Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on poverty.
Nearly 40 percent of Americans will experience a year in poverty at some point during their lives. And communities of color face disproportionate economic challenges and barriers to opportunity. Hillary Clinton will fight for an economy that works for everyone, not just those at the top—ensuring that those who work hard do not have to live or raise their kids in poverty.
Hillary has spent her life fighting for children and families—and as president, she will:
- Make the biggest investment in good-paying jobs since World War II in her first 100 days in office. Hillary will fight to make major new investments in infrastructure, manufacturing, clean energy, small business, and more. Her jobs package will include a $50 billion investment in youth employment programs, reentry support for the formerly incarcerated, and entrepreneurship and small-business growth in underserved communities.
- Raise incomes and ensure that hard work is rewarded. Hillary will increase the minimum wage and eliminate the “tipped-minimum wage.” She’ll provide tax relief for working families, including by doubling the Child Tax Credit to a maximum of $2,000 for young children while expanding access to millions more families. She will also guarantee equal pay for women—not just because it’s fair, but also because it means pay raises for the entire family.
- Create more affordable housing, connect housing to opportunity, expand rental assistance, and tackle homelessness. Hillary will provide tax incentives to increase the supply of affordable housing in high-cost areas, and she’ll expand rental assistance so that more families can afford to rent a home. She’ll also tackle homelessness, particularly for at-risk populations like veterans and LGBT youth.
- Revitalize communities that have been left out and left behind. Hillary will provide local governments the resources and flexibility to make scalable investments needed to rehabilitate communities that have been left out and left behind. And she will couple that support with investments in the transportation, schools, green spaces, and other assets families need to break the cycle of poverty.
- Help low-income families afford child and health care. In many states, child care is more expensive than college tuition—putting low-income families in an impossible position. Hillary will work to ensure that no family has to spend more than 10 percent of its income on child care. And she will help families that are being squeezed by rising health care costs—reducing the burden of co-pays and deductibles, lowering the cost of prescription drugs, and making insurance premiums more affordable.
- Make environmental justice a central priority. Across America, the burdens of air pollution, water pollution, and toxic hazards are borne disproportionately by low-income communities and communities of color. Hillary will set bold national goals to eliminate lead poisoning within five years, protect public health and safety by modernizing drinking and wastewater systems, clean up the more than 450,000 toxic brownfield sites across the country, and expand solar and energy efficiency solutions in low-income communities.
- Provide every child in America a world-class education. Hillary believes that education is the ultimate pathway to opportunity. She will work to expand Early Head Start and make preschool universal for every 4-year-old in America. She will invest in K-12 education to modernize America’s public schools. And her plans will make free community college and debt-free college available to all Americans.
- Strengthen and expand Social Security so our seniors can retire with dignity. Every American should be able to retire with dignity after decades of hard work. Hillary will defend Social Security against Republican attacks and expand benefits for those who need them most—including women who are widows and those who took significant time out of the paid workforce to take care of their children, aging parents, or ailing family members.
- Ensure federal investments are reaching the communities suffering the most from decades of neglect. Hillary will model her anti-poverty strategy on Congressman Jim Clyburn’s 10-20-30 plan, in which 10 percent of federal resources are committed to communities where at least 20 percent of the population has been living below the poverty line for 30 years or more.
For Hillary, this isn’t a new fight:
- As a law student, Hillary worked to protect children who were victims of abuse and neglect and volunteered at the New Haven Legal Services offices. And while other graduates took jobs at corporate law firms, Hillary Clinton’s first job out of law school was for Marian Wright Edelman’s Children’s Defense Fund. She went door to door in struggling communities, working to identify the obstacles that were preventing young people from getting a good start in life.
- In Arkansas, Hillary ran the University of Arkansas’s legal aid and prison projects, led the effort to reform Arkansas’s education system, and helped found new scholarships for single parents.
- As first lady, Hillary helped create the Children’s Health Insurance Program. Since then, millions of children have gotten the care they need to stay healthy.
- As senator, Hillary championed small businesses owned by women and people of color, fought to raise the minimum wage, and fought to expand assistance for low-income parents.