Racial justice

Note: This page is a reproduction of the Hillary for America policy proposal on racial justice. 

As president, Hillary Clinton will fight to break down all the barriers that hold Americans back and build ladders of opportunity for all people—so that every child in America can live up to his or her God-given potential.

As president, Hillary will:

  • Reform our broken criminal justice system by reforming sentencing laws and policies, ending racial profiling by law enforcement, strengthening the bonds of trust between communities and police, and more.
  • Protect the right to vote by fighting to repair the Voting Rights Act and implementing universal, automatic voter registration so that every American will be registered to vote when they turn 18, unless they opt out.
  • Protect immigrants’ rights and keep families together by fighting for comprehensive immigration reform, including a full and equal pathway to citizenship and an end to family detention and private immigrant detention centers.
  • End the epidemic of gun violence in our communities. Gun violence is the leading cause of death for young African American men—more than the next nine leading causes combined. We must do more to crack down on gun stores that flood our communities with illegal guns and deprive our children of their futures.
  • Fight against environmental injustice. Clean air and clean water are basic human rights. But too many children in low-income housing are exposed to lead. African American children are twice as likely to suffer from asthma as white children. Half of our nation’s Latino population lives in areas where the air quality does not meet the EPA’s health standards—and climate change will put vulnerable populations at even greater risk. As president, Hillary will work to reduce air pollution, invest in the removal of toxins like lead, develop greener and more resilient infrastructure, tackle energy poverty, and boost efforts to clean up highly polluted toxic sites.
  • Close the education achievement gap by making sure every child has a world-class education from birth through college. Hillary will double America’s investment in Early Head Start, ensure that every 4-year-old in America has access to high-quality preschool, drive student achievement in K-12 schools, make college affordable, and relieve the crushing burden of student debt.
  • End violence against the transgender community—particularly women of color.
  • Revitalize the economy in communities that have been left out and left behind through a “Breaking Every Barrier Agenda” that includes $125 billion in targeted investments to create good-paying jobs, rebuild crumbling infrastructure, and connect housing to opportunity.
  • Ensure equal treatment for citizens in Puerto Rico. Hillary is committed to making sure Puerto Ricans have a voice and are treated equally. She believes that Puerto Ricans must be treated equally by Medicare, Medicaid, and other programs that benefit families. She will also work with the people of Puerto Rico and with advocates from all sides to answer the fundamental question of their political status.

Hillary has been fighting for racial justice her entire career:

  • As a young lawyer working for the Children’s Defense Fund, Hillary went to South Carolina to work to stop the incarceration of teenagers in adult prisons, and she investigated school segregation in Alabama at so-called “private academies.”
  • In Arkansas, she started a legal aid clinic to ensure that low-income people had access to real legal representation; she helped start a program to help low-income parents prepare their kids for school success, which is now in more than 20 states; and she helped to found the Arkansas Single Parent Scholarship Fund, which helped nearly 40,000 single parents with their education.
  • As first lady, she continued her advocacy for children and families, helping to pass the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), which now covers more than 8 million kids, helping reform the foster care and adoption system, and advocating for the expansion of Medicaid to cover foster kids until they are 21. She pushed for the expansion of Head Start and advocated for quality child care and equal pay for women to help break down barriers for working parents.
  • As a U.S. senator, she worked to improve pre-K programs and provide parenting help for at-risk families and pushed to expand CHIP to cover more kids. She co-sponsored legislation to end racial profiling and implement sentencing reforms to address crack-cocaine disparities, and she fought to restore voting rights and expand programs that help people re-enter society after they have served time. She introduced legislation to protect voting rights; supported increased funding for HIV and AIDS programs, spotlighting the disproportionate impact on African American women; and worked with then-Senator Obama to fight against lead poisoning.