Platform 2012: Labor, Economic Justice and Poverty Elimination
California Democrats continue to be close partners with labor and strong supporters of workers' rights. The ‘glass ceiling' for people of color and women must be shattered and there must be equal pay for equal or comparable work. Our strong workforce, coupled with a work ethic second to none, is what made California among our nation's most valuable resources.
As we pull ourselves out of this devastating economy, California's future prosperity will depend upon jobs that ensure a minimum standard of living and that improve the quality of life for all its residents. Food, shelter including affordable housing, clothing, health care and education are among the basic human rights of all individuals. We are determined in our commitment to safeguard these basic human rights and to strongly support public services designed to eliminate poverty, hunger and homelessness among the poor, the elderly, the blind and disabled in order to strengthen all California communities.
To meet the basic economic needs of all Californians, Democrats will:
- Support a minimum wage indexed for inflation, including living wages in areas where the increasingly high cost of living, furloughs, pay cuts and rising inflation renders it impossible to afford the basic necessities of life;
- Support creating and maintaining public and private sector jobs that permanently lift the working poor out of poverty and achieve self-sufficiencyand a secure retirement; and supporting employer-provided, defined benefit pensions as an essential part of retirement security and support the establishment of a Federal Interagency Working Group on Reducing Poverty to carry out a national plan to eliminate poverty in America;
- Fight for public assistance programs that allow individuals to support themselves and their families;
- Fight for meaningful tax reform which eliminates corporate welfare and achieves a more equitable tax system for working families - requiring millionaires pay their fair share;
- Guarantee Cost of Living Adjustments (COLA) for CalWorks and Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Program (SSI/SSP) recipients in state and federal budgets;
- Support the full funding of food stamp programs to relieve hunger;
- Promote expansion of emergency food networks, senior and school meal programs to end starvation;
- Encourage business and preference for firms that employ California workers whenever public funds finance bridges, highways, schools and other public works construction;
- Pay prevailing wages to protect the economic base of the communities where government-funded projects are undertaken, thereby ensuring that government is not lowering the standard of living;
- Support and promote Project Labor Agreements for private and public sector infrastructure projects in order to achieve goals such as local hire, assuring our returning veterans a job on a project, viable apprenticeship and other training programs for the community;
- Support the 8-hour workday and daily overtime and fight any efforts to repeal the 40-hour workweek; and advocate for paid sick days and vacation days for all workers; andprotect California's Paid Family Leave law;
- Enhance the strong workers' safety programs with adequate and appropriate penalties for injurious and unsafe working conditions; and support employee rights to organize and bargain collectively with their employers;
- Boycott employers who have permanently replaced strikers and protect the collective bargaining rights of workers in both the public and private sectors; and support binding arbitration for police and firefighterswho are not authorized to strike; and
- Fight anti-worker initiatives that seek to undermine the ability of union leaders to carry out the will of their members and engage in political activities.