YOUNG DEMOCRATS OF ARIZONA 2011 PLATFORM
The mission of the Young Democrats of Arizona (YDAz) is to engage, educate, and mobilize young people to be effective citizen-leaders through action in their communities and in the Democratic Party. As the local affiliates of the Young Democrats of America, we share the convictions laid out in YDA’s Vision, Goals, and Values.
We set forth this platform to articulate the progressive public policy priorities specific to young people in Arizona. The core values of YDAz, listed below, are the motivation behind these priorities:
Equality and Opportunity
Environmental and Economic Sustainability
PLATFORM AND POLICY AGENDA
Education is, in our generation more than ever, for us as individuals necessary for prosperity, and for us as a community, our greatest lubricant of social change. Equal access to quality education is necessary in order to promote equality of economic and social opportunity, and the informed citizenship necessary for a functioning and socially just democracy.
Expanding access to higher education
• Legislation that would promote the feasibility of obtaining a quality, affordable higher education
• Making higher education as nearly free as possible
• Supporting the DREAM Act or other similar legislation
The Pre-K through 12 Education System
• Increase per student spending on K-12 education
• Increase funding for Pre-K and All-Day K
• Increase support for ELL programs and bilingual education.
• Comprehensive, responsible sex education
• Reforming the standardized testing process
• Make sure the needs of special education students are met
• Support reform of No Child Left Behind
Sustaining the Teaching Profession
• Increase Teacher Pay
• Smaller Class Sizes
• Continued education of our teachers and encouraging higher standards of accountability
• Tuition tax credit systems that mimic vouchers
• Abstinence only sex education
• A ban on ethnic studies
We support equality for all, regardless of sex or gender.
• A woman’s full and unfettered reproductive rights
• Equal pay for equal work
• Guarantee of paid maternity leave
• Complete pharmaceutical rights
• Federal funding for planned parenthood and similar organizations
• Parental notification to obtain an abortion
• Required waiting periods to obtain an abortion
• Giving physicians the ability to refuse reproductive services
We support equality for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
• Full marriage rights and equality
• Nondiscrimination in general, in the workplace, and in the military
• Equal adoption polices for all individuals and families
• The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) Discrimination based on sexual orientation in the military
Sustainability in the environment, as in every other aspect of society, is of the utmost importance, especially for young people. We are the generation that will inherit the results of today’s stewardship.
• Preserving Arizona’s unique environmental heritage
• Protecting Arizona’s air, water, and land
• Encouraging sustainable development
• Taking necessary steps to ensure adequate water supplies for the future
• Action to quantify and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in Arizona
• Providing the State with the tools to plan and manage growth
• Expanding and develop renewable energy
• Using more aggressive tax incentives
• Usage and expansion of mass transit
• Carbon tax or cap & trade legislation to reduce all greenhouse gases emissions
• Energy efficiency standards
• Open pit mines
Immigration is a pressing and immediate issue in Arizona, as it is a border state. A lasting solution to this issue must acknowledge cultural, social, and economic realities. We call for balancing the rule of law with a fundamental respect for the overriding ethic of human dignity.
• Advocating for change to immigration policy at the state and federal level, with an aim towards status normalization.
• A guest worker program
• A clear citizenship process
• More funding for reviewing citizenship applications
• Responsible immigration enforcement by federal authorities
• Measures that take a short-sighted approach to the issue, failing to balance the ethical responsibilities of the state to reflect the dignity of human life.
• Militarization of the border by the federal government
With globalization, it has become increasingly important to connect with the rest of the world, especially for our generation. As technology improves, communication with other countries will become significantly easier. This communication will help to ensure stability and promote peace, as well as encourage aid to countries in need.
• Increase in development and aid to other countries
• Treaties to limit carbon emissions
• Policies that support nuclear non-proliferation
Central & South America
• Economic development
• A political and diplomatic end to the war in Iraq
• A phased timetable [to withdraw troops from Iraq] to be set by Congress
South and Central Asia
• Renewed effort to fight the Taliban and Al Qaeda in Afghanistan and Pakistan
• Increase economic development and political accountability in the Afghan government
• Food aid as economic development
We support the Clean Elections system in Arizona and encourage its vigilant defense.
• A public financing system that includes all local and city elections
• Complete reform of the Clean Elections system by making needed changes while preserving its public and equitable character
• Efforts to reform campaign finance at the national level by closing loopholes and moving towards a system with a public and equitable orientation.
• A Constitutional amendment declaring that only humans are people for First Amendment purposes.
• Any effort to abolish or weaken the Clean Elections system
• Citizens United v. FEC
With more young people joining the ranks of Arizona’s veterans, we must support the bravest in our generation. We have a duty and an obligation to care for our veterans after they have served our country.
• Tuition waivers for veterans
• Improved services for disabled veterans
• Increasing the number of case workers to help veterans navigate the bureaucracy
• Long-term care and counseling for veterans
• Expansion of the GI Bill
• Improved services for dependants
LABOR AND SOCIAL JUSTICE
The framers of our Constitution saw Establishing Justice as the goal of our country and our system of government. While we as a nation have come a long way, we must continue to reach to ensure liberty and justice for all people across our country and the world.
• Restructuring free trade agreements to ensure fairness for workers here and abroad
• Making childcare assistance available and affordable as families move towards self-sufficiency
• Expanding wage subsidies for primary earners of impoverished families
• Full support for Arizona’s working poor under TANF
• A living wage for all
• Increase in number of unions and union membership
• Anti-trust legislation
• Arizona’s status as a “right to work” state
The criminal justice system as it is needs drastic improvement and reform. The revolving door needs to be closed and the justice system needs to be preserved.
• Elimination of the death penalty
• Reform for penalties for drug related crimes
• Rehabilitation over incarceration for first-time nonviolent drug offenses
• Mandatory minimum sentencing
• Racial profiling
• Politicizing law enforcement
• Support keeping guns out of schools, bars, and grills
Access to quality healthcare that is as nearly free as possible should be a basic right for every Arizonan.
• Allowing government to negotiate assertively for contracted services
• Expanding health insurance coverage for low-income adults and children
• Maintaining the tort system so responsible parties can be held accountable for harm
• Medical marijuana
• Preventative care
• Healthcare for domestic partners
• Stem cell research
• Increased access to drug rehabilitation
• A single payer health care system
• Discrimination against preexisting conditions
• Discrimination for genetic reasons
We believe democracy works best when more people participate. The vote is the equalizer in our system of government, and the fundamental basis for legitimacy and accountability.
• Same-day voter registration
• Automatic reinstatement of voting rights for the rehabilitated convicts
• Election Day holiday
• Increased public involvement
• More available information on polling places
• More polling places
• On-campus early voting locations
• Lowering the voting age to 16
• Any attempt to undermine the Voter Protection Act
• Electronic voting machines
• Policies that promote the middle and working classes
• Repeal of the Bush tax cuts
• Closing corporate tax loopholes
• Lowering the military budget
• A balanced budget and reducing the national debt
• A flat tax