EDITORIAL: Dear Joe and Kamala: The Chronicle’s wish list to the president- and vice president-elect

By Editorial Board

Gianella Goan

This December, the Chronicle has a wish list, but it isn’t for any holiday presents. What we need are regulations and leadership from the Biden-Harris administration that the Trump-Pence administration failed to provide.

On Dec. 14, the Electoral College meets to vote on the president and vice president of the U.S., which are projected to be President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris. The Chronicle endorsed Biden in an Oct. 30 editorial, and while we touched on some of his laudable qualities, we hope he and Harris continue to learn from the American people and mold their policies to fit the needs of this country.

Biden says he will be a president for all Americans. But we worry that in trying to make himself approachable to everyone, he is staying closer to the middle of the political spectrum and away from progressive ideals like “Medicare for All” and banning environmentally harmful practices like fracking.

On issues like climate change, Biden made campaign pledges that look promising—at least compared to an administration that pulled the country out of the United Nation’s Framework Convention on Climate Change’s Paris Agreement. But we seek concrete policies leading toward environmental sustainability.

Ensuring a 100% clean energy economy and net-zero emissions by 2050—as Biden’s Clean Energy Revolution calls for—is a great sentiment, but we want strict regulations that offer incentives for greener practices and have consequences for large corporations that pollute.

The Chronicle did not endorse moderates who seek only to appease the masses. We endorsed the candidates for president and vice president who advocate for change in marginalized communities like Flint, Michigan, and Harlan, Kentucky, where they plan to stand up against corporations polluting drinking water.

We also need Biden and Harris to mitigate further damage from the COVID-19 pandemic. National restrictions, which have been scarce under the current administration, are desperately needed to quell the spread of the virus.

But we want to remind Biden’s new pandemic task force to keep its eye on the little details: What counts as outdoor dining? Which businesses are essential? Will people receive stimulus checks in 2021, even if they are dependents over 18 years of age?

We are demanding national mask regulations in every public space and that COVID-19 vaccines are affordable and readily available. The country needs to enforce mandatory mask-wearing policies that each person must follow or face consequences, and it needs to heal with the help of modern medicine.

The Chronicle would also like to see the new administration:

—Set limits on the amount of loan interest college students can accrue.

—Begin the reform of the criminal justice system by weeding out law enforcement candidates with cognitive or discriminatory biases, as well as the decriminalization of marijuana and the expungement of criminal records for possession.

—Separate church from state and discontinue allowing legislative decisions based solely on religious values.

—Liberate and acknowledge people sterilized against their will, as well as those who are locked in ICE centers.

All of this is to say, we do not want an administration that is simply “not the Trump-Pence administration.” We want one that will propel the country forward. We do not want Biden and Harris to only right the wrongs caused of current leaders; we want them to be proactive in setting regulations and creating policies that will nurture a stronger nation.

We know Biden and Harris have the right ideas. Now we’re holding them to the task.