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Top Black Leaders in Maryland Emphasize Equity in Choice of Prince George’s County for New Consolidated FBI HQ

President Biden has made a strong commitment to ensuring that federal resources are more equitably distributed to communities of color

Two of the three sites in the final-selection round are in Prince George’s County, the largest majority Black jurisdiction in the region, which has not seen an equitable share of federal office space.

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Congressman Anthony G. Brown (MD-04), Congressman Kweisi Mfume (MD-07), Prince George’s County Executive Angela Alsobrooks and Maryland House of Delegates Speaker Adrienne A. Jones urged the Biden Administration to choose a Prince George’s County site for the new consolidated FBI headquarters as part of the federal government’s broader equity and empowerment initiatives.

Two of the three sites in the final-selection round are in Prince George’s County, the largest majority Black jurisdiction in the region, which has not seen an equitable share of federal office space.

“Prince George’s County remains the best positioned to serve as the home of the FBI’s new consolidated headquarters,” the leaders wrote. “The county offers a talented and educated workforce ready to support such an investment while taking the best advantage of its economic impact to grow local communities that have historically been left behind in allocations of federal office space.”

The leaders continued, “We hope you will take all of these factors into strong consideration when making a final decision on site selection. Choosing a site in Prince George’s County would not only be good for the FBI, national security, and the environment; it would also further the Biden-Harris Administration’s important equity goals.” 

While Prince George’s County has 48% of federal warehouse space and 20% of the region’s federal workforce, it hosts only 4% of the region’s federal office space. Median incomes are 48% lower in Prince George’s County than in Fairfax County, Virginia and Prince Georgians’ median incomes trail the region as a whole by 18%.

The full text of the letter is included below:

Dear Administrator Carnahan: 

On February 28 of this year, the Biden-Harris Administration released its plan for advancing “Equity and Opportunity for Black People and Communities Across the Country.” That initiative made clear the President’s strong commitment to ensuring that federal resources are more equitably distributed to communities of color that have historically been disadvantaged when it comes to federal investment. This is an extension of a longstanding commitment, dating back to the Carter Administration, to include equity considerations in decision-making about where to locate federal facilities. We urge you to see the siting of the new consolidated FBI headquarters as part of that commitment. Locating it in Prince George’s County, Maryland, would contribute to the Biden-Harris Administration’s equity goals. 

Two of the three sites in the final-selection round are in Prince George’s County, which historically has been home to many African-American communities that have not seen an equitable share of federal office space. The presence of the new consolidated FBI headquarters would not only meet the needs of the FBI; it would bring economic growth and development to a majority-Black county and its communities, and we hope you will take this into consideration when deciding on a site. Given that the General Services Administration (GSA) has found all three final sites viable, we believe that serious consideration should be given to the two locations being considered in Prince George’s County with the context of the Administration’s priorities. 

In recent decades, federal agencies have been acquiring space and locating more and more middle-class, public-sector jobs in the greater Washington metro area. Prince George’s County, however, has become an outlier as the county that has trailed its regional neighbors in housing federal office space. While the county has 48% of federal warehouse space and 20% of the region’s federal workforce, it hosts only 4% of the region’s federal office space. We can also see the impact of that lower rate of federal office space, with median incomes 48% lower in Prince George’s County than in Fairfax County, Virginia. Indeed, Prince Georgians’ median incomes trail the region as a whole by 18%. Meanwhile, wealth and incomes in Prince George’s County have grown more slowly than in nearby counties, and the District of Columbia. 

Prince George’s County remains the best positioned to serve as the home of the FBI’s new consolidated headquarters. The county offers a talented and educated workforce ready to support such an investment while taking the best advantage of its economic impact to grow local communities that have historically been left behind in allocations of federal office space. Nearby are world-class research and education institutions like the University of Maryland system and Bowie State University, and the sites are close to the National Security Agency; U.S. Cyber Command; Secret Service Training Center; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms Explosives National Laboratory System; Joint Base Andrews; the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center facility in Cheltenham; BWI Marshall Airport; and the Reagan National Airport. 

We hope you will take all of these factors into strong consideration when making a final decision on site selection. Choosing a site in Prince George’s County would not only be good for the FBI, national security, and the environment; it would also further the Biden-Harris Administration’s important equity goals. 

We thank you for considering this view and look forward to remaining engaged with you as this process moves forward. 

Sincerely, 

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