South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete Buttigieg got a really big boost to his campaign recently, announcing a staggering $24.8 million fundraising haul over the past three months. But that hasn’t changed one of the toughest realities his candidacy faces: support among black voters that barely registers in the polls.
Countering skeptics who doubt he can win crucial African American voters in the 2020 Democratic primary, Buttigieg rolled out the details of his plan to combat systemic racial inequality, named for legendary abolitionist Frederick Douglass, on NPR’s Morning Edition.
“If you’re a white candidate, it is twice as important for you to be talking about racial inequity and not just describing the problem — which is fashionable in politics — but actually talking about what we’re going to do about it and describing the outcomes we’re trying to solve for,” Buttigieg told NPR.
ABC News reports:
Buttigieg’s plan calls for implementing a health care policy grounded in anti-racism by creating a “National Health Equity Strategy” to focus on black Americans in health systems. A training system also would be put in place to combat racial bias in medical treatments.
The Douglass Plan proposes an increase in federal resources for students at Title I schools that would support supplemental services for low-income students and raise teacher pay. They mayor also intends to implement new regulations to diversify the teaching profession.
To bridge the racial wealth gap in the U.S., Buttigieg is pledging to award 25% of federal contracting to small business owners from underserved communities, including minority and women-owned firms.
CBS News reports:
Buttigieg also wants to see the number of incarcerated people in the U.S. at the federal and state levels drop by 50%. He calls for the elimination of incarceration for drug possession and would reduce sentences for other drug offenses. The plan indicates that the policy would be applied retroactively, meaning past sentences for drug offenses could be modified under the Douglass Plan. Buttigieg also proposes eliminating mandatory minimum sentences and abolishing private prisons at the federal level.
Buttigieg is proposing the creation of a public trust fund to purchase abandoned houses. These properties would be made available to some residents in pilot cities, which the Department of Housing of Urban Development (HUD) would choose, based on a variety of factors, including available employment and the amount of land available. This would be done in conjunction with investments to revitalize the surrounding area.