The Wake County Democratic Party takes great pride in being part of America’s oldest political party. As Democrats, we believe that government should serve the people and that in so doing, it should be open and fair, improving our lives and creating opportunity for all. In order to strengthen our democracy, we believe that all citizens should be able to participate in an economy that provides first and foremost for the basic human needs of food, shelter, personal safety, adequate health care, worthwhile employment and educational opportunity.
The Wake County Democratic Party urges our elected officials to be responsible in their decisions and actions, to make available quality public education, to have compassion for those in need, to be inclusive and tolerant of those of different beliefs, and to work to protect the rights of the people.
The WCDP is proud of its heritage, and is committed to being the party of action and the party of progress in Wake County. In furtherance of that objective, the Wake County Democratic Party embraces the following principles.
Responsible Growth: To protect the quality of life in Wake County, the Wake County Democratic Party urges the Wake County Board of Commissioners and all municipal governing councils to adopt policies which ensure responsible growth so that necessary infrastructure and services meet the increase in demand created by a growing population. This includes, but is not limited to, the development of adequate and diversified transportation systems (including rail), sufficient capital improvements to the public school system, environmentally sound solid-waste and garbage collection and disposal, and satisfactory public safety resources. The Wake County Board of Commissioners and municipal governing councils should develop a regional plan that encourages growth and revitalization in existing urban centers, along designated transit corridors, and that maximizes the preservation of green spaces. Mixed use development projects which pair residential properties with the location of employment opportunities and day to day services should be encouraged.
Annexation: The Wake County Democratic Party recognizes that the process of annexation is a complicated and contentious issue and endorses a system that requires the consideration of the desires of landowners. The interests of the landowner should be balanced against the interests of the larger community.
Encouragement of Economic Growth: The Wake County Democratic Party believes it is important for all individuals who desire work to be able to secure employment. In order to create jobs, WCDP supports public-private partnerships to help small and mid-size businesses, to encourage innovation and invention and to actively recruit new businesses to our county.
Job Retraining: The Wake County Democratic Party understands the changing nature of our economy which has led to the discontinuation of certain types of employment. To promote job retraining, WCDP supports public-private partnerships in retraining initiatives and sufficient funding for the community college and Vocational-Technology systems, including the development of an advanced technology and biotechnology professional training center in Wake County.
Support of Local Economy: The Wake County Democratic Party urges the initiation of a public-private public relations campaign directed towards encouraging the public to conduct business with locally owned and operated merchants and strongly discourages the outsourcing of governmental employment opportunities to companies outside of North Carolina.
To provide an excellent education for all students, the Wake County Democratic Party supports efforts to reduce class sizes and encourages the provision of adequate resources, buildings and personnel to the public school system. The Wake County Democratic Party urges adequate funding through various means including, but not limited to, the passage of bond referendums, as needed. To maintain strong support for the public school system, the WCDP opposes school voucher proposals. The Wake County Democratic Party endorses the Basic Education Program as set forth in Chapter 115C of the North Carolina General Statutes.
Early Childhood Education: To provide quality care for preschool and school-aged children, the Wake County Democratic Party encourages parents, providers, resource and referral agencies, corporations, the NC Child Day Care Commission, and others to work together to improve the standards for child care in North Carolina. Understanding the importance of early childhood education, the WCDP continues to support Smart Start and the More at Four program.
Closing the Achievement Gap: To provide for a successful future for all students and society, the Wake County Democratic Party urges and supports adequate funding for educational and childhood development programs. Programs such as Smart Start and other early childhood incentive programs are examples of programs that will leave no child behind. Others include programs designed to close the educational gaps between the races and nationalities, between socio-economic groups and schools themselves. Every child should have access to a quality public education.
Reassignment: An integrated school system which will allow for an optimum of educational experiences, social interactions and cross section of ethnic experiences is essential to a successful future. However, the Wake County Democratic Party opposes re-assignment cloaked in secrecy and strongly encourages re-assignment of students only as needed to meet these goals. Proper and adequate notification of open public hearings must be given in a timely and reasonable manner. Notification of each hearing should be through a variety of methods including, but not limited to, newspaper, radio, e-mail and other methods which will reach the majority of Wake County parents.
Sex Education: The Wake County Democratic Party supports educational programs in our schools and public health agencies that encourage abstinence and provides information about safe sexual practices, in order to prevent pregnancy and the spread of sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. To provide for educated, safe and responsible future generations, WCPD supports a policy of teaching students about life and choices through sex education, understanding that ignorance does not equal abstinence.
Higher Education: To provide opportunities for all qualified students, the Wake County Democratic Party supports affordable access to higher education.
All people have the right to be safe at home and in their community.
Crime Prevention: In order to reduce violence, the Wake County Democratic Party approves and supports efforts to reduce and deter firearm-related violence through reasonable gun control efforts. Educational and legislative efforts must be made in order to reduce domestic violence and other violent crimes against persons and property. Further, WCDP approves and supports efforts to reduce and deter non-violent crimes so that peoples’ rights and property are protected. Non-violent crimes include, but are not limited to such areas as, identification theft, fraud, financial information theft and preying upon children, the elderly and other marginalized groups which may be less able to aid and/or protect themselves.
Homeland Security: In light of recent threats and possible terrorist actions, the Wake County Democratic Party supports adequate funding for first responder efforts to ensure that local fire and law enforcement personnel are provided with ample resources to be prepared to handle possible emergency scenarios.
To attract and retain qualified civil servants and to protect their standard of living, the Wake County Democratic Party supports increasing the pay of area city and county employees, including police officers and firefighters, to at least the average for comparable cities and counties in North Carolina.
Crime Prevention: In order to reduce the prison population and recidivism, the Wake County Democratic Party supports preventative measures including, but not limited to, adequate funding for the criminal justice and court system, drug treatment and counseling during incarceration, education and job training during incarceration and reintegration programs upon release.
Fairness within the Criminal Justice System: The Wake County Democratic Party encourages open file discovery as a means of checks and balances for fair trials. Strict adherence to Constitutional and due process rights for all citizens involved in the legal system is essential. A moratorium on executions and a repeal of the death penalty is needed and fully supported by WCDP.
Community Policing: In an effort to make our communities safer, the Wake County Democratic Party encourages and fully supports inter-agency cooperation and community type policing that encourages interaction with police and the public. Full funding and use of such programs as the Amber alert system and other partnerships between the public and the police are needed for the protection of our citizenry.
The Wake County Democratic Party believes safe, decent, and affordable housing for all persons is essential to the future of our communities and families. WCDP deplores the conditions that lead to homelessness and encourages the renovation, preservation, and expansion of existing low-income housing.
Home Ownership: The Wake County Democratic Party supports policies that encourage affordable mortgage credit to make home ownership possible for more working families. WCDP urges the expansion of the North Carolina Housing Trust Fund to provide a source of funds for the housing needs of our poorest citizens. WCDP also encourages the expansion of incentives for first-time home buyers. WCDP also promotes public-private partnerships for the development of affordable housing.
Rental Housing: Many people rent their homes, either by choice or by necessity. Wake County Democratic Party calls for the equitable allocations of rights and responsibilities between landlords and tenants. WCDP supports the enforcement of existing laws that require rental premises to be maintained in a fit and habitable condition. The Wake County Democratic Party calls on the Wake County Board of Commissioners and all municipalities to require heating that is safe and capable of reaching at least sixty-eight (68) degrees Fahrenheit for all living and sleeping spaces.
Public Housing: Wake County Democratic Party supports programs that encourage tenant management of public housing communities. Furthermore, WCDP supports policies that encourage tenant responsibility, including zero tolerance drug provisions in public housing leases.
Homelessness: The latest studies indicate over 31.1 million people live in poverty. Of this number, 40% (12,440,000) are children living in poverty. The Wake County Democratic Party understands it is the responsibility for society and government to show compassion and help provide safe, decent, accessible, affordable and permanent housing. WCDP also believes homeless people have the right to health care, education, shelter, food and other protected rights enjoyed by all Americans.
Wake County Democratic Party supports legislation to provide additional housing resources for those citizens with special needs, including but not limited to: elderly, HIV/AIDS patients, homeless veterans, migrant workers, victims of domestic violence and those that are mentally or physically challenged.
The Wake County Democratic Party believes government should represent all the People. Democrats have repeatedly supported comprehensive bi-partisian campaign finance reform measures, such as the McCain-Feingold bill in the U.S. Senate and the Shays-Meehan bill in the U.S. House, and have worked to require political groups operating in secret to disclose from where they receive their funding.
The Wake County Democratic Party believes we must restore America’s faith in their democracy by providing real and comprehensive campaign finance reform. Public financing should be provided to candidates who show strong support by gathering hundreds of small donations from registered voters, agree to raise no other money and agree to spending limits.
The Wake County Democratic Party believes there is a need for tough new lobbying reform, publicly-guaranteed TV time for debates and candidate issue discussion, and a crackdown on special interest issue ads. This will help remove the influence of special interests in the political process and help restore the confidence of the American people in our democratic system.
The Wake County Democratic Party believes it is the role of government to provide full citizenship and opportunities for all citizens, including those who are differently abled, elderly, living in poverty and those in need of mental health services. WCDP believes our government needs to represent, protect, and support our most disadvantaged citizens. To that end we propose to:
Make changes in the current laws to allow those who are disabled, either physically or mentally, to maintain their dignity and allow them as much autonomy as possible.
Provide education and cultural materials for all Wake County citizens, through improvements in the public library system, including those for visually and physically handicapped residents.
Ensure that the health and welfare of the elderly and disabled are protected and provided for through the diligent enforcement of all laws and regulations relating to the staffing and operation of nursing and other long-term care facilities. WCDP encourages the passage of additional legislation which will serve to protect these vulnerable populations.
Ensure adequate protection and treatment of citizens in need of mental health treatment by supporting funding for a mental health system that meets the needs of the citizens of Wake County and North Carolina. This must comply with established state and federal regulations. This funding should provide a transition between the past institutional treatment and the now preferred community treatment to make sure that all who need treatment are cared for appropriately. Funding should also be provided to county and local governments to provide resources and structures for the care of those with mental health needs.
The Wake County Democratic Party supports a woman’s right to choose. Woman’s reproductive rights, including access to total health care services, prenatal care and postnatal care should be guaranteed and protected. WCDP does not feel that government should be involved in a private decision regarding health care choices but that decisions should be made by the woman, in consultation with her family and her physician. Neither Government nor insurance companies should dictate what information to provide to patients or what services to provide, but all health care information and decisions should be freely shared and discussed between a woman and her physician.
In the same spirit as the United States Constitution, the Wake County Democratic Party supports equal rights and equal access for all citizens. This includes but is not limited to equal rights for all, regardless of race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, or country of origin.
Whereas the Democratic Party was founded on and remains committed to openness and fairness to all in every arena of life, WCDP urges equality and fairness in practice as well as in print.
Even as we are living in the new Millennium, discrimination against, and the exploitation of women still exists as is evidenced by the lack of equal pay for equal work. WCPD urges the end of this behavior and denounces all forms of discrimination.
Natural resources such as clean air, clean water, and fertile soil are living entities and precious gifts which we have received from those who have gone before us. Keeping them so is the primary responsibility of all human beings whether individually or in groups, public or private. We must also hold these gifts in trust so that all the public is served now and that these gifts will be available to be passed along for the enjoyment by our children and future generations.
Therefore, the Wake County Democratic Party recommits to the wise stewardship and protection of all natural resources, namely our air, water, soil, forests, wetlands, watersheds and barrier islands. By preserving our natural resources we are preserving our quality of life, our economic growth, and our health. WCDP notes the Democratic Party is the only part that has consistently supported serious and effective measures to protect our environment and natural resources.
The Wake County Democratic Party recognizes the interdependence of ecosystems and community economies. WCDP believes all communities have a fiduciary obligation to use land and resources in ways which do not harm the environmental health or the economies of neighboring or distant towns and communities. WCDP believes it makes good sense from an economic point of view to take care of our environment. WCDP endorses and challenges everyone who may incur costs in environmental restraint and conservation that all of us in a fair and equitable way pay now and not abdicate those costs to future generations.
Specifically, since their quantities are finite, the Wake County Democratic Party encourages conservation of all natural resources at all levels. WCDP encourages all persons, agencies, public and private, governmental, educational to pledge to enforce the highest standards of protection and or preservation of these resources.
Air and Water: The Wake County Democratic Party supports tax incentives and other benefits that encourage use of alternative means for disposal of chemicals and waste by-products into the air. WCDP urges increased state supervision and more frequent inspections of companies emitting such by-products into the atmosphere.
The Wake County Democratic Party wants to keep public ownership of the coastline to keep it available to every North Carolinian.
The Wake County Democratic Party encourages regional watershed standards that encompass agricultural activities, industrial output, and wastewater discharge, but that takes into account the interests of private property. We call upon municipalities, counties and other jurisdictions, to develop unified regional policies to protect watersheds. We oppose any and all initiatives to dilute water and air quality standards.
Energy: The Wake County Democratic Party pledge ourselves and encourage all others to conserve energy derived from natural resources, especially fossil fuels. Furthermore WCDP challenges those in position to do so to seek and develop alternative sources of energy such as solar and wind.
Forests: The Wake County Democratic Party supports logging and timber management techniques that foster reforestation. WCDP opposes the practice of clear-cutting. WCDP applauds local government’s commitment to the planting of trees.
Landfill: The Wake County Democratic Party believes strongly that landfills should be located in areas where they will cause the least damage to the air, water and soil around us. Strong efforts should be made to reduce waste.
Nuclear Power: The Wake County Democratic Party urges constant vigilance to ensure the safety and security of existing nuclear power facilities and the development of efficient and safe means to dispose of or reuse nuclear and hazardous waste. The WCDP urges cooperation among government, education, and private companies to seek and develop alternative sources of energy.
Offshore Drilling: The Wake County Democratic Party recognizes that our coast is an outstanding natural resource that must be protected for future generations of North Carolinians. WCDP calls for the performance of a full environmental impact study including the impact on the tourism and fishing industry before any offshore exploration for oil or natural gas is undertaken.
Parks: The Wake County Democratic Party supports the completion of acquisition of the remaining land needed to implement the master plan for our state parks. The Wake County Democratic Party opposes the sale of state parks. The Wake County Democratic Party also encourages the General Assembly and local governments to fund badly needed repairs and to upgrade the grounds and facilities at our existing parks and to make them ADA compliant and accessible to all.
Recycling: The Wake County Democratic Party encourages the recycling and re-use of all natural resources whenever possible. WCDP supports mandatory local and regional recycling of paper, glass, metals, plastics, electronic devices and other reusable materials in order to reduce the need for landfills. WCDP supports safe, alternative means of waste disposal. WCDP supports tax incentives and other benefits for industries that undertake and promote recycling efforts. WCDP encourages local governments to create greater markets for recycled products by purchasing recycled materials.
Soil: The Wake County Democratic Party supports stronger county sedimentation control ordinances as provided by the North Carolina Sedimentation and Pollution Act.
Toxic and Hazardous Waste: The Wake County Democratic Party believes any firm or organization, public or private, which uses or produces hazardous products, must be held accountable for their safe and proper disposal. WCDP urges the state to provide technical assistance to help reduce the production of toxic and hazardous waste and to treat their waste on site. WCDP supports strengthening laws against irresponsible dumping of toxic chemicals and wastes and calls for aggressive prosecution of those who violate these laws. WCDP opposes locating hazardous waste generating and disposal facilities in economically disadvantaged neighborhoods. WCDP supports reasonable right-to-know laws to disclose fully the chemicals used and stored in our communities.
Wetlands: The Wake County Democratic Party supports local land management that includes responsible control of surface water run-of, ensures the proper treatment and disposal of wastewater, and minimizes the pressure exerted by increased population. WCDP supports programs that will achieve the short-term goal of “no net loss” of wetlands – in both acreage and function – and a longer-term goal of wetlands restoration.
The Wake County Democratic Party encourages all groups public and private and all individuals in whatever position who interact with the environment to realize that this cause should be borne by all of us equally and everyone should work together as a community to allow these commitments to be realized.
The Wake County Democratic Party recognizes that every person is entitled to the benefit of basic health care. Therefore, we urge the General Assembly and our local governments along with all agencies responsible for the delivery of health care to work to contain costs and to assure the highest possible quality of health care to all persons, regardless of income or geographic location
Health Care: Wake County Democratic Party recognizes that health care decisions are best made within the context of the health care professional-patient relationship. Therefore, WCDP believes that each person has the right to choose their own health care professional without interference from government or insurance companies. WCDP supports health care reform that provides universal and convenient coverage, expanded preventive health care to those without proper coverage, and public efforts to provide the prenatal care needed to reduce infant mortality. WCDP supports economical, accessible prescription drug coverage for all.
Community Outreach: The Wake County Democratic Party supports efforts to engage the community with information on preventative health care in poor and minority areas. The minority population has risen dramatically in Wake County and WCDP recognizes that each ethnic group has specific areas of health related concerns. The outreach initiative should be bilingual in order to reach a larger portion of the minority community. WCDP suggests that all comprehensive health care services be provided on a bilingual basis.
Mental Health Care: The Wake County Democratic Party supports a mental health system that provides access to appropriate treatment for mental, behavioral, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. Such a system must provide a comprehensive array of services which emphasizes community based treatment offering equal access for those in need. It is mandatory these services are offered in Wake County. WCDP asks the General Assembly and community agencies to close the gap that will be created with the closing of the state mental hospital in Raleigh, North Carolina. WCDP supports reform which emphasizes insurance coverage for all health disorders, including mental disorders, which is comparable in cost and coverage to traditional medical insurance.
Seniors and Persons with Disabilities: The Wake County Democratic Party supports alternative health-care delivery systems to allow the elderly and persons with disabilities to remain in a home setting as long as possible. WCDP urges the provision of quality in-home care or institutional care for all who require it, and insist on their protection from abuse, neglect, and deprivation of their rights as persons. WCDP believes any changes in Medicare should focus on health care cost containment to diminish the ever-increasing out-of-pocket medical costs that have risen at rates significantly higher than the rate of inflation. Seniors should also be protected against arbitrary health care cancellation.
Patient’s Rights: The Wake County Democratic Party recommends continued support for the North Carolina Patients' Bill of Rights that improves the relationship between patients, health care professionals and insurance companies.
· Responsible Growth
· Encouragement of Economic development
· Programs that support local businesses and workers
· Early Childhood Education and intervention with high risk children
· Closing the Achievement Gap
· Accessible and quality higher education opportunities for all students
· Reasonable Gun Control
· Adequate resources for First Responders
· Programs designed to reduce recidivism and prevent crime
· A fair and open Criminal Justice System
· Community Policing
· Programs that encourage home ownership for low income families
· Livability standards for Rental Housing
· Efforts to reduce homelessness
· Campaign Finance Reform
· Protection of the elderly and disabled
· Freedom of Choice
· Equal protection under the laws for all
· The protection of our natural resources
· The expansion and support of green space and the parks system
· Stronger Sedimentation Controls
· Accountability by those who create toxic and hazardous waste
· Reforming the health system to provide universal quality coverage
· Comprehensive and affordable access to Mental Health Care for those in need
· Alternative Health-Care Systems that Allow Seniors and Persons with Disabilities to Remain in a Home Setting as Long as Possible
· North Carolina Patient's Bill of Rights
SO THAT OTHERS MAY KNOW AND UNDERSTAND OUR POSITION ON THE ISSUES REPRESENTED HEREIN, WE WILL
* Send this platform to all Democratic Candidates running for office.
* Provide access to the platform on our website.
* Share this platform with all auxiliary groups of the Wake County Democratic Party.
* Provide electronic or paper copies of this platform to all interested Democrats seeking such.
* Release copies of this Platform to local media.
* Provide copies of this Platform at events supported by the Wake County Democratic Party.