3 new Dem poli­cies: Polic­ing, LGBTQ rights, vot­ing rights

The Charlotte Observer (Sunday) - - Nation & World - BY MAG­GIE AS­TOR New York Times

With 23 can­di­dates in the Demo­cratic pres­i­den­tial race, it can be hard to keep track of their pol­icy pro­pos­als.

Here are three plans the 2020 can­di­dates have rolled out since June 1 that you may have missed:


Cas­tro, for­mer hous­ing sec­re­tary and for­mer mayor of San An­to­nio, re­leased a plan Mon­day to com­bat racial bias in polic­ing, in­clud­ing in shootings by po­lice of­fi­cers.

Among other things, the plan would cre­ate fed­eral regulation­s re­quir­ing of­fi­cers to “iden­tify them­selves, is­sue a ver­bal warn­ing, and give the sus­pect a rea­son­able amount of time to com­ply be­fore the use of force,” and for­bid deadly force “un­less there is an im­mi­nent threat to the life of an­other per­son, and all other rea­son­able al­ter­na­tives have been ex­hausted.”

It would also ex­pand the use of body cam­eras for of­fi­cers; end the use of “bro­ken win­dows” polic­ing, which tar­gets mi­nor of­fenses; and en­cour­age the creation of civil­ian over­sight boards.

The plan calls on Congress to pass a bill for­bid­ding law en­force­ment “to en­gage in racial pro­fil­ing or to con­duct stops and searches of peo­ple with only vague ex­pla­na­tions of sus­pi­cion,” as well as leg­is­la­tion “to lower the un­fairly high bur­den to pros­e­cute po­lice of­fi­cers for mis­con­duct.”


Gillibrand re­leased a pro­posal June 1 to ex­pand rights for gay, les­bian, bi­sex­ual and trans­gen­der Amer­i­cans.

She pledged to in­struct the Jus­tice Depart­ment to make gen­der iden­tity and sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion pro­tected classes, and to hire lawyers “to fo­cus specif­i­cally and ex­clu­sively on erad­i­cat­ing anti-LGBTQ dis­crim­i­na­tion.” And she urged Congress to cod­ify same-sex mar­riage rights, cur­rently guar­an­teed by the Supreme Court’s Oberge­fell v. Hodges de­ci­sion.

Gillibrand also called for leg­is­la­tion to ban “con­ver­sion ther­apy,” which seeks to change peo­ple’s sex­ual ori­en­ta­tion, and to re­peal the Food and Drug Ad­min­is­tra­tion’s pol­icy pro­hibit­ing gay men from do­nat­ing blood.


O’Rourke’s pro­posal, re­leased Wed­nes­day, aims to in­crease turnout by reg­is­ter­ing tens of mil­lions of new vot­ers and re­mov­ing ob­sta­cles to vot­ing. The plan is di­vided into three parts, with the main goals of in­creas­ing par­tic­i­pa­tion, mak­ing it eas­ier to vote and com­bat­ing for­eign in­ter­fer­ence in elec­tions.

The first sec­tion calls for au­to­matic voter reg­is­tra­tion when a ci­ti­zen in­ter­acts with any gov­ern­ment of­fice, as well as same-day voter reg­is­tra­tion and pre­reg­is­tra­tion for 16- and 17-year-olds. (The vot­ing age would not be low­ered; the pro­posal is to al­low teenagers to regis­ter early so they are on the rolls when they turn 18.)

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