Success Stories

The President's Accomplishments for African Americans

The Obama Administration’s Accomplishments for the African American Community

President Obama is focused on creating jobs and restoring economic security for African Americans and all Americans. He understands that too many African Americans have been hurt by a decade of declining wages and unemployment and he’s fought for policies that give everyone a fair shot and the opportunity to succeed.

Download this fact sheet to learn more about the Obama administration's accomplishments for the African-American community.

Justice and Crime Prevention

From his days as a community organizer to his time as a civil rights lawyer, President Obama has a consistent record of fighting for fairness for all Americans. That commitment continues in his actions as President.

  • President Obama signed the Fair Sentencing Act into law, narrowing the unfair 100-to-1 disparity between those convicted of possessing crack cocaine and powdered cocaine, while increasing penalties for major drug traffickers.
  • The President released a national drug control strategy that sets goals to reduce drug use and its consequences through a balanced policy of prevention, treatment, enforcement, and international cooperation. The President’s strategy is designed to cut drug use among youths and decrease drug-induced deaths by 15% by 2015.
  • The Obama administration announced a settlement in the longstanding Pigford II litigation, and President Obama signed a bill providing funding to settle claims by African-American farmers who were discriminated against by the USDA.

Urban Policies

From day one, President Obama has shown his commitment to revitalizing urban communities around the country.

  • The President launched the first-ever White House Office on Urban Affairs.
  • The Obama administration is increasing lending for low-income Americans and expanding access to affordable financial services.
  • The Obama administration launched the “Strong Cities, Strong Communities” pilot program to develop partnerships with the business community and other public, private, and philanthropic leaders.
  • The Obama administration is implementing the Neighborhood Revitalization Initiative to combat poverty, revitalize public housing, and strengthen educational opportunities in distressed communities.

Health Care

President Obama pushed for and signed the Affordable Care Act, which improves access to health care for all Americans, reduces costs, and puts an end to insurance company abuses. Mitt Romney would repeal the Affordable Care Act on his first day in office, eliminating access to health coverage and protections for millions of African Americans.

  • Expands access to preventive care, eliminating cost sharing for important services like mammograms, colonoscopies, and flu shots for 10 million African Americans. Romney would eliminate this coverage and force millions to pay more out of pocket for important preventive care.
  • Insurance companies won’t be allowed to deny coverage for African Americans because of pre-existing conditions. Romney would repeal these Obamacare protections, letting insurance companies arbitrarily cap or cancel coverage and leaving African Americans with pre-existing conditions to fend for themselves.
  • The Affordable Care Act expands Medicaid eligibility, helping millions more African Americans access health insurance. Romney would repeal this expansion and leave uninsured families to fend for themselves. Moreover, Romney proposes block granting Medicaid, slashing the program’s funding by billions of dollars a year.
  • President Obama is investing in community health centers, providing access and treatment to millions more patients. Already, centers are seeing 3 million more patients than in 2009 through new investments from the Affordable Care Act and the Recovery Act.

Download this fact sheet to learn more about the Affordable Care Act and its impact on African Americans' health.


President Obama has called education equality “the civil rights issue of our time,” and he’s made education a priority in his administration. He pushed for changes to improve our nation’s schools in order to put an outstanding education within reach of every American.

  • President Obama established the White House Initiative on Educational Excellence for African Americans that will ensure that all African American students receive an education that fully prepares them for high school graduation, college completion, and productive careers.
  • The Recovery Act included $5 billion in early learning programs such as Head Start, Early Head Start, child care, and programs for children with disabilities.
  • President Obama doubled funding for Pell Grants, which help 46% of African Americans in undergraduate programs pay for college.
  • The President also secured a $2.55 billion investment in Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other minority-serving institutions to ensure more African Americans have access to higher education.
  • President Obama capped federal student loan payments at 10% of monthly income to help make college more affordable.
  • President Obama is investing $2 billion in competitive grants to expand and improve community college programs, which serve as a gateway to opportunity for 44% of all African-American students enrolled in college.

Romney would roll back these investments in America’s future and he’d turn his back on the bipartisan commitment to turn around failing schools. Romney even believes that class size doesn’t matter to student achievement. If applied across the board, the cuts in the Romney-Ryan budget would have devastating effects on the education of African Americans.

Early Childhood Education

Four years ago, Barack Obama promised to invest in early childhood education. As President, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act which enabled Head Start and Early Head Start programs to serve an additional 61,000 children and their families.

Support for Small Businesses

President Obama is committed to helping small businesses grow. These companies are the engine of job creation in America—responsible for two out of every three new jobs created each year.

  • President Obama’s Small Business Jobs Act of 2010 put more capital into the hands of businesses. In total, the Obama administration has awarded over $26 billion in federal prime contracts to African American-owned businesses. That has happened with the support of the Department of Commerce’s Minority Business Development Agency, which has helped thousands of African American-owned businesses access $5.5 billion in contracts and capital from 2009 to 2011, a 155-percent increase over the prior three-year period.
  • The Obama administration has helped more than 5,600 African-American business owners secure more than $1.5 billion in Small Business Administration loans across the country.
  • President Obama established the Interagency Task Force on Federal Contracting Opportunities for Small Businesses to help minority-owned businesses get a fair shot at securing work.
  • President Obama’s White House Business Council launched a series of Urban Entrepreneurship Forums aimed at connecting local entrepreneurs to public and private resources that help them expand, grow, and create jobs.
  • President Obama has cut taxes for small businesses 18 times, helping African-American small businesses hire, invest, and grow.

Governor Romney, on the other hand, would cut the Small Business Association by 19 percent, if cuts are made across the board, making it harder for local banks to make loans to African American-owned small businesses that want to expand, invest, and hire workers. And Romney’s proposed tax plan would put 30 million small business owners at risk of higher taxes, just to pay for tax cuts for millionaires and billionaires.

Protecting Consumers

Through Wall Street Reform, President Obama created the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau. The agency defends consumers from unfair and abusive financial practices and makes sure that credit card companies and mortgage and payday lenders follow the rules. The President appointed Richard Cordray as director of the CFPB to serve as a watchdog with one job: to look out for the best interests of American consumers.

Romney-Ryan would repeal Wall Street Reform and let Wall Street write its own rules again, putting taxpayers at risk for future bailouts and returning to the conditions that created the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression. Romney claimed the CFPB threatened “constitutional principles,” and he attacked President Obama’s appointment of Richard Cordray.

Putting Americans Back to Work

President Obama is focused on restoring economic security for the middle class, and he’s fighting for policies that give everyone a fair shot and create an economy built to last. There’s still more work to be done, but under President Obama’s leadership we’ve now seen more than two and a half straight years of private sector job growth totaling nearly 5.4 million private sector jobs over the last 32 months. Governor Romney would reverse this progress in favor of tax cuts for the rich.

  • The Recovery Act that President Obama signed into law kept 1.3 million African Americans out of poverty in 2010, extended unemployment insurance, and provided job training and summer jobs programs for urban youth.
  • President Obama expanded tax credits that will help an estimated 2.2 million African-American families and 4.7 million African-American children, allowing working Americans to keep more of what they earn. Mitt Romney would end President Obama’s tax cuts for college students and for working families with children, raising taxes on 18 million families.
  • In his first term, President Obama has saved the typical middle-class family $3,600 in taxes, helping millions of African-American families. Romney and Ryan, on the other hand, have proposed such deep tax cuts for the wealthy that if they are to follow through on their promise to pay for them, it would require tax increases on the middle class.
  • U.S. manufacturing is on the rebound, and has added jobs for the first time since the late 1990s. Under President Obama, we’ve added nearly half a million manufacturing jobs since January 2010. Mitt Romney promises to give more huge tax credits to companies that ship American jobs overseas, and he will also slash investments in research, training, and clean energy while giving even more tax breaks to multimillionaires. Just two years ago, Romney opposed efforts to stand up for American workers against unfair imports of Chinese tires.

Extending Unemployment Insurance

Four years ago, Barack Obama promised to extend employment insurance. As President, he signed the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act, and further extended emergency unemployment benefits, temporarily suspending taxation on unemployment compensation for millions of American workers. Mitt Romney would do away with the entire system of employment insurance, instead imposing a system where workers are responsible for paying for their own benefits.1