2016 Platform

Jobs Programs: Support investments in infrastructure, small businesses, a robust technology and innovation agenda, youth jobs, and focus on communities that are being left out and left behind.

Increasing the Minimum Wage:  Americans should earn at least $15 an hour, the minimum wage should be raised and indexed, and all workers have the right to form and join a union. End sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities.

Tax Credits: Expand the Earned Income Tax Credit to low wage workers who don’t have children and to workers age 21 and older.

Public Education: Demand strong public schools in every zip code. Support teachers, schools and communities and provide them with the resources they need to raise achievement for all students.

Reproductive Rights: Support creating more reproductive health centers and push back all efforts to defund them. Oppose, and seek to overturn, all federal and state laws that impede a woman’s access to abortion, including by repealing the Hyde Amendment. Support the repeal of harmful restrictions that obstruct women’s access to healthcare around the world, including the Global Gag Rule and the Helms Amendment, which bars US assistance to other countries that provide safe, legal, abortion.

Universal Healthcare: Reaffirm the stance that health care is a right. The passage of the Affordable Care Act was a critical and hard-fought step to achieving this goal. Protect and build on this progress by including access to public coverage through Medicare or a public option. Take action to curb prescription drug costs, including letting Medicare negotiate prices, and expand community health centers, which offer comprehensive primary care and mental health services to underserved populations.

Marijuana: Support states that choose to decriminalize marijuana.  Recognize that marijuana laws have had an unacceptable disparate impact, with arrest rates for marijuana possession among African Americans far outstripping arrest rates among whites, despite similar usage rates.

Criminal Justice Reform: End the era of mass incarceration, shut down private prisons, end racial profiling, reform the grand jury process, invest in re-entry programs, ban the box to help give people a second chance and prioritize treatment over incarceration for individuals suffering addiction. Recognize the role activists and recent movements have played in putting these issues front and center in the national conversation, as they should be.

Abolishing the Death Penalty: Recognize the death penalty as a cruel and unusual form of punishment and abolish the death penalty.

Wall Street Reform: Expand Dodd-Frank. Support an updated and modernized version of Glass-Steagall and break up too big to fail financial institutions that pose a systemic risk to the stability of our economy.

Multi-Millionaire Surtax: Support a multi-millionaire surtax, shut down the “private tax system” for the most fortunate, immediately close egregious loopholes, restore fair taxation on multi-million dollar estates, and ensure millionaires can no longer pay a lower rate than their secretaries.

Expand Social Security: Fight every effort to cut, privatize, or weaken Social Security, and expand it while taxing income of people above $250,000.

Immigration:  Keep families together, end family detention, close private detention centers, and guarantee legal counsel for all unaccompanied minors in immigration proceedings. Re-frame the conversation on immigration by saying, “Immigration is not a problem to be solved, it is a defining aspect of the American character and history to be supported and defended against those who would exclude or eliminate legal immigration avenues and denigrate immigrants”

Indigenous Nations: Recognize our moral and legal responsibility to honor the sovereignty of and relationship to Indigenous tribes— and acknowledge previous failures to live up to that responsibility.

Climate Change: Acknowledge the urgency of climate change as a central challenge of our time, already impacting American communities and call for generating 50 percent clean electricity within the next ten years. Commit to making America run 90 percent on clean energy by mid-century, and support the ambitious goals put forward by President Obama and the Paris climate agreement. Investigate alleged corporate fraud on the part of fossil fuel companies who have reportedly misled shareholders and the public on the scientific reality of climate change.


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