The FRAMEWORK OF DEMOCRACY secures the principles embedded in our Declaration of Independence (“…life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness), taking into account our evolving society. This is done by way of foundational norms such as: rule of law; freedom of the press, protection of journalistic integrity and fact-checking measures across all forms of media; secure, transparent and verifiable elections; social, economic and environmental justice and equality; separation of church and state; fair access to health, safety and upward mobility for all persons in the US; support for all public infrastructure that provides service for every resident (Social Security, Veterans benefits, healthcare, public schools, transportation and roads), with fair and voted-upon regulation, and rejecting privatization of these essential services; support of our military personnel, veterans, and all bipartisan federal agency workers (Agriculture, Education, Justice, State departments, etc) — encoding this framework into legislation and state and federal constitutions where appropriate, by our duly elected representatives or by petitioned initiatives voted upon by The People.
Racism is historically systemic, pervasive and damaging to society. Racism thwarts equity in all aspects of our culture, from social and criminal justice, to issues concerning our legal system, environment, healthcare, education, immigration, voting rights, employment, financial services, housing, home ownership and self-determination. Therefore, authentic racism awareness is a mindset, from which we will address every issue.
• We support confronting racism through pressure on lawmakers, protest, face-to-face dialogue, bias and anti-racism training, open listening and deep self-reflection of white privilege and historical power.
• We support the enactment of comprehensive reform to immigration law, providing a clear pathway to citizenship that will include the full protection under U.S. immigration and labor law against exploitation, family separation at any time during the process, and the rejection of discrimination. Immigrants in the U.S. contribute to a strong economy. We support the preservation of DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals), TPS (Temporary Protected Status), and DED (Deferred Enforced Departure) for individuals brought into the U.S. as children and those entering under asylum. Individuals seeking asylum should be given due process and should be treated with dignity and respect.
• We support a secure, verifiable, publicly-financed election system with strong safeguards that guarantee every citizen’s right to vote without adverse influences from money, gerrymandering, voter suppression, purging, election fraud, or foreign entities.
CORPORATIONS AS PERSONS
• We support robust legislative action to remedy the damaging influence of Citizens United v FEC (2010) upon our elections and upon financial transparency in campaigns. Corporations are not persons, so therefore not afforded the rights (in this case, free speech) of persons.
• We support the protection of our planet and call for national leadership and action in concert with other nations in shifting from a fossil fuel economy to a renewable fuels economy as soon as possible, creating investment in sustainable jobs for a sustainable planet. We support climate crisis actions based upon scientific research that warns us that there is no more time to waste.
WARS OF CHOICE
• We support a strong State Department which is empowered to allow the US to interact with other nations through diplomacy, with military action as a last resort. We support Congressional action under the War Powers Resolution of 1973 to avoid wars of choice and endless wars while supporting a strong US military which may act quickly when needed, especially in instances of genocide. We support the monitoring and regulation of nuclear materials throughout the world.
• We support a socially just and economically sustainable health care financing system at the national and/or state level, single payer universal health care. Treatment for mental health and substance use disorder must be included on par with other medical care.
• We support fully funding high quality public education, including PreK-12, adult, and Career and Technical Education (CTE), so that equal access is a reality across all socioeconomic, cultural, and immigrant groups in all neighborhoods and regions of Colorado. We support funding to make higher education affordable as well as accessible for all. Colorado needs to fix the way schools are funded in our state. Legislation should prioritize and reflect the value of a well educated electorate.
• We support the development of governmental policies that ensure sustainable wage jobs and protect all workers from wage theft, thus benefiting the economy and increasing the standard of living for all.
• We support legislation and initiatives that protect and restore our civil liberties, reproductive rights, personal dignity, and respect for all human beings. Every person must be treated equally under the laws of our land.
CRIMINAL JUSTICE REFORM
• We support reforms within our criminal justice system with a humane approach to incarceration, juvenile justice, rehabilitation, restorative justice, re-entry and parole programs, de-escalation measures, in turn reducing recidivism, as opposed to law enforcement brutality, use of dangerous force, racial profiling before during and after the alleged offense has occurred and draconian punishment. We oppose the use of mandatory minimum sentences and advocate for abolishing the death penalty. We must address the racially discriminatory root of mass incarceration, revisit overly long or harsh sentencing for non-serious offenses, or for laws that have changed since the offense occurred (the legalization of marijuana in some states, as one example). Drug use should be framed as an addiction and health issue, not a criminal one. We reject “prisons for profit” and the privatization of correctional facility infrastructure.
• We support responsible gun ownership and gun safety programs, and are determined to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, children, and people in crisis. We strongly urge universal background checks, closing gun show loopholes, banning semi-automatic assault weapons, and limiting high capacity magazines.
(These revised LAD Support Statements were presented at the LAD Holiday Potluck / Business Meeting, December 7, 2019.)