Platform

Our Platform is our statement of beliefs and positions. A revised Platform is drafted and passed every two years at our State Convention. Our most recent Platform was approved by the Washington State Democratic Convention on June 2, 2012.

Full 2012 WSD Platform (text|pdf)

Plank 1 - Preamble (text|pdf)
Plank 2 - Agriculture (text|pdf)
Plank 3 - Civil and Human Rights (text|pdf)
Plank 4 - Corporate Power (text|pdf)
Plank 5 - Economic Justice and Development (text|pdf)
Plank 6 - Education (text|pdf)
Plank 7 - Energy and the Environment (text|pdf)
Plank 8 - Foreign Policy (text|pdf)
Plank 9 - Government and Political Reform (text|pdf)
Plank 10 - Health Care (text|pdf)
Plank 11 - Human Services (text|pdf)
Plank 12 - Immigration (text|pdf)
Plank 13 - Labor (text|pdf)
Plank 14 - Law and the Justice System (text|pdf)
Plank 15 - Media Reform (text|pdf)
Plank 16 - Military and Veterans Services (text|pdf)
Plank 17 - Transportation (text|pdf)
Plank 18 - Tribal Relations and Sovereignty (text|pdf)


Preamble
We, as Democrats, place the welfare of the people as our highest priority. We believe in the values of community, dignity, equality, opportunity, fairness, tolerance, respect, and the common good of the world we share. These values provide the basis for our ideals and are supported by our Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

Our actions define our society. To fulfill the potential of our values and ideals, we encourage every citizen to participate in civic activities. We invite all to join with us and work to have our elected representatives implement legislation that ensures peace, prosperity, liberty, and justice for all.

It is the sovereign right of the people and necessary to their well-being for their chosen representatives to govern in a manner that will protect their health, safety, and welfare.

Agriculture
Domestic production of food is critical to national security and essential to our future. We are proud that agriculture - including aquaculture, fisheries, forestry, and other food and fiber production - is a leading industry in Washington State. We recognize the role of farmers as stewards of the land, and we support programs and policies that ensure the availability of high-quality food, strengthen rural communities, preserve family farms and maintain the productivity of the land. This requires legislation that sustains farming when calamities occur and that ensures that farmers and farm workers earn a fair return on their efforts, are safe in doing that work, and produce food that is safe to eat.

We call for:
• Incentives to encourage the agricultural skills, careers, and lifestyles that are essential to our country’s survival;
• Policies consistent with the Washington State Growth Management Act that preserve agricultural land and natural resources critical to the viability of food, fuel, and forest production into the future;
• Adoption of sustainable agriculture and aquaculture methods;
• Decisions about water resources based on sound, credible scientific and economic information, including local concerns;
• Improvement of agriculture through public funding of research and extension efforts, including sustainable agriculture and small farms;
• Reduction of the use of hazardous materials such as restricted-use pesticides;
• Improving the inspections of domestic and imported foods and livestock to ensure safe food;
• Clear food labeling, including date packaged, full and complete disclosure of nation of origin, genetically modified organism status, irradiation, and organic certification;
• Encouraging the use of locally grown food;
• Legislative policies that support and encourage small farms and family farms;
• Farmers who do not grow genetically modified crops to be protected from liability and to have standing to recover their economic losses resulting from the drift of genetically modified materials;
• Adequate governmental support for agricultural research and extension programs;
• The protection of productive farm land from non-agricultural activities;
• Enforcement of antitrust laws that apply to agribusiness;
• Review of and updates to farm subsidy programs to ensure they benefit family-size farms;
• Action by the State of Washington to process the backlog of water rights applications and future applications to allow water resources to be responsibly allocated.

Civil and Human Rights
The inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all human beings are the foundations of freedom, justice and peace in the world. The strength of our democracy rests on the rights and responsibilities set forth in the United States Constitution, the Bill of Rights, and the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Democrats remain at the forefront of the struggle to extend social, political, economic and legal rights to all persons and to oppose policies that would tend to reverse or impede those gains in human dignity.

We believe:
• Privacy is fundamental; our private lives and personal information must be protected from intrusion by government or others;
• Human rights include access to food, water, shelter, safety, health care, education, employment, and access to legal aid and due process;
• Discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, military service, insurance, licensing or education based on race, religion, age, sex, marital status, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, economic status, disability, physical size, political affiliation or national origin is wrong; those who face discrimination must be afforded the legal means and economic opportunities to overcome such injustice;
• We have the right to sovereignty over our own bodies;
• Marriage, as a legal union of consenting adults, should not be restricted by sexual orientation or gender identity;
• The right to unionize is a civil and human right.

We call for:
• The right of all women to be free of government interference in their reproductive decisions, including birth control and abortion, and to have safe, legal, protected, affordable and accessible health care that enables them to make these choices;
• Honoring the rich diversity of society and efforts to reflect that diversity in our Party;
• Respecting the rights of all adults, including seniors and individuals with disabilities, to direct their own lives in housing, education and all other life choices;
• Adding enforcement provisions to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, as amended;
• Ending legalized discrimination against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgendered (LGBT) people, repealing the federal “Defense of Marriage” act, and supporting Washington’s same-sex marriage law and all rights associated with marriage;
• The end of human trafficking for the sex trade and all other forms of involuntary servitude;
• Strong legislation, treatment programs and education designed to reduce harassment, intimidation, and domestic or sexual violence.

We oppose:
• Hiring out prisoners for private gain;
• Warrantless wiretapping and searches of American citizens;
• Discrimination against LGBT people on parenting rights.

Corporate Power
We believe that corporations, as artificial entities, are not entitled to the Constitutional rights of people. It’s time to restore responsibility and to limit the power of money to influence politics.

“The end of democracy and the defeat of the American Revolution will occur when government falls into the hands of lending institutions and moneyed incorporations.” – Thomas Jefferson

We call for:
• Full enforcement of antitrust laws;
• International trade based on fair trade that includes living wages and environmental protection;
• Increased exports of manufactured goods and decreased exports of raw resource material;
• Governments to hold natural resources such as land, water, and timber in trust for citizens. Lease law rates for harvesting of public resources must be updated annually and set at fair market value. Corporations must leave the lands, waters, and air in an environmentally sound, sustainable state;
• Strengthening and enforcement of laws against corporate crime, with penalties to include incarceration of executives and revocation of corporate charters;
• A constitutional amendment to establish that corporations shall not be considered as “persons” for purposes of political activity and to reverse the pernicious ruling that money equals speech and to institute stringent corporate campaign-contribution reporting requirements and prohibitions on such contributions without specific advance approval by stockholders who are U.S. citizens;
• Revoking the charters of corporations that repeatedly violate our laws;
• Investment banking to be separated from commercial banking and subjected to tighter regulation, transparency, and accountability (the Volker Rule);
• Empowering the new Federal Financial Consumer Protection Agency to regulate financial products, consumer banking, and credit cards, and to enforce full disclosure of financial instruments;
• Laws preventing corporations from taking out insurance on property that is not owned by them (derivatives). The derivatives markets must be regulated for the good of commerce and the country. Multiple non-interested parties should not be allowed to buy insurance on the same event for the purpose of speculation;
• Patent and copyright laws that give corporations undue control through unnecessarily long terms and other tactics should be reformed to protect competitive opportunity and encourage creativity by others. We support a strong, robust and vibrant public domain;
• The repeal of subsidies or tax reductions to U.S. based firms that outsource jobs overseas; multinational companies must pay their fair share of U.S. taxes and must not be allowed to use foreign tax havens; status as U.S. corporations or the ability to do business in the U.S., or federal business overseas, should be forfeited by those who violate these tenets; we support the strengthening of Controlled Foreign Corporation laws to further restrict foreign corporate registry tax havens;
• The return of the windfall profits tax;
• Strong restrictions on corporate spending on political campaigns;
• Securities are speculative by nature. We oppose the sale of insurance on securities, e.g. credit default swap contracts. We further call for government oversight of the derivatives market to forestall abuses such as attempting to insure known toxic instruments and foisting such toxic assets upon unwitting investors;
• The breakup of corporations that are too big to fail;
• Corporations that adversely impact the sustainability of the natural environment in populated areas to be required to do remediation (mitigation) on site or at least in the same neighborhood, so that the value of natural environment is not lost to the citizens in the local neighborhood.

We oppose:
• The Supreme Court precedent that corporations are people;
• Corporations exerting undue influence on our government;
• Government subsidies to any private for-profit corporation that moves American jobs offshore, whether the subsidy is direct or indirect, through the federal tax code or by other means;
• Attempts to weaken the powers of the Federal Financial Consumer Protection agency to pursue fraudulent practices;
• The sale of insurance on securities, e.g. Credit Default Swap contracts;
• The ability of a corporation to terminate defined benefit plans to make up for poor management.

Economic Justice and Development
The federal government has a responsibility to stabilize the business cycle through fiscal and monetary policy. Economic justice for all is essential to the existence of a democratic society. We believe that economic development, including infrastructure, is vital to continued growth and quality of life.

We call for:
• Tax fairness through tax reform, including the sunset of the Bush tax cuts, continuation of the national estate tax, and taxing unearned income at the same rates as earned income;
• A progressive tax system at both the federal and state level;
• The removal of the cap on income subject to Social Security tax,
• Establishment of a state income tax that is simple in execution and progressive in nature;
• A major increase in funding for assistance and construction of affordable and low income housing in Washington State;
• A fair system of paying for growth with impact fees correlated with development;
• Support for small businesses, including tax credits, low interest loans, and non-profit micro-lending;
• Targeted economic development incentives to businesses that provide verifiable, immediate, and lasting benefits to our communities;
• Only those multilateral trade agreements that are conditioned on environmental, health and safety standards, human rights and workers’ rights, and which support transparent democratic processes;
• Robust health, safety, housing and environmental standards worldwide, as well as worker rights and welfare internationally;
• Re-establish and maintain usury laws capping all interest rates at the level allowed to credit unions;
• Economic justice on women’s issues such as social security reform, pension reform, livable wages, pay equity, job discrimination, and reproductive rights;
• Greater transparency on the part of federal financial institutions;
• Fair taxation on corporations based on periodic review by the state legislature;
• Establishment of a Washington State Investment Trust;
• Support of diverse and resilient local economies;
• Spousal Social Security Benefits to be recorded as a 50/50 contribution and paid out as equal 50/50 benefits.

We oppose:
• Excessive corporate profits and executive compensation;
• United States corporations offshoring in order to evade U.S. laws and taxes;
• Privatization of Social Security or reduction of benefits;
• Excessive fees and interest charged to consumers by short term lending corporations;
• The use of credit scores for insurance rating and hiring.

Education
We believe that an excellent, quality public education, preschool through post-secondary, with equal access for all, in a safe and healthy environment, is fundamental to maintaining a healthy democracy. The backbone of our democracy is a free, universal public school system, designed to produce informed, reasoning, and thoughtful citizens who are lifelong learners prepared to participate in our civic society.

“It is the paramount duty of the state to make ample provisions for the education of all children.” - The Washington State Constitution

We call for:
• Affordable access and full funding of all basic, gifted, vocational, technical, alternative, special education, ELL (English Language Learners), and other state/federal programs and mandates;
• Funding for smaller class sizes based on effective class size studies;
• Full funding of Head Start and Early Childhood Education and Assisted Programs (ECEAP);
• Schools to be free from weapons, violence, bullying, harassment, retribution ( by staff and students), drugs and alcohol and, through counseling, education and enforcement on these issues and instruction in conflict resolution skills to foster a safe and healthy environment;
• Restoration of funding levels for higher education;
• Full inclusion of all students into the school environment regardless of race, ethnic origin, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, economic status or disability;
• School counselors, librarians, and nurses sufficient to serve the needs of every student throughout the school day;
• The availability of high quality continuing education and career training, including school-to-work partnerships and apprenticeship programs, in addition to traditional higher education for adult workers, because Washington State’s employers require a well-trained work force;
• The inclusion of music, fine arts, foreign language instruction, civics and physical education in the Basic Education Act; beginning in Kindergarten.
• A curriculum that is rigorous, comprehensive, and historically and scientifically accurate at all levels;
• Math instruction that includes arithmetic fluency and critical thinking skills;
• Instructional freedom that is student-centered within the curriculum;
• Parental participation that supports student learning;
• Programs to teach awareness on ways to reduce individual and local environmental impacts;
• Full funding for the repair and maintenance of public schools, for HVAC and energy efficiency retrofits that save operating costs;
• Full funding for school transportation and on-site, safter-school educational programs;
• Purchase of equipment and technology in compliance with the Americans With Disabilities Act;
• Public education to extend through community college and public vocational/technical schools;
• All high school graduates in Washington to have access to higher education, regardless of means;
• Simple majority elections for school bonds, and protection of the simple majority for school levies;
• Encouraging and offering high school credit for community-based service;
• Requirements that high school students take courses in personal finance;
• Local and state control of policies concerning public education while complying with federal oversight and receiving federal funding to preserve quality, fairness and civil rights for all;
• Public education employees’ rights to organize, engage in collective bargaining, and strike without fear of reprisal or replacement;
• A new, stable funding formula for public schools and capital projects;
• Salary and benefits for adjunct and part-time college instructors to be based on compensation levels for full-time professional staff, according to percentage of full-time equivalency;
• Certificated and classified employees’ salaries, cost of living increases and retirement and health care benefits equal to those of other professionals of similar experience and backgrounds to attract/retain quality public school employees;
• Partial student loan forgiveness and loan consolidation at the federal level;
• Congress to reform policies that deny federal tuition aid to college students convicted of drug possession;
• Work/study programs and programs offering higher education in exchange for public service should be expanded, and Pell grants should be increased and adjusted for inflation;
• Full funding and implementation of the Washington State Board of Health’s revised rules for health and safety of school environments {RCW 246-366};
• Age appropriate gun safety instruction;
• Congress provide adequate assistance, food stamps, earned income tax credit, child tax credit, housing and child care so children of low income families can perform at grade level.

We oppose:
• Public funding for charter schools and vouchers;
• The commercial exploitation of students;
• Linking military recruitment to educational funding;
• Organized prayer in public schools;
• “No Child Left Behind”;
• Basing teacher pay solely on student test scores;
• All so-called “reforms” that are not based upon sound and objective information, that are disguised attempts to blame teachers for the problems in public education, to weaken teacher unions, or to privatize our public education system for profit;
• The escalation of tuition at institutions of higher education.

Energy and the Environment
We must strive to be responsible stewards of the environment, our communities, and our planet. All people, including future generations, have the right to clean air, water, and a healthy natural environment.

We believe:
• Both our economic stability and the health of our environment depend on sound policy decisions incorporating the best scientific evidence;
• Sustainable energy production and strong environmental protections strengthen our economy and our country;
• Public discussion and education should occur at all levels of community and government about how and why to reduce resource and energy consumption;
• Policies must promote biodiversity, ecosystem and watershed protection, and restoration of wild salmon and endangered species;
• Managing public lands as a public trust benefits us all;
• Washington State should lead international efforts to reduce greenhouse gases and mitigate climate change.
• Nuclear energy is not clean energy because no permanent solution exists for safely dealing with nuclear waste.

We call for:
• Research and program funding to develop and implement safe, clean alternative energy solutions and to encourage resource conservation.
• Expanded programs and incentives for consumers and businesses to encourage energy conservation and use of renewable and environmentally responsible energy, use of energy efficient and renewable sources of power and energy distribution technologies;
• Permitting expansion of nuclear power only when our environment is protected and when safe, long-term waste management can be guaranteed;
• The Tri-Party Agreement and other efforts of Washington State to ensure that Hanford Site clean-up is finished and the Columbia River’s water quality is protected from the Hanford Site’s contamination;
• Conserving resources and promoting sustainability through recycling and waste reduction efforts;
• Limiting urban sprawl and preserving farmland, wildlife habitat, and natural resources as essential to our economic and environmental well-being;
• Protecting our critical environmental areas, including wilderness areas, old growth forests, wildlife habitat areas and corridors, wetlands, streams, riparian areas, the Columbia River, Puget Sound, coastlines, and oceans, through vigilant monitoring and planned growth management;
• Protecting environmentally sensitive areas by prohibiting oil, gas, and mineral exploration, extraction, and transportation in such areas;
• Protecting environmentally sensitive areas by prohibiting waste disposal, storage or treatment in such areas;
• Restriction of offshore well drilling for petroleum, and destructive techniques such as hydraulic fracturing and mountaintop removal.
• The immediate revision of the 1872 Mining Act to end exploration and extraction in environmentally sensitive public lands and provide compensation to the public for resources that they own;
• Promoting development of a residential solar energy program to supply electricity to the power grid;
• Utilizing biomass conversion, including the implementation of new renewable energy technologies to convert bio-based materials, farm products and byproducts into biofuel;
• A long term national energy policy with realistic and comprehensive planning;
• Use of farm products for biofuel generation to be paired with measures to ensure fair commodity prices for farmers and retail prices for consumers, including the regulation of speculation on commodity exchanges;
• Enacting new laws and enforcing current regulations to eliminate pollution to Washington waters at the source;
• Recognizing the importance of jobs and property values, and consistent with other existing planks, all proposals for export of coal from Washington State must undergo a broad review of all economic, health and ecological impacts, to determine that there are no net negative impacts, prior to approval of such proposal or any alternatives;
• The Washington State congressional delegation to strengthen the Magnuson Amendment of the Marine Mammal Protection Act to enhance safekeeping of marine ecosystems from tanker and cargo vessel collisions, unlawful discharges and spills of petroleum based products, and bilge water pumping operations containing invasive aquatic species from foreign ports.

Foreign Policy
The United States should lead by example and work within the world community in a spirit of peace, cooperation and generosity to support freedom and democracy. We must avoid conducting preemptive war and make diplomacy and conflict resolution the primary organizing principle of our foreign policy.

We believe:
• The ultimate goal of United States foreign policy is to realize a peaceful, nonviolent, and sustainable world, through the promotion of human welfare and a healthy environment for all peoples;
• We must protect our nation from external threats without suppressing basic human rights;
• The United States should work closely and persistently with other countries to prevent or stop genocide anywhere it occurs;
• The United States should provide proportionate assistance and work with other nations to build a more peaceful and stable world by addressing root causes of conflict, including poverty, inequitable access to natural resources, economic injustice, and environmental degradation;
• Our government should not engage in covert efforts to destabilize other nations’ governments.

We call for:
• Providing military and foreign aid only to those nations that support human and civil rights;
• Honoring and upholding the rights, welfare, and healthy environment of all indigenous people;
• Freezing the assets of leaders of repressive regimes and banning military exports to such countries, instead of imposing sanctions that harm the civilian population;
• The pursuit of peace through nonviolent conflict resolution;
• A genuine, open multilateral approach to foreign policy, including participation in multilateral peacekeeping missions;
• Revision of the War Powers Act to assure that Congress can declare an end to a war;
• Cooperative and full participation in international organizations including the United Nations and international courts of justice, provided that the national security interests of the United States are protected;
• Honoring ratification of international treaties protecting civilian populations, human rights, and addressing climate change, such as the original U.N. Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women, and the Land Mine Ban Treaty;
• An effective, comprehensive plan to ensure our security while protecting our constitutional rights and the human rights of all;
• Working with other nations to pursue police action against terrorist networks rather than military intervention;
• Effective foreign aid to reduce poverty, improve health and education, provide sustainable access to safe water and food free of contaminants, and prevent and treat pandemic and endemic diseases;
• Restoring programs that support family planning worldwide;
• Prohibiting United States companies from engaging in practices abroad that would be prohibited at home, such as dumping of products and importing products made by exploiting the environment, local communities and people;
• Prohibiting multinational corporations, their affiliates, subsidiaries and/or franchises from operating in violation of international law;
• Outlawing the sale of, and importation to, the United States of all products of slave labor and child labor;
• Fair trade among nations based on sound environmental principles, sustainable agriculture and manufacturing, and democratic and economic rights of the workforce;
• Renegotiating international trade agreements to deal adequately and transparently with human rights, labor rights, and environmental rights and laws;
• Rebuilding Iraq and Afghanistan using international agencies and local labor;
• Diplomatic engagement with multiple parties in the Afghanistan and Pakistan region, aiming at a peaceful resolution of the conflict;
• Supporting nations in their efforts to prevent the radicalization of religions;
• Serious, full, constructive, and persistent United States engagement to promote negotiations and other actions that will lead to a peaceful, sustainable resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict, based on mutual recognition and ensuring security, economic growth, and quality of life for the peoples of a sovereign state of Palestine and the sovereign state of Israel;
• Prompt negotiations between Iran and the IAEA to put in place revised and enhanced nuclear safeguard and inspection agreements, consistent with the United States recommitment to a world free of nuclear weapons;
• Political and economic self-determination for the Cuban people and normalization of relations with Cuba, including an end to the United States-imposed embargo and travel ban;
• Ending the use of United States tax money to fund, train or sponsor military or police forces that suppress human and civil rights in foreign countries;
• Reduction of nuclear arsenals, strengthening international control of fissile material to include depleted uranium, and nonproliferation of nuclear weapons by limiting use of fissile material to peaceful purposes;
• Using foreign aid to offset onerous debt of countries forced to choose between debt repayment and essential services;
• The United States government’s working with transnational corporations and lending institutions, the International Monetary Fund, and the World Bank to improve regulation of financial systems to prevent economic disruptions and to develop better ways to refinance countries’ debts without compelling privatization of government services.

We oppose:
• The production, testing, stockpiling and use of “depleted” uranium (dU), chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons;
• Exportation of offensive weapons systems that contribute to destabilization in international relations and contribute to the international arms race;
• Extraordinary rendition, the abduction of persons of any nationality, their detention in secret prisons, and torture, as illegal and immoral;
• Rape as a tool of war and the lack of action to stop such rape from occurring;
• Governmental destabilizing operations against any nation.

Government and Political Reform
Our government derives its legitimacy solely from, and must be answerable to, the people. Government is the people’s instrument to achieve what we cannot achieve individually. We are committed to a representative democracy that encourages maximum active participation and a voting process that is fair, transparent, verifiable and open to all citizens.

We believe:
• An informed citizenry and civil discourse are necessary to a functioning democracy;
• Elected officials are responsible to society as a whole;
• The Constitution establishes a balance among the three branches of government;
• Government is unique and not a business. Government actions should support the common good, and taxes should be levied fairly and spent responsibly;
• Government should be protected from undue influence by corporate and other special interests;
• Government officials must be held to the highest standards of ethical conduct;
• No American citizen should be removed from the voting rolls or otherwise constrained from participating in an election for which they would otherwise be eligible;
• Nonviolent action is the preferred way to advocate for political change.

We call for:
• Minimizing the influence of special interests on our political processes by instituting campaign-finance reform;
• Public financing of judicial campaigns;
• Full and timely disclosure of sources of all campaign funds;
• Conducting all elections either with carefully monitored and secured paper ballots or open-source software, with a paper-trail record of all votes;
• Significantly shortening the process of selecting Presidential nominees;
• Campaign and debate processes that include third-party and so-called second-tier candidates;
• Guaranteed access to voting in all elections for all military service members and American government workers overseas;
• Full Congressional representation for residents of the District of Columbia and statehood for any U.S. Territory that votes for it;
• A Constitutional amendment providing for direct election of the United States President;
• Restrictions on former state and federal elected officials from lobbying for 5 years after leaving office;
• Taxpayer-funded scientific research that becomes part of the public domain and informs policy and regulatory decisions affecting our health, safety, and environment;
• All regulatory agencies to be fully funded, staffed and accountable;
• Strengthening the wall of separation between church and state by eliminating taxpayer funding for religious institutions or "faith-based" initiatives;
• A federal legislative process that limits filibusters, ends anonymous holds on appointments and other dilatory tactics, and requires a simple majority to invoke cloture;
• Establishing a cabinet-level Department of Peace and Nonviolent Conflict Resolution whose Secretary will advise the President on both domestic and international issues and fund programs proven to prevent violence;
• Adequate and equitable funding of public service options for all young adults when they complete their secondary education or reach maturity, including military, AmeriCorps, Peace Corps, Job Corps, and other avenues of service;
• Restoration and strict enforcement of the Clinton-administration version of the Freedom of Information Act and adherence to all open meeting laws;
• A review of all Washington laws on “eminent domain” to insure that no private property may be taken for private purposes and that all seizures are compensated in a fair and equitable manner, and enforcement of those laws;
• Extending elective-office contribution limits to include contributions made to support or oppose ballot measures;
• Enactment of revenue measures by simple-majority votes in the Washington State Legislature, as specified in the State Constitution;
• Accounting all tax exemptions as expenditures in the state budget and automatically sunsetting non-performing state tax exemptions after 5 years;
• Maintaining the United States Postal Service as a core function of government;
• A complete public record of all lobbying efforts;
• Inclusion of funding of all military actions in open Congressional budgets;
• Reform of the Washington state initiative process;
• Establishment of a state bank, the Washington State Investment Trust, to handle and profit from state revenues.

We oppose:
• Outsourcing, privatizing, or off-shoring public services to non-public entities, including such services as the voting process, public infrastructure, utilities and services such as water;
• Internet voting;
• Governmental suppression, manipulation and distortion of scientific research and findings, and psychological operations and disinformation/manipulation campaigns that leave the public uninformed or misinformed;
• Adding projects to bills by “earmarking” funds without the knowledge of other legislators and the public;
• Executive branch secrecy beyond legitimate national security needs or personnel matters;
• The use of “signing statements” that purport to invalidate a portion of the legislation being signed into law;
• Unfunded mandates;
• The top-two primary;
• Paid or non-Washington registered voter signature gatherers in the state initiative process;
• Wholesale destruction of the U.S. Postal Service by requiring overfunding of its pension system;
• Efforts by the government to deny citizens their right to peacefully assemble in order to petition for a redress of grievances;
• Any practice that reveals national election results while voting is still taking place;
• The politicization of the judiciary.

Health Care
Health care is a basic human right. Our government should assure, and guarantee by law, accessible and affordable health care for all. We applaud President Obama and Congress for making health care accessible, portable, and affordable for all people regardless of age, employment status, or pre-existing conditions, by passing the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010 (ACA), the first real health care reform in decades.

We support:
• A single-payer system, enacted statewide and ultimately nationally, to provide the most affordable comprehensive, coordinated, and effective health care;
• The preservation of Medicare;
• Full expansion and improved funding of Medicaid as specified in the ACA to protect the most vulnerable in our population;
• Increased funding for research and the National Institutes of Health; grants must be based on scientific merit, not political agenda;
• Family planning and reproductive rights;
• Parity of mental and physical health coverage nation-wide;
• Legalizing marijuana use for medical purposes;
• State-by-state Death with Dignity legislation as it exists in Washington state;
• A strong Patient’s Bill of Rights;
• Continued funding for HIV/AIDS-related education and care;
• A simple majority to pass emergency medical service and fire service operating levies;
• Funding of veterans' health care and hospitalization;
• Collaborative and patient-centered medical decisions regardless of economic or social background;
• Restoration of the nation's network of public hospitals and clinics.
• Reducing health care costs in innovative ways that improve quality of care but do not cut effective benefits or limit enrollment;
• Strengthening our public health system in ways that promote conditions leading to better health for the entire population.

We oppose:
• Ending the Medicare Trust Fund for any voucher system, which would limit access to affordable medical care for seniors;
• Denial of legal medical treatment or prescription purchase based on the personal religious beliefs of medical and pharmaceutical personnel;
• The appallingly excessive profits of the insurance and pharmaceutical industries and their outrageous influence over the political process.

Human Services
Compassionate human services should be among the highest priorities of government. Governments must never abdicate their responsibilities to provide a publicly funded and managed “safety net” to help those in need. In recognition of the widespread economic hardship caused by the severe recession gripping our nation, we believe that expenditures on human services should be raised to the level where basic human needs are met. Increasing poverty and the trend toward income disparity demand recognition as national emergencies.

We support:
• Welfare reform that will reduce poverty, not just the welfare rolls;
• Safe, decent, affordable housing for all;
• Quality affordable childcare, education, training, and substance abuse treatment;
• Maternity and paternity leave for a minimum of three (3) months;
• A transitional plan for persons being released from state institutions;
• Improved oversight of elder care
• Increased support for family caregivers.

We oppose:
• Privatizing Social Security, reducing benefits, or raising the age for qualification;
• Equating accepting food stamps, welfare, housing vouchers, or unemployment insurance with any moral failure.

Immigration
We are a nation of diverse cultures. Immigrants strengthen the United States of America. All immigrants should be afforded full human rights and a fair, safe, and timely determination of their status.

We believe:
• All people, regardless of their country of origin or their immigration status, deserve to be treated fairly, respectfully, and with dignity, and that all people have a right to equal treatment under the law;
• All children regardless of immigration status are entitled to education to provide them the knowledge and skills to be productive members of society;
• In allowing access to health care and human services without regard to immigration status; withholding those services is discriminatory and inhumane;
• Migrant workers deserve safe and adequate housing and sanitary facilities;
• Immigration is not a matter of homeland security.

We call for:
• Urgent comprehensive reform of United States immigration policy;
• Protecting the integrity of our borders while recognizing the basic human rights of immigrants and protecting them with transparent due process in all proceedings and a clear and equitable pathway to documented status and citizenship if desired;
• Increasing family unification, including families of domestic partners and bi-national couples, by granting legal status with the same standards as spouses of citizens;
• Allowing undocumented immigrants brought to the United States as children who have attained the age of majority to apply for U.S. citizenship without first being required to return to their country of origin;
• Extending temporary residency to children of undocumented immigrants to allow them to pursue higher education or national service and to be given an opportunity to earn permanent residency;
• Enforcement of the laws which penalize employers who knowingly employ undocumented immigrants;
• Policies that fully integrate and support immigrants as equal members of our communities, including programs offering immigrants instruction in English, interpretative and translation services of governmental documents and services, and preparation for citizenship;
• Policies that encourage foreign students to remain in the United States and give them an opportunity to earn permanent residency;
• An expeditious process to clear the immigration backlog and avoid lengthy detentions for adults and children;
• An end to deportation or detention, without due process of law, of any person who is a primary or sole caregiver for a minor child or disabled dependent;
• Streamlining and expediting procedures for granting asylum to persons fleeing from areas of war, genocide, and political oppression, subject to appropriate security concerns;
• Provisions to prevent discrimination in wages and working conditions for immigrant workers, including access to safe and adequate housing, medical care and educational opportunities, so that they will be protected from exploitation and American workers will be protected from being undercut by employers taking advantage of an undocumented and exploited workforce;
• Using diplomacy and sustainable development to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions that contribute to undocumented immigration into the United States

We oppose:
• State or local police involvement in the enforcement of federal immigration laws;
• Border Patrol checkpoints away from the border and the engagement of Border Patrol agents in ordinary law enforcement activities, including providing routine translation services;
• Demands for immediate presentation of documents regarding one’s status in the United States;
• Efforts to deputize, commission, finance, or otherwise encourage vigilante border militia groups in the United States;
• Automatic detention and/or deportation of asylum-seekers;
• Legislative attempts to establish English as the sole official language of the United States;
• Unjust and arbitrary quotas, limits, and other immigration rules that have the primary purpose of preventing new immigration;
• Policies that exclude immigrants based on country of origin.

Labor
Democrats believe organized labor is essential to the social, economic, and political health of our democracy. The tremendous improvement in the overall standard of living that occurred in the years after World War II was due to the preceding and ongoing struggles of unions and working people who fought, sacrificed, and died to gain the right to organize and bargain collectively for better working conditions and a share in economic prosperity. The decline of real wages over the past three decades, accompanied by powerful anti-union political attacks, intensifies the need for the protective efforts of a strong union movement.

We believe:
• Workers are dedicated, industrious and competitive;
• Workers deserve respect and a living wage; we define a living wage as the wage necessary for a person working forty hours a week, with no additional income, to afford decent housing, food, utilities, transport, and health care;
• Workers must have a safe and harassment-free work environment that meets state and federal standards;
• Workers must have the enforced right to organize and collectively bargain in order to have living wages;
• Workers’ rights to organize, join a union, enjoy due process, and bargain collectively, in order to have a living wage, without any interference, intimidation or threats from employers or the government, shall not be abridged or denied;
• “Card Check” is a legitimate method for unionizing;
• Workers have the right to a General Strike;
• Workers must have retirement and health benefits that are portable between employers;
• Workers need to have better access to education and training in order to be competitive in a world market of jobs;
• Workers wages should be commensurate with increases in productivity’
• All workers, public as well as private must participate in the government social security program.

We call for:
• Prevailing wage laws for work under government contracts; and/or for government purposes;
• “Best Value Contractor” policies and “Fair Contracting” with “Responsible and Responsive” bidder language in all public work jobs that include contractor responsibilities for prevailing wages, health insurance, retirement and training and to include a performance audit “
• Area standards for wages and benefits;
• State approved apprentice utilization, and a percentage local hiring clause where qualified workers are available on government agencies funded, financed, or involved in projects;
• Unemployment insurance and workers compensation;
• Unemployment and retraining benefits for workers laid off or locked out by their employers, including those whose jobs are outsourced, downgraded, or eliminated;
• Protection of overtime pay;
• The automatic recognition of a union based on signatures of a majority of those represented;
• A Workers' Bill of Rights that includes rights of assembly, association and free speech, due process, freedom from discrimination; and democracy within unions;
• Equal participation between labor and employers in the management of workers’ pensions;
• Competitive and commensurate wages for all workers, whether they are private sector, non-profit, or state and local government employees;
• Veterans, women, people of color, people with disabilities and sexual minorities earning equal compensation for equivalent work;
• Safe and adequate housing, medical care and sanitary facilities for all workers, including temporary, migrant, seasonal and contract workers;
• Withholding federal contracts from United States corporations that choose to locate “offshore” for tax shelter purposes;
• Support for working families with special programs such as day care and flextime to care for family members;
• Child labor standards that limit the hours youths are allowed to be employed during the school year.
• Minimum wage that is indexed to inflation;
• Respecting picket lines by not crossing them;
• Workers negotiating agency fees or Fair Share Clauses into labor agreements;
• Government and private industry to recover and make available to the workers medical and industrial hygiene records related to all workers so that they are paid just compensation for any injuries or illnesses incurred during their employment or as a result of their employment;
• Employers who force workers to work off the clock should be prosecuted;
• Union-restricting labor laws and so-called "Right to Work" laws should be repealed;
• Official unemployment statistics should include persons who are underemployed or have given up looking for work, or whose benefits have been exhausted;
• Fully funding and staffing the National Labor Relations Board and the National Mediation Board;
• Preference for Washington State residents on public works projects;
• Support market based compensations for public employees;
• Rescinding the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act of 2006 so that the postal service may return to fiscal soundness;
• Democratic and fair elections within the unions;
• Expanded and more effective “whistle blower” protection for all workers at all levels on all public and private jobs with access to courts and protection from retaliation
• Re-examination of Taft-Hartley and other existing anti-union legislation, to strengthen workers’ rights.

We oppose:
• “Right-to-work” and other anti-union legislation;
• Exploitation of seasonal, temporary, migrant and contract workers;
• Corporations using mergers and bankruptcy courts to steal workers pensions;
• Under-funding of pension liabilities by either the private or public sector;
• Foreign trade agreements that put the might of a corporation above the rights of workers;
• Foreign trade agreements that overrule the rights of local governments;
• Using tips as part of a minimum wage calculation;
• Use of permanent replacement workers during strikes;
• Supplanting or displacing public employees with low-wage, low benefit contract employees or prison labor;
• The unilateral redefining of workers as independent contractors to reduce labor costs, rendering workers ineligible for benefits and other protection;
• The decline of real wages over the last three decades;
• The privatization of workers compensation;
• Firing without just cause;
• Public employee pension reductions by the legislature;
• Balancing the public budget with pension funds;
• Gratuitous attacks by elected officials’ upon labor organizations, public and private employees;
• Any attempt to privatize the social security retirement system.

Law and the Justice System
The rule of law is a prerequisite for democratic civil society. A good government provides for the safety, security and justice for all, with care, fairness, and respect for each individual.

We believe:
• All people are equal before the law. Criminal justice and human rights are inseparable;
• Nonviolent conflict resolution, education, youth programs, health care, social services, rehabilitation, and living wage jobs will reduce crime and violence;
• Asset seizures should be based on court conviction rather than mere arrest or presumption of guilt;
• Drug treatment and education should be used to reduce drug abuse;
• In the stringent enforcement of laws regulating the purchase and ownership of firearms, while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners;
• In adequate state funding for indigent defendants in criminal cases;
• In DNA testing to free the innocent and convict the guilty;
• The criminal justice system is the appropriate venue for prosecution of all violent crimes, including acts of terrorism.

We call for:
• Restoring habeas corpus for citizens and non-citizens, completely and without compromise;
• Abolition of capital punishment, and substituting life in prison without parole;
• Full funding of the Violence Against Women Act, services to crime victims, and programs to prevent sexual violence;
• Ending the “war on drugs,” and legalizing use of marijuana and subjecting it to reasonable regulation and taxation;
• Research, legislation and enforcement measures to address the disproportion of persons of color in prison, and eliminating all forms of racial profiling by law enforcement and in sentencing;
• Accountability in law enforcement through an effective review process that is independent, open, responsive and thorough, and that includes meaningful civilian participation;
• Restoring FBI funding to investigate white collar crime;
• Adequate punishments for white collar crime, including appropriate fines and jail time;
• Ending the privatization of prisons;
• The creation and funding of alternatives to incarceration within the criminal justice system at both the pre-conviction stage (such as drug or mental health courts) and the post-conviction stage (such as community programs);
• Comprehensive gun-sale background checks, including criminal, mental health, and domestic violence checks, and waiting periods, applicable to gun shows and other transactions; mandatory registration and licensing; required safe gun storage; safety training for all gun owners; a limit on volume buys of firearms by an individual; and a total ban on assault weapons and oversized ammunition magazines;
• Crime prevention and rehabilitation rather than incarceration alone. Prisons should provide opportunities for inmates, such as education, training, therapy, and meaningful work;
• Rapid and consistent follow-up from probation services for violations;
• Increased training of all law enforcement on how to recognize and manage veterans and others who have seizures and mental-health events;
• Allowing foreign nationals to have access to consular officials if accused of a crime;
• All United States Territories and protectorates, including the Mariana Islands and Guantanamo Bay, to be subject to U. S. law including labor laws, due process, habeas corpus, and laws against illegal detention;
• Reformation of the current criminal justice system in light of modern concepts developed since the system was last reviewed in 1965.

We oppose:
• Mandatory and indeterminate sentencing, and mandatory three-strikes sentencing for non-violent crimes;
• Exemption from independent investigation or prosecution of any government officer responsible for ordering or participating in violation of domestic or international law;
• Excessive use of force by police and demand restraint in their dealing with peaceful assembly and protest;
• “Stand Your Ground” laws that legalize shooting-first.

Media Reform
An informed citizenry and persistently inquisitive media are essential for democracy to flourish. The free flow of information is fundamental to democracy. The public owns the broadcast frequencies and the Internet, which should be managed to serve the public interest. Internet neutrality is fundamental to preserving the value of the Internet for the public.

We call for:
• The Federal Communications Commission to adopt media ownership rules that cultivate localism, encourage a diversity of viewpoints, and preserve a competitive marketplace of ideas for American communities.
• Encouraging women, minority and community media ownership;
• Strengthening community-level, non-profit and non-commercial radio and TV;
• Ensuring that rural Americans have access to a modern communications infrastructure;
• Reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine for broadcast media during election campaigns and making it applicable to cable networks, to promote greater balance in coverage;
• Increasing affordable access to high-speed internet statewide;
• The Federal Communications Commission to reduce concentration of media ownership, restore local programming, and encourage multicultural and minority-owned media;
• Allocation of low-power broadcast frequencies to educational and non-profit institutions;
• Guaranteed internet neutrality in which all users and content providers have equal access to Internet service, without discrimination or prioritization on the basis of source, destination, or technology.
• Public radio and public television to be accorded adequate, stable funding free of political pressure;
• Freedom of Information Act time limits to be enforced and the Act funded;
• Reporting from theaters of war to be free of censorship, except as necessary to avoid revealing tactical information or endangering our troops;
• Prompt adjudication of claims of “national security” and other questionable classifications;
• Journalists to be protected from unwarranted pressure to reveal their sources to outsiders;
• Media to avoid publishing government-funded propaganda as news;
• Cable companies should fairly compensate local governments for their use of the public rights-of-way;
• Privacy of personal account user names and passwords;
• Shield laws of journalists;
• TVW to be available statewide;
• The enforcement of 47 USC § 315 - Candidates for Public Office. (The Equal Opportunities requirement; censorship prohibition; allowance of station use; news appearances exception; public interest; public issues discussion opportunities to all government controlled bandwidth and full funding and strict enforcement thereof); and extension to all publicly regulated media outlets;
• Exemption of Non-Commercial broadcasting from any requirement to take paid advertisements.

We oppose:
• False claims of “national security” to suppress investigative journalism;
• False and misleading (wrong and inaccurate) information spread by newspapers and radio or television programs under the guise of news.

Military and Veterans Affairs
We pledge support of our troops and honor our veterans who act in the service of our country. The core task of the U.S. Military is to provide for the common defense. Our military must be adequate to provide for our nation’s defense and should never be open to abuses of power by any branch of government.

We believe:
• It is the task of the military to execute the legal directives issued by the civilian Commander in Chief;
• Under the Constitution it is the duty of Congress to declare war, appropriate funds, provide oversight, and act to prevent the misuse of the military;
• Our military men and women—active duty, reserve and National Guard—are entitled to serve with a clear mission and adequate resources;
• Female military personnel have the right to make their own reproductive decisions, with the same rights accorded to civilian women.

We call for:
• Military service on our behalf to be performed only by men and women accountable to the public, the law, and the Uniform Code of Military Justice, not by contractors exempt from some of those restrictions.
• Military members who declare themselves conscientious objectors to be given due process without fear of reprisal;
• Full prosecution for all sexual assault or gender-based, religious, or racial harassment by military personnel;
• Troops to be accorded mandatory breaks between overseas tours, strict time limits on each tour of duty in a combat zone, and strict limits on the total number of combat tours;
• Routine inspections of facilities by the office of Inspector General, and procedures to insure facility integrity;
• Providing financial assistance, daycare assistance, and no-cost life insurance supplements for families of all military personnel deployed to hostile or combat areas;
• Military personnel retaining full enlistment bonuses despite being discharged for combat-related disabilities;
• Enforcement of the Geneva Convention, through all levels of command, in the treatment of all prisoners of war, enemy combatants, and detainees regardless of the location of their incarceration;
• Senior civilian leaders and military leaders being held accountable for the actions of lower ranking military personnel, such as torture in prisons, which is never acceptable;
• Elimination of unnecessary, outdated, and redundant military programs and weapons;
• Reform of the contracting practices of the military, with contracts to be awarded based on fair and competitive bidding, with preference given to U.S. companies when possible;
• U.S. government control of contracts and production of military weapons and equipment;
• A thorough and comprehensive review of the necessity and organization of foreign military bases equal to the review of domestic military bases;
• Providing all veterans with full, timely, no-cost treatment at local military or VA medical facilities, and providing retraining for those who are disabled;
• Fully funding VA services;
• Increased funding for long-term care and treatment of veterans at military medical facilities;
• A full review by an independent medical and vocational rehabilitation panel of all military partial-disability ratings; all outcomes should be based on medical rather than political and economic criteria;
• Active outreach to provide access to housing and services for homeless vets;
• Providing our troops with a transitional assistance program to make coming home easier;
• Equal GI Bill privileges for ALL service men and women, including National Guard members who have been activated for combat duty;
• Elimination of the Survivor’s Benefit Plan (SBP) Social Security offset when a widowed military spouse reaches age 62.

We oppose:
• Use of our military resources in unauthorized, unjustified, and/or pre-emptive wars;
• The production, testing, stockpiling and use of “depleted” uranium (dU), chemical, nuclear, or biological weapons;
• The use of active sonar in the Salish Sea;
• Military access to school records of minors without parental consent;
• U.S. training of foreign military or police forces that suppress human rights in their own countries.

Transportation
We believe that an efficient, well-planned, multimodal transportation system promotes a healthy economy, environment and community.

We call for:
• Significant public input and oversight into major transportation public works;
• Policies and public funding that make travel as safe and efficient as possible for all modes of transportation, motorized and non-motorized;
• Accessible transportation for all, including safe, affordable, and efficient bus and rail services for persons with disabilities;
• Investments in public infrastructure that broaden individuals’ multimodal transportation choices;
• Encouraging the development of alternative energy for transportation;
• Instituting measures to reduce pollution and dependence on fossil fuels, including increased fuel efficiency standards for all vehicles;
• Land use planning that works toward the goal of decreasing the need to drive;
• An increased use of rail for shipment of agricultural products and other goods;
• A high speed rail system to link major cities;
• An integrated partnership for travel through ridership jurisdictions;
• Maintaining existing public right-of-way for future development and growth;
• Expansion of Regional Reduced Fare Permit to all transit agencies throughout the state of Washington to make it easier for persons with disabilities to transfer to other agencies;
• Assistance to other transit agencies that operate outside of Snohomish County, King County, Kitsap County and Pierce County be able to install the One Regional Card for All (ORCA) machines on their buses to make it easier for persons who rely on public transit to transfer between transit agencies;
• Setting up the Good-2-Go toll pass to be able to work on all toll roads around the state.

Tribal Relations and Sovereignty
Local, state, and federal governments must respect Native American nations and educate the general population of the inherent and sovereign treaty-based rights of Native American people as a step toward open and meaningful relations that reaffirm rights derived from sovereign treaties and state compacts and oppose attempts to diminish sovereignty and cultures.

We call for:
• Government recognition of the inherent sovereignty and treaty rights of Native American nations as self-determining and self-governing;
• Federal recognition of Tribes within Washington State that meet the minimum threshold of the Department of the Interior;
• Concerted efforts to maintain and protect traditional species of marine, animal, and plant life that are critical to Native American cultures and economies;
• The preservation, protection and restoration of sites of historic, cultural and religious significance, including Native American names of sites of historic, cultural, and religious significance;
• The promotion, restoration and protection of the rights of Native American people, with full respect for cultural values, languages, traditions, and forms of social organization, whether or not they are recognized by the United States Government.

We oppose:
• Abuse of any treaty or tribal agreement by any party or tribal government;
• The efforts by any groups or organization that support forced assimilation and its distortion of U.S. history.