Happy New Year from the Clinton County Democratic Party!
Preamble: All political party platforms must have an underlying, guiding set of principles; a foundation that supports the party platform and creates a statement that focuses on Clinton County’s unique opportunities and challenges. CCDP also endorses the comprehensive Michigan Democratic Party Platform.
As Clinton County Democrats, we believe in a basic philosophy of society: we support the needs of working people, their families, and communities. As CCDP members, we are a diverse demographic of volunteers with like-minded principles of fairness and equal opportunity for all. We value and respect all county citizens and immigrants, but also expect personal responsibility and self-reliance while providing resources to address the special needs and disabilities of Clinton County residents. People must be held accountable for their actions through a forward thinking judicial system with specialty courts to properly access and adjudicate wrong-doing.
Our society consists of the private sector that rewards companies and individuals for the sales of customer products and services and the public sector (government) that provides a variety of municipal services and acts as a referee and regulator to ensure fairness and equity in the marketplace through the enforcement of laws, regulations, and ordinances. Our opposition party emphasizes personal freedom and minimal government interference in the accumulation of wealth and power by the individual or corporation. People are encouraged to be “on their own” and subjected to the concept of “buyer beware” in the marketplace regardless of the complexity or consequence of purchasing a product or service. The opposition party takes legislative actions to eliminate or minimize legal liability for fraudulent, defective, or dangerous products or services.
The Democratic Party uses the analogy of a competitive, athletic conference to our society. A set group of teams (companies/businesses) compete on a “level playing field” to achieve success (sales and influence) while neutral referees (government regulators) ensure that the rules (laws) are strictly enforced to provide fairness and safety for participants (citizens) during the competition. The documented negative consequences of business monopolies are avoided by enforced anti-trust laws to maintain fair competition.
CCDP believes all people should have equal access to influence their elected officials. This can best be assured by campaign finance rules that enable individual citizens to make donations within reasonable limits while prohibiting contributions from political action committees, big dollar donors, and special interest groups. In short, the Citizens United Act decision must be reversed. Political influence should be exercised by like-minded people banding together to amplify their policy objectives. CCDP must be practical and pragmatic. Idealism, alone, is insufficient to win elections and implement policy objectives. Democracy requires a one-person, one-vote system. Individuals are to be heard, not drowned out by back door lobbying of the powerful few with corrupting offers to sway the actions of political officeholders.
This is a document designed to align our policy objectives with our budget and financial resources. This platform should spread CCDP’s philosophy in order to: • Gain party support • Increase party membership • Help recruit candidates for political office by identifying issues and policies that have broad appeal with voters.
CCDP supports the following policies: Education: universal Kindergarten through 12 grades publicly funded to allow quality teachers, staff, and facilities. Phase out charter schools, prohibit public funding of private or parochial schools. Provide job training and skills development. Healthcare: universal, affordable, available, quality healthcare – moving to single payer Medicare for all with community health centers. This must include comprehensive mental health and drug addiction counseling and therapy. Provide healthcare security to all residents while bringing the healthcare costs down. Repeal the Michigan Drug Immunity Law unfairly protecting pharmaceutical companies over the health and safety of patients. Economic development: to support small businesses, family farms, employees of private industry, government, and employees of private services. Everybody should get a fair shot at economic success. The government cannot be run like a business – remember the Flint water crisis. Review For the People Act 2021. Environmental justice: to prevent the pollution of land, water, air, and the depletion of resources. To promote renewable energy production and to protect endangered species while combating the planet’s threatening climate change. Equal opportunity without discrimination: as to race, national origin, ethnicity, belief system, gender or gender identity, disability. Consumer protection: to provide the well-funded, government regulation over the private sector and expanded FOIA, transparency, and conflict of interest requirement on government employees and elected officials. Oppose the use of Emergency Managers from State Government. Remove “forced arbitration” laws that protect business interests and harm customers. Safety policies: that ensure responsible gun ownership, effective training of police officers, the promotion of community policing and professional fire and EMS departments, forward-thinking court systems. End for-profit prisons and other for-profit detention facilities. Municipal infrastructure development: Transportation — roads and bridge maintenance and upgrades throughout the county. Communication — reliable county-wide public/private telephone and broadband internet service. Waste management service — trash collection, recycling programs, sewerage system maintenance Energy utilities — electric power and natural gas service available throughout the county moving toward overall renewable energy and power systems. Clean water systems — available throughout the county. Workers Bill of Rights: CCDP supports labor unions throughout the private and public economy, including: Reverse Right to Work laws. Demand fair wages and benefits with safe work sites. Limit the subcontracting and off-shoring of jobs. Promote prosecution of incidences of wage theft by employers. Demand collective bargaining as a right for all employees. Voter Bill of Rights Abolish “corporate personhood”. Oppose Republican attempts to move legislative decisions to Lansing, away from local and county official’s control. Support democracy by promoting civic participation and voting. Stop attempts to suppress voter participation in all its forms. Enact automatic voter registration. Restore and advance the Voting Rights Act. Women’s Bill of Rights Pay equity for women. Passage of a modern Equal Rights Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Support a woman’s right to make reproductive medical decisions about her own body, including contraception and abortion rights in consultation with her physician. Support the addition of gender to the equal protection and non-discrimination provisions in Article I, Section II of the Michigan Constitution. Support repeal of Michigan’s Abortion Insurance Opt-Out Act – in effect, forces women to purchase rape insurance. Support the Paycheck Fairness Act. Tax Policy: Commit to full revenue-sharing for local and county governments. Enact a graduated income tax to have everyone pay their fair share of taxes. Limit sales tax to non-essential consumer items. Forbid tax exempt non-profit organizations from intervening in political elections (Johnson Act). Oppose the Republican actions of cutting government budgets while under funding the health and well-being of people, families, and communities. Provide for a tax system that is fair, stable, and sufficient for county needs. Factors that Weaken Democracy: Citizens United decision. Political gerrymandering – ensure that this undemocratic political strategy is eliminated. Voter suppression – stop this undemocratic strategy in all its forms. Electoral College – push to have the State of Michigan join the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact to render the Electoral College moot until a U.S. Constitutional amendment can be passed to remove this affront to democratic norms. Money in politics – push the 28th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to eliminate “dark money” in politics, the “American Promise” proposal. Immigration laws – advocate for legal and legislative reform to protect legal immigrants. Judicial life-time appointments – work toward a reasonable term limit and age limit on these appointments. Concentrated political power among the few – combat this concentrated power in the hands of the privileged, the wealthy, and the corporate elite. Re-establish and enforce anti-trust laws.
Government and Party Ethics – Useful Phrases: Support family values and the common good. Provide a strong social safety net. Good citizens are willing to volunteer — they lend a hand where needed. We are stronger when we work together, to raise everyone up. Always keep the church-state separation mandate contained in the U.S. Constitution intact. Use science-based decisions when formulating policy.
CCDP Ethics: CCDP commits to conducting itself with transparency, fairness, and honesty in dealing only with facts, not conjecture, rumor, or conspiracy when discussing issues and policies. CCDP demands the same from other political leaders. CCDP values respect, civility, and the rule of law. We do not denigrate or threaten the opposition. CCDP Political Candidate Recruitment and Development: Seek candidates with good character, qualified by experience and a leadership background. The candidate should align with most, if not all, of CCDP’s policy statements. Reach out to the younger generation for greater participation in CCDP activities. Develop an extensive candidate training resource library and mentoring system. Provide reasonable financial backing by the party and funding sources for CCDP political candidates.
Submitted by the CCDP Platform Subcommittee – January 2021.
Step 2 is the short term action plan and policy priority list proposal for CCDP for the next 2 year cycle. The theme for this policy statement is building our Party’s political infrastructure. This is designed to address the two fundamental functions of our Party, that is: First, advocating for needed legislation and the essential funding of our State and County; and second, recruiting and fielding effective candidates for political office.
1. Establish a State Legislative and local government monitor position within CCDP. The task for this volunteer or committee is to recruit people with specific public policy interests to regularly monitor the State Legislature, County, Township, or Village government activity to provide updates to Clinton County residents through the CCDP Website, Newsletter, or other communication formats controlled by the
2. Establish a goal of filling every Clinton County Precinct Delegate position before the 2022 election. This would include developing a recruitment flyer that would fully describe the duties of the position, time required for a successful Precinct Delegate to complete these duties and all the steps needed to apply for the position and be elected. The Precinct Delegate is the backbone of the Party and the foot soldier representing all precincts in the County. This can also be a stepping stone to higher political
3. Establish a permanent, digital, resource library for CCDP political candidates for their use in training, counseling, and assistance in all aspects of a political office application, campaign strategy, funding sources, and the political office duties and responsibilities. This should be well maintained, updated as resources become available, and easy to negotiate. We should end the do it yourself candidate process
and start a more consistent CCDP backed candidate support effort.
4. Establish CCDP liaison officers to regularly interact with MDP staff and officials to streamline communication channels between our two organizations and sister County Party Officials, especially within our Congressional District. The liaison officer would also coordinate MDP training opportunities and other resources for CCDP members.
5. Establish a CCDP legislative study committee to formulate a proposed legislative enhancement of the current transparency and conflict of interest regulation pertaining to the State Of Michigan public employees and elected officials.
6. Add a second, separate section to the clintoncodems.org attractive public website to include a comprehensive CCDP organization Archive to permanently store all CCDP records, documents, official proceedings, communications, organizational structure and contact information in one accessible place for the use of CCDP members only. This Archive section would be maintained by CCDP Officers and the Webmaster. The CCDP Chair would maintain a non-attached storage drive backup Archive that would
travel, in transition, to subsequent Party Chairs.
As we attain some success with these policies, we may be viewed as a County Party moving ahead, step by step, to gain momentum and begin to work on providing positive progressive change for the residents of Clinton County. Increased Party membership may follow as a result.