As proven by the 2020 Census undercounting millions of Black Americans, polling in this country is not always accurate, especially when it comes to the opinions of Black people. The organization Black to the Future Action Fund is trying to change that.
A self-described “think tank / act tank,” B2F is working to “make Black communities powerful in politics” by creating policies that improve the lives of Black people and electing Black legislators “with progressive values who move progressive policies.”
New in 2021, B2F has conducted two “temperature check polls,” billed as the largest recurring polls of Black adults, to get a read on the community. The polls are scheduled to continue at a bi-monthly pace. Each poll is conducted in a nationwide 1,000-person sample size “to Black adults, from Black adults.”
“What we found this time,” Dr. Juhem Navarro-Rivera, a managing partner and director of political research at Socioanalitica Research, said on a press call going over the poll results, “is that satisfaction with the state of the country and with the state of the economy has significantly dropped, and so have, to some extent, the approvals of the president, governors and Congress.”
The polling topics included the direction of the country, finance and Covid.
Among the findings, the study saw the respondents’ top four priorities are getting $2,000 monthly relief checks, raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, addressing structural racism and white supremacy, and protecting voting rights.
Compared to the July poll, there was a four percentage point decrease in respondents reporting their financial situation as “good.” Similarly, there was a four percentage point increase in respondents reporting they are having trouble paying for household expenses, jumping from 43% in July to 47% in September.
“Black people are still feeling the brunt of the Covid-19 pandemic,” Navarro-Rivera said.
Regarding the pandemic, more than 60% of respondents are supportive of businesses mandating employees be vaccinated against Covid-19, and additionally support vaccine mandates for government employees, like teachers and police officers.
“Black adults are very supportive of policies to mitigate the spread of the delta variant and bring the pandemic to an end,” Navarro-Rivera said. “Support for these policies are strongly associated with vaccination status and/or losing loved ones to Covid-19.”
The Black communities are “under attack from multiple directions,” Alicia Garza, principal of B2F said.
“There are so many dire issues that are happening at this very moment,” Erika Washington, the executive director of Make It Work Nevada, said on a press call, “and I think it’s imperative that this polling keeps happening, and that we keep paying attention and amplifying the needs of those most in the margins.”