2016 Platform: Sustainable Communities

California Democrats seek to build healthy, livable and sustainable communities that conserve natural resources, promote smart growth, are economically prosperous, and socially equitable.  Unsustainable consumption reduces our energy independence, exacerbates both global warming and urban/suburban sprawl, while increasing our trade deficit.  We are committed to environmental justice, a sustainable lifestyle, and a healthy economy over both the short and the long term.

To promote sustainable communities, California Democrats will:

  • Support local governments and regions for completing voluntary, sub-regional comprehensive planning processes that stem the tide of urban and suburban sprawl, and promote smart growth;
  • Promote support for driving reduction targets shown to stabilize the climate at a livable level and work for equitable and environmentally - sound road and operations;
  • Create greenbelts around our urban areas, thereby reducing traffic gridlock, wildfires and erosion, and promoting efficient land use, and provide green spaces for all communities;
  • Promote regional tax revenue sharing in order to decrease local governments' dependence upon sales tax revenue and minimize sprawl;
  • Protect and promote the construction of affordable housing to alleviate and prevent homelessness, and develop supportive housing with continuum of care services to help homeless people re-establish themselves as self-sufficient contributors to society;
  • Protect existing homeowners' property rights by limiting eminent domain to reasonable public uses, and oppose the practice of abusing eminent domain to take homes without the consent of the owner and convey property from one private person to another or to any corporation merely to increase tax revenues;
  • Encourage incentives to reclaim and redevelop old abandoned buildings and brownfields; and,
  • Provide a homestead floor with absolute minimum protection for homeowners when they are forced into bankruptcy due to unanticipated health care costs or predatory lending schemes.
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