Platform of The Democratic Party of Denver

The Platform of the Denver Democratic Central Committee
(Adopted by the Party Assembly on March 29, 2014)  
 
1. A FAIR ECONOMY
We believe that we can create a just world that is fair for everyone.  We reject "you're on your own" economics. In the words of President Obama, "we're greater together than we are on our own."  We believe in a vigorous economy that strengthens our country based on hard work and responsibility, not greed and reckless speculation. We support a role for government in spurring job creation, rebuilding infrastructure, investing in clean energy technology and education, and restoring fairness and opportunity in our country. Therefore:  
 
1. We endorse an economic structure that maximizes opportunity for everyone, decreases inequality, and strengthens the middle class.  
2. We support maintaining tax incentives for investment in renewable energy and expanding loan guarantees to investments in energy efficiency.
3. We support more Wall Street reforms, pension protections, bank reforms, and full implementation of the Dodd Frank Act and similar legislation. We support re-adoption of the Glass-Steagall Act and rigorous enforcement of anti-trust legislation.
4. We support additional efforts to prevent home foreclosures, help stabilize the housing market, and keep people in their homes. 5. We call for more projects to repair and restore our infrastructure, support basic and applied research, and to address the energy and transportation needs of the future as a way to create more jobs and stimulate the economy.  
6. We acknowledge the government’s progress in reducing the deficit and call for further efforts to enhance revenue, including a progressive tax code that eliminates loopholes and support increasing the rate on capital gains.  
7. We believe that government has an important role in mitigating the effects of unemployment through education, retraining, extended unemployment insurance, healthcare for the unemployed and other support programs.
8. We believe public policy should reenergize manufacturing, and support small business, entrepreneurship, and innovation.  
9. We believe that rights recognized under the U.S. Constitution belong to human beings only, and that money is not protected speech. Corporations do not have inalienable Constitutional rights, but only those legal rights and responsibilities given to them by law. We support legislation and/or constitutional amendments to reverse the effects of Citizens United and related cases.  
10. We support public funding of political campaigns.
11. We support full disclosure of donors for all political issue spending and support tightening legislation and regulations to restrict political spending by 501(c) (4) and other tax-exempt organizations.
12. We support worker/owner cooperatives where the employees also own and control the business.
13. We support legislation to encourage more lending to small businesses and to enact a Financial Speculation Tax discouraging harmful speculation.
14. We call for greater scrutiny and transparency of trade agreements to protect jobs and the environment and oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership and the renewal of Fast Track trade authority.
15. We support the regulation of high-speed internet as a public utility and critical infrastructure and support efforts to make fiber-optics connections available throughout the nation at a reasonable cost in order to bring the United States capacity to the standards of other developed countries.
16. We support net-neutrality and the free flow of information unrestricted by telecommunication corporations.
17. We oppose the privatization of government services at all levels.
18. We support the protection of public and private pensions, but oppose the excessive pre-pay into the post office retirement fund. 
     
 2. JOBS AND LABOR
In order to restore our economy we must revive American manufacturing. This will require action on many fronts, including addressing global currency manipulation, reforming tax policy, enforcing and reforming our trade policies, strengthening government procurement policies, and increasing investment in job training. Therefore:   
 
1. We support policies to promote and establish a living wage for all workers and oppose all forms of wage theft.
2. We endorse government efforts to stimulate job creation and economic growth in both the private and public sector and we support the passage of legislation that would create more jobs.
3. We support ending tax incentives that encourage the export of U.S. jobs and support the institution of tax policies that bring manufacturing and other jobs back to the U.S.  
4. We support buying Colorado and U.S.-made goods and reforming trade agreements to raise global labor and environmental standards.  
5. We support enforcing our trade laws and reauthorizing a robust Trade Adjustment Assistance program, which supports workers who lose their jobs due to trade.
6. We support providing federal assistance to state, and local governments to avoid more layoffs and cutbacks of public services.  We recognize that government employees contribute meaningfully to our economy and we support efforts to restore vital government jobs that provide important public services and sustain the livelihood of those who are employed in them.
7. We support the rights of employees to form unions and oppose “right to work” legislation. We also support strengthening laws that protect employees from intimidation, retribution, and termination of at will employees without due process.
8. We support the payment of extended unemployment benefits during times of high unemployment.
9. We support the elimination of the cap on income subject to social security taxes.
10. We support programs that assist heads of households by including paid sick leave, flexible work hours and quality child care.   
 
3. AGRICULTURE
We support family farming and ranching as mainstays of the Colorado economy.  We also urge an active link between urban and rural lifestyles, as an expression of the value we place on both communities.  In particular,  
 
1. We support policies that promote sustainable and low impact agriculture, including organic farming, dry land farming, urban gardening, and support for small producers.  We also favor local production, marketing, and consumption of food to the fullest extent possible.
2. We support crop insurance programs that mitigate against cyclical losses from natural causes. We oppose subsidies that artificially reduce prices on less-nutritious food while increasing the cost of nutritious alternatives.
3. We support humane treatment of agricultural animals and encourage less dependence on factory farming.
4. We support reforms so that only legitimate operating farms are eligible to receive agricultural tax benefits.  
5. Any product containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be tested for safety and labeled as such.
6. We support research and programs to support healthy bee populations and ecosystems. 
   
4. WATER
Because water is a critical issue in our arid climate, we support efforts to educate and inform the public about water issues. We believe policies must prioritize water conservation, management of limited water supplies, and the protection of water quality for humans and natural ecology. Riparian systems and wetlands are critical components in the complex web of sustainable, healthy ecosystems, and must be rigorously protected. We urge the maintenance of healthy rivers, streams , aquifers, and aquatic ecosystems. We support the preservation of minimum stream flows and support stream flow restoration efforts. Therefore:
 
1. We support active urban conservation and improved water use efficiency.
2. We support incentives for improved agricultural water use efficiency and mechanisms such as reuse, leasing and cooperative alliances aimed at avoiding permanent depletion of water from agricultural lands.  
3. We encourage the development of a State Water Plan that includes long-range planning that balances the many uses of water and healthy ecosystems.
4. We support requiring that new developments include adequate supplies of water.  
5. We support strong enforcement of the Clean Water Act and support the enactment of stronger regulations and laws when existing laws do not adequately protect water quality, wetlands, and wildlife ecosystems. We support full compliance of the Clean Water Act, without exceptions for oil and gas production.  
6. We support full disclosure by businesses and municipalities of all chemicals discharged or injected into groundwater or surface water and require storage facilities to be properly maintained.
7. We support full disclosure of all chemicals added to public water supplies.   
 
5. FOREIGN POLICY
We believe our foreign policy should reflect our highest principles of freedom, justice for all, equality, self- determination, human dignity, the rule of international law, and the principles stated in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.  Therefore:   
 
1. We oppose all forms of ethnic cleansing, genocide, apartheid and violent suppression of peaceful protests.
2. We support vigorous pursuit of diplomatic and multi-lateral initiatives to resolve conflicts, including the relentless pursuit of nuclear non-proliferation, elimination of chemical weapons and land mine mitigation.
3. We oppose long-term commitments of the U.S. military in regions where our national security is not threatened.
4. We endorse protection of the nation as a priority, and support the use of effective, appropriate technologies and methods that do not impinge on civil liberties, and under no circumstances include torture.
5. We support a just and lasting peace between the Israelis, Palestinians, and other groups in the Middle East.    
6. We support decreased dependence on private contractors in pursuit of fulfilling our military missions.
7. We support President Obama’s efforts to resolve the crisis in the Ukraine.
8. We support renewed efforts to close Guantanamo Bay detention center. 
   
6.  HEALTH CARE
We believe that health care is a right, not a privilege.  We support public financing of health care for all.  Our health system should focus proactively on wellness, public health, preventive medicine, disease prevention, and mental health, as well as primary care. Therefore:    
 
1. We support full implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Health Care Act and reject any efforts to defund or weaken the act.  
2. We support a public option and improved Medicare for all.
3. We support creation of a non-profit Colorado Health Care Cooperative to offer affordable, universal health care for all residents of Colorado.
4. We support fully funding an expansion of Medicaid.
5. We support full access for family and reproductive health care, including all forms of contraception, and reject all efforts, including the proposed personhood amendment that would curtail a woman’s right to choose.
6. We support single-payer universal health care.
7. We support transparency and accurate estimates of all costs of medical procedures prior to the delivery of services.
8. We support better reporting on objective measures of health care quality and outcomes.
9. We support increased mental health services for families and individuals.
10.  We support increased funding and medical training programs that encourage more physicians to go into general practice and primary care, particularly in rural areas.
11. We support the right to die with dignity at a time and place of our choosing, with the guidance of a physician, when faced with terminal illness or degenerative disease.
  
7. SENIOR ISSUES
We believe that older adults are a valuable resource for Colorado. The older adult population in Colorado will increase by more than 25% in the immediate future and will more than double by 2035. This growth will bring increased demands for aging services at the local and regional level and impact nearly every aspect of community life. We believe that investing in cost effective services enables seniors to live independently as long as possible which will have a profound positive effect on the quality of life for all Coloradans and will reduce demand for more expensive institutional care.  
 
1. We call for the development of a long-term plan for providing services to seniors.
2. We support increased funding for programs and services that enable seniors to remain independent, extending the time when they can remain in their homes and delaying the time when they will need long- term institutional care.
3. We support increased funding to research cures and treatment of Alzheimer’s, dementia, osteoporosis, and other debilitating senior related medical conditions.
4. We support Social Security and its current formula for inflation adjustment, which remains the most effective program to reduce senior poverty.  
5. We call for action to improve the efficiency of delivery of medical services to seniors with the goal of reducing the percent of GDP dedicated to these services, while maintaining the quality of care. 
        
8 ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
Global climate change, pollution, population growth and consequent environmental problems pose a real threat to our survival. We believe that we must deal with these urgent issues now and pursue policies that maintain biodiversity, ecosystem integrity and the overall health of our planet. We support efforts to increase energy efficiency and conservation, increased utilization of renewable and green energy, strict enforcement of critical environmental protection, and science-based policies that lead to a sustainable environment. Our public resources and lands must be preserved for future generations. State and local governments must manage growth, pollution, and the extraction of natural resources to protect the quality of life for their citizens and to protect the environment and other species. Therefore:   
 
1. We support the protection of natural habitats and intact ecosystems through science-based management of public lands that promotes the optimal balance between human use and the natural world, with special attention paid to protection of threatened and endangered species.  
2. We support programs and policies that encourage recycling, composting, and energy conservation. All levels of government should have energy efficiency policies that support advanced building design and construction standards, such as Energy Star, LEED, and Passive House.
3. We support a carbon tax/fee, or at a minimum a cap and trade system to regulate pollutants and emissions.  
4. We strongly endorse the new energy economy and support incentives for individuals and companies to switch to renewable energy. Fossil fuels are finite and therefore we support policies that encourage the switch to sustainable, renewable energy sources and oppose the efforts of utilities to restrict net metering.
5. We support an increased severance tax for natural resources extracted from all Colorado lands.  
6. We support disclosure of the use and disposal of toxic materials to the appropriate authorities so that regulations can be fashioned and enforced in such a manner as to protect public health and the environment.
7. We support redefining the purpose of Colorado Oil & Gas Conservation Commission to include responsibility for the public welfare.  
8. We support tightening restrictions related to hydraulic fracturing to provide strong protections for air and water quality, transparency, and public involvement.
9. We support requiring public participation in the full process of the Colorado Brownfield Voluntary Cleanup Program, including public input into the cleanup process and standards.
10. We support public notice before commercial or governmental dispersal of pesticides.   
 
9. TRANSPORTATION
Denver and Colorado need a comprehensive public multi-modal transit system that takes into consideration non- motorized transportation needs, transit oriented development, environmental and neighborhood impacts, neighborhoods with the greatest need for public transportation and services to people with disabilities, including the blind/visually impaired and physically disabled. Therefore:  
 
1. We support an emphasis on a public, not private, transportation system.  
2. We support continuation and expansion of the strategic build out of FasTracks.
3. We support an expedited statewide public transit system, including rail, in the north-south and east-west corridors. 
4. We urge the CDOT to seriously consider alternatives to I-70 expansion and relocation, including I-76 and I- 270 expansion.  
5. We support additional accommodations for people with disabilities entering and departing the transit system at service points.    
 
10 EDUCATION
We demand an educational system, which is inclusive of our diverse population, guarantees funding, encourages community involvement, and educates the whole individual through academic rigor, athletic competition, artistic endeavor, and career/technical training. Public education is a right and we reject attempts to privatize it. Therefore:  
 
1. We support funding school meal programs for children living in poverty.
2. We oppose vouchers and public funding of religious and other private schools, including privately run charter schools.
3. We insist that all educational professionals earn a living wage, have the right to organize, and have access to mentoring and educational support to improve their effectiveness.
4. We support the repeal of No Child Left Behind including its philosophy of “teaching to the test.”
5. We support the full funding of public K-12 and higher education.  
6. We support in-state tuition rates for all graduates of Colorado public schools.
8. We support programs that reduce the segregation of the Denver public school system.  
9. We support foreign language instruction beginning in grade school.
10. We support access to equal education for the disabled.
11. We support anti-bullying policies in schools, but reject strict adherence to zero tolerance and call for common sense in school discipline.
12. We support increasing standards at all levels of education, but oppose excessive testing.
13. We support education that emphasizes a comprehensive and expanded curriculum which includes STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics), and includes music, arts, and physical education. We support developmentally appropriate STEM programs/curriculum as early as preschool.
14. We support the inclusion of educational curriculum in extended day programs.
15. We support access to internet and computer technology for Colorado students, especially in underserved rural and urban areas.
16. We support establishing campaign finance reforms for elected Board of Education Director positions, including aligning candidate reporting calendars to existing schedules to make public disclosure more timely, and by establishing reasonable contribution limits as envisioned in the Colorado constitution.
17. We support revision to the SPF (DPS-School Performance Framework) to better assist in accurately determining failing schools, and we support funding and programs for intensive training of administrators, principals, and teachers, within 18 months of such determination. 
       
11 IMMIGRATION
We honor and defend the basic human rights of every person in the United States regardless of citizenship. As a nation of immigrants, we value the contributions that those from other lands and ethnic groups have contributed to our national economic, intellectual, and cultural life. We welcome those who would like to become legal residents or citizens of the United States. The current immigration system is broken. A system must be developed that includes the full protection of U.S. labor law, protects against exploitation, values diversity, and provides the opportunity to earn citizenship. We urge the enactment of comprehensive reforms to immigration laws. Therefore:  
 
1. We support keeping families together and oppose the incarceration and/or deportation by the ICE of undocumented parents who have minor children needing their care.
2. We support streamlining application for visas, work permits, and residency into a more rational, just, and humane process with substantial reductions in waiting time.
3. We support a simple, comprehensive and verifiable temporary worker program and only then support substantial penalties for those who hire undocumented workers.
4. We endorse a path to citizenship, as envisioned by the proposed national DREAM Act, for long-time residents who have paid taxes, or defended our country in the armed forces, and have not been convicted of a felony.
5. We oppose legislation that changes unlawful entry into the United States from a petty offense to a felony.   
 
12. MILITARY AND VETERANS AFFAIRS
We have a sacred trust to the men and women who have served and who continue to serve our country.  Therefore, as an obligation to our veterans and their families:  
 
1. We support additional resources to provide easy and efficient access to earned benefits for veterans and their families to health care, education, affordable housing, and job opportunities.
2. We support expanding opportunities for unemployed veterans and providing incentives to businesses to hire them.
3. We support efforts to eliminate sexual harassment in the military and call for complaints to be reported and resolved outside of the chain of command.
4. We support additional funding and resources for mental health services for both active military and veterans.
5. We support full funding to complete construction of the new VA hospital in Aurora.
6. We support a speedy review of less than honorable discharges and denial of medical benefits. 
        
13. CRIMINAL JUSTICE AND COMMUNITY SECURITY
We believe that government must support the rule of law, protect the private choices of citizens, and provide safe communities that are free from violence.  Everyone has a right to feel safe and secure in their home and neighborhood.  We will continue to support those who protect and serve.  We also believe that crime can be reduced through comprehensive prevention and rehabilitation programs. Therefore:  
 
1. We support strong and fair penalties for violent crimes, especially crimes against women and persons particularly vulnerable such as children, the elderly, and disabled.
2. We speak out in a unified voice against hatred, racism, racial profiling, and violence directed against any group and support legal protections through “hate crime” legislation.
3. We support comprehensive social services and assistance for the victims of crime.
4. We support alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders.  These alternatives include community based corrections and diversion programs for juveniles, people with mental illnesses or drug addiction, and other non-violent offenders.   We believe juvenile crime rates can be reduced by implementing anti-truancy measures, after-school programs, and restorative justice programs.  
5. We salute the progress achieved in gun safety regulations passed by the state legislature and oppose any efforts to repeal the current laws.  We promote responsible gun ownership, gun safety programs, and sporting associations, and also remain determined to keep guns out of the hands of children and criminals. We strongly urge a comprehensive common sense ban on deadly assault weapons and high capacity magazine rounds. We support a ban on guns on college and university campuses, except for law enforcement and security personnel.
6. We seek to provide state-of-the-art equipment and training for police officers and first responders. We support DNA and science-based verification systems to prevent innocent people from being punished for crimes they did not commit.  
7. We believe that the criminal justice system can be improved. We support the replacement of the death penalty with a term of permanent incarceration and recommend using those cost savings to make rehabilitation, education and job readiness top priorities within our state prison system.  
8. We support ending mandatory sentencing and oppose privatizing the penal system.  
9. We support juvenile court processing prior to juveniles being transferred to adult court and we oppose sentencing juveniles to life imprisonment without the possibility of parole.  
10. We support the right of victims and their families to participate in the penalty phase and judgment hearings, and believe that parole hearings should be avoided when there is no chance of parole.
11. We support programs to encourage the hiring of felons.
12. We support current efforts to reduce the use of solitary confinement in Colorado prisons.
13. We support additional training for police officers in interactions with the public, particularly with juveniles and the mentally ill and impaired. 
        
14. CIVIL RIGHTS
All persons residing in the United States deserve equal protection under the law regardless of their race, religion, sexual orientation, age, national origin, economic status, and physical disability. We believe in fairness, equal rights, equal opportunity, and being part of an inclusive society. Therefore:  
 
1. We believe that voting is a basic right and oppose any measures that decrease or inhibit access to voting and support extending voting rights by measures such as extensive early voting and same day registration.  
2. We support the equal treatment of gay, lesbian bisexual, and transgender individuals, including the right to adopt children and the right of same sex couples to marry, have hospital visitation rights and full access to insurance.
3. We oppose all hate crimes and support legislation that facilitates the prosecution of hate crimes, such as the Matthew Shepard and the James Byrd, Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act.
4. We support equal pay for work as emphasized in the Lilly Ledbetter Act.
5. We support the rights of disabled people as provided under Americans with Disabilities Act.
6. We support the fight against human trafficking.
7. We believe that the government has no legitimate authority to intrude into the private lives of individuals who have not displayed evidence of being a threat to the security of others.
8. We oppose indefinite detention of any person without due process.  
9. We support religious freedom and support policies that ensure the full separation of church and state.
10. We support repealing the Patriot Act.
11. We encourage the legislature to examine time frames of elections to allow mail-in balloting, including for special elections and recalls. We support counties paying for recall elections.  
 
15. LOCAL AFFAIRS
Local governments deserve special attention because they impact people on a day to day basis. Therefore:   
 
1. We support full funding of emergency shelter and food systems, and a vigorous program for assisting homeless and needy people to have productive lives.
2. We support programs to end homelessness, especially for families with children, veterans, persons with disabilities, the elderly, and the mentally ill.
4. We support the use of local vendors and businesses.  
5. We object to public policy that allows Denver neighborhoods to be turned into toxic waste disposal sites.
6. We support a state constitutional amendment modifying or eliminating the Taxpayers Bill or Rights (TABOR).
7. We support the determination, with public input, of which Denver park land, open space, trails, and public natural areas are to be designated and protected as Denver Parks. We recognize the right of Denver residents to vote on the disposal and/or privatization of designated Denver Parks. 
 

 

 

 

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