3 New Policies From the 2020 Democrats: Policing, L.G.B.T. Rights and Voting Rights

With 23 candidates in the Democratic presidential race, it can be hard to keep track of their policy proposals. This week alone, we’ve covered Joseph R. Biden Jr.’s climate change plan, Cory Booker’s housing plan and Elizabeth Warren’s economic plan in depth.

But we’re also trying a new approach: a weekly roundup of proposals you might have missed. Here are three other plans the 2020 candidates have rolled out since last Saturday.

Mr. Castro, the former housing secretary and former mayor of San Antonio, released a plan on Monday to combat racial bias in policing, including in shootings by police officers.

Among other things, the plan — which you can read in full here — would create federal regulations requiring officers to “identify themselves, issue a verbal warning, and give the suspect a reasonable amount of time to comply before the use of force,” and forbid deadly force “unless there is an imminent threat to the life of another person, and all other reasonable alternatives have been exhausted.”

It would also expand the use of body cameras for officers; end the use of so-called broken windows policing, which targets minor offenses; and encourage the creation of civilian oversight boards.

The plan calls on Congress to pass a bill forbidding law enforcement “to engage in racial profiling or to conduct stops and searches of people with only vague explanations of suspicion,” as well as legislation “to lower the unfairly high burden to prosecute police officers for misconduct.”

And it includes a pledge from Mr. Castro to demilitarize the police through an executive order that would prohibit the transfer of military weapons, vehicles and other equipment to police departments.

Mr. Castro also wants to create a national database of police officers who have been decertified in a city or state (usually, that means they can no longer work as officers there because of misconduct). Other departments would be urged to use the database in making hiring decisions.

Senator Gillibrand, of New York, released a proposal last Saturday to expand rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender Americans. You can read the full plan here.

She pledged to instruct the Justice Department to make gender identity and sexual orientation protected classes, and to hire lawyers “to focus specifically and exclusively on eradicating anti-L.G.B.T.Q. discrimination.” And she urged Congress to codify same-sex marriage rights, currently guaranteed by the Supreme Court’s Obergefell v. Hodges decision.

Ms. Gillibrand also called for legislation to ban “conversion therapy,” which seeks to change people’s sexual orientation, and to repeal the Food and Drug Administration’s policy prohibiting gay men from donating blood.

The plan includes several proposals specific to transgender and nonbinary people: the addition of a third gender option, “X,” on government identification; a reversal of President Trump’s ban on transgender people in the military; a reinstatement of Obama-era guidance stating that public schools should let transgender students use the bathrooms and locker rooms of their choice; and a pledge to ensure insurance coverage for transition-related treatments.

It also calls for more funding for mental health programs, H.I.V. and AIDS research and treatment, and efforts to prevent bullying, as well as more resources for the Justice Department to prosecute hate crimes.

Mr. O’Rourke’s proposal, released on Wednesday and available in full here, aims to increase turnout by registering tens of millions of new voters and removing obstacles to voting. The plan is divided into three parts, with the main goals of increasing participation, making it easier to vote and combating foreign interference in elections.

The first section calls for automatic voter registration when a citizen interacts with any government office, as well as same-day voter registration and preregistration for 16- and 17-year-olds. (The voting age would not be lowered; the proposal is to allow teenagers to register early so that they are already on the rolls when they turn 18.)

Mr. O’Rourke, a former representative from Texas, would also impose 12-year term limits on members of Congress and 18-year term limits for Supreme Court justices.

The second section urges Congress to pass legislation that would, essentially, undermine state voter ID laws by allowing people without identification to sign a statement swearing to their identity, as well as legislation to prohibit states from canceling voter registrations solely on the basis of inactivity and to strengthen the Voting Rights Act. It would also make Election Day a national holiday and expand both early and absentee voting.

The third section calls for an anti-gerrymandering bill, as well as bills that would match campaign contributions under $500 and make those donations tax deductible; forbid political action committees to contribute to campaigns; and prohibit lobbying by former elected officials.

On the subject of foreign interference, Mr. O’Rourke suggests federal funding for states “to align their systems with cybersecurity standards, invest in paper ballot systems and perform ‘risk-limiting’ audits to confirm election outcomes.”

Former Representative John Delaney of Maryland released a gun violence prevention plan.

Ms. Gillibrand released a second plan, this one on legalizing marijuana.

Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington, who has already released multiple proposals about climate change, released a “global climate mobilization” plan.

The self-help author Marianne Williamson released an immigration plan.


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