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


WC board made the right call on tax hike

editorial, Daily Local News, 4/29/15

The West Chester Area School District School Board voted to approve its 2015-2016 budget that includes a tax increase of 1.9 percent.

Now before anyone starts to yell or scream it should be noted that the average dollar amount increase is about the price of any couple having a nice dinner out – about 70 bucks.

Of course there will always be folks who oppose any tax increases and there are times when we agree with them. But in this instance, the $70 hike shouldn’t cause anyone a financial burden.

The budget, approved by a 5-2 majority Monday night, is seeing an increase of $6.4 million over last year due primarily to mandated expenses the district has no control over.

“While our expenses are going up $8.8 million, about 80 percent of that is beyond our control, including PSERS, charter tuitions, special ed, benefits and salaries that have already been contracted,” said board member Robin Kaliner….

keep reading at Daily Local News

State Supreme Court rules for West Chester school district

By Kelly Lyons, Daily Local News, 10/01/14

West Goshen >> After a six-year-long battle between the West Chester Area School District and the Friends of Pennsylvania Leadership Charter School, the Pennsylvania Supreme Court determined it was unconstitutional to require the school district to refund Friends its property taxes paid from 2008 through 2010 in a decision made Wednesday, Sept. 24….

keep reading at Daily Local News

New 3-Region Voting Plan Passed by WC Area School Board

Chester County School BusDespite some conservative opposition, a new 3-region voting plan passed tonight by the West Chester Area School Board (WCASB). With one director absent, the final vote is 6-2 in favor of the map below.

The Borough of West Chester (purple) is in the new Region 1, along with most of West Goshen. If approved by our courts, our local voters will have greater input in selecting board directors who represent us.

No longer will just a few municipalities —or one party— control school board elections. More importantly, communication between board directors and their constituents becomes closer and directors become more responsive to residents.

Although not a Democratic Party initiative, we think this is a progressive step by our current board directors. Join us in giving them our thanks by contacting the Board.

New West Chester Area School District Regional Map (click map to enlarge)

New West Chester Area School District Regional Map (click map to enlarge)

West Chester picks new school board member

By Kendal Gapinski, Daily Local News, 6/17/14

WEST GOSHEN — The West Chester Area School Board voted unanimously Monday night to fill its vacant seat with longtime school district resident and previous school board hopeful Gary Bevilacqua.

Bevilacqua will fill the seat of Linda Raileanu, who resigned at last month’s school board meeting because she had to move out of state for a new job.

After formally accepting Raileanu’s resignation on May 28, the board legally had 30 days to fill the vacant seat.

Bevilacqua was interviewed along with three other candidates — Dianne Herrin, Kate Shaw and Cinda Russell-Reese — Monday night during a special school board meeting at Spellman Administration Building, 829 Paoli Pike.

“I was impressed with everyone,” board member Robin Kaliner said. “While very different, everybody brought something that would be valuable to the board.”

The candidates were each asked eight questions, which were provided to them ahead of time to review and prepare, and were given 20 minutes to answer the questions. Questions included why they wanted to be on the board, what they felt its priorities should be, their knowledge of the budget and state mandates, as well as whether they had children in the district and how many school board meetings they had attended….

read more at Daily Local News

West Chester OKs change in school board elections

By Kendal Gapinski, Daily Local News, 04/29/14

WEST GOSHEN — West Chester Area School District officials voted Monday to change the way board members are elected, from at-large to three regions.

The board voted to approve the measure at its business meeting Monday in a 6-3 vote, with Maureen Snook, Linda Raileanu and Vince Murphy casting the dissenting votes.

The system would allow the district to be broken up into three regions, with three board members representing each region. Currently, the district allows all nine board members to be elected from residents from the entire district. The Electoral Committee recommended the board approve the regionalization during its meeting last Tuesday.

Many residents spoke during public comment, with some saying they supported the measure and others asking the board to provide the public with more information. Amy Ludwig, a resident who started the group WCunified to oppose the regionalization, asked the board to table the vote. She said she was concerned about her votes being cut by the regionalization.

“When you go to take votes away from every single voter I would hope you would take more time to explore and explain why this is the right thing to do,” said Ludwig.

Other residents said they were encouraged by the resolution, with some saying they felt that regionalization would help to take politics out of the school board. Resident Spencer Virta said he felt that the process had been open and residents had a chance to review the move to regionalize before the vote Monday. …

read more at Daily Local News

West Chester school board fills vacancy

By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 12/17/13

WESTTOWN — The search to fill the vacancy on the West Chester Area School Board ended Monday evening as East Bradford resident Bret Binder was voted as the ninth and final school director.

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

After formally accepting the resignation in November, the board had 30 days to fill the position.

The board began its first seven candidate interviews last week and finished with the last two at its monthly meeting Monday evening at Bayard Rustin High School.

At the close of the application acceptance date, the district had received materials for 11 candidates, though two later removed their names.

At the conclusion of interviews, board members each selected their top three candidates. Those with the most votes were the finalists.

After tabulating the votes, Binder — along with Gary Bevilacqua and James Bady — were the finalists.

Board members conducted some discussion before a vote. Initial votes for Bevilacqua and Bady split 4-4.

On the third vote, Binder was selected by a margin of 5-3 with members Vince Murphy, Linda Raileanu and Maureen Snook dissenting.

Candidates were given eight questions to review and prepare for ahead of time and awarded 15 minutes to respond. …

read more at Daily Local News

Democratic gubernatorial debate slated

By Jeremy Gerrard, Daily Local News, 10/29/13

WEST CHESTER – Three gubernatorial candidates seeking the Democratic nomination and a chance to oust incumbent Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Corbett will face off in a debate at West Chester University Wednesday evening.

Candidates John Hanger, Jo Ellen Litz and Max Myers accepted invitations to attend the debate.

So far, eight Democrats have declared themselves candidates in the upcoming 2014 governor election.

All declared candidates were invited to attend.

“It’s a good chance for all concerned, I think, and not just the candidates,” said Nathaniel Smith, borough resident and debate organizer. “This is going to be a very big race and the issues.”

The debate will begin at 7 p.m. in the Philips Autograph Library in the Philips Memorial Hall located at 700 S. High Street in West Chester. The room is located upstairs above Asplundh Concert Hall.

The debate is being sponsored by the SAC and the Political Science Department at West Chester University.

The candidates will field questions from attendees, mainly students, and will likely touch on education, fracking, environment and partisanship.

West Chester University student MaryBeth Sadow helped coordinate the event. As the contemporary issues chair of the student activities council, Sadow said the group tries to bring in a few events each year focused on current topics. An international relations major, Sadow said she wanted to do something to engage the students with what was happening at the state and local government level.

“I wanted to give them the opportunity to speak to the source,” Sadow said.

While there are a variety of issues to discuss, Sadow said she thinks students will be focused on education with questions tailored toward support for higher education and rising tuition among the students concerns….

read more at Daily Local News