Pete Buttigieg is trying to attract more Black voters to his campaign – his first step is the “Douglas Plan,” named after abolitionist Frederick Douglass.
The 18-page plan lays out what Buttigieg promises to do if elected president. It includes investing $25 billion in historically black colleges and universities, or HBCUs, and directing $10 billion toward black entrepreneurs.
Buttigieg is fighting for more Black votes after recent tense moments in South Bend, Indiana, where he is mayor, when a Black man was fatally shot by a white South Bend police officer.
According to a Quinnipiac poll published July 2 and conducted after the first presidential debates, Buttigieg received 0% of the Black vote.
He says that this plan will address racial inequality and systemic racism against Black Americans because it is a “comprehensive and intentional dismantling of racist structures and systems combined with an equally intentional and affirmative investment of unprecedented scale in the freedom and self-determination of Black Americans.”
The Douglas Plan would:
- Address health disparities in black communities
- Advocate for criminal justice reform by legalizing marijuana and expunging some past convictions
- Expand access to voting
- Eliminate racial gerrymandering
- Increase federal funding to Title I schools
- Preserve Black history with increased funding to the arts and protection of cultural sites
- Eliminate mandatory minimum sentencing
- Abolish the death penalty
- Improve housing conditions for Black Americans
Buttigieg’s plan would be on top of reparations.
“I think [the Douglass Plan] does not take the place of the conversation around reparations,” he said. “I also support passing H.R. 40. I would sign it, which would create a commission to look at reparations. But I do think that this is also restorative, in the same way that reparations is intended to be,” Buttigieg said in an interview with NPR.