WASHINGTON – On Monday, a group of African-American advocacy organizations led by Rev. Al Sharpton and Marc Morial of the National Urban League met to discuss their priorities for President Barack Obama’s second term, with Sharpton declaring, “We cannot sit and ask the president to write an agenda to himself from us.”
Speaking on behalf of the coalition, Morial addressed the so-called fiscal cliff during a press conference following the meeting.
“Preserving tax cuts for those already battered Americans is the very least that our leaders can do to give some continuing relief to low-, middle- and working-class Americans,” Morial told reporters on Monday.
Sharpton, the founder of the National Action Network, said there has been “a lot of discussion but no movement toward a consensus agenda” for African-Americans and toward how we “execute some policies” to deal with the “disproportionate impact of the economic recession” and fiscal economic cliff.
“We cannot sit and ask the president to write an agenda to himself from us,” Sharpton said. “It ought to come from us to him or the Congress, from us to him.”
Morial was asked what specific policy recommendations the organizations want Obama to adopt.
“We are not going to let anyone peep our card today in terms of what we are prepared to do,” he replied.
Almost 60 civil rights leaders were present at the meeting “created as a first step in developing a public policy agenda for Black America.” Organizations including the NAACP and the National Coalition on Black Civil Participation were represented at the event.