U.S. President Joe Biden’s Treasury Department is set to hire a “Defund the Police” advocate to lead the department’s Advisory Committee on Racial Equity.
On Tuesday, Secretary of Treasury, Janet Yellen announced the inaugural members of the committee, who will provide her and her team with “advice and recommendations” on “efforts to advance racial equity in the economy and address acute disparities for communities of color.”
According to the press release put out by the department, the advisory committee will weigh in on matters such as housing and federal supplier diversity. Essentially, the committee will have free reign to determine whom the Treasury Department hires as contractors, and which demographics will be eligible for special treatment when it comes to policies surrounding housing loans, and so forth.
“A critical piece of executing on our racial equity goals is bringing a wide set of outside perspectives and lived experiences to the decision-making table,” Yellen stated. “The Treasury Advisory Committee on Racial Equity, made up of members with wide-ranging backgrounds and expertise, will provide important insight and advice to leadership across the department to bolster and inform our equity efforts.”
Members of the inaugural committee include Michael Nutter as chair, and a former mayor of Philadelphia, and Roosevelt Institute CEO Felicia Wong as vice chair.
Nutter, who was the mayor of Philadelphia from 2008 to 2016, has criticized the Defund the Police movement and the current Philly D.A. Larry Krasner, whom he accused of promoting an “anti-police narrative.”
In contrast to Nutter, Wong is a fervent critic of the police, and even co-authored a paper calling for defunding the police, according to the Daily Wire.
A separate report authored by Wong called for policymakers to “center race” in their decision making.
“Because our racial disparities are so severe across all elements of the American economy and society, no policy, even if facially race-neutral, is race-neutral in practice,” her report explained. “The design of all policy proposals — big and small — must be attentive to racial outcomes. All policy, from vaccine distribution to higher education funding to tax reform, will have racialized effects. Recognizing this reality, and always considering race in policy design, is therefore vital.”
Wong, who praised the Biden administration for its equity-based policies, claimed that Wong said that “centering race equity as a key measure of successful outcomes, which more generally challenges older racial liberal ideas prioritizing access and opportunity, will be pivotal to shifting policy norms and expectations.”