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California Democratic Party Platform Summary

Business and Economy California Democrats are dedicated to a robust economy and business climate that creates jobs and economic opportunity for all and the tax base for the programs and policies we champion. To grow the jobs and assure a prosperous future for all Californians, California Democrats will:

  • Promote and guarantee low-interest small business loans to provide the seed capital to launch and expand job creating small business and growth of already successful businesses;
  • Support the right of all employees to organize, select a bargaining representative of their choice, work in a safe work environment and to be free from intimidation and retaliation tactics intended to chill their rights; through the use of card check certification;
  • Support the adoption of a Universal Health Care plan for all Californians so that California employers will not have to bear the cost burden of being the principal provider of health care and medical care to injured workers through workers compensation policies they purchase.

Children, Young Adults and Their Families California Democrats believe that children and young people deserve the chance to become thriving and productive members of society. To do so, we will work to provide them with a healthy start, a solid education, and a safe community in which to thrive.To help children and young adults reach their full potential, California Democrats will lead the charge to:

  • Expand pre-natal, peri-natal, well-baby care and immunization efforts;
  • Lift at-risk families and working poor families out of poverty so they can become independent and lead self-sufficient lives;
  • Prosecute those who commit crimes against children, particularly sex crimes against minors, and strictly enforce the penalties for such crimes.

Criminal Justice Californians deserve to live in safe neighborhoods. We must be tough, smart and just when dealing with crime, starting with prevention and through punishment and rehabilitation efforts.  We are determined to put an end to family violence and gang activity, drug and alcohol addition, unemployment, poverty and racism. We are dedicated to ensuring that our criminal justice system provides fair and equitable treatment for all. To promote safe communities, California Democrats will:

  • Strictly enforcing the existing penalties for all violent crimes, especially those against women, children, the elderly and disabled, and support comprehensive services for victims of crime;
  • Promote responsible gun ownership and reasonable gun safety and work with gun owners and sporting associations to promote gun safety education;
  • Protect consumers against identity theft and violations of privacy to ensure they know what personal information is collected by businesses and government (such as social security numbers, financial data, phone numbers, street and email addresses) and how that information is used.

Culture and the Arts In the spirit of President Lyndon B. Johnson, who remarked in 1965, “Art is a nation’s most precious heritage,” California Democrats believe in freedom of expression without compromise, public support of the arts, the principles of the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) and the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH).  We further commit to involving artists and cultural workers in the planning and implementation processes. In support of the arts, California Democrats will:

  • Celebrate the cultural diversity of our citizens, past and present, including California Indians, Native Americans and indigenous peoples, and encourage improved public knowledge about, and an honest portrayal of, their culture and history;
  • Promote multi-media public broadcasting, including community-based public radio and public access television;
  • Expand the funding base for the arts by encouraging individual and corporate private sector grants to augment public monies.

Disabilities People with disabilities have a right to the necessities required to lead dignified lives and to pursue happiness and self-sufficiency.  This requires strict enforcement and funding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act (IDEA), the Help America Vote Act (HAVA), as well as federal and state disability and access laws and regulations.  We will fight cuts to Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Efforts, and/or Federal Social Security Disability Income and we will oppose judicial nominees whose philosophies suggest they would dismantle the ADA and other civil rights laws.   To promote equality for people with disabilities, California Democrats will:

  • Enact a Sovereign Immunity Waiver for California; and fight all challenges by any person(s) , government agency, organization(s) and businesses to the ADA and stop them from impeding the progress toward the enactment of a Sovereign Immunity Wavier in the State of California;
  • Improve respite care and in-home support services;
  • Provide assistance for the middle class at a level commensurate with those who currently qualify for all forms of assistance including medical, dental, mental health services.

Education California’s children must have access to a free, individually appropriate, high-quality public education from preschool through grade 12. Education must provide a well-rounded curriculum including the arts, music and physical education. Teachers as the stewards of our future, should be well paid and work in safe learning environments with up-to-date equipment and learning tools.To help educate California’s leaders of tomorrow, Democrats will fight to:

  • Ensure equal and affordable access to vocational, technical, community college, or university-level educational opportunities of the highest caliber at minimal personal expense, including opportunities for lifetime learning and career retraining that enables Californians to participate successfully in the global economy;
  • Fund California’s public education institutions to meet these requirements so that no person is denied opportunity due to an inability to pay;
  • Ensure that California schools get full funding for any federally mandated programs.

Health Care California Democrats believe that health care is a right not a privilege. The CDP recognizes the health and well-being of Californians cannot continue to be based on arbitrary private and public financial decisions and therefore advocates legislation to create and implement a publicly funded (single-payer), privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable health care for all Californians. To build a healthy future for all Californians, Democrats will:

  • Support and implement universal comprehensive health care for all Californians, that includes medical and dental care, full reproductive health services, preventive services, prescription drugs and mental health counseling and treatment;
  • Ensure economic and physical access to multilingual health care services;
  • Support the full funding of community clinics and health centers that serve low-income and homeless populations.

Immigration As the most diverse state in the nation, California’s vibrant diversity reflects the foundation of America’s strength. It emphasizes the fundamental principles of inclusion and national unity that respect the rules of law and human dignity.  California Democrats believe that the American immigration system should be inclusive, fair, and just. Immigration must be consistent with American values of freedom, opportunity, compassion, and respect for human rights.As a state built upon the successes of immigrants, California Democrats will:

  • Affirm that we can make America stronger at our borders and uphold our values by honoring the tradition of providing a safe place for immigrants seeking a life of freedom and opportunity;
  • Support efforts to safeguard America’s security while respecting the principles of the American Dream;
  • Support efforts providing undocumented immigrants with a transitional path to legalized residency and earned citizenship, including methods to pay back taxes, learn English, register with the federal government for work permits, and acquire driver licenses and insurance coverage.

National Security California Democrats support a strong national defense which includes considerations for all aspects of defense, not just the Armed Forces. We are committed to a foreign policy which holds the use of military forces as the last defense option, only when all else fails. We support the consolidation of all aspects of the national defense budget, now spread among Defense, State, Energy, Homeland Security and other cabinet departments, into a single, consolidated budget line item, so that redundancies can be eliminated, and, more importantly, no aspect of total national defense goes under-served.To protect and defend California and our Constitution, Democrats will:

  • Reduce the Defense development and procurement programs to those items deemed essential for defense against real and not imagined threats;
  • Increase federal funding to states and communities for equipping, training and expanding the force of first-responders; and
  • Rebuild and strengthen the National Guard as the states’ principal means of providing internal security under the command of the various Governors.

Seniors California Democrats recognize the importance of our seniors, the fastest growing age group in the nation, and believe they enrich our everyday experiences, connect us with our past and forecast our collective future. We affirm and embrace the continuing contributions of our seniors and we continue to be committed to fostering the strong bond between the young, those in the middle, and our elders. Our seniors deserve the highest standard of care from the health care industry and a prescription drug program that helps them get the medicine they need.  To honor California seniors, Democrats will:

  • Strengthen Social Security and preserve hard-earned pensions as the bedrocks of a dignified retirement;
  • Investigate and prosecute crimes against seniors, including white-collar and financial schemes as well as elder abuse, and strictly enforce all existing penalties for crimes against seniors;
  • We support increased public transportation and other transit services to support seniors on limited incomes with or without health concerns to travel freely and enjoy a quality lifestyle.

Veterans All veterans from all components of military service should receive equal treatment, including those veterans of operations-other-than-war undertaken by the United States, and should be provided all the entitlements given to veterans of earlier service, including education and training benefits, health benefits, home loans and other financial assistance. We support the G.I Bill of Rights for the 21st Century and believe that earned benefits should be readily available to all service members, eligible veterans and their families on a timely basis within their own communities on a timely basis.Through the shared sacrifice of all Californians to leave no veteran behind, Democrats will:

  • Provide support services for active duty military personnel and their families without cost to the service member;
  • Provide our troops with the latest in protective equipment and weaponry and provide total training prior to deployment;
  • Grant citizenship for non-citizen veterans who have served honorably in the military of the United States.

Women California is the proud home of pioneering women who have blazed new trails in business, entrepreneurship, culture and politics.  Democrats respect women as full partners in family and society. We proudly and vigorously support a woman’s right to choose how to use her mind, her body and her time. As part of our commitment to empowering California women, Democrats will:

  • Promote equal access to training, jobs, promotion, capital, equity and contracts;
  • Preserve confidential, unrestricted access to affordable, quality and culturally appropriate health and reproductive services, including contraception and emergency contraception, without requiring guardian, judicial, parental or spousal consent or notification;
  • Expand workplace rights associated with pregnancy and emergency family leave.