Party Platform Summary

Below you will find a summary of the State Democractic Pary Summary edited by one of our board members. The original document in over 20 pages long.

The complete platform can be viewed at:

http://www.coloradodems.org/files/CDP2012PlatformFinalProposal4.14.pdf

 To see what other State Democratic Parties are proposing click on the links below:

 

THE COLORADO STATE DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM SUMMARY

 

PREFACE:

Democrats coming together from the state of Colorado have written this platform against the backdrop of partisan gridlock, government shutdown and sequester, school shootings, civil unrest in the middle east, domestic demonstrations against economic disparity, the Citizens United court decision, the Fukushima Power Plant Meltdowns following the tsunami, extreme local weather events, hundreds of thousands of American home foreclosures, the anti-fracking movement, the continued heartbreaking U.S. occupation of Afghanistan lasting over eleven years, and troops in Iraq, the 350 movement to curtail carbon emissions, and partisan efforts nationwide to nullify collective bargaining agreements, to sell off publicly owned properties, to obstruct free and open voting, and revoke women’s rights to choose whether or not to have babies.

 

It is little wonder that the concerns of Colorado Democrats focus clearly on the health of our people and our planet. We affirm that corporations are not people, that our government derives its authority from poor and rich people equally, and our government serves the common good over the interests of power and greed. Colorado Democrats believe in, work and stand for a government that preserves the inalienable rights of all people to prosper and thrive in a nation that offers freedom, equal opportunity, fairness and justice for all and ensures the wellbeing of the people, the land, air, water and climate for present and future generations to come. Colorado Democrats seek to do no harm in the world and to leave the world a better place than we have found it.

 

“Government for The People, by The People”

 

ECONOMIC POLICY AND SOCIAL JUSTICE

EP1. We believe that the current economic situation, the trade and budget deficit, and the upward redistribution of our nation’s wealth over the last ten years demand that we re-think our financial regulations, taxation, jobs programs, trade treaties, and priorities for the spending of taxpayer dollars.

 

EP2. The overarching and unprecedented challenges of both climate change and “peak oil” necessitate investment in domestically produced and sustainable energy sources and mass transportation systems. Years of neglect and austerity policies have left our infrastructure in disrepair, schools in decay, and essential services understaffed.

 

EP3. The benefits of speculation in our financial industry have been limited to just a few investors, but the resulting crash of 2008 affected the lives of all Americans. Over the past thirty years, with decreased regulation and tax breaks to the wealthy and corporations, economic prosperity has become increasingly limited to the few. Too many Americans are now without access to basic necessities, including: adequate medical care; shelter; nutrition; education; job training and a fair living wage. We can and must do better.

 

EP4. Without fairness and equality of opportunity, democracy is in name only. La Plata County and Colorado Democrats strongly urge our legislators to seize the opportunity to address our economic crisis through a massive jobs program that would put America back to work and also address these most critical challenges of our time.

 

EP5. We believe job creation is an urgent priority and is essential to the health of our economy and to ensuring its competitiveness in the global economy. Such substantial investment in our economy of today is also the necessary deposit on a livable future for generations of Americans to come. We support government that serves the common good and promotes economic justice for all.

 

EP6. We support FAIR TAX REFORM. including raising the tax rate on Wall Street speculation; eliminating deductions for corporate luxuries; Ending corporate tax subsidies paid out to profitable corporations;Taxing all capital gains and qualified dividends as ordinary income; Reducing corporate entitlements by closing corporate tax loopholes.

 

EP7. We support ending offshore tax shelters on earned income available to individuals and businesses, moving capital and jobs offshore. and creating incentives to reward American corporations for bringing jobs back to the United States and assessing penalties for companies sending jobs offshore.

 

EP8. We support assuring the long-term solvency of social security, Medicare, and Medicaid and protecting the Affordable Care Act

 

EP9. We support scaling back worldwide military operations and expenditures to reinvest those savings in our own nation’s critical domestic needs.

 

CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY AND FAIR TRADE

CR1.  We believe that Corporations are not people and that they must practice ethical business practices based on social responsibility and accountability to the common good.

 

CR2.          We believe that regulatory agencies must receive adequate funding and staffing levels to enforce the law.

 

CR3.          We support only fair trade laws and treaties that guarantee worker protections, safe working conditions, limitations on child labor, a living wage, environmental protections, public safety and human rights.

 

 

 

HOUSING

H1.   We believe that while the Bush Administration helped nurture the housing collapse and taxpayers helped bail out large financial institutions, those large institutions, once again profitable, have yet to be made fully accountable for their actions, while we the people are still paying for their excesses.

 

H2.   More than 2.7 million homes have been foreclosed upon since the 2008 collapse. It is estimated that by 2014 our economy will record $1 trillion in losses to borrowers, local governments and financial institutions.

 

H3.   One in five homes in Colorado has a lower value than the amount of its current mortgage loan. It is time for Wall St. to help repair the damage suffered by Main Street.

 

VETERANS AFFAIRS

V1.   We believe we have a sacred charge to care for the valiant men and women who have served, and who continue to serve, in our country’s armed forces.

 

V2.   We support easy and efficient access to earned benefits for veterans and their families to health care, education and job opportunities. We support protecting and maximizing veterans’ benefits. We call for an end to the steady erosion of

benefits earned by this country’s veterans.

 

V3.   We support policies that fully fund VA hospitals and other veterans’ benefits.

 

V4.   We believe the military should allow military personnel to remain on active duty following recovery from serious injury.

 

LABOR

We believe that America’s working men, women, and families have built this country, created a middle class, have fought for this nation, secured the home front, and maintained basic employment protections for themselves and their descendants. Organized Labor, Working Class Americans, and the Democratic Party together have fought for what’s now taken for granted as basic civil and human rights; such modern progress largely sprang from an American labor movement; and now extends around the world. The goal of American Labor is to see the nation’s businesses and institutions prosper in a just and fair manner and share in that prosperity to the betterment of all

citizens.

 

HEALTH CARE

We believe that an affordable, high quality health care system must be available to all citizens without regard to an individual’s relative wealth. We support and appreciate that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) “Obama Care” health care act will improve access to health care insurance for many citizens. We support the Colorado Health Exchange as a step towards universal health care.

 

 

ENVIRONMENT, ENERGY and CONSERVATION

EEC1. We believe a clean, healthy global environment is vital for today and the future. Colorado’s economic mainstays, agriculture and tourism require environmental protection. Global climate change, pollution, and resulting environmental problems pose a threat to our survival. We believe that we must deal with these urgent issues now and pursue policies that maintain ecosystem integrity and biodiversity and the overall health of our planet.

 

EEC2. While jobs and the economy can be supported by natural gas extraction, this “bridge fuel” can also have a devastating impact on the health of our land, air, water, and people. The gas rush we are currently experiencing in the state of Colorado distracts and delays us from the essential work of finding alternatives to fossil fuel use for our state’s and nation’s energy needs. We must make the development of alternative and sustainable energy, and the jobs they create a matter of the highest priority for our local, state and national energy policy.

 

EEC3. We are alarmed at the damage being thrust upon our local community and our democracy as our civil and community rights are preempted by the gas and oil industry and the regulatory agencies that serve to protect their interests. Our local, state and national leaders must manage growth, pollution, and the extraction of natural resources and provide for the long term protection of our people, our communities and our environment over and above the interests of short term corporate greed and profit. We must act to ensure clean air and water today and for the sake of our future generations.

 

ENERGY

We support energy independence, alternative and renewable energy, conservation and efficiency. We strongly support a responsible energy policy addressing global climate change that includes energy conservation, energy efficiency and renewable energy in place of subsidized fossil fuel and nuclear produced energy. We believe in the priority of conservation and efficiency over “energy independence.” Many new jobs will be provided with renewable energy projects.

 

 

NATURAL RESOURCES

NR1.          We support protection of our natural resources. We support legislation that regulates renewable energy standards and encourages development of renewable resources and environmental restoration. We strive toward a reduction of CO2 and methane emissions to decrease the effects of global climate change. We advocate enacting more stringent laws and more funding for the enforcement of laws for coal fired plants as well as for coal, oil, gas and uranium extraction (drilling and mining).

 

NR2.          All processes for the extraction of natural resources must eliminate threats to public health, safety and welfare. To protect their  communities, local governments must have the right to ban, regulate or issue moratoria on processes for the extraction of natural resources.

 

NR3. During the transition from fossil fuels to renewable energy sources, we recognize the extraction of fossil fuels will occur. All fossil fuel extraction should be done with the most environmentally sound, best-understood, traditional (non-fracking) technologies.

 

CONSERVATION

We support management of public lands, wildlife, water and agriculture. The public has a right to be fully informed about and to participate fully in decisions regarding the management of public lands and resources. We value our shared resources and hold our elected representatives responsible for their efficient management in a publicly accountable manner. Public resources such as our national forests and parks, clean air and water, and the Earth’s complex ecosystem cannot be easily measured in economic terms. Since the value of these resources far exceeds their perceived market value, they must be protected in perpetuity for the common good of future generations. We must consider the wide-ranging effects of our actions and support global environmental and economic sustainability.

 

WATER

Riparian systems and wetlands are critical components in the complex web of sustainable, health ecosystems, and must be rigorously protected. 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 purity for humans and natural ecology. We believe that water, in Colorado, is owned by the public, pursuant to Article 16, section 5, of the Colorado Constitution, and as our most precious and limited public resource must be protected against harmful exploitation

 

AGRICULTURE POLICY AND LAND MANAGEMENT

We believe that policies of rational and sustainable use of our land and agricultural resources are essential to maintain our ecosystem integrity for the future. 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.

 

FOOD SAFETY AND NUTRITION

FS1. We support safe food practices, including full disclosure of all ingredients, labeling of genetically engineered or modified (GMO) food, irradiated food, food from cloned animals and their offspring, pesticides used, and “Country of Origin” (”COO”). We oppose the imposition of federal laws that undermine more stringent or specific state laws governing food safety.

 

FS2. We support increased funding and legislation to regulate and reduce consumer exposure to substances that have been proven harmful to humans in food, water and personal products, including bisphenol A (BPA), lead, phthalates, petroleum-derived ingredients, etc.

 

FS3. We support ending food subsidies for crops such as corn, which result in the health damaging effects of high-fructose saturation of processed food and call for enactment of policies that will promote healthy foods in school nutrition programs and in society at large.

 

FS4. We call for increased funding for inspections of food imports to protect American consumers from the entry of unsafe and poisonous products into our country and also call for increased funding for inspections of domestic processing facilities.

 

EDUCATION

ED1. We believe that state public education policies should provide every student with an equal opportunity to reach his or her potential and that quality public education is an investment with real and tangible return for our economy.

 

ED2. Access to a high quality education is not only a basic right; it is also a necessary component of a healthy democracy. Our students face a globally competitive economy and Democrats believe in equal opportunity to prepare all students to solve the problems of tomorrow.

 

ED3. We demand full funding of a thorough and uniform education with public monies to public schools that are locally controlled.

 

ED4. We demand an education system, which is inclusive of our diverse population.

 

ED5. We demand a rich, balanced curriculum, which acknowledges the importance of educating the whole child, and provides effective instruction and meaningful evaluation.

 

ED6. We demand fair wages and benefits, safe working conditions, and legal rights for all public school educators.

 

ED7. We support providing access to affordable quality public higher education for all residents of the state

 

CIVIL LIBERTIES

Human And Civil Rights

CL1. We believe every human being has the right to be treated with dignity and all persons residing in The United States deserve equal protection under the law regardless of their race, disability, gender or gender identity, religion, sexual orientation, national origin, age, or physical or mental differences.

 

CL2. We believe that all human beings are created equal, born with the right to equality, safety, and respect. We support the rights of people with disabilities to live freely and that they are extended the same rights as all Americans.

 

CL3. We believe that women are entitled to the full and equal rights and privileges available, public or private, legal or institutional and support a woman’s right to control her health care, including her method of birth control.

 

CL4. We believe that our government has a duty to protect its citizens, including a duty to protect each citizen’s privacy. The government has no legitimate authority to intrude into the private lives of individuals when there is no evidence of a threat to the security of others. Personal decisions concerning health, faith, political affiliations, or marriage are the domain of each individual’s conscience and belief system and do not require governmental intervention.

 

CL5. We support 14th Amendment guarantees of fundamental precepts of equality and liberty, including our rights to self-determination and autonomy.

 

CITIZENS UNITED

We believe that both the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights amending the U.S. Constitution apply to “people” and “men”. The terms “people” and “men” are commonly agreed to refer to human beings in plurality and NOT to entities such as corporations.  Therefore, we concur that any rights and protections guaranteed in the Declaration of Independence and/or the Bill of Rights, including civil liberties specifically enumerated in the First Amendment, have absolutely no application to corporations or similar entities. Consequently, we call on our local, state and federal elected officials to work together to amend the U.S. Constitution to overturn the flawed Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission.

 

HUMAN TRAFFICKING

We believe forced servitude or selling of any person, whatever their legal status in the United States, are inhumane and we will not tolerate it.

 

U.S. PATRIOT ACT REPEAL, FISA and NDAA REVISION

We see no need to react thoughtlessly to baseless fear. We support deliberate, carefully considered solutions to the issues that face our nation and the world. It is time to undo the restrictions and invasions that occurred as a consequence of the U.S. Patriot Act and to reclaim our civil liberties as defined in the Bill of Rights. We support repeal of the U.S. Patriot Act, particularly invasions of privacy such as warrantless searches and seizures, roving wiretaps and searches of business and library records. Similarly, we support revisions to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2012 (NDAA), which would delete the destructive detainee provisions contained in that law.

 

CRIMINAL JUSTICE

CJ1. We are the party of crime prevention. We maintain that investment of time and funds before there is a problem will save us dollars and human costs in the future. We believe in the power of the U.S. Constitution and the adversarial criminal justice system to achieve true justice when applied fairly, wisely and without bias.

 

CJ2. We passionately believe that anyone arrested on any offense is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.

 

CJ3. We believe that personal liberty should be limited only after careful and objective

consideration of risk to the greater community, without regard to socioeconomic status, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, age or class.

 

CJ4. We support our government in implementation of evidence-based, fact-based and humanitarian approaches that are designed to keep us safe and secure, not just now but in the future.

 

CJ5. We advocate a balanced approach to justice that seeks to restore the

victim, the community and the offender while holding the offender accountable and responsible. When all of the above become the norm of the land, we know that we will reduce tax dollar expenditures.

 

TORTURE AND THE PRINCIPLES OF THE GENEVA CONVENTION

The United States has long been a signatory of the Geneva Conventions that have, since 1949, articulated protections and protocols for the treatment of people who are not currently taking part in hostilities during a time of armed conflict (whether due to injury/illness, civilian status, war prisoner status or military service that is medical or religious in nature). The Geneva Conventions clearly delineate conduct that comprise “grave breaches” of these long-time agreements, including torture, inhumane treatment,

unlawful confinement, and deprivation of the right to a fair trial. We wholeheartedly support the tenants of the Geneva Convention.

 

INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND FOREIGN POLICY

INT1. We believe our foreign policy should reflect our highest principles of freedom, justice for all, 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.

 

INT2.  We support engaging with the people of the world as partners and contributing to the peace and security of the world as a free, open and democratic society. We believe that our nation can work positively together with others to assist in the resolution of international conflict without imposing its will. Conflicts can best be resolved by agreements between the parties involved. We believe that keeping citizens safe from terrorism must not undermine international agreements affirming the fundamental rights of all human beings.

 

INT3. 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 questioning of the right to self-determination. A policy of

projecting our power unilaterally around the globe cannot meet the standards for a fair, just, and effective foreign policy and contributes to the loss of our civil liberties at home.

 

INT4. The motives for war must be transparent, initiated only for the protection of our own citizenry or the rights of others. It must be a just cause that takes us to war and war must only be used as a last resort.

 

INT5. We strongly support our military personnel and their families for their sacrifice on our behalf. We also recognize that citizen’ rights 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

 

THE MIDDLE EAST

We believe the Middle East conflict requires a new paradigm to achieve peace in that region of the world. The international community must help the  people of the region get beyond the issues of law, occupation, suicide bombers, and economic controls and handouts.

 

IMMIGRATION

IMG1. 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.

 

IMG2. We believe contributions from hard-working immigrants are just as significant today as they have been throughout our history. We welcome those who would like to become legal residents or citizens of the United States.

 

IMG3. We oppose the institutionalization of undocumented immigrants as a marked and permanent underclass, We honor and defend the basic human rights of every person in the United States, regardless of citizenship status. These rights include health care, education, proper nutrition, family unity, protection under the law including labor law, protection from exploitation and entrapment, and the right to the pursuit of happiness.

 

IMG4. 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.

 

HEALTHY DEMOCRACY

CAMPAIGN, ELECTION AND MEDIA REFORM AND GOVERNMENT ETHICS

DEM1. We believe a healthy democracy is rooted in an honestly informed electorate that is involved, engaged, and able to approach issues with empathy and courage. It includes universal adult suffrage, free, recurring, competitive and fair elections enhanced and supported by unbiased multiple sources of information.

 

DEM2. A citizenry with hopes of holding politicians accountable must be able to critically analyze factual data, test logic and imagine alternatives. To remain engaged, they must know their voice is heard and not drowned out by those with money, influence and

corrupted power. They must be assured that all steps of the election process are fair and transparent with votes tallied by true, honest and publicly verifiable systems.

 

DEM3. Election laws must ensure equal representation, achieved through fair and impartial redistricting. The right of all citizens to vote must be protected, regardless of race or minority status. All eligible to vote must have full and unfettered access to the means to vote.

 

DEM4. To ensure the highest caliber of leadership, voters must have access to information that enables them to draw clear and valid distinctions amongst candidates seeking to govern.

 

DEM5. Campaigns must be fair and open. The exorbitant cost of elections must be tempered by policies that ensure all qualified for office can be assured of the opportunity to seek it. Qualified candidates must be given fair and equal access to media. The right to speak freely must not be exercised at the expense of another’s capacity to speak at all. Money is not free speech.

 

DEM6. We expect our elected officials to be committed to the highest standards of behavior, personal integrity and honesty and to demand transparency and open government that works in hand with the media rather than at odds with it. Media must serve as an unbiased observer, free of the domination, manipulation and control of those who seek to influence for their own profit. Media competition must be ensured and consolidation limited.

 

DEM7. At a time when public confidence in government is perhaps at its lowest in our history, when government has come to a standstill, held hostage by those who seek to serve themselves and not the common good, it is imperative that health and trust be restored to our democracy or we risk losing it all together.

 

DEM8. 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 surely counted. Our government must be of, for and by the people, not corporations. And speech must in truth be free.

 

CAMPAIGN REFORM

CR1. Our Republic is based on a free and fair election process where one person has one vote. This premise is in danger of collapse because of a pair of 2010 court rulings that have effectively put our democracy for sale to the highest bidder and even shields the identity of those bidders.

 

CR2. We, the people, will not sit idly by while a system in which well-meaning elected officials are always looking over their shoulder with the knowledge that voting their conscience may cost them the next election, not because the majority disagree, but because corporate interests and those who might otherwise profit disagree.

 

CR3. Corporations are created under the laws of a state as separate legal entities with privileges and liabilities distinct from those of its members. Yet, the US Supreme Court has declared that for the purposes of political gain, corporations have the same rights to free speech as people, and their “speech” and monetary support of a candidate or issue cannot be limited.

 

CR4. “Super PACs,” or political action committees, also now share in the ability of any individual or group to cloak itself from disclosure while being granted the ability to provide unlimited funding into the political process. That appellate court ruling has effectively gutted disclosure efforts, which should allow knowing just who is funding any type campaign and should allow the common person the ability to appropriately weigh their decisions at the polling place. When a corporation fails, shareholders may lose their investment and employees their job. The same cannot be said when our political process fails

 

ELECTION REFORM

We believe an engaged citizenry demands a voting system that is accessible, monitored at each step throughout the entire process and is thoroughly verifiable.

 

MEDIA REFORM

We believe that the free press, “the 4th Estate”, must be supported and nourished in a democratic society. Full unrestricted access to our legislative, executive and judicial branches by the press provides a necessary check and balance in the name of the public good and is a cornerstone of our governmental process that demands support and attention.

 

ETHICS AND GOVERNMENT

We expect that our elected officials at every level of government be committed to the highest standards of behavior, personal integrity, honesty and a commitment to transparency and open government, with substantial consequences for failure to do so.

We expect our elected officials attend to and maintain the checks and balances provided among the legislative, executive and judicial branches, and stand up against the corrupting influence of money in our system of government. Above all, we expect

officials to uphold and defend the Constitution of the United States.

 

INVESTIGATIONS

We believe that trust in our government and our democracy has been severely eroded in this new century as falsehoods have been spread to start unwarranted wars, torture has been condoned or ferreted away to foreign shores, the privacy of our own citizens has been invaded, and facts have been ignored or concealed regarding government involvement in and response to national crises. To restore transparency and confidence in our institutions and to honor the American ideal that “no one is above the law,”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

PARTY PROCESSES

P1.   La Plata County Democrats agree with our Colorado Democratic Party that party processes occasionally need to be publicly reinforced to best represent the values or issues that Democrats within our state believe in. To these ends;

 

P2.   We demand that the National Democratic Party, including the office of the President, shall not endorse or give monetary support to any one Democratic candidate over another prior to any contested statewide primary election.

 

P3.   We endorse proposals to join with other western states in holding western primary elections on a single date early in the election calendar. We support a cycling of early primaries which should vary from cycle to cycle, including some western states early in the calendar.

 

P4.   We support policy/rule changes for the Democratic Party to do away with super delegates. We call for all duly certified Democratic Party candidates to be included and allowed approximately equal time in all party debates and forums. We wish to insure that the online platform balloting be a keystone part of our platform development process.

 

The complete platform can be viewed at:

http://www.coloradodems.org/files/CDP2012PlatformFinalProposal4.14.pdf