Party Platform 2018-05-02T23:33:15+00:00

Our Platform

2018 Platform
Democratic Party of Washington County

Approved at the March 14, 2018 Special Meeting of the Central Committee
Updated at the April 23, 2018 Meeting of the Central Committee

Preamble

We, the members of the Democratic Party of Washington County, recognize the unique moment we find ourselves in.  Creating a more equal and sustainable society now,  and for generations to come is our highest aspiration.  We commit to creating that society in which there is opportunity for everyone.

We recognize that so much of our happiness and privilege today is a result of the suffering and subjection of others.  We condemn the long legacy of racial, religious, and other ethnic prejudice, subjugation, segregation, and exploitation of communities of color that is still too prevalent.  We aim to correct this historical wrong with empathy  and understanding.  We aim to counteract the institutions that perpetuate those many forms of hate and discrimination today with affirmative action in support of liberty and justice for all.

We recognize that the inherent dignity and inalienable rights possessed by all member of humanity is the foundation of our shared freedom, of justice and of peace in the world.  We recognize our rights and responsibilities to each other, as residents of our local, state, national and global communities.

As Washington County Democrats we promise to uphold these values in the face of opposition, and we will work tirelessly to carry them into law.  This platform is a guide to the principles and positions of our party; we welcome all who share them to join us in our struggle for progress and democracy.

Article I: Ensuring Our Human Rights

Washington County Democrats believe all persons have a right to adequate food, secure housing, quality health care, clean air and water, equal opportunity to vote, freedom from servitude, freedom of movement, quality education, personal security, the opportunity to succeed, marriage to whomever they love, and death with dignity.  We believe in the right of all individuals to be treated with dignity and respect.

  1. We believe in the right to housing and strong tenant protections.
  2. We are opposed to the death penalty.
  3. We believe women’s rights are human rights.
  4. We believe GLBTQIANB rights are human rights.
  5. We believe Washington County and its cities must provide universal access to public services for their residents.
  6. We assert that no person should be subjected to arbitrary interference with their privacy, family, home, or correspondence and we oppose violations of these principles by any government or private agency.
  7. We affirm the right of all persons to self-determination with regard to gender identity and sex, and to be free from coercion and involuntary assignment of gender or sex
  8. We support the use of domestic and international aid programs to promote human rights, promote welfare of residents, protect the environment and follow established laws and norms.
  9. We stand opposed to any attempt to compromise these rights in particular in the name of governmental convenience or security.
  10. In recognition of the grave atrocities including the Trans-Atlantic slave trade and extending to the present-day police killings of people of color, we support reparations.

Article II: Economic Justice and Stability

Washington County Democrats value a fair and stable economy where everyone has the opportunity to a good life.  We hold that all workers deserve a living wage and the right to unionize, and that taxation and social spending should ensure greater equality.  We believe taxation and revenue policies should reflect the economic needs and conditions of our region and should be governed by the principles of transparency, fairness, and efficiency.  Actions to reduce taxes paid must consider potential impacts on education and social services.

    1. We support an economy that ensures living wage jobs by increasing the minimum wage to no less than $15 per hour.
    2. We support equal pay for equal work and oppose wage inequalities.
    3. We affirm the right of all workers, public and private, to organize for collective bargaining, fair work rules and hiring practices, just cause protection of employment, and safe working conditions free of intimidation and coercion, and we oppose any legislation that would restrict these rights.
    4. We believe all Oregon workers have the right to a dignified and secure retirement.
    5. We believe corporations must function as ethically run, responsibly regulated, and progressively taxed entities that contribute their fair share to Oregon’s economic prosperity.
    6. We recognize the importance of Oregon’s agricultural sector and encourage sustainable management of land and natural resources.
    7. We believe in supporting small businesses by removing unnecessary barriers to starting new businesses.
    8. We believe financial institutions that are too big to fail are detrimental to the functioning of our economy, and support efforts to enforce the Sherman Antitrust Act with respect to monopolistic corporations, and reinstatement of Glass-Steagall.
    9. We believe in a progressive tax structure and transparent, responsible spending policies that build a prosperous and stable society for everyone and promote the common good.
    10. We believe special tax incentives for business development should include evidence of measurable benefits to the community.
    11. We believe taxation and spending policies should be used to promote social equity and lift people out of poverty.
    12. We oppose predatory loans, high interest rates and excessive fees.

Article III: Health Care for All

Washington County Democrats believe that healthcare is a human right and should be available to all those who need it.  We believe in a single-payer program.  We believe that modern medical advancements related to disease prevention and treatment of pathologies, including holistic treatments, must be available to all people regardless of ability to pay.

    1. We support the adoption of a publicly funded, equitable, high-quality, comprehensive single-payer health care system that includes general, preventative, and emergency care plus vision, dental, hearing, and mental health services at the state and/or federal level.
    2. We support addressing gun violence as a public health issue.
    3. We support treating drug addiction as a health issue.
    4. We believe in the importance of community health care centers.
    5. We support all county school districts in their efforts to provide physical, dental, and mental health programs, including reproductive health services, in their schools.
    6. We support public funding of conducting clinical trials of psychotropic drugs to combat mental health issues.

Article IV: Education for Democracy

Washington County Democrats value and demand equal, sound, effective, and fully funded public education for pre-K, K-12, post-secondary, and career and vocational training, available to all.  We recognize that quality education increases our economic well-being, promotes civic engagement, enriches personal lives, and is necessary to adapt to technological progress.  Public schools provide the skills and knowledge that are the foundation of a thriving democracy.

  1. We demand that public funding for education be provided only to public schools managed by elected boards of education, and not transferred, contracted, or subcontracted to any private corporation or entity for management or instructors.
  2. We insist that education and career training at public schools, colleges, and universities be tuition-free for all Oregon residents.
  3. We support strong academic and career education policies and programs to ensure people are prepared for job opportunities in the 21st-century economy, including vocational rehabilitation services for people with disabilities.
  4. We affirm that effective educational systems must have sufficient, equitable, stable, and sustainable public funding to ensure a high-quality education and full curriculum for all students.
  5. We affirm the right of everyone in our diverse populations to pursue academic and career education from pre-kindergarten through post-secondary studies.
  6. We support restoration of a full range of courses, programs, and services including civics, art, music, science, literacy, physical education, early childhood education, counseling, health, mental health counseling, tutoring, libraries, technology, financial awareness, critical thinking, vocational, and public alternative-educational opportunities.
  7. We insist on the full, effective protection of all student data, including mental health records, to assure information privacy and prevent exploitation.
  8. We believe that school curricula must be relevant, factual, and promote critical thinking skills.
  9. We believe that school lunch and breakfast programs should be restored to their former thresholds for school participation.
  10. We recognize the theory of evolution is the best-supported theory in science and should be taught in schools.
  11. We believe that all students and families deserve community-supported programs that enhance educational opportunities.
  12. We oppose the No Child Left Behind concept of teaching to the test. 
  13. Charter and virtual schools receiving public funds must be governed by the same standards practiced in traditional schools.
  14. We believe all students, regardless of their immigration status, must be provided privacy of all their records to protect their records from outside agencies.

Article V: A Just System

Washington County Democrats believe that we need a justice system that equitably serves all.  We recognize that failures of the system have been used historically to systematically oppress Native Americans, communities of color, economically disadvantaged populations, immigrants, women, incarcerated populations, people with varying disabilities, and people with varying gender and sexual orientations.  We insist that our prisons must be primarily focused on rehabilitation.

  1. We oppose racial profiling, prosecutorial overcharging, coercive plea bargains, biased jury selection, and sentencing practices that disproportionately impact ethnic groups and the disadvantaged.
  2. There shall be no profit from criminal incarceration; jails and prisons should not be privatized.
  3. We believe independent oversight is required for prosecutorial accountability.  Proven cases of prosecutorial misconduct should result in complete legal mitigation and restoration to victims.
  4. Justice is better served when judges have discretion to apply sentences based on the unique, proven circumstances of each offender, crime, and victim.
  5. We believe experienced and qualified legal representation for low-income, marginalized and disenfranchised populations accused of crimes is an integral part of criminal justice.
  6. We believe police should not be equipped with military armaments.
  7. We believe that all law enforcement personnel should receive de-escalation training.
  8. We defend every individual’s right to freedom from mass surveillance, search, seizure and arrest, unless authorized by a specific probable cause warrant.
  9. We believe rehabilitation of offenders works best when offenders are reintegrated into the community with support, supervision, and services, and we support the use of a restorative justice model.
  10. We are opposed to excessive fee and bond post levels.
  11. We oppose laws that can be used for profiling, including those that mandate people carry their legal papers.
  12. Al inmates shall receive the same quality of healthcare as the public.

Article VI: Restoring Governmental Integrity

Washington County Democrats demand an open and responsive government and elections that are fair, transparent and publicly supported.  Every citizen deserves full, meaningful and accountable representation at every level of government.  We hold the right and responsibility of all eligible persons to vote as an essential foundation of our democracy.  We are committed to transparency, accountability, oversight, integrity, competence, honesty, and citizen participation in government.

  1. We believe that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
  2. We affirm the principle of separation of church and state.
  3. Publicly funded election campaigns must be a key element of American democracy at all levels.
  4. We support all Americans having the right to a direct vote for President and Vice President of the United States of America through the National Popular Vote.  We support the one person, one vote principle in all elections.
  5. We support an effort to expand automatic voter registration to the national level.
  6. We support preferential voting (e.g. ranked choice, instant runoff) for all single seat offices.
  7. We believe the right of assembly and free speech must be available to all in accessible and safe locations without undue restrictions or conditions.
  8. We oppose voter suppression and disenfranchisement in all forms.
  9. We require all elected Democratic officials representing Washington County make themselves aware of and declare their positions on Washington County Democratic LAIs.
  10. Incarcerated citizens and those convicted of criminal offenses shall retain their voting rights.
  11. We oppose gerrymandering and support a fair and unbiased redistricting process after each census.
  12. We support open primaries.
  13. We believe in the restoration of the Fairness Doctrine.
  14. We support full transparency in recording and counting votes.
  15. We support an adequately paid Legislature to allow citizens with limited resources to serve in the Legislature.
  16. We support a proportional representation voting system for legislative seats in municipal, state, and federal levels.
  17. We support campaign finance reform up to and including a constitutional amendment to remove the undue influence of money in politics.
  18. We support the full disclosure of campaign contributions including names of contributors.
  19. We support easing the threshold of requirements to make it easier for smaller parties to have their own primary ballot.
  20. We believe the Oregon National Guard and Washington County law enforcement agencies must be locally controlled.
  21. We oppose use of confidentiality agreements or protective orders for concealing information about public health, labor conditions or environmental safety.

Article VII: Refuge and Sanctuary

Washington County Democrats believe that Oregon is a mosaic of different cultures, and we value the economic, social, and cultural benefits to society from various immigrant groups.  We will reject xenophobic scare tactics, religious tests, and ethnically disparaging racial rhetoric.  Both documented and undocumented residents have civil rights that we defend.

  1. We believe undocumented immigrants who have not been convicted of serious crimes should have a path to legal residency, and eventual citizenship.
  2. We defend the DREAMers who signed up for personal advancement under the DACA program and believe they have a right to a pathway to citizenship.
  3. We support Oregon’s sanctuary state status that limits local and state law enforcement in their assistance to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
  4. The exploitation of undocumented workers must stop, because it is ethically wrong, drives down wages, and degrades working conditions for workers.
  5. Immigration assistance services should not be privatized or operated for profit.
  6. Constitutional provisions granting citizenship for people born in the United States to immigrant parents should not be repealed.
  7. Refugees of war, violence, religious persecution, and natural disasters should be welcomed by a nation as deeply rooted in immigration as ours.
  8. We encourage our city and county officials to make public safety and family integrity their priorities in legal dealings with undocumented persons, as opposed to technical conformance with immigration regulations.
  9. We oppose border walls and fences.
  10. We oppose any travel ban based on religion or ethnicity.
  11. We believe DACA recipients should be entitled to in-state tuition after meeting standard residency requirements.
  12. We believe that all students, regardless of immigration status, deserve access to sanctuary.
  13. We believe undocumented immigrants should have the ability to have government issued photo ID.

Article VIII: Building a Sustainable Future

Washington County Democrats understand that a healthy, sustainable, and resilient Oregon environment is essential to our high quality of life.  The air we breathe, the water we drink, and the land we live on deserve our protection and conservation for current and future generations.  We recognize that long-term land use planning, sustainable infrastructure, and wise protection of our natural resources are critical for sustainability and livability in Washington County.

  1. We believe the peer-reviewed scientific evidence that climate change is an emergency caused by human activities and we must take immediate actions to reduce and reverse negative impacts.
  2. We support programs that require polluters to remediate the land and water to a non-toxic state.
  3. We oppose the development of Oregon waterways and coastal regions for the export of fossil fuels.
  4. We believe that adaptive restoration and maintenance of wildlife habitat must be a high priority in land use management.
  5. We assert aerial spraying of herbicides and pesticides in watersheds and in the vicinity of residential areas and schools should be criminal offenses.
  6. We believe the public should be educated about the hazards associated with fossil fuel extraction and transportation.
  7. We believe that water rights should not be privatized.
  8. We believe genetically engineered foods require a precautionary approach that includes extreme care in testing, additional scientific regulation, and full disclosure through labeling.
  9. We oppose the wholesale conversion of public lands to private ownership, and support the protection of state and federally designated parks, wilderness areas, and recreation areas.
  10. We support full implementation of recommended marine reserves to ensure sustainability of our ocean resources.
  11. We demand health-based direct air quality monitoring and reductions in allowable toxic emissions levels.
  12. We believe that protections for native endangered and threatened species should be enhanced and enforced.
  13. We support urban and rural reserves as critical to planning for long-term livability and economic stability in Washington County.
  14. We strongly support efforts to improve water quality and habitat conditions in the Tualatin River watershed.
  15. We support efforts to increase efficiency of water usage in Washington County.
  16. We believe there are multiple benefits to enhancing alternate sources of energy, including solar energy, reducing the use of fossil fuels, and increasing carbon sequestration through re-vegetation and reforestation.
  17. We support large-scale investment in diverse, safe, and efficient transportation networks that support the future needs while balancing concerns for environmental sustainability and economic justice.
  18. We believe people and government must work together to provide clean water, manage sewage and storm water, and protect watersheds.
  19. We believe an efficient transportation system includes safe bicycle and pedestrian commuting and a wide availability of electric charging stations.
  20. We believe eminent domain should never be used for the benefit of a private or corporate entity in the absence of a clear public need.
  21. We believe public lands are a common resource that provides many benefits to individuals, society and the environment.
  22. We oppose the transportation of oil through the State of Oregon.
  23. We support the development of a circular economy.  This would minimize natural resource extraction and encourage the development of safer chemicals and materials.
  24. We support a large-scale public works program for green infrastructure.
  25. We oppose any new fossil fuel development.  We also support a rapid transition away from fossil fuels, including a total cessation of oil and gas use by 2030.

Article X: A Global Commitment to Peace

Washington County Democrats recognize that our responsibilities extend beyond state and national boundaries and that our national interests require global cooperation.  We support the use and primacy of diplomacy and negotiation to resolve international conflicts and promote peace.

  1. We support non-violent approaches such as boycott, divestiture, and sanctions to promote change in countries perpetuating human rights violations.
  2. We support the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.
  3. We demand high global standards for labor and environmental protection and increased citizen and labor organization participation throughout the negotiation of trade agreements.
  4. Puerto Rico must become a US State or a sovereign nation through democratic means.
  5. We pledge to work nationally and globally to stop nuclear proliferation while leading by example toward unconditionally disarming our nuclear stockpile.
  6. We pledge to actively support treaties that ban chemical and biological warfare and the international ban on landmines.
  7. The US must honor ratified treaties, support the United Nations, and work to make it more democratic.
  8. We believe the US must actively oppose genocide, torture, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and religious and political persecution worldwide in cooperation with the United Nations.
  9. We reaffirm our commitment to abide by the Geneva Conventions regarding torture, rendition, indefinite detention, detention without charges and extrajudicial executions.
  10. We assert that major displacements of people from their communities constitute an international humanitarian crisis that demands immediate attention.
  11. We support the establishment of clearly defined and strict standards for congressionally authorized use of military force that includes specific authorization for each individual conflict.
  12. We support requiring that military procurement be domestically sourced.
  13. We support the principle that the defense budget must be in line with the military threat to the US, and therefore must be reduced at least by half.
  14. We oppose space militarization.
  15. We should significantly reduce the number of US troops stationed abroad who are not currently serving as part of a NATO or UN-backed peacekeeping mission.
  16. We oppose the military policies of nation-building and regime change.
  17. We believe the US should avoid acting unilaterally in military affairs overseas.
  18. We support a solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict negotiated directly by the parties.