Empowerment and Equity Through Infrastructure

Apr 1, 2021

On the minds of many Americans: can our country tackle the challenges of a pandemic-related economic downturn while also engaging in a long overdue reckoning over racial and socioeconomic inequities?

Absolutely. And the life insurance industry stands ready to help lead the way.

Amid the nation’s racial, health, and economic tumult, life insurers are #MeetingTheMoment with ACLI’s Economic Empowerment and Racial Equity Initiative. Building on more than 175 years of helping families and the economy, our industry came together in our shared commitment to expand access to financial security and education, target investment in underserved communities, and advance diversity and inclusion in the financial services industry.

We believe that the nation’s infrastructure is key to advancing economic empowerment and racial equity. Policymakers from both parties have discussed the importance of improving our infrastructure while investing in local communities, creating jobs and ensuring rewards are shared fairly.

As investors with a critical role in the nation’s recovery with $6.9 trillion invested in our nation’s economy, our industry supports bipartisan policy initiatives that focus on broad economic growth.

We also endorse policies like direct payment bonds that support investments in our local communities with a special focus on underserved communities. In fact, our industry invested in more than one-third of the 2009 Build America Bonds, which allowed state and local governments to finance more than $150 billion of infrastructure investments.

We also support tackling affordable housing needs through the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) program. In 2019 alone, we invested $5 billion in the LIHTC program.

Helping people care for their loved ones – regardless of their race, gender, or economic status – is our core mission. That mission has never been more important. We welcome the opportunity to partner with lawmakers and help our nation find a better, more equitable path to prosperity for all Americans in the 21st century.

Susan K. Neely

Susan K. Neely is the President and CEO of the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI), the nation’s leading trade association determined to help families live better lives by achieving financial security and certainty. As president and CEO, Neely drives public policy and advocacy on behalf of ACLI’s member companies that represent 93 percent of industry assets and serve 90 million families.