Platform

Platform of the Young Democrats of Massachusetts

STATEMENT OF VALUES

The Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe in the common good for every citizen of the Commonwealth. We know that the strength of our democracy is dependent on the engagement of thoughtful citizens. We have organized around the basic notion that individuals working together can make a positive impact on their community. Young Massachusetts Young Democrats believe that government should be accessible to all individuals and communities and will work to promote young peoples inclusion in the Democratic Party and the political party.

EDUCATION

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that everyone should have access to high-quality public educational opportunities from birth through adulthood. We believe that our education system should successfully prepare our children for life, work and engaged citizenship. Massachusetts Young Democrats are committed to investing in public education because we know that it is the cornerstone of our society, our democracy, and our economic future. We support a fair and equitable statewide funding system that enables all communities to provide excellent education. We oppose a system of publicly funded vouchers for private schools.

HEALTHCARE AND HUMAN SERVICES

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that every person should enjoy good quality of life and good health and well being. We believe that high-quality and affordable health care should be available to all through a single payer government sponsored program like Medicare. We believe that every person and family should have access to what they need to help them to grow and thrive while living successfully in economic independence. We support the importation of affordable, safe prescription medication to help defray the cost of health care.

ECONOMIC JUSTICE

Young Democrats of Massachusetts know that growing our economy is the most pressing issue facing our State. We believe in the importance of job creation and economic opportunities for all to strengthen our State’s work force. Massachusetts Young Democrats believe that more jobs alone will not be enough. Therefore, we believe that investments in high-quality health care, education, housing, the creative economy and infrastructure are essential components of our economic recovery and sustainability. We support efforts to ensure Massachusetts remains a leader in life sciences, higher education and technological innovation.

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that all working people – regardless of gender, gender identity, ethnicity, age, race, religion, income, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, immigration or refugee status – should have the right to quality, family-sustaining jobs, and access to education and training to make them employable and therefore a contributor to a healthy economy and growing middle class. We believe that the best way to grow the middle class and promote economic equality is to encourage collective bargaining and increased unionization. We support a living wage for all Massachusetts workers.

ENERGY AND ENVIRONMENT

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe in safeguarding the health of our citizens, protecting natural ecosystems, and catalyzing green economic growth. We believe that people have the right to clean air, clean water, and a safe and healthy environment. We believe that promoting clean-energy technologies, land & water conservation, energy conservation, and energy efficiency is critically important to lowering energy costs, enhancing energy security and reliability, growing green jobs, and reaping environmental benefits. We believe dependence on foreign sources of oil poses an environmental and security risk to Massachusetts and the United States of America.

TRANSPORTATION AND INFRASTRUCTURE

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that the Commonwealth’s transportation system should be safe, efficient, reliable, and cost-effective. We believe that our system of roads, bridges, ports, airports and transit, should be well-maintained and built to promote economic development, connect workers with jobs, and knit together our communities. We believe that timely transportation investments should be made that promote the creation of housing development and employment opportunities consistent with the principles of smart growth, while preserving our natural and cultural landscapes. We believe that public transportation should be available until 3:00 AM as a means of promoting public safety and service consistent with other municipalities throughout the United States.

PUBLIC SAFETY AND CRIME PREVENTION

Young Democrats of Massachusetts are committed to being tough and smart on crime. We believe that every person should live in a community that is safe and crime free. Therefore, we support investments in strategies to reduce recidivism and prevent crime. We believe in a sensible policy regarding the use of drugs. We support reforms to the Criminal Offender Record Information system that eliminate unfairness in the system and encourage positive outcomes for individuals with criminal records. We oppose the reinstatement of the death penalty. We affirm our support for all protections afforded to defendants under the Massachusetts and United States constitutions.

REVENUE AND EXPENDITURES

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe in fiscal responsibility. We also believe that responsible investments today will provide positive outcomes in our communities for years to come. We believe that taxes and fees should be fairly distributed and reasonably assessed. We support stable revenue streams, as well as transparency in the awarding and maintenance of tax credits. We believe in a progressive income tax.

ETHICS AND TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that public officials should be held to the highest standards of integrity and accountability. We believe that government should be open and inclusive. We know that restoring the public’s trust in government is critically important to the future of our democracy.

JUSTICE AND CIVIL RIGHTS

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe in equal justice under the law for all. We believe that discrimination based on gender, gender identity, ethnicity, age, race, religion, income, national origin, disability, sexual orientation, immigration or refugee status has no place in our communities. Massachusetts Young Democrats are committed to protecting individual’s rights to freedom of speech, religion, press, equal protections and due process under the law. We affirm our support for same sex marriage in the Commonwealth. We support the immediate repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and support the right of any service member to serve their country openly. We support the repeal of the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

VOTING AND DEMOCRACY

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe that voting is a right not a privilege, and that every step should be taken to ensure that all eligible citizens vote in every election. This means that registration should be made accessible. No citizen should be denied access to the polls. We believe every vote should be counted and that all ballots cast should produce an independent auditable record. We support a system that promotes enfranchisement such as same day voter registration.

SUPPORT FOR VETERANS

Young Democrats of Massachusetts believe in security at home and abroad, and pledge to support our troops, veterans and all others who have put themselves in harm’s way on our behalf. We support full funding for health services for veterans, including those who suffer from physical and mental health issues. We support the immediate repeal of the military’s “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” policy and support the right of any service member to serve their country openly.

AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Young Democrats of Massachusetts support policies that promote affordable housing, including Massachusetts’ Chapter 40B law. We support policies that protect consumers from predatory lending and the risk of foreclosure.

IMMIGRATION

Young Democrats of Massachusetts support a humane immigration policy that includes a path to citizenship. While illegal immigration is a legitimate public policy issue, we refuse to demonize and scapegoat illegal immigrants.

FOREIGN POLICY

Young Democrats of Massachusetts support a timely withdrawal of United States troops from Iraq and Afghanistan. We support a global, diplomatic initiative to address the root causes of terrorism across the world. We oppose the use of torture as a method of interrogation as it undermines our national security.

YOUTH IN GOVERNMENT

Young people in Massachusetts should have an active roll in both the leadership and membership of the Democratic Party. Young people should have opportunities for participation in all levels of the Democratic Party including local ward, town and city committees and the state party. Young people must have a voice in state and local government and the political process.

Approved by unanimous vote, May 23, 2010, Worcester, Massachusetts.

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