- Environmental Protections and Climate Change Solutions
- Scientific Research and Development
- A Single-Payer, Improved Medicare-for-All Health Care Program
- Women’s Access to Abortion and Contraception
- Restore the Middle Class and Reduce Wealth Disparity
- A Living Wage Tied to Inflation
- Protect and Expand Social Security & the Social Safety Net
- World Class K-12 Public Education & Tuition-Free Public College
- Social, Economic and Racial Justice
- Gun and Ammunition Safety Legislation
Science provides insights. Science provides knowledge. Science provides solutions. Science saves -- and improves -- lives.
Unfortunately, science has been under attack, often for ideological reasons, often at the behest of major donors of Republican Party and the right wing (to obfuscate the damages caused by the fossil fuel industry, to block research on gun violence statistics, etc.) beginning in 1980 and escalating dramatically ever since.
The current administration has gone even further, firing or “reassigning” scientists, especially at the EPA.
Unfettered scientific research has made our air cleaner, our water purer.
Many of these gains go back to the idealistic days of the 1960s, which led us to become the first country to land on the moon.
We need to return to the days of unbiased, unobstructed science.
The U.S. economy is, and has long been, for better or worse, driven by consumer spending.
It’s perplexing that many members of the business community believe that breaking up unions and holding down the incomes of the middle class, lower-middle class, and the poor will somehow equate to more profits and a stronger economy.
In the long term, it’s an unsustainable model … as it greatly reduces the disposable income of a vast swath of our population.
And it will lead to higher payments for welfare and other safety-net programs to sustain those in need.
What we need, to keep the economy moving and for our citizens to thrive, is a Living Wage.
Currently several municipalities have set that wage at $15.00 an hour.
We need to increase the Federal Minimum Wage to that amount by 2020, and to tie that wage to inflation.
Despite California's strict gun-control laws, it is important to augment them with still-stricter laws. Most important, California prohibits cities and counties from making their own gun regulations, giving the state uniform laws; however, guns can be brought into the state by citizens of other states who are passing through. We must work with the legislature to ban those traveling with guns to enter California.
Among the most important gun control provisions are the requirement for mandatory background checks on gun purchasers and a ten-day waiting period on the purchase of a gun. California has taken a stance on the 2nd Amendment, declaring that the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee a citizen's right to carry a concealed firearm; it does not, however, address open-carry weapons in public, which is a complicated issue in this state. Nonetheless, we must work with our legislators to BAN OPEN CARRY WEAPONS. It is also illegal to sell an assault weapon that has not been approved by the DOJ, and pursuant to the Assault Weapons Control Act of 1989 (and its Augmentation of 1999) most assault weapons are banned in California. In July 2016, California passed legislation to regulate the sale of ammunition. In addition, a one-year license must be obtained from the California DOJ in order to sell ammunition.
Since the Parkland School shooting in February and the Texas school shooting in April, there are ten new gun-control laws that will be debated in the California Legislature. The proposals to be considered include expanding the definition of assault rifles, expanding gun violence restraining orders, letting individuals block themselves from buying guns, and cracking down on homemade "ghost guns." Paradoxically, gun sales were up substantially this past year to 1.3 million, compared with 450,000 the year before. This figure most likely represents citizens who want to own guns and worry that if they don't purchase them soon, they won't have the chance.
It is the position of the Democratic Party that we need the strongest gun-control and ammunition-control laws. Without them, we can not insure the health and well-being of our citizens.
Forty years ago California voters approved Proposition 13, a bill designed to help homeowners avoid huge property tax bills. Unfortunately, it extended the same protection to corporations, creating a $9 billion loophole. If we want to improve the woeful state of our public education, we need to close this loophole.
Doing so can bring back badly needed services and increase our national education ranking. California used to be one of the top-ranked schools in the nation. The state spent $11,495 per pupil in 2016. That’s 23rd in the nation and just below the $11,762 average.
The Democratic Party of CA is dedicated to equal education for all residents, but this will not happen without money. Lack of resources increases our class sizes; it takes away money for special education, for physical education, for the arts, and for basic skills such as reading and math. It is a known fact that if you want to spend less on prisons, you spend more on education. California also needs to support its community colleges and state universities.
Any money spent on education for our young people comes back to us in prison savings and increased tax dollars. California's community colleges and state universities are also in need of increased funding. It is important to support the students who are trying to put "College for All" on the November 2018 ballot. These students are inspired by Bernie Sanders's presidential campaign proposal to provide free higher education for all. The plan is to reinstate the Estate Tax (which was eliminated in 2005). This tax will pay for 2.6 million students to get a free college education, an investment in human resources that will positively affect California for years and years.
In addition, California needs to spend the necessary money on wraparound services in our poorer communities. These services should include tutoring for all grade levels, help with children under the age of four and in preschool, additional English language classes, and general family communication. California's wealthier communities support their schools with private fundraisers and annual donations, creating a huge gap between wealthy and poor schools. We need to bring public education back to its original function as the great equalizer. When our population is educated, many of our systemic social issues will be addressed by an informed population.
America now has more wealth and income inequality than any other major developed country on earth, with the gap between the richest and poorest Americans wider than at any time since the Great Depression. Despite huge advancements in technology and productivity, millions of Americans are working longer hours for lower wages.
To fight income inequality we must do several things at once.
We must demand that the wealthy and large corporations pay their fair share in taxes.
We must increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15 an hour by 2020.
Public colleges and universities throughout America must be debt free and tuition free.
We must expand Social Security by lifting the cap on taxable income above $250,000.
Healthcare must be guaranteed as a right of citizenship by enacting a Medicare-for-All, single-payer healthcare system.
And we must break up huge financial institutions so that they are no longer too big to fail. One solution can be public banks, which help to ensure reinvestment into the state and local communities.
We must diligently protect our environment and aggressively fight climate change. We need to set and meet more ambitious, urgent targets including 100% renewable energy for California by 2035.
To assist during the disruption of established energy industries, we must provide career opportunities for displaced workers in emerging renewable technologies, making a shift to clean energy good for our economy.
It's long past time to enact a ban on the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking), which contributes to even more emissions from fossil fuels, while contaminating our water supply.
It's time to ban single-use plastics, and start by imposing taxes on them, redirecting funds to support initiatives in clean energy, healthy soil, compost, and eco-restoration projects.
To protect our environment and food supply, we must support farmers in building healthy soil so that we can sequester carbon on agricultural lands (regenerative agriculture), prevent erosion, clean up our water cycle, and grow more nutritious food.
We must also promote growing food in urban areas (including food deserts), to ensure green, open space for all families, with access to fresh fruits and vegetables. We recognize that our planet is habitat for millions of species, many of which are under threat, and that biodiversity must be part of the solution for any resilient ecosystem or community.
2018 Pacific Palisades Democratic Club (PPDC) Voting Rights Platform
The history of our republic is a never-ending march towards universal suffrage. As Democrats, PPDC firmly believes the struggle for “one person, one vote” never ends!
We fought a civil war to end slavery and enfranchise men of color. The women’s suffrage movement tirelessly fought for the Nineteenth Amendment. The civil rights movement fought to remove barriers to voting for minorities. In the 1960s, the Voting Rights Act secured important voting protections, and a series of Supreme Court cases confirmed the 14th Amendment’s Equal Protection extends to the right to vote and the right to have one’s vote counted equally to others. But the fight for voting rights and representation continues today.
All California voters are treated as second-class voters in presidential elections. The Electoral College system debases the votes of all Californians — a vote for president cast in Wyoming has 3.6 times the weight of a vote cast in California, and votes cast in all other forty-nine states are weighted more heavily than Californian votes. Because California isn’t a “swing state,” presidential candidates neither actively campaign here nor advocate policies that matter to Californians. The Electoral College system was designed to give Southern slave states power in deciding the presidency. It is embodied in the original Constitution and in the winner-take-all state laws used by the majority of states, and has remained largely unchanged since the early days for the republic.
PPDC actively supports efforts to end this discriminatory, antiquated vestige of slavery and bring “one-person, one-vote” to our presidential election process. These efforts include the National Popular Vote Compact, constitutional amendments to implement a national popular vote, and legal challenges to the Electoral College system on Equal Protection grounds. Many legal scholars believe the Electoral College is superseded by the Fourteenth Amendment’s Equal Protection clause. In Gray v. Sanders (1963), the Supreme Court found that county-unit systems at the state level, similar to the national Electoral College, were unconstitutional because they unfairly weighted votes. In Bush v. Gore (2000), The Supreme Court again agreed, saying, “When the state legislature vests the right to vote for President in its people, the right to vote as the legislature has prescribed is fundamental; and one source of its fundamental nature lies in the equal weight accorded to each vote and the equal dignity owed to each voter.”
PPDC calls on all candidates it endorses to restore full voting rights to our state by advocating for and procuring that the State of California challenge the Electoral College system in court.
Fair and free elections and an open government being necessary for a free society, PPDC will:
- Support the California Democratic 2018 Platform for Political Reform
- Block attempts to restrict access to the polls through voter ID laws, reduced voting hours, and reduced number of polling locations
- Support open and transparent voting and tabulation systems using paper ballots and locally developed systems that are not connected to the internet or otherwise susceptible to hacking and malware
- Reinstate the Voting Rights Act pre-clearance requirements that the Supreme Court ended with its Shelby County v. Holder decision, which is allowing jurisdictions with a history discrimination to impose new voting restrictions targeted at minorities and the poor
- End politically motivated gerrymandering, such as North Carolina’s severely gerrymandered state legislature districts, which were recently struck down in federal court
- Reinstate voting rights for felons who have paid their debt to society by completing their sentence
- Support the ability of local communities to choose alternative voting systems, such as ranked-choice voting and instant-runoff voting
- End the doctrine of corporate persons and the idea that money is speech by actively working to overturn the decision in Citizens United v. Federal Elections Commission — one person, one-vote, not one dollar, one vote;
- Demand accessibility and accountability from candidates and elected officials, including regular in-person reports and meetings with constituents and mandating all Democratic party candidates participate in major election debates organized by local or national media.
A Single-Payer, Improved Medicare-For-All Healthcare Program
"California Democrats believe healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. The California Democratic Party recognizes that the health and well-being of Californians cannot continue to be based on arbitrary private and public financial decisions, and therefore advocates legislation to create and implement a publicly funded, single-payer, privately delivered, fiscally tractable, affordable, comprehensive, secure, high-quality, efficient, and sustainable healthcare system for all Californians."
The above paragraph is copied directly from the California Democratic Platform, which the Pacific Palisades Democratic Club aligns with. Both the 2018 CDP Platform and PPDC endorse Senate Bill 562, The Healthy California Act.
S.B. 562 would implement a Single-Payer/Medicare for All healthcare system that would cover all California residents at a cost savings of $37 billion dollars a year to the state -- while providing ALL medically necessary care, including, at a minimum:
• Primary and preventive care
• Emergency care
• Mental health services
• Pre- and post-natal care
• Laboratory and diagnostic services
• Surgical and rehabilitative care
• Ambulance services
• Translation and interpretation services
• Transportation to and from the doctor or hospital
• Case management
• Adult day care
• In-home care
• Up to 100 days of skilled nursing
• Alcohol and drug rehab
• Blood products
• Chiropractic care
To read the Healthy CA Act (S.B. 562) Bill go to: https://www.healthycaliforniaact.org/legislation/
One of our own PaliDem board members was invited last year to join the Courage Campaign board, so we're in the loop than even more than before and eager to share when CC does cool things. Read on....
With Release Of 2018 Courage Score, Courage Campaign To Engage in Democratic Primaries For First Time In Effort To Hold CA State Legislators Accountable
Progressive Group To Take Accountability To Next Level For Members Failing To Represent Their Districts, Plans to Spend $100K in Democratic Primaries
The Highly-Anticipated Third Annual Report Card Names Asm. Daly, Asm. Frazier, Asm. Cooper, Asm. Baker, Asm. O’Donnell, Asm. Caballero, Asm. Grayson, Sen. Glazer and Sen. Nguyen To Hall of Shame
The California-based Courage Campaign, in partnership with the Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE) Action, released its third annual Courage Score, a progressive report card that grades California state legislators on how courageously they represented their constituents against the corporations that seek to exploit them. Legislators were evaluated on how they voted on critical statewide bills and the extent to which elected officials accurately reflected the values of their constituents. Those members who do not reflect those values are featured in the Courage Score “Hall of Shame,” whereas those who scored top marks are named as “Courage Score All-Stars.”
VIEW COURAGE SCORE HERE: http://www.CourageScore.org
Courage Campaign also announced that for the first time in the group’s history, they will begin to play in Democratic primaries using Courage Score as a marker to determine which members are representing their constituents and which ones are simply doing the bidding of corporate donors and their lobbyists. Courage Campaign has set aside $100,000 for this purpose.
The website allows Californians to see their state representatives’ “Courage Score” on a scale of 0-100, along with a corresponding letter grade. The Courage Score is a rating of each legislator’s willingness to stand up for their constituents against corporate benefactors and wealthy special interests that continue to dominate California politics.
For the third year in a row, Courage Campaign is the only progressive organization that has tracked and rated legislators across a broad range of issue areas: from criminal and racial justice, to consumer protection, immigration, economic justice, gun violence prevention, gender equality, health, housing, LGBTQ rights, workers’ rights, environmental justice, and environmental protection and more. The report card is endorsed by California Calls, Democracy For America, Communications Workers of America Local 9421 and District 9, University Professional and Technical Employees, National Union of Healthcare Workers, Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Dolores Huerta Foundation, DailyKos, California Immigrant Policy Center, and Presente.org, to name a few.
HALL OF SHAME: The report card features a “Hall of Shame” for members of the California Legislature who are most out of step with their constituents, and most closely aligned with the corporate and wealthy special interests that exploit Californians. They received a “D” or “F” grade and represent a district where constituents clearly support progressive solutions to challenges that face California.
The 2018 Hall of Shame includes
Senator Steve Glazer (D-7)
Senator Janet Nguyen (R-34)
Assemblymember Catherine Baker (R-16)
Assemblymember Jim Cooper (D-9)
Assemblymember Anna Caballero (D-30)
Assemblymember Timothy Grayson (D-14)
Assemblymember Patrick O’Donnell (D-70)
Assemblymember Tom Daly (D-69)
Assemblymember Jim Frazier (D-11)
COURAGE SCORE ALL-STARS: Members of the CA Legislature who scored an A+ during the 2017 legislative sessions include
Senator Holly Mitchell (D-30)
Senator Nancy Skinner (D-9)
Assemblymember Tony Thurmond (D-15)
Assemblymember Mark Stone (D-29)
Assemblymember Monique Limon (D-37)
Assemblymember Ash Kalra (D-27)
Assemblymember Laura Friedman (D-43)
Assemblymember David Chiu (D-17)
Assemblymember Shirley Weber (D-79)
A full list of the bills used to calculate the 2018 Courage Score can be found here: https://www.couragescore.org/bills.