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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


Toomey: Gun control moderate with an NRA A rating?

Letter sent to the Phila Inquirer 10/31/16

Pat Toomey on gun control is as phony as a 3 dollar bill (Inquirer, 10/31). Even as he writes legislation to provide more background checks, Toomey cut the budget of the FBI and ATF, to provide the criminal background database, that would make such background checks more accurate and complete. Toomey has fooled a lot of people with such phony “moderation.” Gabby Giffords has endorsed both Toomey and Mike Fitzpatrick with such shennanigans. The true thermometer of gun control was Toomey’s Grade-A rating by the NRA, which Toomey bragged about in paid ads until 3 weeks ago. It was only when critics proved the lie of Toomey’s moderation with his A-rating, that the NRA recently lowered his grade to a C+. Would you have thought the NRA would have noticed before now? This most effective of lobbies? Follow the money.

Ben Burrows

West Chester residents rally for gun violence protection

by Candice Monhollan, Daily Local News, 6/3/16

WEST CHESTER People in orange were marching around the streets of West Chester Thursday morning as part of the national Gun Violence Awareness Day.

Even more so because, as of a proclamation unanimously approved by the borough council and read aloud by Mayor Carolyn Comitta, June 2 is Gun Violence Protection Day in West Chester.

“We need your voices — we need all the voices on gun violence protection,” said Comitta, a Democrat who is running for state representative against incumbent state Rep. Dan Truitt, R-156, of East Goshen. “It’s all about keeping our children, our families and our communities safe.”

Residents gathered at the steps of the old courthouse, decked in orange, and carried signs promoting background checks and to put a stop to senseless gun violence….

Read more at Daily Local News. Also see NBC10 for a video report on the West Chester rally, including Mayor Comitta.

West Chester council applauded for passing resolution

letter, Daily Local News, 1/24/13

I applaud the West Chester Borough Council for taking a stand to pass a resolution to support three of the common sense gun safety proposals in the national debate after the Sandy Hook tragedy. Although it does not have the weight of law, it is an example of elected officials taking a stand on an issue most find dangerous to their careers. It is very discouraging that many politicians fear that the NRA will make them a target if they stand up for any common sense gun safety legislation, including universal criminal background checks for all private sales, which even 74 percent of NRA members support. Sadly, the NRA leadership does not.

With the public statements of the NRA leadership demonstrating their callous disregard for any gun safety ideas, it is becoming increasingly clear that they really represent the gun manufacturers, not the gun owners of America who do support common sense laws to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

It is up to all of us to demonstrate to our U.S . representatives, such as Jim Gerlach, Joe Pitts, and Patrick Meehan, that if they do not vote for universal background checks, or banning large capacity magazine clips, or stricter laws for gun fencing and gun trafficking, that it is not the NRA they should fear, it is the voters who will boot them out of office.

West Chester

Herrins Announce $1000 Matching Grant To Combat Gun Violence


The Herrin’s $1,000 Matching Grant to organizations committed to lobbying for total assault weapons bans is now over.

Donors from all over the country matched $1,075, making the total contribution $2150!
Thanks to all who contributed.

We’re going to win this thing!

pozner“The family of 6-year-old Newtown victim Noah Pozner’s family placed stuffed animals, a blanket and letters to Noah into the casket. Lastly, his mother Veronique put a clear plastic rock with a white angel inside—an “angel stone”—in his right hand. She asked the funeral director to place an identical one in his left, which was badly mangled. Noah’s famously long eyelashes, which she spoke about in her eulogy, rested lightly on his cheeks and a cloth covered the place where his lower jaw had been.”

Every time I reread that paragraph, I literally feel sick. If I had acted—after Columbine, after Virginia Tech, after Aurora—beautiful Noah and his 19 classmates might still be alive today. But I didn’t. I failed them all. My family—or yours—could be next.

If you feel the same way, let’s do something about it together.

Dianne Feinstein has introduced a very tough bill calling for an all-out assault weapons ban. That’s a good start. Now the hard work begins. It will take hours and hours and days and days of calling our Congressmen, and hundreds of millions of dollars to defeat the gun nuts. The NRA, funded in large part by gun manufacturers, has an operating budget of $300 million. The operating budget of the Brady Foundation, one of the largest organizations favoring gun reform, is just $3 million. Let’s help change that equation.

Will you go “all in” to stop another Sandy Hook–by helping my wife Dianne and me contribute $2,000 to organizations that are committed to lobbying for total assault weapons bans?

It’s really easy and almost painless. Just click on any one of the four links below, and give as much as you can (but at least $25) to any one of these organizations. Email Dianne your receipt at We will contribute the same amount and email you our corresponding receipt. We will match contributions up to $1,000, for a total of $2,000. Your contribution is tax-deductible.

Thanks in advance for anything you can do. This is only a beginning, but it is a beginning.

Stan Herrin
West Chester, PA

Stan Herrin’s Facebook Page

Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Dear Neighbors:

I am a member of Mayors Against Illegal Guns. We have been working for years to promote common sense gun laws. West Chester is out front on this issue. We can be proud that in 2010 our West Chester Borough Council passed a resolution urging PA lawmakers to pass a “lost and stolen gun” law.  Perhaps now, our country is ready to find common ground surrounding gun laws make some common sense changes.

As we remember the precious children killed in Newtown, indeed our precious children across the country who every day are caught in the crossfire, we must move forward and take action to change the laws of the land to better protect our children and all innocent victims of gun violence.

Please see the information below, from MAIG. For action steps you can take go to

Best regards,

Carolyn T. Comitta
Mayor of West Chester

From: Mark Glaze, Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Sent: Thursday, December 20, 2012 12:30 PM
Subject: In just minutes

It took only a few minutes for the shooter in Newtown, CT to kill a classroom of school children. And it will only take a few minutes for you to make your voice heard.

Call your members of Congress RIGHT NOW and Demand A Plan to end gun violence.

Yesterday, President Obama announced a new task force headed by Vice President Biden to address the epidemic of gun violence in America. He committed to delivering a set of concrete proposals no later than January that will be turned into law as fast as possible.

But, as he said, he can’t do this alone.

That’s why you and I need to step up. We need to let our representatives in Congress know — in no uncertain terms — that it’s time to act.

Legislation is going to take shape very quickly, and there are three common sense principals that must be included in any comprehensive plan:

   1. Require a criminal background check for every gun sold in America.

   2. Ban assault weapons and high-capacity magazines that enable mass killing.

   3. Make gun trafficking a federal crime, with stiff penalties for those who arm criminals.

We will never be able to stop all gun violence, but these steps will go a long way to preventing the next mass shooting and saving the lives of the 34 Americans who are murdered with guns every day.

Join me in making sure your elected officials know how important this issue is to you and your family.

Make the call right now and demand a comprehensive plan to end gun violence from your members of Congress.

Thank you for speaking up at this crucial moment!

Mark Glaze
Director, Mayors Against Illegal Guns

President Obama: gun-violence-in-America-must-be-addressed petition

In light of ever-increasing tragic mass shootings in America, our leaders can no longer pretend that inaction is appropriate or acceptable. It is time for the president to begin a national conversation about finding the solution to this great national problem.

That’s why I signed a petition to President Barack Obama, which says:

“Mr. President, it is time for you to use your platform and position to begin a long overdue national conversation about gun violence. We ask that you go before the American people and state plainly that we have a serious problem in our country that needs to be addressed. Undoubtedly, there will be fierce resistance from the NRA and many members of Congress, but even so, this conversation must begin. Far too many innocent people, many of them children, are dying every year to continue to deny that SOMETHING must be done. Please do not wait any longer to act.”

Will you sign the petition too? Click here to add your name:

To really make a difference, we need a lot more people to join in. Can you share this petition with all your friends?

Click here to share it on Facebook: Share on Facebook

Then, forward the email below to everyone you know.


Dennis Levin
Petition Creator