2021 Legislative Conference: Administration's 2021 Agenda
NCPERS hosted our Annual Legislative Conference webast on Tuesday, April 20, 2021. NCPERS heard from The Honorable Cedric Richmond.
Administration's 2021 Agenda
[Introduction by Hank H. Kim of The Honorable Cedric Richmond] Now, shifting back, we're going to hear from the White House, the Honorable Cedric Richmond. [He] was a member of the United States House of Representatives representing Louisiana, the second congressional district. He assumed office on January 5th, 2011, and he left office January 15, 2021. Mr. Richmond served as the chair and leading spokesman for the Congressional Black Caucus from November, 2016 to December, 2018. On November 17th,2020 President-Elect Joe Biden announced that Cedric Richmond would join his administration as Senior Advisor to the President and Director of the White House Office of Public Engagement. Please welcome Mr. Cedric Richmond.
Hello NCPERS. I want to say a quick thank you to executive director, Hank Kim and president Dan Fortuna for giving me the opportunity to talk to you today. Thanks to everyone here for the work you do. As the son of a public school teacher, I know firsthand what it means for our public employees to have the security of a stable pension fund. To the state and local staff, the trustees of the pension plans, you help provide our communities and public employees, the firefighters, teachers, and all other public workers with a pathway to a middle-class life. As the President says, middle-class wages and benefits are the backbone of our nation. I know the pandemic has made life challenging and the impact on our economy has made your work more difficult, but all the more critical as millions of American working families rely on you to safeguard their ability to retire with dignity and respect in return.
You need a government who will support your efforts, which is why the President put forth one of the most ambitious legislative agendas in the history of our nation. A plan to address head-on the battle against the pandemic that will get our economy back on track for everyone here. American Rescue Plan helped provide critical funding needed for state and local governments. The President made a promise a long time ago to address the economic impact that COVID has on states and municipality funding streams. And he kept that promise with over $3.2 billion in state fiscal relief, $2 billion in local fiscal relief, and more than $2.7 billion in relief for our K through 12 schools. But the American Rescue Plan does a lot more. It recognizes the fundamental and inherent dignity that comes with a stable retirement for American workers. When he signed the rescue plan into law, the President kept his promise to protect the millions of Americans who invested in their multiemployer pension plans.
And in doing so, helped stabilize over 200 multiemployer pension plans teetering on the edge of financial disaster. Now the President is proposing the most ambitious infrastructure initiative [The American Jobs Plan] since the New Deal, the American Jobs Plan is a commitment to our investing in our infrastructure, from the care economy, to our bridges and roads. At the end of the day, this means jobs, American jobs that provide a pathway to the middle class and yes, a stable retirement along with the economic initiatives. The President is following through on his promise to help secure the nation's economy for all Americans, regardless of background, race, religion, or sexual orientation. We must recognize that racial disparities in our nation, including the lack of diversity in the people who are managing our retirement benefits. Again, the President is following through on his promise to help secure the nation's economy, but we can't do it alone. We need your help to ensure a better nation for our children. So, they too can realize the dream of a secure and dignified retirement. Thank you again for inviting me and may God bless you.
All NCPERS Legislative Conference transcripts are edited for readability and continuity.