On July 16, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer met with Blavity and several other Black journalists to discuss some of the most pressing and impactful issues among the African American community and how he plans to move forward on his plans as potential Senate majority leader.

The New York senator announced his full support of the legislation for reparations, along with the four issues he believes are disproportionately impacting Black communities: climate change, maldistribution of income, voting rights and health care. If the proper legislation is created and passed, we could start to see change throughout our respective communities.

Regarding health care, Schumer is adamant about ensuring that millions of folks do not lose their health care coverage amid the Republicans' attempt to take away the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

"They’re doing everything they can to take away people’s health care. It’s disgusting. It's pathetic," Schumer told the group. "This especially hurts the African American community. African Americans have higher pre-existing conditions, and Black women are more likely to develop cancer and from pregnancy. What’s happening with the ACA is that it’s actually allowed the disparities to decrease. The uninsured rate in the Black community dropped by a third under the ACA." 

If the decision passes, millions of people are at risk of losing their health care; and although health care impacts everyone, because of racism and bigotry, this decision would affect the African American community harshly.

Schumer understands that certain pressing issues, such as threats to peoples' health care, are nothing new to African Americans.

"I've always believed racism is the poison of America," he said.

Recently, the New York senator told Blavity that he will support the legislation by Senator and U.S. presidential candidate Cory Booker and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee, who've established a commission to study the issue of reparations for slavery and discrimination.

Regarding his work to make progress toward racial equality and reconciliation, Schumer believes "money that came out of the African American community should go back into it." Decriminalizing marijuana and expunging records for folks who've served years behind bars for possession of the drug will be one of his main priorities, in collaboration with New York Representative Hakeem Jeffries.

Schumer believes it's time for Democrats to take the country and the Senate back.

"The legacy of slavery and Jim Crow is still with us, and that's why I'm supporting this legislation," he said.