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PLATFORM

LIST OF ISSUES

WE SEEK A FAIR, HONEST, AND OPEN GOVERNMENT THAT WORKS FOR ALL

 

Florida

  1. We support full voting rights for all citizens who meet age and residency requirements, including, but not limited to, expanded voting hours and local laws that create less waiting at the polls.

  2. We support enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to protect the voting rights of racial minorities.

  3. We support automatic civil rights restoration when ex-felons complete their sentences, except the right to gun ownership in the case of violent offenders. We support voting rights for prisoners.

  4. We support non-discrimination policies in employment, education, and housing for felons who have completed their sentences, with limited exceptions only when public safety may be adversely impacted.

  5. We support semi-open primaries in which voters with no party affiliation can publicly choose in which party primary to vote.

  6. We support automatic and universal voter registration, and legislation to make elections a national holiday.

  7. We support legislation to require voter verifiable paper audit trails and random audits of election returns.

  8. We support enforcement of Florida’s Sunshine Law with minimal exemptions.

  9. We oppose gerrymandering at every level of government.

  10. We support the creation of an independent, nonpartisan commission to create fairly drawn electoral districts.

  11. We oppose state legislative term limits and support the repeal of any existing state legislation creating term limits, to rebuild and prevent the erosion of institutional memory in our state legislative body, and to limit the influence of lobbyists.

  12. We support home rule and oppose efforts by state government to “preempt” local ordinances.

National

  1. We support strong campaign finance reform, including public financing of elections.

  2. We support overturning the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United, and any other rulings, which have the effect of defining money as speech and corporations as persons.

  3. We oppose the revolving door between the government and business arenas when there a conflict interest that adversely impacts the public interest.

  4. We support any measure, which prohibits, for at least ten (10) years, former elected officials from lobbying the body where they served.

  5. We support additional regulations and/or legislation to limit or prohibit the appointment of any official to an agency regulating an industry in which the appointee has played a significant role and/or held a significant financial interest.

  6. We support reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine and Equal Time Rule, to promote informed public discussion on public issues.

  7. We support campaign reform, which provides clear rules, regulations and substantial penalties to prevent misrepresentation and outright falsehoods in campaign ads and materials.

  8. We support the Johnson Amendment, which prohibits religious and other not-for-profit organizations such as 501(c)(3) organizations from participating in political activity. If repealed, we support elimination of the tax-exempt status of organizations who engage in political activity.

  9. We support statehood for the District of Columbia.

WE SEEK BROADER RIGHTS AND BETTER WAGES FOR WORKERS

Florida & National

  1. We support a fair, living wage (no less than $15 an hour), for all classes of workers.

  2. We support the inclusion of a single standard cost of living adjustment (COLA) in all government tax and spending legislation. We oppose any Consumer Price Index (CPI) calculation, including but not limited to, chained CPI, that seeks to limit COLA increases based upon an assumption that people must be willing to accept a lower standard of living.

  3. We support increased funding for social security, by raising the social security wage base.

  4. We support paid sick leave, overtime after an eight (8)-hour workday, and guaranteed paid vacation time.

  5. We oppose any efforts to erode workers’ earned benefits, including but not limited to, unemployment insurance, social security, retirement programs, and pension plans.

  6. We support paid parental leave of significant length (at least 6 weeks).

  7. We support active enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, particularly in the area of wage employees for the purpose of overtime eligibility.

  8. We support the right of employees to organize and collectively bargain via unions anywhere in the US or its territories, and support ending the status known as “right-to-work.”

  9. We support the availability of universal public day care as an extension of our public school systems, including the training, certification, and increased pay of those involved in such programs.

 

WE SEEK TO MAINTAIN A STRONG ECONOMY

 

Florida & National

  1. We support a progressive state and federal tax code to more equitably distribute the tax burden.

  2. We support budgets that are balanced fairly and equitably, that do not place the burden of tax responsibility on the middle and working classes, and that reward hard work.

  3. We support regulations to encourage “in-sourcing” jobs, particularly in manufacturing, in order to promote a robust economy built on products made in the USA at fair, living wages.

  4. We support transparency and full debate on all trade agreements and oppose fast tracking on all trade agreements.

  5. We support eliminating tax code loopholes that allow corporations to create offshore tax havens with the intent to avoid their tax obligations.

  6. We support ending “corporate bailouts,” the subsidies given to big businesses.

  7. We support creating major infrastructure programs that are publicly funded and managed before any more of our dams and bridges collapse and roads crumble.

  8. We support legislation that would provide a legal framework for the creation of cooperative worker- and community-owned businesses.

  9. We oppose the privatization of natural resources, such as water and food crop seeds, that are required for the survival of the biosphere and its inhabitants.

  10. We oppose prioritizing corporate profits over the health and well-being of human and animal life and our shared environment.

  11. We support research into the viability of a Universal Basic Income, including, but not limited to, feasibility studies, lessons learned and best practices studies, and pilot programs.

  12. We support protecting and strengthening the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) and its ability to designate financial institutions “too big to fail.”

  13. We oppose forced arbitration for employees and consumers and legislative efforts to restrict and/or eliminate class action lawsuits.

  14. We support oversight and regulation of predatory lending and debt collection practices.

  15. We support extending the same economic and political rights to US territories, including specifically Puerto Rico, that states have.

  16. We support a federal job guarantee in order to achieve permanent full employment.

 

WE SEEK TO PROVIDE A QUALITY EDUCATION FOR EVERY CHILD

Florida

  1. We support the right of every child in Florida to a high quality, public education as stated in the Florida Constitution.*

  2. We support increased per pupil spending and equitable school funding across districts.

  3. We oppose state efforts to undermine the federal protection of students with disabilities, such as Exceptional Student Education (ESE).

  4. We support enforcing the class size amendment.

  5. We support a rich, comprehensive and age-appropriate public school curriculum, e.g. which includes physical education, art, music, and recess.

  6. We support eliminating the Value Added Model (VAM), that ties teacher pay to student assessments.

  7. We support aggressively guarding the privacy of students and families and oppose the tracking of student information by third parties.

  8. We oppose vouchers and the diversion of tax dollars to unaccountable charter and private schools.

  9. We support ending zero-tolerance policies that feed the school-to-prison pipeline, and increasing school counseling resources.

  10. We support public school, library and other community programs that support literacy from infancy through adulthood.

  11. We support the autonomy of local school boards in making decisions that affect school facilities, i.e., use, instruction, maintenance, closings, etc.

  12. We support increasing county school board members’ salaries in alignment with county education budgets.

  13. We support increased state support to public institutions of higher education.

 

National

  1. We support diagnostic testing, but oppose test-based accountability.

  2. We oppose high-stakes standardized testing.

  3. We support the federal protection of students with disabilities, such as Exceptional Student Education (ESE).

  4. We support access to developmentally appropriate pre-kindergarten (Universal Pre-K).

  5. We support providing resources and fair funding for schools in impoverished areas.

  6. We support policies that reduce the high cost of tuition and interest payments on student loan debt, such as refinancing, and expanding forgiveness programs.

  7. We support free public university education and support the addition of technical/vocational training into the initiative. We further support rolling a cost of living stipend and all fees into the tuition calculation, thereby making the initiative truly free for its participants.

  8. We support developing public service programs for young adults to give back to society, within their chosen field, either during, or once they have completed their course of study.

  9. We oppose the proliferation of for-profit companies directly involved in public education, such as testing and outsourcing educational services.

  10. We support stronger oversight and regulation of for-profit and ‘paper mill’ universities.

  11. We support the ability of non-tenured university employees to unionize.

  12. We support increased federal support to public institutions of higher education.

*Article IX, Section 1 of the Florida Constitution, states that “the education of children is a fundamental value of the people of the State of Florida. It is, therefore, a paramount duty of the state to make adequate provision for the education of all children residing within its borders. Adequate provision shall be made by law for a uniform, efficient, safe, secure, and high quality system of free public schools that allows students to obtain a high quality education and for the establishment, maintenance, and operation of institutions of higher learning and other public education programs that the needs of the people may require.”

WE SEEK JUSTICE AND EQUALITY FOR ALL

Florida

  1. We support full equality, including the right to marry.

  2. We oppose discrimination in all forms, including, but not limited to, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression and ability/disability.

  3. We support The Florida Competitive Workforce Act (or other legislation accomplishing the same goals), which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.

  4. We support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) by the state of Florida.

  5. We support the right of women to make their own reproductive health care decisions.

  6. We support strengthening and fully funding policies against human trafficking.

  7. We oppose the disproportionate incarceration of any group by the criminal justice system and support an end to mandatory minimum sentencing, also known as the 10-20-Life Law.

  8. We oppose incarceration of persons with mental health issues and for most nonviolent drug offenders, and support alternative health care treatment for such individuals to lower recidivism and prevent perpetrators from committing more severe crimes.

  9. We oppose the use of private jails and prisons.

  10. We support paying inmates in prison who work a minimum wage.

  11. We support efforts to stem mass incarceration.

  12. We oppose the death penalty.

  13. We support the legalization of marijuana.

  14. We support reform of our monetary bail system that discriminates against low-income Floridians.

 

National

  1. We oppose the use of private jails and prisons nationwide.

  2. We support paying inmates in prison who work a minimum wage.

  3. We support efforts to stem mass incarceration.

  4. We oppose the death penalty nationwide.

  5. We support the Violence against Women Act.

  6. We support equal pay for equal work/worth.

  7. We support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, the DREAM Act and DACA.

  8. We support net neutrality and equal access to the Internet.

  9. We support the right to marry as a human right and, therefore, a national issue.

  10. We support the Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).

  11. We support women’s rights, including reproductive justice, as a national issue.

  12. We support federal regulation to prevent states from imposing unnecessary restrictions and regulations on abortion rights.

  13. We support stronger enforcement of the Americans’ with Disability Act.

  14. Except in matters of public safety, we support non-discrimination policies in employment, education, and housing for felons who have completed their sentences.

  15. We support federal action to pass and ratify of the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA).

  16. We support humane and compassionate refugee entrance policies and programs.

  17. We support indigenous peoples in their fight against all forms of exploitation.

  18. We support substantial limits to and reform of our monetary bail system which discriminates against low-income people nationwide.

  19. We support substantial reductions in funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) deportation forces and adherence to international human rights norms.

 

WE SEEK RECOGNITION OF THE FUNDAMENTAL RIGHT TO AFFORDABLE HOUSING, HEALTH CARE, AND RETIREMENT SECURITY

 

Florida

  1. We support the right of every person to affordable, habitable, accessible, safe, and healthy housing.

  2. We support creative reuse of abandoned properties to reduce homelessness.

  3. We support closing the healthcare gap (Medicaid Expansion).

  4. We oppose efforts to privatize the Florida Retirement System and support elimination of the recently imposed 3% employee contribution.

  5. We oppose restrictions on methods of marijuana utilization for medical purposes and unreasonable restrictions on locating dispensaries.

  6. We support legislation ensuring employee and job applicant protections for medical marijuana patients under state law modeled after Connecticut’s Palliative Use of Marijuana Act (PUMA).

  7. We support the expansion of the Florida KidCare program and its partners at affordable rates, until single-payer is implemented.

  8. We support providing quality healthcare in Florida’s prisons, and greater oversight of those healthcare services.

  9. We support universal, single-payer health care or comprehensive Medicare-for-All, as a right including mental health, dental, vision, and long-term care for all Floridians.

 

National

  1. We support the right of every person to affordable, habitable, accessible, safe, and healthy housing.

  2. We support creative reuse of abandoned properties to reduce homelessness.

  3. We support universal, single-payer health care or comprehensive Medicare-for-All, as a right including mental health, dental, vision, and long-term care.

  4. We support lifting the income cap for Social Security contributions.

  5. We oppose Chained CPI and any other benefit cut to Social Security.

  6. We support legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs and to allow Americans to import prescription drugs.

  7. We support limiting hospital and pharmaceutical markups and fees for goods, services, and research.

  8. We support fully funding and expanding the Veterans Administration so that all veterans receive the care they need and deserve, including fully funding claims reform in the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  9. We support ending military survivor’s penalties on surviving widows and widowers when they become eligible for Social Security and Medicare.

  10. We support utilizing the same COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) for all entitlements, including at the Veterans Administration (VA).

  11. We oppose any effort to privatize the Department of Veterans Affairs.

  12. We support expanding social service programs, such as WIC and SNAP.

  13. We support expanding the funding of Title X family planning programs including, but not limited to, Planned Parenthood.

WE SEEK A CLEAN AND SAFE ENVIRONMENT

Florida

  1. We support protecting our springs, rivers, and other natural resources.

  2. We support funding for the Land and Water Conservation Initiative as the voters intended (see 2014 Amendment 1).

  3. We oppose all oil and gas drilling offshore and in and around the Everglades.

  4. We oppose fracking and other extreme methods of extraction both on land and in waters adjacent to the state.

  5. We oppose pipeline projects such as the Sabal Trail Pipeline.

  6. We oppose waste disposal in Florida resulting from fracking or other methods of extreme extraction, including disposal of waste from other states and countries, to protect our fragile environment and water sources.

  7. We support strict regulation and oversight for transporting liquefied natural gas and other dangerous substances within Florida, regardless of the means of transportation.

  8. We support efforts to increase the availability of mass transportation.

  9. We support smart planning to accommodate and foster growth, while protecting wilderness, wetlands, etc.

  10. We support the ethical and humane treatment of all animals.

  11. We support counties and localities having a greater voice in development decisions and oppose preemption of local input on development decisions.

  12. We support incentives to design and build “green buildings” for residential, commercial, and industrial use.

  13. We support creating centers of excellence for solar and renewable energy at Florida’s universities to encourage innovation and drive down costs of alternative energy sources.

  14. We support publicly funded programs to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

  15. We support keeping Florida’s public lands and beaches publicly owned and accessible.

  16. We support strengthening considerations of the environmental impact of infrastructure and commercial development.

  17. We support restoring an empowered and independent Department of Community Affairs (DCA), to manage development and protect the environment.

  18. We support the adoption of Renewable Portfolio Standards (RPS), which require utility companies to generate a designated percentage from clean, renewable sources and to establish voluntary targets for doing so.

 

National

  1. We support eliminating the causes and mitigating the effects of human driven climate change.

  2. We support incentives to encourage a shift to renewable energy, a reduction of carbon emissions, an upgrade to energy efficient infrastructure, and a smarter use of land and water resources.

  3. We oppose pipeline projects such as the Sabal Trail and Keystone XL Pipeline.

  4. We oppose fracking and other methods of extreme extraction and disposal of associated waste within the US.

  5. We support creating and implementing a comprehensive plan for a national mass transit system.

  6. We support federal efforts to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions with incentives to encourage energy efficiency and expanded use of renewable energy, particularly solar.

  7. We support programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste, including food waste.

  8. We support expanded and strengthened enforcement by environmental regulatory agencies.

  9. We support protecting and expanding the state and national park systems.

WE SEEK A PEACEFUL AND SECURE WORLD.

 

Florida

  1. We support the full repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground Law.

  2. We support enhanced firearms regulations including the enforcement of universal background check laws and gun show loophole laws.

  3. We oppose militarizing state and local police forces.

  4. We oppose the deployment of public, private or off-duty law enforcement in our schools or at our election sites.

  5. We oppose removing the statutory provision that prohibits concealed weapons and open carry on college and university campuses.

  6. We support reinstituting the ban on commercial production and sale of Semi-Automatic Assault weapons, of all large capacity magazines, the production and sale of any device that converts a semi-automatic weapon to an automatic weapon, the sale of silencers, and the commercial sale of armor piercing ammunition.

 

National

  1. We oppose surveillance by government agencies without adequate and appropriate judicial oversight.

  2. We support the use of American troops for humanitarian aid and peacekeeping missions, but oppose their use for foreign occupations.

  3. We oppose the dismantling of the State Department and US Agency for International Development and other civilian foreign policy government entities that support peacebuilding, diplomacy, and the non-violent resolution of conflicts in fragile and conflict-affected societies.

  4. We support diplomacy and non-military aid to stabilize distressed societies and diffuse conflicts.

  5. We oppose torture in all instances and support the prosecution of any officials who aid and abet torture, including “enhanced interrogation.”

  6. We support closing Guantanamo Bay and transferring remaining detainees to facilities within the US.

  7. We support stronger congressional and judicial oversight of drone programs.

  8. We support thoroughly re-evaluating and substantially revising and/or repealing the Patriot Act.

  9. We support enforcing the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which limits the President’s ability to send US troops into hostile action without a Declaration of War by the Congress.

  10. We oppose the use of federal funds for the militarization of state and local police forces.

  11. We support the people of the Middle East in the peaceful resolution of conflicts in the region.

  12. We support certification of the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action, which is the nuclear deal framework signed with Iran and the five permanent members of the Security Council.

  13. We oppose further development and use of nuclear, chemical, biological, and other extreme weapons of mass destruction and support denuclearization and assistance in the destruction of existing stockpiles of extreme weapons wherever located.

  14. We support the mission of the United Nations and meeting our financial commitments.

  15. We support continued normalization of relations with Cuba in a way that respects and empowers the Cuban people.

  16. We support the US becoming a signatory to all provisions of the Geneva Convention.

We must adhere to the fundamental principles of a fair, honest, and open government, broader rights and better wages, a strong American economy, a quality public education, justice and equality for all, health care and retirement security, clean and safe environment, and a peaceful and secure world.

Credit: Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida