August 5, 1992 EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS +quot;I believe in an America where
August 5, 1992
EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS
"I believe in an America where we measure success not in
dollars and lawsuits -- but in opportunity, prosperity and
harmony. I believe in the ideals we all share -- ideals that
made America great: decency, fairness, faith, hard work,
generosity, vigor, and vision."
-- President George Bush
November 21, 1991
The President's Philosophy: Create Opportunity
o George Bush believes that with opportunity, hard work, faith,
vigor, and dedication will allow every American to achieve
their God-given potential; civil rights laws must provide the
opportunity to make that dream possible.
o President Bush has worked personally to ensure each American
has an opportunity to achieve their full potential. As a
young man, George Bush walked door-to-door collecting
donations for the United Negro College Fund. As a
Congressman, George Bush faced down constituents angry with
his support of the 1968 Fair Housing Act.
o The President has opposed so-called civil rights proposals
that would divide the nation by forcing hiring quotas or
pitting one group of Americans against another. In the
President's view, the cause of civil rights is trivialized
when laws are used to ration opportunity among groups, rather
than to make opportunity real for each individual.
Expanding and Preserving Opportunity
o The Americans with Disabilities Act -- For too long, disabled
Americans have been denied the opportunity to achieve their
full potential. Under the President's leadership, the
Americans with Disabilities Act was proposed, passed and
signed into law, extending for the first time the same
protections, independence, and opportunity to 43 million
disabled Americans now enjoyed by any other American.
o The Civil Rights Act of 1991 -- In signing the Civil Rights
Act of 1991, the President strengthened legal protections that
ensure each American's opportunity to obtain a job.
-- But the President resisted measures that would have
escalated the politics of division. In 1990 he vetoed a
bill that would have forced the use of hiring quotas. In
1991, the President again fought proposals that would
have forced employers to adopt quotas merely to avoid the
threat of lawsuits.
-- Instead of quotas, the President believes civil rights
laws should work along side policies that promote
personal responsibility -- like tenant management of
public housing and welfare reform -- and self-advancement
-- like enterprise zones that create jobs.
o Strong Enforcement of Civil Rights Laws -- Through enforcement
efforts and legislative action, the Administration has pursued
civil rights policies that resist the politics of division,
seeking instead to pursue efforts that promote opportunity,
fairness and individual freedom for all Americans.
-- In fair housing, the Department of Housing and Urban
Development has resolved nearly 12,000 of 16,000
outstanding fair housing cases.
-- The Labor Department has obtained the largest settlements
for discriminatory practices in the history of the
Federal Contract Compliance program. In one case, about
1000 women were awarded $3.5 million to compensate for
discrimination in hiring.
-- Prosecution of hate crimes generated 35 convictions in
FY 1990 and another 30 convictions in FY 1991. These
convictions represent success rates of 100% and 98%
President Bush's Urban Renewal Plan
o The President recognizes the need to rejuvenate our nation's
cities and to provide opportunity to hard working, law-abiding
urban residents. In the wake of the Los Angeles riots, the
President proposed both near-term economic assistance, and a
series of longer-term initiatives:
-- to restore safe streets (Weed and Seed),
-- encourage business investment and job creation
(enterprise zones, job training),
-- reform federal programs that encourage dependency
-- require more personal responsibility (housing and welfare
-- create new opportunities for personal growth (education
reform, including school choice).
o President Bush responded immediately to the Los Angeles riots.
To restore order, he mobilized more than 5,000 National
Guardsmen, Marines, and riot-trained Federal law enforcement
personnel. The President then focused Administration efforts
on providing aid to get business owners and community leaders
back on their feet. Federal aid totalled $1.2 billion.
o The President went directly to Los Angeles' citizens monitored
the situation closely and then went to Los Angeles to learn
first-hand about the needs of the area's citizens. Once in
Los Angeles, he ordered federal agencies to move quickly to
provide food, rental assistance, and temporary jobs for
o The President's long-term goals are to address the root cause
of urban unrest and to revitalize cities with jobs and
investment. His urban agenda will empower every American to
achieve, through equal opportunity and hard work, the dignity
and economic security they desire. Components of the urban
-- Weed and Seed, which is winning back inner cities from
gangs and drug dealers. The President requested $500
million for this program in his FY1993 budget.
-- Welfare reform that encourages productive lifestyles and
-- Urban enterprise zones to reinvigorate business activity
and to provide jobs in neighborhoods blighted by poverty.
-- Youth jobs that will build a more skilled and more
competitive America by tapping into the energy and talent
that exists in our inner cities.
-- Home ownership through the HOPE (Homeownership and
Opportunity for People Everywhere) initiative to provide
low-income Americans with the opportunity to purchase a
home, giving them a stake in their communities.
-- Education reform that improves American schools by
pursuing a strategy (America 2000) that empowers all
parents to choose the best schools available.
o President Bush believes that the best way to empower
disadvantaged Americans and to make the United States more
competitive is through education. As a complement to his
America 2000 program, he has sought to make higher education
accessible to all Americans.
o President Bush's Fiscal Year 1993 budget proposes the largest
one-year increase in Pell grants in the program's history.
More funding would be available for students in income
categories up to $50,000, especially in low- and middle-income
o President Bush has had a lifelong commitment to Historically
Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs); as a young man he
collected funds for the United Negro College Fund.
o He has continued this commitment as President, both by
encouraging Federal support for HBCUs and through his moral
support for their role in American higher education.
-- Federal awards to HBCUs increased from $776 million in
FY1989 to $888 million in FY1991, or 14.5%.
-- The Bush Administration argued successfully before the
Supreme Court that Mississippi has not done enough to
remove the vestiges of segregation from its public
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank