Warren Courts Black Voters With Big Policy Unveiling

Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren speaks during a Nov. 4, 2019, town hall meeting at Grinnell College, in Grinnell, Iowa. (AP Photo/Charlie Neibergall, File)

(CN) – Touting her collaboration with black activists, policy experts and more, Elizabeth Warren published what she called “a working agenda for black America” on Tuesday.

“We must recognize the systemic discrimination that infects our country, and we must work actively – and deliberately – to root it out and set us on a better path,” the Democratic presidential hopeful posted to her campaign website.

The agenda is extensive, drawing on Warren’s many previously announced plans to create paths of opportunity for black Americans. A senator in Massachusetts, Warren described her agenda as a work in progress that will be updated based on input from stakeholders and experts. 

“The path to economic security is steep and rocky for millions of working people in this country,” Warren wrote, “and it is steeper and rockier for Black Americans. … This economic squeeze has touched every community in America; and for Black communities that have stared down structural racism for generations, the squeeze has been even tighter.” (Capitalization in original.)

Warren highlighted how her student debt cancellation plan works to close the wealth gap, how her criminal justice plan pushes back against mass incarceration, and howe her environmental-justice plan would protect those most vulnerable to climate change.

She would also protect reproductive rights and address maternal mortality: black women are three or four times more likely than white women to die from complications during childbirth, Warren noted. 

Her Medicare for All plan would make health care affordable for everyone, she said, and she would also protect LGBTQ rights and ban the discrimination that leads to the murders of black transgender women.  

Among other things, Warren’s plans to address gun violence would prohibit anyone convicted of a hate crime from owning a gun.

The agenda also includes plans to lower rents and address redlining, which has locked many black Americans out of home ownership. Warren noted the black homeownership rate is approximately the same today as it was when housing discrimination was legal.

She said she would also increase Social Security payments by $200 a month while guaranteeing free or affordable early education and child care to all Americans. Going further still, the plan demands higher wages for child care workers, a population in which people of color are represented disproportionately.

Warren promised to crack down on for-profit colleges, noting the overrepresentation of black students among exploited populations. Election reform would put an end to racist voter suppression, and investments in public education would fund schools equitably, fix crumbling infrastructures, and fight school segregation, she said. 

Support of unions and labor reform would put power in the hands of black employees, and a small business equity fund created to boost entrepreneurs of color would create over a million jobs, Warren said. 

In particular, Warren pledged to support black farmers, protecting and offering paths to land ownership and reforming the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

Warren has struggled to win support from black voters, though she’s recently been gaining on former Vice President Joe Biden. Earlier this month Warren was endorsed by more than 100 black women activists. At the end of October she had about 20% support from black voters, while Biden had about 43%.

“If we’re going to reshape our economy, restore our government and save our democracy we need bold, structural solutions to the problems we face as a nation,” Warren wrote. “And that means tackling generations of racial injustice and systemic discrimination head on.”

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