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Center for Popular Democracy Statement on President Biden’s Federal Budget Proposal

Statement issued by Jennifer Epps-Addison, co-executive director of the Center for Popular Democracy

For Immediate Release
Friday, May 28, 2021


“For the tens of millions of people across this country whose days are filled with more struggle than joy, President Biden’s $6 trillion budget represents a life-saving change of course, not just from the previous administration, but from decades of neoliberal policies that have divested from and starved our country’s infrastructure from schools to roads to healthcare.

With this budget, the President demonstrates his administration’s commitment to putting people first. The proposed budget will dramatically expand the social safety nets our communities need to survive and provides much-needed resources for our crumbling infrastructure. Budgets demonstrate values, and the investments in education, unemployment insurance, transportation, fighting climate change, and expanding healthcare are critical to ensuring that all communities –– particularly Black and Brown communities that have been excluded, exploited and profited off of for generations –– are supported. The Center for Popular Democracy applauds these investments. 

While we acknowledge the important interventions in this budget, we urge the President and Congress to go bigger, be bolder and move quicker. The incompetent handling of COVID-19 by the previous administration, coupled with decades of disinvestment in public services, requires more than just good enough. This moment requires history making transformation. The Center for Popular Democracy looks forward to working with members of Congress to ensure the budget meets the needs of all people. 

COVID-19 has laid bare the rampant inequality of our healthcare infrastructure. A healthcare system tied to employment means that millions will always remain unable to get the care they need. We need a true public option to ensure that everyone has access to healthcare. We need to build a strong public health system. While we are heartened that President Biden is asking Congress to take action, we are disappointed that he did not include funding in his budget.

We are also disappointed to see funding for Homeland Security and COPS programs that serve to persecute and incarcerate our communities. The President’s budget invests an unconscionable $651 million in COPS programs. This is an investment in criminalization, not public safety. Public safety is making sure our people have enough to eat, have a safe place to sleep and access care in their time of need. The President should be allocating taxpayers’ dollars to systems of care, not systems of harm.  

President Biden was elected with more votes for President than any other candidate in our country’s history. He has been given a mandate for change, and the President has a responsibility to use the full power of the federal government to make our country a place where all people can live with dignity. For all communities to thrive, President Biden must be bolder and move faster to make the transformational change required of him. 


The Center for Popular Democracy is a national network of more than 50 community organizations dedicated to achieving racial and economic justice through local grassroots organizing. CPD trains and supports leadership, staff, and members to grow base-building organizations to scale and leverage that strength to win cutting-edge policy victories at the federal, state and local level.