Platform of the Democratic Party of Washington
As adopted by the Washington State Democratic Convention
June 3, 2006
As Democrats we respect the rights guaranteed by our Constitution that support:
- Economic Opportunity;
- Social and Civil Justice;
- Personal Freedom, Security and Privacy.
We are dedicated to achieving peace, prosperity, opportunity and a government based on responsible optimism.
Our platform rests on the principles that there should be:
- Security for all citizens;
- Education, jobs and economic opportunity for all;
- Accessible and affordable healthcare for all Americans;
- Rebuilding of our reputation in the world as a cooperative and just country;
- Reversal of the erosion of civil liberties in our country;
- Recognition that diversity strengthens our nation;
- Recognition that we are responsible for our ethical, economic, environmental and educational legacy.
We adopt this platform to ensure that voters and candidates for public office understand and support our goals.
Agriculture is the number one industry in Washington. We recognize the role of farmers as “stewards of the land,” and we support programs that ensure the availability of high-quality food, strengthen rural communities, preserve family farms and maintain the viability of the land.
- The Columbia and Snake Rivers, including their fish and their dams, support the economic health of the Pacific Northwest.
- We support the production of renewable energy on farms including biodiesel, methane, solar, ethanol and wind power.
- We call for the clear labeling of food including national origin.
- We support sustainable agriculture, including conservation and environmental efforts that preserve agricultural land and natural resources.
Government is created by, of and for the people, not corporations.
- Corporations as important to our economy and standard of living;
- Revoking the charters of corporations that repeatedly violate our laws;
- Enforcement of antitrust laws;
- International trade based on fair trade including living wages and environmental protection;
- The increase of export of manufactured goods and the decrease of export of raw resource material;
- Holding corporate officers and board members accountable for the actions of their companies;
- Fair valuations of currency.
- The Supreme Court precedent that corporations are people;
- Tax breaks to corporations and other corporate welfare, unless a verifiable public interest is served;
- Corporations exerting undue influence on our body politic.
We believe the public owns the broadcast airwaves and the Internet, which should be managed to serve the public interest.
- Using diversity of ownership as the centermost principle of broadcast licensing;
- Strengthening media ownership regulations to avoid corporate domination of our airwaves;
- Encouraging minority and community media ownership;
- Ensuring that media license holders provide diverse programming;
- Increased funding for public broadcasting including documentary films and noncommercial news programs;
- Establishing a system for community-level, non-profit and non-commercial radio and TV.
“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provisions for the education of all children.”
The Washington State Constitution – 1889
We believe in full funding of public schools that bring together people of diverse experience, ability and background for the purpose of learning.
- Publicly funded education at all levels, preschool through university, which strengthens our democracy and our ability to compete in the global economy;
- Conflict resolution and other programs that foster non-violent learning environments in our schools;
- Educational employees’ salaries, retirement benefits and healthcare benefits that would attract and retain quality personnel;
- Identifying and implementing a stable funding source for all basic, gifted and special education state and federal programs and mandates;
- Reduction of class sizes;
- Cost-of-living increases for all public school employees;
- Schools safe from violence, bullying, harassment and retribution for staff and students;
- Full inclusion of all students into the school environment regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status or disability;
- Full-time counselors, occupational/physical therapists and school nurses in every school;
- School facilities that are adequately maintained and regularly certified as safe and healthy by public health authorities;
- Full funding of Headstart and ECEAP (Early Childhood Education and Assisted Programs) and assuring that early childhood education is accessible to all;
- Fine Arts and Physical Education in the Basic Education Act of the State;
- Facilities and programs that advance vocational and technology education;
- Access to higher education for all, through financial aid and work-study programs;
- Simple majority to pass school levies and bonds;
- Public education employees’ rights to organize, engage in collective bargaining, and strike without fear of reprisal or replacement;
- Age-appropriate, medically correct and research-based health and values education concerning issues of sexuality and alcohol/drug abuse for K-12;
- Alternative methods of funding educational capital projects other than logging public land;
- Eliminating aggressive military recruiting in public high schools;
- Abandoning the WASL as a high school graduation requirement;
- Alternative high school exit options with multiple measurements;
- Increased funding for our community college system and for our college and universities to provide the fully educated, skilled workforce upon which our high tech economy depends;
- College loan adjustments for graduates who choose public service careers.
- Charter Schools and vouchers;
- The commercial exploitation of students;
- The link between educational funding and allowing military recruiters on campus;
- Organized prayer in public schools;
- “No Child Left Behind”;
- The teaching of pseudo-sciences like the teaching of intelligent design.
Environment and Energy
Our goal is to create a sustainable society in which future generations are assured of abundant renewable energy, pure water, clean air and fertile soil to maintain our quality of life and to meet the needs of a strong economy. We accept responsibility for our natural world and recognize the need to develop and implement policies and to encourage lifestyles consistent with long-term sustainability and viability. We must respect the web of life of which we are a part and preserve it for future generations.
- Conservation and development of clean, efficient and renewable energy as the key to sustainability and utilizing biomass conversion to process American farm products and byproducts into renewable energy, including biodiesel, ethanol and transforming waste into energy;
- Practices by individuals, government, tribes and corporations that protect and conserve our environment and repair degraded areas;
- Limiting nuclear power until environmentally safe, long-term waste storage is guaranteed;
- Encouraging distributed sources of energy in homes and businesses such as homeowner and business owner owned and supplied solar and wind power;
- Rejecting any use of Bonneville Power Administration revenue to retire federal debt;
- Prohibiting waste disposal and mineral exploration and extraction (revising the 1872 Mining Act) in wildlife refuges, wilderness areas, national parks or sensitive areas; prohibiting the sale of public lands; and strong public policy that restores full funding for the National Park Service and preserves wilderness, old-growth, road free areas, wildlife corridors, wetlands, Arctic wildlife refuge and other environmentally sensitive areas;
- Cooperation with the international effort to reduce greenhouse gases, including U.S. participation in the Kyoto Treaty and Clean Air Act protections, and responding to climate change in proportion to the immense magnitude of the crisis;
- Higher Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards including SUVs;
- Long-term policies that promote biodiversity, ecosystem and watershed protection, and restoration of wild salmon and endangered species;
- Strengthening the Growth Management Act and supporting neighborhood and community planners in their efforts to protect our quality of life;
- Increasing support for organic farming and reducing pesticide, herbicide and other persistent toxic chemical use;
- Efforts to ensure water quality and fair water usage policies; conserving wetlands, a vital element for clean water; and the Clean Water Act protections;
- Cleanup of the Hanford Nuclear Reservation and protection of the Columbia River in keeping with the principles adopted by Washington’s voters;
- Encouraging use of alternative fuel, electric and plug-in hybrid vehicles through infrastructure and targeted tax incentives.
- Trading of energy and pollution credits;
- Tying funding of school construction to destroying old-growth forests or non-sustainable resource exploitation;
- Exemption of military bases from environmental regulation;
- Importing new nuclear waste to the Hanford Nuclear Reservation;
- Open-cage, polluting fin fish farms of carnivorous species in our marine waters;
- The contamination of the planet and our genetic pool with Uranium 238, which the Bush administration is using in Iraq.
The U.S. must work cooperatively with other countries to promote a sustainable, non-violent world in which the human rights of all peoples are respected. Critical issues including international terrorism, environmental degradation and nuclear proliferation can only be resolved in cooperation with the world community. While national self-interest is a legitimate element of foreign policy, it must be tempered by respect for other cultures, economies and national aspiration.
The United States should seek to uphold human welfare and the environment for all peoples on the planet.
To promote democratic ideals abroad, it is imperative that we:
- Support non-violent conflict resolution and the pursuit of peace;
- Support a genuine multilateral approach to foreign policy;
- Support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights;
- Proclaim that the executive and legislative branches of government shall abandon the doctrine of preemptive warfare and shall make non-violence the primary organizing principle of foreign policy;
- Deplore the Bush Administration’s commission of torture and other war crimes;
- Support the global vision of the United Nations;
- Lift the embargo on Cuba.
- Multinational corporations are not legal persons entitled to equal protection under the 14th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution;
- U.S. companies abroad must be prohibited from engaging in practices that would be prohibited at home such as dumping of products and importing products made by exploiting the environment, local communities and people;
- Multinational corporations, their affiliates, subsidiaries and/or franchises may not operate above the international rule of law;
- WTO, CAFTA and NAFTA, as now written, undermine the constitutional power of federal and state government and fail to promote human rights, labor rights and environmental protections worldwide, and therefore the U.S. should renegotiate said treaties or exercise its right to withdraw;
- In human and civil rights throughout the world and oppose the support or creation or regimes that restrict those rights;
- That effective diplomacy and negotiation cultivate better communication and understanding among nations; we support a strong national defense and oppose military aggression for the advancement of political and economic goals;
- That there is irrefutable evidence that the war against Iraq was an unjustified war based on false and misleading statements and faulty thinking, and that it has led to the death and injury of thousands of innocent people, including U.S. servicemen and women and has made the U.S. and other nations less safe from terrorism;
- That extraordinary rendition, abducting of foreign nationals and their detention in secret overseas prisons where they may be tortured is illegal and immoral;
- That it is up to citizens, specifically civilians, to assure that Constitutional checks and balances prevent misuses of power;
- That it is the military’s core task is to “provide for the common defense,” not to provide the President with a general-purpose instrument untouched by Congressional oversight;
- That the response of the world community to the ongoing genocide in Darfur has been inadequate and that the United States should work closely and persistently with other countries to develop multilateral approaches to stop this and future genocides;
- That the United States, as the wealthiest country on the globe, has responsibility to provide proportionate assistance in international and poverty crisis situations;
- It is the responsibility of U.S. representatives and senators who assure that our military is in fact used for the common defense and not for commercial ventures or spying on political opponents.
We support the Charter of the United Nations, international treaties and conventions including:
- International Criminal Court and its ratification, and the World Court;
- United Nations Land Mine Treaty and oppose use of cluster bombs;
- Biological and Chemical Warfare Conventions;
- Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty;
- Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;
- Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty;
- Space Preservation Treaty;
- Child Soldier Treaty;
- A U.S. foreign policy that must empower and support the right of all people to self-governance and self-determination;
- CEDAW (7th convention to End Discrimination Against Women);
- The Kyoto Protocol on Global Climate Change and world cooperation to prevent
- International agreements aimed at preventing the sexual exploitation and abuse of children;
- Code of Conduct on Arms Transfers, including trade in small arms;
- Law of the sea;
- The international conventions on genocide.
We support and affirm:
- The initial intent and promise of improving the economy of Afghanistan, especially the infrastructure and agriculture sectors, together with elimination of the opium trade; development of a free country without torture; and increased educational opportunity for women;
- That the sovereignty of Iraq belongs to the Iraqis; the development and implementation of an orderly, complete and rapid exit strategy from Iraq of all U.S. military forces and economic interests; and the provision of funding for rebuilding under the United Nations of infrastructure destroyed since 1991; the U.S. government should seek a peace/disengagement/reconciliation conciliation conference organized by the Secretary General of the United Nations;
- That the United States should commit to vigorous, serious and persistent even-handed engagement towards a peaceful resolution of the Israeli/Palestinian conflict, promoting negotiations that lead to a viable resolution and ensure security and a good quality of life for the Israeli and Palestinian peoples;
- The peaceful resolution of the friction between the United States and Iran, being cognizant of the history of relations and disinformation campaigns between the two countries since 1953, and approaching negotiations, with mutual respect by both countries, which eschew the objective of regime change;
- Non-violent initiatives aimed at rebuilding civil society and encouraging democracy in Iraq;
- Efforts to stop attacks on this country and attacks by this country on others by working on the root causes of conflict, including poverty, land distribution, injustice and the ongoing political marginalization of all those around the globe who want a voice in shaping their own political and economic futures;
- Normalization of trade and relations with Cuba;
- Encouraging strict health, safety and environmental standards worldwide;
- A call for all governments and corporations to immediately stop production, stockpiling, testing and use of uranium, depleted uranium and other radiological weapons;
- Closing the School of the Americas, a.k.a., The Western Hemispheric Institute for Security Cooperation;
- Fair trade among nations based on sound environmental principles, worker rights and welfare;
- Renouncing the development of new nuclear weapons and moving to strengthen international arms reduction and nonproliferation treaties;
- The elimination of excessive, unnecessary and redundant programs and weapons, such as Star Wars and the Anti-Ballistic Missile Shield, from the military budget and investing the savings in pressing domestic needs;
- That the United States should restore programs of family planning worldwide;
- The release of the Guatanamo Bay detainees or the immediate charging and prosecution of the detainees.
- The use of the National Guard for any purposes other than defense and response to natural disaster, and the National Guard shall be under the direction of their governor;
- The use of secrecy, psychological operations and disinformation/manipulation campaigns that leave the U.S. citizenry less informed that the rest of the world.
Government and Political Reform
Our government derives its legitimacy solely from the democratic will of the people and must reflect our values as citizens. Our government must be fiscally sound; operate ethically; refrain from establishing or supporting religion; and be open, transparent and accountable to the will of the people. Our faith in our government and our political system can only be restored through constructive reform, and only substantial election reform can restore faith in the election system.
- Citizen participation is a right and duty of citizenship, and free, open and verifiable elections are key to our democratic process;
- As our democratically elected representatives, Congress has a solemn duty to provide oversight of the executive branch on behalf of the American people;
- The commonwealth should be used to support the common good; we want our taxes to be levied fairly and spent frugally;
- All regulatory agencies should be fully funded.
- Fair, open and accessible voting procedures which include the following principles:
- Elections must be conducted with voter verifiable paper ballots,
- Any software used must be open-source,
- Vote counting and recording must be open to public observance,
- No part of the voting process should be outsourced, privatized or handled by any non-public entity;
- Making Election Day for federal general election a national holiday;
- Public financing of all election campaigns and full disclosure of sources of campaign funds;
- Laws requiring all broadcast license holders to provide adequate free airtime to political candidates as a condition of their FCC license and reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine;
- Inclusive campaign and debate processes that do not exclude credible third party candidates;
- Universal voter registration of all U.S. citizens who are eligible voters;
- Immediate restoration of voting rights of felons upon release from incarceration;
- Encouraging colleges and universities to register students to vote and to open campus polling places;
- Full Congressional representation for residents of the District of Columbia;
- Enforcement of sunshine laws and transparency in sessions that discuss and make policy;
- Rollback of all changes made to the Freedom of Information Act;
- Aggressive Congressional investigation of improper connections between government and industry;
- The establishment of a national Cabinet-level Department of Peace to promote non-violent conflict resolution both domestically and internationally.
- Any practice that reveals election results while the polling places are still open;
- Privatizing, outsourcing or off-shoring of governmental public services.
Healthcare is a basic human right, and our government should recognize its responsibility to assure accessible, affordable healthcare for all.
- Establishment of a comprehensive national healthcare plan, (as in HR 676: universal single payer healthcare) similar to Medicare and available to all, regardless of age or employment;
- Development of a state health plan, assuring access to affordable, equitable healthcare for everyone, beginning with children, until a national plan is realized;
- Coverage including affordable prescription drugs, dental care, physical therapy and medical technology, available according to healthcare needs;
- Patient freedom of choice, including the right to obtain legally prescribed medications from any licensed pharmacy;
- Inclusion of long-term care, home care and hospice, and support for caregivers as benefits;
- Parity for mental and physical healthcare, including treatment and education for drug, alcohol and tobacco problems;
- Full funding of current veterans and military hospitals and clinics, with expansion of services as needed by our returning troops;
- Public health policy based on sound scientific guidelines, following the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control, and organized plans for an effective response to major epidemics;
- Restoration of funding and support for medical research, including stem cell research, to be based on scientific merit;
- Restoration of funding and support of international family planning agencies within the United Nations.
Human Rights and Civil Rights
Democrats recognize that the inherent dignity, equality and unalienable rights of all humanity form the foundation of freedom and justice, and the strength of our democracy rests on the rights and responsibilities set forth in the U.S. Constitution, the Bill of Rights and the subsequent Amendments to the Constitution. Food, shelter, access to quality healthcare, education and employment opportunity are basic human rights, and these rights must be ensured.
- That the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world;
- Food, shelter, medical care, education and jobs are basic human rights;
- Each person has a right to live free from fear of personal injury;
- The Patriot Act was created out of an irrational reaction to the terrorist acts of 2001, and therefore, the Act should be evaluated to remove components that are unconstitutional and affect liberty including, but not limited to:
- Free speech zones,
- Indefinite detention,
- No fly list,
- Enemy combatants status,
- Denial of access to counsel,
- Suspension of the writ of habeas corpus;
We insist that the Geneva Conventions be applied to all detainees, foreign or domestic, no matter where they are held.
- The Civil Rights Acts of 1964 and 1990;
- Affirmative action; we believe those who suffer the burdens of discrimination must be afforded legal means and economic opportunities to overcome such injustice;
- The rights of senior citizens and individuals with disabilities to direct their own lives in housing, education and all other life choices, and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990;
- The right for medically assisted death with dignity, with suitable safeguards for terminally ill patients;
- A woman’s right to choose as protected by Roe vs. Wade and the Washington State Reproductive Freedom Act;
- The right to confidentiality of medical records and genetic information.
- The right to sovereignty over our own bodies; we support family planning and women’s reproductive rights, regardless of age or ability to pay;
- That the state should not interfere with couples who choose to marry and share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities and commitment of civil marriage, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
We oppose discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodation, military service, insurance, licensing or education based on race, religion, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, size, political affiliation or national origin.
We abhor harassment, intimidation, and domestic or sexual violence, and support strong legislation, treatment programs and education designed to reduce these ills.
A caring community provides a safety net of social services to meet all people’s basic needs, regardless of their national or racial origin, so they can attain their full potential, especially those on the margins of society: children, the elderly, and people who are impoverished, homeless, mentally ill, disabled or living with addictions.
- Ensuring adequate human services is among the highest priorities of government, especially for those on the margins of society, including children, the elderly, and people who are impoverished, homeless, mentally ill, disabled or living with addictions;
- In supporting welfare reform that will reduce poverty, not just the welfare rolls; quality affordable childcare, education, training and substance abuse treatment must be provided to help working parents leave welfare;
- Public assistance (General Assistance-Unemployable/GA-U) and Medicaid are necessary to safeguard the vulnerable poor and people with disabilities who cannot reasonably provide for themselves;
- Family planning and science-based sex education are effective tools that must be made available to give individuals and families control over their reproductive lives.
- Galvanizing the political will to end homelessness and to ensure that all people have access to safe and affordable housing;
- Weighting affordable-housing subsidies toward those who need them most;
- Programs to enable more widespread home ownership;
- Lifting the cap on Social Security tax on income above $90,000 to avoid the future funding shortfall;
- Education and access to birth control and family services to minimize the need for abortion.
We oppose privatizing Social Security or reducing its benefits.
We are a nation of indigenous people and immigrants, with each individual contributing into our dynamic and diverse culture. We believe in the right of all people, regardless of country of origin, to be treated fairly, respectfully and with dignity.
- Challenging any legislation that:
- Declares English as the official language of the United States,
- Disregards cultural pluralism,
- Deprives those in need of education, social services and employment access to these resources;
- Comprehensive reform of immigration policy, protecting the integrity of our borders while recognizing and protecting the basic human rights of immigrants;
- Fair and humane treatment of those entering the United States, reuniting families, crafting a path to legal status and eventual citizenship for immigrants already here, and allowing access to human services without discrimination based on immigration status.
We oppose any immigration policy that denies civil and/or human rights or educational opportunities for immigrants and their children regardless of their immigration status.
We affirm that migrant workers deserve safe and adequate housing, medical care, education and sanitary facilities.
Indian Tribes and Treaties
Indian tribes share a common history with the United States. These separate domestic governments make up part of our national identity and community. We believe that tribes must be dealt with on a government-to-government basis and that they must be accorded respect by all levels of U.S. government, including recognition and adherence to all relevant treaties and agreements between our governments.
We also believe that education of the American public as to the treaty-based rights of tribal groups is vital to respectful and civil relations between tribal government and U.S. government.
We support continued funding of social programs that combat human services concerns such as poverty and alcoholism.
We oppose abuse of any treaty or tribal agreement by any party or tribal government.
Labor and Economic Justice
Universal economic justice is the foundation upon which healthy families and communities rest. Economic justice for working people is essential to the realization of a democratic society, a free and prosperous nation, and a strong economy.
A strong economy is based upon jobs that provide safe working conditions, a fair and living wage, and health and retirement benefits. The benefits are obtained by workers’ rights to organize unions for collective bargaining.
Economic justice is further advanced by an education system that values and provides advanced skill training and apprenticeship, while addressing justice for the economically disadvantaged.
- American workers are dedicated, industrious and competitive and therefore deserve respect and a livable wage;
- American workers’ needs must be placed above other interests such as corporations and foreign governments;
- American workers will be handicapped by the astronomical federal deficit;
- American workers should have a safe and harassment free work environment;
- American workers must have the right to organize and collectively bargain in order to have livable wages;
- American workers need to have healthcare benefits and a pension plan to promote family values;
- American workers must have retirement benefits transportable between employers;
- American workers need to have better access to education and training in order to be competitive in a world market of jobs;
- American workers who “blow the whistle” on safety hazards, environmental violations or other violations of the law or regulations must be given access to courts and protected from retaliations.
- Prevailing wage laws for work under government contracts to protect family income and provide a good tax base;
- Strict enforcement of all contracting laws, holding violators responsible for payment of all taxes and penalties;
- Best Value Contractor policies and Fair Contracting enforcement on public works jobs;
- Responsible and responsive bidder language in all public-financed works that includes contractor responsibilities on fair wages, health insurance, retirement and training;
- Economic development laws to ensure benefits for local communities;
- Continued unemployment insurance and workers compensation;
- Unemployment and retraining benefits for workers laid off or locked out by their employers;
- Jobs that include medical benefits for employees and their families;
- Protection of overtime pay;
- Protection of the legal right to organize into unions to bargain collectively for industrial, agricultural and professional workers;
- The automatic recognition of a union, based on signatures of a majority of those represented (card check);
- A workers' Bill of Rights that includes rights of assembly, association and free speech; due process; freedom from discrimination; and democracy within unions;
- Labor and management regulation of workers pensions;
- Justly paid employees working in safe and productive conditions to develop a strong economy;
- Competitive and commensurate wages for all workers, whether they are private sector or state and local government employees;
- Healthcare for employees of corporations with more that 1,000 employees until single-payer/universal healthcare is available to all;
- Veterans, women, people of color, people with disabilities and sexual minorities need to earn equal compensation for equivalent work;
- Tax cuts for the middle class and tax credits for those who live in poverty, both of which will stimulate the economy and create jobs;
- A progressive tax system at both the federal and state level;
- A major increase in funding for assistance and construction of affordable and low income housing in Washington State with priority for home ownership;
- A fair system of paying for growth with impact fees to developers;
- Only multilateral trade agreements, which are conditioned on environmental standards, human rights and workers rights, and which support democratic transparent processes;
- Economic polices that place the needs of U.S. citizens above interests such as corporations and foreign governments;
- Economic policies conducive to the growth of small business and a strong independent farm system.
- "Right-to-work" and other anti-union legislation;
- Exploitation of migrant, temporary and contract workers;
- Taxing workers at a higher rate than capital gains;
- Shifting impact fees onto the general public;
- Corporate welfare and giveaways just as the federal government has for citizens;
- Tax cuts for the wealthiest that have not stimulated the economy or created jobs;
- Excessive corporate profits and executive stock options taken from the wages, healthcare benefits and pensions of workers;
- Corporations using mergers and bankruptcy courts to steal workers pensions that were part of a wage package;
- Corporations underfunding their pension liabilities;
- Outsourcing of government jobs and privatization of public services;
- Foreign trade agreements that put the might of a corporation above the rights of workers;
- Foreign trade agreements that put the might of a corporation above the rights of local governments;
- Tip-credit minimum wage;
- Efforts to eliminate restrictions on the working hours of teenagers;
- U.S. corporations going offshore in order to evade U.S. laws and taxes;
- The privatization or out-sourcing of public services;
- Profiteering, misuse of private data and predatory lending by financial institutions;
- Right-to-work laws;
- Use of permanent replacement workers during strikes;
- Supplanting public employees with low-wage, low benefit contract employees or prison labor;
- Privatization of Social Security;
- Excessive usury fees by payday lending corporations for Washington State payday consumers;
- The Department of Labor reclassifying fast-food workers as industrial workers;
- The IRS use of the 1099 contracting practices because it has led to worker abuse by contracting businesses, dereliction of safety standards, and deteriorated ability for government collect employment taxes.
Law and Justice
We recognize that civil order is necessary to the survival of a free and democratic state. Civil order can occur only when Justice treats the least among us the same as the greatest in all legal matters. We also recognize that in the pursuit of civil order, we cannot abandon the legal principles upon which a free and democratic society relies. We affirm Liberty and Justice for everyone residing in the U.S. according to the Constitution and believe that criminal justice and human rights are linked.
- Prevention of crime is as important as reaction to crime;
- Violence should not become an accepted fact in our communities;
- Communities must work together, assume responsibility for safety and prevention of crime, and make neighborhoods livable;
- Government must help alleviate the social conditions that contribute to crime;
- Crime prevention must include youth programs;
- Property forfeiture should be permitted only after criminal conviction, not on arrest or by seizure;
- Corporate officers and board members should be held responsible for the actions of their companies;
- In drug courts and a new approach to drug addiction focused on treatment and education as opposed to incarceration;
- In the stringent enforcement and maintenance of current state and federal laws regulating the ownership of firearms, while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners;
- In abolishing capital punishment;
- In adequate state funding for indigent defendants in all criminal cases;
- In DNA testing to free the innocent and convict the guilty in criminal prosecutions;
- In eliminating mandatory sentencing guidelines and “three-strikes” sentencing;
- In eliminating all forms of racial profiling by government.
- The U.S. Attorney General appointing an independent Special Counsel to investigate and prosecute any government officer responsible for having ordered or participated in violations of law;
- Impeachment of any member of the Executive Branch who has ordered violations of law;
- Legislation to prevent state and local governments from exercising their eminent domain power to take property on behalf of a private developer in order to increase their tax base;
- Legislation to prohibit predatory practices in payday lending;
- Basing asset forfeitures on conviction of a crime rather than mere arrest or assumption of guilt;
- Protecting individual liberty and restoring balance in our courts by confirming only judges who have a proven record of adhering to the law without promoting extremist views or personal political agendas;
- Accountability in law enforcement; to this end, each major city and county should establish, for investigating complaints of police misconduct, an effective review process that is independent, open, responsive and thorough, and includes meaningful civilian participation.
We oppose giving any legal effect to Presidential “signing statements,” executed when signing bills into law.
The core task of the U.S. Military is to “provide for the common defense.” Washington citizens have always answered their country’s call to duty, and we are proud of our military contributions to the nation. We believe that our military men and women – active duty, reserve and National Guard – should always have leadership worthy of them. We pledge support to our troops and honor to our veterans who act in the service of our country. 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.
- Abolition of the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy and legislation to ensure homosexuals serving their country have equal status with all other service members;
- Repeal of the Survivor’s Benefit Plan (SBP) Social Security offset when a widowed military spouse reaches age 62 and elimination of the VA disability offset from military retired pay;
- Restoration of full, no-cost treatment at military medical facilities for retirees, just as they were promised when they joined;
- Increased instruction of all American personnel in their rights and responsibilities under the Geneva Convention;
- The rights of all persons serving in the military to serve free of sexual harassment and sexual assault, and support the prosecution of offenders.
We believe that an efficient, flexible and far-sighted transportation system is vital to healthy communities, a healthy economy and a healthy environment.
- Policies that make travel as safe as possible for all modes of transportation, motorized and non-motorized;
- Investments in public infrastructure that broaden individuals’ transportation choices such as light rail and rural bus service;
- Significant public input and oversight into major transportation public works.
We oppose any subsidy of selected portions of the highway/transportation system (in the form of taxes or usage fees) that unreasonably burden citizens in certain areas of Washington State, such as ferries and toll bridges.