FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 12, 2017
CONTACT: Kelley Lou, Asset Building Policy Fellow
202-223-2442 ext. 200
Advocates Demand Tax Reform that Recognizes the Contributions of Young and Older Americans in the Workforce
National CAPACD’s Community in the Capital Fellows deliver over 1500 postcards
to their Congress members, urging the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit
WASHINGTON, D.C.-Yesterday, the National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) and its Community in the Capital (CITC) Fellows delivered over 1500 postcards from constituents around the country to over 30 members of Congress, urging the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC). The postcards, translated into 6 different languages (Bangla, Chinese, Spanish, Korean, Tongan, and Vietnamese), deliver a mandate to Congress—the need for tax reform that recognizes and supports low-income Asian American and Pacific Islanders (AAPIs) who are forced to enter the workforce earlier and work past retirement age in order to support their families.
The Earned Income Tax Credit is a refundable tax credit for low-income workers that can range from $506 (for households with no dependents) to $6269 (for households with 3 or more children). Currently, the Earned Income Tax Credit is available for workers ages 25-65. National CAPACD is working with several national partners and community organizations on the #EITC4me campaign in order to advocate for the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to workers ages 21-70. This week, National CAPACD convened 10 community leaders from across the country as part of the annual Community in the Capital Fellowship program. The CITC Fellows met with their members of Congress to deliver the campaign postcards and urge them to join the campaign. Aly Arnolds, CITC Fellow and Program Manager at Chinese Community Center in Houston, states “Our campaign is driven by the belief that low-income workers who are forced to work for longer periods of their lives should not be taxed further into poverty and should be provided with opportunities to support their families and improve their quality of life.”
The #EITC4me campaign developed from the recognition of the growing poverty in AAPI communities—National CAPACD’s report on AAPI Poverty highlights that there are over 2 million AAPIs in poverty and between 2009-2014 the number of AAPIs in poverty increased by 38% (significantly higher than any other ethnic group). National CAPACD’s Executive Director Seema Agnani states “Our campaign simply asks that Congress modify the Earned Income Tax Credit to reflect the realities of our current workforce. As costs of living continue to outpace income, we encounter many multigenerational AAPI families in which grandparents, parents, and children are going out to work in order to make ends meet. Our families are working harder and they are working longer with little reward in the face of growing poverty. We know tax reform is on the agenda for Congress this year and we want to make sure that low-income AAPIs are included in the national debate on tax reform as an anti-poverty strategy.”
Over 1500 Americans have sent a similar message to Congress today, calling for the expansion of the Earned Income Tax Credit to recognize the contributions of young and older low-income workers in the workforce. One community member in San Francisco shared that his mother and aunt are over 65 and have worked for over 40 years in healthcare services and his message is simple: “Hard-working Americans deserve EITC expansion.”
About National CAPACD: National CAPACD is a national advocacy organization dedicated to addressing the housing, community, and economic development needs of diverse and growing AAPI communities. National CAPACD’s member-based network includes more than 100 community-based organizations and individuals, including community development corporations, preservation agencies, community-based social service providers, advocacy agencies, as well as national intermediaries and financial institutions. Our members are in 19 states, implementing innovative affordable housing, social service, community development, and community organizing strategies to improve the well-being of low-income AAPIs.