2020 Platform: Equality of Rights and Opportunity

California Democrats recognize the growing disparity between the top two percent and the rest of Americans.  We understand that institutionalized discrimination against protected classes, including racism, classism, sexism, ageism, and anti-LGBTQ bias contribute to that disparity, and we believe that everyone in this country deserves the opportunity to participate fully in the economic, cultural, political, religious, and social facets of society.  Racism is a public health issue that affects the physical and emotional well-being of persons of color.  We must recognize and correct adverse outcomes that stem from systemic racism at all levels of government and within our education and health care systems.  We take pride in and celebrate our diversity and work to foster the common values and commitments that unite all people, regardless of age, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, cultural heritage, national origin, citizenship status, disability, physical attributes, socio-economic status, gender, race, or personal views on religion.  We affirm our commitment to the full equality, inclusion and acceptance of people of all gender identities and gender expressions.  And, we support a vision of religious freedom that respects pluralism, and rejects the misuse of religion to discriminate.                                

To fight for all people to live with dignity and equality, California Democrats will:

  • Support a just and inclusive society by speaking out with a public and unified voice against all forms of racism, discrimination, harassment, hatred, and violence directed at racial and ethnic minorities.  Support movements that address targeted discrimination such as Black Lives Matter;
  • Support policies that ensure equal opportunities for women, guarantee equal pay for equal work, and oppose all forms of discrimination, harassment, hatred and violence against women at home and in the work place;
  • Encourage, support, and defend voluntary and mandatory affirmative action measures aimed at enhancing equality in employment, education, and business opportunities;
  • Support the separation of church and state and affirm that the right to accept or reject any religious belief, to bind oneself to any religious creed, or to hold no religious creed whatsoever, is a private matter and should always remain a matter of individual conscience;  and, oppose any government funding to organizations that fail or refuse to respect these rights;
  • Protect the constitutional and sovereign rights of Native American Nations and well-established rights and jurisdictions of California Native American tribes; respect a tribe’s sovereign powers in protecting Native American land, labor, resources, including sources of drinking water, sacred sites and ancestral burial grounds;
  • Denounce the Doctrine of Discovery as a violation of inherent human rights of individuals and peoples and support dismantling legal structures and policies based on that doctrine to allow Indigenous Peoples to self-govern;
  • Support efforts to ensure U.S. policies, regulations, and laws affecting Indigenous Peoples comply with international conventions, particularly the U.N. Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples and the International Labour Organization’s Convention 169;  
  • Support eliminating and preventing the use of mascots by public educational institutions that are offensive to the Native American community;
  • Support protections against discrimination based on an individual’s sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, in matters of employment, housing, public spaces and services, state and federally funded programs, credit, education, parental rights, and jury service;
  • Affirm the right of transgender and gender non-conforming individuals to be referred to by their name, gender, and pronoun of preference;
  • Encourage and support more women, LGBTQ, people with disabilities, and people of color to run for elected office at the local, state, and federal offices;
  • Protect the right of all people to use facilities and participate in all aspects of society consistent with their gender identity, regardless of the gender at birth;
  • Support the use of gender-neutral language;
  • Support legislation and law enforcement policies that protect LGBTQ people from violence, with added attention to transgender individuals;
  • Support wage and economic equality in our communities; 
  • Support reparations for the lasting harms caused to African Americans by slavery; 
  • Support review of affirmative action programs and goals that ensures the implementation and results are carefully nuanced and uses disaggregated data, particularly for the large category of Asian American and Pacific Islander (“API”);
  • Denounce the racial profiling of Chinese American scientists by the U.S. Department of Justice (some 20 years after the Dr. Wen Ho Lee case) because of ethnicity or national origin and recognize the great losses to our country's scientific advancement should such targeting continue;
  • Support equitable opportunities for entry into the cannabis industry by prioritizing licensing and employment opportunities to persons who have suffered past cannabis convictions; and,
  • Work to ensure that government (especially our legal system) works for all citizens, not just the privileged.
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