via Marqueece Harris-Dawson's Instagram
Before he was murdered in March, Nipsey Hussle was supposed to meet with local lawmakers to discuss ideas he had to help funnel investment dollars in his native neighborhood of Compton as well as how to combat gentrification in the black communities nationwide. Earlier this week, two of hip hop's most prominent figures picked up where he left off in the nation's capital.
On Wednesday (May 23), T.I. and Charlamagne tha God along with Los Angeles City Councilman Marqueece Harris-Dawson and Hussle's business partner David Goss met with members of the Congressional Black Caucus on Capitol Hill to discuss ways to spur investment in struggling urban and rural areas, according to the L.A. Times.
Along with the meeting, they officially announce the launch of the "Our Opportunity" investment fund at a summit organized by Forbes. The program will have affluent black people—mostly entertainers, celebrities and athletes—invest money into their local neighborhoods using the opportunity zone tax incentive to combat gentrification.
"These folks have things that all of Wall Streets' money put together can't buy," Harris-Dawson said, "and that is what's called street credibility. That is what's called skin in the game and that is what's called confidence [in] their community. That when they make an investment or get involved in a business venture it will … serve the community that they are in and leave the communities in a better place."
"We're like the 'Avengers' of investment," T.I. added, according to Roll Call. "Losing Nipsey Hussle was "like losing Ironman."
The opportunity zone initiative was created as part of legislation written by Sen. Tim Scott (R-South Carolina) and New Jersey Sen. and Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker. Pres. Donald Trump signed it into law as part of the tax bill.
Reps. Karen Bass of Los Angeles, Hakeem Jeffries of New York, Joyce Beatty of Ohio, Steven Horsford of Nevada, Frederica Wilson of Florida, Cedric Richmond of Louisiana, Antonio Delgado of New York, and Majority Whip James E. Clyburn of South Carolina were all in attendance for the meeting that lasted almost two hours.