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Patrick backs reparations in unveiling ‘Equity Agenda for Black Americans’

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Democratic presidential candidate Deval Patrick on Monday announced support for developing a reparations program as part of his “Equity Agenda for Black Americans.” 

The agenda released on Martin Luther King Jr. Day also draws on Patrick’s previously released proposals with aims to limit the barriers to wealth and opportunities for black Americans.

“The American Dream remains further out of reach of Black Americans than other Americans, and because of that, America has not fulfilled her promise,” the former Massachusetts governor said in a statement. “In addition to having personally lived the American Dream as an African-American man, what distinguishes me is my demonstrated ability to convert policy proposals into results. That is what I did in Massachusetts as Governor, and that is what I will do as President.”

Patrick said he supports a plan in which the federal government would provide reparations to living descendants of enslaved African Americans, but added that “reparations without reconciliation are incomplete.” 

Patrick said he backs a resolution introduced by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.), who dropped out of the 2020 Democratic primary earlier this month, and Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Texas) that would establish a commission to study and development reparation proposals. 

Several 2020 candidates have signaled support for studying the issue of reparations. Long-shot candidate Marianne Williamson, who dropped out earlier this month, went further than other candidates in proposing a $500 billion plan that would begin payments. 

Patrick’s campaign said on Monday that he “hopes and believes that tangible reparations should be expressed in the form” of other plans he’s proposing as part of his agenda for black Americans. 

Patrick’s agenda aims to close the opportunity gap between black students and their peers by investing in public school teachers, universal pre-k and subsidized early child care. 

He also is pushing a plan to provide entrepreneurs and small businesses in minority communities access to capital, mentorship and workforce training programs. 

Patrick’s agenda also includes a plan to invest in affordable, quality housing options in communities targeted by redlining and expanding rent-to-own options in public and private housing. 

The campaign said Patrick will discuss his agenda when speaking Monday at the NAACP King Day celebration at the Dome in South Carolina. 

Tags Cory Booker Deval Patrick Marianne Williamson Reparations Sheila Jackson Lee

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