The National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) is calling on President Joe Biden to support hosting the new FBI headquarters in Prince George’s County, Maryland, in order to promote equity.
The NAACP’s letter on Friday followed Maryland lawmakers request that the president back the county as the site for the future headquarters last week.
In the letter to the president, NAACP President Derrick Johnson said that putting the new headquarters in Maryland would serve the county’s majority minority population and “generate a wave of quality government jobs, contracting opportunities, and customers for local small businesses in the surrounding area.”
The NAACP claims that the Maryland sites in Greenbelt and Landover would help the Biden administration achieve its goal of advancing racial equity that it laid out in an executive order and throughout his term — a point which has been stressed in most debates over the decision.
“The NAACP strongly believes that choosing Prince George’s County as the FBI’s new home will do the most to advance your equity agenda,” Derrick wrote in the letter, on behalf of the NAACP. “Such a decision would not be charity.”
The letter cited similar information used in the original three-page letter Maryland lawmakers sent to the president, saying that of the counties in the capital region, Prince George’s County has received only 4% of the region’s federal office space which does not stimulate the local economy or grant residents opportunities for occupational development or economic mobility.
This is in comparison to the Springfield site up for grabs in Fairfax County, Virginia — only 13 or so miles from the Pentagon in Arlington — which is nearly 64% white and ranks second for economic mobility out of the country’s 150 largest counties, according to data collected by Connected DMV.
On Monday, Maryland lawmakers, including Gov. Wes Moore and Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks, among others, released a statement thanking the NAACP for its support.
“We appreciate the NAACP’s partnership as we work to right the historic wrongs of the past and deliver more economic opportunity to our communities. Bringing the FBI to Maryland is both the right thing to do and the smart thing to do, and we’re glad to have the NAACP by our side in this effort,” the lawmakers said in the statement.