Monday, July 18, 2016

The First Month's Agenda

As Hillary Clinton will speak at today's final day of the NAACP national conference here in Cincinnati, a preview of what she has to say came from a video appearance at the Netroots Nation 2016 conference on Saturday in St. Louis, where she laid out her plan for the first 30 days at the White House:

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, made the announcement in a video for the annual Netroots Nation progressive conference.

"Today I’m announcing that in my first 30 days as president, I will propose a constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and give the American people — all of us — the chance to reclaim our democracy," she said.

"I will also appoint Supreme Court justices who understand that this decision was a disaster for our democracy. And I will fight for other progressive reforms, including small-dollar matching and disclosure requirements."

In a statement, Clinton also pledged to "promote SEC rulemaking requiring publicly traded companies to disclose all political spending to their shareholders" and to sign an "executive order requiring federal government contractors to fully disclose all political spending."

Campaign finance reform is all well and good, but this is what got my attention.

Clinton also called for criminal justice reform, laying out two additional proposals for turning "talk into action," especially in the wake of recent deaths of black men shot by police.

"First, as president I’ll bring law enforcement and communities together to develop national guidelines on the use of force," Clinton said. "Second, I will target $1 billion in my first budget to take on implicit bias, which remains a problem across our society and even in the best of our police departments."

It's a start, and only a start, but getting that start is necessary.  I'm hoping there's a lot more to Clinton's CJ reform proposals, and the voter registration proposals she is expected to talk about in Cincinnati today, but again, any changes to the Voting Rights Act or to criminal justice and mandatory minimum sentencing depends on the makeup of Congress next January.

If the GOP still controls the House, all bets are off.

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