Let’s talk about housing justice. In our country today, in 99 percent of the countries in the United States, if you are a minimum wage worker working full-time, you cannot afford market rate for a one-bedroom apartment. That’s a reality in America today. A reality in America today is black households are twice as likely to rent as to own, and nearly half of black families spend more than 30 percent of their income on rent,” she said.
“So what I am proposing is that for families who are spending and individuals who are spending more than 30 percent of their income on rent, plus utilities, they get a tax credit to help them get through the month. We need economic justice, and we need housing justice,” Harris said.
The senator also called for closing the gap on teacher pay through federal investment, especially in areas with the highest need.
“Let’s talk about educational justice. Let’s pay teachers their value,” she said. “Now my first grade teacher, Mrs. Frances Wilson, God rest her soul, attended my law school graduation. Any of us who have achieved any level of success, we know there are two groups of people raising our children: parents, could be grandparents, aunties, and uncles, and our teachers. Yet we are not paying our teachers their value.
“Let’s do the right thing, and especially when we know that when we close that gap around teacher pay, all communities will benefit, but specifically, we also must acknowledge that it is clear, and the statistics and the data is clear. When a black child has a black teacher by 3rd grade, it makes that child 13 percent more likely to go to college,” Harris said.
“If that black child has two black teachers, they are 32 percent more likely to go to college, which is why I have proposed what will be the first in the history of our country federal investment in closing teacher pay with an emphasis also on those districts and areas that have the highest needs,” she said.
The senator explained that by giving teachers a pay raise, it will attract college graduates who could pursue a career in their field and give them the option to teach in their hometown.
“Why is that important? Because I want some young student at Morehouse or Howard who is excelling in science to be able to follow their passion and go teach in the neighborhood middle school and not worry about how they’re going to put food on their own table or pay their bills,” Harris said.
“I want that that child, that young student at Spellman, I want her – or South Carolina State – who is excelling in math to be able to go and teach in elementary school and not worry about how she’s going to pay her bills so she needs to go to Wall Street and that science student needs to go work for a pharmaceutical company,” she added.
Harris called these proposals an attempt to address economic justice, housing justice, and educational justice.
“We need justice beyond – in addition to - and beyond the criminal justice system. As far as I’m concerned, when we truly have justice in our country, it will mean that we have economic justice. We will have housing justice, and we will have educational justice, and there must be – and we need leaders who will fight to get us there,” she said.