Platform

Wyoming Democratic Party Platform

Adopted in Cheyenne on May 28, 2016

                               

"We the people of the United States, in order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of  Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America." - Preamble to the U.S. Constitution

      

The Wyoming Democratic Party adopts the following platform to set forth our principles.

 

OPPORTUNITY

 

We are committed to equal opportunity across our society. We believe public policy should foster an economic, social, and institutional environment where all individuals have the opportunity to pursue life, liberty, and happiness.

 

HEALTH CARE

 

We support accessible, quality healthcare as a universal human right, not a privilege.

 

We support the Affordable Care Act. In order to provide high quality, affordable, and accessible care to all citizens, Medicaid must be expanded in Wyoming. Insured health care should cover all types of treatment including, but not limited to:

 

  • Medical

  • Dental

  • Chiropractic

  • Mental health

  • Women’s health

  • Preventative healthcare

  • Pediatric health

  • Substance abuse

  • And all other care that Wyoming citizens need

 

We support the government’s right to negotiate for the lowest prescription drug prices, and the right of individuals to import prescription drugs.

 

We support adequate funding for senior centers, nursing homes, and in-home care.

 

Medicare, Social Security, and Medicaid must never be privatized.

 

We believe in the support of medical marijuana use as a legitimate treatment.

 

We support the ultimate adoption of a nationwide single payer healthcare system that covers all.

 

We support honoring our obligations to our armed forces and veterans by providing fully funded comprehensive medical and psychiatric care in a timely manner.

 

We support public funding for research, education, and prevention of all disease.

 

We support comprehensive sex education, pregnancy prevention services, and the full range of reproductive health care options. Women in every county in Wyoming should be able to choose and have access to those options including abortion.

 

We support Wyoming working with surrounding states to form a larger risk pool for health insurance in order to provide more options and lower premiums.

 

We support the adoption of a Death with Dignity law in the state of Wyoming, both to provide an option for terminally ill individuals and to stimulate nationwide improvements in end-of-life care.

 

We recognize drug and alcohol addiction as diseases.

 

EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITY

 

The right-to-work law should be repealed.  We support the Employee Free Choice Act, and a worker’s right to collective bargaining in the state of Wyoming.

 

We support payment of a living minimum wage for all workers including tipped employees. We support pay equity based upon a foundation of comparable worth. We support closing the gender wage gap and support equal economic opportunity for all Wyoming residents.

 

We encourage open, comprehensive accounting of expenditures and results of the state's economic development and diversification efforts.

 

We support programs and legislation which will enhance inspection and enforcement of workers’ safety, promote cooperative programs for compliance assistance, and increase penalties for safety violations.  

 

We support adequate, reasonable, and fairly administered worker compensation benefits.

 

We support the use of state and county funds to provide job training and internships to strengthen and enhance the local workforce.

 

We support accessible, affordable, high-quality child care.  

 

We support the modification of current statutes to  support worker self-directed enterprises (also known as “worker cooperatives”) in which workers own the business where they work and have a voice in how that business is managed.

 

We encourage the Wyoming Legislature to work closely with public employees to develop procedures to mitigate underfunding of employee pensions. We encourage the Legislature to develop budgeting procedures ensuring all mandates, including pension funding and health care plans, are fully funded before excess funds are contributed to state “rainy day” or other trust funds.

 

We support the Paycheck Fairness Act.

 

We acknowledge that technology, unimpeded, will undergo constant dynamic change and therefore recognize the need to foster dialog to address the problem of a world where increasingly, human capital is growing obsolete.  New solutions are needed to deal with workforce survival in the face of increasing automation and efficiency.

 

We recognize the right of every American to retire with dignity and respect.

 

We support the right of employees to scheduled reasonable time off for family leave without the threat of retribution or termination.

 

IMMIGRATION

 

We need comprehensive and effective immigration reform including a path to citizenship. We oppose the adoption of local or state statutes depriving immigrants of their health, safety, and well-being.

 

We support Wyoming joining and participating in the Federal Refugee Resettlement Program.

 

EDUCATIONAL OPPORTUNITY

 

We support fully funded public education at all levels.

 

We support investment in a strong and diverse educational system required for individual success and responsible citizenship.

 

We believe public education needs to be fully supported from early childhood to higher education, and adult education.

 

We believe a well-rounded citizen will have instruction in a wide variety of subjects.  The state of Wyoming should support the education of the whole student, including but not limited to physical education, technology, vocational, Humanities, civics & government, and performing and visual arts classes in addition to core classes in K-12 schools, community colleges, trade schools, and the University of Wyoming.

 

We support the usage of the common-core standards in order to provide our youth with 21st century skills and knowledge that prepares them for their future, and builds the capacity of our teachers to provide them with evidence and standards-based instruction. We support the Wyoming Content and Performance Standards as approved by the Wyoming State Board of Education.

 

We support tuition-free public colleges and universities.

 

While we support adequate funding to institutions of higher education, we also support greater accountability in the provision of equal access measures of these institutions reducing obstacles to higher education for the general population including members of our under-served populations.

 

We support prioritization of academic studies and programs over athletics during times of budget shortfalls for public schools, colleges and universities.

 

We support student loan reform to reduce student debt burdens.

 

We support the granting of teachers the right to negotiate collectively and participate in the certification process to ensure maintenance of quality standards in teaching and administration personnel.  

 

We support the continuation of adult education programs that provide training and retraining programs.

 

We support the separation of church and state within the school system and oppose requiring student participation in any religious activity or place the burden of refusal on the student.  

 

 

INTEGRITY AND FAIRNESS

 

Wyoming Democrats support the Constitutions of the United States of America and Wyoming as living documents which establish the basic integrity of government and public policy.

 

Government in the United States of America is the collective will of the people in a democratic society, working together to secure and improve the lives of all citizens. All participants should be confident that the fundamental processes of election, appointment, legislation, administration, and enforcement are sound and faithfully adhered to.

 

We support dedication to the rule of law applied impartially and consistently.

 

EDUCATIONAL INTEGRITY

 

We believe the University of Wyoming, Trustees and President, should adhere to the Wyoming Constitution and assure that the University remain independent of political meddling. We support academic freedom in keeping with the citizens expectations that the University is the latent conscience of Wyoming.

 

We support an educational system which values the development of each individual, increased funding for all levels of public education, academic freedom within the classroom, and a safe learning environment.

 

We support teaching our children how to think rather than what to think.

 

We support the right of all students to participate in any activity at a public school regardless of race, color, sex, sexual orientation, gender expression or identity, ethnicity, religion, age, disability, national origin, or other personal identity.

 

We support safe schools for all students and school personnel, including enforcement of comprehensive anti-bullying and tolerance programs.

 

GOVERNMENT PROCESS

 

We support the separation of church and state.

 

We support transparency and accountability in government at all levels including adherence to all public meeting and open government laws.

 

We support adherence to and enforcement of laws regulating ethics and conflicts of interest at all levels of government.

 

We support full lobbyist disclosure.

 

We support fiscally responsible government.

 

We support transparent regulation of the banking and financial industries, including corporations and LLCs registered in the state of Wyoming.

 

We support the Consumer Protection Agency in its mission to protect American citizens.

 

We support the Wyoming Office of the Consumer Advocate in its mission to protect Wyoming citizens.

 

We support the inherent rights of federally recognized tribes as Sovereign Nations (as stated in the US Constitution's Commerce Clause) to interact, communicate and find consensus with the Wyoming State Government.

 

We oppose the privatization of public services, including but not limited to Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, correctional and detention facilities, and the military.

 

We strongly oppose spending state taxpayer dollars to send legislators to legislative conferences financed by American Legislative Exchange Conference (ALEC) and similar organizations.  We support mandatory public disclosure of any and all ALEC-written and/or sponsored legislation that is proposed by members of the Wyoming legislature.

 

We support a voter recall process for the removal of any local, state, or federal official.



TAXATION / REVENUE

 

We support a progressive and equitable system of federal taxation only allowing exemptions serving the public interest and which are transparently adopted.

 

We support an adequate and reliable source of funding for Wyoming cities, towns and counties.

 

We support an expansion of Social Security to ensure solvency by lifting the cap on taxable income.

 

We support fair compensation to the State of Wyoming for the extraction of Wyoming's non-renewable natural resources.  

 

We support allocating a portion of the interest from the Permanent Wyoming Mineral Trust Fund for diversified economic development programs within Wyoming.

 

We support development of  a system to share mineral royalties and severance with Wyoming municipalities.

 

We support the reduction of the national debt and effective regulation of financial institutions.

 

We support restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act.

 

JUDICIAL SYSTEM

 

We support adequate funding for our judicial system at all levels including a full range of treatment options for Wyoming children.

 

We support the abolition of mandatory minimum sentences.

 

We support a criminal justice system in which individuals are held accountable for misconduct with due process of law and where the Constitutional rights of the accused are fully upheld.

 

We support enhancing the options for treatment of substance abuse and alcoholism for citizens of Wyoming in lieu of incarceration

 

We support the decriminalization of marijuana use and possession and support efforts to examine legal frameworks in which marijuana products can be incorporated responsibly into the Wyoming economy.

 

We support a review and overhaul of the juvenile justice system in the state of Wyoming to better address the needs of juveniles, including rehabilitation, medical interdiction, and the unique aspects of juvenile psychology.

 

PROTECTING OUR DEMOCRACY

 

We embrace the Declaration of Independence proclamation stating governments derive “Their just powers from the consent of the governed". To preserve the integrity of that consent, we endorse the Voting Rights Act and condemn efforts to restrict voting.  We call for a state law that will require counties to allow voter registration drives outside county offices.

 

We support all forms and methods of voter participation and the expansion of the right and opportunity to vote.

 

We support public financing of political campaigns.

 

We back a constitutional amendment to reverse the ruling of the U. S. Supreme Court in the Citizens United case.

 

We demand full reporting of all political contributions prior to elections and full disclosure of financial interest in governmental and legislative matters.

 

We support automatically restoring full voting rights to convicted felons upon their having served the imposed sentence and probationary period.

 

All Wyoming County elective offices should be non-partisan.

 

We encourage inclusivity and representation  of all underrepresented populations in Wyoming public offices.

 

We support legal recognition of electronic signatures for conducting the business of government, including, but not limited to, voting and petitions.

 

We support abolishing the electoral college in favor of the popular vote.

 

We support automatic universal voter registration.

 

We support making the election process expansive to allow all citizens to participate in the voting process.

 

PROTECTING OUR CIVIL RIGHTS

 

We endorse the freedoms embodied in the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights including the right to habeas corpus. Our desires for personal and national security must not trump our commitment to protect individual rights and privacy of our fellow citizens. Surveillance by the government of our private lives must be done only in the confines of constitutional law. Any intrusion authorized by the Patriot Act should be abolished.

 

We support due process for all detainees and adherence to the Geneva Conventions.

 

PROTECTING OUR PERSONAL RIGHTS

 

We support enactment of Wyoming hate crime legislation that affords law enforcement agencies the tools to investigate hate crimes and prosecutors the option of pursuing enhanced penalties in any crimes motivated by hate.

 

We support fair access and just treatment for all people.  No person should be discriminated against based on the following, including but not limited to, actual or perceived race, color, ethnicity, national origin, religion or non-religion, age, disability, economic status, political beliefs, sex, gender identity, gender expression, and/or sexual orientation.

 

We support legislation that fully affirms the rights of all people to marry, work, secure housing, and attend school, regardless of gender identity, sexual orientation, or family status. We support state legislation, city ordinances, and public school policies that prohibit discrimination on the basis of gender identity or sexual orientation.

 

We condemn the use of torture, including water boarding, in domestic or foreign affairs.

 

We support the passage of legislation to address the increasing incidence of sexual assault against both men and women in the military.

 

We support changes in Wyoming statutes to eliminate the use of consent as a defense for detention officials who are charged with sexual misconduct.

 

We support the right of citizens to own firearms and also support the right of citizens, through their elected government, to prohibit the carrying of firearms in specified public venues.

 

In recognition of Wyoming’s long history of support for the right to keep and bear arms, we urge all parties involved in the debate over our country’s struggle with gun violence to begin a legitimate and constructive dialogue on methods by which we can protect both our safety and our individual rights.  We support funding for the CDC to collect data on gun violence and propose solutions to this problem.

 

We affirm our commitment to the indigenous communities’ right to sovereignty, and to practice traditional customs and languages.  We support the tribal members of the Wind River Reservation and all other tribal members in their efforts to live peaceful lives free of racism, harassment and fear.

 

We support a woman’s right to reproductive freedom.  

 

INTEGRITY IN FOREIGN RELATIONS

 

We support a foreign policy reflecting and promoting the principles of freedom, human rights, and compassion.  We support a collaborative process among nations to affect these principles.  We recognize the use of force may be required to protect these fundamental principles only when peaceful international efforts have failed.  War should be initiated only as a last resort.

 

While maintaining our right to sovereignty, we support the adherence to international law, especially pertaining to the use of our armed forces and national security services.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

 

We recognize human well-being is dependent upon the well-being of the earth.  We encourage a science-based, multi-generational vision for Wyoming, for America, and for the world. Our goal is the development and maintenance of social, cultural, economic, and physical environments in which we and our descendants can enjoy the peace, freedom, and community that will nurture and sustain our quality of life. The free market remains a democratic expression of personal priorities, but we recognize a critical role for government in supporting careful, well-informed planning with respect to the optimal application of public funds and governmental regulation. We recognize that sustaining our quality of life requires an increasingly long-term perspective that often conflicts with short-term budgets, corporate profits, and political agendas.

 

ENERGY POLICY

 

It is critical that we develop a coherent, far-sighted national energy policy that emphasizes reductions in demand for fossil fuels through energy conservation and efficiency, innovation in energy resource development, implementing solutions to the building crisis in global climate impacts, and constructive engagement of our trading partners in developing nations to make serious efforts toward environmental protections and energy efficiencies.

 

We support alternate energy sources that do not cause an adverse impact on the nation and world's food supply and prices, while maintaining long-term environmental standards.

 

We support the end to subsidies and tax breaks for food-based ethanol manufacturing.

 

We support subsidies for efficient-alternative residential and commercial energy and requirements for all buildings being built or upgraded at taxpayer expense to be built with energy efficient features. 

 

We are committed to taking care of our workers and their families as we transition to sustainable energy.

 

We support legislation to ensure that as energy transitions away from fossil fuel toward sustainable energy, individuals in Wyoming put out of work and their families receive adequate benefits, including Medicaid expansion, and training so they are not devastated by the loss of work.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE

 

We recognize global climate change as caused by human practices. We believe Wyoming should join other states and worldwide efforts to address human-made climate change by reducing energy use in buildings, transportation, industry, and increasing renewable energy production on all scales.

 

We strongly agree with the prevailing scientific opinion that climate change must be limited to a maximum of 2 degrees Celsius and we support limiting global greenhouse gas emissions with a comprehensive international agreement such as the Paris Climate Treaty of 2015.

 

 

SUSTAINABLE ECONOMIES

 

Energy-resource development should be guided by policies modulating the pace of mineral development to reduce the stress on public infrastructure, social services, schools, housing, workforce training, and the natural environment, and optimizing employment and tax revenues over the lifetime of the resources.

 

We support the protection of reclamation funds, bonding requirements, employee wages and employee benefits in bankruptcy proceedings.

 

We should identify and nurture opportunities for economic diversification into manufacturing, service-sector, recreation and tourism, alternative-energy, energy-efficiency, technology and knowledge, and performing and visual arts industries, looking to a future in which mineral resources are but one of many anchors for our economy.

 

We support small businesses and family-owned farms and ranches.

 

We support job creation in Wyoming through the development and manufacture of alternative, renewable energy resources including solar, wind power, and geothermal energy.

 

We support the creation of a statewide recycling program.

 

NATURAL RESOURCE MANAGEMENT AND THE ENVIRONMENT

 

We value the importance of clean air, land and water, open spaces, abundant wildlife, and wilderness.  The conservation and protection of these resources enhance our quality of life and our economy.

.

Wyoming’s public land heritage is one of our greatest assets, and public lands should remain public and available for multiple use.

 

We oppose the attempted takeover of federally-managed public lands by the states.

 

We support recreational opportunities such as hunting, fishing, camping and hiking on public lands.

 

We support stewardship of our national and state parks, monuments, and wildlife refuges, and environmentally responsible public access to public lands, minimizing additional roads in our national parks and forests and maintaining roadless areas.

 

We support a statewide program with the goal of achieving zero waste by reducing, reusing, and recycling all materials.

 

We support the strict enforcement of Wyoming and Federal Clean Water and Clean Air Acts, along with funding to support that enforcement to ensure the continued protection and health of our citizens from threats posed by unclean water and polluted air by all causes including fracking.

 

We reject the idea of “self-audit” by companies potentially responsible for pollution.

 

We believe in protecting Wyoming water rights.

 

We oppose the disposal of any hazardous or radioactive wastes not generated in Wyoming.  We support adequate protections before the disposal and storage of any in-state generated wastes.

 

We support laws that inhibit the use of chemicals that cause biological and ecological harm.  

 

We support GMO labelling laws to protect the health of all citizens.  

 

 

QUALITY OF LIFE

 

PUBLIC SERVICES

 

We believe all Wyoming residents should have access to adequate nutrition and affordable housing.

 

We support programs to ameliorate the serious issues facing children and families including poverty, mental health needs, violence, health care, and alcohol and substance abuse.

 

We support programs to address Wyoming’s significant problem with suicide.  We, particularly support programs for youth, especially lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and gender nonconforming youth and any others who are disproportionately at risk.

 

We support funding sufficient for maintaining and improving our existing infrastructure. A multi-modal approach to transportation is needed including roads, airports, railroads, and a nationwide high-speed rail system.  

 

We support robust funding for public media, the visual, performing, and literary arts and encourage the Wyoming Arts Council to develop additional public/private initiatives to fund and develop local artists.  

 

LAW ENFORCEMENT/REGULATION

 

We support law enforcement in their efforts to provide a safe environment for all Wyoming citizens. We encourage the prevention of domestic violence and abuse and the prosecution of perpetrators.

 

COMMENDATIONS

 

We recognize the sacrifices of our military personnel and emergency responders to secure our safety.  We are grateful for their dedication and pledge our vigilance that their lives not be jeopardized needlessly. Their services should be appropriately rewarded.

 

We wish to recognize and commend the many democrats who serve on the various boards and commissions in Wyoming.  We extend our sincere gratitude to all Democrats who assume the burden of running for public office.

 

Courtesy of the Equality State Policy Center