Loading...
 

THE 2006 PLATFORM OF THE MUSCATINE COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PARTY


ADOPTED MARCH 11, 2006

We, the Democratic Party of Muscatine County, believe that the principle of all governments is to do as a society that which we cannot do as individuals and to assure that each of us as individuals enjoy all the freedom possible without encroaching on the freedoms of others.

We also support the concept that each of us has the right to the basics of a good life, including an adequate diet, decent shelter, and access to competent health care, a quality education commensurate with our abilities, and opportunities of meaningful work.

Along with these rights, we also believe that those of us blessed with talents that allow us to acquire wealth beyond our needs have an obligation, accepted since before recorded history, to share a portion of our surplus with those less fortunately endowed. We believe an equitable tax system is the fairest way to assure that all of us meet this obligation.

We want our government to work with the world community for the elimination of armed conflicts among nations, and the establishment of guarantees of basic human rights for all peoples.

For these reasons we support an activist government which intervenes on behalf of the individual when others, with the power to do so, attempt to encroach on our individual liberties or create a privileged position for themselves.

This is why we support strong protection of the rights of all minorities, the free expression of ideas (no matter how far from the mainstream they might be) and free choice in our individual actions so long as they do not interfere with others.

This is also why we oppose those who seek power, money, and influence for their own selfish purpose at the expense of others or who try to impose their own particular narrow set of values upon the rest of us.

The remainder of this platform is an affirmation of these broad principles.

Our common beliefs in the good that citizens and government can do give us our purpose. Our diversity in opinions is our strength. Together they form the character of the Democratic Party. This Platform Report embodies those characteristics.

AGRICULTURE AND THE ENVIRONMENT AE

Agriculture is the bedrock of Iowa's economy, culture, and heritage. Farming as a way of life has suffered under federal farm policy during the last decade.

The environment has been under continuous attack by wasteful human exploitation of its resources for centuries through the dumping of hazardous wastes into its air, land, and waters, by human encroachment. The United States should become a world leader in rescuing the environment. The problems of toxic chemicals, ozone depletion, clean air, and water pollution must be met with consistent, scientific, and ecological management practices that recognize the links between our environment and our health.

We support:

The use of sustainable and organic agricultural production methods with research and funding through agricultural programs and the Extension Service.
Aid for crop diversification by farmers and horticulturists.
Education programs for farmers and livestock breeders to encourage the increase of livestock genetic diversity so that animals will be bred with the characteristics that will enable them to thrive in different conditions.
Research and education that assists and encourages farmers to minimize the use of chemicals and control farm runoff.
The use of sound crop rotation practices, integrated pest management, soil enhancement, organic enrichment, and inter-cropping in agricultural production.
Incentives for oil-seed based agriculture.
The elimination of federal subsides and other supports for producers with net crop income larger that $100,000.00.
Preservation of our farmland, wilderness, rain forest, wetlands, and other threatened ecosystems through
Educating members of the farming and agricultural community in the use of organic farming practices thereby discouraging the use of environmentally, unsafe practices, such as the use of toxic and non-biodegradable chemicals.
Retail chemical suppliers should be solely responsible for accepting empty farm chemical containers for the purpose of safe and responsible recycling and should provide a sufficient deposit to encourage recycling.
Prevention of the disposal of dangerous untreated waste by discharge into the atmosphere, rivers, and oceans, through appropriate regulation
Comprehensive land use planning / zoning which protects prime farmland from urban sprawl, encroachment by highways and other types of development pressure.
Incentives designed to encourage development and redevelopment inside our city and town limits.
More secure impoundment of animal wastes is needed along with waste treatment that includes odor control and capture of methane gas at large operations, utilization of waste as fertilizer where possible, and partnering with local neighbors and communities

Livestock Management LM

We support:

The repeal of the prohibition of "nuisance" lawsuits against livestock operations passed by the Legislature in H.F. 519.
The adoption of Federal and State standards for livestock confinement facilities.
Giving county boards of supervisors and/ or county zoning boards' authority to set more restrictive regulations than state law in the sitting of large livestock confinement operations.
State research into and marketing of new agricultural products.
More restrictive control over corporate farming organizations.



Environmental Safe Energy SE

We support:

· Accurate and honest labeling requirements on all household, industrial, and farm chemicals as to their content and reactivity (i.e., MSDS= Materials Safety Data Sheet).

· Strengthening regulations on the shipment of hazardous wastes and increasing checkpoints for wastes transported by air, water, rail and truck.





Bottle Bill& Recycling BB

We support:

Greater responsibility on waste generators to recycle and reduce the amount of waste they produce including efforts to expand recycling-collection service and establishing trash-collection fees based on the weight or volume of waste produced.
Economic incentives to process waste rather than dispose of it in landfills.
When appropriate the development and operation of waste facilities as regional systems so that all solid waste is handled in the most appropriate and cost-effective way.
Removing toxic materials from the waste stream and managing separately from waste that is incinerated or processed in other ways.
Extending the Bottle Bill concept to other recyclable materials.



Environmental Enhancement & Regulation ER

We support:

Increasing funds for the Iowa Resource Enhancement and Protection Program.
Encouraging the development and market place use of corn seed-based and other biodegradable products.
Ban of the environmentally detrimental gasoline additive MTBE.
The continuing elimination of chlorofluorocarbon (CFC) production and use, and in developing countries work toward faster elimination of CFC's.
Assigning a specific federal agency to monitor activity in the area of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), authorizing this agency to alert the public to potential dangers, and funding research measures to avert those dangers.
Strengthening toxic emission limits on all incineration processes.
Imposing a moratorium on the construction of nuclear fission plants until hazardous materials and by-products can be neutralized.
Funding research for identifying and implementing reasonable measures to avert potential disasters resulting from world overpopulation.
Prompt implementation of the Kyoto agreements on global warming.
Requiring the World Trade Organization to improve its standards for fair labor, trade, and environmental protection.
Use of recycled tire material in asphalt mix to surface roads in the State of Iowa.
The climate stewardship act including the accelerated development of non-fossil fuel sources of energy
The Endangered Species Act.
Legislation that protects natural areas and open spaces which support unique ecological systems and crucial habitat.
A modification in the tax system to give tax breaks to landowners who enter into conservation agreements with the local, state, or federal government to protect wildlife habitat.
That all existing and future funds collected by the Iowa Department of Natural Resources on behalf of recreation should remain under the control of the Department, rather than the State's General Fund.



We oppose:

Drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge.



Watershed Management WM

We support:

The use of appropriate vegetative filter strips to reduce erosion and protect surface and ground water from contamination.
Reinstating the wetlands review process with consideration for geographical differences and preservation/expansion of wetlands through the federal Conservation Reserve Program or other farm/non-farm programs.
Zoning flood plain areas for land-use activities (parks, open space, recreation, wildlife preserves, agriculture), which facilitate flood prevention and control and mitigate economic damage.
The reauthorization of the Clean Water Act and reject and amendments that may weaken it.
More funding to local governments to build appropriate wastewater infrastructure.
An increase in provisions that deal appropriately with nonpoint source pollution runoff from fields, city streets, and constructions sites.

We oppose:

Making it easier for landowners and developers to obtain permits to dredge and fill wetlands.



Sustainable Rural Development SD

We support:

An economy in which industrial waste becomes a raw material for another process, an economy, which encourages use of alternatives to fossil fuels as an energy source, and an economy with systems of feedback and accountability that support and strengthen behavior that restores the environment.
The gradual imposition (over a 20-year period) of revenue-neutral green taxes on emissions, products, or activities that are to be discouraged so that consumers are provided with accurate information about product costs.
A tariff status called Most Sustainable Nation (MSN), in addition to Most Favored Nation (MFN), for countries that practice sustainable harvesting of resources, that does not despoil the environment, or exploit workers. Such a tariff status would also help prevent companies from circumventing national green taxes.
Severance taxes on virgin resources
Programs that mandate percentages of packaging that have to be reused and/or recycled by producers of consumer products. Companies not meeting those standards would face fines.
Legislation that requires all manufacturers of durable goods to

o Label product parts as to their recyclability

o To establish resource recovery centers.
Changing the wording from the GATT to allow countries to "discriminate between like products on the basis of the method of production." This current provision essentially prohibits countries from using their own domestic environmental, labor, health, safety, or social welfare regulations to prohibit or regulate products from other countries.
Defining commercial crime so that corporations are held more accountable for environmental damage.
Repeal of the tax law that allows the cost of litigation to be tax-deductible as a business expense.
International institutions to regulate the activities of transnational corporations and other transnational actors.
Economic analysis, which takes the long-term rather than short-term, view and considers costs and benefits to the entire community.

ECONOMY, COMMERCE AND LABOR EC

The free-spending policies of Republican administrations took us from the world's largest creditor nation to the world's largest debtor. Federal spending must emphasize the conversion of our military-industrial complex to a civilian industrial economy. We must have a fair, progressive taxation system that encourages saving and minimizes the effect of regressive taxes on low and fixed income Americans.



We must protect the intent and purpose of labor unions and the National Labor Relations Act and Iowa's Public Employment Relations Act to allow men and women to organize and bargain collectively. Federal legislation should be enacted that protects private sector workers' rights to picket, strike, and earn the prevailing wage. Furthermore, the collective bargaining process should provide fair and reasonable protection for employees engaged in labor strikes. Efforts to undermine the process by applying racketeering laws must be stopped.



In order to provide a fair environment in which business may compete, we support the enforcement of antitrust laws. We support the reduction of incentives that encourage the purchase and dismantling of one company by another.



We support corporate and accounting ethics. Investor security and effective operation of financial markets depend on transactional transparency and accurate public disclosure of financial information. Auditors of publicly traded companies should be prohibited from providing consulting or transactional advice to their audit clients, and they owe a fiduciary duty to the shareholders. Publicly traded companies should be required to provide more detailed information in audits regarding related-party transactions.



Job Security JS

We support:

· A Federal government jobs program, vocational training and retraining.

· Incentives for companies and factories to remain in the United States.

· Federal guidelines to limit state and local government competition in the use of incentives to attract and retain business.

· Fair trade agreements that ensure participating nations will offer decent wages, humane working conditions, and sound environmental policies.

· Economic development that focuses on improving Iowa's infrastructure, and creating good paying jobs.

· Investments in new technology within the State of Iowa and the marketing of Iowa products abroad.

· Legislation giving preference to Iowa firms in the purchase of goods and services by state and local governments.

· Passage of the Fair Pay Act to eliminate racial and gender based pay discrimination.

· It shall be the responsibility of the directors to manage their corporation in a manner that does not cause damage to the environment, violate human rights, adversely affect the public health or safety, damage the welfare of the communities in which they operate, or violate the dignity of the corporation's employees.

Budget & Taxation BT

We support:

A progressive income tax without any loopholes for the wealthy.
A cap on personal residential property tax for citizens over 65 years of age who live on low fixed incomes.
A system by which all vehicles (pickups, SUV's, vans, and cars) are taxed / licensed by value.
Responsible military spending to reduce the deficit.
Iowa DOT Road Use Funds should not be transferred to the General Fund.
Full funding of the National Endowment for the Arts and the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.



Worker's Rights & Safety WR



We support:

Workers Compensation measures that

o Allows an injured worker to select their treating physician.

o Increase work-related death benefits.

o Require insurers to pay all bills directly that result from an on-the-job injury.

o Require all employers to provide unemployment insurance and workers compensation coverage to include rehabilitation services.

o Allow workers to redress their worker compensation cases through the courts.

o Separate worker's compensation premium into two parts: one part based on medical costs and the other part based on wage replacement.

o Enact legislation that will prevent the release of worker's compensation records to firms, which blacklist workers and appropriate penalties to protect worker's medical privacy rights.

o Enforce current law requiting that first reports of injury and claim activity reports be timely filed and that insurance carriers name in-state claims representatives.
Unemployment compensation measures that

o Enact legislation that would change the current formula for qualifying for unemployment compensation in order to allow for more Iowans to receive benefits.

o Oppose the use of unemployment trust fund money or the interest generated by the fund for anything other than benefits to unemployed Iowans.
Strengthening of plant closing and bankruptcy laws to protect employees.
A revision of Chapter 11 Bankruptcy laws to prohibit companies from canceling their union contracts before a federal bankruptcy judge has ruled.
Employee termination under the employment-at-will doctrine must be for good cause (misconduct or due to economic conditions), and must allow workers to have access to courts for adjudication of discharge cases.
The State of Iowa abide by labor contracts and arbitrator's decisions.
Payment of unemployment insurance and extension of other employment-related benefits to strikers.
The right of migrant workers to unionize nationally and internationally.
Child labor laws enforced among migrant workers.
Repeal of the "Right to Work" law.
Iowa drug testing laws should be changed to permit testing for probable cause only, and rights of workers should not be diminished.
Ending the exemption from protection of health and safety statutes for agricultural workers.
Workers health and safety measures that:

o Allow employees and union's greater participation in OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) and MSHA (mine Safety and Health Administration) enforcement procedures, plus additional protection against discrimination for exercising rights granted under the Acts.

o Grant employees the right to inspect unsafe workplaces, refuse unsafe work, and stop unsafe operations in the workplace.

o Consider a bidder's safety record for government contracts.

o Make available federal low-interest loans for cleaning up asbestos and other workplace hazards.
Discouraging the continued use of temporary employees in lieu of permanent, full-time employees.
Federal legislation that requires that part-time employees receive at least proportionate wages and benefits.
Pensions that follow the worker in his or her name, similar to the way that IRAs and Social Security Pensions do now.
That private pension coverage should be expanded so that pensions are more available and reliable sources of retirement income for all Americans.
We support "the Rule of 85" regarding IPERS benefits.
Raising the minimum wage and tie it to a cost of living per year.
The right of workers to organize in unions. We advocate reform, strengthening and enforcement of the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) to include meaningful penalties to punish employers who violate the rights of workers.
In organized workplaces, all wages, hours, terms and conditions of employment should be mandatory (not permissive) subjects of bargaining.
Including core worker's rights and environmental protection in all trade agreements.
Legislation that reflects the distinction between employees and independent contractors and prohibits employer avoidance of their obligations.
A requirement that public entities entering into contracts for buildings or improvements valued at over $2000 should pay prevailing wages to workers.
Programs that train former inmates or welfare recipients for work, comply with prevailing wage requirements, and that no displacement of employed workers occurs.
Modernizing the definitions of unskilled labor for principles of the Fair Labor Standards Act.

We oppose:

Loss of quality public employees and postal workers or services through the contracting out or privatization of public work.
Deregulation of the electric utility industry unless there is full protection for utility workers' jobs and wages and benefits, assurances of affordable, reliable, and safe electric service for consumers and adequate protection for the environment.
WTO rules that undermine legitimate national, state, and local laws and regulations protecting public health, the environment, and social programs.
All efforts of the President or Congress to end overtime pay.



EDUCATION ED

School Funding SF

We support:

Iowa raise teacher salaries to 25th in the nation
Full funding of Head Start.
Increased funding for campaigns against illiteracy.
Increased federal funding for veterans' educational benefits.
Student loan forgiveness for Iowa teachers teaching in areas where there are teacher shortages.
Top quality and meaningful professional development for teachers and educational support personnel.
Full funding of Pre-K-12 educational mandates.



Public School Programming SP

We support:

Decentralized decision-making in schools
New technology in schools.
Multi-cultural, non-sexist curricula with a global emphasis.
Expanded vocational education curricula and program funding.
Educational programs in family life responsibility.
Special education programs and alternative education programs
Curriculum designed to challenge every child.
Changing the state standards to start foreign language at early elementary years
Retention of the calculation of an allowable growth rate.
Retention of the standing unlimited appropriation for financing school districts.
The appropriation of adequate state funds for competitive salaries for all Iowa school employees.
Timely delivery of school aid payments.
Requiring teacher certification or verified satisfactory educational progress for those who instruct children.
Lower student- teacher ratio.
The use of multiple criteria, as opposed to the sole use of standardized testing, for educational assessment and school funding.



We oppose:

Public funding for nonpublic K-12 schools,
Cutting art, music, physical education, counseling programs and nurses to balance school budgets.
The so-called No Child Left Behind Act as it is currently implemented.



Higher Education HE

We support:

Standardization of workload determination for community college instructors.

Fully funding community colleges while guaranteeing that no school receives less funding than the previous year.

Renewed emphasis on undergraduate instruction.

Increased student aid for college education through grants, scholarships, and loans expanding eligibility.

Programs of public service for student loan repayment.

Uniform collection of student loan repayments.

Low interest loans based on family income.

Programs which fight "brain drain" through loan forgiveness for graduates who stay in Iowa.



GOVERNMENT & LAW GL

We believe that each person should be enabled to live as full and independent a life as possible and be viewed as an equal and contributing citizen. We oppose discrimination on the basis of, but not exclusive to age, gender, creed, race, physical characteristics, sexual orientation, mental, physical or medical impairment, ethnicity, national origin, faith, homelessness, or political affiliation.

Campaigns and Elections CE

We support:

Campaign finance reform that limits the influence of money from corporations and wealthy individuals.
A system of public financing of state and federal elections.
Limitations on the length of presidential campaigns.
A cap on campaign spending.
A national system of voting to assure that eligible voters are allowed to vote and their votes get counted.

· Same day on-site registration with strict safeguards to prohibit voter fraud.

· Change in registration requirements to allow persons without permanent addresses to register.

· Saturday/Sunday election periods for general elections.

· Holding multiple elections at the same time whenever possible.

· Keeping Iowa Secretary of State an elective office.

· Change in elections of the Muscatine County Board of Supervisors so that all members either run at-large or are elected at-large or else all run by district and are elected by district.

· Statehood for the District of Columbia.

· Single-issue legislation passed on its own merits with only germane riders or amendments.

· Requiring government policy-making boards to include representatives of those affected.

· Efforts to increase and include minorities at all levels including elected offices.

· Investigating the integrity of financial institutions investing public/private funds.

We oppose:

Automatic pay raises for elected officials.
The Electoral College



Civil Rights CR

We support:

Direct access to courts by individuals seeking remedies under federal and state civil rights acts.
Restoration of full funding and staff for the Iowa Civil Rights commission.
The addition of political affiliation and sexual orientation as protected categories in federal and state civil rights acts.
Legislation prohibiting discrimination by employers, based on lawful activity or use of lawful products off the job.
Implementation of and dissemination of information about the Americans with Disabilities Act, the Technology Related Assistance for Individuals with Disabilities Act of 1988, and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, as amended.
Demands that all caucus, polling locations, conventions, and other official functions be mandated by statute to be accessible and equipped with facilities for persons with disabilities, and we affirm the commitment of the Democratic Party to actively integrate persons with disabilities into the party at all levels, including a disability caucus with voting representation on the Democratic State Central Committee.
Efforts to ensure the confidentiality of any individual's HIV/AIDS status in order to encourage individuals to seek counseling, testing, and medical care, and to provide through state funding free, anonymous sites for HIV testing. Furthermore, employees must not be subjected to forced HIV testing nor the forced disclosure of their HIV/AIDS status.
Education on universal precautions against contracting blood-borne pathogens.
Reconsideration of the USA Patriot Act consistent with longstanding constitutional protections.
Passage of an equal rights amendment to the United States Constitution and the passage of the Iowa Equal Rights Amendment. The addition of sexual orientation to Iowa Civil Rights law as a protected category.

We oppose:

The use of terrorism as a reason for violating constitutionally protected freedoms.
Any law that establishes English as the official language of the United States, or any part thereof.

Taxes & Social Security TS

Taxes-We support:

A progressive income tax without loopholes for the wealthy.
A cap on personal residential property tax for citizens over 65 years of age who live on low fixed incomes.
Inheritance tax on estates over $10 million.

We oppose:

Irresponsible tax cuts
The use of IPERS or other retirement funds for any purpose other than benefits.
In 1998, the voters of Iowa rejected amendments to the Iowa constitution to set limits on local government taxing ability by complex formulae. We oppose the legislature now trying to pass this as law and further including restrictions on fund balances.

Social Security -We support:

Protection of the Social Security Trust Fund from any uses other than benefit payments.
Separation of the Trust Fund from the unified federal budget.
Cost of living adjustments.
Increasing earned income limits.
Removal of FICA payroll wage caps.
Elimination of the income tax on Social Security benefits.

We Oppose:

The privatization of social security.



Reproductive Rights RR

We support:

· Reproductive freedom for all individuals including freedom from government intrusion in personal moral decisions.

· Full access to family planning information and procedures appropriate to each individual's needs, without coercion.

· Implementation and funding of educational programs to promote a healthy concept of self for all persons in order to ensure that every pregnancy is a wanted pregnancy and to avoid sexually transmitted diseases.

· Full disclosure of information about all options regarding unplanned pregnancy to all people regardless of age or economic circumstances.

We oppose:

Mandatory parental and spousal/partner notification prior to the exercise of any reproductive option
Forced sterilization or contraception for any reason.
Government restrictions that impede access to abortion or contraception



Criminal Justice CJ

We support:

Equal justice for all.
The continued aggressive enforcement of Iowa's driving under the influence laws.
The extension of federal, state, and local programs dealing with substance abuse.
Better identification, enforcement, and greater penalties for hate crimes.
Training for law enforcement personnel.
Change in the law so that it is easier for the user of drugs, tobacco, and alcohol to sue for and collect damages from their suppliers, distributors, and producers, i.e. privatized drug enforcement through the civil courts.
We support community -based sanctions, including, but not limited to, early release of non-violent offenders whose probation would be supervised. Education, training and/or employment would be a mandatory requirement for early release.
Viable and effective treatment options for drug and/or sex crimes.

We oppose:

The death penalty.
The present system of minimum mandatory sentencing.
Property forfeiture from persons without criminal conviction or innocent third parties.
Racial profiling.
The 2000 rule regarding sex offenders as presently written.



Internet IN

We support:

Universal access to high-speed Internet.

Consumer Protection CP

We support:

Mandatory enforcement of inspection of domestic and imported food.



Reasonable Gun Regulation GR

We support:

Responsible ownership and care of weapons.
Better regulatory controls on gun dealers and gun dealers at gun shows and rigorous enforcement of current regulations.
A 30-day waiting period for purchase of all firearms.
Background checks on all applicants to purchase firearms.
A ban on detection proof weapons and armor piercing and exploding ammunition.
A requirement that guns used in crimes be destroyed, not sold.
That no handgun can be sold or delivered to any individual under the age of 21 or any convicted felon.
A ban on assault weapons and automatic weapons, except for law enforcement personnel.
The current firearm laws, regulations, and "The Brady Bill" with possible expansions in waiting periods.
The Second amendment of the United States which states: "A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Education including both firearms safety and hunting safety classes.
Require gun manufacturers to test fire all long guns and pistols and send the ballistic reports to the FBI.

Veterans VA

We support:

Continued cooperation with the Vietnamese to achieve the fullest possible accounting of all POWs and MIAs, and return of any American MIAs and recoverable remains of Americans.
All persons who have served in the Armed Forces of the United States receiving full and complete health (mental and physical), education, housing and other benefits regardless of whether they served as regular, reserve or National Guard troops.



Participation in Government PG

We support:

The governor's executive order re-instating voting rights for ex-felons.

HEALTH & HUMAN SERVICES HH

Comprehensive reform of health care systems (mental and physical) is needed. Affordable, accessible, and quality health care are basic human rights not privileges. Create a national insurance program to cover all Americans.

Universal Health Care Coverage UH

We support

.Universal health care coverage for all Americans
Effective prevention programs
Expansion of prenatal and child health care.
Increased funding for HIV disease research.
Long term care at home and in nursing homes.
Individual choice of physician and hospital.
Dental, eye, and chiropractic care.
Prescription drug coverage
Minimal co-payments and minimal deductibles.
Strict cost controls.
Increase all substance abuse funding to include education, research, and treatment.
Women's Health Equity Act.
Disability funding to include traumatic head injury.
A fair review of medical claims associated with Agent Orange and other military-related exposures, and when a presumption exists, victims should receive fair compensation.
Make health care coverage transferable with the worker when they move from one employer to another.
A system of arbitration and mediation for fair and equitable settlement of legitimate claims.
Strengthening the Medicare system so that it continues to provide affordable, high quality care including prescription drug coverage.
Revising the Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement system to achieve equity in levels of reimbursement from state to state. Support the creation of state coalitions to purchase prescription drugs to lower costs.
Increased funding for research into and prevention of life threatening diseases, and access to treatment. Including increases in public education of advancing technologies.
Parity insurance coverage for persons with mental health, substance abuse and brain disorders.
Provision of the same basic patient protections for all managed care consumers as those provided by the Medicare program.
That the Older Americans Act be better funded in order to provide the needed support and services.

We oppose:

Any limits on discussions of health care issues at women's health clinics.
Any reductions in funds to women's health clinics.
Health care restrictions based on earned income.
Limits on medical malpractice lawsuits.



Affordable Housing AH

We support:

Construction, maintenance, and rehabilitation of affordable housing, targeting inner-city neighborhoods and rural communities, through increased investment by federal, state and local governments and the private sector.
Creative programs, which encourage home ownership for poor and low-income people.



Homeless Services HS

We Support:

Providing homeless people with food, shelter, financial intervention, educational opportunities, and greater access to social services, job and training opportunities.
Instituting tenant-based management of HUD projects.
Broaden the dissemination of public information concerning housing programs.

INTERNATIONAL AFFAIRS IA

The foreign policy of the United States, in accordance with the principles expressed in the Helsinki Declaration ought not to sacrifice human rights and needs for reasons of political or economic expedience. We support forms of conflict resolution that avoid the use of military force. We must work to eliminate terrorism as a political tool in the modern world. The U.S. should support efforts to eliminate human rights violations, world hunger, illiteracy, AIDS and environmental degradation.

We are encouraged by the support for the growing movement toward democratic governments throughout the world. All persons without exception have fundamental human rights including life, fair public trial, health care, shelter, nutrition, education, reproductive choice, worship, and freedom from arbitrary arrest, torture, summary execution, and exile. The United States should promote deeper understanding among cultures to build a stronger world community.

The Rule of Law RL

We support:

Adherence to international norms that the U.S. has agreed to.
The U.S. joining the international criminal court.



Humane Treatment HT

We support:

U.S. military and security personnel are to meet international standards re: treatment of prisoners of war and other security detainees.
Access to federal courts to people detained by presidential order.



Cuba (relations with) CU

We support:

Movement toward normalization of relations



The Middle East (peace in) ME

In the Israel/Palestine conflict we support:

The U.S. role in the Middle East as an involved and impartial broker.
Humanitarian aid to the successful partners in any sustained peace in the Middle East.
Direct negotiations among Israel, all of her Arab neighbors, and the Palestinians
U.S. recognition and support of U.N. Security Council Resolution 242 (withdrawal from territories conquered) and 194 (right of return) as relating to Israel/Palestine.
Re-evaluation of U.S. military aid to Israel and transition to economic/humanitarian aid to Israel and Palestine, especially as it relates to healthcare, education, infrastructure, agriculture and security.
An independent Palestinian State comprising the territories now occupied by Israel.



We oppose:

The existence and continued construction of the Israeli "separation wall".
The continued construction of Israeli settlements on disputed lands, particularly those that would cut off East Jerusalem from the remainder of the West Bank.
The demolition of Palestinian homes.



Iraq War IW

We support:

A quick return of Iraq to a self-governing sovereign nation.
An Iraqi government that reflects international democratic standards and is established under the auspices of the United Nations
Fair, free and open elections in Iraq as determined by the Iraqi people.
The quick return of U.S. troops from Iraq; the ending of the U.S. military's status as an occupying force and internationalization of any forces needed in Iraq.
A specific and measurable timeline for the withdrawal of U.S. military personnel as well as a timeline for humanitarian/international support.
A bi-partisan investigation into the disputed 'weapons of mass destruction' and the rush to war in Iraq.



Response to Terrorism RT

We support:

A SMART (Sensible, Multilateral American Response to Terrorism) Security Plan that would have the U.S. taking leadership to:

o Strengthen international institutions and cooperative diplomacy to prevent acts of terrorism;

o Reduce the threat of weapons of mass destruction by renouncing the development of new nuclear weapons and strengthening international disarmament treaties;

o Eliminate wasteful military spending;

o Invest in international peacekeeping/development and in meeting urgent domestic needs such as jobs, health care, and education.



Training Terrorists (against) TT

We support:

Closing of the Ft. Benning "School of the Americas," involved for many years in training for torture and atrocities