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AFL-CIO calls on Biden to appoint racial equity czar

AFL-CIO calls on Biden to appoint racial equity czar
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AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka on Tuesday called on President-elect Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden's quiet diplomacy under pressure as Israel-Hamas fighting intensifies Overnight Defense: Administration approves 5M arms sale to Israel | Biden backs ceasefire in call with Netanyahu | Military sexual assault reform push reaches turning point CDC mask update sparks confusion, opposition MORE to appoint a racial equity czar to coordinate the administration's policy on racial inequality.

"We need someone dedicated to leading an interagency task force that directly addresses racial injustice in all the places it exists," Trumka said.

Trumka said the position would coordinate on racial justice across the administration, and also place the issue of racial inequity at the forefront.

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"I think the czar can coordinate the efforts so that all the different agencies working on it can work together," Trumka said.

"I also think it raises the profile," he added.

Unemployment, for example, is a top labor issue, but the unemployment rate among African Americans was 9.9 percent in December relative to 6 percent for whites.

Similarly, Trumka noted that while lowering the Medicare eligibility age was a top priority in terms of health, that it would give an extra boost to African Americans, whose uninsured rate trends 50 percent higher than whites. Uninsured rates among Hispanic Americans trends 2.5 times higher than whites.

The call echoes one from the NAACP in December.

Biden has made both racial equity and climate change regular themes in his policy, commenting on the importance of addressing each one as he rolls out his proposals.

Biden appointed former secretary of State John KerryJohn KerryBiden's climate policies: Adrift in economic and scientific fantasyland The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Biden expresses optimism on bipartisanship; Cheney ousted Watch live: John Kerry testifies on climate change MORE as a Cabinet-level climate czar, which the NAACP said was a model for a racial equity czar.

The Hill has reached out to the Biden transition team for comment.