We have never completed the project of Reconstruction. The First Reconstruction was stymied by violent terrorism in the 19th century. The Second Reconstruction was stopped by the white backlash to the civil rights movement. America must reconcile with our past by creating a national Truth and Reconciliation Commission to lead our nation through a process that investigates the generational harms caused by slavery and Jim Crow and propose necessary reparations.
We have the largest prison population in the world. We must end the War on Drugs, end mandatory minimum sentencing and cash bail, end solitary confinement, end private prisons, and move toward a system based in redemption, not punishment.
Law enforcement spends a fifth of its time responding to people with mental illnesses. Many of those cases are not something the police should be involved in at all. Defunding the police is about naming budget priorities and supporting public health programs that truly make our communities safer. We must reallocate resources and invest in education, housing, healthcare, jobs, and other programs that address the root of crime. We must also end qualified immunity, create stronger civilian review boards, demilitarize the police, and support violence interruption programs that have a track record of helping our communities.
Gun violence is a public health crisis in the United States that disproportionately impacts communities of color. More than 90 percent of Americans support expanded background checks, 54 percent want a ban on assault weapons and 54 percent want a ban on high capacity magazines. We agree with the majority of the American people and support these measures. To enact common sense gun safety measures, we must break the NRA’s hold on our corrupt government and prioritize the mental and physical health of the people over the billion-dollar gun manufacturing industry’s bottom line.
We must support measures that keep the cost of rent from skyrocketing and protect the rights of tenants. We must invest in public housing, enforce fair housing standards, and ensure equitable zoning.
Non-discrimination protections that currently apply to race, religion, and gender should be expanded to include the LGBTQ community. Passing the Equality Act would explicitly ban discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender. A Medicare For All system would also expand LGBTQ+ mental health services and protect trans health access.
Healthcare is a human right, and abortion is healthcare. We oppose Republican attacks on Planned Parenthood and women’s health clinics across the country. The Hyde Amendment must be repealed, and under a Medicare For All system all reproductive health services should be provided for free.