2010 Ratified Convention Platform
By Nevada Democratic Party
ARMED SERVICES/ VETERANS
We believe that service to our country is the greatest act of self-sacrifice and patriotism. We support necessary services and care for all veterans, regardless of the location of the nearest Veterans’ Affairs hospital or the ability to pay. We further believe that all veterans must be provided with help reintegrating into their communities, including but not limited to: counseling services, technical training and education benefits, including the GI Bill, and appropriate disability payments for those who return from their service to our country. We support adequate benefits and resources for spouses/domestic partners and children of service persons on active duty and those who die in the service of this country. No veteran should be denied or delayed medical or mental health care for any reason. We further support increased efforts to prevent suicide amongst military service members.
The homeless veteran crisis is a national shame and we support strengthening services to homeless veterans.
We support the timely repeal of the Military Readiness Act, also known as “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell”. We support the strongest possible protections against sexual assault within the armed forces.
We believe that government has an obligation to provide its citizens with access to all benefits of society. We believe in equal rights for all people and in strengthening enforcement to protect those rights and prevent discrimination, regardless of gender, color, age, race, national origin, religion, physical or mental disability, marital status, sexual orientation, gender expression or gender identity, ethnicity, income level, family status, living conditions, credit history, criminal record, or political affiliation. Diversity and inclusion are the greatest strengths of our nation and our party.
We believe the rights of individuals as enumerated in the Constitution and the Bill of Rights must be protected and respected.
We believe the Patriot Act must be re-examined and must conform to the Constitution, including the Bill of Rights, by ensuring our rights to: equal protection, free speech, the right of peaceable assembly, the right to petition our government, and to freedom from unwanted government intrusion, and the free exercise of religion so long as it doesn’t infringe upon the rights of others.
We support the right of all citizens to create domestic civil unions, including same-gender couples, with or without the benefit of legal marriage.
We support comprehensive immigration reform that provides a pathway to citizenship, ensures that the rights of children of undocumented immigrants are protected, and provides for the enforcement of immigration policies and border patrol. We oppose laws that encourage racial profiling as a violation of an individual’s civil rights. We oppose a mandatory identification system or policies that require U.S. citizens to prove their citizenship simply because of their appearance. Such policies divert law enforcement from protecting our public safety, negatively impact our tourism and convention business, promote racial profiling, and usurp the role of federal government to address immigration issues.
We support the fundamental right to privacy and reproductive freedom of choice as established by Roe vs. Wade. The ability to pay should not infringe on this right. We oppose notification for termination of pregnancy and oppose any change to current law that would redefine “personhood.”
We believe that state-funded education should produce responsible citizens who have, to the best of their abilities, the knowledge and skills necessary to be productive employees and effective, responsible employers.
We believe that every student in every public classroom must have equal access to educational resources regardless of disability, ethnicity, socioeconomic status, or the local tax base. We support programs that ensure that all children receive an education that prepares them for college and/or a career, reward schools that make scholastic/educational improvements and provide resources for schools where the children are victims of poverty.
We support a fully integrated program of evaluation that includes criteria based on the quality of outcomes as well as the mastery of essential skills. While acknowledging the usefulness of quantification in the measurement of student outcomes, we oppose any federal education program that determines student achievement solely by high-stakes testing.
We support the accurate and comprehensive teaching of science and history. We support multicultural education that informs, honors, and supports the achievements of Nevada’s diverse student population. We support the funding of physical education programs and quality, nutritious and balanced school meal programs for all children, with adequate time to eat.
We support low student-teacher ratios to enhance the quality of educational instruction. We strongly oppose privatizing public education and urge strengthening accountability for home school education.
We support fully investing in a strong university and college system that allows all qualified high school graduates to get a quality college education without incurring crippling debt. We support maintaining and enhancing Nevada’s university academic programs that lead to jobs for Nevada’s graduates and a diversified and strong economy. We support President Obama’s plan to increase funding for community colleges and recognize their work in helping local residents to prepare for a rewarding career.
We encourage national and community service through the military, Peace Corps, Americorps, National Health Service Corps, Civilian Conservation Corps or other service that provides for the common good.
ELECTIONS and GOVERNMENT
We support voter rights so that no qualified voter is denied the opportunity to cast their vote, a system of actions that ensure all ballots are counted, and comprehensive campaign finance reform that eliminates corruption and increases transparency in financing political campaigns.
With the exception of absentee ballots, we believe that all votes in all elections in the state of Nevada should be cast using dependable electronic machines with a verifiable paper trail.
We support efforts to increase voting stations in minority and underserved areas of Nevada and including citizens in the process when investigating allegations of election improprieties.
We support the inherent right of Nevadans to elect their public officials at all levels.
We support government’s moral and legitimate obligation to provide for the common defense and promote the general welfare of the residents and citizens of the U.S., and demand an open and transparent government accountable to its citizens.
We respect and preserve the rights and freedoms stated in the U.S. Constitution guaranteeing all U.S. citizens equal protection under the law. We support a woman’s right to choose under Roe vs. Wade.
We oppose fully unfunded mandates and the privatization of core services, including, but not limited to: safety, security, social services, police, transportation, emergency services, prisons, education, medical, water, utilities, military, and veteran services, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid. We support truth-in-lending and increased monitoring and regulation of all financial institutions. We support investing in the future of our state by increasing funding for transportation, public safety, consumer protections, and the involvement of our citizens in improving our state.
We support the inherent rights of indigenous peoples to maintain cultural autonomy in their economy, sovereignty, religion, language, customs, and land holdings.
We believe in the value of the arts and support continued funding for libraries, museums, and the arts.
We support stronger oversight of and increased monitoring of insurance industry exemption from anti-trust laws, and we support the concept of holding the insurance industry accountable for engaging in anti-trust practices.
We support awarding Nevada businesses and workers the contracts to perform local, county, and state government jobs whenever possible.
The State of Nevada must maximize Federal funding for all possible positions, programs, research and other opportunities to benefit Nevada residents. We recognize the value of service delivered by all levels of government and jurisdictions, and encourage cooperation between all.
Where tax and other financial relief is granted in consideration of economic development and/or other stabilization, we support performance standards, and continued relief will be contingent upon meeting those performance standards.
ENVIRONMENT AND ENERGY
We support Nevada being an international leader in the research, development, education, production, and exportation of clean energy. We also support an energy policy that leads to energy independence by promoting conservation and the development of renewable resources.
We support (1) policies that provide a sustainable and reliable source of water for both current and future economic development in all areas of Nevada; (2) the use of best available science to mitigate the impact of environmental policies on Nevada’s wildlife, agricultural, and rural communities; (3) safe and affordable communities based upon sustainable energy and environmentally sound public policies, protection of riverbanks, streams, wet meadows, lakes, and ponds; (4) recycling, conservation, renewable energy, and green development; and (5) adequate funding for the wise management of public lands and natural resources.
We oppose the transportation and disposal of high-level nuclear and other toxic wastes. We also support the adoption of reasonable measures to ensure the safety of our workers and communities affected by same.
We support land use management policies that provide for the retention of wilderness areas, recreational opportunities, wildlife, woodland, and water resource protection, and land and activities that support the continued economic opportunities for future generations. We promote biologically sound and ethical management of our natural and wildlife resources.
We support needed protections for Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area and all our other threatened natural resources.
FAMILY, HEALTH CARE, AND WELFARE
Accessible comprehensive health care is a hallmark of responsible societies. We support our forebears’ dedication to the improvement and maintenance of public health. We believe that each person’s medical care should be based on her/his relationship with appropriate health care provider(s). We support access to comprehensive medical care including preventive, diagnostic, therapeutic, mental health, long-term, end of life, and dental care – regardless of ability to pay or any pre-existing conditions.
We support women’s fundamental right to choose safe, legal, affordable, and accessible reproductive healthcare, family planning, education and support programs that reduce the need for abortion, and public policies that do not abandon children upon birth. We support a health care policy that guarantees women access to affordable, preventive screenings for cancer and other life saving tests, and which protects women against gender discrimination by private insurers.
We support strengthening Medicare, Medicaid, and SCHIP programs and oppose fee reductions to providers caring for such patients. We urge reasonable payment for services in a timely manner and decisions on testing and prescriptions ordered by health care providers. We support medical research aimed at curing disease and alleviating suffering. We also support Medicare’s right to negotiate for less expensive, quality prescription drugs for our citizens.
We support providing comprehensive medical treatment including access to all vaccinations through increased availability of treatment facilities and community clinics in rural and underserved areas.
We support addressing the nursing shortage by providing resources, incentives, and encouraging staffing that meets national recommended professional standards.
We support the full implementation of Article IV, Section 38 of the Nevada Constitution requiring “appropriate methods of supply” for authorized medical marijuana patients. We believe that government should not stand in the way of patients and their pain relief. As such, we support the regulation of the inevitable, constitutional emerging medical marijuana industry as a contributing part of a compassionate, alternative health care in Nevada.
We encourage continued support for the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). We stand behind programs offering rent support, low-income housing, child abuse prevention, shelter for victims of domestic abuse, sexual assault, and the homeless.
We support strengthening community direct care services for seniors to ensure quality care for seniors and those with disabilities to allow them the choice of living in their community instead of institutional facilities.
We support providing our families and community a healthy environment, including programs that provide education about gun safety. We also support providing consumers with country-of-origin information and improved inspections of imported food.
We support strong relationships with all of our allied nations, and improved cooperation, respect, and cultural understanding with all nations. We support the rules of the Geneva Convention regarding torture and treatment of prisoners of war. We believe that we should maintain and advocate respect for all human rights, and educational and/or cultural exchanges. We support a strong national defense. Diplomacy is a vital aspect of any foreign policy.
We support the withdrawal of our troops from Iraq and Afghanistan at the earliest possible time that stability is achieved in these countries.
JOBS AND THE ECONOMY
We believe in the American free enterprise system with essential governmental regulations, and government policies that work to eradicate poverty. We support fiscal and monetary policies that aim to achieve long-range stable economic growth, with reasonably balanced annual budgets and with monetary policy being used to deal with short-term inflation and sluggish economic conditions. We support diversification of our state and local economy.
We support a progressive tax structure that provides a fair and equitable distribution of the tax burden on our citizens and businesses. We support the creation of an inclusive statewide diversity plan that ensures the participation of all Nevadans in government contracts. We encourage vigorous enforcement of anti-trust laws to control the effects of excessive monopoly power. We support stronger regulation to prevent fraudulent business practices, and to strengthen consumer protections and regulatory oversight of the financial industry.
We support investing in infrastructure, research and development, advanced technology, modern transportation, clean energy generation and manufacturing.
We support the fundamental rights of all workers and their families, including the right to form and join a union, to engage in mutual aid and protection, to collectively bargain, and the absolute right to binding arbitration. To help assure such rights are not subject to discrimination, intimidation, or retaliation, we support and urge the adoption of the Employee Free Choice Act.
We support a living wage and fair compensation and benefits for all workers. We support enforcing and increasing penalties for companies who falsify wages and hours reported to the Department of Labor, or misclassify workers or keep them in continued part-time positions in order to avoid paying benefits.
We support protecting workers from an unsafe work environment and recognition of skilled labor training and certification for all crafts performing life-threatening activities. We support protecting workers’ basic rights in the workplace, including workers’ disability, health care, unemployment, retirement and workers’ compensation benefits.