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


Congratulations and thanks

Now that the dust has settled and I can breathe again, I would like to congratulate our Democratic winners in the Borough. Kathi Cozzone has once again emerged victorious as our County Commissioner! Congrats to Diane LeBold, Jordan Norley, and Jim Jones for their election and re-election to Borough Council. And, I’m excited to welcome Kate Shaw as our newest Region 1 School Board member. She joins our venerable Sue Tiernan who handily won re-election. Thanks to all of you for your hard work and dedication!

–Stephanie Markstein
Chair, West Chester Borough Democratic Committee

4 Seeking 2 seats in Region 1 of WCASD

By Candice Monhollan, Daily Local News, 10/28/15

Four West Chester residents vying for the West Chester Area School District’s (WCASD) two Region 1 school board seats in the General Election Nov. 3.

Fighting for the spots, with one incumbent, are Debra Maccariella, Vince Paul, Kate Shaw and incumbent Sue Tiernan….

read more at Daily Local News, (The Dems are Sue Tiernan and Kate Shaw.)

West Chester Has Two Schools Among Newsweek’s Top 500 Public High Schools In Country

by Jason Laday, West Chester Patch, 8/19/15

In Newsweek’s latest list of its top 500 public high schools across the nation for 2015, West Chester is represented twice.

West Chester East High School was ranked 420th, while West Chester Bayard Rustin High School came in at No. 455.

Newsweek released its annual list on Wednesday, just in time for the start of the school year.

Pennsylvania had 21 schools on the list of the top 500 across the nation, with Conestoga High, in Berwyn, ranked the highest among them….

keep reading at West Chester Patch

West Chester school board begins interview process

by Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 12/10/13

WEST GOSHEN — The selection process for filling the empty seat on the West Chester Area School Board took a step forward at a special meeting Monday as the board began the interview process.

The board was left short one member in early November after Karen Miller submitted a resignation letter citing an immediate exit from the board for personal reasons.

After formally accepting the resignation in November, applications were made available through the district.

At the close of the application acceptance date, the district had received materials from 11 candidates. Board President Rick Swalm announced at Monday’s meeting that two candidates have since removed themselves from consideration.

On Monday, the district interviewed its first seven candidates.

Monday’s interviews included George Martynick Jr., Deborah Liczwek, Gary Bevilacqua, Nancy Bucceri, Jim Meikle, Jim Davison and James Bady.

Candidates were questioned on their intentions, familiarity with budgets and prioritizing with all the mandates facing education. Other questions included whether they had children in the district and if they attended any previous board meetings.

Finally, candidates were asked for their opinions on the ongoing teacher contract negotiations, redistricting and managing a budget within the Act 1 index. …

read more at Daily Local News

2013 Election Results Favor DEMOCRATS!

Screen shot 2013-11-06 at 5.11.55 PM

West Chester Election Results

West Chester School District Election Results

2,219 ballots were cast in the borough, according to the county.

Check out the unofficial numbers from Chester County below. Numbers are expected to be finalized in the coming weeks.

Ward Candidate/Party Votes % Candidate/Party Votes %
 1 ROSE STANCATO (R) 209 37 BILL SCOTT (D) 350 63
 3 MATT HOLLIDAY (R) 175 48 E. BRIAN ABBOTT (D) 192 52
 5 CARL WENRICH, JR. (R) 99 44 DON BRACELAND (D) 127 56


Vote for not more than 4
Candidate/Party Votes Percentage
SEAN CARPENTER (R) 8,036 11.47
ED COYLE (R) 8,038 11.47
PAM LATORRE (R) 7,932 11.32
JOYCE CHESTER (D) 9,702 13.84
ROBIN KALINER (D) 9,586 13.68
CHRIS MCCUNE (D) 9,677 13.81
RICKY L SWALM (D 9,389 13.40
WRITE-IN 49 .07

From: The West Chester Democratic Committee
Credits: Nathaniel Smith and Jim Salvas


West Chester has undergone a renaissance in the thirteen years Democrats have held the majority on Borough Council, including the four years to date in office of the incumbent Democratic Mayor.

The Borough fell into the doldrums by the 1990s. History was torn down to make way for parking lots (e.g., Warner Theater, Mansion House), and the County moved many of its administrative offices to West Goshen.

Beginning in 2000, Council worked closely with businesses, protected downtown, oversaw the County courthouse’s move to the Justice Center, built three new downtown garages to accommodate growth, and tightened zoning regulations to protect our streetscapes and quality of life.

Council now listens to citizens, does its best to make decisions in the public interest, balances the public desire for services against the need to hold down taxes, empowers citizen boards and commissions, and encourages participation at public meetings.

This Democratic Council saw us through the prosperous years and were good stewards during the recent recession. West Chester has been revitalized under Democratic leadership.

Kick Politics Out of Education

Hi Friends –

I am writing to ask you to vote this coming Tuesday Nov 5th for Chester, Kaliner, McCune and Swalm for WCASD school board.

The incumbent slate (appearing as Republicans on the ballot) is funded by an organization led by Colin Hanna, an ex Chester County Commissioner who has been called “The New Norquist.” Hanna is a national political power broker who recently fought to keep the government shut down, who wants to push a social agenda in public schools, who speaks for the radical Tea Party on national news shows, and who wants to funnel taxpayer money intended for public schools into private schools – which effectively defunds public education. Please ask yourself: Why are Carpenter, Coyle, Latorre and Pimley taking money from Colin Hanna’s political group?

Personally, I view this as a clear and troubling conflict of interest. Our public school board members are supposed to be advocates for public education. They are supposed to be wise managers of the money we pay in to public schools. They are supposed be stewards of our children’s future, not mouthpieces for a crazy political movement. They are supposed to ensure that radical social agendas – from either end of the spectrum – do not make their way into our schools. They are supposed to adhere to the National School Board Association’s code of ethics, which states that school board members must “refuse to surrender judgment to individuals or special interest groups” and “avoid being placed in a position of conflict of interest.”

Joyce Chester, Robin Kaliner, Chris McCune and Ricky Swalm are moderate candidates who believe in the benefits that a quality public education offers our children. They understand that a quality school district is the cornerstone of a prosperous community, no matter where you may send your own kids to school. Three of these candidates are registered Republicans, even though they will appear as Democrats on your ballot. For what it’s worth, I know these candidates personally and, although I don’t always agree with them, I respect their integrity, their independence, and their strong commitment to our schools.

Please join me and your many other concerned neighbors, and kick politics out of education.

Vote for CHESTER, KALINER, MCCUNE and SWALM this coming Tuesday November 5th.

Please forward this on to your friends and neighbors.

Thank you,

Dianne Herrin
WCASD Parent

Joyce Chester: “Not supporting our public education system is a safety hazard to any community”

This is an excerpt from the PTOC (Parent Teacher Organization Council) questionnaire as filled out by West Chester borough resident Joyce Chester, one of the 4 candidates of the bipartisan A Better Direction team.

The purpose of public education is to enable equal access to education for each and every child in a community – education that introduces information to teach and transform their individual potential, encouraging them to grow into successful adulthood. Having traveled to second and third world countries where public education does not exist, I can clearly see the awesome value of using this mechanism to ensure that education is not only made available but is required. This is so important, ensuring the availability of a competitive workforce, not only regionally but nationally and indeed internationally.

Education is a leveling force and making it accessible to the public helps to reinforce our strength as a country not only for today but for our future as well.

I believe that public education should be considered an investment into our communities. To fund and sustain our public school system we need to pay taxes as individuals and corporations. This not to say we should pay more or less than we’re currently paying. We should as taxpayers, however, be mindful and vocal about what our current tax dollars support. More prisons make much less sense than more educational facilities. Educational concerns that do not produce appropriate outcomes make less sense than supporting those that do. Not supporting our public education system is a safety hazard to any community.

Those who cannot afford to pay for private or parochial education depend on this system for increased knowledge, awareness, productiveness, etc. Where knowledge reigns, hopelessness and helplessness is displaced. This should be our focus for every community in this country….

For the rest of Joyce’s thoughts, see the interview here. See the other 7 interviews here. The other 3 Better Direction candidates are Kaliner, McCune, and Swalm.

Excerpt from Robin Kaliner’s statement

My first priority as a WCASD School Board Director is to return transparency and open dialogue to board meetings. A public school board should welcome input from its stakeholders, not try to limit and discourage it. Board and committee meetings should be exchanges of ideas and information, not procedural events where members simply go through the motions in order to fulfill their legal duties. I believe that respectful disagreement and the exchange of dichotomous ideas often results in a better solution. Sitting board members have stated that the current homogeneous nature of the board is an asset, but there is a reason that a board is comprised of 9 individuals and if all members have the same ideology you are doing a disservice to your diverse student body and community.

Excerpt from Chris McCune’s statement

…Public education is a collective community effort where we all benefit either directly or indirectly (property values). There are more constituents that benefit indirectly from the public school district in any given year. There are two keys to maintaining healthy relations with all constituents. Those keys are proactive communications with regular feedback opportunities and simply being a good listener when issues arise.

Excerpt from Ricky Swalm’s statement

…One of the major differences between America and the rest of the world is our education system. While the press loves to demonize our world rankings, they fail to compare apples to apples. In America, everyone is entitled to an education regardless of socioeconomic status or ability to pay. Public education is the great equalizer. If children and families want to escape poverty and improve one’s lot in life, public education is the ticket. I am living proof of that. I grew up in a trailer in my grandmother’s back yard with two sisters and a mother (no father) who worked piece-meal in a sewing factory. She believed in her children going to school and doing well in school and while she wasn’t much help when it came to knowing our school work, she encouraged us and challenged us to be better than she. I now have my Ph.D. and believe I have escaped the poverty we lived in all because of public education.