Breaking Down The Plans: Beto O’Rourke

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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:

  • Rejoining the Paris Agreement
  • Using $500 billion to decarbonize all sectors
  • Setting a carbon budget to achieve 0 emissions on federal lands by 2030
  • Stopping all new fossil fuel leases
  • Giving more than $250 billion to climate research and development
  • More than $1.2 trillion on grants for communities directly impacted by climate change
  • Partnering with cities taking climate action
  • Increasing spending on pre-disaster grants

Gun violence:

  • Signing the No PAC Act into law
  • Creating a federal gun licensing system and raising the age to 21
  • Requiring universal background checks
  • Banning assault weapons, trigger cranks, silencers, and high-capacity magazines
  • Implementing a national buy-back of assault weapons
  • Limiting individuals to one gun purchase a month
  • Implementing red flag laws and close boyfriend, private sale, Charleston loophole
  • Investing $320 million into the CDC’s research of gun violence as a public health crisis
  • Making gun trafficking a federal crime
  • Ban fugitives from purchasing guns
  • Ban 3D printing of guns
  • Giving the ATF full resources to investigate the gun industry
  • Making manufacturers and dealers liable for crimes
  • Restoring the Firearm Safety Act
  • Funding education around firearm safety

Public education/student loan debt:

  • Creating a $500 billion fund to raise wages for teachers and improve schools
  • Creating a committee to hold states accountable for funding with consideration to marginalized students
  • Fully funding the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act
  • Investing $100 billion into physical and digital school infrastructure
  • Banning corporal punishment in schools
  • Providing funds for restorative justice school programs and teacher racial bias training
  • Enacting the Strength in Diversity Act
  • Increasing funding for Title III
  • Forgiving student loan debt tax free for teachers who have worked more than 5 years in public school
  • Forgiving 20% of student loan debt a year for teachers until they hit 5 years
  • Automatically enrolling all eligible recipients into the Public Service Loan Forgiveness Program
  • Forgiving 10% of student loan debt at the end of each year for someone who works in public service
  • Giving colleges $500 million per year for residency programs for HS students
  • Funding HBCUs and MSIs at $500 million per year
  • Making grad school free for anyone who seeks to become a teacher
  • Creating a Master Teacher Corps

Immigration:

  • Reversing all family separation and travel bans
  • Requiring detention only for immigrants with criminal records
  • Eliminating all private, for profit prisons
  • Reinstating the Central American Minors program
  • Increasing staff in the asylum system
  • Making courts independent rather than under the DOJ
  • Expanding the Legal Orientation Program
  • Deploying 2,000 lawyers to the border
  • Halting work on a border wall
  • Boosting staffing for drug inspections
  • Creating a pathway to citizenship
  • Creating a community-based VISA program
  • Increasing the number of people we let have VISAs
  • Creating a Border Oversight Committee
  • Forming a regional alliance with Latin America
  • Investing $5 billion into Latin America through non-governmental organizations

Gender equality:

There is no official plan for gender equality on his website yet.

Racial equality/criminal justice:

  • Legalizing marijuana
  • Ending the cash bail system and mandatory minimumns
  • Increasing funding for public defenders
  • Banning employers from asking about a criminal record
  • Making Pell Grants available to incarcerated people
  • Giving incarcerated people the right to vote

LGBTQIA+ equality:

  • Overturning all of Trump’s LGBTQIA+ discriminatory policies
  • Reinstating Department of Education efforts to protect LGBTQIA+ students
  • Enforcing the Equal Access Rule
  • Directing the DOJ to investigate crimes against trans people specifically trans women of color
  • Allowing trans people to update their names and genders on identity documents
  • Giving LGBTQIA+ people fleeing violence access to the asylum process
  • Tasking the FTC to investigate false advertising that promotes conversion therapy
  • Creating an Interagency task force to stop federal LGBTQIA+ discrimination
  • Appointing openly LGBTQIA+ judges and executive branch members
  • Passing the equality act
  • Banning LGBTQIA+ discrimination in healthcare
  • Reforming the Prison Rape Elimination Act
  • Enacting the Every Child Deserves a Family Act
  • Securing a non-persecution treaty through the International Law commission
  • Establishing a section of the state department for human rights of LGBTQIA+ people

Voting rights:

  • Allowing same day and automatic voter registration
  • Allowing 16 and 17 year olds to pre-register to vote
  • Providing vote coordinators for campus
  • Capping US House and Senate terms to 12 years
  • Capping Supreme Court terms to 18 years
  • Allowing a written statement of identity to replace voter IDs
  • Making Election Day a holiday
  • Facilitating voting by mail
  • Extending early voting to 2 weeks before Election Day
  • Placing polling stations near public transportation
  • Funding state cybersecurity efforts like paper ballots
  • Requiring online platforms to disclose political ad sponsors
  • Holding monthly town halls
  • Banning federal lobbying for anyone who served as or for an elected official

To read more of his plans, go to: https://betoorourke.com/#plans

Opinion: Now that I have factually broken down his plans, I will give my opinion. Take it or leave it. Wow. This guy is so impressive. I don’t think I ever really got into his campaign until writing this break down. If I could rank primary candidates, he is definetly in my top 5. So many points that I just wrote out are brilliant and his plans are ridiculously comprehensive/incredible especially his plan for gun violence which is the best of anyone running. Also, I just think everything he has done integrating honesty into his campaign and speaking the truth consistently is so ridiculously admirable. I think he would be a really good Senator or President.

I write about politics, pop culture, and whatever I feel like talking honestly about. Also, I’m 17.

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