Bernie Sanders

U.S. Senator, Vermont




Racial Wealth Gap

Bernie Sanders addresses the racial wealth gap in his “Racial Justice” plan. The plan will 

  • “Guarantee a job to every American.”

  • “Raise the minimum wage to $15 an hour.”

  • “End the discriminatory practices in our financial services”, allowing every post office to offer basic and affordable banking services and end lending discrimination. 

In his ”Green New Deal”, Sanders will: 

  • “Ensure that Green New Deal jobs and job training resources are made available to low-income and disadvantaged communities equitably.”

  • “Focus job training and local hiring to reflect the racial and gender diversity of the community receiving federal investments.”

In the Democratic debate in February 2020, he said “the reason behind childhood poverty was the same as other issues of inequality in America.” He continued,

  • “That reason is that our priorities are determined by the 1% and by wealthy campaign contributors… Our priorities are determined by those who want to see the rich get richer and are turning their backs on the working families of this country.”

Affordable Housing

Bernie Sanders addresses affordable housing in his “Housing for All” plan. His plan will:

  • “Invest $1.48 trillion over 10 years in the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund to build, rehabilitate, and preserve the 7.4 million units of affordable housing.”

  • “Use federal preemption laws to ensure these new units are not segregated or excluded by local zoning ordinances.”

  • “Invest an additional $400 billion to build 2 million mixed-income social housing units to be administered through the National Affordable Housing Trust Fund, which will help desegregate and integrate communities.”

  • “Expanding USDA’s Section 515 program by $500 million to build new affordable developments in rural areas, and protect existing units from being converted to market rate housing.”

  • “Increase the funding for the Indian Housing Block Grant Program to $3 billion to build, preserve, and rehabilitate affordable housing in Indian country.”

  • “Invest $70 billion to repair and modernize public housing including making all public housing accessible and provide access to high-speed broadband for all public housing residents.”

  • “Repeal the Faircloth Amendment to allow the construction of new public housing units.”

  • “Fully fund tenant-based Section 8 rental assistance at $410 billion over the next 10 years and make it a mandatory funding program for all eligible households.”

  • “Strengthen the Fair Housing Act and implement a Section 8 non-discrimination law, so that landlords can no longer discriminate against low-income families based on their source of income.”

  • “Expand and strengthen enforcement of the Small Area Fair Market Rent rule to make sure that landlords are fairly compensated when they participate in Section 8, but do not make a windfall from the program.”

  • “Enact a national cap on annual rent increases at no more than 3 percent or 1.5 times the Consumer Price Index (whichever is higher) to help prevent the exploitation of tenants at the hands of private landlords.”

  • “Allow states and cities to pass even stronger rent control standards.”

  • “Implement a “just-cause” requirement for evictions, which would allow a landlord to evict a tenant only for specific violations and prevent landlords from evicting tenants for arbitrary or retaliatory reasons.”

  • “Provide $2 billion in federal matching grants for states and localities to provide a right to counsel for persons in eviction or foreclosure proceedings, or at risk of losing their Section 8 rental assistance.”

  • “Create an office within the Department of Housing and Urban Development to coordinate and work with states and municipalities to strengthen rent control and tenant protections, implement fair and inclusive zoning ordinances, streamline review processes and direct funding where these changes are made.”

  • “Preempt laws that prevent inclusionary zoning for luxury developments.”

  • “End exclusionary and restrictive zoning ordinances and replace them with zoning that encourages racial, economic, and disability integration that makes housing more affordable.”

  • “Place a 25 percent House Flipping tax on speculators who sell a non-owner-occupied property, if sold for more than it was purchased within 5 years of purchase.”

  • “Impose a 2 percent Empty Homes tax on the property value of vacant, owned homes to bring more units into the market and curb the use of housing as speculative investment.”

  • “Encourage “circuit breakers” on property taxes to protect homeowners in gentrifying neighborhoods from being priced out of their own homes as their property values rise.”

Access to High Quality Education

Sanders addresses access to high quality education in “A Thurgood Marshall Plan for Public Education”. His plan will:

  • “Triple Title I funding to ensure at-risk schools get the funding they need and end funding penalties for schools that attempt to desegregate.”

  • “Execute and enforce desegregation orders and appoint federal judges who will enforce the 1964 Civil Rights Act in school systems.”

  • “Address disciplinary practices in schools that disproportionately affect Black and Brown children.”

  • “Establish a dedicated fund to create and expand
    teacher-training programs at HBCUs, minority-serving institutions (MSIs) and tribal colleges and universities to increase educator diversity.”

  • “Fully fund the Department of Education’s Office of Civil Rights and removing current protocols that allow for arbitrary dismissal of complaints.” 

  • “Fund school transportation to help integration.”

  • “Increasing funding for public magnet schools to $1 billion annually to help integrate our schools and increasing access to English as a Second Language instruction.”

  • “Rethink the link between property taxes and education funding.”

  • “Establish a national per-pupil spending floor.”

  • “Eliminate barriers to college-readiness exams by ensuring states cover fees for the ACT, SAT and other college preparatory exams for all students.”

Environmental Equity

Sanders addresses environmental equity in his “Green New Deal” plan. His plan will:

  • “Create a Climate Justice Resiliency Fund (CJRF). The CJRF will conduct a nationwide survey to identify areas with high climate impact vulnerabilities and other socioeconomic factors, public health challenges, and environmental hazards. Each community will then be eligible for funding in order of most vulnerable to least vulnerable.”

  • “Ensure that Green New Deal jobs and job training resources are made available to low-income and disadvantaged communities equitably, and ensure equal access to clean energy, electrification, efficiency, and transportation funding, grants, and other incentives.”

  • “Update permitting rules that allow polluters to target poor communities for polluting infrastructure.”

  • “Extend civil rights protections to ensure full access to the courts for poor and minority communities to seek legal protections by overturning the Sandoval Supreme Court decision.”

  • “Fully survey and track pollution in vulnerable communities.”

  • “Promote urban sustainability initiatives to improve the environmental and social conditions of low-income neighborhoods and communities of color.”

Health Equity

Bernie Sanders addresses health equity in his “Health Care as a Human Right – Medicare For All” plan. His plan will:

  • “Create a Medicare for All, single-payer, national health insurance program to provide everyone in America with comprehensive health care coverage, free at the point of service.”

In his “Eliminating Medical Debt” plan, he will:

  • “Eliminate the $81 billion in past-due medical debt by negotiating and paying off past-due medical bills in collections that have been reported to credit agencies and end abusive and harassing debt collection practices.”

In “Racial Justice” plan, he will:

  • “End the racial disparities in our health care system—31% of African Americans and 32% of Hispanics struggle paying medical bills compared to 24% of white Americans. We must guarantee health care to all people of color as a right, not a privilege, through a Medicare-for-all, single-payer program and end this inequity.”

Transportation Access

Sanders addresses transportation access in the his “Green New Deal” plan. The plan will:

  • Invest $300 billion, “with a goal of increasing public transit ridership by 65 percent by 2030.”

  • “Ensure that Green New Deal jobs and job training resources are made available to low-income and disadvantaged communities equitably and ensure equal access to clean energy, electrification, efficiency, and transportation funding, grants, and other incentives.”

  • “Build affordable, reliable, quick, and efficient public transportation, and high-speed passenger and cargo rail.” 

In his “Housing for All” plan, Sanders will:

  • Require federal funding to be contingent on creating livable communities by encouraging zoning and development that promotes integration and access to public transportation to reduce commuting time, congestion and long car commutes.


Bail/Prison Reform 

Bernie Sanders addresses bail/prison reform in his “Justice and Safety for All” plan. His plan will:

  • “End the destructive “war on drugs,” including legalizing marijuana.”

  • “Eliminate private prisons and detention centers.”

  • “End cash bail.”

  • “End all mandatory minimums and reinstate the federal system of parole.”

  • “Reform civil asset forfeitures.”

  • “Increase funding for public defenders and create a federal formula to ensure populations have a minimum number of public defenders to meet their needs.”

  • “Abolish the death penalty, three strikes laws, and mandatory minimum sentences, as well as expanding the use of alternatives to detention.”

Re-Entry Services

Bernie Sanders addresses re-entry services in his “Justice and Safety for All” plan. His plan will: 

  • “Make expungement broadly availab

  • “Remove legal barriers and facilitate access to services so that people returning home from jail or prison can build a stable and productive life.”

  • “Create a federal agency responsible for monitoring re-entry.”

  • “Ban the box” by removing questions regarding conviction histories from job and other applications.”

  • “Enact fair chance licensing reform to remove unfair restrictions on occupational licensure based on criminal history.”

  • “Increase funding for re-entering youth programs; pass a massive youth jobs program to provide jobs and job-training opportunities for disadvantaged young Americans who face high unemployment rates.”

  • “Guarantee safe, decent, affordable housing.”

  • “Remove the profit motive from our re-entry system and diversion, community supervision, or treatment programs, and ensure people leaving incarceration or participating in diversion, community supervision, or treatment programs can do so free of charge.”

  • “Guarantee jobs and free job training at trade schools and apprenticeship programs.”

Ending Capital Punishment

Bernie Sanders addresses ending capital punishment in his “Justice and Safety for All” plan. His plan will:

  • “Abolish the death penalty.”

  • “Reverse the Trump administration’s guidance on the use of death penalty drugs with the goal of ending the death penalty at the state level.”

Expanding Gun Safety Measures

Bernie Sanders focuses on expanding gun safety measures in his “Gun Safety” plan. His plan will:

  • “Expand background checks for firearms.”

  • “End the gun show loophole; all gun purchases should be subject to the same background check standards.”

  • “Ban the sale and distribution of assault weapons.” 

  • “Prohibit high-capacity ammunition magazines.” 

  • “Implement a buyback program to get assault weapons off the streets.”

  • “Regulate assault weapons in the same way that we currently regulate fully automatic. weapons — a system that essentially makes them unlawful to own.”

  • “Crack down on “straw purchases” where people buy guns for criminals.”

  • “Support “red flag” laws and legislation to ensure we keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers and stalkers.”

  • “Ban the 3-D printing of firearms and bump stocks.”

Improving Police-Community Relations 

Bernie Sanders addresses improving police relations in his “Justice and Safety for All” plan. His plan will:

  • “Rescind former Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ guidance on consent decrees.”

  • “Revitalize the use of Department of Justice investigations, consent decrees, and federal lawsuits to address systemic constitutional violations by police departments.”

  • “Ensure accountability, strict guidelines and independent oversight for all federal funds used by police departments.”

  • “End federal programs that provide military equipment to local police forces.

  • “Create a federally managed database of police use of deadly force.”

  • “Provide grants for states and cities to establish civilian oversight agencies with enforceable accountability mechanisms.”

  • “Establish federal standards for the use of body cameras, including establishing third-party agencies to oversee the storage and release of police videos.”

  • “Mandate criminal liability for civil rights violations resulting from police misconduct.”

  • “Limit the use of “qualified immunity” to address the lack of criminal liability for civil rights violations resulting from police misconduct.”

  • “Conduct a U.S. Attorney General’s investigation whenever someone is killed in police custody.”

  • “Establish a federal no-call policy, including a registry of disreputable federal law enforcement officers, so testimony from untrustworthy sources does not lead to criminal convictions. Provide financial support to pilot local and state level no-call lists.”

  • “Ban the use of facial recognition software for policing.”

  • “Establish national standards for use of force by police that emphasize de-escalation.”

  • “Require and fund police officer training on implicit bias (to include biases based on race, gender, sexual orientation and identity, religion, ethnicity and class), cultural competency, de-escalation, crisis intervention, adolescent development, and how to interact with people with mental and physical disabilities; we will ensure that training is conducted in a meaningful way with strict independent oversight and enforceable guidelines.”

  • “Ban the practice of any law enforcement agency benefiting from civil asset forfeiture.”

  • “Provide funding to states and municipalities to create civilian corps of unarmed first responders, such as social workers, EMTs, and trained mental health professionals, who can handle order maintenance violations, mental health emergencies, and low-level conflicts outside the criminal justice system, freeing police officers to concentrate on the most serious crimes.”

  • “Incentivize access to counseling and mental health services for officers.”

  • “Diversify police forces and academies and incentivize officers to live and work in the communities they serve.”


Voting Rights

Bernie Sanders addresses voting rights in his “Free and Fair Elections” plan. His plan will:

  • “Re-enfranchise the more than 6 million Americans who have had their right to vote taken away by a felony conviction, paid their debt to society, and deserve to have their rights restored.”

  • “Make Election Day a national holiday.”

  • “Replace corporate funding and donations from millionaires and billionaires with public funding of elections that amplifies small-dollar donations.”

  • “Restore the Voting Rights Act.”

Access to Voter Registration

Bernie Sanders addresses access to voter registration in his “Free and Fair Elections” plan. His plan will:

  • “Abolish burdensome voter ID laws.”

  • “Secure automatic voter registration for every American over 18.”


Bernie Sanders addresses gerrymandering in his “Free and Fair Elections” plan. His plan will “end racist voter suppression and partisan gerrymandering.”

Census 2020

Bernie Sanders’ campaign platform does not address Census 2020. However, he has addressed the topic on Twitter:

  • “Trump lied about his motivations, and five justices called him on it. His proposal to add a citizenship question to the census was nothing but a racist attempt to disenfranchise communities of color.” — 10:28 AM · Jun 27, 2019

  • “More proof that this administration wants to rig the 2020 Census to undercount minorities—and they’re trying to cover it up. The census must not be turned into a partisan weapon. Immigrant communities have a right to equal representation and funding.” — 1:10 PM · Jun 1, 2019