2010 County Platform

Final Draft Winneshiek County Democratic Party Platform

Statement of Principles

The spirit that animates the United States’ oldest political party is alive throughout the world. Our faith in democracy is a beacon to persons of the developing free world as they strive to win rights we take for granted. We are justly proud of our Democratic Party, its heritage, its accomplishments, and its diversity. No part of that heritage is more valuable than our belief in the rights and worth of each individual.

Our party believes in the Constitution and in the principle that diversity of political opinion is one of its greatest strengths. We honor those who have fallen in the defense of our nation and of these principles. We stand united in support of our troops in the field.

As temporary stewards of our natural resources, we demand that our governing bodies develop policies and laws permanently protecting our environment from wasteful and indiscriminate use. Clean air, healthful water, and diverse ecosystems, including our national parks, oceans, and ancient forests, are part of our children’s future and must be protected.

All of us have a stake in local, national, and global economic systems that provide first and foremost for the basic human needs: nourishment, shelter, health, employment, and education. The answer to governmental fiscal problems lies in a strong economy founded upon broadly- based prosperity. An equitable and wide distribution of wealth and a free and fairly compensated labor force expands our economy and creates a healthier society. We believe a strong economy should be organized around the principle that economic systems embrace and sustain biological systems. Market forces alone often do not serve the common good.

We must provide accessible, affordable, and quality education to all Iowans at all educational levels. Adequate funding, accountability, innovation, and cost effective programming are essential to ensure Iowans are competitive in the national and global economy. Education is an investment in Iowa’s future.

Whenever the rights of any of our citizens are threatened the rights of all are endangered. We take seriously the obligation to preserve, protect, and secure basic constitutional and civil rights. We believe in a government which consistently and fairly serves and protects ALL people. We believe in a government that protects ALL individuals and assures equal

opportunities for all.

A legitimate function of government is to accomplish those social goals which we cannot

achieve as individuals. We believe in and will continue to work for a truly representative government: working for the good of the people; compassionate, progressive, responsible and fair; striving to achieve peace, prosperity, and a national outlook of confidence and hope. We support America’s historic role as leader in the search for a just peace in the world.

We continue to stand with people everywhere who demand freedom, justice and opportunity; and we applaud their peaceful progress while extending a helping hand to support new and fragile democracies. We look forward to the day when the borders of all countries are open to the free exchange of ideas, people, and goods.

2010 Platform Proposals:

International Affairs [IA ]:

1.) [HT] Whereas in the past the United States has shown leadership in promoting human rights, and 186 countries have ratified the United Nations Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), but only seven including the US have not, RESOLVE that The Democratic Party supports:

a) prompt hearings on CEDAW by the senate foreign relations committee

b) ratification of CEDAW by the full senate

2.) [TN] Whereas the possibility of nuclear disaster remains a threat to much of the

world , we support continued removal of nuclear weapons, including depleted

uranium, and continued work on treaties establishing international control of the

development of such.

Health and Human Services [HH]:

1.) [SQ] Whereas the 10% funding cut by Iowa state government is impacting

social service, mental health, and other human service programs and staff,

RESOLVE that counties and the state shall establish priorities on human

services and local delivery systems identifying technological approaches to

assuring availability of services to local/rural areas.

2.) [UH] Whereas our national health care system is dysfunctional and

inequitable, we support universal healthcare including a Medicare-like tax

supported public option with limitations on insurance companies to prevent

the denial of coverage to persons with preexisting conditions. We also support

competitive options for the purchase of prescription drugs.

3.) [CP] Whereas health insurance companies hold unfair monopolies over state

health insurance markets, we support the creation of antitrust laws for health

insurance companies.

Education [ED]:

1.) [SF] Whereas Iowa’s population is not growing and we have an aging rural

population with fewer children, RESOLVE that we examine ways to increase

efficiency through sharing of resources and services and potential consolidation of school districts.

2.) [SF] Whereas an excellent education assures future prosperity, we support full

funding for Iowa’s schools.

Economy [EC]:

1.) [ED] Whereas the proliferation of universal broad band internet access is largely focused on commercial development in urban areas, as was electrification in the last century, and that internet access is just as necessary for rural business success, RESOLVE that the Rural Utility Service (RUS, formerly the REA) that Iowa seek FCC and RUS approval to empower RUS to issue loans to rural cooperatives to transmit broadband internet.

2.) [ED] Whereas we are still in the middle of a global recession and whereas US

stimulus efforts have been directed towards major institutions, RESOLVE that Congress pass measures to further stimulate the economy with programs designed to lower the unemployment rate with particular emphasis on small businesses.

Agriculture & Environment: [AE]

1.) [SD] Whereas Iowans pay less than 1% of their food budgets to local farmers

and food producers, RESOLVE that the Iowa Legislature continue to support and promote local food production.

2.) [FS] Whereas GM (genetically modified) foods still pose risks to human health and harm to our ecosystem; that 60-70% of products on grocery shelves contain at least one genetically engineered element; and the EU, Japan, China, Korea, New Zealand, and Australia require GMO labels, RESOLVE that GMO status and place of origin be required, as well as further unbiased testing of GM foods’ effects on health and environment.

3.) [WM] Whereas the people of Iowa have a right to clean water; there have been over 50 manure spills in the past 3 years; and factory farms producing millions of gallons of raw waste each year negatively impact people’s quality of life, health and local economy, RESOLVE that the Iowa legislature follow the lead of neighboring states in giving Iowans the exercise of local control over the siting of factory farms.

4.) [WM] Whereas Iowans want water quality to be the highest priority for Iowa’s conservation dollars; and whereas the Natural Resources and Outdoor Trust Fund (NROTF) would provide stable long term programs to protect clean drinking water and to maintain/improve river and stream water quality, thereby conserving the productivity of Iowa soils, restoring wetlands for flood

protection, and conserve natural areas, fish and wildlife habitat, RESOLVED

that the Iowa House pass HJR1 to place on the 2010 ballot a state

constitutional amendment which would provide funding for the NROTF by

dedicating $0.0375 of each cent from the next sales tax increase.

5.) [ER] Whereas clean water is essential for human health and economic health,

we support stricter protection of the nation’s rivers and aquifers with conservation practices that control runoff and flooding.

6.) [ER] Whereas poor air quality affects the health and well being of all our

citizens, we support greater control of industries and individuals that pollute

our atmosphere, especially with the emission of carbon dioxide.

7.) [SE] Whereas our nation’s future and security are endangered by dependence

on fossil fuels, we support continued efforts to produce more sources of

sustainable energy with tax breaks and subsidies for wind, solar, bio

sources, and smart electrical grid technology.

8.) [BB] We support that Iowa raise the bottle redemption amount to $.10 each

and extend redemption to include noncarbonated drinks.

9.) [WM] Resolve to make a buffer strip of natural habitat be established along all rivers, streams and lakes, that will be restricted from use by agriculture or


Government and Law: [GL]

1.) [CE] Whereas we see the application of the Constitution to people rather than

Corporate entities, RESOLVE that an amendment to the US Constitution

be introduced and supported which defines a person as an individual human being.

2.) [CE] Whereas the US Supreme Court ruling allows corporations and unions to

contribute to candidates’ campaigns, RESOLVE to introduce and support

an amendment to the US Constitution which prohibits direct corporate and

union contributions to campaigns.

3.) [PG] Whereas Senate filibusters are counter to the concept of majority rule,

RESOLVE to support Senator Harkin’s efforts to revisit the US Senate’s

filibuster rule.

4.) [CE] Whereas our political system at all levels is increasingly dominated by the

influence of large sums of private money which finance electoral campaigns,

RESOLVE that Iowa pass Voter Owned Iowa Clean Election Act (VOICE).

Additionally RESOLVE to support similar federal legislation providing for set

spending limits from a publicly financed election fund.

5.) [GS] Whereas Iowa’s population is decreasing, RESOLVE that local and

county governments examine ways to increase efficiency through sharing of

resources and services.

6.) [CP] Whereas the recent financial crisis was preceded by the deregulation of

financial institutions, we support the establishment of regulations on large corporations; and the separation of large investment banks and regular banks (Reestablish the Glass-Stiegall Act).

7.) [GS] Whereas the use of violence in international and domestic conflicts has

proven counterproductive, RESOLVE that Congress establish a cabinet level

Department of Peace (HR808).

8.) [CR] Whereas our current immigration system is unworkable and inhumane,

we support comprehensive immigration reform with provision for citizenship

of current working undocumented immigrants.

9.) [CR] We support the Iowa Supreme Court decision on marriage equality and urge its legislative protection.