Recommendations For Our New President-Elect

    Like millions of Americans across the country, I spent my Saturday celebrating Joe Biden’s victory. I truly believe the Biden-Harris team will do great things for this country and combat the hate and division with a new sense of unity. As college students, we should all feel incredibly relieved at his triumph over Donald Trump and what that means for our future. That being said, the hard work isn’t over yet, and young Americans need to make our demands heard. That being said, here are my recommendations for the new President-Elect. So, Mr. Biden, if you’re reading this, start taking notes.

 

                                                                                       Climate Change

    Unfortunately, Biden has already made two declarations regarding his environmental policy that I am not in favor of. First, he has refused to ban fracking, an environmentally harmful practice that many Americans rely on to keep their jobs secured. Second, he has declared that he will not be implementing the Green New Deal- the proposed environmental plan of the grand Representative AOC. However, there are still many actions he can take to progress our country in the fight against climate change. He can start by reversing Trump’s harmful rollbacks of EPA protections that safeguarded our natural resources from exploitation. He can also rejoin the Paris Climate Agreement, an international effort to achieve important environmental goals, key to stopping climate change. Biden can also heavily invest in renewable energy, an industry with plentiful job opportunities. Lastly, he can, and should, put pressure on large corporations to clean up their practices, as the majority of CO2 emissions come from corporations rather than individuals.

 

                                                                                         Immigration

    Abolish ICE. This is nonnegotiable if the United States is still dedicated to our status as human rights leaders. It is far past time to shut down detainment camps, end ICE’s insufferable human rights abuses, and reunite thousands of children with their families, something Biden, himself, has already committed to doing. ICE should be immediately replaced with an agency specifically meant to grant political asylum to the many immigrants who LEGALLY qualify for it. And yes, they were put into cages despite this legal right. Next, Biden should reinstate protections for DACA recipients that were taken away by Trump. David Dobrik paid $400,000 in taxes last year. He should be allowed to take a trip to Cancun without worrying about being deported when he gets back. Most importantly, Joe Biden should work to establish an easy pathway to citizenship for every scared, fleeing, endangered immigrant that crosses our border.

 

                                                                                 Criminal Justice Reform

    I think it goes without saying, but this needs to be a top priority for the administration. Both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris both have spotty records in this territory, which is why it is especially important that we put pressure on them to meet our demands for justice. This administration needs to be proactive with police reform on a federal record, and continue investigations into the growing threat of white supremacy within the criminal justice system, which the FBI has recently found to be one of our nation’s top threats. Additionally, Biden should focus on only filling prisons with violent criminals, not victims of drug abuse or sex trafficking, the poor, or the mentally ill. A key reason for racial bias in our criminal justice system is deeply rooted attitudes and beliefs, so one of the most impactful things Biden can do is use his voice to acknowledge and denounce systemic racism in an open dialogue with the American people

                    

                                                                                        The Economy

    We are currently in a massive recession. Due to the two month long shutdown, and the myriad of businesses who are still forced to shut down or limit operations due to Covid-19, many have lost their jobs, small businesses, or supplemental income. Luckily, Biden has experience with fixing recessions, since he walked straight into one with President Obama in 2009. Things were looking much better by the time they left in 2016. So, he should already know that the appropriate fiscal policy during a recession is to SPEND. Get the money circulating again! But maybe this time, don’t leave out college-age dependents like those damn stimulus checks did. Of course, more long term economic plans should focus on redistributing the wealth, perhaps with a universal basic income or expanded social programs for low-income communities. We are starting to feel the negative effects of our quickly widening wealth gap, and Trump’s economic policies only made this worse. For those unsure of the harms of this economic inequality, a bigger socio-economic divide will inevitably lead to a halting economy. Many Americans will barely be able to afford bare necessities, let alone luxury goods, while the richest among us will have so much wealth that it would be impossible to spend in a lifetime. 

 

    Saturday’s results made me feel truly proud to be an American. But a true patriot will criticize their own country more than any enemy to ensure that there is always improvement. I’ll be the first to admit that we still have a lot of work to do to truly make America the best country in the world, but now we have a leader that is willing to roll up his sleeves and get it done.