San Juan County Democratic Party Platform
Adopted by a quorum of Precinct Delegates, April 27, 2012
County Convention in Friday Harbor, WA

Preamble

We, the Democrats of San Juan County, believe in the principles enshrined in the Declaration of Independence, the Constitution, and the Bill of Rights. These fundamental democratic principles to which we subscribe are: Liberty, Justice, Equality, Cooperation, Community, Security, and Open Society.

In addition, we hold certain values and beliefs in common with others, including: grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and sustainability.

In promoting these principles, we place enduring value on the individual qualities of honesty, integrity, fortitude, ethics, forward vision, and open communication essential to sound democratic process.

In accordance with these principles, we recognize that we are a community of people whose purpose is to promote the general welfare, public good, and the liberty and justice which allows all of our citizens to reach their full potential.

We believe we can only reach those goals through a government based on the consent of the governed, a free and open democracy where all persons are treated as equals and with rights and privileges and responsibilities.

Further, we believe that a Democracy cannot be sustained when all economic power is concentrated in the hands of a few, who through their power, can manipulate the government to their own benefit to the detriment of the many.

We believe that we are stewards of our environment and must, for the salvation of humankind and the welfare of our children and their children, insure that the planet survives in a manner that can sustain them.

We further believe that it is the duty of the community, through its democratic institutions, to insure that the least fortunate among us are not left behind.

Local Issues

We support a Comprehensive County Water Carrying Capacity Study.  This study will determine the availability of ground water for future development, and has not as yet been effectively addressed by San Juan County.

We support the need for a second rescue tug boat to be based in or close to the San Juan Islands.  As more tanker and freighter traffic use our waters, the potential for disaster has increased.

We oppose local law enforcement authorities entering into programs such as the Secure Communities Program, relating to local law enforcement of federal immigration laws.

We acknowledge as residents of San Juan County, that we have an obligation and responsibility to protect our marine and terrestrial life and habitat against environmental and human threats.

We encourage citizens of like mind to us to participate on county commissions, boards, and districts to insure that our interests and the interests of the general populace are represented.

We support equal treatment of women in all respects, including support of the Equal Rights Amendment, equal pay for equal work, the right of women to be free of all government, corporate, or religious interference in all their reproductive decisions including birth control and abortion, and access to healthcare including pharmaceuticals for all such issues.

State Issues

We support the use of Instant Runoff (ranked choice) Voting in our elections as both efficient and cost effective.

We support public funding of races for State Supreme Court judges.  Eventually, all races should be publicly funded.

We support the establishment of a state income tax which is simple in execution and progressive in nature.

We support shifting state and federal industrial tax credits, write-offs and subsidies from volatile export sector and unsustainable energy-intensive sunset industries to local economic enterprise and infrastructure serving stable domestic demand in regional and local markets.

We support the establishment of a Washington State Investment Bank similar to the one in North Dakota.  For eighty years, their state banking and credit have been stabilized and foreclosures eliminated.

We oppose the proposed Gateway Pacific Coal Terminal in Bellingham, Washington, on environmental grounds.

We support legislation for fully funding pre-school through grade 12 and technical education, and legislation that substantially funds public colleges and universities such that public higher education is accessible to all qualified students.

National Issues

We call upon Congress to send a proposed Constitutional Amendment to the States for ratification that will make it clear that only human beings are people under the law and the Constitution, and that the expenditure of money to influence elections is not speech and its use for such purposes should be regulated by the government.

We call on the leadership of the Democratic Party, especially the Washington state Congressional delegation, for a national strategy to reverse the outcomes of the Citizens United v. FEC Supreme Court decision of 2010 and the McCutcheon v. FEC Supreme Court decision of 2014, the objective of which should be to render it legal and constitutional for governments at all levels to institute reasonable limits on expenditures for electioneering purposes.

We call for the repeal of all laws and practices enacted primarily as barriers to voting, e.g. voter ID, shortened early voting periods and restrictions on registered voters.  Voting should be for the entire seven days in the second week of November to maximize voter turnout.

We call for a comprehensive study of corporate subsidies and tax abatement issues, and the elimination of them wherever called for.

We call on Congress and the President to develop a comprehensive, long-range strategy to stimulate economic growth, eliminate most annual deficits, and reduce the national debt to a manageable percentage of GDP.

We call for the formulation of a realistic, long-range national energy policy focused on sustainable sources and eliminating the serious threat posed by climate change.

We call for the reform of existing trade policies and agreements that currently encourage off-shoring of American jobs.  In addition, we strongly oppose the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), a “free” trade agreement, currently being negotiated with little or no scrutiny.

We advocate for abolition of the death penalty in the United States.

We advocate for ending the “war on drugs” by legalizing, regulating, and taxing drugs; addiction must be treated as a medical problem.

We believe that education should focus on teaching critical thinking rather than testing.

We support all efforts against internet voting and advocate a return to paper ballots.

We support the concept of publicly financed elections as a means of removing the corrupting influence of big money as much as possible from the process of governance.

We support a single payer healthcare system for all Americans.

We support a carbon tax on industry that pollutes our atmosphere with greenhouse gases, carbon dioxide and methane.  Energy policy must wean us form the use of fossil fuels.

We support free public education at all levels, immediately forgiving all student debt, or, at least, locking in interest rates and extending repayment periods.

We support eliminating the cap on the Social Security income tax.

We support the right of unions to organize in the workplace without the interference by employers or government.

We support the organized reduction of the U.S. military footprint around the world.  Funds saved from this effort should be applied to rebuilding our infrastructure, educating our children, and providing a safety net for our most vulnerable citizens.

We oppose private prisons, which are expensive, inhumane, and out of citizen control.  Prisons should be a function of government, not of “for profit” businesses.

We call for a more progressive federal tax system which would include taxing capital gains at the same rate as income.  In addition we call for the creation of a financial transaction tax.

We call for sensible gun regulations which would include universal background checks before the purchase of any firearm, a ban on assault weapons, and a ban on large capacity ammunition clips.

No agency of the United States government shall search or collect phone records, emails, or any other form of communication between private parties without a warrant based on due process.  All such data collected to date without due process must be destroyed.

Whistleblowers need to be able to come forward to report behavior that is illegal under US or international law without fear of punishment or reprisal.

Global Issues

We call on our government to recognize the International Criminal Court.

We call on all countries to do everything possible to reduce greenhouse gas emissions to a level that will reduce and reverse global climate change.

We declare that water and food supplies are part of the Commons and oppose privatizing and polluting them, such as with genetically modified organisms.

We acknowledge that human population is now several times larger than can be sustained by our planet’s ecology.  Therefore, rather than acceding to increased death from war, disease, and starvation, we support programs such as those that empower women to plan their own reproductive lives.

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