The Democratic Party is, of course, primarily organized to win elections. But winning elections isn't directly a goal - it's a means to an end, to change policy.
To that end, the DPO has released its list of legislative priorities -- those policy changes it formally wants to see at the state and national level.
What do you think of these priorities? On target or off-target? Is there a priority that you think is missing? And what do think of the likelihood of these policy priorities passing? Discuss.
- Amend the U.S. Constitution to state that corporations are not people and money is not speech.
- Establish a wall of separation between the commercial banks (which accept deposits) and investment banks (which issue securities), by reinstating provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act so that depositors’ FDIC-insured money cannot be used for risky gambling on Wall Street and so that commercial banks revert to their traditional role.
- Prevent the privatization of Social Security and Medicare, and support continued full funding through payroll taxes to preserve retirement security for American workers. Prohibit employers from avoiding pension responsibilities and collective bargaining contracts through bankruptcy. Use pension funds only to fund pension liabilities.
- Create a state-run Bank of Oregon similar to the North Dakota model but tailored to the unique needs of our state.
- Immediately pass the fully inclusive Employment Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA) and repeal the federal Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA). Reinstate status and benefits for service members previously discharged under Don’t Ask Don’t Tell (DADT).
- Dedicate unanticipated revenues, such as Kicker funds, to a Rainy Day Fund until it reaches at least 20% of the previous General Fund budget.
- Declare that health care is a fundamental human right as provided in the US and Oregon Constitutions and adopt a comprehensive single payer health care system that provides all Oregonians with basic health care that include medical, dental, vision, mental health care, addiction treatment and preventative care by licensed providers.
- Provide sufficient and stable long-term funding (as a minimum the Quality Education Model) and equity for all Oregon public education to ensure high quality; a K-12 school year of at least 175 full instructional days; appropriate class sizes; and the restoration of vital programs in public education.
- Allow the legislature to raise revenue and adjust the tax system by a simple majority vote.
- Preserve, strengthen, and enhance the income-generating ability of a sustainable public United States Postal Service as the effective public communication system, especially the six day delivery, efficient distribution hubs, and reasonably distributed rural post offices; and repeal of the law requiring pre-payment of 75 years of future postal retiree benefits.
- Provide every Oregon student beyond core subjects a full range of sufficient services, such as early childhood education, counseling, critical thinking, citizenship, the arts, foreign language, physical education, vocational and career education, health education, and library services.
- Ensure full marriage equality for same-sex Oregon couples and effect full legal recognition for same-sex unions of other jurisdictions including the repeal of Oregon Constitution Article 15, Section 5a (Ballot Measure 36 of 2004) that bans marriage equality for same-sex couples.