County Democratic PlatformApril 30th, 2010 by Steven Gardner
A few weeks back I gave you the county Republican platform. Here you have, a few weeks late, the Democratic version.
This platform is a summary statement of our collective principles, beliefs and goals. We reaffirm the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights and expect government at all levels to champion these tenets for everyone.
We believe that: Democratic principles, openly implemented through representative government strengthen our communities and nation. Healthy communities are the foundation for a safe, stable and prosperous future for our families, and healthy families are the foundation of enduring communities. Every individual deserves the opportunity to succeed and the right to be treated with dignity and respect. We are responsible for the ethical, economical and environmental legacy we leave our children. Our candidates support this platform and will represent our best interests.
II. HUMAN AND CIVIL RIGHTS
We believe in the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all humanity as the foundation of freedom and justice. We believe that food, shelter, universal access to health care, living wage compensation for employment, freedom from discrimination and governmental intrusion based upon age, sex, reproductive choice, sexual orientation, ethnic origin, religion and political beliefs, are basic human rights everywhere.
We support and promote all legislation that meets and fosters these basic human rights. We will fight against any narrow sectarian or philosophical views which would attempt to limit basic human rights.
III. LAW, CRIME AND JUSTICE
In times of national peril, it is crucial to hold fast to those fundamental rights enjoyed by all Americans. We call upon local, state and national government to zealously protect the constitutional rights and privileges of all: citizen and non-citizen alike. We believe that it is our collective responsibility to advocate for the human rights of those who are not able to advocate for themselves, including children, the poor, the elderly, individuals who are physically, mentally or emotionally disabled, and victims of crime.
We believe that the government has a basic responsibility to take all measures necessary and proper to prevent crime and to alleviate the social and economic conditions which contribute to crime.
IV. ECONOMIC JUSTICE AND LABOR
Economic justice for all is essential to the existence of a democratic society. Favoritism toward the wealthiest of us has permitted them undue influence on public policy, to the detriment of the rest of us. Taxation policies that are fair and equitable for all taxpayers, not just a favored few, are a keystone of economic justice.
All who are employed have a right to a safe and healthy work environment, to free speech and assembly about their working conditions and wages, to organize and bargain collectively with their employer, and to litigate and strike, when necessary, in order to achieve these basic ends.
We believe that the growing demands of globalization, technology, and inter-cultural understanding require a public education system that offers the challenges and opportunities to develop the full potential of all students, no matter what their background, experience, ability, or age.
We call upon the Washington State Legislature to revisit its constitutional imperative and paramount duty to “make ample provisions for the education of all children.” We believe that ample provisions, as stated in the Constitution, includes far more than funding of outmoded and restricting classes, currently defined as basic education.
We believe that public education should include Civics classes for all high school students. A strong education being necessary for an informed electorate, we strongly support equal access to quality public education for all students regardless of economic status and geographic location.
We believe that a new energy policy, focused on self sufficiency and the reduction of pollution, is vital to our nation’s security and continued economic well being. We believe in a pragmatic, science-based evaluation of the causes and outcomes of climate change. We support the conservation of our groundwater resources and creation of policies that promote low-impact development, water re-use, water reclamation and aquifer protection.
We believe in support and enactment of responsible international and domestic environmental laws and their vigorous enforcement. We support policies and practices for sustainable development, production and consumption, including local land use planning consistent with the goals of the state Growth Management Act and Shoreline Management Protection Act. We support full disclosure of health and environmental impacts of all major public and private projects. We demand identification of chemicals, pesticides and genetically modified organisms in all food products.
VII. HEALTH CARE
All people, regardless of age, employment status or prior health condition, have a right to reasonable physical and mental health care. We support a universal health care system that treats our health care providers and patients with dignity and respect, and that provides a comprehensive range of services to all, from prenatal care through the last years of life. As an initial step, we approve of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. We support policies which encourage expanded research to improve health, and governmental action to enhance public health, and to better fund disease control efforts in this time of increased public health concerns.
An efficient, flexible and far-sighted transportation system is fundamental to a healthy economy and environment in Kitsap County. We believe that the transportation system should help all our citizens move freely. No one group of users should shoulder an undue portion of the costs of a transportation system we all use. We support efforts to improve the level of public transportation services, while reducing the overall costs and the pollution produced by all transportation systems, public and private.
IX. FOREIGN POLICY
We believe America’s position as a world leader requires that our foreign policy should always display consistent and strong moral vision.
We believe in cooperation with our neighbors, including the use of the United Nations and other multinational groups whenever possible. We support the use of armed conflict as a last resort. We will not hesitate to protect our interests and our citizens around the globe.
X. CAMPAIGNS AND VOTING
We believe in an election system where every vote counts, and where the system retains physical proof of all votes cast. We believe that no American citizen should be removed from the voting rolls, or otherwise constrained from participating in an election for which they are eligible. All persons should be encouraged to participate in the electoral process, including persons whose voting rights have been reinstated through the legal system. Finally, we believe that corporations do not enjoy all the same legal rights as citizens, monetary donations are not a protected form of speech, and we believe the role that money plays in elections should be kept to a minimum with regard to candidates and to the initiative process.
Kitsap County Democrats are proud of our military contributions to the nation. We believe that our military men and women — active duty, reserve and National Guard are entitled to serve with a clear mission and adequate resources. We will continue to press for the money and resources necessary to ensure our veterans receive all that this nation has promised them – and owes to them.