The Chester County (Pennsylvania) Democratic Committee believes in Freedom, Fairness, and Opportunity for all Americans, regardless of what they believe, who they are, and where they came from. Join CCDC in making Chester County a better place for all!

We have a chance to fundamentally shape the future of our country.
But that will only happen if all of us work together — starting right now.

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Every four years, the Democratic Party puts together our party platform, the ideas and beliefs that govern our party as a whole.

What follows is our 2016 platform — our most progressive platform in our party’s history and a declaration of how we plan to move America forward. Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division, empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.

This party platform was voted on and passed by our membership at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016. The platform will be updated and re-approved at the 2020 Democratic National Convention.

Download 2016 Party Platform PDF

Platform Contents

To read the entire platform, choose a section to jump ahead or scroll down.


Raise Incomes and Restore Economic Security for the Middle Class

Create Good-Paying Jobs

Fight for Economic Fairness and Against Inequality

Bring Americans Together and Remove Barriers to Opportunities

Protect Voting Rights, Fix Our Campaign Finance System, and Restore Our Democracy

Combat Climate Change, Build a Clean Energy Economy, and Secure Environmental Justice

Provide Quality and Affordable Education

Ensure the Health and Safety of All Americans

Principled Leadership

Confront Global Threats

Protect Our Values

A Leader in the World


“Families Belong Together” rally, West Chester, June 30

Our elected representatives were there in force, all speaking eloquently to the crowd of about 600. Some highlights:

West Chester Mayor Dianne Herrin:

“We are here because we are facing a crisis that transcends politics.”

“We will not be accomplices to this cruelty that is before us.”

“We are going to insure Liberty and justice until we win.”

156th district representative in Harrisburg Carolyn Comitta serves on the Governor’s Commission on Women, which together with the Commission on Latino Affairs, Asian Pacific American Affairs, and African American Affairs has issued a joint statement denouncing the separation of families and the use of children as “political pawns.”

See the text at “Governor’s Advisory Commissions Urge Reunification of Immigrant Families,” 6/26/18.

State Senator Andy Dinniman (D-19) noted that he has spoken many times on the court House steps, but never thought he’d be there protesting the separation of families by the US government.

His remarks received sustained applause, including “It’s cruel, it’s immoral, it’s wrong, and we’ll make sure that it stops” and “We are here today to reclaim the soul of America.”

See the full video of the rally, courtesy of Chester County Community TV Live, here. And don’t miss WCDem singer par excellence Stephanie Phillips, in the video at 7:50.

Calling on Costello: Pass a Clean Dream Act! Jan. 19

Friday, Jan. 19, 11:30am to 1pm

Host: Concerned Constituent Action Group
Location: outside 21 W. Market Street, West Chester

On-street parking or the Bicentennial Parking Garage at 20 South High Street, West Chester.

DACA stands for “Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals” and was an Obama executive order to protect undocumented people who arrived in the US as children. There was a bipartisan solution for these people called the DREAM Act but it never got out of congress.

In September, Trump refused to honor DACA and threatened to deport these innocent people who have not known any other home in their lives but the United States.

There continues to be bipartisan support for a DREAM act but it remains a political football that both parties have been using as leverage, meanwhile the lives of 800,000 people who consider themselves American remain in limbo.

Trump says that he will not sign any solution to DACA that doesn’t include funding for his border wall with Mexico (that he famously said Mexico would pay for). We already have 654 miles of border wall with Mexico and it’s an environmental disaster, disrupting critical ecosystems and exacerbating flooding where the wall acts as a dam. Even worse, many experts don’t think expanding the existing border wall will have any effect on illegal immigration. The last thing we want is to make things worse.

The continuing resolution that is keeping the government open expires January 19th and the Democrats are calling for a clean DREAM act while Donald Trump is muddying the water with his “sh*thole country” comments.

Rep. Ryan Costello has expressed his support for the DREAM Act in the past but we need him to speak up for a clean DREAM Act that doesn’t include funding for the wall.

Let’s give some credit

Rep. Costello Statement on Reported Remarks by President Trump
January 12, 2018
Press Release

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) today issued the following statement on reported remarks made by President Trump:

For decades, my wife and her family have done missionary work in Haiti. I’ve always been impressed and inspired by the stories they have shared with me about their experience of service, grounded in faith, and the commonalities we all share as human beings. As Americans, we have a proud history of advancing economic, educational, and personal opportunity for millions of people around the globe, and as a country we should recognize the countless contributions and positive impact immigrants have made on our country.

Our country is a nation of immigrants, and we should appreciate and value what each person brings to this country. We should take pride in the fact that most of us have passed down the stories of our families traveling from somewhere else in pursuit of the American Dream. I’m proud to be the descendant of Irish, Italian, and German immigrants who sought a better life in the United States. I believe it is inappropriate, unfortunate, and offensive that the President of the United States reportedly said what he did. I hope he clarifies what was said, apologizes, and focuses on addressing the immigration-related issues for which many of us are seeking bipartisan solutions.

[n.b. If it comes to a censure vote in Congress, and if Rep. Costello bucks his party leaders to back censure, it will help him reduce his “Trump Score,” currently standing at 93.1% votes that Trump approves. Anyone reading this West Chester Dem site knows that votes are the bottom line.]

whose america are we living in?

by Carla, chestercountyramblings, 6/1/17

When you see photos like this they just make you happy. Obviously in love, on their wedding day, their whole lives ahead of them. Until ICE (immigration) shows up like modern day Nazis at the Septa train station in Haverford and arrests the husband.

I used to live in Haverford. I used to work near Haverford Train Station. I grew up in Haverford. I just can’t imagine the terror this man felt. I learned about his plight when a friend posted on Facebook…

read more at chestercountyramblings

Friday: Anti-Trump Protest Slated at West Chester Offices of Rep. Costello

By Justin Heinze, West Chester Patch, February 2, 2017

Demonstrators will protest President Trump’s immigration orders in front of U.S. Rep. Costello’s office in West Chester Friday.

WEST CHESTER, PA — Demonstrators will protest President Trump’s immigration orders in front of U.S. Rep. Ryan Costello’s office in West Chester Friday.

The organizing group is called the Costello Constituent Action Group, which has a stated purpose of “demanding that our elected official, Congressman Ryan Costello, take a stronger stance against the discriminatory EO (executive order) against immigration.”…

read more at West Chester Patch

More details: Friday February 3rd: Join the Costello Constituent Action Group for a demonstration at Representative Ryan Costello’s West Chester office. Look for the group at the corner of Market and High, 11:30 am-1pm.

Mission: To protest, speak with staff and hand deliver our letters.

Details: We will protest outside as a large group, then rotate into the office in small groups to speak with staff and deliver letters.

Please bring: Signs and personal letters regarding the following executive orders:
“Protecting the Nation from Terrorist Attacks by Foreign Nationals”
“Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements”

Rally against immigration discrimination at Ryan Costello’s office Feb. 1

Please join a pop-up demonstration outside Ryan Costello’s office on WEDNESDAY MORNING Feb. 1 at 11:30 to protest his mealy-mouthed response to Trump’s un-American and unconstitutional attack on immigration law and human rights. We also expect that Trump’s Supreme Court nominee to be announced tonight will be worth protesting.

Below see Costello’s evasive blah blah blah. Does he know that immigrants and children of immigrants from those 7 countries have never committed terrorist acts in the US? Does he know that Saudi Arabia supplied 15 of the 9/11 attackers? Does he care that Iraq is our ally and that restricting people on the basis of religion goes against our Bill of Rights? Does he think it is fair for people who have waited up to ten years to be vetted and receive visas to be sent back to the extreme hardship and danger they have been trying to escape?

If he has answers, why isn’t he answering constituents who have been trying to contact him over the past weeks?

Does he hope we will forget about our constitution and others’ human rights during a “comprehensive review” as our country’s reputation plunges abroad? Does he think we will fall for the blandishments of another “compassionate conservative”?

Come and let Rep. Costello know what you think. Bring immigration-oriented signs. Outside his office on the north side of West Market St., just west of High St., downtown West Chester, 11:30 a.m. Wednesday February 1.

Costello has been complaining that “PA-6 is now one of the Democrats’ top targets in the country in 2018.” Maybe there is a reason.

Thanks if you can join us!

As the yard signs say: Hate has no home here!

Here’s your daily practice in reading between the lines of political statements:

Ryan Costello
Press Release, January 29, 2017

Washington, D.C. — Rep. Ryan Costello (PA-06) issued the following statement on the President’s Executive Order:

“Job number one of the federal government is to protect the American people, and I support a comprehensive review of this process over the next 90 days, and especially concerning the 7 countries identified by the Obama and Trump administrations as being dangerous terrorist hotspots. This review is something every new administration should be expected to do. But green card holders and those assisting us in the war on terror should not be denied entry, and actions to the contrary must be remedied immediately. America is a country that can go about achieving our security objectives while maintaining compassion.

I interpret these executive orders as temporary. We should all want a robust yet humane process for entry screening, and I am confident we can and will continue the American ethos of welcoming the persecuted and oppressed in a safe and orderly manner, with very strong security protections for our citizens.”