Black Lives Matter / Johnny Silvercloud

August 2, 2016; New York Times

On Monday, a collective of more than 60 groups associated with the Black Lives Matter movement presented a policy platform that has been in the works for a year. Its unveiling occurs only a week before the second anniversary of the shooting death of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri.

We will present that platform to you now, but will follow up in greater depth over the next few days.

The platform, which BLM will advocate for in the run-up to the general election and beyond, contains six constellations of issues that the network will pursue locally and nationally:

  • Ending the war on black people
  • Reparations
  • Investment and Divestment
  • Economic Justice
  • Community Control
  • Political Power

Each of these planks comes with complexities, diverse beneficiaries, and potential partnerships. Under “Economic Justice,” the groups speak to a new tax code and “policy that subsidizes and offers low-interest, interest-free or federally guaranteed low-interest loans to promote the development of cooperatives (food, residential, etc.), land trusts and culturally responsive health infrastructures that serve the collective needs of our communities.”

Protections for workers in industries that are not appropriately regulated including domestic workers, farm workers, and tipped workers, and for workers—many of whom are Black women and incarcerated people— who have been exploited and remain unprotected. This includes the immediate passage at the Federal and state level of the Domestic Workers Bill of Rights and extension of worker protections to incarcerated people.

Under “Political Power,” the platform calls for, among other things, “Public financing of elections and the end of money controlling politics through ending super PACs and unchecked corporate donations.”

Election protection, electoral expansion and the right to vote for all people including: full access, guarantees, and protections of the right to vote for all people through universal voter registration, automatic voter registration, pre-registration for 16-year-olds, same day voter registration, voting day holidays, enfranchisement of formerly and presently incarcerated people, local and state resident voting for undocumented people, and a ban on any disenfranchisement laws.

As we said, we will follow up as things progress. but the platform in and of itself and the attention it is receiving testifies to the movement’s values and persistence.—Ruth McCambridge