Marianne Williamson 2024: Her story, experience, and policies

Washington DC - Marianne Williamson became the first Democratic contender this cycle to launch her bid for the White House. Here's what you need to know about her candidacy heading into 2024.

Marianne Williamson announced her 2024 bid for president in March 2023.
Marianne Williamson announced her 2024 bid for president in March 2023.  © ALEX EDELMAN / AFP

Marianne Williamson officially announced her campaign for president at an event at Union Station in Washington DC on March 4, 2023.

While you might not see Williamson's name in the major news headlines, that doesn't mean she doesn't have a message to share with any and all who will listen.

Several prominent media outlets have obscured or even outright excluded Williamson from their list of 2024 candidates, making it more difficult for voters to get to know her platform and priorities ahead of the Democratic presidential primary.

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TAG24 NEWS is here to fill in the gaps with everything to know about Marianne Williamson's campaign and her plan for America should she win the presidency.

Who is Marianne Williamson?

Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author and politician originally from Houston, Texas.
Marianne Williamson is a bestselling author and politician originally from Houston, Texas.  © JUSTIN SULLIVAN / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

A native of Houston, Texas, Marianne Williamson is an author, political activist, and spiritual thought leader who has penned 15 books, including four New York Times number one bestsellers.

The 70-year-old grew up in an upper-middle-class, Conservative Jewish family and attended public schools.

The 2024 presidential hopeful did not follow a traditional path to a career in politics. After graduating from high school, she moved to Claremont, California, to study theater and philosophy at Pomona College.

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After several changes of course and cross-country moves, including a stint living in a geodesic dome in New Mexico, Williamson eventually landed in Los Angeles, where she began giving lectures on spiritual psychotherapy. She rose to the national spotlight when she appeared on The Oprah Winfrey Show in 1992 to discuss her first book, A Return to Love.

During her career, Williamson became inspired to help people suffering from HIV/AIDS and founded Project Angel Food, a non-profit that has delivered more than 14 million meals to ill and dying patients since 1989.

In 2004, she co-founded The Peace Alliance, which supports the creation of a Cabinet-level US Department of Peace.

Williamson ran for the Democratic nomination for president in 2020. After dropping out of the race, she first endorsed Andrew Yang and later Bernie Sanders.

Why is Marianne Williamson running for president?

Marianne Williamson speaks with voters about her 2024 presidential platform.
Marianne Williamson speaks with voters about her 2024 presidential platform.  © Joseph Prezioso / AFP

Marianne Williamson says she is taking another shot at the White House in 2024 to address the socioeconomic instability and anxiety she has seen steadily increasing in recent decades.

"When I was growing up, America had a vibrant middle class," Williamson explains in her campaign announcement video. "The average American worker had decent benefits, could afford a home, could afford a car, could afford a yearly vacation, could afford for one member of the couple to stay home if they wished, and could afford to send their kids to college."

"But over the last 50 years, there's been a massive transfer of wealth to the tune of $50 trillion from the bottom 90% of Americans to the top 1%, decimating America's middle class," she continues.

Williamson adds she is throwing her hat in the ring to deliver the transformative change needed to address historic levels of deprivation, the ravages of an unchecked capitalist system.

She also says she is taking on the greed and moral cowardice in Washington which have prevented many elected officials from getting to the heart of the issues plaguing everyday Americans today.

Marianne Williamson's policies in her 2024 presidential campaign

Marianne Williamson has released a platform of policies intended to alleviate economic suffering, dismantle structural racism, and address the climate crisis. They are available on her campaign website.

Here is where the presidential hopeful stands on some of the most pressing political issues of the day.

Marianne Williamson's education policies

The Marianne 2024 platform calls for universal childcare and universal pre-K, universal access to high-quality food in public schools, and mindfulness training in the classroom. She also stands for tuition-free public colleges, universities, and trade schools as well as student debt cancellation.

Williamson supports the creation of a US Department of Children and Youth to address issues around health, hunger, addiction, education, and safety.

For educators, the presidential candidate calls for fair wages and strong union representation.

Marianne Williamson's policies on policing and the criminal justice system

Williamson's policies to reform the criminal-legal system include increasing enforcement and accountability for white-collar crimes along with protections for corporate whistleblowers.

She is also running on measures to end the War on Drugs, militarization of the police, qualified immunity, and fines and fees associated with the legal process, as well as to abolish for-profit prisons, the death penalty, and unpaid prison labor.

Her platform also calls for preventative measures, including greater investment in social programs for at-risk youth as well as addressing the poverty and housing crises.

Marianne Williamson's foreign policy

A cornerstone of Williamson's foreign policy is the creation of a Department of Peace responsible for coordinating US humanitarian assistance around the world and advising the Secretaries of Defense and State on questions of national security.

Williamson has endorsed the Biden administration's provision of military aid to Ukraine, while reiterating her opposition to the US invasions of countries like Iraq and Vietnam. She has suggested the US should not immediately resort to military action against China in the dispute over Taiwan and expressed support for a two-state solution to the Israeli government's oppression of Palestinians, which human rights organizations have said constitutes apartheid.

Marianne Williamson's immigration policies

Williamson is calling for comprehensive immigration reform with a pathway to citizenship for migrants and refugees. She supports measures to expand the number of available visas and speed up application processing. She also demands the closure of for-profit immigrant detention facilities, accountability for immigration and border patrol officers who commit human rights violations, a rejection of facial surveillance technology, and an end to migrant family separations.

Marianne Williamson's economic and healthcare policies

Williamson calls for a declaration of war on poverty and concrete steps to alleviate economic suffering, including raising the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour by 2025, extending paid family and sick leave, ensuring universal rent control, and providing a federal housing guarantee. She supports passage of the Protecting the Right to Organize Act and expanding protections for undocumented workers.

The Marianne 2024 campaign supports a holistic approach to health, which includes improving food quality, investing in nutrition education, and expanding access to exercise and recreation opportunities.

After expressing doubts about Medicare For All on the 2020 campaign trail, Williamson has gone all in on a single-payer system in her 2024 campaign. She also supports extending benefits to dental, hearing, and vision; addressing the gap in care in rural areas; and ending price-gouging in the pharmaceutical industry.

Marianne Williamson's views on climate action

A supporter of a Green New Deal, Williamson wants to achieve a renewable energy transformation by 2035 and ban new oil drilling and gas fracking projects while ensuring a just transition for workers in those fields. Her plan calls for the decarbonization of all buildings by 2045, modernization of power grids, and closure of large factory farms.

She also wants to invest in nuclear technology and further research and development into green energy, with no new projects to take place without the free, prior, and informed consent of Indigenous peoples.

As for transportation, Williamson wants to phase out sales of new fossil fuel-powered vehicles by 2035 and increase production of electric vehicles. She is also calling for greater investment in public transportation, including a high-speed rail program and electrified lines for freight and passenger traffic.

Williamson believes the US military should be held to the same international climate standards as the federal government and be required to report on its emissions.

Marianne Williamson's views on abortion

Williamson describes herself as "one hundred percent pro-choice." She believes Roe v. Wade should be the law of the land and says she will appoint federal judges and Supreme Court justices who will uphold that standard. She would also support codifying abortion protections into US law, creating a federal program to provide contraception resources, and expanding sex education in public schools.

Marianna Williamson's views on LGBTQ+ rights

Williamson supports passage of the Equality Act and the enactment of additional protections for LGBTQ+ Americans across employment, housing, credit, education, public spaces and services, federally funded programs, and jury service. She would restore funding for HIV/AIDS programs, make sexual orientation and gender identity protected classes under the federal Fair Housing Act, and support houseless relief programs for LGBTQ+ youth. She would also prioritize prosecution of hate crimes against the LGBTQ+ community and declare trans murder and suicide rates a national emergency.

Marianne Williamson's views on gun control

Williamson says she will declare a national emergency around gun violence if elected to president. She supports a ban on assault weapon sales, expanded federal background checks, strengthened "red flag" laws, and an end to the gun show loophole. She is also calling for violence-prevention programs in schools and more research into the connections among gun violence, mental health, and pharmaceutical use.

Marianne Williamson's views on reparations

Williamson believes reparations are the first step toward racial healing and reconciliation, and her 2024 platform calls for a reparations program for Black Americans with a minimum of $1 trillion to be paid out over 20 years. She supports the creation of a council of 30-50 members, all of whom are Black descendants of enslaved people, to determine how those funds are disbursed. Her platform lists one stipulation: "that the money be applied for purposes of economic and educational renewal."

What are Marianne Williamson's chances in the 2024 election?

Marianne Williamson has amassed an impressive following on TikTok.
Marianne Williamson has amassed an impressive following on TikTok.  © Drew Angerer / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP

With incumbent President Joe Biden's entry into the 2024 race and reports that the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is not planning to hold any presidential primary debates, the cards are definitely stacked against Williamson this cycle.

The DNC passed a resolution during its winter meeting in February pledging its "full and complete support" to Biden should he choose to run, denying any institutional support to Williamson or any other Democratic challenger. The media has also remained largely silent on her campaign.

Despite those disadvantages, Williamson has demonstrated massive popularity on TikTok, with her posts regularly receiving hundreds of thousands of views. These numbers indicate she is reaching voters and making her message heard through non-traditional means.

Whether that will be enough to give her a fighting chance at the White House, only time will tell.

Cover photo: ALEX EDELMAN / AFP

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