Leaders of some of the nation’s top civil rights groups were scheduled to meet Tuesday, June 13, with Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer of New York amid concerns about how President Donald Trump’s agenda could impact Black America.
According to BuzzFeed News, the meeting will be the first since the NAACP, the country’s oldest civil rights group, fired its president and CEO Cornell William Brooks and also since Vanita Gupta, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division under President Barack Obama, became president and CEO of the Leadership Conference on Civil and Human Rights, an umbrella organization. It was not immediately clear whether Gupta would attend.
Few, if any, details about the meeting have been publicly disclosed by those involved.
A spokesperson for Schumer’s office confirmed with BuzzFeed that the meeting is “part of our ongoing dialogue with the civil rights groups,” noting that it was Schumer who initially reached out.
A spokesperson for Marc Morial, president and CEO of the National Urban League, told the news website that it would be discussing Trump’s budget, Senate Democrats’ plan to protect Obamacare and staff diversity in the Senate.
The deep cuts contained in Trump’s 2018 budget have been of particularly great concern because many fear the cuts to food-assistance programs, programs helping students obtain financial aid for college and programs assisting minority-owned businesses could have disastrous consequences.
Sources told BuzzFeed that a bill that would review federal sentencing guidelines and reduce mandatory-minimum sentences for nonviolent offenders also would be on the agenda.
The Rev. Al Sharpton, who planned to attend the meeting on behalf of his National Action Network organization, told BuzzFeed he expected to hear how Schumer and Senate Democrats intend to address the general threat that Trump poses, but also what they plan to do about “retreats” in the Justice, Education and Labor departments.
“They should be on the floor of the Senate screaming about that,” Sharpton told BuzzFeed.