Collective Corazón Reflects on the First 100 Days of the Biden-Harris Administration
Oakland, CA — This week officially marks the first 100 days since President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris were sworn into office. Last night we tuned in to the joint address to Congress to understand how they planned to move our country forward. Our network – our collective corazón – has experienced both the success and the brunt of recovering from the ongoing pandemic. From them, we have learned that a true recovery process will require the government and philanthropy to build strategies that are ready for prime time to catalyze innovation. Below we share the reflections from the first 100 days directly from the frontline Latinx communities we supported.
Linda Rivas, executive director of our grantee partner Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center, based in El Paso shared, “As Biden reaches 100 days, we recognize the rollback of the Remain in Mexico program has had a life changing impact on the families that were forced to remain in Mexico, some for almost two years. We also must recognize that Biden must expand this bold, life-saving decision making to all asylum seekers, instead of continuing to send them back into Mexico. Deterrence is unacceptable, no matter who the president is. We know Biden-Harris can and should do better.” Las Americas Immigrant Advocacy Center formed part of our Rapid Response Migration Fund to support migrant-serving organizations throughout Latin America and the U.S. So far, we have disbursed $515,000 to frontline nonprofits to support emergency protocols, cover unexpected costs, and address other unforeseen impacts of the ongoing pandemic.
Based in Miami, The Allapattah Collaborative CDCbecame a grantee partner of our PowerUp Fund – that worked with key community partners like Google.org to disburse $3.5M to mitigate the financial damages to Latinx-led small businesses resulting from COVID-19 through direct cash assistance. Mileyka Burgos-Flores, their executive director shared that “when the Allapattah neighborhood was declared a covid hotspot, our neighboring small business owners were among the first ones to be impacted by the pandemic. A year later, we are still in the recovering phase, with many Latinx small business owners closing their doors permanently. The initiatives outlined by President Biden are a welcome relief, but it is going to take more private/public partnerships, community inclusion, and long-term investments to adapt to our new normal. We must understand that small business is big business because they provide the majority of jobs and economic activity in our local economies. We can no longer do business as usual. We are at a crossroads where we must think of new fractures that will help us weather other economic crises.”
Yadira Sanchez, co-executive director of Poder Latinx, with organization teams in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, and North Carolina said, “Latinx communities across the United States do not live single-issue lives. The administration’s success on COVID-19 vaccine distribution and job creation affect us just as much as immigration. We commend the administration’s efforts so far, but we recognize that our community desperately needs stronger climate policy, bold immigration reform, and guaranteed paid leave for all, and we will continue pushing our elected officials to deliver.” As a grantee partner, we included them in our Civic Participation Fund that disbursed over $200K and leveraged $1.25M in matching dollars to support full Latinx civic participation in the U.S. and build Black/Brown alliances to address the stark racial inequities that have been laid bare and exacerbated by the pandemic.