What We Stand For
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.
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.
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 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.
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 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.
ENERGY AND 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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 that an efficient, well-planned, multimodal transportation system promotes a healthy economy, environment and community.
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.