THE DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM

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.

Watch Our Video!

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.

Preamble

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

President Obama delivers final State of the Union

“Look, if anybody still wants to dispute the science around climate change, have at it. You’ll be pretty lonely, because you’ll be debating our military, most of America’s business leaders, the majority of the American people, almost the entire scientific community, and 200 nations around the world who agree it’s a problem and intend to solve it.”

That was President Obama speaking to Congress about the urgent need for climate action during his final State of the Union address.

VIDEO: Watch the State of the Union Video here
READ: The Full Text of the State of the Union here

Vice Chairman’s Take on Vietnam 50 Years Ago Today

A few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not.

A few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not.

Fifty years ago today, I shipped from Jacksonville aboard the USS Boxer with others from the 1st Air Cavalry Division, bound for Vietnam via the Suez Canal. We were the first full division sent to the war.

Please hold off on what has become the obligatory “thank you for your service” comment. As I look back on this anniversary with mixed feelings, I would like you to thank me another way.

As with many of our wars before and since, we fought in Vietnam for the wrong reasons and wasted lives, treasure and some of our claim to honor as a country. We were lied to. We were misled. If we learned something from that waste, I’d be prouder to have served. As it is, we repeated and magnified our mistakes and we now find ourselves in an endless war of attrition, again because of the lies of our leaders.

As Pete Seeger sang, we’re still “waist deep in the big muddy and the big fool says to push on.”

So, yes, you can thank us for our service, but not with a few perfunctory words. Do it by holding our leaders more accountable. Make them prove the effort is worth the sacrifice. And demand to throw them in jail when you find out they lied again. Don’t just “support the troops.” DEFEND the troops!

Anyway, the photo is one I took the day we sailed. It shows a few of my close buddies leaning over the ship rail. I flew back thirteen months later, but some of these guys did not. Not many smiles then or now, I’m afraid.

Jim Salvas

Governor Corbett’s Plan for Education – It’s not good for Pennsylvania’s children, parents and teachers!

from CCDC, 10/10/14

From the time he took office in early 2011, it’s clear that Tom Corbett had a very different plan for public education that matched the extreme agenda set forth by the Tea Party: starve public education, break teacher unions, kill state pensions, and privatize our schools with a voucher system….

read more at CCDC

Governor Corbett’s Plan for Education – It’s not good for Pennsylvania’s children, parents and teachers!

from CCDC, 10/10/14

From the time he took office in early 2011, it’s clear that Tom Corbett had a very different plan for public education that matched the extreme agenda set forth by the Tea Party: starve public education, break teacher unions, kill state pensions, and privatize our schools with a voucher system….

read more at CCDC

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.