2021 Democratic Party of Oregon Platform
The Democratic Party of Oregon commits itself to the principles and positions contained in this platform in order to secure a more just and prosperous future for all Oregonians across our 36 counties. We recognize and embrace our shared rights and responsibilities. We affirm that every person is guaranteed rights to life, liberty, equity, and the pursuit of happiness. In exercising these rights for ourselves, we respect the interdependent web of life on this planet.
We promise to work to uphold the protections granted to us by our state and national constitutions and to act on our responsibilities to ensure that “We the People” govern this nation. We steadfastly oppose any attempt to dilute those rights and liberties in the name of political convenience or security. We affirm that the greatness of our nation is in its diversity and its ability to move forward with full understanding of our historical strengths and weaknesses.We invite all Oregonians, wherever they may be, to join us in affirming our determination to make and keep Oregon a beacon of opportunity, tolerance, and freedom.
Article 1: Economy & Labor
Oregon Democrats believe workers are the foundation of our economy, and all workers and their families deserve a fair share. The labor of workers, entrepreneurial spirit of small business that provides significant local job growth, and stability provided by larger scale community investment are key to a thriving economy. We value the role of labor unions in strengthening and protecting the workforce and creating conditions necessary for innovation, equity, and social mobility.
Oregon Democrats support laws and policies that provide equitable redress for the wealth gap. Such redress must employ a holistic approach, comprehensively addressing the harms of past policies, so all Oregonians can fully participate in the economy. This includes addressing our state’s housing shortages, food insecurity, poverty, unequal access to legal aid services, and inadequate public works. These injustices have continued through inattention and because of policies that benefit the wealthiest while disproportionately harming the poorest and most vulnerable Oregonians.
- We believe that we must act urgently to address the growing wealth inequality crisis in America. We support a minimum wage tied to the cost of living in our communities, and we call on employers to pay their workers a living wage.
- We affirm the right to organize for collective bargaining free of intimidation or coercion, and oppose any legislation that would restrict these rights. Workers must always have a seat at the table.
- We support expanding workplace rights and protections for all workers, including independent contractors and gig workers, in all employment contracts, including flextime, hazard pay, compensatory time, fair scheduling, worker classification, and paid parental and family leave. We support the elimination of at-will employment.
- We support equal pay for equal work.
- We believe the government plays key roles in creating and supporting a vibrant economy through investments in infrastructure and social services. We believe that all businesses and individuals must pay their fair share in taxes to support these systems that benefit us all.
- We believe all workers have the right to retire with security and dignity. We fully support protections for our public retirement systems, and all retirement accounts should be fully protected. We support a secure Social Security System with accurate cost-of-living adjustments; we oppose changes that reduce the standard of living.
- We support diverse educational pathways to living wages for all Oregonians. We support the creation and maintenance of apprenticeship programs for a wide range of occupations, incorporating collaboration among schools, community colleges, unions, and businesses. We oppose public funding of business-controlled apprenticeships and training programs.
- We oppose monopolies and believe that no company is “too-big-to-fail.” Both represent unacceptable economic risks. Strong governmental regulation is required to correct and prevent them.
- We support efforts that will expand economic opportunities to all corners of Oregon with a focus on creating sustainable clean energy jobs that provide growth opportunities for employers and employees alike. We support incentives for businesses to transition to clean energy and climate protective operations.
- We affirm small businesses are critical to the success of our economy and believe in supporting them by improving access to resources that help them thrive. We support programs that facilitate ownership and operating loans, including but not limited to local farmers, ranchers, foresters and fishers.
- We recognize that poverty poses a direct threat to the exercise of freedom and dignity in a democratic society. A strong, accessible safety net is crucial for the well-being and economic security of all. Social programs must never be privatized, and unnecessary burdens, including means testing, must be eliminated.
- We believe that locally based realistic cost of living data must be used to determine income limits for government welfare programs.
- We oppose all attempts by businesses to circumvent labor and benefits law and pass tax burdens on to their workers.
- We support strong labor laws that protect workers, especially for agricultural, natural resource, seasonal and migrant workers who are increasingly suffering economic disruption due to climate change.
- We support prioritizing grants and support for small businesses, especially those owned and operated by Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, who have historically had less access to capital.
Article 2: Education
Oregon Democrats believe free, quality public education is the foundation of democracy and essential to an informed citizenry. We support accessible, high-quality public education from preschool through post-high school, including college and trade programs. Public education provides the basis for a well-functioning economy and democracy. School cultures must highlight dynamic learning environments of engaged learners and teachers, applying critical and creative thinking that connects the classroom, the school, the home, and the community. We believe full funding for our schools, in accordance with the Quality Education Model, is a top priority. We support broad educational curricula including music and the arts, civics, science, technology and engineering, math, history, economics, languages, literacy in media and climate, as well as other disciplines that develop well-rounded members of society. We believe schools must provide a safe environment physically, emotionally and intellectually, and that all students and staff should feel safe, secure, and supported.
- We believe in free public education from preschool through undergraduate university courses, as well as vocational training programs.
- We believe public education should use consistent and transparent educational standards and financial reporting.
- We believe existing student loan debt should be eliminated and predatory student loan practices must end.
- We oppose efforts to weaken public education. We oppose public funding for parochial, non-profit, and for-profit schools, including non-accredited online, charter, and voucher programs.
- We believe all public school teachers, counselors, social workers, nurses, mental health providers, school psychologists, speech pathologists, physical therapy specialists, and occupational therapy specialists, should be professionally licensed.
- We believe educational standards at all levels should be evidence-based.
- We support multiple diverse assessment strategies, including observations by teachers, to assess student proficiency.
- We support diverse educational environments, including teachers and staff who look like their students and communities. This increases safety and minimizes educational disruption, abuse, and over-discipline for Black, Indigenous and students of color.
- We believe educational programs must include accommodations for students for whom English is not their first language, including dual language immersion models.
- We support publicly-funded full-day, full-year, universal public preschool options. Preschool experiences should be play-based and culturally appropriate.
- We support full protection of students' privacy, human rights, and civil liberties. This includes preserving confidentiality of student health records.
- We believe Oregon school systems across all 36 counties should have free, comprehensive, year-round nutrition programs available to all students, including breakfast and lunch, regardless of family income.
- We support comprehensive, science-based and age-appropriate sex education.
- We support educational partnerships with business, industry, unions and community service groups to broaden student awareness of community relationships and career options.
- We support the rights of educational professionals to freely and collectively negotiate instructional and educational issues that enhance opportunities for student learning as well as working conditions, wages, benefits, and employment stability.
- We support comprehensive, science-based climate literacy education in Oregon schools in order to enable students to understand the evolving climate crisis and to enable them to work towards solutions in their future.
- We believe students must be provided equity in transportation, technology, internet access, and any other resource that supports their learning without regard to economic status or home location.
- We believe Oregon must protect its public school faculty and staff from capricious, politically-motivated dismissals. We oppose "no cause" dismissals, which not only disrupt education but have the potential to cause significant financial harm to public schools.
- We support policies that affirm the identities of transgender students and encourage their acceptance by all. We believe that students learn best when they are safe to be their whole selves. Research shows that acceptance and affirmation reduces the likelihood of premature death by suicide.
- We support smaller class sizes that have been demonstrated to support the optimal learning situation to better meet student needs.
- We support policies that eliminate the socio-economic barriers and stigmas that impair students’ quality education.
- We oppose the school-to-prison pipeline, because research shows that students who experience suspension and arrest during their educational careers are disproportionately Black, Indigenous and people of color, and the courses of their education are irreparably harmed by separation from the classroom and school.
- We oppose any consistent presence of police and school resource officers in schools. Research shows that their presence has led to weaponization of police and intimidation of students through increased arrests in the classroom for students beginning at age 5 and compounding through each subsequent school year.
- We support policies that affirm the value of students who are Black, Indigenous, and people of color, their identities, histories, and experiences.
- We believe students with disabilities have a right to the same opportunities, access, and resources that are available to able-bodied students, in accordance with the Individuals with Disabilities in Education Act and the Americans with Disabilities Act
Article 3: Environment
Oregon Democrats understand that a healthy, sustainable, and beautiful Oregon environment is a key component of our high quality of life and supports the resource-based components of our economy. In that context, the world’s climate crisis poses an existential threat to the environmental systems we depend on. Therefore we support an aggressive and robust timeline for implementing controls on greenhouse gas emissions in all sectors of the economy, in addition to other environmental priorities. We support a just transition to a sustainable economy and broad efforts, particularly in housing, agriculture, forestry, industry, and transportation, to reduce emissions of greenhouse components and improve Oregon’s adaptability to threats from excessive heat, fires, flooding, disruption of food production, and the potential for catastrophic earthquake and tsunami events. The current climate emergency requires drastic, immediate action to avoid catastrophic warming, crossing tipping points, and triggering irreversible impacts that threaten to make our planet uninhabitable.
- We believe that all people have the right to a healthy environment: clean air and water, well-managed sewage treatment, recycling, and solid waste disposal, accessible open and recreational space, functional habitats and ecosystem relationships, and sustainable watersheds.
- We are committed to dismantling the systemic social and environmental injustices that have harmed Oregons’ Black, Indigenous, people of color, and other marginalized communities. We support active efforts to end environmental racism, invest in frontline communities, redress past wrongs and prevent future injustice.
- We believe that environmental justice requires correcting historical harms by centering the people most affected by environmental disruption and pollution, especially in developing new and expanding current waste disposal sites. In all situations, risks to human health must be mitigated.
- We believe in a near-future society based only on maximally efficient use of renewable energy in all sectors (building, transportation, electricity, etc) defined by life cycle greenhouse gas emissions analysis and potential damage to the environment. All policies and budgets need evaluations that include the social cost of carbon.
- We believe that comprehensive environmental monitoring and enforcement by state and federal agencies is a key element in protecting public health and maintaining a healthy environment free from the negative impacts of hazardous chemicals, radiation, genetic modification, viruses and other pathogens.
- We believe fresh and marine water resources, including surface and groundwater, and coastal wetlands must be protected from private control and pollution.
- We support policies that maintain intact forest ecosystems and increase their capacity for capturing carbon. Our western forests are one of the best global resources for natural carbon drawdown and 75% of all drinking water comes from forested watersheds.
- We believe the natural carbon capture by Oregon forests should never be invoked as justification for allowing carbon emissions, such as by issuing carbon offsets certificates from state agencies, because we need to maximize carbon reduction now to reduce the environmental instability already occurring.
- We believe in the “polluter pays” principle, and that pollution management costs are a legitimate part of business; we embrace the concept of life-cycle management for all human products and wastes and support education to increase awareness of life-cycle processes.
- We support more stringent penalties for major polluters, with the aim of making pollution unacceptably expensive for industries, and not just a cost of doing business.
- We believe it is important to protect native, keystone, endangered, and threatened species; we support science-based efforts to protect biodiversity and actions to stop the extinction crisis.
- We oppose converting public lands to private ownership and support protecting and expanding federal, state, and local parks, wilderness areas, recreation areas, beaches, and other public resource lands, specifically including sites of cultural and historical importance, with first rights given to tribal nations whose treaties have been neglected or ignored.
- We support community-based land use and transportation planning within a framework of statewide environmental and beneficial use protection standards that prioritizes climate and equity goals and addresses current and historic discrimination. Public and alternative transportation must be prioritized to meet these criteria..
- We must comply with all treaties made with Indigenous tribal nations and the principles of Free, Prior and Informed Consent (FPIC). We believe that tribal authorities must be consulted especially as related to the protection of and access to natural resources.
- We believe that the health of salmon and other migrating fish must be considered in all decisions impacting waterways, including roads, bridges, channelization, power generation, irrigation withdrawal, and other infrastructure development, especially that which relates to tribal rights and water quality.
- We support Indigenous traditions to manage the landscape, such as prescribed burning, that are shown to build ecosystem health, mitigate climate change, and build the connection of humans and the land. We oppose efforts to separate humans from our integral connection to the land and nature.
- We believe that soil is the foundation of our land, food, water and carbon cycle, and that protecting soil health and keeping it in place is vital to the health of people and the planet.
- We support the expansion of access to agricultural operations, scale, and vision to include immigrants and other historically-marginalized people, and we support right-to-farm laws that do not harm rural people, roadway safety, or air and water.
- We support statewide waste reduction and the expansion of recycling and reuse programs, including for food wastes, with strict regulation of non-recyclable materials, particularly including plastics.
- We believe in the sustainable management of Oregon’s renewable agricultural, water, forest, wildlife, and fishing resources.
Article 4: Foreign Policy and National Security
Oregon Democrats recognize our responsibilities extend beyond state and national boundaries and that our security and welfare require global cooperation. We believe in strong military and cyber security defenses, while being supportive and observant of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, the Geneva Conventions, and other legitimate international treaties. We support the primacy of diplomacy and technological and humanitarian assistance to combat global crises, with the use of military power as a last resort. Our military should be strong enough to protect us from foreign state and non-state threats. Our ultimate foreign policy goal is a world free from war and oppression.
- We pledge and affirm our commitments to honor international treaty obligations particularly including the nine core international human rights instruments as published by the United Nations Office of the High Commissioner.
- We pledge and affirm our support for the Geneva and Hague Conventions, the Rome Statute, the Nuremberg Principles, the Uniform Code of Military Justice, the 1997 Mine Ban and other conventions whose aim is to reduce the impacts of war and conflict on civilian populations.
- We pledge our strong support for upholding and strengthening actions regarding the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and all subsequent agreements entered into by the Contracting Parties, including the Paris Climate accords and its successors. We believe climate change is a global emergency with national security implications.
- We pledge to support and honor our commitments to international treaties for self-defense and cooperation, including our support for the United Nations and NATO; we particularly support our cooperation and alliance in all spheres with Canada and Mexico.
- We believe American interests are best served when our military and foreign-service agencies are fully representative of American diversity regarding race, religion, age, socio-economic status, sexual/gender identification and other protected classes.
- We believe the US must work globally to stop nuclear proliferation and eliminate nuclear weapon stockpiles as well as the stockpiles of weapons of mass destruction and chemical and biological weapons.
- We support global trade that does not come at the expense of national sovereignty, consumer, labor or environmental protections, and that does not degrade the health and well-being of Americans or trade partner citizens.
- All federal service personnel, including National Guard, Peace Corps, Foreign Service, etc. should be awarded their earned benefits. Service veterans who have served in active combat regions should be provided with added assistance in housing, health care, job training, education, and reintegration into civilian life.
- We oppose and condemn terrorism, genocide, torture, human trafficking, sexual exploitation, and religious and political persecution at home and abroad.
- We support universal human rights, liberal, secular democracy, and the model of free, fair, democratic elections worldwide, free from corruption, violence, censorship, intimidation, misinformation, and foreign interference.
- We support treaties maintaining the moon and solar system as universal commons, including the 1967 Outer Space Treaty governing peaceful exploration and use of space, opposing weaponization of space, including near-earth orbits, banning stationing of weapons of mass destruction in outer space and prohibiting military activities on celestial bodies.
- We support the use of foreign aid to address international health issues, to aid societies in education and cultural expression, to share technological innovation, to combat international crime and terrorism, and to improve livelihoods. Such aid should avoid dependency and rather, be a sustainable means of localized and resilient development.
- We believe that state actors who command and use armed forces must be held accountable to international humanitarian laws and the accepted laws of war. We support active US participation in the International Court of Justice.
- We oppose the use of preprogrammed autonomous drone weapons in warfare or other conflict situations.
- We support humane immigration policies that provide direct pathways to legal residency and citizenship for those who seek it. We oppose the separation of children from parents and other relatives during immigration processes.
- We support asylum for those fleeing climate change, oppression and violence.
- We recognize the vital leadership role the US plays in our membership in international organizations, e.g. the United Nations and the World Health Organization. We value the diplomatic importance of these organizations and desire meaningful continued participation in such organizations to address the world’s most pressing issues.
Article 5: Healthcare and Public Health
Oregon Democrats affirm the equality of every individual and the rights of all to be treated with dignity and respect. We believe a strong social safety net must provide the basic necessities of life, including healthcare as a human right. The absence of a comprehensive mental and behavioral healthcare system is destroying lives and undermining the economy. We support all evidence-based measures that counter serious threats to public safety and public health, such as gun violence including gun suicide, domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, substance use disorder, behavioral addiction, epidemics, pandemics and endemics, and disparities due to race, gender, and sexual identity. Society thrives when everyone has access to a comprehensive universal public health services infrastructure.
- We believe healthcare is a human right and therefore support the adoption of an equitable, high-quality, comprehensive single-payer healthcare system that includes general, preventative, and emergency care, medication, plus vision, dental, hearing, and mental health services at the state and federal levels.
- We strongly support the right to reproductive freedom, including unrestricted access to full reproductive healthcare, which includes affordable, high-quality, culturally sensitive care, the full range of reproductive services, including pre- and post-natal care, contraception, gender-affirming care, fertility care, and abortion, without requiring guardian, judicial, parental, or spousal consent or notification.
- We believe that adequate and safe food and nutrition through local, state, and national level programs are key elements of public health.
- We support funding and using existing scientific research into gun violence, including research that addresses gun violence as an issue which includes public health, society and law. We believe in using these results to formulate measures to address root causes to reduce firearm-related violence, injury, death, and promote gun safety.
- We support regulation and licensing of alternative healing practices and medicines, including acupuncture, medical cannabis, and psilocybin, particularly as they are used to relieve intractable pain and trauma.
- We believe all healthcare providers must provide language accessible and culturally sensitive services to their patients and, and their patients’ families and caretakers.
- We believe affordable access to needed prescription medication should be a right for all Oregonians and support authorizing state and federal governments to negotiate prices with transparency.
- We strongly promote the expansion of comprehensive, stable and easily accessible mental health services including inpatient, outpatient, telemedicine and residential care when needed, regardless of patient circumstances.
- We believe approved and licensed vaccines are a critical component necessary to protect public health, as well as public education regarding the efficacy and safety of vaccination programs.
- We support broad and transparent collaboration between countries on research efforts and treatment methods for communicable diseases, and we demand effective coordination between national health services to control the spread of pandemic infections.
- We support having plentiful community health centers that are fully-funded to provide affordable, high-quality care across the state, especially in areas with more vulnerable populations.
- We believe that racism is a public health crisis.
- We believe in prioritizing the prevention of childhood traumas such as neglect, mental, physical and sexual abuse and family violence.
- We support all necessary measures to counter serious threats to public safety and public health, such as gun violence including gun suicide, domestic violence, homelessness, poverty, substance use disorder, behavioral addiction, epidemics and pandemics, and disparities due to race, gender, and sexual identity.
- We believe that private insurance companies should not be profiting from Medicare.
- We believe that any increase in Medicare premiums should be fully offset by Social Security benefit increases. Increased premiums put burdens on all vulnerable populations, including low income seniors.
- We recognize that gun violence is a public health issue and therefore support evidence-based gun safety reforms that do not unduly inhibit the right to self-defense and legal carry of firearms.
- We recognize that health misinformation is a serious threat to public health and limiting the spread of misinformation and disinformation is a moral and civic imperative.
- We believe that the right to informed consent and bodily autonomy, including for end-of-life and palliative care, is absolute and must not be broken, infringed or dishonored.
- We support legislation that forbids Medicare from making changes to, privatizing, or switching enrollees' plans without notice and consent. And, any unnoticed and not consented to changes done to enrollees' plans started by the previous administration and ongoing before this legislation is passed shall be revoked.
- We support legislation that mandates any increases of Medicare premiums be accompanied by a matching increase in Social Security benefits over and above the yearly cost of living increase.
- We support a voluntary national electronic health record with personal privacy securely protected and real time access for all providers caring for a patient.
Article 6: Human Rights
Oregon Democrats believe in Constitutional rights, the Bill of Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and equitable treatment. To that end, we believe in and support the following:
- We believe Black Lives Matter.
- We believe in the right of all people to live dignified lives, free from abuse, neglect, poverty, violence, oppression, coercion, police harassment, and state-sanctioned killing.
- We believe that all people have a basic right to the necessities of life including a liveable planet, clean air and water, adequate and safe food, housing, health care, open spaces, safe environments, and rest.
- We believe that everyone has the right to be governed free from the direct influence of the religious or spiritual beliefs of elected and public officials. The separation of church and state must be absolute.
- We believe the US government in all states must honor tribal sovereignty and jurisdiction as specified in both ratified and agreed upon treaties. We believe in honoring their relationship to the land and environment and respecting tribal customs, including through collaborative measures to protect and restore native fish habitat.
- We believe that historically-oppressed groups such as Black, Indigenous, and other people of color, children, elderly, the medically fragile, LGBTQ+ people, and people with disabilities deserve full protections under the law, irrespective of legal or immigration status.
- We believe slavery is reprehensible in all forms, including in the carceral system. Further, prisons and detention centers should never be profit-based or privatized and that the use of involuntary, unpaid and sub-minimum wage prison labor must be prohibited. We support reparations for formerly enslaved African people and their descendants.
- We believe that everyone is presumed innocent until proven guilty and that law enforcement professionals should afford due process in all situations and should be held accountable to public ethical standards if these rights are violated. We expect transparency in operation and reporting from criminal justice and carceral agencies.
- We reject and condemn all ideologies that perpetuate discrimination, inequality and hate. We ardently oppose racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, xenophobia, antisemitism, white supremacy, fascism, and other ideologies that marginalize people based on identity.
- We acknowledge that all incarcerated people retain their human dignity and rights and demand a shift to restorative justice.
- We acknowledge that urban Oregonians depend on rural water and other resources for sustenance, and demand that those rural communities be supported and protected by the people benefitting from those resources.
- We believe that people with disabilities must have access to the full spectrum of access and care they require, including medical support services, home care services, employment advocacy, and the enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
- We support a foster care system that focuses on the best interest of each child, keeps Oregon children close to their community, and with the support of the state, meets their educational, emotional and health needs. We must also support and protect the provisions of the Indian Child Welfare Act.
- We believe effective legal representation for those accused of crimes is an integral part of the American criminal justice system, which is based on the presumption of innocence, regardless of ability to pay. Public defenders must have manageable caseloads, access to resources, and receive the same pay as prosecutors.
- We believe the 4th and 14th amendments to the US Constitution protect both procedural and substantive due process rights, including rights of privacy, rights to contraception, rights to abortion, rights to marry, and rights to consensual sexual relations.
Article 7: Infrastructure
Oregon Democrats support maintaining and updating our infrastructure, including transportation, the legal structure, energy, communication, education, voting, housing, food supply, health care, the social support network, scientific research, parks and open space, environmental monitoring, water, and wastewater systems. We demand new infrastructure projects prepare for a future that includes the realities of climate change, rapid technological change, and increased worldwide interdependency. We support state, national, and international pollution reduction programs aimed at accelerating the transition to clean-energy infrastructure. We believe in using the best peer-reviewed science and technology to develop and maintain essential infrastructure and to prevent and prepare to combat natural, technological, public health, terrorist, or other infrastructure disruptions. We believe that critical elements of infrastructure, particularly relating to water supply, transportation access, the internet, and hazard response must remain in public ownership.
- We support caregivers as essential to our nation’s infrastructure and honor their labor as crucial to the resilience and functioning of society. We believe all caregivers should earn a living wage.
- We believe in free, universally available, and secure high-speed broadband internet under public control in all of Oregon's 36 counties. This is essential to our society and it allows rural businesses to compete equitably with other parts of the state and nation.
- We support a rapid transition to clean, renewable energy infrastructure and oppose any continued expansion of fossil-fuel-based infrastructure. We oppose new pipelines that cross private and tribal land without consent. Existing fossil-fuel pipelines should be closely-monitored and have a plan for closure and removal.
- We support modern, safe, disaster-resilient, and public water and wastewater infrastructure, with particular attention to rural communities and those with aging or outdated infrastructure, and consistent funding to cover those costs.
- We support expanding safe, accessible, affordable, efficient, and renewable energy-fueled public transit systems. We support the adoption of fareless public transportation where practical. We support the Oregon state bike plan, so that everyone can access safe active transportation routes.
- We support a housing infrastructure that provides shelter for everyone, built using sustainable technology, materials, and fire-hardening plans.
- We support strong energy efficiency and solar access standards in residential, commercial, and industrial buildings; we support incentives to reduce energy usage in existing structures.
- We support creating resilient infrastructure that can withstand disasters, equipment failures, hacking, public health crises, non-state interference, and other disruptions.
- We believe all capital infrastructure projects must be undertaken with full attention to economic impact, social and worker equity, cost-benefit, and environmental impact and justice, with special care taken to historical injustices toward Black, Indigenous, and other people of color communities.
- We oppose the privatization of infrastructure, and demand the transparent allocation of public funds to pay for its development, maintenance, and upgrades.
- We fully support the United States Postal Service and believe that it should be fully funded. It is a necessary service to the American public and must provide efficient, reliable, affordable, and universal postal service.
- We believe that withstanding and recovering from disasters should be supported by federal, state, and local agencies. We believe the government should support community-focused recovery efforts, encourage individual preparedness, and facilitate a robust, collective response to large-scale disasters.
Article 8: Protecting Democracy
Oregon Democrats believe that our government derives its authority and power from the people it governs as outlined in the United States Constitution. We hold that all voting-age citizens must have the right and responsibility to vote without encumbrance in local and national elections. We believe that neither socioeconomic status nor demographics should be allowed to limit participation in and influence on the political process. We are committed to open, responsive, transparent and honest government. We believe that corporations are not people and money is not speech; corporations and other non-human legal entities have rights that are defined and limited, in law, by the people. We believe the government has a primary responsibility to foster an economy and society that allows all people to thrive. We recognize that sustaining our democracy in the face of foreign and domestic challenges will always require common effort, compromise, and diligence.
- We believe fair access to voting, especially in underserved, marginalized, and rural communities and communities of color, is essential to democracy. Consequently, we believe incarcerated citizens should maintain their right to vote both during and after their sentences.
- We support the enactment of voting improvements that eliminate vote splitting and more accurately reflect the preferences and will of the voters. Therefore, we support political parties and jurisdictions nominating candidates and electing officials by means of instant-runoff voting, in order to ensure that victors are supported by a majority of electors.
- We support adopting a national vote by mail and dropbox standard which has been proven to increase voter turnout, reduce voter suppression, and provide secure paper trails for vote verification. This affirms our commitment to accuracy in all elections and our commitment to increase voter participation, as both are essential to democracy.
- We believe money is not speech and government at all levels must require disclosures and regulate, limit, or prohibit campaign contributions and expenditures. This restricts the influence of private or corporate wealth in the election of candidates or the passage of ballot measures. We support small donor public financing.
- We commit to protecting constitutional rights, including the right to assemble peaceably. We recognize the necessity of a free press for the health of democracy and affirm the critical value of religious freedom and the separation of church and state.
- We assert that no one should be subjected to interference with their privacy, family, home, or correspondence, unless authorized by specific “probable cause” warrants, and we oppose the violations of these principles by any corporate or government agency. We defend every individual’s right to freedom from surveillance, search, or seizure.
- We believe some services are essential and must be offered, managed, and regulated by the public for the general good, including the internet, libraries, water supply, public utilities, housing authorities and agencies, transportation, education, incarceration, postal services, fire protection, police, environmental protection, social security, health care, and other social insurances.
- We strenuously condemn the bullying of elected and appointed public officials. Escalating organized harassment, threats and violence against officials, for example targeting school board members and elections officials, undermines and destabilizes the democratic process and is purposely designed to intimidate officials and silence those who support them.
- We condemn elected officials who encourage voter nullification, suppression, and terroristic threats to our democracy.
- We believe democracy comes with responsibilities and all political parties, including the Democratic Party, must meet the same ethical standards we require of government.
Article 9: Science and Technology
Oregon Democrats believe evidence-based science should form the basis for many of the decisions the government makes, particularly regarding health and the environment. Basic research in science and technology are cornerstones for the future. We welcome innovation in all scientific arenas, moderated by the Precautionary Principle, which mandates that the scientific community responsibly takes steps to protect the public from harm caused by incomplete understanding or misapplication of new technologies. We embrace the new frontiers of discovery and development in medicine, information, artificial intelligence, robotics, energy, and space sciences, and recognize that our global integration requires attention to the broad societal impacts of these developments.
- We believe an open and democratic internet is critical to technological progress. We support net neutrality and strong privacy protections, particularly for medical and financial information, for all data sharing applications. We support robust data encryption protection.
- We support biomedical research to help eradicate diseases, prevent pandemics, develop and improve recuperative therapies, and cure intractable conditions.
- We believe all publicly funded research, including research from government institutions, should be adequately funded and openly shared. We support robust state and federal funding of both basic and applied research at accredited colleges and universities.
- We support public-private partnerships with robust provisions for transparency (in research not directly tied to national security), accountability, and protection of the public interest.
- We believe the United States should be actively involved in space and solar system exploration and NASA should be adequately funded for this purpose. We oppose the unregulated privatization and outsourcing of space exploration and believe that the final frontier belongs to humanity, and not corporations.
- We oppose whole human cloning until ethical and legal questions are resolved. We support curing diseases via in vivo genetic editing and the cloning of individual organs.
- We believe in advancing transportation and energy technologies that do not rely on fossil fuels.
- We support broad efforts to reduce human waste through societal improvement of refuse and broad deployment of recycling technologies. We believe in full accounting of life cycle costs.
- We support more deployment of advanced weather sensing technologies focused on predicting and ameliorating adverse weather impacts. We support continued improvement in climate modeling.
- We support right-to-repair policies, especially relating to electronics and farming equipment. The lack of these policies disproportionately impacts rural communities, low-income people, and Black, Indigenous, and other people of color.
- We believe Oregon needs to create additional, state-sponsored research facilities outside the university system so that scientists trained in Oregon can work in Oregon and to promote the development of capacity in the Oregon economy.