Sandra Bland, Michael Brown, Rekia Boyd, Eric Garner, Walter Scott, Freddie Gray, Jessica Hernandez, Tamir Rice, Jonathan Ferrell, Oscar Grant, Antonio Zambrano-Montes, Samuel DuBose, Anastacio Hernandez-Rojas, and Botham Shem Jean. We know their names.
Each of them died unarmed at the hands of police officers or in police custody. The chants are growing louder. My platform for racial justice is informed by the policies put forth by Sen. Bernie Sanders, the Movement for Black Lives, and Campaign Zero. If elected, I will use my position to demand justice for communities of color. I will fight for the following policies for racial justice as your Representative:
Ending Violence against Black and Brown Communities
- Demilitarize our police forces so they don’t look and act like invading armies. Invest in community policing. Only when we get officers into the communities, working within neighborhoods before trouble arises, do we develop the relationships necessary to make our communities safer together. Among other things, that means increasing civilian oversight of police departments.
- Create a police culture that allows for good officers to report the actions of bad officers without fear of retaliation and allows for a department to follow through on such reports.
- Demand police forces that reflect the diversity of our communities, including in the training academies and leadership.
- Federally fund and require body cameras for law enforcement officers to ensure that they’re held accountable for their actions.
- Require police departments and states to collect data on all shootings and deaths that take place while in police custody, and to make that data public.
- Require Police officers to be trained to de-escalate confrontations and to humanely interact with people who have mental illnesses.
- Make federal resources available to crack down on the illegal activities of hate groups.
Ending Political Disenfranchisement
- Pass legislation to restore voting rights after one has served their sentence.
- Restore the “pre-clearance” formula under the Voting Rights Act, which extended protections to minority voters in states and counties where they were clearly needed. Expand the Act’s scope so that every American, regardless of skin color or national origin, is able to vote freely.
- Make Election Day a federal holiday to increase voters’ ability to participate.
- Make early voting an option for voters who work or study and need the flexibility to vote on evenings or weekends.
- Make no-fault absentee ballots an option for all Americans.
- Automatically register every American to vote when they turn 18 or move to a new state. The burden of registering voters should be on the state, not the individual voter.
- End discriminatory laws and the purging of minority-community names from voting rolls.
- Ensure that there are sufficient polling places and poll workers to prevent long lines from forming at the polls anywhere.
Ending For-Profit Policing
- Ban for-profit prisons, which create an over-incentive to arrest, jail and detain non-violent offenders in order to keep prison beds full.
- End the failed “War on Drugs” and eliminate mandatory minimums which result in sentencing disparities between black and white people.
- Federally legalize Marijuana.
- Allow people in states which legalize marijuana to be able to fully participate in the banking system and not be subject to federal prosecution for using pot.
- Invest in drug courts and physical/mental health interventions for people with substance abuse problems, so that they do not end up in prison but rather treatment facilities.
- Boost investments in education and job training programs to help former inmates rebuild their lives.
- Investigate local governments that are using implicit or explicit quotas for arrests or stops.
- Stop local governments that are relying on fines, fees or asset forfeitures as a steady source of revenue.
- Require police departments to investigate all allegations of wrongdoing, especially those involving the use of force, and prosecute aggressively when necessary. If departments are unwilling or unable to conduct such investigations, the Department of Justice must step in and handle it for them.
Ending Economic Violence
- Fight to make public universities tuition free, paid for with a tax on Wall Street speculators.
- Invest $5.5 billion to create 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans who face high unemployment rates, and further fund job-training opportunities for hundreds of thousands of young adults. This policy would be paid for by ending the loophole allowing Wall Street hedge fund managers to pay a lower tax rate than nurses or truck drivers.
- Increase the minimum wage to a livable wage of $15 an hour, which will increase the wages of about half of African-Americans and nearly 60 percent of Latinos.
- Invest $4.6 trillion over the next 10 years to put more than 13 million Americans to work rebuilding our crumbling cities, roads, bridges, public transportation systems, airports, drinking water systems and other infrastructure needs. This policy is paid for by eliminating offshore corporate tax loopholes.
- Pass federal legislation to ensure pay equity for women.
- Prevent employers from discriminating against applicants based on criminal history, which leads to extremely high unemployment rates among rehabilitated felons.
- Promote policies to give the formerly incarcerated an opportunity for education, including expanding the Second Chance Pell Pilot Program and other reentry programs.
- Ensure access to quality affordable childcare for working families, especially for parents who work non-traditional hours.
- Fundamentally re-write our trade policies and rebuild factories that were closed as a result of bad trade deals.
Ending Environmental Violence
- Protect low-income and minority communities, who are hit worst by the effects of climate change, while also protecting existing energy-sector workers as they transition into clean energy and other jobs.
- Require equal enforcement of environmental, civil rights and public health laws across communities.
- Address the inadequate environmental cleanup efforts of ‘Superfund’ hazardous waste sites in communities of color.
- Stop the unequal exposure of people of color to harmful chemicals, pesticides and other toxins in homes, schools, neighborhoods and workplaces, and challenge faulty assumptions in calculating, assessing and managing risks, discriminatory zoning and land-use practices and exclusionary policies.
- Require federal agencies to develop and implement plans to achieve climate and environmental justice and provide targeted action where the needs are greatest.
- Require environmental analysis for factory pollution permits to consider the disparate and cumulative environmental burden borne by the hosting communities.
- Mandate states to evaluate and report progress made on addressing climate and environmental injustice.
- Promote cleaner manufacturing processes, renewable energy systems and safe product designs that end pollution and the use of toxic chemicals while providing safe jobs and other economic benefits for people of color.