Almost a decade ago, I first met Joe Biden when I served in the White House, and I witnessed firsthand his great leadership and ability to get things done on numerous policy issues, both foreign and domestic.
But I truly got to know Joe, and the extraordinarily compassionate man that he is, when my mom was battling cancer. When I shared in passing what we were going through, Joe’s instinct was to reach out and call her to see how she was doing.
When she ran out of chemo and radiation treatment options, Joe offered to connect us with other doctors and experts to see if they could help. That’s who Joe is – and similar to what he did for our family, I’ve seen him do this for countless others battling cancer and other deadly diseases. Since then, I feel fortunate to have had a chance to work closely with Joe, in and outside of government. For these reasons and more, there is no doubt in my mind that he is the best presidential candidate for our community – and our country.
We are at a crossroads, as a nation and as a people. Given the global pandemic we face, compounded by the subsequent economic and public health crises that Trump and his utter incompetence has created, we have a clear choice to make this November.
Before our lives were interrupted by Covid-19, I spent an entire day with Joe in Washington, D.C., at the inaugural Biden Cancer Summit. As we convened cancer patients, advocates and industry leaders to focus national attention and urgency to create actionable solutions in the fight against cancer, I was reminded of the passion and energy he brings to serving our community. At the end of the day, we were all exhausted, except for Joe, who wanted to continue on and waved goodbye at 11pm as he took the last train home to Delaware to reconnect with his wife, Jill, who will undoubtedly make an outstanding First Lady.
Too many of us and our families have experienced firsthand the deadly impact of Covid-19. Last month, I lost my aunt to the virus. My wife and I have had numerous friends and family that have fallen prey to this disease. Which is no surprise because Latinos have been infected by Covid-19 at three times the rate of whites in the U.S. and are twice as likely to die from the virus. Trump’s downplaying of Covid and his inept example of neglecting social distancing and mask-wearing guidelines has been an insult to injury and resulted in both the exponential spread of the disease and needless loss of life.
As Vice President and Senator, Joe has a long record of advocating for all Americans, but especially for Latino and Black communities. Joe has long been a champion of the middle class – best exhibited with his leadership of the economic recovery effort after the last financial crisis in 2008. Unfortunately, the new economic and public health crises we find ourselves in has disproportionately hit our community, with Latino and Black unemployment hovering at 14-15%, and businesses owned by Latino and Black entrepreneurs closing down at greater rates than ever in recent history.
Recently, Joe outlined a bold vision for recovery guided by the notion that we can’t just go back to the way things were, we need to build back better. We need economic policies that will empower Latino and Black small businesses to recover and rebuild by removing barriers and expanding access to capital and opportunities. Joe will leverage more than $150 billion in new capital for small businesses that have been structurally left out and left behind and devote $30 billion to unleash the full potential of Latino and Black small businesses and entrepreneurs.
Moreover, Joe will dedicate more than $50 billion in new equity investment and venture capital for entrepreneurs in economically disadvantaged areas like ours. As a serial entrepreneur and investor, and married to a small business owner, that’s the kind of bold vision and economic recovery plan we need.
L. Felice Gorordo is a serial entrepreneur, served in the White House under Presidents Barack Obama and George W. Bush, and as advisor to Vice President Joe Biden’s Cancer Initiative.