From the grassroots up!
I have continued to work toward the goals outlined in my City Council campaign platform last year, including: green energy retrofits and resource conservation; new rules for downtown and steep slope development; guarantees of civil liberties; a living wage for city contractors; domestic partner benefits for city employees; and more. (Scroll down or click on the sidebar links for more details.)
Today I’m focused on the 2010 Democratic Party platform. This week we’ll be conducting precinct meetings in Buncombe County. Many will be held on March 1, but schedules will vary. (Check with your Precinct Chair, or contact the Democratic Party.) I’m outgoing Chair of Precinct 3, and we’ll meet Sunday, Feb. 28, at 4 p.m. at St. Marks Lutheran Church. Precinct meetings are normally held in the same location where you vote. Click here to check your precinct meeting.
Precinct meetings are where grassroots initiatives can be introduced that can become Platform Planks for the county, district, state and national party. You and your neighbors can discuss and vote on the ideas you’d like to see play out in Asheville, Raleigh and Washington, DC! Get active! Devote an hour or so to our common future!
My Platform Suggestions
Here are the ideas I’m taking to my Precinct meeting. Feel free to share them (or contradict them—this is where the democratic rubber hits the road.)
Platform ideas for North Carolina’s 11th Congressional District
• Whereas marriage strengthens the social fabric by forming more stable social and financial ties, the Democratic Party fully endorses marriage. Marriage must be freely chosen and freely agreed to. Government must never dictate who can marry whom.
• Whereas modern health care is a community concern with wide ranging social implications, the Democratic Party fully endorses universal single payer health insurance. A healthy populace is an important part of a healthy community and like every other industrialized nation in the world we deserve universal single payer health insurance. Until we achieve that goal, the Democratic Party endorses creation of a strong public option in any health care reform plan.
• Whereas it is urgent that we move to a lower energy, green economy as rapidly as possible, increasing local production of industrial material and reducing our dependence on foreign oil, the Democratic Party endorses legalization of the cultivation and manufacture of industrial hemp. Hempcrete, a combined structural and insulating material, has been demonstrated to substantially reduce construction and operating costs in buildings. This joins a long and well known list of economically and environmentally beneficial uses for hemp, and industrial hemp could be a very significant cash crop for N.C. farmers.
• Whereas cap and trade emissions programs elsewhere have proven difficult to manage and verify, the Democratic Party endorses creation of a carbon tax system to encourage energy conservation in a manner that will be equitable for all businesses and consumers.
• Whereas the minimum wage has fallen behind increases in the cost of living in the U.S. for many years, the Democratic Party endorses an immediate increase in the minimum wage to $8.50 per hour with an increase to $12 over the next four years.
• Whereas the global recession has inflicted serious damage to the U.S. economy and whereas the wars in the mideast have imposed unsupportable costs on U.S. taxpayers, the Democratic Party endorses an immediate withdrawal of all U.S. troops from both Afghanistan and Iraq. We should no longer squander American lives and American treasure on those wars. The Afghan government is hopelessly corrupt, the so-called “country” is a fiction imposed by England in another century on a region that has no historic unity and attempts to control the region have beggared empires through the centuries. Meanwhile, Iraq has stabilized after our imprudent invasion and it is time to exit. The only nation-building we need to do is right here at home.
• Whereas the U.S. Supreme Court accidentally conferred personhood on corporations in the 1800s, and has expanded corporate intrusion into the nation’s political life in the years since, the Democratic Party endorses a return to the corporate laws formulated by our nation’s founders. Corporate charters should be of fixed duration, generally no longer than seven years, renewable upon documentary demonstration of meaningful public benefit.
Filed under: Platform goals |