2018 BCDP Platform - Draft
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BCDP 2018 Action Platform - Draft
2018 Action Platform: Civil Rights and Liberties
Section I: Civil Rights and Liberties
The Boulder County Democratic Party affirms that all people within the jurisdiction of the United States of America and all US Citizens are equally entitled to the guarantees and protections of the United States Constitution. Furthermore, we identify these protections to include all rights as identified in the Bill of Rights as well as the following principles.
Statement of Principles:
1. The protected rights and liberties given by the constitution are inalienable and may not be limited or inequitably applied based upon identities including but not limited to race, age, sex, gender identity, disability, marital status, religion, sexual orientation, economic status, country of origin, or ethnicity.
2. These rights apply at all levels of government – federal, state, and local.
3. Keeping citizens safe from terrorism must not contribute to the loss of our own U.S. civil liberties.
4. These rights are the rights of natural persons only. Artificial entities, such as corporations, limited liability companies, and other entities, established by the laws of any state, the United States, or any foreign state should have no rights under the Constitution and are subject to regulation by the People, through federal, state, or local laws.
Calls to Action:
1. We call the federal government to enact protections for net neutrality so that individuals should be free to access all content and applications equally, regardless of the source, without Internet Service Providers discriminating against specific online services or websites.
2. We call on congress to strengthen the NLRA (National Labor Relations Act) Joint Employer Standard to pre-1984 standards. Support workers’ rights to organize and bargain collectively for conditions, benefits, and salary.
3. We call on our elected officials to enact protections from debtor’s prisons as a violation of the 14th amendment.
4. We call on our elected officials to increase the time to vote to three hours, allowing for the increase in population in Colorado and its impact on accessing polling locations. Furthermore, we call for the removal of employers’ ability to refuse permitted time off to vote.
5. We call for a reform of the court’s current conception of race discrimination by condemning racial discrimination as “unreasonable” under the 4th amendment.
6. We call on officials at every level to make the shooting of unarmed civilians by any persons under public employ to be immediately reviewable by civilian grand juries.
7. We call for the abolishment of the death penalty.
8. We call for the abolishment of mandatory minimum sentencing to secure the right to a trial by jury before any penalties or losses of liberties are imposed upon by individuals.
9. We call on congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform including a clean DREAM Act, a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants already in our country, protecting the rights of guest workers, and making it unlawful to separate families by deportation.
2018 Action Platform: Domestic Violence
Safety from violence in one’s own home is a fundamental human right. Those threatened with domestic violence whether it be violence from a spouse or intimate partner, or sexual assault by a parent deserve full protection and support. We must all work to create a society that shelters and protects those of us who are victims of domestic violence.
Statement of Principles:
1. We support sufficient funding for shelters so that battered women have a place to live with their children if they need to flee their homes.
2. We support sufficient funding to allow battered women’s shelters to provide counselling and advocacy for their clients and their children.
3. Family Courts should be a place where justice is expected and provided. The legal system only works if a) parties have access to qualified legal representation (regardless of their wealth and income) b) judges are sufficiently trained in the unique dynamics of family violence and c) all of the protections of due process of law including sufficient court time are guaranteed.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on our county government to prioritize providing sufficient funding for the battered women’s shelter to guarantee that a) there is a bed for every woman and family that needs shelter from domestic violence; b) there is a therapist available for weekly sessions with every battered women and child victim of domestic violence who needs and wants therapy and c) find creative solutions to increase access to attorneys for battered women and protective parents.
2. We call on our elected state officials to change the Colorado Court Rules and accompanying statutes to guarantee that participants in family law cases will have as much time as needed to present all relevant evidence (just like that which is provided to participants in criminal law and civil cases) and end the practice that is prevalent in Boulder Family Law Courts of arbitrarily and capriciously limiting the time for presentation of evidence.
3. We call on our state representatives to end the abuse of the Child and Family Investigator statute which currently denies parties their fundamental due process rights.
4. We call on our representatives in (county, state and national) government to fund and initiate a comprehensive investigation into the status of our current family court system with specific focus on its evaluating its effectiveness in protecting children from sexual abuse and domestic violence.
5. We call for the family court system to be reformed to allow participants the benefit of trial by jury for determining all questions of fact.
2018 Action Platform: Shared Economic Prosperity
The entrepreneurial spirit of the American economic system has led to innovations and wealth generation with the potential to advance the standard of living for all American people. However, rewards are going primarily to the wealthy and are not shared with the people who generated the wealth. It is time to level the playing field. It is time that corporations stopped sucking the profits out of America to stash them in offshore accounts while the middle and working class fall behind. It’s time for a tax code that supports working Americans so that no one working full time lives in poverty and every American has the opportunity to get ahead.
Statement of Principles:
1. Wealth inequality is greater than at any time in our country’s history and continues to grow. This is a threat to our democracy. The top one-tenth of one percent owns almost as much wealth as the bottom 90 percent. Between 1963 and 2016, low income families went from having no wealth on average to being about $1,000 in debt, while the wealth of the top 1% grew sevenfold. Deregulation and government policies have resulted in a massive redistribution of wealth from working people to the wealthy oligarchs. This is a crisis in our nation.
2. Nobody who works 40 hours a week should live in poverty.
3. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined. Unions are and must remain a pillar of our economy, and workers’ rights must be respected.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on Congress to institute a tax code wherein the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes and are disincentivized from shifting their profits and jobs overseas to avoid paying U.S. income taxes. This code must include progressive estate tax on the top 0.3 percent of Americans who inherit more than $3.5 million and a tax on Wall Street speculators who caused millions of Americans to lose their jobs, homes, and life savings.
2. We call on Congress to increase the US minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020, or to a base living wage that accounts for the true costs of food, housing, utilities, health care, and transportation and accounts for inflation. No one who works 40 hours a week should be living in poverty.
3. Putting at least 13 million Americans to work by investing $1 trillion over five years towards rebuilding our crumbling roads, bridges, railways, airports, public transit systems, ports, dams, wastewater plants, and other infrastructure needs.
4. Creating 1 million jobs for disadvantaged young Americans by investing $5.5 billion in a youth jobs program. Today, the youth unemployment rate is off the charts. We have got to end this tragedy by making sure teenagers and young adults have the jobs they need to move up the economic ladder.
5. Fighting for pay equity by signing the Paycheck Fairness Act into law. It is an outrage that women earn just 78 cents for every dollar a man earns.
6. Making tuition free at public colleges and universities throughout America. Everyone in this country who studies hard should be able to go to college regardless of income.
7. Providing publicly funded education at community colleges and trade schools. Everyone needs occupational training, but everyone does not want or need to go to college.
8. Expanding Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000. At a time when the senior poverty rate is going up, we have got to make sure that every American can retire with dignity and respect.
9. Requiring employers to provide at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave; two weeks of paid vacation; and 7 days of paid sick days. Real family values are about making sure that parents have the time they need to bond with their babies and take care of their children and relatives when they get ill.
10. Making it easier for workers to join unions by fighting for the Employee Free Choice Act. One of the most significant reasons for the 40-year decline in the middle class is that the rights of workers to collectively bargain for better wages and benefits have been severely undermined.
11. Breaking up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail. Seven years ago, the taxpayers of this country bailed out Wall Street because they were too big to fail. Yet, 3 out of the 4 largest financial institutions are 80 percent bigger today than before we bailed them out.
12. We call for the repeal of the Colorado Labor Peace Act and for it to be replaced with the Employee Free Choice Act in order to make it easier for workers to join unions.
2018 Action Platform: Education
We seek to make an affordable, high-quality public education available for every young person, starting with early-childhood education and extending through college, graduate school, technical training, and adult education. An educated electorate is fundamental to our democracy and education is the single most powerful investment that a society makes in its future. We want an educational system designed by educators, not by those that seek to merely profit from the education of our youth.
Statement of Principles:
1. Education is the single most powerful investment that a society makes in its future. We must use education to strengthen the opportunities for all Americans.
2. Today, funding of education drives a growing division in class structure in America. Funding should not be based on zip-code, but on providing the same quality of education to every child in America.
3. The advantage of early-childhood education is clearly established, we must start educating our children at the earliest age possible.
4. Education at every level should be publicly funded and without cost for students from Colorado to attend.
5. We expect that industry will be responsive to the requirements of educator-run school systems, unfettered by profit driven motives, rather than drive their own revenue with undue influence over elected officials, school administrators, teachers and staff, parents or the students themselves.
6. No one should hesitate to seek an education, or regret having pursued an education, because it entails a financial burden that undermines the achievement of goals and dreams. Education is an investment in America, both in terms of the time that individuals dedicate to their education, and for our Country, the States and localities.
7. We support fact-based curriculum that prepares student with skills of critical thinking, problem solving, creativity, innovation, and collaboration.
8. We expect all publicly funded educational institutions to be accessible by all.
9. We believe that good working conditions, adequate compensation, fair evaluations, due process, and academic freedom for teaching professional are essential to quality education. This includes the right of public employees to participate in professional associations and unions without repercussions.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on our state legislators to fully fund all public education, from pre-K through higher education, including but not limited to community college, four-year state universities, graduate school, and technical training.
2. We call on our state legislators to provide tuition subsidies so that our students can obtain the education they are entitled to without fear of the burden of student debt.
3. We will never achieve the educational systems we need until we are released from the restrictions of TABOR. We call on our elected and appointed state officials to make eliminating TABOR a priority.
4. We call on our federal representatives to redo the bankruptcy code to allow for discharging student loan debt for those who need it.
5. We call on our state legislators to eliminate the ability for testing and publishing companies to drive the educational agenda.
6. We call on our legislators to establish, by policy, that the classroom be free from commercial interests in all forms, such as advertisement and product placement or promotions that drive replacement of adequate text books that solve a revenue problem for a corporation rather than an educational problem for school system.
2018 Action Platform: Climate, Energy, and Environment
Clean air, clean water, productive oceans and healthy soils are imperative for healthy communities and a strong nation. Climate change is real and legislation and policies must protect our ability to sustain a thriving agriculture, a resilient economy and a healthy people. Climate change is the greatest threat facing humanity as a whole, and it will disproportionately affect communities of color and low-income communities in the US and globally. Urgent action must be taken to drastically reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote clean and renewable sources of energy, and bring about a just transition towards environmentally sustainable economies and societies for everyone.
Statement of Principles:
1. The right to a safe and stable climate is guaranteed to everyone. It is the responsibility of individuals to take what actions they can to reduce their carbon footprint, and it is the responsibility of our government to end subsidies of energy sources that poison our climate and to chart a rapid course to the end of the fossil fuel era.
2. Communities have the right to decide what sources of energy they wish to develop and to determine what energy development they won’t accept in their communities.
3. We support leadership and commitment to policies and incentives that significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions, with the goal of 80%-90% reduction from current emission levels by 2050.
4. We support eliminating exemptions of resource extraction companies and processes from the: Clean Water Act; Safe Drinking Water Act; Clean Air Act; Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act; Resource Conservation and Recovery Act and the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation and Liability Act.
5. Public transition should be available for all, including accessible rail, light rail, and bus rapid transit.
Calls to Action:
1. We call for legislation that eliminates all subsidies for fossil fuels and ethanol.
2. We call on elected officials to significantly increase and enforce penalties to discourage energy industry violations, considering all real costs of direct and indirect damage done
3. We call on the President to re-commit the US to the Paris Climate Accord. In the absence of this commitment, we call on state and local entities to recommit to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.
4. We call on the state of Colorado to commit to 100% renewable energy by 2050 or sooner.
5. We call on the Cities of Boulder, Lafayette, and Nederland to follow through on their commitments to 100% Renewable energy by 2030 and for every city in Boulder County and the County as a whole to follow suit.
6. We call on county level elected officials to implement a countywide EcoPass and to prioritize development of the county that centers around public transportation powered by renewable electricity.
7. We call on the state of Colorado to allow communities to decide what energy development they will tolerate and not to force fracking upon communities which oppose it.
8. We call on Boulder County Businesses to transition to 100% renewable electricity.
9. We call on officials at every level to put a substantial price on carbon.
10. We call on elected officials to refuse campaign donation from fossil fuel extraction companies.
11. We call on individuals and commercial entities to reduce their carbon footprint by; using the robust existing renewable energy market to convert their own energy supply to renewable sources (either directly or through renewable energy credit programs); buying carbon offsets if financial feasible; taking public transportation, cycling; and buying used and sustainable products.
2016 Essential Platform: Healthcare
Boulder County Democrats support comprehensive quality health care for all as a universal right rather than as a privilege available only to those lucky enough to be able to afford it. Our goal is a single payer plan with the purpose to provide quality health care and not to maximize profit. To achieve that goal we support expansion of Medicare as a federal program so that everyone that wants to can buy into the program at cost, and those that need financial help will get sufficient assistance to allow them full coverage, and expansion of Medicaid as a state program so that everyone that wants to can buy into the program at cost, and those that need financial help will get sufficient assistance to allow them full coverage.
Statement of Principles:
1. Access to healthcare is a fundamental human rights: everyone should have access to quality health care. That care should include dental, vision hearing, mental health, and the full range of women’s reproductive health care.
2. Our health care system should be reorganized to prioritize guaranteeing health care to everyone rather than maximizing profit.
3. The current federal Medicare system is a good framework to expand into a universal health care system but needs to be modified to eliminate co-pays, and provide full coverage for dental, vision, hearing and mental health services.
4. Under a modified Medicare/Medicaid system, healthcare providers must be adequately compensated.
5. Access to healthcare services in underserved communities must be addressed as Medicare and Medicaid systems are modified to provide healthcare for all.
6. We must eliminate gender, racial, and ethnic disparities in health care research and delivery.
7. Firearm safety is a health issue.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on our state representatives to work towards an expansion of Medicaid and a single payer system in Colorado.
2. We call on our federal representatives to work towards expansion of Medicare to become a single payer system for the country.
3. We call on all of our representatives to work towards expanding the coverage of Medicare and Medicaid to eliminate the need for supplemental insurance.
4. We call on all of our representatives to establish loan forgiveness and incentive programs for medical professionals serving low-income and rural communities.
5. We call on our state and federal representatives to fully fund and implement the Patient Protection and Affordability Act (PPACA), until we are able to achieve a single-payer universal healthcare system.
2018 Action Platform: Healthy Democracy
Boulder County Democrats believe that a healthy democracy requires a citizenry that is involved and engaged on an ongoing basis. Our political campaign finance system is increasingly corrupt and controlled by billionaires and special interests. To remain engaged, a citizenry must know that its votes count and its voice is heard, and not drowned out by those with the money, influence and power to make their voices louder.
Statement of Principles:
1. The right to vote is fundamental to our democracy; every citizen deserves the right to vote without impediment and for their vote to count as much as any other citizen. Foreign meddling in US elections will not be tolerated.
2. Participatory democracy does not stop at the ballot box. Elected officials at every level of government should be accessible to and in regular communication with their constituents to ensure their voices are regularly heard in all decision-making processes.
3. Elected officials at every level of government should be paid a living wage.
4. At a time when public confidence in government is perhaps at its lowest in our history, it is imperative that health and trust be restored to our democracy or we risk losing it all together. The citizenry must know that its vote is counted honestly and fairly. Election laws must ensure equal representation, achieved through fair and impartial redistricting.
5. Government must be in alignment with the will of the people. Leaders must be held accountable when they fail that will. The people must be informed by facts, not deception. One voice must equal one vote that is counted. Our government must be of, for, and by the people, not corporations, and speech must in truth be free.
6. We must reduce the influence of money in US political campaigns. Citizens United and other court rulings have obliterated our campaign finance system, enabling a handful of wealthy special interests to dominate political funding, often through super PACs and shadowy nonprofits that conceal donors’ identities from the public. In primary campaigns, candidates should win on their policy positions and merits, not their access to funds.
7. Our vision for American democracy should be a nation in which all people, regardless of their income, can participate in the political process, can run for office without begging for contributions from the wealthy and the powerful.
8. To preserve our democracy, we must reward journalistic excellence and defend fact-based journalism and their sources from the vicious attempt to discredit them. Attacks on journalism, science, and facts are eroding our democracy and creating an uninformed electorate.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on our federal and state representatives to implement universal voter registration system in which every citizen is automatically registered to vote when they come of age.
2. We call on elected officials to remove all impediments to citizens exercising their right to vote, and oppose any legislative or regulatory effort to increase barriers to voting.
3. We call upon our elected officials to establish protections for journalists and their sources in exposing misinformation.
4. We call for all vacancies in elected positions in the State of Colorado to be filled by a timely special election, rather than appointment.
5. We call on elected officials at every level to actively support a US Constitutional amendment that would firmly establish that corporations are not persons and are not entitled to first amendment protections, and that the spending of money to influence elections is not protected free speech.
6. We call upon our county officials to transition to a system wherein County Commissioners are elected by district, not at-large.
7. We call upon the County Commissioners to begin the process of making Boulder County a Home Rule county.
8. We call upon our elected officials to reform the campaign finance system by implementing a cap on campaign spending and a ban on Super PACs and donations from non-human entities. We call for legislation requiring the full disclosure of all funding sources and expenditures for political advertising and activities. This system should be replaced with mandatory public funding for all campaigns that demonstrate a baseline level of support and a requirement that broadcast licensees provide, at no cost, substantial airtime that is equal in both quality and quantity to all candidates who have achieved a threshold of public favor of at least 5%.
9. We support Colorado joining the Agreement Among the States to Elect the President by Popular Vote.
10. We support prohibiting the gerrymandering of Congressional districts.
11. We call for the implementation of a system that allows voters to sign ballot initiatives and petitions online at the Secretary of State and County Clerk’s websites.
12. We call on our federal elected officials to appoint Supreme Court justices who will make it a priority to overturn Citizens United.
13. We call for all Democratic candidates to agree to reasonable spending limits in primary campaigns.
14. We call on our government to thoroughly investigate the Russian interference with our election and adopt measures to prevent their interfering with our elections and those of other democracies in the future.
15. We call on elected officials at the local, state, and federal level to initiate an education campaign to help voters develop media literacy, enabling them to distinguish between the truth and propaganda.
16. We call on all citizens to defend our democracy from efforts to discredit and silence critical reporting, to prevent investigations of crimes, and to make unilateral and rash decisions, ignoring the limitations on presidential power.
2016 Essential Platform: International Relations
The United States should be a world leader, encouraging economic and social justice, tolerance, and democracy on the international stage. We call for a new approach to international relations based on policies that encourage inclusive and representative political and economic structures; reduce the economic divide; encourage all countries to establish a healthy economy; and promote human rights. We call on the US government to support and actively participate in worldwide institutions that enable countries with fragile economies to establish a stronger foundation.
Statement of Principles:
1. US foreign policy should reflect our highest principles of universal freedom, justice, equality, human dignity, the right of a people for self-determination, the rule of international law, and the principles stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
2. Keeping citizens safe from terrorism must not contribute to the loss of our own U.S. civil liberties at home or undermine international agreements affirming the fundamental rights of all human beings. Extremism can best be fought by giving hope, eliminating injustice, lifting the blinders of ignorance, and promoting mutual respect that leaves no room for demonizing those from other cultures or for intervening in their right to self-determination.
3. Diplomacy should be prioritized, and force only resorted to as a last resort. Profit must never be the motivation for war, and no one should be allowed to profit from war.
4. The United States must value human life in every nation, and respect for human life should guide our international relations, including military operations, trade agreements, and diplomacy.
5. Diplomacy should be conducted through official channels, and not via social media.
6. The reasons for war must be transparent and initiated only for the protection of our own U.S. citizenry or the rights of others. It must be a just cause and must only be used as a last resort. We vigorously hold that our right to disagree with and protest against our government’s decision to go to war, in no way undermines our support for our men and women in uniform and their families.
7. The United States should never again be the first to use nuclear weapons and has a responsibility to stop nuclear proliferation.
Calls to Action:
1. We call on elected officials to prioritize systematically discouraging arms sales across the planet.
2. We call on our government to ensure the US provides aid to developing countries as they establish inclusive political institutions that strengthen their middle and lower classes while countering the consolidation of political and economic power by the few. Foreign aid should prioritize investing in resilient infrastructures that mitigate future disasters.
3. We call on our government to support world banking policies that provide relief to those countries currently overwhelmed by debt.
4. We call on our government to develop fair trade agreements that promote environmental sustainability, workers’ rights, and economic and social justice.
5. We call on elected officials to close the detention facility at Guantanamo Bay.
6. We call on elected officials to prohibit the use of torture or ‘enhanced interrogation techniques’ under all circumstances, on our own or foreign soil in compliance with International Law.
7. We call on elected officials to maintain strict adherence to the War Powers Act and to international agreements, including the Geneva Conventions, the Nuremberg Principles, the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the International War Crimes Tribunal that affirm the fundamental rights of all human beings.
8. We call on our Congressional representatives to vote against defense budgets that promote US engagement in military operations in violation of the War Powers Act.
9. We strongly support the United Nation’s initiatives to put an end to all forms of ethnic cleansing, genocide, mass rape and apartheid.
10. We call on our government to address the needs of climate change refugees, and refugees from war-torn regions, and those devastated by ethnic cleansing, political, and economic upheaval. The U.S. must provide immediate and adequate assistance to reduce the effects of famine, natural disasters and climate change around the world.
11. We call on the U.S. to sign and adhere to the Anti Land-Mine, Anti Cluster-Bomb, and Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaties and all treaties for the non-militarization of space
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