For Everyone, Everywhere
I am running for President to deliver meaningful change that lasts — not for the sake of change itself, or in the service of some slogan or passing catchphrase. But to help America keep her foundational commitments, to renew the American Dream, and to put it within reach of everyone everywhere.
That’s why I am proposing the policies to come. They are the means to a very ambitious but achievable end. They are the tools, the innovations and the investments I believe we can and must achieve to renew the American Dream. This space offers an overview of the full platform. Over the course of January, we will be announcing more details about each agenda here, on Medium, and at events around the country.
The Deval for All Policy Platform
Grow our economy, create better jobs, solve climate change, and invest in public schools.
Fix big systems like health care, immigration, criminal justice, and taxes so that they align with our values and enable the American Dream.
Renew our democracy — from voting to national service to civics education.
Rebuild American power and influence in the world based on the strength of our values.
Opportunity is central to the American Dream. To assure a future where all Americans — without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity or orientation, or where they choose to live — can build a secure and prosperous future, we need an economy that grows out to the middle and the marginalized, not just up to the well connected.
My detailed plan for expanding economic opportunity for every American everywhere stands on three pillars: education, innovation, and infrastructure.
Education. In an increasingly knowledge-based global economy, I believe Americans everywhere should have ready access to first-rate education—from pre-K through college, and beyond through life-long workforce development and retraining. In short, Americans should have the chance to prepare themselves fully for citizenship, for work and for life.
Innovation. I believe America can and should cultivate the innovative industries that generate high margins and high wages, such as precision manufacturing, urban and regenerative agriculture, life sciences, gaming, cyber security, media, transportation, financial services and health care. My administration will also promote entrepreneurialism in local communities beyond the capital centers of the East and West Coasts through access to capital, and business incubation and mentorship. And we will incentivize employee ownership and profit sharing, and impact investing, so citizens have real opportunities to build wealth and business takes a stakeholder approach to long-term value, accounting for its impact on workers, the community and the environment as well as owners.
Moving to a carbon-free future also presents enormous opportunities for us to lead research, development, and commercialization of alternative energy, energy efficiency and energy storage—and we will address these opportunities at length in my forthcoming proposal to address the climate emergency.
Infrastructure. We will rebuild and modernize America’s infrastructure—the investments we make through our government to help people help themselves. This includes our physical infrastructure: roads, rails, bridges, universal broadband, affordable and workforce housing, the electric grid, drinking water systems, airports, ports and railroad stations, and more sustainable public buildings. But it also includes our social infrastructure: the social services, worker protections, and anti-poverty programs that enable Americans to take risks and prosper. This is the unglamorous work of government but it creates good jobs in the short-run and the necessary platform for private investment and personal ambition in the future.
The proposals in this Opportunity Agenda are wide-ranging but ultimately target the same thing: ensuring that future generations of Americans have the opportunity to imagine a future of their own making and then a fair chance to reach for that future. For me, this is the essence of the American Dream.
Governor Patrick will be announcing the details of his Reform Agenda in January 2020.
The Reform Agenda that is about making meaningful fixes to the big systems that consistently fail to meet modern needs.
Health Care. We are committed to health care for every American everywhere that provides reliable, affordable, high-quality health services. We do it by supporting and expanding a public option within the Affordable Care Act, one that is free to some and low cost to others, and that could even be modeled on Medicare. And we will engage a broad coalition of stakeholders, from health providers and policymakers to patient advocates to refine and propose improvements as we learn — the very formula that made it possible in Massachusetts to deliver health insurance to nearly 99% of our residents.
Immigration. America deserves an immigration system that assures human dignity as well as a secure border, that encourages the determined and creative whose values align with ours to make their home here. We will propose to do it by providing a path to citizenship for Dreamers and others in the country without legal status; work authorization to students who complete their studies in the United States; smoother, more transparent, more secure and predictable visa application processes and enforcement; and a recommitment to our historic openness to refugees and new Americans. We must also secure our borders and other ports of entry, but with more modern, more effective and less ham-fisted ways than with a physical wall. And while we are at it, ICE needs an overhaul.
Criminal Justice. America needs a justice system that focuses less on warehousing people than on preparing them to re-enter productive life. An end to private prisons, an end to the criminal prohibition on marijuana, a revival of parole and other programs to prepare the incarcerated for their release, treating those dealing with substance use disorders as patients instead of criminals, and sentencing reform that provides non-violent drug offenders a real chance at re-entering society are all elements of this agenda.
Gun Safety. America needs better gun safety measures. We must end the epidemic of gun violence in this country. That requires, at a minimum, universal background checks and a ban on assault weapons and retrofits like bump stocks, coupled with a voluntary buyback initiative. And it requires support for research on the cause and sources of gun violence.
Taxation. And we need reform of our tax systems. On the personal income tax side, we should treat all income as ordinary income (including carried interest and other investment income), dramatically simplify the code, so that everyone — from the meek to the mighty — pays their fair share of the price of our civilization. We should raise the corporate income tax to 25% and eliminate the loopholes that still permit some of the most profitable companies in the world to pay no income taxes. And finally, we should raise the estate tax, paid once when wealth is transferred at death, with every dime collected used to pay down the national debt and invest in America’s future C
For too long, we’ve treated our democracy like it could withstand infinite abuse without breaking. For our democracy to work for all citizens that must change. Our Democracy Agenda is about ending the many abuses and barriers that have crept into our political system to engineer outcomes at odds with the public will. The building blocks of our democracy should be more responsive to the people, and enrich the social fabric of our nation.
In my first 100 days, I would prioritize legislation to fix our broken democracy. The over-influence of money in our politics (much of it dark), hyper-partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression and the influence of lobbyists explains why our democracy no longer can be counted on to produce democratic outcomes. These changes are foundational, and enable the success of other far-reaching legislative proposals.
The division in our national politics exaggerates divisions in our country. So, as a further element of our Democracy Agenda, we will propose universal national service, a paid opportunity for all 17- and 18-year-olds to provide military or civilian service, and new opportunities for older Americans to serve. In addition to addressing many unmet needs, service alongside other Americans of different backgrounds and perspectives provides a vital way to enable Americans to know each other and counteract the many efforts to divide us.
Our Leadership Agenda is my plan to rebuild American stature and influence in the world on the strength of our diplomatic, economic, military and intelligence resources — and most importantly our values.
I believe American leadership should be steady, reliable, firm and consequential. Instead of bullying or demeaning other countries and peoples, instead of erratic and unpredictable international partnerships, instead of limitless war with only limited impact and objective, we will act deliberately and responsibly, in close consultation with our allies, and in service of American security and economic interests, and the world’s interest in peace and justice.
Ultimately our unique authority rises and falls with our ability to show the world that “we are who we say we are.”
The world faces many challenges — too many to address in this agenda. This agenda is meant to reflect the approach I intend to take, and to apply that approach to a few specific challenges and opportunities America faces in the world.
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