Breaking Down The Plans: Bernie Sanders

Breaking Down The Plans is a short political writing series that I am doing trying to break down 8 of each Presidential candidate’s plans (the issues that young people most care about) into factual bullet points that anyone can easily digest. I will give my opinion at the end as well as a link to the official website to read more. I’m doing this because 1. I’m a policy geek and 2. not everyone can sit through a 36-page plan. Also, if anything is in bold, it means that I feel it is significant in some way. We are gonna start with the highest polling candidate. Enjoy!

Climate change:

  • Reaching 100% renewable energy for electricity and transportation by 2030
  • Creating 20 million jobs in helping fight the climate crisis
  • Investing $16.3 trillion dollars in climate efforts
  • Guaranteeing a Just Transition for workers and frontline communities
  • Declaring climate change a national emergency
  • Creating a $40 billion Climate Resilency Fund for frontline communities
  • Giving $200 billion to the Green Climate Fund
  • Re-joining the Paris Agreement
  • Re-authorizing the Civilian Conservation Corps and fully funding the Land and Water Conservation Corps
  • Spending $1.52 trillion on renewable energy and $852 billion on clean energy storage
  • Providing $2.18 trillion for low to middle class families and businesses to weatherize
  • Regulating carbon dioxide, methane, and hydrofluorocarbons
  • Creating a federal grant and 0 emissions vehicle program to have 100% renewable transportation
  • Providing $2.9 trillion in grants to help low-middle income people switch to electric vehicles
  • Spending $85.6 billion on a federal electric vehicle charging system
  • Providing $407 billion for schools to transition to electric buses
  • Spending $216 billion to replace all shipping trucks with electric trucks
  • Investing $300 billion to increase public transportation ridership by 65% by 2030
  • Building regional high-speed rails
  • Spending $100 billion to decrease the cost of electric vehicles
  • Investing $500 billion in decarbonization research
  • Establishing a national materials recycling program
  • Re-joining the Paris Agreement
  • Ending fossil fuel financing overseas
  • Funding a $40 billion survey to determine what communities are most vulnerable to climate change
  • Establishing a Office of Climate Resilency for People with Disabilities
  • Passing the WATER Act and the Rebuild America Act
  • Investing $936.1 billion in sustainable and resilient infastructure
  • Giving costal communities $162 billion to adjust to sea level rise
  • Increasing funding for firefighting by $18 billion
  • Providing $25 billion to repair the National Park System
  • Raising taxes on the fossil fuel industry
  • Creating a National Climate Risk report
  • Ending fossil fuel subsidies
  • Banning offshore drilling and fossil fuel extractions on public lands
  • Ending all new fossil fuel permits
  • Banning fracking and mountaintop removal coal mining as well as imports/exports of fossil fuels
  • Placing a fee on Carbon Pollution Intensive Goods being imported
  • Providing a “climate score” for all legislation proposed in Congress
  • Ensuring all agencies abide by Executive Order 12898
  • Overturning the Sandoval Supreme Court decision
  • Dedicating grant funding to Tribes
  • Expanding the Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program by $25 billion
  • Providing $215.8 billion for universal school meals and expanding SNAP by $311 billion
  • Spending $100 billion on fossil fuel well cleanups
  • Investing $410 billion in sustainable farming
  • Investing $1.12 billion in Tribal land access
  • Investing $36 billion in supporting local grocery and organic food efforts

Gun violence:

  • Expanding background checks
  • Ending the gun show loophole
  • Banning the sale of assault weapons
  • Prohibiting high-capacity magazines

Public education/student loan debt:

  • Increasing funding for community driven school de-segregation strategies
  • Establishing a dedicated fund to HBCUs and MSIs
  • Fully funding the DOE’s Office of Civil Rights
  • Banning for-profit charter schools
  • Ensuring states cover fees for the SAT and ACT
  • Providing $5 billion per year for career and technical education
  • Requiring the federal government to spend 50% of funding on special education
  • Giving teachers no less than $60,000 dollars per year
  • Spending $5 billion per year to expand summer and after school programs
  • Providing universal school meals per year
  • Passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Students Non-Discrimination Act
  • Passing the College For All Act to eliminate tuition fees for every college
  • Canceling student debt for 45 million borrowers
  • Providing Pell Grants to low-income students
  • Requiring states to cover the full cost of low-income student’s tuition
  • Placing a cap on student loan debt interest
  • Triple funding for the Work-Study Program
  • Providing $1.3 billion for HBCUs and MSIs
  • Doubling funding for TRIO programs and increasing funding for Grant Up


  • Enacting a pathway to citizenship
  • Expanding DACA and DAPA
  • Providing immediate legal status for people eligible for DACA
  • Restructuring ICE
  • Ending family separation practices
  • Establishing independent oversight of all DHS agencies

Gender equality:

  • Reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act
  • Adopting equal pay through the Paycheck Fairness Act
  • Fully funding Planned Parenthood, Title X, and other reproductive rights initiatives
  • Expanding the WIC program
  • Passing the Equal Rights Amendment

Racial equality/criminal justice:

  • Ending cash bail
  • Legalizing marijuana
  • Eliminating private prisons and detention centers
  • Abolishing the death penalty
  • End all mandatory minimums
  • Ending redlining
  • Raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour
  • Banning for-profit prisons
  • Making prison phone and video calls free of charge
  • Providing state grants to reduce incarceration
  • Witholding funding from states that continue cash bail
  • Ending programs that give police military equipment
  • Creating a federal database of police deadly force
  • Establishing federal standards to use body cameras
  • Conducting a US Attorney General investigation every time someone is killed by police
  • Requiring and funding police training on racial bias
  • Triple congressional spending for defense of poor communities to $14 billion yearly
  • Reinstating a federal parole system
  • Ending “three strikes” laws
  • Expanding the use of alternatives to sentencing
  • Spending more than $25 billion over 5 years to decriminalizing homelessness
  • Creating an independent clemency board in the White House
  • Banning children from being prosecuted in adult courts
  • Ending solitary confinement
  • Providing $5 billion annually to expand community schools
  • Giving free medical care and the right to vote to incarcerated people
  • Establishing an Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties within the DOJ
  • Giving families unlimited access to incarcerated relatives
  • Removing questions regarding criminal history from job applications
  • Funding Cure Violence
  • Creating an Office of Disability in the DOJ
  • Triple funding for Title I

LGBTQIA+ equality:

  • Passing the Equality and Every Child Deserves A Family Acts
  • Ensuring comprehensive healthcare for LGBTQIA+ people

Voting rights:

  • Restoring the Voting Rights Act
  • Making voter registration automatic
  • Overturning Citizens United
  • Abolishing voter ID laws
  • Giving former felons the right to vote
  • Making Election Day a holiday
  • Abolishing super PACs
  • Replacing corporate funding with public funding for elections

Read more about his plans:

Opinion: Now that I have factually broken down his plans, I will give my opinion. Take it or leave it. Wow. Damn. There is a clear reason Bernie is so popular. He is the first candidate I reviewed who had a plan for everything on this list and the only candidate I would feel 110% confident in when it comes to beating climate change. I literally had to take a breather in the middle of breaking down his Green New Deal. Also, he has championed young people his entire career and that just deserves a fat shoutout !!

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