Fed Up Coalition Applauds Historic Appointment at Atlanta Federal Reserve
Shawn Sebastian, co-director of the Fed Up coalition, released the following statement in response to the announcement of Raphael Bostic as the new president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank:
“Today the Fed Up coalition is celebrating the historic selection of Raphael Bostic as the new president of the Atlanta Federal Reserve Bank. Not only will Prof. Bostic be the first African-American and first openly gay Federal Reserve president in the history of the institution, but he is an exceptionally well-qualified economist and public servant who has dedicated his career to studying and combating racial, economic, and social inequity. We congratulate Prof. Bostic on his appointment and commend the Atlanta Federal Reserve for making this selection.
“Prof. Bostic’s appointment vindicates the work of the Fed up coalition over the past two years: Fed Up has consistently called attention to the lack of diversity and public representation at the Federal Reserve, and we’ve joined with congressional leaders like Reps. Maxine Waters and John Conyers to demand that Federal Reserve deliberations include diverse voices with a broad understanding of labor market conditions in Black and Brown communities.
“Before the Fed Up coalition launched, there was little discussion about the lack of diversity among the Fed’s leadership; in response to our advocacy, all of the top Fed leaders have in the past year acknowledged that the situation is unacceptable and needs to be remedied. Today, the Atlanta Federal Reserve took a strong step in the right direction.
“When the financial crisis took a devastating and disproportionate toll on communities of color, Bostic was in the trenches at the Department of Housing and Urban Development, working with and speaking out about the families hit hardest by the crisis. Throughout his career, Bostic’s economic and public policy research has examined economic disparities in race and income, and searched for ways to build a better economy for everyone. We are thrilled that someone with Bostic’s background and experience will have a voice at the country’s foremost economic policymaking institution.
“We look forward to working with President Bostic to ensure that racial disparities in unemployment and wages are not forgotten during FOMC deliberations, as they have been in the past. Today’s decision means that two of the 17 participants at March’s FOMC meeting will be people of color. We hope officials at the Board of Governors and regional Reserve Banks recognize that considerable room for improvement remains.
“Finally, we commend the board of directors at the Atlanta Fed for initiating new steps in the presidential search process like a web seminar and an opportunity to submit candidate names to their website. However, these steps still do not go far enough. We continue to believe that the Federal Reserve should be a fully public institution, and future Reserve Bank presidents should be chosen through a transparent and publicly inclusive process.”
Fed Up is a coalition of community organizations and labor unions across the country calling on the Federal Reserve to reform its governance and adopt policies that build a strong economy for the American public. The Fed can keep interest rates low, give the economy a fair chance to recover, and prioritize genuine full employment and rising wages for all communities
The Center for Popular Democracy promotes equity, opportunity, and a dynamic democracy in partnership with innovative base-building organizations, organizing networks and alliances, and progressive unions across the country. CPD builds the strength and capacity of democratic organizations to envision and advance a pro-worker, pro-immigrant, racial justice agenda