Rep. Beatty reacts to Biden’s handling of race relations
Rep. Joyce Beatty (D-Columbus) led the Congressional Black Caucus to the Oval Office last month to meet with President Joe Biden and Vice President Kamala Harris.
“It was a meeting where we went in and unfolded our agenda that dealt with everything from policing reform that dealt with COVID-19 and the vaccination, to voting rights and many of the other injustices,” Beatty said.
Beatty, who represents Ohio’s 3rd District, has had her plate full since becoming chair of the influential caucus in December.
She traveled to Minneapolis to meet with George Floyd’s family before Derek Chauvin was found guilty of murder and responded to the police killing Ma’Khia Bryant back in her own district the next day.
In Washington, Beatty is trying to get the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act passed by the U.S. Senate after House Democrats passed it a second time.
“We are in constant dialogue with our senators working on how we look at this bill, if there's needed negotiations to take place,” Beatty said.
Beatty has also been leading a campaign to get Black Americans vaccinated for COVID-19.
She said she’s pleased with how Biden has approached helping minorities get through the pandemic and his efforts to stop police violence, but she said more work has to be done.
“As we stand now, we are very supportive,” Beatty said. “It does not mean that we will be without challenge or disagreement, but I can tell you, we were pleased with our first meeting.”
When asked what she considers Biden’s most concrete accomplishment so far when it comes to race relations, Beatty listed picking Kamala Harris to be vice president, his diverse cabinet and his coronavirus response.
Beatty said so far, she feels her voice is being heard by the president.
“I would say I give him a checkmark of moving the needle in a positive direction because actions speak louder than just words,” Beatty said.
The shooting death of Cleveland’s Tamir Rice could prove to be a sticking point, though.
Beatty has asked the Justice Department to reopen its civil rights investigation into the 2014 case, but the Biden administration has not yet said if it agrees.