CAUCUS PLATFORM

We must adhere to the fundamental principles of a fair, honest, and open government, broader rights and better wages, a strong American economy, a quality public education, justice and equality for all, health care and retirement security, clean and safe environment, and a peaceful and secure world. A progressive Democratic Party can help us in this fight.

This platform was created to clarify and expand upon the mission and values of the Democratic Progressive Caucus of Florida in order to provide guidance to local caucus chapters and to progressive candidates seeking support from the DPCF. We strongly believe the key to increasing Democratic victories in the state of Florida and across the nation is for the party to refocus on its historic, core progressive values; for candidates to run on these progressive issues; and for Democratic candidates to honor these positions when elected. Economic justice is the issue of our time, and nearly all the issues discussed in this platform impact or relate specifically to economic justice.

Our progressive platform is divided into eight categories, each guided by our values. In most categories, we separate issues and legislation into FLORIDA and NATIONAL sections. While we may mention specific legislation, few issues, except those related to foreign policy, are exclusive to any level of government. We anticipate this platform may be implemented either through legislation, regulation, executive action, or constitutional amendment.

Section I: We seek a fair, honest, and open government that works for all

Florida

  1. We support full voting rights for all citizens who meet age and residency requirements, including, but not limited to, expanding voting hours and local laws that create less waiting at the polls.
  2. We support enforcement of the Voting Rights Act (VRA) of 1965 to protect the voting rights of racial minorities.
  3. We support enforcement of Florida’s Sunshine Law with minimal exemptions.
  4. We oppose gerrymandering at every level of government.
  5. We support the creation of an independent, non-partisan commission to create fairly-drawn electoral districts.
  6. We oppose term limits and support the repeal of any existing legislation creating term limits.
  7. We support automatic civil rights restoration when felons complete their sentences, except the right to gun ownership in the case of violent offenders.
  8. Except in matters of public safety, we support non-discrimination policies in employment, education and housing for felons who have completed their sentences.

National

  1. We support strong campaign finance reform, including public financing of elections.
  2. We support any measure which nullifies the effect of the Supreme Court ruling in Citizens United and any other rulings which have the effect of defining money as speech and corporations as persons.
  3. We oppose the revolving door between the public and business arenas.
  4. We support any measure which prohibits, for at least ten (10) years, former elected officials from lobbying the body where they served.
  5. We support additional regulations and/or legislation to limit or prohibit the appointment of any official to an agency regulating an industry in which the appointee has held a significant financial interest.
  6. We support reinstatement of the Fairness Doctrine and the Equal Time Rule.
  7. We support campaign reform which provides clear rules, regulations, and substantial penalties to prevent misrepresentation and outright falsehoods in campaign ads and materials.
Section II: We seek broader rights and better wages for workers

Florida & National

  1. We support a fair, living wage.
  2. We support a progressive minimum wage predicated on the increase in GNP (Gross National Product).
  3. We support including all classes of workers under the same minimum wage eligibility.
  4. We support paid sick leave, overtime after an eight (8)-hour work day, and guaranteed paid vacation time.
  5. We oppose any efforts to erode workers’ earned benefits, including but not limited to unemployment insurance, Social Security, retirement programs, and pension plans.
  6. We support paid parental leave of significant length.
  7. We support active enforcement of the Fair Labor Standards Act, particularly in the area of “non-exempt” employees for purpose of overtime eligibility.
  8. We oppose efforts by state government to “preempt” local laws.
  9. We support the right of employees to organize and collectively bargain via unions.
  10. We support an end to right-to-work status to allow workers to organize anywhere in the US or its territories.
  11. We support the availability of universal public day care as an extension of our public school systems.
Section III: We seek to maintain a strong economy

Florida & National

  1. We support a progressive state and federal tax code to more equitably distribute the tax burden.
  2. We support budgets that are balanced fairly and equitably, that do not place the burden of tax responsibility on the middle class, and that reward hard work.
  3. We support regulations to encourage “in-​sourcing” jobs, particularly in manufacturing, in order to promote a robust economy built on fair, living wages and products made in the USA.
  4. We support transparency and full debate on all trade agreements.
  5. We oppose fast-tracking the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade agreement.
  6. We support eliminating tax code loopholes that permit corporations to create offshore tax havens with the intent to avoid their tax obligations.
  7. We support ending “corporate welfare,” the government subsidies received by big businesses.
  8. We support creating major infrastructure programs to repair and replace our nation’s bridges, dams and roadways.
  9. We support the creation of cooperative worker- and community-owned businesses to exist alongside personal or corporate-owned businesses.
Section IV: We seek to provide a quality public education for all children, as guaranteed by our State Constitution

Florida

  1. We support increased per pupil spending and equitable school funding across districts.
  2. We oppose state efforts that undermine the federal protection of students with disabilities, a.k.a. Exceptional Student Education (ESE).
  3. We support the enforcement of the class size amendment.
  4. We support a rich, comprehensive and age-appropriate public school curriculum, which includes, e.g., physical education, art, music, and recess.
  5. We support a teacher’s right to due process (tenure).
  6. We support the elimination of the Value Added Model (VAM) that ties teacher pay to student assessments.
  7. We support aggressively guarding the privacy of students and families; we oppose the tracking of student information by third parties.
  8. We oppose vouchers and the diversion of tax dollars to unaccountable charter and private schools.
  9. We support ending zero-tolerance policies that feed the school-to-prison pipeline.
  10. We support literacy programs.

National

  1. We oppose test-based accountability and Race to the Top.
  2. We oppose high-stakes standardized testing.
  3. We support fully funding programs for students with disabilities (ESE).
  4. We support access to developmentally-appropriate pre-kindergarten (Universal Pre-K).
  5. We support providing resources and fair funding for schools in impoverished areas.
  6. We support policies which act to reduce the high cost of tuition and interest payments of student loan debt.
  7. We support President Obama’s initiative for free two (2)-year post-high school education and support the addition of technical/vocational training into the initiative. We further support rolling a cost of living stipend and all fees into the tuition calculation, thereby making the initiative truly free for its participants.
  8. We support developing public service programs for young adults to give back to society, within their chosen field, either during or once they have completed their course of study.
Section V: We seek justice and equality for all

Florida

  1. We support full equality, including the right to marry.
  2. We oppose discrimination in all forms, including, but not limited to, race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, and gender identity/expression.
  3. We support The Florida Competitive Workforce Act, which prohibits discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity/expression.
  4. We support the ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment.
  5. We support the right of women to make their own reproductive health care decisions.
  6. We oppose a criminal justice system which disproportionately incarcerates any group.
  7. We support health care alternatives, instead of incarceration, for most nonviolent drug offenders.
  8. We support an end to mandatory minimum sentencing, also known as the 10-20-​Life Law.
  9. We oppose the use of private jails and prisons.
  10. We oppose the death penalty.

National

  1. We support ending the school-to-prison pipeline.
  2. We oppose the use of private jails and prisons.
  3. We oppose the death penalty.
  4. We support The Violence Against Women Act.
  5. We support equal pay for equal work/worth.
  6. We support comprehensive immigration reform, including a path to citizenship, and The DREAM Act.
  7. We support net neutrality and equal access to the internet.
  8. We support the right to marry as a human right and, therefore, a national issue.
  9. We support The Employee Non-Discrimination Act (ENDA).
  10. We support women’s rights, including reproductive justice, as a national issue.
  11. We support The Women’s Health Protection Act, which would prevent states from imposing unnecessary restrictions and regulations on abortion rights.
  12. We support stronger enforcement of The Americans with Disabilities Act.
Section VI: We seek recognition of the fundamental right to affordable housing, health care, and retirement security

Florida

  1. We support the right of every person to decent housing.
  2. We support creative reuse of abandoned properties to reduce homelessness.
  3. We support closing the healthcare gap (Medicaid Expansion).
  4. We oppose efforts to privatize the Florida Retirement System and support elimination of the recently imposed 3% employee contribution.

National

  1. We support the right of every person to decent housing.
  2. We support creative reuse of abandoned properties to reduce homelessness.
  3. We support universal, single-payer health care or comprehensive Medicare-for-All.
  4. We support lifting the income cap for Social Security contributions.
  5. We oppose Chained CPI and any other benefit cut to Social Security.
  6. We support legislation to allow Medicare to negotiate prices for prescription drugs.
  7. We support the importation of prescription drugs.
  8. We support imposing limits on hospital and pharmaceutical markups and fees for goods, services, and research.
  9. We support fully funding claims reform in The Department of Veterans Affairs.
  10. We support ending imposition of the military survivor’s penalties on surviving widows and widowers when they become eligible for Social Security and Medicare.
  11. We support utilizing the same COLA (Cost of Living Adjustment) at the VA as Social Security uses.
Section VII: We seek a clean and safe environment

Florida

  1. We support protecting our springs, rivers, and other natural resources.
  2. We support Amendment 1 funding being used for the purpose intended.
  3. We oppose all oil and gas drilling offshore and in and around the Everglades.
  4. We support a statewide ban on fracking and other extreme methods of extraction on both the land and in waters adjacent to the state.
  5. We also support prohibition of waste disposal in Florida resulting from fracking or other methods of extreme extraction, including disposal of waste from other states and countries, to protect our fragile environment and water sources.
  6. We support efforts to increase the availability of mass transportation.
  7. We support smart planning to accommodate and foster growth, while protecting wilderness, wetlands, etc.
  8. We support counties and localities having a greater voice in development decisions and oppose preemption of local input on development decisions.
  9. We support incentives to design and build “green buildings” for residential, commercial and industrial use.
  10. We support creating centers of excellence for solar and renewable energy at Florida’s universities to provide innovation to drive down costs of alternative energy sources.
  11. We support further efforts to protect the Everglades, springs, and other waterways.
  12. We support programs to reduce, reuse, and recycle waste.

National

  1. We support mitigating the effects of climate change.
  2. We support incentives to encourage a shift to renewable energy, a reduction of carbon emissions, an upgrade to energy efficient infrastructure, and a smarter use of land and water resources.
  3. We oppose the Keystone XL Pipeline and other similar pipeline projects.
  4. We support prohibition of fracking and other methods of extreme extraction and disposal of associated waste within the US.
  5. We support the creation and implementation of a comprehensive plan for a national mass transportation system.
  6. We support federal efforts to reduce the growth of greenhouse gas emissions with incentives to encourage energy efficiency and expanded use of renewable energy, particularly solar.
Section VIII: We seek a peaceful and secure world

Florida

  1. We support the full repeal of Florida’s Stand Your Ground law.
  2. We support gun reforms including, but not limited to, enforcement of universal background check laws and closing the gun show loophole.
  3. We oppose the militarization of state and local police forces.
  4. We oppose removing the statutory provision that prohibits concealed weapons and open carry on college and university campuses.

National

  1. We oppose surveillance by government agencies without adequate and appropriate judicial oversight.
  2. We oppose the return of troops to Iraq and Afghanistan, except as needed to support humanitarian aid.
  3. We support a renewed focus of the role of the Secretary of State on advocating peaceful solutions to existing conflicts as well as mitigating developing conflicts. We oppose the Secretary of State taking a role in supporting war.
  4. We support diplomacy and non-military aid to stabilize distressed societies and diffuse conflicts.
  5. We oppose torture in all instances and support the prosecution of any officials who aid and abet torture. We define “enhanced interrogation” as torture.
  6. We support the closing of Guantanamo Bay and the transfer of remaining detainees to facilities within the US.
  7. We support stronger congressional and judicial oversight of drone programs.
  8. We support a thorough re-evaluation and substantial revision and/or repeal of the Patriot Act.
  9. We support the enforcement of the War Powers Resolution of 1973, which limits the Executive’s ability to send US troops into hostile action without a Declaration of War by the Congress.
  10. We oppose the use of federal funds for the militarization of state and local police forces.