Democrats have a long and proud history of supporting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, Unemployment Benefits, Environmental Protection, Civil Rights and Equal Opportunity, Equal Pay for Women, Marriage Equality, and Non-Discrimination Laws.
The Saugerties Democratic Committee voted to formally adopt its statement of values on February 24, 2015. The last three items were amended on August 25, 2015.
INCOME EQUALITY and LIVING WAGE
The SDC believes in closing the income gap by providing greater access to living wage jobs. Increasing the minimum wage, supporting policies that keep jobs within the United States by providing tax breaks for companies that keep their jobs stateside, and regulating the financial and banking systems to prevent corruption and avoid future recessions are steps needed.
The SDC believes all workers, union and non-union, should be covered by fair labor standards and have equal protection under the law. Further the SDC believes that the right to organize into unions and collectively bargain is a fundamental right of all working people, and gives every worker a voice on the job, respecting the dignity of each individual.
The SDC believes in a quality education for all children, regardless of economic class. To achieve this goal the SDC supports generous funding for public schools, including free pre-school and community college, which are not financed on the back of property owners, but upon other financing options like the graduated income tax. The SDC believes that society should provide a safe, healthy and effective learning environment for all students and teachers.
THE SDC recognizes that all living things depend on clean air, water and habitable land to exist, and we must take responsibility for preventing the degradation and promoting the sustainability of these elements, which will maintain the health and survival of all people, now and in the future.
THE SDC believes that legislation like the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts are public agreements that protect our environment. We believe by conserving natural resources and maintaining outdoor recreational opportunities, we improve the health and aesthetic quality of our lives. These efforts, which are an integral part of our economic activity, are a net creator of job growth and opportunity.
The SDC recognizes that global warming is largely caused by human activity and that science confirms it. This reality presents a real and formidable threat to our health and the very existence of the human race. We believe the solution to this crisis is a prompt and committed transition to carbon free sources of energy, such as water, wind, solar, and geothermal.
The SDC also believes that it is the government’s responsibility and duty to protect the environment. Leaving the responsibility of environmental protection to market forces without government intervention will harm the environment and humankind.
REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, HEALTH AND JUSTICE
The SDC believes in a woman’s right to choice in medical care, which includes access to reproductive and sexual health information, care and treatment, affordable birth control, and the right to privacy. Pregnant and parenting individuals should have equal treatment in the workplace and in schools and to have their important roles supported by our society.
The SDC believes that our strength as a nation lies in our diversity. We call on the Federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and we reject using local law enforcement to enforce non-criminal immigration violations and/or to deny due process to persons because of their immigration status.
CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM
The SDC stands for campaign finance reform that will allow all candidates to receive sufficient public funds to allow for an effective political campaign.
We also believe that corporations are not people and shouldn’t be considered such under the law. “Citizen’s United” should be overturned and additional steps are needed to eliminate corporate money from the electoral process.
THE SDC believes that all citizens should be encouraged and have equal access in voting, and not be hindered in that right by special requirements beyond those of initial registration.
The SDC believes democracy can best be achieved when voters have no artificial barriers placed in their way in choosing their representatives. Gerrymandering by any party is such a barrier, unfair to both candidate and voter. We believe that redistricting must
be removed from the control of party or elected officials and be placed with a nonpartisan commission whose decisions are free of political domination or review.
The SDC believes in community policing, which has police officers engaged on the street and in the neighborhood with the people they are assigned to help and protect. This strategy provides the best and safest method to ensure public safety and crime prevention.
We believe access to healthcare is a human right. We further believe that all people should have access to affordable, quality healthcare, and that a single payer system is a viable option. Veterans have earned the right to quality health care and should receive it in a timely manner.
The SDC believes that spending billions of dollars per year to support the New York prison system, at a current cost of about $60,000 per year, per inmate, does not serve the best interests of society. We support an end to this bloated tax-payer funded system, fueled by the war on drugs, and support alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. We also call for an end to the privatization of prisons.
The SDC believes in a strong national defense that protects our nation. War is not the answer to the world’s problems. War diverts billions of dollars away from human needs in Saugerties and around the world such as for education, health care, infra-structure, jobs, disaster relief, housing and transportation. Diplomacy should always precede any consideration of war. The citizenry should be fully briefed on the reasons for entering any conflict, and the War Powers Act authorizing the President to go to war must always be implemented by Congress. The use of torture undermines our defense, and is alien to our values.
RIGHTS OF LGBTQ PEOPLE
The SDC believes that all people shall have Equal Rights in our society, including persons who identify themselves as LGBTQ. We favor non-discrimination laws that protect LBGTQ persons under both State and Federal Law, and laws that protect LBGTQ youth from abuse in school, the work place and in the community.
ART IN PUBLIC SPACES
The SDC values the display of art in public spaces through murals, painting, sculpture, music, dance, theatre, architecture and other creative activities. The display of creative art builds community, brings pleasure for people of all ages, supports artists, and inspires others to pursue their creative instincts. We favor public support for these activities by allowing artists to use public spaces and by providing appropriate financial inducements.
The SDC believes that background checks are necessary to limit the spread of firearms without background checks. Background checks for all gun purchases, whether from retail dealers, gun shows, on-line sellers, or other persons in the business of selling guns, will reduce the volume of weapons that reach the hands of people who are inclined to use those guns for criminal and harmful ends.