Opportunity and Justice for All – With Focus on Communities Harmed by Racism

Full employment should provide opportunity for all. But special attention must be invested in those communities harmed by the legacy of Jim Crow, segregation, discrimination, deindustrialization, and destruction of the public sector.” Scapegoating on the basis of race, nationality, gender, or sexual orientation works to the detriment of us all and to the benefit of those minions of corporate and Wall Street power who would divide us.

Neglected urban and rural communities, working people victimized by the worst economic and social effects of neoliberalism must be given targeted attention and investment. Fundamental reform of our criminal justice system, an end to mass incarceration, and targeted investment to areas of need are all central to meeting the promise of economic justice.

Establishing a fair and humane immigration policy that stops the criminalization of communities of color should be a top priority. Our immigration policy should put the sanctity of families at the forefront – grounded in human, civil, and labor rights. We cannot allow our communities to be divided by anti-immigrant and xenophobic hysteria. And we must all work hard to end the racism and xenophobia that have historically been used to divide America’s working class majority from working together to win economic justice and prosperity for all

  • Ninety-one percent of Americans support criminal justice reform, with two in three Americans (including 65 percent of Trump voters) more likely to vote for candidates who support reducing imprisonment. (Benenson Strategy Group)
    • 72% of Americans would be more likely to vote for an elected official who supports eliminating mandatory minimums.
    • 84% of Americans believe that people with mental health disabilities belong in mental health programs instead of prison.
    • 71% of Americans agree that incarceration is often counterproductive to public safety
    • The majority or Americans recognize racial bias in the criminal justice system—only one in three say that Black people are treated fairly by the criminal justice system.
    • 61% of Americans believe that people who have committed crimes involving violence can turn their lives around.
  • 64 percent of Americans support marijuana legalization (including 51 percent of Republicans).” (Gallup, 2017)
  • Nearly two-thirds of Americans (65%) say immigrants strengthen the country “because of their hard work and talents.” Just 26% say immigrants are a burden “because they take our jobs, housing and health care.” Views of immigrants, though little changed from a year ago, are more positive than at any point in the past two decades. (PEW Research, 2017)
  • 75% of Americans support providing individuals facing deportation with legal representation.
  • “The prevailing public sentiment is reasonably clear: People want relief for DREAMers. They don’t want a border wall. And they want immigration levels kept constant or increased, not lowered…findings are remarkably consistent and overwhelming.”
    • “ABC News/Washington Post, January 15-18, 2018: 87 percent support a ‘program that allows undocumented immigrants to stay in the United States if they arrived here as a child, completed high school or military service and have not been convicted of a serious crime; only 11 percent oppose.’
    • ABC News/Washington Post, January 15-18, 2018: 63 percent oppose a wall on the border with Mexico [up from 55 percent when Trump was first elected]; 34 percent support one
    • According to the most recent Gallup polling, 38 percent of Americans want to keep immigration levels constant, 24 percent want to increase them, and 35 percent want to lower them. Not only is there a consistent majority for the status quo or greater immigration, but the share of Americans wanting less immigration has fallen in recent years”
  • The Black community solidly supports immigration reform; 66% of more than 800 African-Americans questioned actively supported a path to citizenship for immigrants currently in the country, including the 11 million undocumented immigrants (Lake Research, 2018)
  • Three-quarters of African Americans say there has been little or no progress on fair treatment by police, and more than half answered the same about fair coverage by the media, political representation, or equal economic opportunities (AP-NORC POLL, 2017)
    • 30% of American adults – 35% of whites and just 8% of blacks— said all or most of the goals of the 1960s civil rights movement have been achieved.