Over the weekend, Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is slowly gaining on front-runner Hillary Clinton for the Democratic presidential nomination, announced a major campaign hire: Symone Sanders, an African-American woman active in the criminal justice reform movement, is now his press secretary.

The hire probably was intended to address lingering complaints that Sanders has a blind spot when it comes to race, but it may not be a quick fix: On the same day as Symone Sanders’ debut, #BlackLivesMatter activists again showed up to harass the candidate at a rally in Seattle.

And now, Sanders has finally unveiled his policy platform to combat racial inequality.

Included in his policy are police reforms that include: the demilitarization of police forces, a federal program giving police body cameras, and increasing police transparency and accountability. Sanders also wants to end mandatory sentences for non-violent offenses.

“It is an obscenity that we stigmatize so many young Americans with a criminal record for smoking marijuana, but not one major Wall Street executive has been prosecuted for causing the near collapse of our entire economy. This must change,” he said. “We must address the lingering unjust stereotypes that lead to the labeling of black youths as ‘thugs.’ We know the truth that, like every community in this country, the vast majority of people of color are trying to work hard, play by the rules and raise their children. It’s time to stop demonizing minority communities.”

Sanders also wants to expand the Voting Rights Act and proposes to end laws that banned convicted felons the right to vote.

Activist Deray Mckesson commented on Twitter about Sanders’s platform:

Does Sanders have your vote?

Photo Credits:  Getty Images

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  • Anonin

    Politicians easily give lip service that I’m wary of them so I’m unsure how to feel about Bernie, no matter how good a candidate in the end for me all politicians are corrupt in one way or another.

    For me its more about trying not to waste the opportunity to vote that my ancestors gave me rather than voting for someone with the hopes they’ll be different.