This platform was adopted at the 2018 37th Legislative District Caucus on March 25, 2018.
Statement of Values
As Democrats, we believe our society has a fundamental responsibility to create a better future for our children and future generations. We fundamentally desire a more just society, a robust and sustainable economy, peaceful relations among nations, and a cleaner environment that does not imperil the planet. We are committed to the following principles which we find fundamental to a sound democracy and a moral society.
Arts and Culture
We believe that a vibrant and diverse arts community is critical for the health of our communities. We favor strong support for the arts and culture. It is important for there to be opportunities for youth to participate in a variety of artistic programs in our community. It is also critical for arts investments to be spread equitably in the 37th’s neighborhoods, with an increased emphasis on communities of color (such as the Central Area and South Seattle) where such programs are most needed. Artistic and cultural endeavors should occur in a variety of venues, and reflect the diversity of artists and the cultures they come from.
Corporate Power and Media Reform
Income inequality is one of the primary concerns in our society, and the ever-increasing role of corporations is one of the major causes of this inequality. We support a range of measures that limit corporate power, such as enforcement of antitrust laws, reinstatement of net neutrality regulations, the maintenance of Dodd-Frank protections, and the enforcement of environmental regulations. We are also concerned about increasing consolidation in the media industry which reduces the diversity of voices in our democracy. Finally, we are concerned about the deteriorating quality of news and information, and support regulatory involvement to address these challenges.
Economic Justice and Tax Fairness
We are committed to creating strong communities based on fairness, opportunity and prosperity for all. We support economic policies and business practices that promote diversity, small businesses, the creation of living-wage jobs, the right of employees to bargain collectively and join unions, and the creation of sustainable economic growth that does not damage our environment. We support the advancement of equitable competition over the increasing power of monopolies. We support transitioning Washington State’s taxation system to one that taxes the wealthy more than the impoverished, rather than less, via the introduction of new sources of progressive revenue (e.g., an income tax on high income individuals and/or a capital gains tax).
A free, universal public school system is the backbone of our democratic society. We support excellent quality public education, preschool through college, with equitable access for all, because universal access to excellent schools is the surest path to equality, opportunity, prosperity, and the continuing preservation of our democratic heritage. We do not support efforts to privatize the K-12 education system. We support increasing scholarship opportunities for low income individuals, communities of colors and other marginalized individuals.
Energy, Environment and Climate Crisis
Our well-being and very survival depend on worldwide clean air, clean water, safe food, and sustainable ecosystems. Environmental protections strengthen our economy.
Climate change is a seminal challenge of our era. We support a full-range of policies to address this crisis, including a price on carbon, the phasing out of of new internal combustion vehicles, reducing our dependence on fossil fuels by transitioning to a 100% renewable electricity grid, and banning new fossil fuel infrastructure in the state.
Farms, Fisheries, and Forests
We support protecting our land, air, and water against pollution. We affirm that threats such as climate change, ocean acidification, and hazardous waste are matters of both national security and social welfare. We call on our elected leaders to continue our state’s long history of stewardship and leadership in protecting our natural resources. e call upon the federal government, in conjunction with tribal, state, and local governments to work with farmers and fishermen to develop and harvest the state and nation’s food resources in a responsible and sustainable manner.
The United States should lead by example and work within the world community in a spirit of peace, justice, cooperation, generosity and democracy. Foreign policy should emphasize the promotion of democracy, human rights, and increased development assistance. We support the vision of a global community of interdependent nations, rather than a vision of international relations as a zero-sum competition. We support the Iran nuclear agreement and encourage nuclear disarmament among all nations.
Government and Political Reform
We are committed to a democracy that encourages maximum participation, a voting process that is fair, transparent, and open to all citizens, and we support the Washington State voting rights act.t. We insist that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. We support public financing of elections. We support open government.
Health care is a basic human right, and the government should guarantee by law accessible and affordable health care for all. We support a single payer health care system that includes dental, vision, and behavioral healthcare, and also covers prescription medications.. This will increase coverage, improve outcomes, and decrease expenditures. We believe that guns and gun control is a public health issue and that the government gun death research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Civil and Human Rights
The rights guaranteed by our Constitution and by international human rights law are at the heart of the American identity and should not be compromised. Their preservation requires our vigorous defense. We believe that those who suffer the burden of discrimination are entitled to legal and economic recourse and recompense. We affirm the rights of all people to public and working lives free of discrimination and harassment. We oppose discrimination based on race, national origin, immigration status, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation, economic status, disability, marital status, or age and support policies that promote inclusion with a special emphasis for the historically disenfranchised.
We support a safety net of social services to meet people’s basic needs so they can attain their full potential, including fully children, the elderly, and people experiencing, homelessness, mental illness, disability, or addiction. We affirm the principle of “nothing about us without us,” and urge our legislators to let affected communities such as the homeless, the disabled, those facing guardianship, those in foster care, and others, to articulate their needs and take the lead in forming solutions. We oppose the forced displacement of people experiencing homelessness, as it inhumanely increases instability for people experiencing homelessness. We insist the government fund services that ensure the health and wellbeing of both the people experiencing homelessness and all who live near homeless encampments.
Immigrants strengthen America. All immigrants should be afforded full human rights and a fair, safe, and timely path to legal status. We oppose border walls, efforts to increase deportations, and the withholding of human services to undocumented immigrants.
Further, we support our immigrant neighbors regardless of documentation status by resisting any efforts to remove them or restrict their travel.
We believe in the dignity of work and demand fair wages and benefits in return. We insist on the right of all workers to join labor unions, to bargain collectively, and to take part in setting their working conditions, including the creation of worker councils. We support a minimum wage that supports a reasonable standard of living, and that escalates with inflation.
Law and the Justice System
We pledge to support the efforts of well-trained first responders. We call for a full range of common sense gun safety legislation such as universal background checks, raising the minimum age of purchase for all guns to 21, and extreme risk protection orders. We support the ban on assault weapons. We support the legislature’s efforts to make law enforcement accountable to the people they serve. We encourage efforts to curb the over-policing of historically marginalized people, particularly people of color. We acknowledge and oppose the existence of both the school-to-prison pipeline and the prison-industrial complex. We support significant changes to the criminal justice system to ensure greater racial equity.
Military and Veterans Affairs
We pledge support to our troops and honor to our veterans who act in the service of our country. Washington citizens have always answered their country’s call to duty, and we are proud of our state’s contributions to the national defense. We insist on the complete fulfillment of our nation’s obligations and commitments to our veterans and their families.
We recognize the connections between intelligent transportation and a variety of societal concerns — avoiding gentrification, affordable housing, minimizing carbon emissions, and community health. We strongly support community-oriented transit and community-based transit-oriented development to foster density, affordable housing, the slowing of gentrification, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and community well-being. We also support measures to make transit more affordable for communities in need.
Tribal Relations and Sovereignty
We acknowledge that the 37th Legislative District is on Native land. We acknowledge the historical failure of both the U. S. and the Washington State governments to honor treaties with the sovereign tribes of our state. We ask legislators to consider the needs of our Native neighbors through an equity lens that acknowledges the legacy of stolen land. We further affirm the sovereignty of Tribes over the resources guaranteed by treaty, even against environmental degradation initiated outside Tribal lands.