July 28, 2020 Press Releases

State Rep. Dr. Gerae Peten: Arizona’s Communities of Color Are Paying the Price for Trump’s Incompetent and Ineffective Pandemic Response

For Immediate Release
Tuesday, July 28, 2020
Contact: Matt Grodsky, mgrodsky@azdem.org

State Rep. Dr. Gerae Peten: Arizona’s Communities of Color Are Paying the Price for Trump’s Incompetent and Ineffective Pandemic Response

PHOENIX – Today, as Vice President Joe Biden unveiled his plan to advance racial equity across the American economy, State Representative Dr. Gerae Peten called out Donald Trump’s record of broken promises to communities of color in Arizona and across the country. Peten represents the people of District 4 in the Arizona House of Representatives, where she serves on the Education, Land and Agriculture, and the State and International Affairs Committees, and is a member of the African American Caucus. Peten is also the Founder of the West Valley NAACP, where she is a member of the Executive Committee.

“In 2016, Donald Trump asked voters of color what we had to lose under a Trump presidency. After four years, we’ve learned the answer the hard way,” said Peten. ”Trump’s disastrous record has been deeply felt across Black, Latinx, Native, and AAPI communities, from skyrocketing unemployment and cratering small business ownership to rising housing costs and higher coronavirus death rates. Today, Arizona’s communities of color are paying the price for Trump’s incompetent and ineffective pandemic response with our lives and livelihoods. It’s disgraceful.”

“Racial injustice in America existed long before Donald Trump took office, but Trump’s failed leadership has only further fueled inequality and exacerbated existing racial disparities,” Peten continued. “This week, as civil rights icon and Congressman John Lewis is laid to rest in power, it is incumbent upon all of us to take up the mantle in the fight for racial equality and reject all those who traffic in the politics of division — including Donald Trump.”

BACKGROUND ON TRUMP’S BROKEN PROMISES TO COMMUNITIES OF COLOR

Promise: Trump: “To those African Americans and Latinos suffering in our country, I say, very simply, what the hell do you have to lose? Vote for Donald Trump. I am going to fix it.” [Trump Campaign Rally, Prescott AZ, 10/4/16]

Reality: Trump failed to respond to the racial disparities being exacerbated by the coronavirus crisis. Data shows that Black, Latinx, and Native American communities have been disproportionately hurt during the pandemic.

Reality: Even after legislative action sought to force the Trump Administration to improve data collection on racial disparities in coronavirus cases, it failed to do so — and its scattershot approach has hampered an effective response to the crisis for communities of color.

Reality: Trump’s policies undercut efforts to expand affordable housing for communities of color, all while boosting banks and lenders. Analysis shows that the Trump Administration’s proposal to roll back disparate impact claims will make it harder to fight housing discrimination under the Fair Housing Act, while under Trump’s CFPB, fair lending enforcement orders against mortgage lenders has dropped off.

Reality: Trump’s tax law hurt communities of color. Black and Latinx households were disproportionately left out of the benefits from Trump’s tax law in 2018. The average tax cut for Black households was less than a third of the average white household, while the average tax cut for Latinx households was less than half that of the average white household.

Promise: Trump: “I’m going to fight every day for the Latino communities, for the African American community.” [Trump Campaign Rally, 10/5/16]

Reality: In Arizona, Black households are more burdened by housing costs than white households, and more than twice as many white residents in Arizona are homeowners compared with Black residents.

Reality: Trump’s economic policies have failed to help close the racial wealth gap. In Arizona, the median household income for Black families is $50,068 compared to $64,876 for white households.

Reality: As President, Trump threatened to veto a minimum wage hike and proposed a tip-pooling rule that could undercut earnings and job opportunities for workers of color.

Reality: Trump’s budgets have called for steep cuts or the full elimination of the Minority Business Development Agency, a critical agency that helps promote the growth of businesses owned by people of color.

Reality: As of 2017, Latinx individuals represented about 18% of the U.S. population, but made up 47% of all those who received HUD rental assistance and 23% of all low-income renters. Despite this Trump has called for drastic cuts to subsidized housing, and for changes that could raise rents for low-income families.