Defend Our Democracy

We cannot afford to continue partisan jockeying on these issues; there is too much at stake. Americans must be provided a better chance to succeed in the face of rising income inequality and continued machinations by corporate giants.

  • Resume Civil Relations With The World. To be world leaders, we have to act like we’re leading the world.
  • Abolish ICE. ICE was created in 2003 as a reaction to 9/11. Since then, it has turned into a state-funded terror group that regularly violates basic human rights. We don’t need a special enforcement agency for undocumented immigrants. We can rely on our existing criminal justice agency to arrest those who have committed a crime, just like we did before 2003.
  • Demilitarize Police. When did policing turn into military occupation?
  • End Corruption. Super PACs should be banned, private donations to politicians and campaigns should be banned, and a clean public financing system should be implemented to end the takeover of our government by corporations and billionaires. Americans deserve free and fair elections — free from the corruption of big money donors. The Supreme Court has effectively legalized bribery. We need public financing of our elections.
  • End Team Sports Politics (State Platform)For far too many people, politics has become merely a team sport, where the object is to support one’s own team against the other team, and so we end up with absurdities like the same jingoists who used to regard the Soviet Union as the literal Devil’s Empire now welcoming Russian intrusions into our electoral system because “the other team” has become the other political party instead of another country. I’ve even found this cancer in fellow Bernie-supporters sabotaging the campaigns of other Primary candidates, and this is unacceptable. We have to be *for America* and *for the world*, not just go around “othering” people so we can dehumanize them and assuage our consciences that it’s okay to “fight dirty” against them because they’re not really human.What made the American Dream of the 1930’s and 40’s appealing was that we saw all of ourselves as Americans first and foremost, and saw one of the primary responsibilities of all Americans to be being the best human beings we could possibly be, and to openly and honestly accept criticism of our behavior as a way of becoming better human beings and thus, directly, better Americans.This group is “Justice Democrats”. I find it important – no, vital – that “Justice” comes before “Democrats”. If someone wants to form “Justice Republicans” and try to build a better America from that perspective, I will happily work with them. As Justice Democrats here, we work to make ourselves the best humans we can be, and we want to make being the best human how one makes themselves the best Democrat. This is not an electoral issue, it is an issue of personal integrity – and I’ve met a lot of people who more or less say “That’s a virtue, and I’m a good person, so of course I have it.” If you’re not willing to take a good hard look at yourself and check, no you don’t and no you aren’t. Please go check.
  • Reform Our Criminal Justice System. America imprisons more people than any other nation in the world. With 4.4% of the world’s population, America incarcerates 22% of the world’s prisoners (716 per 100,000). Even as the national crime rate remains on a steady decline, incarceration rates continue to climb. On top of that, our criminal justice system currently targets Black and Brown people leading to higher arrest rates and longer sentences. That needs to end. Criminal justice reform requires sweeping and comprehensive policy changes that reverse our nation’s trends of unjust mass incarceration, and works to address the root causes of criminal behavior while mitigating the negative consequences of inappropriate policing practices.
  • Implement Comprehensive Immigration Reform. We won’t give an inch in our opposition to Trump’s outrageous proposals. Ideas like a ‘total and complete’ shutdown of Muslim immigration and deporting all undocumented immigrants are anathema to America. We will fight for comprehensive immigration reform with a path to citizenship. America is a proud nation of immigrants.
  • Stop Selling Arms to Human Rights Violators. We recently gave Saudi Arabia billions in weapons and watched the civilian death toll in their vicious bombing campaign in Yemen tick up. We continue sending Egypt arms as they violently crack down on peaceful protesters. Israel received $38 billion in aid and promptly announced new settlements. The first step to peace is not enabling nations who regularly violate international law.
  • End The Failed War On Drugs. The racist War on Drugs has torn families apart all across our country. Politicians in both parties created a system of mass incarceration while divesting resources from the most vulnerable communities. Legalizing marijuana is a racial and economic justice issue. Black Americans are four times more likely than whites to be arrested for marijuana possession despite similar usage rates. Billions of taxpayer dollars are spent to uphold a racist system. We must legalize marijuana and ensure that the records of those who were incarcerated for marijuana-related charges are expunged. As we legalize marijuana, we must also follow the models set in Massachusetts and Oakland that make sure that profits, investment, and business opportunities are going toward communities unfairly targeted by the racist war on drugs.
  • Abolish The Death Penalty. Humans are fallible, we’ll never get the right answer 100% of the time. 4% of the people on death row are not guilty of a crime and have been wrongly convicted. A system that puts innocent people to death is indefensible and should be reformed. We want justice for the American people but killing innocent people on death row is the exact opposite.
  • Democracy Reform73% of congressional districts in America are deemed “safely Republican or safely Democrat” and do not have competitive general elections. We support bold reforms to provide voters an equal say in our democracy. This includes efforts to expand the House of Representatives and the Fair Representation Act to create multi-member districts and ranked-choice voting. We also support the movement to provide statehood for Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico in order to bring balance to the increasingly skewed Senate. These efforts are in line with movements for racial and economic justice in our country. We also support public financing of elections and the removal of the corrupting influence of corporate and big money in our democracy.
  • Oppose Bigotry. We must speak out against racism, sexism, xenophobia, and all forms of bigotry. Non-discrimination protections that currently apply to race, religion, and gender should be expanded to include the LGBTQ community.
  • Defend Net Neutrality. These days, our reliance on technology has become second-nature, and the Internet has become a great enabler of industry, connectivity, and commerce. For all the wonders the internet provides, its benefits are fragile in that at any moment, large corporations seeking to pad their bottom lines and deliver outsized returns to their shareholders can, at any moment, hinder our access to the Internet – a platform for freedom of expression and medium for improving our lives. For more than a decade, the Internet has served as a great equalizer, and has provided an opportunity and platform for small businesses and voices (who may not otherwise have a platform to compete in the market alongside big corporations and other powerful entities) to meet new audiences and expand their impact. Widespread access to the internet and net neutrality have been essential for providing Americans a better chance to succeed in the face of rising income inequality and continued machinations by corporate giants. We believe in upholding net neutrality as a condition of Internet Freedom, and will work with our colleagues in Congress and around the country to ensure that Congress once and for all adopts a legislative solution to uphold the open internet. We cannot afford to continue partisan jockeying on this issue. The rules have changed consistently over the past ten years based on who occupies the White House and which party in Congress dominates in the realm of legislative control. There is too much at stake and on the line to stop now. Internet Freedom is a must, and we will do what it takes to ensure that all people have the opportunity to access the internet freely, openly, and affordably.