Snohomish County Democrats
2012 Adopted Platform
We are the Snohomish County Democratic Party, the county organization of a major political party as recognized by the Washington State Constitution and the laws of Washington State with all of the rights and responsibilities granted by state law. We are the party of the people. We believe in the values of community, dignity, equality, opportunity, fairness, tolerance, respect, and the common good of the world we share. These values provide the basis for our ideals, supported by for Federal Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
Sound agricultural practices which include the protection of air, water and land are essential to the economic health and sustainability of our region. We recognize the role of farmers and ranchers as “stewards of the land.” Production of food is critical to national security.
- Programs that ensure the availability of high-quality locally grown food, and that strengthen rural communities.
- Maintaining a vital balance among the three major land use categories of “urban, rural, and natural resources.”
- The labeling of genetically Modified foods
- The separation of powers among the legislative, judicial and executive branches of government.
- The protection of individual citizens’ rights and liberties.
- A strict separation between church and state in a secular government.
- Marriage equality.
- The right to sovereignty of each person over their own bodies.
- A woman’s right to choose, as protected by Roe v. Wade and the Washington State Reproductive Freedom Act.
- The rights of adults, under the law, to choose to die with dignity.
- The rights of senior citizens to discuss all aspects of death and dying without being subjected to unwanted psychiatric intervention.
- The right to obtain medically safe prescriptions and over-the-counter medications.
- Discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, foster care and adoption proceedings, healthcare, military service, insurance, credit, licensing, or education by any entity based upon race, religion, age, sex, size, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, political affiliation, disability, or national origin.
Some corporations and wealthy individuals exercise undue influence on public policy and the economy, to the detriment of everyone else. Economic justice is essential to a democratic society and a strong economy. Taxation policies that are fair and equitable for all taxpayers, not just a favored few, are a keystone of economic justice.
- Living wage jobs.
- Limitations on the “personhood” rights extended to corporations.
- Corporations being subjected to enough regulation to prevent pillaging of financial, human and natural resources.
- Sufficient regulation of the growth of corporations to ensure that none become too big to fail.
- Government that places the needs of the people of the United States of America above those of corporations.
- Transparency in corporate accounting.
- A 21st century version of the Glass-Steagall Act.
- Development of sustainable jobs.
- Safe and adequate housing, medical care and sanitary facilities for all Migrant workers.
- A progressive tax system at both the federal and state level.
- A major increase in funding for construction of affordable and low income housing in Washington State.
- A fair system of paying for growth with impact fees charged to developers.
- Small business tax credits and low interest loans, and non-profit micro-lending.
- Only those multilateral trade agreements that are conditioned on environmental, health and safety standards, human rights and workers rights, and which support transparent democratic processes.
- The re-implementation of strict usury laws.
- Direct shareholder control of executive compensation
- We support eliminating the payroll tax cap for Social Security taxes.
- Undue influence by corporations and the wealthy over the government.
- Excessive executive compensation.
- The “off shoring” of corporate headquarters in order to evade U.S. laws and taxes.
- Privatization of Social Security or reduction of benefits.
- Exploitation of migrant, temporary and contract workers.
- Corporate welfare at the expense of the American taxpayer.
- Corporations using mergers and bankruptcy courts to appropriate workers pensions.
- The extension of tax advantages to companies that outsource American jobs.
- The outsourcing of government jobs and the privatization of public government services.
- Foreign trade agreements that put the interests of corporations above the rights of workers.
- Equating money and free speech.
The paramount duty of our state government is to ensure excellence in the delivery and content of public education. An excellent, quality public education, preschool through post-secondary, with equal access for all, is fundamental to maintaining a healthy democracy. “It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provision for the education of all children.” Washington State Constitution, 1889
- The availability of high quality continuing education and career training, including school-to-work partnerships and apprenticeship programs, in addition to traditional higher education for adult workers, because Washington State’s employers require a well-trained work force.
- Keeping the ratio of students to certificated classroom personnel low enough to promote effective learning.
- Financial investment in and full commitment to early-childhood education including full funding for Headstart.
- The inclusion of civics in the high school curriculum as a requirement for graduation
- The inclusion of visual arts and music studies in the K-12 curriculum.
- The guarantee of a safe environment in our public schools where violence, drugs, and bullying are not tolerated and good citizenship, healthy decision-making, respect, and wellness, (both physical and emotional,) are fostered.
- The recognition and valuation of diverse cultures in our institutions of learning.
- Age appropriate instruction and counseling regarding human growth and development, sexuality, communicable diseases, and the dangers of drug use.
- Providing age appropriate instruction on how to be safe from child abuse.
- A wage scale for teachers and school personnel that recognizes the critical role they fill in preparing our children to meet a challenging future.
- Teachers right to strike.
- Keeping public schools under full public control.
- Establishing a dedicated, stable funding source for education for preschool through higher education as mandated by the constitution of the state of Washington.
- The assertion that school breakfasts and lunches should meet or exceed state and federal nutritional standards.
- The use of textbooks in public education that rewrite history or omit /deny scientifically verifiable facts or widely accepted scientific theories.
ENERGY AND THE ENVIRONMENT
We must establish and enforce policies and regulations to protect and preserve the earth and its resources while utilizing ecologically-friendly and sustainable energy production.
- Substantial funding of research and development of renewable energy sources and investment in research and development of renewable energy that can lead to increased jobs.
- Growth on a regional scale by strengthening existing urban hubs, providing appropriate infrastructure, and preserving and supporting existing rural areas and natural resources.
- The health and sustainability of our oceans, shorelines, rivers, streams, and lakes, making them accessible to the public.
- The Endangered Species Act.
- Strong enforcement of EPA policies and regulations.
- The preservation of rural communities.
- Developments known as “fully contained communities”.
- The continued subsidy of fossil fuels.
The United States’ foreign policy goals should focus on sustainability as its primary organizing principle. America can lead in a cooperative manner, rather than a directive manner, by upholding international standards on human rights worldwide, by supporting the rights of all people to self-governance and self-determination.
- The cessation of hostilities in the Middle East.
- Encouraging cooperation among all nations to prevent acts of terrorism and to resolve international conflicts.
- Renegotiating “Free Trade” agreements to must include provisions to encourage sustainable agricultural and manufacturing practices, protect the environment, and promote worker’s health, safety, and rights.
- Working with the world community through the United Nations and its agencies, including the World Court.
- Paying the assessed share of the United States of America for the United Nations’ developments, peacekeeping and defense initiatives.
- Any foreign policy that includes pre-emptive or unilateral war.
GOVERNMENT AND POLITICAL REFORM
Teamwork between citizens and their government is the most effective and efficient means of achieving our common goals. Elections are the means by which we hire our representative government. Elections must be open, transparent, verifiable, and audited.
- The people’s participation in government.
- Basic civics education.
- The voting rights of felons should be automatically restored upon completion of their sentence.
- All US citizens 18 years of age or older have the right to vote.
- Government must be accountable, transparent, and equally accessible to all.
- The United States Postal Service as a core function of government.
- Regulation of contributions and expenditures for campaigns, elections, ballot measures, and electioneering.
- Extraordinary Rendition.
Access to high quality healthcare and proper nutrition should be available to every person. Healthcare is a basic human right. Our government should ensure and guarantee by law, accessible and affordable healthcare for all.
- A strong “Patient’s Bill of Rights.”
- A person’s right to choose or refuse medical procedures.
- The confidentiality of medical records, including DNA information.
- All types of stem-cell research.
- A women’s right to choose.
- The Washington State Reproductive Freedom Act.
- Universal health care for all US citizens.
- Government negotiation of volume discounts for pharmaceuticals provided by any government program.
- Government-funded research that is dedicated to the reduction of prescription prices, disease prevention and remedy costs.
- Discrimination against healthcare coverage based upon pre-existing conditions, disabilities or socio-economic conditions.
- A for profit healthcare system.
We are a country of mostly immigrants and their descendants. Immigration policies must not deny civil or human rights to immigrants or their children.
- An efficient immigration process and a path to citizenship.
- Programs offering immigrants instruction in English as a second language.
- Adequate housing, medical care, education, sanitary facilities, and protection from toxic chemicals for Migrant workers.
- Enforcement of the laws which penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants.
- Immigration policy that denies civil and/or human rights or educational opportunities for immigrants and their children, regardless of their immigration status.
- State or local police involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration laws.
- Efforts to deputize, commission, finance, or otherwise encourage vigilante border militia groups in the United States.
- Deportation or detention of immigrants without regard for the needs and rights of their dependents.
A strong economy is based upon jobs that provide safe working conditions, a fair & living wage, and health & retirement benefits. The benefits are obtained and ensured by the worker’s right to organize unions for collective bargaining.
- Enforceable rights to organize and collectively bargain.
- Prevailing wage laws for work under government contracts to protect family income and to provide a good tax base.
- “Best Value Contractor” policies and “Fair Contracting” for public works jobs.
- Area standards for wages and benefits.
- Unemployment insurance and workers’ compensation managed and monitored by the appropriate government entity.
- Protection of overtime pay.
- Jobs that include medical benefits for employees and their families.
- Strong regulations maintaining the solvency of workers’ pensions.
- Labor and management regulation of workers’ pensions.
- Safe working conditions, including training on workplace safety.
- Support healthcare benefits as a mandatory subject of bargaining for all public employees.
- Support market based wages for public employees.
- Support mandatory use of state certified apprentices by state and local government.
- Oppose public employee pension reductions by the legislature.
- Oppose balancing the budget with pension funds.
LAW AND JUSTICE
The government has a basic responsibility to prevent crime and to alleviate the social and economic conditions that contribute to crime.
- Rehabilitative treatments whenever appropriate.
- Determinate sentencing with the provision that judges must supply in writing reasons for exceeding limits.
- Crime prevention programs that are more cost effective than incarceration.
- Basic human rights for of all people confined in various facilities, including those confined in jails or prisons.
- Replacing the death penalty with the penalty of “life imprisonment without parole.”
- The legalization, regulation, taxation, and distribution of marijuana to adults 21 years of age and older through marijuana-only stores that are licensed and regulated through the state Liquor Control Board.
The free flow of information is fundamental to democracy. The public owns the broadcast frequencies and the Internet, which should be managed to serve the public interest. Internet neutrality is fundamental to preserve the value of the Internet for the public.
- Diversity of ownership and programming as the primary principle of broadcast licensing.
- Strengthening media ownership regulations to avoid corporate domination of our airwaves and the press.
- Encouraging minority and community ownership of media companies.
- Adequate, stable funding free of political pressure for public radio and public television.
- Strengthening community-level, non-profit and non-commercial radio and TV.
- Ensuring that rural Americans have access to modern communications infrastructure.
The core task of the U.S. Military is to provide for the common defense. Our military must be adequate to provide for our nation’s defense and should never be open to abuses of power by any branch of government.
- A powerful, well-trained, and well-equipped military, sufficient to the task of our common defense.
- Allowing all qualified volunteers to serve our nation, regardless of their sex, color, creed, religion or sexual orientation.
- Providing our troops with superior training, knowledgeable and experienced leadership and sufficient materiel to complete their mission.
- Providing troops with appropriate medical, dental, and psychological treatment and rehabilitation.
- Keeping the promises made to military personnel regarding their pensions and health care.
- Providing our troops with a transitional assistance program to make coming home easier.
- The use of disinformation campaigns to misinform citizens of military operations.
- The use of “depleted” uranium (dU), chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons.
- The use of active sonar in the Salish Sea.
- The use of civilian contractors in place of military personnel.
- Any cut in veterans benefits.
- Military access to school records without parental consent.
Multi-modal transportation systems should be economical, efficient, safe and accessible. A well planned mass transportation system is less damaging to the environment and promotes a good quality of life.
- Continued investment in public transportation.
- Improvements in facilities for non-motorized modes of transportation, including sidewalks, bicycle paths, curb cuts, and wheelchair ramps.
- Continuing the stationing of an ocean-going tug at Port Angeles.
Treaties made between sovereign Indian nations and the United States Government must be upheld and preserved, as must compacts between Washington State and the tribes.
“The Glass-Steagall Act” — In 1933, Senator Carter Glass (D-Va.) and Congressman Henry Steagall (D-Ala.) introduce the historic legislation that bears their name, seeking to limit the conflicts of interest created when commercial banks are permitted to underwrite stocks or bonds. In the early part of the century, individual investors were seriously hurt by banks whose overriding interest was promoting stocks of interest and benefit to the banks, rather than to individual investors. The new law bans commercial banks from underwriting securities, forcing banks to choose between being a simple lender or an underwriter (brokerage). The act also establishes the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), insuring bank deposits, and strengthens the Federal Reserve’s control over credit.