Buttigieg’s Message Ahead of BET Black Economic Alliance Forum

A week from now, our nation will celebrate Juneteenth. It marks the day when enslaved Black people in Texas learned–almost two years after the fact–that the Emancipation Proclamation had rendered them free people. It is a fundamentally American occasion–a celebration of freedom, but also an acknowledgement of freedom delayed. As we observe this day, we must be honest that the hopes stirred almost 160 years ago have still not been fully realized.  

Black Americans are not yet fully free when Black unemployment is still almost twice the national average, when the average Black eighth grader reads at a level far below their white peers, and when Black mothers are 3-4 times more likely to die from pregnancy-related complications than white women. We lack true freedom when so many schools are almost as segregated as they were before Brown v. Board of Education. And, we cannot have freedom when identical resumes with stereotypically white or Black names lead to wildly different chances of being hired. These persistent inequalities have compounded over hundreds of years. They hold back our economy and corrode the American soul.  

Replacing racist policies with neutral ones will not be enough to deliver equality. We must actively work to reverse these harms, which is why I propose that we invest in equity with a plan as bold as the Marshall Plan that rebuilt Europe after World War II. Let’s call it the Douglass Plan for Black America, in honor of Frederick Douglass, who called America to better live up to its promise. Such a plan could help heal the deep wounds of America’s original sin and supercharge economic growth for every American.  

Like my campaign, the plan is structured around three values: freedom, security, and democracy.

When it comes to freedom, America–with only about 5% of the world’s population–is home to nearly 25% of the world’s incarcerated population, and this population is disproportionately Black. We would be a safer and more just country if we did not harshly penalize the poor, or young people who’ve made missteps. By reducing sentencing disparities and ensuring that every returning citizen can reintegrate into society, I commit to using every tool possible to end unnecessary and discriminatory incarceration, with the result of reducing the number of Americans incarcerated by 50 percent. This is not a random target, but the hard math on how many Americans should not be locked up in the first place.

True security means being able to provide food, shelter, and a livelihood. Yet today–as a direct result of slavery, Jim Crow, and ongoing discrimination large and small–for every $100 in wealth a white family has, the average Black family only has $5.04. To combat this wealth gap and encourage greater economic security within the Black community, America should triple the number of entrepreneurs from underserved areas–particularly ones of color–within ten years. This would create over 3 million new jobs and more than $660 billion in new wealth for Black communities and our country, through a number of policies to support this goal. For example, I’m proposing a federal fund–modeled on a Maryland program–that would co-invest in entrepreneurs of color, particularly in low-income communities.

We want to increase the number of successful small businesses in Black communities by 50%, by reforming credit scoring, increasing access to credit, and supporting long-term growth. Under my administration, the federal government will also almost triple its contracting business with minority-owned firms, from just over 9% to 25%. This single proposal could inject more than $100 billion in communities of color. The Douglass Plan would further support the next generation of Black entrepreneurs by expanding access to capital, training entrepreneurs, and rigorously and tracking our progress.

Lastly, we must safeguard our democracy. Americans have lost faith in a political system where dollars outvote people, and where politicians fail to deliver even on ideas supported by an American majority.

This cynicism is nowhere more warranted than in the Black community, where systematic efforts are taking away the right to vote. To counteract this troubling trend, we commit to advancing a 21st Century Voting Rights Act, to ensure that every vote is counted everywhere, particularly in communities with a history of discrimination. This means banning practices like voter ID laws and ensuring that potentially discriminatory changes to voting laws first be reviewed by the Department of Justice. We are not a true democracy if certain Americans are restricted from voting because one party has decided they would be better off if fewer people vote.

I’ll have a lot more to say about these policies in the coming weeks. But the time to act is now. Frederick Douglass once noted that “Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will.” So let’s demand greater freedom, security, and democracy for communities that need it most. Doing so will enrich not just Black America, but all Americans.  

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana and candidate for president of the United States

78 Comments

  1. Diana Koch on June 12, 2019 at 10:44 am

    This reflects a strong awareness of the inequities black America has had to live with for generations . If followed through, I believe this plan could go far in the healing process for for who have unjustly suffered at the hand of national racism. It won’t remedy or “cure “ the shame of what has happened. But it provides practical and tangible steps, cloaked in humility and resolve, to help black American finally have venue to step forward -and have a quality of life far overdue.

    • Diana Koch on June 12, 2019 at 10:45 am

      Diana Koch

    • Craig Ayliffe on June 13, 2019 at 2:29 pm

      This man continues to win me over .

  2. BILL C. Davis on June 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

    Pete is a real human being – he has a brilliant capacity for empathy and deep awareness of the needs of others. He is what government is meant to do. Pete is a genius and a gift I hope America is smart enough to accept.

    • Donald D. Bianco on June 13, 2019 at 12:37 pm

      Amen

    • Gene Ciarlo on June 13, 2019 at 12:38 pm

      Total agreement. Pete is not only brilliant but eminently practical. A key three little words in his editorial speaks volumes: Money outvotes people. It is a grand pitfall of our runaway capitalism. If Pete should be elected as our next president America will see a new renaissance, to the advantage not only of us but of the world. Greatness rests not in military and economic power but in moral maturity and a strong desire for planetary unity. Bravo, Pete. You will make that happen.

    • Suzanne Milton on June 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      Mayor Pete is a true, genuine gift to America.

  3. Melinda Young on June 12, 2019 at 11:16 am

    This is a well thought out and comprehensive plan that could succeed politically and in practice. I hope he can make it happen!

  4. Allah on June 12, 2019 at 12:31 pm

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  5. Davina Gilbert on June 12, 2019 at 1:19 pm

    This sounds like a well thought out plan. In my 55 years of life I have learned that nothing gives an individual more sense of purpose than a solid education. I’m hoping somewhere in this plan you address the disparity of quality education for minority groups across the spectrum. Me Buttigieg, you are s breath of fresh air.

    • Christopher Borders on June 15, 2019 at 2:54 pm

      Elsewhere he’s discussed increasing funding for impoverished schools and expanding access to free and reduced lunch style programs. This would disproportionately help African Americans and he’s mentioned that but I think broadly he wants to be able to sell that as generally helping low income families across the board and doesn’t want to tie it specifically to the Douglass plan here.

  6. DeMarcus Howard on June 12, 2019 at 1:54 pm

    I wasn’t sure about him when I first heard him. Thought he was another Beto, but this man impresses me more every damn day. First politician I can feel that real energy with in my life.

    • Gigi Perrodin on June 12, 2019 at 11:18 pm

      Yes I agree

    • Karen Scott on June 17, 2019 at 10:23 pm

      Keep listening Demarcus! I believe he’s the real deal!

  7. Michael Riggins on June 12, 2019 at 3:13 pm

    Analytical and well researched, the structured policies proposed in the ‘Douglass Plan’, when executed, will go far in bringing equality to not only the black population, but to everyone, and in turn deliver the values you mention, that are held dear by all Americans, freedom, security and democracy. You address many troubling issues facing America today in a straightforward, attainable manner.

  8. Jean Watts I on June 12, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    I have been a fan of Mayor Pete since the first time I read something about him now I am reading what he wants to do as President I am more of a fan. Love you Mayor Pete God Bless and I pray gou win the DNC nominations!!

  9. Kirsta G on June 12, 2019 at 9:21 pm

    Love these ideas! Especially the credit reform and 50% prison reduction goal. Best part is the majority of these ideas can be implemented through federal agencies. HUD, SBA, etc. No need to wait on and rely on Congress to muddy it all up. Hats off to Mayor Pete!

    • Rob Oslan on June 14, 2019 at 7:24 pm

      Pete is the real deal and continues to be a true beacon of hope! Between Pete and Elizabeth Warren our country has a chance for real change!

  10. Jodie Felice on June 12, 2019 at 10:59 pm

    Yes, Pete Buttigieg is genuine, honest and sincere. Yes, his Douglass Plan addresses disparities created by our on-going history of intentional racism through the Plan’s intentional remedies that finally begin to level the economic, political and social playing fields. But a worthy messenger and an intelligent, doable plan is nothing without the tools for success. The tools required are a majority of Representatives and Senators in the U.S. Congress who are also committed to achieving these ends. The heavy lifting in the 2020 election is both electing Pete Buttigieg as president AND (even harder, perhaps) maintaining the Democratic majority in the House and assuring a Democratic majority in the Senate. Without this triple victory, we will suffer four more years of stagnation, festering frustration – and despair. To that end – numerically, there are a lot more Democratically-minded Americans than there are Trump-Republicans, meaning if we each make sure everyone we know is registered and everyone votes, we’ve got this in the bag… even if Russia and other enemy nations try to put their thumbs on our election scales again. Let’s do this!

    • Steve Hagen, Atlanta on June 13, 2019 at 11:26 am

      Well said Jodie!!

    • Sam Hankins on June 13, 2019 at 12:39 pm

      You speak a painful truth. All the good-intentions and policy solutions in the world mean nothing without the means of achieving them. Without Democratic majorities in the House and Senate no Democratic president is going to accomplish anything of real consequence. All he or she can do is mitigate the corrosive damage that continued Republican control of the legislative branch will inflict on this country. Register everyone, do everything necessary to get them to the polls. That’s our only hope.

    • Craig Ayliffe on June 13, 2019 at 2:32 pm

      Excellent !

    • Suzanne Milton on June 13, 2019 at 2:42 pm

      You are correct – the key to success is getting out the vote – we have the people – their vote is critical to success.

    • Dennis on June 13, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Yes! Yes! and Yes!!!

    • Sarah Windsor on June 14, 2019 at 7:41 am

      I hope you’re right!

    • Rob on July 8, 2019 at 11:04 am

      Well said Jodie, just wanted to add if we all agree and I love what I’m reading. We have to do are part by talking him up to our family, friends and neighbors. Also whatever anyone can give to his Campaign will also help him get to the White House!! I really want Pete to be the one to Dump Trump! Keep on getting the word out about mayor Pete, I have only come to start reading about them about a month and a half ago and I’ve given to his campaign as much as I can monthly. Everyone great Comments please make sure you share them again with your family and friends and neighbors.

  11. ~Trina on June 13, 2019 at 5:52 am

    This all sounds great, however, how is he utilizing his current role to push forward a Black Agenda? How is he correcting past ill-actions that occurred under his watch, like Darryl Boykin? Let’s not forget. Integrity matters.

    • Jim McLeod on June 13, 2019 at 10:45 am

      That information has been addressed to my satisfaction, you can look it up on MEETPETE.org under topics or read his autobiography ” Shortest Way Home” for an in depth look at how he learned from his early decisions and what he has done in South Bend to improve the lives of the black community and all his constituents. It’s an amazing read if you are interested in Pete. Be Well.

    • Aykm on June 13, 2019 at 11:41 am

      Oh you’re one of those really helpful purists, eh?

      • Linda on June 13, 2019 at 1:04 pm

        And you have a problem with that because????

    • Robert on June 13, 2019 at 1:13 pm

      One difficult and controversial decision (that many in SB think he made rightly) over a police chief who was breaking the law, under FBI investigation, and had lied to his mayor. If you really think that that makes Pete a racist, then no end of good intentions and policies for black communities will ever convince you.

    • David Stringfellow on June 13, 2019 at 2:37 pm

      You need to provide more than just “Darryl Boykin”. From what I’ve read, Pete acted clearly and decisively on an issue that was eroding his local government when he sacked Boykin. Time will tell, but my hunch is that the move was correct.

  12. Justin Alexander on June 13, 2019 at 10:47 am

    This is a well thought out plan to begin to address some of the structural injustices in society. If cutting incarceration by 50% (from about 0.07% to 0.035% of the population) seems overly ambitious, even achieving this would still leave the US in the top ten countries globally by per capita incarceration and at more than double the UK and quadruple Germany. Currently only a few states such as Vermont and Massachusetts are below the level Mayor Pete is aiming at for the national average. (see https://www.prisonpolicy.org/global/2018.html)

  13. Ruppert Baird on June 13, 2019 at 10:49 am

    You gave seven examples of inequality to cite racist policies. But every one of the inequities you noted has NOTHING to do with policy, but every thing to do with personal choice. More Blacks are unemployed due to their greater rates of lacking high school diplomas. That is a choice, not policy. Eighth graders reading at lower levels has to do with parents choosing not to be involved in their children’s education. Mothers dying at higher rates is mostly due to choices in being a single parent. School ‘segregation’ is the result of choices in where one chooses to live. The high rate of Black incarceration is due to poor career choices, not policy. Every thing you cite is all about choice and personal responsibility, and very little about race or racism. It’s sad that you choose the Politics of Division over the societal needs of personal and social responsibility.

    • Katherine Davies on June 13, 2019 at 11:08 am

      Rupert Baird, I sincerely hope you’re joking but I’m afraid you’re not. The whole point of needing such a plan is that people of color, particularly black people, have been so systematically discriminated against for so long that many have no “choice”. Just one example: housing. Please do your citizen’s duty and educate yourself, on behalf of ALL of your fellow Americans. Look up”redlining” and read about it.

      • David Stringfellow on June 13, 2019 at 2:40 pm

        Well said

    • Lorenzo on June 13, 2019 at 11:20 am

      Mr. Baird, it appears your personal choice is to be ignorant of US history, or perhaps your schools failed you miserably. That, to many minorities, will sound familiar.

    • Charles Field on June 13, 2019 at 11:44 am

      Clearly a white guy in a bow tie.

      • David Stringfellow on June 13, 2019 at 2:41 pm

        Nicely put. Honest.

    • Rick Ambrose on June 13, 2019 at 12:47 pm

      Mr. Baird:
      All of the examples you outline can be coupled to poverty and lack of opportunity. These two issues will destroy any population, regardless of color. Given a hand-up, some guidance and encouragement, we are all capable of amazing things. But unless the basic necessities of food, clothing and shelter are available, advancing to our true potentials is nearly impossible. Money-or the lack of it – creates segregation for all of us. It determines where we CAN live, where we CAN go to school and what opportunities WILL be presented. Employment CREATES self-worth and dignity.

      If we can address poverty and opportunity, we can solve this.

      • Sally Smith on June 13, 2019 at 1:23 pm

        I so agree because I was one of those white girls who grew up in Pennsyltucky during the 50s and 60s with not much of an education and high school teachers who graduated from “normal school”. I had absolutely no opportunity for higher education or a way to even access that opportunity. The plan for my life was marriage/kids. Didn’t matter if I graduated high school or not. Why would I need that? Typing/shorthand classes freed me from that bondage. A couple years of business college paid for by the Veterans Administration and my lot was cast. I supported myself, am a self-reliant retired person and every year when I pay my taxes I am grateful to do so. If we can support war, we can support our poor, disadvantaged families.

    • David Stringfellow on June 13, 2019 at 2:39 pm

      Yes, because any sensible person would “choose” to not get a high school diploma. Rubbish.

    • David L Carver on June 13, 2019 at 6:19 pm

      It is so not a choice. If you are interested in this, I recommend you read: “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness” by Michelle Alexander. She lays out the history of our systemic racist history and how so much of it is now Supreme Court precedent that has eroded the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution for everyone. And how most discrimination is secretly disguised as the failed war on drugs. Fascinating & enlightening read!!

    • Kevin MacLellan on June 14, 2019 at 12:39 am

      Rupert: Talk about a person who is missing the entire point. Mayor Pete’s plan is the first one I have seen that finally takes responsibility for the inequities that we as a society put in place when we created a race of people who were OWNED by another race. The emancipation proclamation was not at all the end of that issue. We deal with the inequalities of slavery every single day. If you believe black people are more likely to choose to not graduate high school, or to choose not to be more involved with their children, or to choose to have children without partners, or to choose to live in areas where schools are segregated, or to choose bad careers, you clearly are CHOOSING not to see the real issues that African Americans face every day as a result of the systematic racism that has been a part of our society since the foundation of the United States.

    • Jodie Felice on June 16, 2019 at 12:07 am

      Ruppert ~ As with so many “arguments” in support of one’s perceptions/beliefs, your observations about the bad personal choices of Blacks in America are missing a crucial element, i.e., the comparative quality of the choices on offer to whites and Blacks.
      In terms of high school diplomas… school quality in this country has always conformed to the economic and social levels of the communities they serve. The Northwest Ordinance established this beyond the original thirteen states and our tax structure has perpetuated these differences until today. De facto segregation is alive and well in the U.S., meaning our neighborhoods, enabled by our banking and real estate priorities, restrict the poor and minorities to live among themselves, and by definition, these neighborhoods don’t have the tax means to support schools that can equip kids to pass the state-legislated tests required to qualify them for a diploma. (I’m a retired teacher and I know of what I speak.)
      In terms of a student’s success in school (beyond the sub-grade schools, class sizes, etc.)… this is not a “Black” issue; it is a poverty issue. My first job in 1968 paid $1.60/hour minimum wage (equivalent to $10.75/hour in 2014.) Today, the minimum wage is $7.25/hour (equivalent to $7.89/hour in 2014 – inflation explains the difference between the equivalencies.) Neither of these minimums was/is a living wage, but today’s minimum wage earnings have deteriorated so severely that to meet the poverty line in the US today ($25,100/year for a family of four) a person would have to work 432.7 – 8 hour days a year. Do the math, Ruppert. The poor in this country are poor beyond your wildest imagination.
      And as for parents’ responsibility for the below-8th grade reading levels, poverty that requires two or three jobs to keep your kids alive minimizes the hours to monitor and tutor your kids attending under-equipped, over-crowded schools.
      And are you kidding me!!! – the deaths of black mothers is due to deficient medical care, something Serena Williams’ near death from a blood clot after delivering her baby had enough celebrity for the public to finally take note of. White single moms don’t die having babies – only Black any-moms do and at the highest rate of death of all developed nations.
      Only a small percentage of blacks can live where they “choose;” the red-lines are drawn by those with wealth to keep the poor out of sight.
      Incarceration has little to do with career choice (look at all of the white collar folks going to prison in recent days,) rather incarceration has much more to do (read the articles / check the statistics) with Blacks being presumed guilty while shopping or sitting in a restaurant or walking down the wrong street or driving a nice car. And they remain in jail, because they can’t pay the fines (with their minimum wages) for tickets which (yes, this, too, is documented) are often intended to be a significant addition to local government coffers, and when Blacks go to trial, they often get much heavier sentences than their white equivalent for the same crime. This isn’t “a bleeding heart” speaking, Ruppert; all of these facts have been documented by reports and statistics for years… Read. Study. Research first-hand and interact with people of color.
      I understand you have made the choice to project the opportunities that you have (which I presume includes being “white”) onto the opportunities that those who aren’t “white” have. Your table was set with one menu of choices. The majority of Blacks have a much different menu from which to select their life options. To believe that each American chooses from the same menu is, at best, naive.
      “Politics of Division” are a product of folks who haven’t put their feet into other people’s shoes, not the folks who point out that their shoes have been pinching them too hard for too long… those too small shoes that our full-menued, white society have pre-printed on their menu of choices. Our dear nation’s original sin was slavery, but our on-going, to-this-day sin is that our policies, our self-righteousness, our stereotypes continue and we aren’t mature enough as a society to full-throatedly acknowledge what we have wrought and what we ignorantly continue to perpetuate. I’m seventy years old, have seen and lived a lot of history, and without a doubt, Pete Buttigieg is right. To fulfill all that we could be as a nation with a full (white) menu of choices for each of us, we need a Douglass Plan and we need it now.

  14. Irami on June 13, 2019 at 11:09 am

    If he were serious about the economic security of Black communities, he would agree to a Federal Job Guarantee. This nonsense that we’ll be saved by Black entrepreneurs competing against Walmart and Amazon and Caterpillar is just nonesense. Buttigieg’s parents were college professors, not entrepreneurs. We want THOSE jobs, and the benefits that come with them.

    • Respoinsibility U2 on June 13, 2019 at 12:45 pm

      What Buttigieg is engineering are more social and economic resources for America, including the jobs and occupations of the future, the educational and infrastructure investments in order to realize them

  15. Lee Murdoch on June 13, 2019 at 11:11 am

    I believe that the most cost effective effort should be to stabilize families and get kids (0-5 yrs) ready to be successful in school

  16. Mark M on June 13, 2019 at 11:22 am

    This is a good start. But I would like to hear reaction from the African American community. Is this enough? Yes I like Mayor Pete and want him to be successful.

  17. Curtis V Smith on June 13, 2019 at 11:41 am

    This is the kind of thinking we need in the White House (and Congress) if we are going to keep our republic. Pete is right–our Country’s treatment of minorities in general is despicable. If that doesn’t bother someone, take into account the vast opportunities we miss as a nation by suppressing contributions from our minority citizens. It’s been a couple of hundred years plus–I don’t think it’s too early to do something BOLD!

    • David Stringfellow on June 13, 2019 at 2:43 pm

      Actually any form of “thinking” in the White House would be welcome!

  18. Kimberlee Tyndall on June 13, 2019 at 11:48 am

    Many (most) white (and black) Americans do not understand how they contribute to the problem of systemic racism. Please add to your plan a Truth and Reconciliation Commission program where members of communities all across the country can tell their stories and be heard. I believe the second part of that sentence to be the more important: “can be heard.” Without a clear understanding of what the impact of our not-conscious actions are, no reconciliation moves forward. To trust one another and to share willingly in the bounties of OUR country, we all need to work at listening and learning. As a woman, I recognize many discriminatory actions by men who would never do so if they understood how their actions are being received. Changing culture takes time, trust, and open minds. We need to start. I think Pete’s proposal has great possibilities….

  19. Lori on June 13, 2019 at 11:51 am

    “So let’s demand greater freedom, security, and democracy for communities that need it most. Doing so will enrich not just Black America, but all Americans.” Anyone who has ever complained about crime or urban blight should contemplate this statement–for as long as it takes to understand that we are all in this together. In a way, helping those in need is a “selfish” act, and it is exactly this enlightened self-interest which I hope will “enlighten” those who want to cut back on social programs.

  20. Larry K Bramble on June 13, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Mayor Pete is the first politician (if you can call him that) that has given me hope. In addition to the above, providing quality education and educational facilities in Black communities is essential. I worked in Harlem as a council facilitator for a time. At the same time there was a new school being completed on the Upper West Side of Manhattan. It was magnificent. The school in Harlem was a pit. It was explained to me that the more taxes that were paid in a given area the more they spent on schools. That has to end (if it hasn’t already) and we have to invest in quality education and facilities for all students.

  21. Jonathan Meyers on June 13, 2019 at 12:25 pm

    While I salute Mayor Pete’s commitment to enhancing black entrepreneurship activity, a focus on just the creation of such businesses is only half of the equation. The greater challenge is, in fact, staying in business and prospering. Accordingly, education in the “nuts and bolts” of operating a business is essential — from understanding the terms of contracts to the creation of financial reports that provide help the entrepreneur in making the best decisions on how do deploy cash through forecasting, cost analyses, and budgeting. To provide that education, basic business programs, funded by our federal government and offered at every community college in the US, is essential. I believe that retired businessmen and women could be enlisted in a “Business Corps” to both teach those classes and mentor first-time entrepreneurs (somewhat like Junior Achievement, but much more sophisticatedly and in depth).

  22. Rick Ambrose on June 13, 2019 at 12:28 pm

    I support Mayor Pete in all his proposals to eliminate prejudice and expand opportunities for all Americans, regardless of gender, race and sexual orientation. It is time to end the meaningless distractions which separate us and get on with the issues and real concerns that affect us as a people, a nation, a species and a planet.

    We made an enormous mistake in 2016 and it is our responsibility to correct it. This may be the most important election in our lifetime, for it will determine whether we are willing to do the things that are hard, fix the the things that are broken and insure the planet does not succumb to exhaustion from our neglect.

    This is not the time for identity politics. As individuals we cannot afford to stay home and mope if the Democratic nominee was not our first choice. The alternative is 4 more years of The Imbecile In Chief, Erraticus Trumpus Caesar.
    As ethnic or special interest groups, we cannot be lazy about not going to voting. In 2016 Millennial and Black turnout was disappointingly low – and it gave the election to Trump. Regardless the Democratic nominee – be it Mayor Pete or a broken piece of furniture – we must give it 100% and VOTE!

  23. Joe Weiler on June 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    There have been hundreds of years of promises made to native Americans and peoplepf color, particularly black people of color. And in all those years far more of those promises have been ignored or outright rejected by those in power … even when they were the same people who made the promises.

    I believe this plan is substantive and well thought out. But more important than that is the character of the man who is proposing it. Each day I become more and more convinced that Mayor Pete is for real. He’s smart. He’s a true public servant, willing to work for the good of others rather than to fill his own coffers.

    There will be lots of plans and proposals presented by all the Democratic candidates. One lesson this nation must learn from the sham presidency of Trump is: It is important to always keep in mind the quality of the proposals made, but more important to keep in mind the credibility and quality of the people who made them, if we expect them to blossom and grow to fulfill the expectations they raised.

    Thanks Pete for being who you are and your willingness to serve us all.

  24. JAne Burdick on June 13, 2019 at 1:16 pm

    I really appreciate the detail that Pete would but into such a plan, and it seems like an attempt to improve Black American’s quality of life.

  25. Richard Wells on June 13, 2019 at 1:36 pm

    Pete is by far the brightest and most articulate of the very intelligent Democratic contenders. Pete is even smarter than Trump thinks Trump is.

  26. Luisa Patterson on June 13, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    Mayor Pete = Hope, Equality and a Government that works for the needs of its people.

  27. Dennis on June 13, 2019 at 2:59 pm

    Mayor Pete, This is just a gut-reaction suggestion. One dramatic and very sensible step to underpin these great ideas would be to select Stacy Abrams as your running mate. I just re-read her book “Lead From The Outside” and that book says it all. As Gloria Steinem said in endorsing Stacy’s book, “Stacy Abrams has everything you want in a candidate: a good legal mind, experience in governance, a deep knowledge of poverty and hard work. If you read her book, you will discover she also has the superpowers of inspiring trust and knowing how to organize.” I truly believe in my guts and soul that a “Pete and Stacy” ticket is a dream team. A Black woman vice-president, WOW! Now, Mayor Pete, it’s up to you and your team to convince Stacy how badly we need her. Dennis

  28. Luther McLain on June 13, 2019 at 3:22 pm

    As a White person raised and educated in the South I am concerned that White people of all walks of life, and our political, business, religious and civic institutions not be allowed sabotage a plan designed to produce cumulative results over a period of time to meet their goals. With each advancement in Black civil rights over the past 65 years new waves of effective opposition sprang up to defeat or circumvent implementation, effectiveness and maintenance of their practice.

    Every citizen must have civil rights education from the cradle to the grave and governments from townships to the Supreme Court must not only be trained in laws relating to the plan but monitored and held accountable under threat of severe punishment for failure to do so. The plan will not succeed with voter suppression, charter schools, religious indifference and uneducated, ignorant people of all ages, economic levels and positions of power.

    Freedom, Democracy, Security for our all citizens can be achieved only through acceptance and commitment of our entire society.

  29. Lou Pesce on June 13, 2019 at 4:03 pm

    Finally a plan that recognizes what exists & what needs to be changed! Equality in education is part of the solution, but not all of it. Yesterday I read an article that will be appearing in July’s issue of The Atlantic. It can be found on the web at:
    https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2019/07/education-isnt-enough/590611/?utm_source=pocket-newtab

    It speaks of the toll that is taken on an impoverished community even where education may be equally available. Pete’s plan addresses both. Read the article and you decide.

    As for myself, I would go one step further, and ask for a law that requires a formula for corporate salaries, so that there is a fixed ratio between the least paid & the highest paid. The company can still do whatever it wants with its money, as long as the ratio is maintained. This will eliminate the greed-system we have today where corporate executives are earning, on average, about 300 times what their average worker earns, compared to the 1950’s where the ratio was about 20 to 1.

    So far, Pete seems to me to be the candidate of the future. Most of the other Democratic candidates seem OK, and ANY of them would be an improvement over what we have in office now. But Pete is a guy whose energy & youth can take us through two terms, and who has the intelligence & wisdom of someone much older. Keep the ideas coming, Pete!

    And remember, whatever party you want to elect as president, make sure you also elect the party that will support them in the Senate & the House. Otherwise, your president will be a lame duck from the get-go!

    • Vincent M on June 15, 2019 at 11:47 am

      I wholeheartedly agree with that last point. Increased wealth for a company means nothing if it is highly concentrated at the top. If we could codify this to law and find ways to sanction companies who try to circumvent this by moving their functions abroad, we will be in a better place. Until then, we need to act to get a trifecta government with Pete as POTUS.

  30. Jayne Ryan Kuroiwa on June 13, 2019 at 4:04 pm

    I would call this a plan for ALL of America, as institutional racism affects us all.

  31. Robert Gordon on June 13, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    I’d be interested in how Mayor Pete feels about lobbyists. For the life of me I have never understood the idea of allowing individuals representing companies with their own agendas anywhere NEAR Congress. Our senators and representatives don’t need to be tempted by these corporations that are “buying” the votes of representatives. Would Mayor Pete be open to crafting legislation that doesn’t just prohibit Congress men & women from accepting such bribes, but which would also punish them for accepting them? Because when Congress’ votes be, for all intents and purposes, bought, then it’s just adding to the kind of corruption that encourages and rewards such betrayals of their oaths to serve their constituents.

    • Kevin MacLellan on June 14, 2019 at 12:52 am

      Mayor Pete does not accept any donations from lobbyists or employees of fossil fuel companies. The legislation you describe, has been written in various forms before, but has never been voted in by congress (no big surprise there!). We will need a democratic majority in The House and The Senate to achieve that goal, but starting with a President that supports it is a great beginning.

    • Harry Blumenthal on August 1, 2019 at 9:10 am

      Mayor Pete takes no Corporate money!
      Your comment is well put, and I believe Mayor Pete would enact what you are suggesting here.
      Very important point you make!

  32. Erin on June 13, 2019 at 8:46 pm

    “The way to right wrongs is to turn the light of truth upon them.” ~ Ida B. Wells

    Voting Rights Advancement Act is needed or something similar. I applaud these steps and would also support Stacey Abrams (correct spelling) on ticket or in prominent position to share her wisdom. Thank you for putting forth these proposals.

  33. Wesley W. on June 14, 2019 at 3:11 pm

    First of all let me explain something with the use of my opinion which will be supported by a visual fact.
    African Americans or descendants of Africans in America are a CREATED race in the image of its
    masters. They are the only CREATED race outside the image of God. There are no white master policies
    that will eliminate this horrible fact. They where CREATED to be sub-human to its white creator. Its in the policies
    and Constitution of this Nation. What the Mayor is proposing is nothing more than a band-aid to a problem that
    is so deep that no mortal human has the conscious nor gut to deal with. The only solution is to allow the Africans
    in America to establish its own Nation inside the boundaries of this land and its territories. With the full freedom
    to re-create itself. Their own government, constitution,education, economy, laws and all other forms of independence
    enjoyed by its captive while being fully protected by the armed forces of the country that created their conditions.
    This is the only form of equality and dignity should be offered and available to this race of people. If the Africans in America was giving this opportunity without any restraints, red tape, bureaucratic strings attached, the two Nations could live side by side in peace and harmony. Now in my opinion, this is what should be offered to this CREATED race by its white European captives. Not more policies, not more rhetoric just to win votes. What the Mayor is suggesting is no different than what has been talked about for generations. Just with modern technological thinking applied. No President, no Congressman or Senator of this country would agree to his policy. Not as long as there are
    individual states (deep south) individual cities, towns, villages etc each with their own hatred, and ideological embedded policies and theories. Freedom is absence of fear from death motivated by hatred and policies. I say, America keep your deep seated hate policies. And allow the African race in America to free itself by being a new and
    separate Nation. I believe this would also free the white conscious mind as well. I believe that white Americans would
    support this concept 100%. If this sounds like a huge unbelievable undertaking, well so was the founding of this Nation. I challenge every intelligent mind, every scholar of higher integrity to stop and think with wild-eyed imagination. “What would America truly be like if not if slavery never happened, but if freedom after slavery was/had been truly freedom”. We certainly wouldn’t be talking about #MAGA. Thank you for listening.

    • Christopher Borders on June 15, 2019 at 3:12 pm

      I think you’re probably kidding or crazy, but in case you’re not and this is a serious idea of yours then I would propose this:
      You convince the top 1% of wealthy Americans to hand over 95% of their assets to African Americans to start this “new nation” and we’ll see if African Americans go for it. How about that buddy?

  34. JoEllen Kelly on June 15, 2019 at 9:47 am

    These are brilliant ideas, but any of them requiring federal-level legislation will die if Mitch McConnell is returned to office, or (worst case scenario) the Senate Speakership. If Mayor Pete’s ideas have any chance of passing through the Senate McConnell has to be SOUNDLY DEFEATED. Getting rid of him is almost as important, some will argue more important, than replacing the president.

  35. turbot on June 15, 2019 at 5:10 pm

    What is the families responsibility in all of this?

  36. Donna D on June 17, 2019 at 6:23 am

    Hello, I have four comments as follows and welcome feedback:

    I like Pete’s Douglass Plan and support the first two proposals around (1) reducing incarceration and improving ex-inmate’s chances of successfully returning to society and (2) boosting minority-run small businesses through better credit access and support for long-term growth. I’m less convinced of the third idea. I understand minority voters are less likely to have voter ID cards, but it also makes sense that an ID should be required to vote. It seems it might be more prudent to increase access to voter ID cards, and focus on other issues that would have more impact on voting results such as minimizing gerrymandering.

    I appreciate the comments in the discussion thread above about capping corporate executive salaries and thought salary-fairness might be a part of the Douglass plan. Here’s an interesting article about a 2013 vote where Switzerland chose not to cap corporate salaries (https://www.usnews.com/opinion/blogs/pat-garofalo/2013/11/25/the-importance-of-switzerlands-112-ceo-pay-cap-vote). The author proposes taxation brackets as an alternative approach.

    I’d like to see more information on Pete’s home website about how his proposed programs would be funded without increasing our national debt. I believe the plan is for funding to come from increased taxes on very high personal income and corporate profits as well as an added financial transactions tax. Longer-term, funding would come from increased tax income from new minority-run businesses and other programs. I admire Pete’s candor and would like to see more transparency around funding sources.

    Last, I appreciate the civil tone in this webpage of discussion. It is ok to disagree, but not to be rude or sarcastic. With a few exceptions, this discussion thread has been respectful and issues-based. Pete models this tone of civility.

  37. Sallyjrw on June 18, 2019 at 5:46 pm

    Donna D, in regards to requiring an ID to vote: voter fraud is such a minuscule problem in US elections. https://www.brennancenter.org/analysis/debunking-voter-fraud-myth. Meanwhile, about 11% of Americans don’t have a photo ID so there’s hundreds of thousands of people who are automatically given a hurdle to vote. https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/courts_law/getting-a-photo-id-so-you-can-vote-is-easy-unless-youre-poor-black-latino-or-elderly/2016/05/23/8d5474ec-20f0-11e6-8690-f14ca9de2972_story.html?utm_term=.d With only half of eligible Americans voting, we should be removing barriers, not adding them. There’s no real benefit and there’s a major cost, two good reasons not to have voter ID laws. Republicans used to be the party of shrinking government bureaucracy, unless it benefits them, I guess.

  38. Mr Baird ...a choice ...i wish it were ...generation have made it not a chioce ...at least not for a few more generations ...and whites will need that much time to understand ...as U just pointed out...You mr. Baird should know better. on June 28, 2019 at 9:06 pm

    Mr Baird …a choice …i wish it were …generation have made it not a choice …at least not for a few more generations …and whites will need that much time to understand …as U just pointed out…You mr. Baird should know better.

  39. harry on November 16, 2019 at 9:44 pm

    Pete is going to tell you what you want to hear. Be very careful about what he says he is going to do. He said he has improved the crime rate in South Bend, I guess someone forgot to tell him that if the numbers increase that is not better. Look at how the debt increased while he was in office. He was more interested in South Bend looking good than balancing the budget of being good. You dont want smoke and mirrors in the office of the President, you want someone who is going to run the country and bring costs down. No granted that last item has more to do with THe Congress and the Senate than President but you get the idea. What Pete and wany other politician says they are going to do , ask your self How can that be done and what is it going to cost. Take the Green New Deal for instance. AOC says the United States can afford that after all she graduated with a Finance degree. How embarrassing to Princeton. She said it will only cost 92Trillion dollars and it has increased since I heard that number. 92 Trillion is more than the GNP of the world, in other words the world couldnt afford it so how it the United States going to afford it. Think about what these guys are doing. Here is how you check out their statements. Whether you cap CEO salaries or you use taxation to limit a CE0s salary. If you owned a company and the U.S, said we are going cap what you can make or we are going to tax you to death what options do you have. Well if you own the company and are CEO or if you are CEO or a board member, then you are in the bracket for the tax. So how can you prevent that? Well you pack the company up and move it out of the country, just like they were doing for a whole lot less of a reason than this stupidity earlier. What started them coming back, “lowering corporate taxes” If they move out people lose jobs, so taxes really tank and the National budge literally goes in the toilet. Unemployment skyrockets and nobody has any money to spend so other companies go out of business or bankrupt and more people lose their job and on the spiral goes. No country has ever taxed their way to out of any financial trouble, ever at any time. If you own a company, you take all the risks and you run the business. If you are not fair you cant get employees, if your dont have fair prices you cant sell your product. That is called capitalism and that is what made America. If you are willing to take the risks, go bankrupt, and lose several times before you find something that makes you a success then you have a right to the rewards, if you are not willing to take these steps then you can work for someone and make a decent living and enjoy life. You wont have expensive cars, airplanes and all that stuff but in the United States you can still be happy. You just cant decided I want everything now and go pick it up. You have to save for things and budget until you can pay for it, and there is nothing wrong with that approach but dont blame someone who chose to be an owner for your problems, they built it, they own it and they deserve the rewards for what they did without the government taking everything from them. Our government has gotten way to big and needs to have its legs cut out from under it and its arms shortent so it can’t damage so much of the country by stupid decisions it make.

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