August 5, 1992 EXPANDING OPPORTUNITY FOR ALL AMERICANS +quot;I believe in an America where

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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% respectively. 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 (welfare reform), -- require more personal responsibility (housing and welfare reform), and -- 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 dislocated workers. 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 agenda include: -- 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 fosters independence. -- 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. Education 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 categories. 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 university system.


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