Our 2018 Platform
Adopted as amended at our legislative district caucus on March 24, 2018, at Juanita High School in Kirkland, Washington.
In this time of unprecedented partisanship in our country, we, the 45th District Democrats, believe we have a duty to heal divisions and provide initiatives that support and assist solving the problems our communities face.
We believe that every individual, every elected position, every Board, and every Commission matters. Everything we do makes an impact.
We believe that our elected officials must work to support and assist We the People by fighting to enact and protect the following policies:
Elections & Voting
- Corporations are not people.
- Money is not speech.
- Transparency in campaign finance should be a national priority.
- Voters’ rights and efforts to reduce barriers to voting, including:
- Declaring election day a federal holiday.
- Nationwide automatic voter registration.
- Nationwide postage-free vote by mail.
- Approval or score voting methods instead of plurality and first past the post.
- Open primaries or same-day registration for closed primaries nationwide.
- Making it illegal to require birth certificates and other vital documents to prove US citizenship in order to vote.
- Non-partisan, technology-based redistricting in an effort to combat gerrymandering.
- Efforts to limit campaign contributions to voting individuals, not non-voting entities.
- Strict campaign contribution limits so citizens of all socioeconomic backgrounds can equally participate in our democracy.
- The expansion of Seattle’s Democracy Voucher program statewide.
- Efforts to criminalize political corruption by specifying broader guidelines for proving quid pro quo.
- High standards for judicial and federal cabinet appointments; we expect our elected officials to only approve qualified nominees with relevant experience.
- Efforts to codify into law past unwritten presidential norms, including promoting financial transparency and prohibiting nepotism.
- Preventing the Washington Secretary of State from sending any personal information of Washington voters to the federal government.
- Expanded revolving door prohibitions that would prohibit all elected and appointed officials from becoming paid lobbyists for 5 years after leaving government office.
- Efforts to fully fund the national census.
- A return to the fairness doctrine.
- The federal government using the power of our fiat currency to fully fund social programs.
- Matching any proposed cuts to the social safety net with defense spending cuts of the same amount.
- Auditing the Pentagon and all defense contractors; any duplication of services, overcharges for services rendered, and all irrelevant and redundant employees and services should be terminated.
We believe in comprehensive tax reform to make Washington’s upside down tax code more just and equitable.
- Statewide tax reform modeled on Oregon’s system that would:
- Abolish the sales and B&O taxes.
- Implement progressive taxes on income and corporate profits.
- Implement capital gains taxes.
- Implement a state-level earned income tax credit.
- Termination of all state tax breaks for corporations that do not fulfill their obligations to create jobs.
- Levying a pollution fee to fund a just and responsible transition to clean energy.
Jobs & the Economy
- Unions are the cornerstone of workers’ rights.
- There should be a job for every worker who wants one.
- Minimum wage, overtime, and other benefits should be tied to inflation and productivity growth.
- All workers should have the benefit of an annual paid vacation and paid sick leave, nationwide.
- Gig economy workers, domestic workers, disabled workers, and student workers should have the same rights to earn minimum wage and benefits as other workers.
- Wage theft is a serious problem and enforcement must be taken seriously and fully funded.
- Expanding Washington’s paid family leave program already in place to 26 weeks of paid leave nationwide, regardless of size of company or length of employment, through a government-funded system akin to unemployment benefits.
- Greatly expanding and strengthening Social Security.
- Portable defined-benefit pensions not run by employers.
- Universal basic income (UBI) pilot programs as a possible solution to automation.
- Shortening the full-time work week to 35 hours.
- Overtime reform.
- Credit unions and the formation of a state bank.
- Efforts to make it easier to form certified B-Corporations, worker co-ops, and other businesses that are accountable to their workers and their communities, not just their shareholders.
- Regulation of cryptocurrencies to reduce market volatility and wasted resources.
We believe affordable housing is a right. Nobody should be without safe access to shelter.
- A housing-first approach to homelessness.
- Zoning reform, including simplifying the process to build auxiliary dwelling units (ADUs) and constructing missing middle and infill housing close to job centers.
- Providing additional housing support to seniors and others living on fixed or low incomes.
- Efforts to reduce dependence on single occupancy internal combustion engine vehicles through the expansion of grade-separated mass transit and the promotion of carpooling and electric vehicles.
- Increasing federal funding for all state repair and replace infrastructure projects.
- Improving sidewalks, protected bike paths, and trails in all Eastside cities for increased pedestrian and bicycle access and safety.
- Efforts to provide municipal broadband.
- Net neutrality.
We oppose privatizing infrastructure projects.
- A rapid transition to 100% renewable energy; natural gas is not clean energy.
- State-funded tax incentives for solar research and power generation facilities in every county in Washington.
- Reducing the release of methane gas and, where feasible, using it as an energy source by any or all of the following methods:
- Requiring all agricultural & waste management operations to report methane release amounts to the Washington Dept. of Ecology.
- Developing standards for methane release and capture for all drilling operations.
- Incentivizing the use of methane for energy.
- Limiting industrial and military noise, such as jets and heavy machinery, near our protected natural lands, as a degree of natural quiet is necessary for animal and plant life to properly thrive.
- Reducing corporate single-use plastic and runaway plastic waste by 50% within the next five years by:
- Expanding non-compostable plastic bag and plastic straw bans.
- Encouraging replacement of single-use items with reusable and compostable materials.
- The development of statewide systems to reduce edible food waste by better distribution of usable food to food banks and the hungry and the utilization of agricultural food waste as compost for crops and soil conservation.
We believe healthcare is a human right, connected to the right to life.
- Nationwide Medicare for all, free at the point of service, which assures the right to healthcare for every American.
- Efforts to implement universal healthcare in Washington state and see it as a necessary first step to achieve nationwide Medicare for all. Washington state can and should lead the country on ensuring all people have equal access to quality healthcare.
- Efforts to repeal the Hyde amendment—reproductive healthcare must be treated the same as other kinds of care.
- Including dental and vision care in universal healthcare programs.
- Increasing investment into mental healthcare for all.
- Re-establishing a public mental health hospital system in Washington, to be located in three areas around the state, with a minimum of 200 total beds, up from the presently inadequate 12.
We welcome Community Health Engagement Locations in our cities.
- Stricter, universal background checks and appropriate waiting periods for all gun purchases.
- The ban on bump stocks in Washington state and support expanding it to a nationwide ban.
- Banning purchase and possession of assault rifles and high-capacity magazines.
- Efforts to pass gun violence restraining order laws.
- Encouraging safe storage and handling of guns by requiring more robust training, yearly licensing, and liability insurance for gun owners, and the use of gun safes.
- Demilitarizing the police; deadly force should be available to the police when the need arises, but only after non-lethal remedies have been exhausted.
- Concealed carry reciprocity.
- Any legislation that would bring guns into our schools, other than carried by lawfully authorized law enforcement officers.
- Efforts to abolish the death penalty.
- Restorative justice.
- Efforts to decriminalize non-violent drug offenses.
- The possibility of parole for all inmates.
- The restoration of voting rights to the incarcerated.
- Providing mental health care for all inmates who need it.
- Efforts to end cash bail.
- One-size-fits-all flat fines and fees for criminal activity, which disproportionately punish the working class and do not disincentivize the wealthy; fines should be proportionate to income.
- For-profit prisons.
Diversity & Inclusion
- Black lives matter.
- We must honor treaties made with Native American tribes.
- We must acknowledge that we are living on indigenous land.
- In equal pay for equal work.
- In women’s right to bodily autonomy.
- Every effort should be made to ensure all boards, commissions, and elected positions are filled by people representative of the communities they serve.
- Harassment and bullying must never be tolerated, and must be addressed quickly and appropriately; victims should be believed and protected.
- Amending the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to include a ban on discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation, gender identity, and sex.
- Efforts to pass the Equal Rights Amendment.
- Comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform.
- Abolishing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
- The use of local funds for enforcement of federal immigration mandates.
- Any and all personhood laws.
We believe life-long learning and education is a right. Nobody should have to go into debt in order to get an education.
- Efforts to provide free access to public colleges and trade schools, with debt forgiveness for those who already have student loans.
- Science-based education.
- Programs that fund job retraining and delayed post-secondary education.
- Liberal arts curriculum in all schools, K–12, with the arts and humanities treated on par with the sciences.
- The expansion of career and technical education (CTE) and life-skills classes.
- Comprehensive sex education curriculum, including education around a culture of mutual consent.
- Efforts to ensure responsible implementation of technology in schools, while protecting students’ privacy and their physical and mental health.
- Prioritizing research-supported students’ needs by:
- Reducing class sizes.
- Returning to play-based learning in elementary schools.
- Reducing the homework burden in elementary schools.
- Longer lunch and adequate recess for K–8 students.
- Free access to food for all students.
- Implementing late-start for high schools.
- De-linking standardized tests from graduation requirements.
- Minimizing anxiety and disruptions in our students’ learning by reducing the overuse of standardized tests and their impact on the curricula.
- Paid internships for educators, on par with other professions.
- Fully funding Washington state’s educational needs through dedicated progressive taxation.
- Reducing core curriculum requirements to enable alternative tracks and exploration of specific interests.
We oppose charter schools and the privatization of public education by any means, including Social Impact Bonds.