MARYLAND (DC News Now) — The NAACP is doubling down on Maryland Governor Wes Moore’s message that President Biden should prioritize equity and diversity when picking the location for the new FBI headquarters.
Both the national delegation and Maryland chapter of the NAACP sent letters to President Biden encouraging him to pick one of the two proposed Maryland sites — Greenbelt or Landover — for the new FBI headquarters over Springfield, Virginia.
The NAACP letters highlight that Prince George’s County is the only majority-Black jurisdiction in the DMV. They call attention to President Biden’s equity and diversity agenda, saying the decision to pick Prince George’s County would “not be charity.”
“Diversity is a central goal of this administration. The absence of equity has, it can either help or hinder in economic development,” Patrice Willoughby, the Vice President of Policy and Legislative Affairs at the NAACP, explained. “And given that prince george’s is the majority of Black county, it’s important that those federal investments support the workforce that actually lives in that county as well.”
According to the letters, Prince George’s County is home to nearly half of the region’s federal warehouses, which they say contribute far less to the economy than federal office buildings.
The NAACP also emphasizes that 20 percent of the federal workforce lives in Prince George’s Bounty, but the county is only home to 4 percent of the DMV’s federal office space. Maryland Governor Wes Moore wants the General Services Administration to take that into consideration.
“So when they’re making the decision based on cost, when they’re making the decision based on transportation, when they’re making the decision based on the future missions of the FBI, site preparation and preparedness and equity, we know that Maryland wins on every single one of those factors,” Moore explained.
The NAACP highlighted a nearly 30 percent difference in median wages when comparing Prince George’s County to Fairfax County, Virginia, which is competing with Maryland for the new headquarters.
Virginia’s delegation said the proximity to the FBI training academy in Quantico, Virginia makes Springfield a better choice.
“We believe for dozens of reasons the citing of FBI in close proximity to so many sister agencies who have to work together, not in silos, that have to work together, the Virginia site is so strong,” Senator Tim Kaine explained.
The decision is now left in the hands of the General Services Administration which has not yet announced when a new location will be determined.