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Bernie Sanders photo
Bernie Sanders
Democrat
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Democratic socialist Bernie Sanders broke into the national consciousness on a powerful far-left platform in 2016. Sanders founded the Congressional Progressive Caucus in 1991. He draws urgency on issues like income inequality and workers' rights from his jobs as a union carpenter and his participation in the Civil Rights Movement while he was a student at the University of Chicago. As a senator, Sanders is an Independent but caucuses with the Democrats.

One of the most important aspects of Sanders' candidacy for his supporters is the consistency of his positions and beliefs. His long tenure in the capitol is marked by a loyalty to the progressive policies he has advocated for for decades. While he began as the only advocate for some of them, many of Sanders' policies and ideas have been assimilated into the mainstream Democratic platform, like Medicare for All and free college tuition.

Sanders' opponents say his sweeping policies lack funding and are too ambitious in light of the political climate. However, he believes that the big challenges facing the country require proposals at the scale necessary to solve them, especially the dire threat of the climate crisis, health care, and income inequality.

Sanders' supporters say he can build the broadest coalition through his populist message and ability to bring new people into the political process - especially young people - who don't often vote.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045, thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our standard.

Among all the candidates, Sanders has one of the most ambitious climate plans. He is aiming for 100 percent renewable energy for transportation and electricity no later than 2030, with complete decarbonization by 2050. His $16.3 trillion plan is the costliest, but his campaign estimates that it would provide 20 million jobs and cover nearly every aspect of the climate crisis.

Sanders is promising to create a $40 billion Climate Justice Resiliency Fund that would help frontline communities, including communities of color, Native communities, the elderly, people with disabilities, and other underserved groups. The fund would help communities navigate an energy revolution with access to jobs and economic development. Another $2.18 trillion would go towards grant assistance for families with low and moderate incomes to weatherize and retrofit their homes. Major national investments would include conservation efforts, research and development, and transit and drinking water system renovations.

Sanders and Warren are the only major candidates who have pledged to ban fracking outright, with Buttigieg seeking to ban new fracking permits and phase out current fracking sites.

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on health care, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for the nation for much less than we currently pay.

Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs still need to be met is mental health care.

Sanders introduced and originally wrote the Medicare for All legislation, a single-payer plan that would largely get rid of private health care options. He contrasts his version of Medicare for All with Warren's by saying that if he is elected, he would implement the policy in his first week in office with a phased roll-out over four years.

In single-payer programs, the government pays for and provides everyone insurance, as opposed to the current model where payment may come from a state, private insurance companies, or federal Medicare. With Medicare for All, all Americans would be automatically enrolled into the healthcare plan; healthcare providers and facilities would remain independent and would be paid by the healthcare plan. Sanders' health care program as proposed would cover every American and be free at the point of service, and would include vision and dental care as well.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Sanders is a co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, but beyond that would guarantee 6 months of family leave as recommended by World Health Organization. His pre-K plan starts at 3 years old, and his Foundations for Success Act would allow all children to receive child care and early education access from 6 weeks old to kindergarten.

Sanders' labor platform is very extensive. Like Warren, he supports sectoral bargaining, ending worker misclassification, extension of labor laws to domestic and farm workers, and allowing government workers to strike. He also wants to give workers ownership in their companies. He has proposed allowing those working for companies with at least $100 million in annual revenue, as well as publicly traded companies, to have ownership. Most notably, Sanders' plan calls for an end to at-will employment. If this legislation were to pass, employers could only terminate workers with "just cause" based on their performance at their job.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. Candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

Sanders is proposing an "Extreme Wealth Tax," a tax on top 0.1 of wealthiest Americans with a net worth of over $32 million. He also wants to establish a federal jobs guarantee and would raise taxes on businesses whose CEOs make at least 50 times that of their median worker. In October 2019, Sanders declared that he does not plan to release a detailed plan of how he'll pay for Medicare for All, opting instead to publish a list of options of how to pay for it. Though he says that the middle class will pay more taxes, Sanders also asserts that savings on from Medicare for All will ultimately mean paying less.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concerns of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality have left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

Sanders' Green New Deal for Public Housing exemplifies his strong belief that affordable homes are a fundamental right, and that public housing is a national asset that we should improve and expand upon. Like Warren, he would work to stop the criminalization of the homeless and would spend $32 billion over five years to end homelessness, including doubling grants for permanent supportive housing.

He is aiming to repeal the Faircloth Amendment to allow the construction of new public housing units, make a $70 billion investment into repairing and modernizing our current public housing stock with energy retrofits, high-quality community spaces, and high-speed internet.

His administration would also expand the National Housing Trust Fund, which builds homes for people with low incomes and fully fund Section 8 housing.

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

Sanders' racial justice policies are woven throughout his platforms. Some of the biggest reforms include re-enfranchising the formerly incarcerated with the right to vote, ending private prisons and mandatory minimums, guaranteeing a job to every American, ending healthcare disparities, and addressing gentrification.

Sanders supports the use of the 10-20-30 approach to federal investments, which focuses "at least 10 percent of total investments to counties where at least 20 percent of the population has lived under the federal poverty line for at least 30 years."

 

For K-12 education, Sanders is proposing a slate of policies aimed at bringing American education up from its global ranking in the 11th spot. Sanders' plan to triple Title I funding for low-income schools is similar to Biden's, but goes much further by investing in a more complete educational revamp. He would enforce school desegregation and fund teacher-training programs to increase educator diversity, ban for-profit charters and stop charter school construction until a national audit is complete, raise teacher salaries and triple educator's tax deductions for out-of-pocket classroom expenses, provide free universal meals in schools, and much more.

Sanders would forgive all $1.6 trillion in student debt for 45 million Americans in addition to making public colleges and universities, trade schools, minority serving institutions, and historically black colleges and universities free.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

Sanders is calling for a $1 trillion investment into American infrastructure, noting that the American Society of Civil Engineers (ASCE) gave the United States a cumulative grade of D+ for the current state of our infrastructure. As part of his Green New Deal plan, he plans to make investments into bridge and road repair, water systems, railways, and more. Much of the funds for these infrastructure plans would come from closing a corporate loophole that allows multinational U.S. companies to stash profits in overseas banks.

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Sanders would break up ICE and Customs and Border Patrol and redistribute their roles to other organizations such as the Department of Justice. In addition, he would go a step further by calling for a moratorium on deportations until his administration completed an audit of current and past immigration policies.

Sanders' health care plan would cover undocumented residents as well as citizens. He also has extensive plans for racial equity, including strengthening labor laws for immigrant workers, including a $15 minimum wage for agricultural workers and a bill of rights for domestic workers. Sanders would provide a path to legal permanent status and citizenship within five years for the 11 million undocumented immigrants currently living in the country.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

In his implementation of Medicare for all, Sanders vows to confront the health disparities across the LGBTQ populations. He would work to ensure available mental health care, access to PrEP, a highly effective daily medication for prevention of HIV, gender affirming health care. On education, he also states that he will help LGBTQ students by passing the Safe Schools Improvement Act and the Student Non-Discrimination Act.

Abroad, he pledges to assist in the worldwide protection of LGTBQ people with "strong and binding" human rights standards.



Elizabeth Warren photo
Elizabeth Warren
Democrat
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Senator Elizabeth Warren has represented Massachusetts since her election in 2012. She represents the more progressive wing of Democratic candidates with her detailed proposals for overhauling health care, education, and more.

Prior to her time in the Senate, Warren was a lawyer, Harvard professor, and bankruptcy law expert who came into politics after becoming chair of the Congressional Oversight Panel for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP), which was created during the mortgage crisis of 2008. Later, she was appointed by President Obama to set up and serve as the interim director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which was created to oversee and regulate abusive debt practices and crack down on unsavory mortgage lenders.

Warren is the only candidate with experience managing a federal agency. Her in-depth knowledge and study of finances of the American family and the economy that has failed low- and middle-income Americans gives her a complex and detailed understanding of the bureaucracy that she would be expected to drive as president.

Warren's supporters say she is well positioned to unite the far-left and moderate wings of the Democratic party behind her anti-corruption and structural reform platform.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045, thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our standard.

Part of Warren's climate plan is her concept of "economic patriotism." She is promising to invest $1.5 trillion in manufacturing and innovation of green technology to create jobs and jumpstart American industry the way the space race did. Her "Blue New Deal" includes expanding protections for inland waterways and protected marine environments, building climate smart ports, and expanding offshore wind development.

Warren also adopted Gov. Jay Inslee's action plan to achieve 100% clean energy for America, which she would pay for by reversing Trump's tax cuts for corporations and the wealthy. She wants to reach 100% renewable and zero-emission energy in electricity generation by 2035, with an interim target of 100% carbon-neutral power by 2030. The estimated cost of her plan hovers around $10 trillion.

Sanders and Warren are the only major candidates who have pledged to ban fracking outright, with Buttigieg seeking to ban new fracking permits and phase out current fracking sites.

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on healthcare, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for the nation for much less than we currently pay.

Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs still need to be met is mental health care.

Warren is a co-sponsor for the Medicare for All bill proposed by Sanders. Unlike Sanders' plan, however, Warren's health care plan includes a transition period with an optional government-run health insurance plan in the first three months of her presidency, followed by full Medicare for All in the third year.

This expansive health care reform would cover children and people with lower incomes free of charge. For people with disabilities, Warren pledges to improve access to benefits, including implementing policies like eliminating the waiting period for Social Security Disability Insurance and Medicare. The senator asserts that her plan would cost just under the $52 trillion that we already spend on healthcare over 10 years, but would have coverage for everyone and much better accessibility.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Warren is a co-sponsor of the FAMILY Act, which would provide 12 weeks of paid leave, and she would require federal contractors to extend these benefits to all employees. State or local partners would decide when children should be offered pre-K.

Like Sen. Sanders, Warren's labor plan is among the most ambitious in the field. She supports sectoral bargaining, which allows workers to negotiate on the industry level, not just the employer level. She also supports reforms ending the misclassification of workers as “independent contractors” to dodge paying them overtime, extending labor law coverage to farm and domestic workers, and ensuring that federal workers can strike.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. Candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

Warrens aims to fund her ambitious programs with an Ultra-Millionaire Tax on America’s 75,000 richest families, who have a net worth of $50 million or more. This annual 2 percent tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 6 percent tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion would bring $3.75 trillion in over ten years. Taxes such as the ones proposed by Warren and Sanders would close the gap between the U.S. tax rate and those of other industrialized nations.

Rather than attempting to fix loopholes in corporate taxes, Warren is proposing the Real Corporate Profits Tax, which she says would contain no loopholes to begin with.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concerns of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality have left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

Warren points out that the primary cost of unaffordable housing is a massive lack of affordable homes, as well as state and local laws that increase housing costs. She would work to stop criminalizing homelessness by denying grant money to police departments that arrest people for living outside.

Her plan, the American Housing and Economic Mobility Act, which she introduced in the Senate in 2018, would invest $500 billion over ten years to build and rehab housing units for lower-income families, rural communities, tribes, and middle-income renters in communities with severe housing shortages. It would be paid for by lowering the threshold on the estate tax from $22 million to $7 million, which would affect 14,000 of the wealthiest families. She would also start a grant program that local governments where local governments can apply for funds to build out parks, roads, schools, and other infrastructure, but in return must reform their land-use rules to allow more affordable housing.

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

Warren got off to a rocky start by asserting her Indigenous ancestry and offering DNA results to 'prove' it, for which she has since apologized. Warren has made great strides in incorporating a racial justice component in many of her plans. She has been working with Rep. Deb Haaland on a proposal they call the Honoring Promises to Native Nations Act, which would fulfill the U.S.'s trust and treaty obligations to Indigenous nations by guaranteeing program funding, creating a permanent, Cabinet-level White House Council on Native American Affairs, updating infrastructure in tribal lands, and much more.

She has an in-depth section on serving the Latinx community in office, including combating the racial wealth gap, fighting for a fairer work week, protections against language-based harassment by landlords, and a vast immigration plan. In addition, Warren pledges to end disparities between crack and powder cocaine sentencing, invest in interruption and early intervention in housing, education, and other critical areas in the school to prison pipeline, reform law enforcement, and end cash bail and other financial penalties that disproportionately affect people of color.

Warren plans to improve public education by quadrupling federal funding for schools serving low-income families, equaling $450 billion over 10 years. These policies would be paid for by Warren's wealth tax on those with a net worth over $50 million. Her plans take disparities between schools and students into account with policies aimed towards desegregation, mental health care, special education, and bilingual programs. Of particular note is that Warren would ban for-profit charter schools and end federal contributions for new charter schools.

On higher education, Warren supports a free four years of tuition at public colleges and universities, as well as the elimination of student loan debt for borrowers making less than $100,000, and some funds for those earning up to $250,000.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

Warren nests her plans for infrastructure within her broader call for environmental reform. She would triple the budget of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers so that they could take on updates to outdated water systems. She would instate strong environmental rules for all infrastructure projects, and go a step further by revoking the permits of projects in Tribal land that don't have full tribal consent, like Keystone XL. Warren would also invest in levee repair, green school infrastructure, transit expansion and more, with an eye towards traditionally ignored and underfunded communities.

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Warren wants to reverse the criminalization of those entering the country without authorization. This particular policy, Section 1325, is the provision of federal law that has been utilized by Trump for his extreme border policies. Her plan also aims to reduce the threat of ICE on several fronts, including refocusing their efforts on issues like human trafficking and smuggling. Warren would also eliminate private detention facilities, and end immigration enforcement raids on schools, hospitals, and other facilities.

Of note is her promise to admit six to eight times as many refugees as Trump in her early days in office, bringing in about 125,000 refugees in her first year and increasing that number to 175,000 by the end of her first term. Under her administration, undocumented immigrants would receive healthcare coverage. She would also create an Office of New Americans to help recent arrivals transition with language, employment, and civics classes.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

Warren would institute a nationwide ban on conversion therapy. For transgender, non-binary, and other gender diverse Americans, she would make it easier to change IDs to reflect their gender identity.

Warren would also require organizations that receive federal grants to have a clear non-discrimination policy prohibiting discrimination against the LGBTQ people they serve. She also would increase federal enforcement of laws on the books, like the review of discrimination complaints to HUD and testing for anti-LGBTQ discrimination. This includes policies such as having civil rights testers make test calls to shelters to make sure that, for example, transgender women receive appropriate placement in the shelter.

She explicitly calls for an end to the murder of transgender women, naming specifically how the majority of the women killed were Black, and pledges to create a new grant program to funnel resources to organizations run by and for transgender people, especially people of color. 



Pete Buttigieg photo
Pete Buttigieg
Democrat
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Pete Buttigieg has served as mayor of South Bend, Indiana for eight years. Prior to taking office, he worked as a consultant at the McKinsey firm in Chicago. During his first term, Buttigieg took a leave of absence for a Navy deployment as a counterintelligence officer in Afghanistan. He is the first openly gay man to launch a major campaign for the presidency, as well as the youngest major candidate running for the Democratic nomination.

Generally, Buttigieg is running in the more moderate wing of the Democratic presidential field, though many of his policy proposals are still progressive relative to those of Democratic presidential candidates in recent years. "Mayor Pete" is positioning himself as a down-to-earth politician who is critical of the state of Washington, D.C. However, some of his policies are incomplete or not as explicit as those of his opponents, and his mayoral record leaves him open to criticism on some issues, especially around racial justice. 

Buttigieg's supporters say it's time for fresh leadership from outside Washington, D.C. and that his profile as a young veteran would be a strong contrast with Trump.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045, thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our standard.

As a supporter of the Green New Deal, Buttigieg is aiming for zero net emissions by 2050. Hand-in-hand with that goal are a set of benchmarks such as doubling clean electricity production by 2025 and zero emissions in electricity generation by 2035. He supports a carbon tax and is putting a special emphasis on helping small towns like South Bend transition to a clean energy economy. City-friendly policies include job training, and clean energy and disaster resilience projects. Buttigieg is calling for a ban on new fracking and a "rapid end" to current fracking. Though not outlined on his site, he has reported elsewhere that the cost of his projects would be between $1.5 and $2 trillion.

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on healthcare, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for the nation for much less than we currently pay.

Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs still need to be met is mental health care.

Buttigieg states that he would offer "Medicare for all who want it," in the form of a health care option available on the public health exchanges. He estimates that this would result in a situation like Medicare for All, saying that Americans would choose Medicare as the most affordable and high coverage public option. He estimates the cost of this plan to be $1.5 trillion over 10 years. He also pledges to cap premiums at 8.5 percent for everyone and cap out-of-pocket expenses for seniors on Medicare.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Buttigieg is calling for a $700 billion plan for universal childcare from infancy to five years old. He also supports 12 weeks of paid family leave. Like some of his other policies, there is some lack of clarity on how he would raise the revenue for these reforms - his campaign has stated that Buttigieg would implement "greater tax enforcement" on the very wealthy rather than commit to a new tax on them.

He also supports the Protecting the Right to Organize Act, which bans "right to work" laws that conservatives support as a way to undermine unions. He supports sectoral bargaining, allowing franchise employees to bargain with multiple employers at once, as well as a revised H-1B and H-2B proposal that would untie visa status from working with specific employers.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. Candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

Buttigieg has said that he'll "substantially" increase marginal tax rates on upper-income Americans, but has not said by how much. It is unlikely that he will go as far as the progressive wing of the candidates, as he as called Warren's plan "extreme." However, his campaign lacks details about both spending and revenue aside from raising the corporate tax rate, greater tax enforcement, and rolling back Trump's tax cuts for the wealthy.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concerns of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality have left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

Buttigieg's housing plan centers on building or repairing 2 million homes for those with the lowest incomes and expanding federal protections against eviction, among other things. His Community Homestead Act would be a public trust that purchases abandoned land and gives it to eligible residents in pilot cities, while partnering with local organizations to build infrastructure and facilities in the area. He estimates the cost of the plan to be $430 billion. Like many of the other candidates, Buttigieg is also pledging to expand federal eviction and harassment protections.

As mayor of South Bend, Buttigieg points to a 33 percent drop in homelessness as a sign of his effectiveness at tackling the issue. However, advocates have noted the discrepancy for these numbers when it comes to the Black and Latinx communities. 

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

Buttigieg has had a tumultuous relationship with the Black voters of his city during his tenure as mayor. He's been criticized by the community on several fronts - especially on economic inequality in his city, on the firing of South Bend's black police chief, and over the handling of a white officer's shooting of a Black man, Eric Logan.

As a presidential candidate, his "Douglass Plan" to combat racial inequality is comprehensive. Some of the biggest highlights include restoring voting rights to the formerly incarcerated and his Community Homestead Act to boost home ownership for those living in historically redlined or racially segregated areas. He has also devised a platform for working in partnership with Indigenous communities on climate and other issues, and a $25 billion Black entrepreneurship fund. Buttigieg, like some of his rivals, supports a slate of criminal justice reforms as well, including ending incarceration for drug possession on the federal level, reducing incarceration levels by 50 percent, and eliminating arrests for being unable to pay fines.

Buttigieg's K-12 education plan is similar to those of other Democratic candidates with its emphasis on families with lower incomes and student of color. He would triple funding for Title I schools, create a $500 million dollar fund to incentivize racial and economic desegregation, and offer free child care "for those most in need."

He would also create a $10 billion equity fund to create and implement new policies and practices to bridge the opportunity gap for students from marginalized communities, and create a universal subsidy program for pre-K children. On higher education, Buttigieg is more moderate than candidates like Warren and Sanders. He believes that while college is too expensive, giving free tuition to students from wealthy families would be unfair. Instead, he aims to reduce the cost of a four-year education. His $500 billion plan would make two- and four-year public colleges free for students whose families earn less than $100,000, and reduced for families making $100,000 to $150,000.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

Buttigieg is advancing a $1 trillion infrastructure plan that aims to ensure access to clean water, expand broadband internet, and update the majority of the nation's roads and bridges by 2030. He emphasizes the importance of expanding transportation options, especially in rural areas and to connect workers to their jobs. His campaign estimates that the plan would employ 6 million workers.

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Buttigieg's immigration plans include closing all for-profit detention facilities and bringing back an Obama-era program that paired families with a caseworker. This alternative helped keep families together, but was ended by Trump. Instead of keeping asylum seekers in facilities run by Customs and Border Protection, he would pivot to new facilities run by Health and Human Services. Like Warren and Sanders, Buttigieg would decriminalize crossing the border, reverting it to a civil offense. While unwilling to abolish ICE, he says that he would conduct a review to see how it could be restructured.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

Many of Buttigieg's more unique LGTBQ rights proposals center health care. Like other candidates, Buttigieg would ensure access to medical care, including gender-affirming procedures and treatments, and would require insurance companies to cover PrEP. His policies would also aim to end the health disparity for lesbian and bisexual women. One of his biggest healthcare goals is to end HIV/AIDS by 2030.

In addition, Buttigieg is proposing a ban on medically unnecessary gender assignment surgeries on intersex infants and children.

Outside of health care, Buttigieg would ensure that passports include "they" as a non-binary gender option.



Amy Klobuchar photo
Amy Klobuchar
Democrat
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Senator Amy Klobuchar is an attorney and former county prosecutor who has represented Minnesota in the U.S. Senate since 2006.

She has been successful and prolific in Congress, with almost twice as many bills sponsored than the next leading congressional candidates (69 bills, compared to runner-up Warren's 33). In 2016 alone, Klobuchar passed 27 bills that she sponsored or co-sponsored into law, more than any other senator that year.

Klobuchar is in the more moderate half of the Democratic presidential field. She is against Medicare for All and though she is a co-sponsor does not support the Green New Deal as anything but "aspirational." 

Her experience, willingness to work across the aisle, and her general stance on rejecting the bigger, bolder proposals of her opponents has earned her some support, particularly from voters looking for a more moderate voice promoting civility and collaboration.

Klobuchar's supporters say her track record of winning three times statewide in Minnesota - including in conservative areas - combined with her more moderate positions on some issues would position her well to win in November.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045 thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our state standard.

As a U.S. Senator, Klobuchar co-sponsored legislation to create a Green New Deal and has pledged not to take any campaign contributions of more than $200 from fossil fuel companies or employees. In addition she supports legislation to achieve net zero emissions by 2050, which is slightly less ambitious than some of her competitors. Klobuchar has proposed a $1 trillion infrastructure package that would include significant energy efficiency upgrades.

In a nod to her Minnesota roots, Klobuchar has a plan to spur clean energy development and conservation on farms and rural areas across the Midwest. This ranges from increasing wind and solar energy production to giving farmers more tools to prevent erosion and pollution on their land. She believes investments in clean energy can be the cornerstone of economic development efforts in struggling rural areas.

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on health care, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for the nation for much less than we currently pay. Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs still need to be met is mental health care.

Klobuchar supports a public option as a pathway to universal health care access for all Americans. She has been a vocal supporter of the Affordable Care Act and wants to expand and improve the law. She does not support Medicare for All and has criticized some of her fellow candidates for their support of it. Klobuchar has not yet said how much her plan would cost or how she would pay for it.

The senator has spoken openly about the devastating toll that addiction has had on her family and so many others across the Midwest. As a result, one of her signature issues is a $100 billion plan to combat addiction and improve mental health care.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Klobuchar supports 12 weeks of paid family leave and provision of paid sick days. As a co-sponsor of Senator Murray’s Protecting the Right to Organize Act, Klobuchar is in favor of banning the permanent replacement of workers who participate in strikes, preventing worker misclassification, and increasing penalties on employers who violate workers' rights. Like several other candidates, she would overturn the Trump administration's rules that restrict federal workers' collective bargaining rights and restore Obama-era overtime rules.

The senator is also invested in doubling the number of apprenticeships, with a specific focus on women and people of color in the construction industry, with a goal of over a million apprenticeships by the end of her first term.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. Candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

Klobuchar would raise or expand several existing taxes to pay for her policy proposals, though much less ambitiously than some of her rivals. Klobuchar would require people who earn $1 million or more per year to pay at least a 30 percent tax rate. In addition, she would increase taxes on capital gains and dividends for people in the top two tax brackets.

On corporate taxes, Klobuchar would raise rates to 25 percent from the existing 21 percent. This would leave the corporate tax rate significantly below 35 percent, which was in place prior to the Trump administration's tax cuts.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concern of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality has left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

As a senator, Klobuchar co-sponsored legislation to adjust the low-income housing tax credit and encourage families who receive housing assistance to move into areas with lower poverty rates, as well as sponsored legislation to support homeless veterans in rural and underserved areas.

Klobuchar states that she would invest over $1 trillion in a housing-first plan to reduce homelessness. Some key points of this plan include providing Section 8 rental assistance to all qualifying Americans, investing a minimum of $40 billion a year in the Housing Trust Fund, and preventing segregation and discrimination, including banning landlords from discriminating based on income. She will also prioritize grants local governments that update their zoning laws to include less single-family zoning.

However, advocates have criticized her plan for lacking details like the exact amount that will be invested in existing federal programs.

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

Klobuchar has faced scrutiny for her record as a "tough on crime" prosecutor in Minnesota. During her tenure she pushed for harsher penalties for repeat offenders, more prosecution and harsher penalties for drug dealers, and more prosecutions connected to truancy. She has also been questioned about the case of Myon Burrell, a young Black man who was twice tried and convicted of the murder of an 11-year-old girl. However, his guilt has been questioned by advocates and an Associated Press investigation called into question some of the evidence used in the case. Her campaign has emphasized that Klobuchar was a prosecutor in the first trial but was not involved in the second.

Her racial justice plan focuses on Indigenous people, and includes priorities such as consulting all 573 tribal nations on all matters of federal policy, addressing violence against Indigenous women and girls, and consulting with tribal leaders to fight addiction and substance abuse.

Klobuchar is against the loan forgiveness and debt-free college proposals of Sanders and Warren. Instead, she's proposing the elimination of tuition at community colleges through a federal matching program with states. Her plan also expands Pell grants, available mostly to students with lower incomes, and aims to reduce the first two years of tuition for students with lower incomes who are attending four-year universities. Her campaign reports that the cost of her plan is $500 billion over 10 years, less than the plans of Biden, Sanders, and Warren, and the same as Buttigieg. Bloomberg has yet to release a cost for his plan.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

Infrastructure would be Klobuchar's top budget priority. Her $1 trillion plan includes repair and maintenance of America's roads and bridges, modernizing ports and levees, and stabilizing the Highway Trust Fund. She wants connect every household to broadband internet by 2022, with a focus on rural areas. Also included in the cost of the senator's plans would be expansion of freight and passenger rail lines, investment in public transit, and additional green public infrastructure. She plans to pay for these infrastructure upgrades with a corporate tax adjustment to 25 percent.This would leave the corporate tax rate significantly below 35 percent, which was in place prior to the Trump administration's tax cuts..

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ. Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Like several other Democratic candidates, Klobuchar supports an end to for-profit detention of asylum seekers in addition to a pathway to citizenship for Dreamers. She also supports the protection of funding for the Northern Triangle countries of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, limiting ICE's detention budget, and reducing the size of the immigration detention system.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

Klobuchar been a supporter of LGBTQ equality in the U.S. Senate, including voting to repeal Don't Ask Don't Tell, supporting the Matthew Shepard hate crimes legislation, and repealing the federal ban on same-sex marriage. In addition, she would ban conversion therapy at the federal level and invest more in suicide prevention programs focused on LGBTQ youth.



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Joe Biden
Democrat
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Former Vice President Joe Biden has a long track record of public service dating back to his first election to the U.S. Senate in 1972 at the age of 29. His current political positioning is somewhat more moderate than candidates like Sens. Warren and Sanders, though many of his policy proposals are still progressive relative to those of Democratic presidential candidates in recent years. Biden's experience separates him from other candidates, though his long record also opens him up for criticism on past positions. His proposed $3.2 trillion in spending on climate, health care, infrastructure, and higher education is far less than other candidates have proposed.

Backed by more moderate Democrats, Biden is more willing to work across the aisle to build bipartisan coalitions than many of his colleagues. However, he has struggled to build momentum with younger, more progressive voters.

Biden's supporters say he has the experience, diverse base of support, and ability to work across the aisle necessary to beat Trump and enact a Democratic agenda as president.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045 thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our state standard.

In a move that surprised some Democrats, Biden appears to have been pushed leftwards by progressive sentiment and embraced the Green New Deal, with some additions of his own. Biden is calling for a $1.7 trillion dollar investment from Congress in clean energy research, as well as a requirement that public companies disclose climate-incurred costs. He intends to create a series of executive orders that would require any federal permitting decision to consider the effects of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. He wants the U.S. to reach a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by no later than 2050.

He has a longer record than other candidates on energy issues, which also leaves room for missed votes and contradictions. For example, Obama's 2009 energy strategy allowed for the growth of renewable energy, but also fracking and natural gas production. In the CNN September climate debate, Biden said that he would not try to ban fracking nationally but would ban new wells on public land (presidents cannot act unilaterally on private lands).

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on healthcare, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for the nation for much less than we currently pay.

Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs still need to be met is mental health care.

While not as far-reaching as plans of other candidates, Biden's health care reform would substantially affect American health care and build on the foundations of the Affordable Care Act. Biden is proposing the creation of a public option that would allow everyone the choice of buying into a public health insurance option like Medicare. Because the government has much higher purchasing and bargaining power than private insurance companies, such an option would likely be much cheaper for patients. His plan also aims to tackle surprise costs from emergency room bills when patients don't have the option of choosing an in-network provider and measures to reduce the pharmaceutical costs.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Biden's plan for workers allows for 12 weeks guaranteed paid sick and family leave. As of February 2020, Biden has not released a comprehensive childcare plan, but he has called for universal pre-K with open enrollment at 3 years old.

Some unions have already declared their support for the former vice president, including those representing firefighters, ironworkers, and electrical workers. Biden's labor plans include support of secondary boycotts, expansion of farmworker and domestic worker protections, and a ban on permanent replacement of striking workers, policies that he shares with the more progressive candidates seeking nomination.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. Candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

Biden would pay for $3.2 trillion in policy proposals with increased taxes on corporations, closing loopholes that allow companies like Netflix and Amazon to avoid paying federal income tax, and taxing capital gains as income. Biden's plans would lower taxes on middle- and lower-income families while raising taxes on capital owners. He would tax capital gains as normal income, raise the corporate rate to 28 percent, revert 2009 real estate tax rates, and cap the value of tax breaks at 28 percent for the wealthiest earners. Biden would also reverse Trump's tax cut for the wealthy and corporations.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concern of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality has left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

As of February 14, 2020, Biden is the only candidate without a housing platform, though in the same month he made a statement to the Sacramento Bee that he plans to "fully fund housing," make sure that everyone has access to Section 8 housing, and ensure that no one should pay more than 30 percent of their income to housing. Of particular note is Biden's proposal to ensure that 100% of formerly incarcerated individuals have housing upon re-entry.

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

There are several aspects of Biden's record on racial justice that he must acknowledge and address. His past support for the war on drugs, his "predators" comments about African American men, his failure to call witnesses for or support Anita Hill, and his sponsorship of a 1975 bill that made it more difficult to mandate desegregation by bus are just a few past examples. Biden is also behind his opponents when it comes to a lack of a platform for Indigenous communities and his refusal to repeal Section 1325, the section of U.S. immigration law that makes unauthorized entry a criminal rather than a civil offense. Some of the more successful areas of Biden's racial justice platform include his support of ending cash bail, eliminating mandatory minimums, and addressing "green gentrification" to keep families of color in their homes after climate improvements have been made. 

Biden is on the more moderate end of the spectrum when it comes to addressing student loan debt. He is calling for a fix to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness program, an existing program that cancels the debt of those who work in service jobs for ten years. Outside of higher education, the former vice president is proposing a tripling of federal funding for Title I low-income school districts, totaling about $48 billion, as well as increased pay for teachers and an unspecified amount of increase for mental health care in schools.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

The former vice president is calling for major investments in transit in high-poverty areas ($10 billion over 10 years), as well as in high-speed rail, biking, transit, and $50 billion on bridge and road repair. Biden is ascribing to the "complete streets" model of transportation that is lauded by experts for accommodating many different types of transportation. He states that he will pay for his $1.3 trillion dollar plan through a combination of measures like reversing Trump's tax cuts, increasing taxes on the very wealthy and corporations, and ending fossil fuel subsidies.

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived in the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Biden has taken some heat from Democrats on his immigration record as vice president. Additionally, Biden is the only remaining major candidate who would leave Section 1325, the policy that makes unauthorized entry a criminal offense rather than a civil one, in place. During a debate exchange with Julian Castro, the former vice president stated, "If you cross the border illegally, you should be able to be sent back. It's a crime."

The rest of Biden's immigration plans fall mostly in line with the current Democratic platform - a rollback of the Trump administration's most hostile policies, including ending the "national emergency" that Trump is using to siphon money for a border wall, stopping the breakup of families, lifting asylum restrictions, and more.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ+ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

Biden points to the accomplishments of the Obama administration as benchmarks of his success protecting and expanding LGBTQ+ rights, including the repeal of Don't Ask Don't Tell and the passage of the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act. In June of 2019, he stated that the Equality Act would be his top legislative priority as president, which if passed would grant federal protection against discrimination for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and queer people. The act would amend existing civil rights laws like the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to to explicitly include sexual orientation and gender identity as federally protected characteristics in public spaces, federally funded programs, and services.



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Mike Bloomberg
Democrat
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Mike Bloomberg is a former Republican mayor of New York City. His record running the largest city in the U.S. comes with a wealth of experience, including successes on some issues like gun violence coupled with a legacy of problematic policies like "stop and frisk."

The majority of the former mayor's astronomical wealth comes from his 88% ownership of Bloomberg LP, a financial data company that offers access to Bloomberg terminals and live market information. Bloomberg's net worth of $60 billion allows him to run an unprecedented style of campaign. He is not accepting any campaign donations, ignoring early primary states to focus on the 14 states voting on Super Tuesday, and is pouring hundreds of millions of dollars into ads. To accommodate his campaign, the Democratic National Committee eliminated the requirement to have a large number of donors to qualify for the debate stage.

Less than 100 days into his campaign, Bloomberg is gaining significant ground with his relatively moderate platform and massive campaign spending, putting him ahead of candidates who have been in the race for much longer. However, accusations of misogyny as well as his racial justice record are starting to catch up.

Bloomberg's supporters say his background as an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and 3-term mayor combined with his ability to fund a comprehensive campaign position him well to defeat Trump.

 

Candidates are broadly in favor of repealing Trump's rollbacks to the Clean Water Rule and other environmental protections, as well as rejoining the Paris Climate Accord and increasing U.S. investments abroad in the global climate fight.

Washington state is already on track to reach 100 percent clean electricity generation by 2045, thanks to the clean energy law passed last year. Most of the presidential candidates' clean energy goals aim for clean electricity even sooner than our standard.

Climate is a bright spot in Bloomberg's record. His $500 million gift to the Sierra Club was instrumental in funding the group's Beyond Coal campaign, which helped retire more than 300 coal plants - nearly half of all those in the United States.

The former mayor aims to reach full national decarbonization by 2050, as well as a 50% emissions reduction by 2030. He would put carbon and pollution limits on new power plants and pledges to replace all coal plants with clean energy by 2030. He would increase the country's research and development on clean energy to at least $25 billion a year. He would also prioritize underserved communities for transportation improvements like switching to electric buses from diesel.

Broadly, Democratic candidates are on board with tackling popular reforms like protections against surprise billing and fighting back against rising prescription drug costs. The biggest discussion this election centers on the possibility of implementing Medicare for All. It's unclear what the cost or savings of the Medicare for All proposal would be. However, the United States currently spends more than any other country in the world on health care, a total of $3.5 trillion in 2017 - twice what other industrialized countries spend. Competent health care reform could mean life-saving, complete, accessible coverage for much less than we currently pay.

Overall, Washington state generally ranks in the top ten for its overall health. One of the most-cited areas where needs remain unmet is mental health care.

Bloomberg's public option health care is similar to Buttigieg's, providing government-run health care with priority going to the uninsured and low-income households in states that haven't expanded Medicaid. Paid for by customer premiums, which Bloomberg assures will be capped at 8.5% of a household's income, the campaign states that public insurance options bring down everyone's premiums through competition with the private market. Other changes include ending surprise billing by requiring hospitals to use in-network rates for insured patients, another popular proposal among the Democratic candidates. Like Buttigieg's plan, Bloomberg's health care proposal is estimated to cost about $1.5 trillion over ten years.

All of the featured candidates support raising the federal minimum wage to $15. 

Washington state recently became the fifth state to offer workers paid family leave - up to 12 weeks of it for taking care of a sick family member or themselves, or for welcoming a new child.

Once praised for his attempt to expand pre-K, Bloomberg received some criticism as mayor for his 2012 proposals to cut early childhood education and after-school programs in New York City.

Bloomberg has a complicated history on childcare services. He supports expanding the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC), which provides cash to the lowest-income workers and is heralded as being especially effective at helping families and individuals out of poverty. Bloomberg also supports increasing the Child Tax Credit, though the campaign doesn't say by how much. As of February 4th, Bloomberg has yet to say whether or to what degree he supports paid family and sick leave. Additionally, he does not appear to have a platform on labor unions yet, though he does say that he'll join the rest of the Democrats in support of a $15 minimum wage. His record of conflict with New York City unions also raises concerns about the former mayor's support for labor.

Democratic candidates this year will need to raise a large amount of revenue to power their ambitious agendas on health care, climate action, education, and more. The candidates are considering some combination of higher corporate taxes, higher taxes on capital gains, repealing Trump's tax plan for the wealthy, or a wealth tax.

As the 14th richest person in the world as of November 2019, Bloomberg's plan on the wealthy will and should be heavily scrutinized.

Compared to Sanders and Warren, Bloomberg's plans seek to raise tax revenue through capital gains instead of a wealth tax. By taxing capital gains as regular income for those earning more than $1 million, Bloomberg claims his administration will avoid the legal battle over the constitutionality of a wealth tax. The former mayor is also proposing a 5 percent surtax on those making more than $5 million per year, along with raising corporate tax rates to 28 percent, up from 21 percent, and repealing some tax breaks for the wealthy.

Because Bloomberg is still rolling out other portions of his platform, his campaign states that their tax plan is in-progress and flexible depending on how much revenue would be needed.

Housing policy and homelessness ranked as the number one concern of residents across Washington in a recent Crosscut/Elway poll. Though the state Legislature and local governments are trying to tackle the issue, a lack of affordable housing exacerbated by income inequality have left many in our region without consistent, reliable, inclusive, and accessible services that would help our communities thrive.

Like some of Bloomberg's other policy areas, his track record on housing is somewhat uneven. Bloomberg claims that while he was mayor his New Housing Marketplace Plan built or preserved 175,000 units. However, a report from the Association for Neighborhood & Housing Development (ANHD) found that two-thirds of the developed housing required minimum income levels higher than the median household income in the area. As a result, it was not actually affordable for individuals who needed it. As mayor, Bloomberg employed "inclusionary zoning" to entice the private sector into getting involved, but according to the ANHD less than 3,000 affordable apartments were created in the wake of the changes.

His campaign platform proposes doubling spending on homelessness from $3 billion to $6 billion, including additional funding for the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit, which provides tax credits to build or rehab rental housing for lower-income households.

Not confined to a single category of policies, overturning centuries of segregation, systematic harm, and intentional destabilization of communities of color requires a tremendous amount of awareness, political will, time, and funding. Many candidates have woven racial justice into their plans, but still need to address past issues or build current platforms.

Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk policies as mayor harmed half a million innocent Black and Latinx residents and smothered whole communities with police pressure and violence. He has recently apologized for it, though only after years of defending the policy.

As a presidential candidate, he has committed to investing $70 billion to address education, health, and other disparities in "100 of the country’s most disadvantaged communities." He aims to create 100,000 new Black-owned businesses as well as providing assistance to create one million new Black homeowners. Bloomberg's policies also tackle the Latinx wealth gap with, among other policies, reforms to increase banking access and homeownership.

In his time as mayor, Bloomberg convinced the New York state legislature to abolish the community-elected, civil rights era governing boards of NYC's school districts, putting him in charge. What happened next was a brisk, business-like takeover of the city's education policy - closing over 100 schools, opening over 100 charter schools, and recruiting staff from the private sector.

Bloomberg's campaign reports a 42% increase in graduation rates in New York City public schools during his time as mayor. However advocates have pointed out that he also oversaw schools becoming more segregated and that school choice programs are designed to prevent white flight from public schools. Bloomberg's priorities for education are increasing student achievement, college preparedness, and career readiness but he has not outlined specific plans for getting there.

Every candidate in the Democratic primary has made commitments to fix the country's aging infrastructure. While Washington state has a C grade for infrastructure from the American Society of Civil Engineers, we can also expect that Eyman's disastrous I-976 will drastically cut the transportation budgets for many Washington cities, making presidential infrastructure plans more important than ever.

Bloomberg would spend more than $1 trillion dollars over 10 years improving the country's infrastructure. He aims to repair 240,000 miles of roads and 16,000 bridges by 2025. He would create a specialized $1 billion "pothole fund" for emergency repairs, triple federal funds for public transit, and triple funds for bike lanes and other transportation alternatives.

He pledges to "address the 100 cities with the worst water infrastructure by the end of his first term." He would also create programs to give cities, states, and private companies grants and loans to upgrade infrastructure and reduce carbon pollution. As of February 4th, his campaign states that a funding proposal for these programs will be released in a forthcoming tax plan.

All of the current major candidates have said that they would extend citizenship to Dreamers, immigrants who arrived to the U.S. as children. In addition, the candidates are in sync about stopping family separation, though their methods differ.

Washington state currently has a patchwork of protections for immigrants in the form of sanctuary cities. However, deportations, ICE raids, and other incursions by federal law enforcement remain a problem in many communities, especially in agricultural regions of the state.

Bloomberg's immigration policy rests on the notion that America needs "balance" - that we should seek out skilled immigrant workers but also "be in control of our borders." He points to his founding of New American Economy, a immigrant research and advocacy nonprofit that partners with civil and grassroots partners across the country as proof of his support of immigrants. However, his current plans on immigration are somewhat thin compared to other candidates.

All of the featured candidates support the Equality Act, as well as rolling back Trump's erosion of LGBTQ+ rights, such as the transgender military ban and religious exemption policies that allow LGTBQ discrimination on religious grounds.

Unless otherwise mentioned, candidates are also pledging to limit Title IX exemptions for religious schools. These regulations allow a recipient institution to exclude, separate, deny benefits to, or otherwise treat students differently on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation in enrollment or education programs.

Bloomberg also brings a mixed record on LBGTQ rights to the race. He donated to several campaigns to legalize marriage equality (which he endorsed in 2005) and has a platform including ending HIV/AIDS by 2030 and launching a "Respect for All" initiative to combat bullying, harassment, and discrimination.

However, Bloomberg has faced criticism for his failure to make progress on changing the gender on one's birth certificate, and for his toxic remarks about trans people made in 2016.



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