How Major Candidates in Both Parties Stand on D&I Issues

Compiled by Members of the Inclusion Allies Coalition Advocacy Committee: Barbara Frankel, Mishel Horta, Miriam Muley, and Steve Hanamura

Candidates are pictured above and listed below in alphabetical order
Candidate: Joe Biden Summary 
Immigration = DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallHe would roll back Trump administration immigration policies, including forcing migrant families to wait in dangerous areas of Mexico during their cases and limiting the number of asylum seekers who can apply for protection along the border. He would also reinstate DACA. He would not decriminalize unauthorized border crossings.
ReparationsHe believes necessary data should be gathered to have an informed conversation about reparations, but he has not endorsed a specific bill. That means unlike the majority of the 2020 field, Biden does not necessarily support a reparations commission.
Racial InequityBiden, who has deep ties to the black community, believes white people cannot ever fully understand racism. His emphasis is on education, ending redlining and equality in healthcare.
LGBTQ RightsDespite early support for the Defense of Marriage Act, Biden helped convince former President Barack Obama to publicly advocate for marriage equality. He has said LGBTQ rights would be a top priority for his administration.
Health care – mental care/disabilityHe promises to fully fund within 10 years the Individuals With Disabilities Education Act to provide 40 percent of the extra cost of special education. He also advocates for Medicaid support for home  and long-term care and tax relief for others funding long-term care.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapHe supports equal pay for women for equal work and efforts to close the gender pay gap.
Support Technology and InnovationBiden wants to invest $20 billion in rural broadband infrastructure and ensure that the work of installing broadband provides high-paying jobs with benefits. He also wants to enact a national strategy to develop a low-carbon manufacturing sector in every state, boosting access to new technologies and skills.

Veterans                 Biden, whose son deployed in Iraq, has been a long-time champion of veterans’ rights.  He has made veteran housing and employment, as well as suicide prevention, a focus of his campaign. He also advocates expanding the Affordable Health Care Act to provide “world-class benefits” to veterans and restructuring the Veterans Administration.
Candidate:  Michael Bloomberg Summary 
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallHe says he would take steps to make legal immigration easier and strongly opposes  President Trump’s border wall and actions to curtail immigration.
ReparationsHe has not advocated a clearly stated position on this.
Racial InequityAcknowledging his own privilege, he has expressed strong beliefs on recruitment and development of racially diverse people and on investing in education and job opportunities.
LGBTQ RightsHe has been a champion of marriage equality but as New York mayor earned mixed grades on such issues as changing birth certificates for transgender people.
Health care – mental care/disabilityHe has not advocated a clearly stated position on this.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapHe has been, at his business, a strong supporter of equal pay for women and has said: “Promoting gender equality in the workplace is not just the right thing to do. It is also smart business.” 
Support Technology and InnovationAs a business leader, he has been a huge proponent of technology to lead innovative approaches to new ways of doing business.
Supporting Veterans His plan emphasizes jobs and education for veterans.
Candidate: Pete ButtigiegSummary 
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallCiting his own family’s history as immigrants and the immigrant diversity of his hometown of South Bend, IN., the former mayor has a four-part plan on immigration—including modernizing the system to reflect economic and humanitarian needs, protecting the border as well as new arrrivals there, and being more globally friendly.
ReparationsButtigieg, who has struggled with black voters, has proposed the Douglass Plan (named after Frederick Douglass), which mainly consists of economic investments in black communities  and $25 billion to historically black colleges and universities (HBCUS).
Racial InequityHe wants to focus on inclusive education, with the number of teachers of color in public schools doubled within the next 10 to 15 years.
LGBTQ RightsButtigieg, who is gay, is a strong suppoer of LGBTQ rights and would do away with the ban on transgender people serving in the military.
Health care – mental care/disabilityHe is a strong advocate for accessible technology for people with disabilities. He also pushes employment opportunities, gjob training and equal pay.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapHe has pledged gender equity, including a cabinet of 50 percent inequities, and would invest heavily in helping women-owned businesses.
Support Technology and InnovationHe cites his experience using technology to transform and revitalize South Bend.
Supporting Veterans A veteran of Afghanistan, he recently won the support of and is considered a strong advocate for veterans’ issues.
Candidate: Amy Klobuchar
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallShe supports a path to citizenship for Dreamers brought to the U.S. as children covered by the DACA program. She has said she would consider backing border wall funding as part of a broader bill to push citizenship for some undocumented immigrants.
ReparationsShe advocates more study of reparations, as this year marks the 400th anniversary of the arrival of enslaved Africans in the United States.  She co-sponsored a bill in the Senate to form a commission to define reparations and suggest the form of compensation.
Racial InequityThe former prosecutor from heavily white Minnesota has said she dramatically reduced black incarceration but those figures have been disputed.
LGBTQ RightsShe supported the Equality Act of 2017 to make LGBT Americans a protected class as well as legislation to prohibit sexual-identity discrimination in schools.
Health care – mental care/disabilityKlobuchar, who has a child with a disability and relatives with addiction issues, has been recognized as an ally of people with disabilities, including support for all major legislation helping them. In May, she released a $100 billion plan to fight drug and alcohol addiction and improve mental health care. and
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapShe is a cosponsor of the Paycheck Fairness Act and a strong advocate of equal pay for women.
Support Technology and InnovationShe co-sponsored the Innovate America Act to fund 100 new STEM schools, support scientific research and remove burdensome regulations for small- and medium-size businesses.
Candidate: Bernie Sanders Summary 
Immigration – DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallSanders supports DACA and DAPA and  will expand and fully implement these programs if elected. He says he would ensure that the 85 percent of those undocumented immigrants who have lived, worked, and contributed in America for five or more years can live their life without fear of deportation. 
ReparationsSanders prefers to focus a substantial investment of federal money in distressed communities in America – rebuilding schools, ensuring jobs for high school graduates or the ability to go to college, to provide decent housing and ensuring everyone has health care.
Racial InequitySanders will address structural racism through physical, political, legal, economic and environmental change. He would confront inequities in the prison system, raise the minimum wage to $15.00,  guarantee health care for all, support public colleges, universities and HBCUs, and reinstate the Voting Rights Act.
LGBTQ RightsHe would  pass the Equality Act and the Every Child Deserves a Family Act to prohibit LGBTQ+discrimination, ensure comprehensive health insurance without discrimination from providers, advance policies to ensure students can attend school without fear of bullying, and work to substantially reduce suicides.
Health care – mental care/disabilitySanders would create Medicare for All, free national health insurance. He supports the Disability Integration Act, guaranteeing mental health care and home-and community-based services and assistive technologies for all who need them without waitlists or income restrictions.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapSanders would address wage gaps and build a stronger middle class by removing barriers to career advancement women face, adopting the Paycheck Fairness Act, providing quality education for all and reforming aspects of the tax code that benefits only the wealthiest Americans and large corporations.
Support Technology and InnovationSanders’ Corporate Accountability and Democracy Plan would require companies to convey shares to workers who are laid off due to AI or robotics, end tax breaks that encourage workforce attrition due to automation, and give workers an ownership stake and say in the decisions made by their companies.
Supporting Veterans Sanders would support veterans by providing ~$62 billion in new funding to repair, modernize and rebuild the VA infrastructure, eliminating the VA benefits backlog, filling the 50,000 vacancies at the VA,  and expanding the VA’s Caregivers program and mental health services for veterans.
Veterans                                                                   Klobuchar, whose dad was a veteran, has supported numerous pieces of legislation over the years to help veterans. She advocates streamlining the Veterans Administration to cut red tape and waiting times, while expanding Congressional authority over the agency. She also wants to significantly expand mental-health benefits and suicide prevention.
Candidate: Tom Steyer Summary 
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallSteyer would reinstate protections for illegal immigrants brought to the country as children and illegal immigrant parents of U.S. citizens, decriminalize illegal border crossings, end Trump’s travel ban involving majority-Muslim countries, revamp the Temporary Protected Status program and reform ICE. 
ReparationsSteyer would use executive action to create a Slavery Reconciliation Commission to analyze the lasting effects of slavery and how to provide redress for the centuries of oppression, rape, torture, and murder inflicted upon generations of African-Americans.
Racial InequitySteyer’s administration would defend the civil rights of all Americans,  call out racism, white nationalism, LGBTQ and gender bias, work to reform policies that reinforce inequality, and ensure justice in housing, education, access to capital, environmental, agriculture, health and human services programs, and election processes.
LGBTQ RightsSteyer would undo the Trump Administration’s ban on transgender military people and denial of visas for same sex partners of foreign diplomats. He would also appoint people from the LGBTQ community to senior positions in the administration.
Health care – mental care/disabilityHis administration would allocate $100 billion to mental health services, eliminate programs that allow corporations to under-pay people with disabilities, and fully fund IDEA to ensure public schools are accessible for students with disabilities.  ://
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapSteyer believes the redistribution of wealth to the richest Americans from everyone else must end.  He proposes a wealth tax on 1% of the wealthiest, including himself.  He also advocates gender equality and standing up to attacks on women’s rights.
Support Technology and InnovationSteyer would extend the full protections and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act to the technologies that are defining our workplaces, and ensure that government and the private sector are designing and distributing accessible technologies worldwide.
Supporting Veterans Steyer would undo the ban on transgender people in the military, secure armed forces and military bases against extreme weather through smart infrastructure investments, and eliminate risks to military personnel by transitioning to a safe and clean economy. ttps:// 
Candidate: President Donald TrumpSummary 
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallBuilding “The Wall,” an estimated $5.7 billion expansion of the border between the U.S. and Mexico, is  a cornerstone of Trump’s campaign and presidency but it has been blocked by courts. The administration has also lobbied the Supreme Court to end DACA, which shields children of undocumented immigrants.
ReparationsHe does not support reparations for descendants of slaves and has said “I don’t see it happening.”
Racial InequityHe has a history of saying things viewed as racist and supportive of white supremacy. However, Trump has declared himself “the least racist person in the world.”
LGBTQ RightsHis administration has rolled back anti-discrimination protections for LGBTQ workers, students and parents and has fought to stop trans people from being allowed in the military.
Health care – mental care/disabilityThe administration has proposed a rollback to Social Security that could end benefits for many people with disabilities.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapThe Trump administration tried to cancel an Obama-era EEOC rule requiring equal pay but the courts have overruled the
Support Technology and InnovationThe administration says it is a strong supporter of technology for business, including developing policies on advanced manufacturing, artificial intelligence, autonomous systems, biotechnology, cybersecurity, digital economy, quantum information sciences, space and aeronautics, and telecommunications.
Veterans                                                                    According to the White House website, “President Donald J. Trump is ensuring our veterans receive the student loan and educational benefits to which they are entitled and deserve.” He signed a memorandum to ensure permanently disabled veterans get student-loan payment relief. He also has signed bills allocating funding for suicide prevention and increased access to health and educational benefits.

Candidate: Elizabeth Warren Summary 
Immigration=DACA, Illegal Entry, The WallShe would:Decriminalize migration and refocus enforcement on serious criminal activity. Separate law enforcement from immigration enforcement. Remake CBP and ICE.
End unnecessary detention. Eliminate private detention facilities.Expand executive use of parole and invest in alternatives-to-detention. 
Establish professional, independent immigration courts. Eliminate expedited removal and provide due process. 
Reject exclusionary policies based on race, religion and nationality.Raise the refugee cap. Affirm asylum protections. 
Expand legal immigration. 
ReparationsWarren, who has said that Native Americans should also be “part of the conversation” on reparations, has not offered a specific reparations policy. Warren has declined to say if she supports financial compensation for the descendants of enslaved men and women but recently threw her support behind a congressional bill to study reparations.
Racial InequityWarren said her detailed policy plans on public education, student debt, housing and healthcare, paid for by higher taxes on the rich and corporations, would address racial inequality, She added she would invest $50 billion in historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs).
LGBTQ Rights Pass the Equality Act to explicitly guarantee that no LGBTQ+ person in America is discriminated against for who they are or who they love. She said she would restore and strengthen critical Obama-era non-discrimination protections Warren said her administration also would make LGBTQ+ non-discrimination a condition of federal grants.She supports a nationwide ban on conversion therapy. She also would make it easier to change identification documents to reflect a person’s gender identity.  
Health care – mental care/disabilityHer Behavioral Health Coverage Transparency Act would hold insurers accountable for providing adequate mental health benefits.
Income Inequality -Equal Pay/Gender GapThe Ultra-Millionaire Tax taxes the wealth of the richest Americans. It applies only to households with a net worth of $50 million or more—roughly the wealthiest 75,000 households, or the top 0.1%. Households would pay an annual 2% tax on every dollar of net worth above $50 million and a 6% tax on every dollar of net worth above $1 billion. Because wealth is so concentrated, this small tax on roughly 75,000 households woudl bring in $3.75 trillion in revenue over a ten-year period.
Support Technology and Innovation She would pass legislation that requires large tech platforms to be designated as “Platform Utilities.” Her administration would appoint regulators committed to reversing illegal and anti-competitive tech mergers. 
VeteranA Warren administration would continue and expand current policy of weighing basing and force structure decisions to account for quality of life factors in the surrounding communities, including safe living environments, available child care, quality of public schools, and employment opportunities and licensing reciprocity for military spouses. She also would  increase military spouse employment. 

1 thought on “How Major Candidates in Both Parties Stand on D&I Issues

  1. Excellent summary of the candidates’ DEI positions. Timely for the primaries. Will this be updated if the campaigns make changes?


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