Joe Biden’s nominees to run the Treasury Department held their first meeting Monday with radical racial and economic justice activists.
Treasury Secretary-designee Janet Yellen and Deputy Treasury Secretary-designee Wally Adeyemo “reaffirmed their commitment to placing racial equity at the center of economic recovery, focusing on the households, businesses and communities hardest hit by the pandemic, and to pursuing economic policies that address the long-term, systemic and structural issues that have led to the racial wealth gap and economic disparities that exist today,” the Biden-Harris transition team said about the virtual roundtable.
Among the participants were activists who have supported the “defund the police” movement, such as Black Lives Matter co-founder Alicia Garza, Color of Change President Rashad Robinson and National Director of the Working Families Party Maurice Mitchell, Fox News reported.
Garza, who also founded Black to the Future, met with Yellen and Adeyemo Monday and defended the movement.
“This movement, which really helped to push [Biden’s] campaign over the finish line, was used as a political football all throughout this election cycle and that was true in 2016 as well,” Garza told Politico last week.
“There’s a lot of valuable airspace that was used to be condescending to the very people who have opened the imagination of what this country can be — and how we can get closer to the promise that this country has offered to so many.”
Yellen said at an event earlier this month that the Biden administration has an “obligation” to “address deeper structural problems” like racial and gender inequality.
“Out of our collective pain as a nation we will find collective purpose to control the pandemic and build our economy back better than before, to rebuild our infrastructure and create better jobs, to invest in our workforce, to advance racial equity and make sure the economic recovery includes everyone,” Yellen said.