Staying on Message

John E. Harmon, Sr., IOM | 7/16/2017, 8:59 a.m.
Last month’s column was a small tribute to the 10th Anniversary of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New ...
John E. Harmon, Sr

Last month’s column was a small tribute to the 10th Anniversary of the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey (AACCNJ). Within that feature, I spoke about the origin of the chamber, its mission, partners and members. However, this month I will focus on one of the key components of our success and that is “Staying on Message.”

In our mission, we clearly state that we are seeking to foster relationships to gain access to resources, information and opportunities that will contribute to the success of the 66,000 African American businesses, across the state of New Jersey. Also, to serve as an advocate for educational strategies that will expose New Jersey’s students to resources and techniques, which will stimulate their minds while positioning them to compete for 21st century career opportunities in a level playing field marketplace. It is through this steadfastness that we ultimately strengthen the workforce of New Jersey and when done strategically with others across this great state we collectively improve its overall competitiveness. This has been the hallmark of the success of the AACCNJ and we plan to continue to solicit the support of government, corporations, faith-based community, educational institutions, banks, small business owners, etc. Why, because “whatever affects one directly, affects all indirectly. I can never be what I ought to be until you are what you ought to be. This is the interrelated structure of reality,” said Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

I would like to mention another key to the success of the AACCNJ is to be responsible and accountable to those who invest in the mission, to say it succinctly, “Do What You Said You Would Do!”

This leads me to suggest that we turn our attention to Washington, DC, and a few things that our current President, Donald J. Trump has said in regards to his 10 point plan for Black America, as follows:

  1. Great Education through School Choice. We will allow every disadvantaged child in America to attend the public, private, charter, magnet, religious or home school of their choice. School choice is the great civil rights issue of our time, and Donald Trump will be the nation’s biggest cheerleader for school choice in all 50 states. We will also ensure funding for Historic Black Colleges and Universities, more affordable 2 and 4-year college, and support for trade and vocational education.

  2. Safe Communities. We will make our communities safe again. Every poor African-American child must be able to walk down the street in peace. Safety is a civil right. We will invest in training and funding both local and federal law enforcement operations to remove the gang members, drug dealers, and criminal cartels from our neighborhoods. The reduction of crime is not merely a goal – but a necessity.

  3. Equal Justice Under the Law. We will apply the law fairly, equally and without prejudice. There will be only one set of rules – not a two-tiered system of justice. Equal justice also means the same rules for Wall Street.

  4. Tax Reforms to Create Jobs and Lift up People and Communities. We will lower the business tax from 35 percent to 15 percent and bring thousands of new companies to our shores. We will also have a massive middle class tax cut, tax-free childcare savings accounts, and childcare tax deductions and credits. We will also have tax holidays for inner-city investment, and new tax incentives to get foreign companies to relocate in blighted American neighborhoods. We will empower cities and states to seek a federal disaster designation for blighted communities in order to initiate the rebuilding of vital infrastructure, the demolition of abandoned properties, and the increased presence of law enforcement.

  5. Financial Reforms to Expand Credit to Support New Job Creation. We will have financial reforms to make it easier for young African-Americans to get credit to pursue their dreams in business and create jobs in their communities.

  6. Trade That Works for American Workers. We will stop the massive, chronic trade deficits that have emptied out our jobs. We won’t let our jobs be stolen from us anymore. We will stop the offshoring of companies to low-wage countries and raise wages at home – meaning rent and bills become instantly more affordable

  7. Protection from Illegal Immigration. We will restore the civil rights of African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans, and all Americans, by ending illegal immigration. No group has been more economically-harmed by decades of illegal immigration than low-income African-American workers.

  8. New Infrastructure Investment. We will leverage public-private partnerships, and private investments through tax incentives, to spur $1 trillion in infrastructure investment over 10 years, of which the inner cities will be a major beneficiary

  9. Protect the African-American Church. We will protect religious liberty, promote strong families, and support the African-American church.

  10. America First Foreign Policy. We will stop trying to build Democracies overseas, wasting trillions, but focus on defeating terrorists and putting America First.