Jump to section:
- Mission Statement
- Executive Summary
- Policy Area Statements
- Human and Civil Rights
- Health Care
- Criminal Justice and Public Safety
- Environment and Energy
- Labor and Economic Justice
- Foreign Policy
- Elections and Campaigns
- Immigration Reform
- Tribal Relations and Sovereignty
The Young Democrats of Washington State provide a space for young people as they start their political involvement. We train, guide, and educate Young Democrats as they learn to impact positive change across the state through advocacy and electoral action.
The platform of the Young Democrats of Washington is a declaration of human rights, justice, and opportunity for all. We reaffirm the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and expect government at all levels to champion these rights for everyone.
We adopt this platform so the public and candidates for office can espouse and support our ideals and aspirations. Finally, we affirm the charter and bylaws of the Young Democrats of Washington.
Policy Area Statements:
Human and Civil Rights:
We believe human rights are inherent rights not dependent upon the civil laws of any country; they are self-evident truths. Black Lives Matter. Trans Lives Matter.
We support a public system of health care, consistent with the Democratic Party’s commitment to inclusion, compassion, and the health and wellbeing of every person.
Criminal Justice and Public Safety:
We believe the government has the responsibility to prevent crime by alleviating social conditions that contribute to it in a constitutional manner that respects the rights of all people, including rights to due process and equal protections under the law.
We believe education is the foundation of democracy; it brings together students of diverse experience, ability, and background for the common purpose of learning. To support this foundation, we believe the state is therefore obliged to fully fund education for all students.
Environment and Energy:
We believe protection of the environment and the promotion of economic growth are not mutually exclusive, and that preservation of the environment is an important obligation of our government. We support a cooperative and proactive approach to sustainable living practices that incorporate responsible ecological practices to combat the effects of climate change which is the most imminent global emergency facing humanity.
Labor and Economic Justice:
Our economic system should serve everyone, not just the wealthy few. Safe, fair, and organized working conditions are essential to a prosperous middle class and key to a healthy state economy.
We believe that quality, affordable housing is a human right. We support the rights of tenants, and the rights of all people to aspire to homeownership. We oppose the defunding of homelessness programs during this national homelessness crisis, and support the decriminalization of homelessness throughout the state.
We believe the United States is a leader in the global community and must act to respectfully promote peace and human rights throughout the world as a global partner.
We believe a progressive tax system ensures the prosperity of the American people and generates the funding necessary for a responsible government. We support the dismantling of Washington’s extremely regressive taxation system which disproportionately harms low and middle income people while providing relief for the wealthy.
We believe access to transportation is a key driver of increased equity for people of different economic backgrounds. Improving our transportation infrastructure will allow for a cleaner environment, shorter commutes, reduced traffic, and promotion of robust economic growth in both rural and urban areas.
Elections and Campaigns:
We believe free and fair elections are a cornerstone of our democracy. We support equitable access to the political process for all Americans.
We believe that we need to fix our broken immigration system to give people a simplified path to citizenship, and promote humane policies that protect the civil rights of immigrants and asylum seekers, especially children.
Tribal Relations and Sovereignty:
We support the sovereignty of Native American Nations, respecting and upholding all treaties, and enacting policies that encourage the self-determination of all tribes, their members, and other indigenous peoples.
This platform is a declaration of human rights, justice, and opportunity for all. We reaffirm the rights guaranteed by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights, and expect the government at all levels to champion these rights for everyone.
We adopt this platform so the public and candidates for office can espouse and support our ideals and aspirations. We affirm the charter and bylaws of the Young Democrats of Washington.
Human & Civil Rights
Human rights are inherent rights not dependent upon the civil laws of any country; they are self-evident truths.
- We affirm that food, housing, medical care, education, a healthy environment, and equal employment opportunities are basic human rights, and we support the development of social programs to protect these basic human rights.
- We oppose discrimination in voting, employment, housing, public accommodations, healthcare, military service and veterans’ status, insurance, licensing, or education based on race, ethnicity, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, size, socioeconomic status, political affiliation, and national origin or immigration status.
- We support strong affirmative action laws to ensure that prejudice does not prevent qualified persons from obtaining education, employment, promotion, housing, insurance, or any other social good.
- We affirm the human right of sovereignty over our bodies. We oppose any law, regulation, or government action restricting legal rights and private matters regarding one’s reproductive functions. We support a person’s constitutional right to choose abortion, as protected by Roe v. Wade, which should not be restricted by age, immigration status, ability to pay, or geography.
- We oppose the use of government resources to advance religious institutions.
- We affirm that government should legally recognize all persons who choose to marry and further believe that such persons share fully and equally in the rights, responsibilities, and commitments of civil marriage, and that all persons should have easy access to marriage licenses.
- We support strong legislation, treatment programs, and education designed to reduce domestic violence, child abuse, physical abuse, sexual harassment and abuse, financial coercion, cyber bullying, and workplace harassment. . We believe each person has the right to life, free from fear and abuse.
- We affirm that each individual has a right to privacy, both physical and digital, that should not be violated by government or business. Proactive legislative steps should be taken to address the issue.
- We affirm our belief in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and recognize that the inherent dignity and the equal and inalienable rights of all people are the foundations of freedom, justice, and peace in the world.
- We support a right for legal due process to include the reinstatement of habeas corpus for all people.
- Recognizing the centrality of the internet to the economy and our daily lives, we support legislation establishing internet neutrality.
- We affirm the individual’s right to live their own gender identity and expression and to not face discrimination on behalf of these identities, including the use of public facilities, medical care, public and military service, licensing, and name changing.
- We support the right of all people to live free of sexual harassment and sexual violence, and oppose any organizational structure whose reporting system shields perpetrators of sexual violence.
- We support the freedom of the press to act as a check and balance on the government without undue influence from corporations, elected officials, or wealthy individuals.
- We believe in dismantling the legal underpinnings of ethno-nationalism and particularly white supremacy in this country.
- We recognize that the concept of human rights underlies and infuses every other plank of the platform of the Young Democrats of Washington.
We support a public system of health care, consistent with the Democratic Party’s commitment to inclusion, compassion, and the health and wellbeing of every person. Specifically:
- We believe healthcare is a human right.
- We support the implementation of nationwide universal health care regardless of race, socioeconomic status, sexual orientation, gender identity, disability, and immigration status.
- We support extending full Tri-Care coverage for all veterans on active duty, national guard, and reserve status, especially those with service-connected disabilities. We support permanent wraparound services for all service-disabled veterans.
- We oppose discrimination in health care services and research, including in cases of race, socioeconomic status, and gender identity.
- We believe in evidence based treatment and medical care.
- We support the right to physician-assisted suicide for those who are terminally ill and of sound mind, because we all have the right to death with dignity.
- We support universal access to family planning procedures, and affirm that insurance companies should provide complete coverage for family planning procedures and contraceptives.
- We support government funding of stem-cell research in recognition of the life-saving advancements that this line of research has produced.
- We support Integrated Healthcare and affirm that mental health and behavioral health are as important as physical health. We support parity in healthcare coverage and efforts to de-stigmatize mental illness and neurodiversity and recognize the issues surrounding appropriate treatment and access to treatment.
- We support cutting the costs of prescription drugs through means such as importation, Medicare, collective bargaining, and universal health care.
- We believe in the medical necessity of gender confirmation procedures and that insurance providers should provide equal coverage to all individuals.
- We support policies that positively assist those seeking addiction recovery, including government action on the opioid crisis by way of safe consumption facilities and methadone clinics.
- We oppose the discredited and dangerous practice known as conversion therapy and support legislation banning this abusive pseudo-science.
- We support the use of vaccines for the eradication of infectious diseases and oppose non-medical vaccine exemptions.
- We support the implementation of safe consumption sites as a means of harm reduction throughout the state, and acknowledge the substantial research conducted on such sites. Additionally, we reject any past, current, or future bans on such sites made by any elected official or municipality.
- We support adequate paid family and sick leave at both the state and national level.
- We recognize that addiction is a disease and that we should not criminalize the ill or any treatment of the disease.
Criminal Justice and Public Safety
The government has the responsibility to prevent crime by alleviating social conditions that contribute to it and respond in a constitutional manner that respects the rights of all people.
- We support proper funding for law enforcement and first responders.
- We oppose racial, immigration, ethnic, religious, and gender identity profiling, and support the implementation of continuing education programs for these issues.
- We support the individual’s right to record and/or document the police and have access to law enforcement raw camera footage and or audio.
- We oppose the excessive use of force and escalated violence by the police and support the prosecution of officers who use it.
- We support the philosophy of community policing and restorative justice.
- We support the abolition of capital punishment.
- We affirm that the criminal justice system should focus on education and rehabilitation rather than punishment and that all civil rights should be restored after they have completed their rehabilitation program.
- We oppose mandatory minimum sentencing.
- We support the prioritization of investigation and prosecution of white-collar crimes.
- We support safety locks on handguns, prohibition of importation and ownership of fully-automatic weapons, and strengthening of laws holding adults responsible for safeguarding guns at home.
- We support gun registration and licensing, mandatory safety training for gun owners, background checks on all gun sales, a minimum waiting period, and closing the gun show loophole.
- We support the legalization, accessibility, regulation, and taxation of marijuana, including removing cannabis from Schedule 1 of the controlled substances act.
- We support the release of those incarcerated for the possession or distribution of marijuana prior to legalization.
- We oppose the War on Drugs.
- We support decriminalization of possession of all drugs without intent to sell.
- We affirm that the criminal justice system should house inmates according to their gender identity and should not withhold necessary treatments from trans and gender nonconforming inmates.
- We support expunging all forms of institutional racism and sexism from the justice system.
- We support the humane treatment of all incarcerated persons and the abolition of solitary confinement.
- We support the end of the Prison Industrial Complex, the school to prison pipeline, and all private prisons.
- We support the drastic reduction of the prison population of the United States and the disproportionate imprisonment of people of color.
- We support civilian oversight of the police force.
Education is the foundation of democracy; it provides an opportunity for students of diverse experience, ability, and background for the common purpose of learning regardless of documentation status.
- We support the reduction of class sizes to achieve an appropriate student to teacher ratio.
- We support fully funding state and federal financial aid for higher education, including an increase in the Washington College Grant and Pell Grants.
- We oppose the public funding of charter schools.
- We support investment in alternative and magnet schools as long as they are accountable to the general public.
- We support a fair wage and annual cost of living increases for teachers.
- We support proactive state and federal government funding in disadvantaged school districts.
- We support the adoption and full funding of programs that assess and accommodate learning impairments and behavioral issues.
- We support medically accurate and comprehensive sex education in schools, as well as education on healthy relationships and models of consent.
- We support affordability, accessibility, and accountability in higher education.
- We support a statewide mandate of Washington’s public higher education institutions to provide an adequate amount of quality, accessible gender-inclusive housing.
- We consider universal pre-K, K-12, and higher education to be a component of basic education and believe free public education at all levels should be available to all people.
- We oppose differential tuition and acknowledge that excessive course fees can function as such.
- We support increased funding for fine arts and the humanities.
- We oppose predatory student loans that cannot be discharged in bankruptcy.
- We support the reform of standardized testing, including de-linking standardized test results from graduation requirements, and stand in solidarity with teachers that protest standardized testing as a singular measurement tool.
- We support affirmative action and other admission practices that create a level playing field for marginalized communities.
- We support freezing the cost of tuition at public universities in our state budget.
- We support civic education for all students.
- We support debt relief programs and policies that will help reduce or eliminate unsustainable levels of student debt.
- We support all legislation that fully funds K-12 as declared by the McCleary Decision.
Environment and Energy
We believe protecting the environment and promoting economic growth are not mutually exclusive, and that preservation of the environment is an important obligation of our government. We support a cooperative and proactive approach to sustainable living practices that incorporate responsible, ecological processes to combat the effects of climate change.
- We believe all individuals have a fundamental right to clean air, clean water, clean land, and other natural resources.
- We recognize the overwhelming scientific consensus that climate change is real and caused by humans, and that we must immediately take steps to counteract it.
- We support widespread research and use of energy efficient solar, wind, wave, tidal, biomass, geothermal, hydro, and other renewable natural sources of power.
- We support incentives for the use of energy conservation and emerging clean energy systems.
- We support strong measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the United States and strong treaties with other nations to reduce emissions worldwide.
- We oppose the practice of hydraulic fracturing (fracking).
- We support the clean-up and restoration of all damaged and degraded government and private project lands, and support efforts to minimize future damage.
- We believe the government should prioritize research and development of carbon sequestration technologies.
- We support the creation of a public organization to oversee energy companies and help prevent unethical practices.
- We support comprehensive land use regulations that constrain sprawl, protect our environment, and promote strong, sustainable, and healthy urban and rural areas.
- We oppose the transportation of oil, coal, and other fossil fuels in Washington because no body has created a system to safely do it.
- We oppose the exploitation of the Earth through the harvesting and export of natural resources which damage the environment and long-term economic sustainability of our state.
- We support regulation of carbon emissions through policies such as cap & trade, carbon taxes, or other methods.
- We support efforts to eliminate ocean acidification.
- We support restoration of endangered species and their habitats, which support biodiversity and sustainability, and incorporating the recovery management agreements into the endangered species act.
- We support responsible agricultural practices, such as efficient water use and ending the use of harmful chemicals.
- We support measures to stave off and reduce invasive species which harm native species.
- Due to the harmful effects on both human health and the environment,we support action to counteract and prevent wildfires on public and private land.
Labor & Economic Justice
Our economic system should serve everyone, not just a wealthy few. Safe, fair, and organized working conditions are essential to a prosperous middle class and key to a healthy economy.
- We affirm the rights of workers to a safe and healthy work environment.
- We support all public and private workers’ rights to organize and use mediation, arbitration, or strikes when necessary to resolve disputes.
- We oppose any intimidation or retaliation by employers, especially when workers attempt to unionize or discuss workplace conditions or compensation.
- We believe that the minimum wage should reflect a living wage for all employees and we support annual cost-of-living increases that reflect inflation and unsustainable market growth.
- We affirm the right to equal pay for equal work.
- We support workers’ rights to unemployment insurance benefits when locked out by their employers.
- We oppose the use of permanent replacement workers during strikes.
- We support paid sick, familial, and safe leave.
- We oppose training wages and any other exceptions to the minimum wage.
- A closing of sub-minimum wage loopholes in state, county, and local levels and ending of 14C certifications under the minimum wage
- We support the passage of an employee non-discrimination act to protect queer & trans people in the workplace.
- We support full workers’ compensation and medical treatment for on the job injuries.
- We oppose the mistreatment and exclusion of agriculture workers from overtime pay, minimum wage laws, and fair labor standards.
- We support appropriate regulation of the financial industry to move towards a fairer and more equitable economy.
Housing and Homelessness
We believe that quality, affordable housing is a human right. We support the rights of tenants, and the rights of all people to aspire to homeownership, community ownership, and safe and stable affordable housing.
- We support a major increase in funding for assistance and construction of affordable and low-income housing in Washington state, such as fully funding the Housing Trust Fund, Housing and Essential Needs program, and other housing programs to the scale of need.
- We support the principles and enforcement of strong landlord-tenant protections.
- We support the implementation of rent regulation and the repeal of Washington State’s ban on it.
- We oppose predatory lending and unfair foreclosure of houses.
- We support rental licensing and safety programs.
- We support inclusionary zoning that encourages the development of affordable, safe, and environmentally sound housing, including construction of tiny houses, duplexes, and accessory dwelling units on single lots, as well as restrictions on co-housing.
- We support construction of an adequate amount of public housing to provide housing for all, so that all who need housing have access to housing that they can afford.
- We support provision and the adequate funding of enough clean, livable temporary shelter to ensure people experiencing homelessness do not go unsheltered until stably housed in permanent housing.
- We support protection and expansion of programs to provide services to people experiencing homelessness, including mental health, addiction treatment, job training and placement, medical treatment, and other vital wraparound services.
- We support housing First strategies that recognize that being stably housed is the first step to stabilization.
- We support requiring private developers to set aside 25% of units for affordable housing on a permanent basis in unzoned developments.
- We support ensuring that both commercial private as well as public housing is maintained in a safe, livable condition.
- We support protections for residents of rental units against discrimination on the basis of race, country of origin, religious or non-religious status, gender, sexual orientation, veteran status, source of income, means of assistance, political beliefs, or marital status.
- We support halting and reversing the growth of regressive residential property taxes in favor of more progressive forms of revenue collection.
- We oppose any policy of homeless encampment removals and the displacement
- We oppose anti-nuisance and trespassing ordinances which force people to choose between their safety and being housed.
- We oppose dehumanization and victim blaming of our neighbors experiencing homelessness.
- We oppose hostile urban planning and architecture designed to keep people in extreme poverty removed from public spaces.
We believe the United States is a leader in the global community and must act to respectfully promote peace and human rights throughout the world as a global partner.
- We urge the US,other nations, and the International Monetary Fund to forgive undue and burdensome debts owed to them by impoverished nations.
- We encourage the United States to reinstate the Paris Agreement.
- We support fair trade on responsible terms that encourage environmental and labor-friendly practices.
- We oppose travel bans on country of origin, race, or religion.
- We oppose trade barriers that economically undermine developing nations.
- We support a fairly negotiated, secure peace in Palestine and Israel and throughout the Middle East. We oppose the creation and expansion of Israeli settlements in Palestinian territory.
- We oppose the ongoing demolitions and expulsions of Palestinian communities in the West Bank. We oppose the ongoing military and civilian occupation of Palestinian territory.
- We support the US joining the International Criminal Court by becoming a signatory of the Rome Statute.
- We support cooperative international efforts to contain the proliferation of weapons of mass destruction and eradicate current nuclear arsenals, including rejoining the Joint Comprehensive Plan of Action.
- We support expedient and effective global disaster relief.
- We believe that in clear and identifiable cases of genocide, the United States and international community have a moral obligation to intervene on behalf of the persecuted populations, including the divestment of public funds from companies that deal with genocidal governments.
- We support the United States being actively involved in collaboration with international efforts to combat HIV/AIDS and other infectious diseases, including the spread of vaccines.
- We support the ratification of the International Covenant of Economic, Social, and Cultural Rights.
- We oppose the fast-tracking of international trade agreement ratification.
- We believe the United States and other previously colonial nations should acknowledge and take the necessary steps to begin undoing the harms of colonization across the world.
- We support the rights of workers globally, including fair labor standards, living wage, safe working environments, and other protections from exploitation. .
- We believe in a solution for the conflicts in all countries in the Middle East which results in self-determination, stability, and peace.
- We oppose the sale of war materiel to any governments and/or organizations that harm human rights and destabilize nations.
- We support the acceptance of all refugees and asylum seekers from all worldwide conflicts.
- We oppose any and all foreign interference in US election efforts and we oppose US interference in foreign elections.
- We oppose any form of government that does not allow citizens to petition the government for redress of grievances or does not allow citizens to participate in the governance process.
- We support economic investments in regions prone to turmoil.
We believe a progressive tax system ensures the prosperity of the American people and generates the funding necessary for a responsible government. We support the dismantling of Washington’s extremely regressive taxation system in the nation which disproportionately harms low and middle income people while providing relief for the wealthy.
- We support a progressive, countercyclical tax system for Washington state.
- We support replacement and/or reduction of all forms of regressive taxation, especially sales and property taxes in Washington State, in favor of the implementation of a progressive income tax in Washington State.
- We support tax exemptions for small businesses, including the elimination of the Washington state Business and Occupation tax.
- We support the estate tax, a progressive real estate excise tax, and capital gains tax.
- We oppose tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthy.
- We support mandatory sunset dates for all tax exemptions.
- We support requiring tax exemptions to be reinvested in the state by holding companies accountable to how the money is spent.
- We support the creation of a financial transaction tax.
- We support the establishment of a publicly owned state bank as an alternative to federal or private banks.
Improving the transportation infrastructure will allow for a cleaner environment, shorter commutes, and reduced traffic.
- We support the funding, implementation, construction, and maintenance of roads, bridges, rails, and airports serving rural and urban areas.
- We oppose Initiative to the Legislature 976 which would gut the entire state’s transportation budget.
- We supporting the funding and development of a high-speed rail system.
- We support the state granting authority for local transit options to cities and counties.
- We support increased funding & incentivization for multi-modal public transportation systems and the infrastructure to support them.
- We support the expansion of equitable transit-oriented development and green streets.
- We support grade-separated transit and exclusive right-of-way when feasible.
- We believe improving transportation access is critical for a more equitable future due totax breaks for low income households.
- We oppose the criminalization of fare enforcement activities on public transit.
- We oppose increased privatization of public infrastructure and transportation.
Elections and Campaigns
We believe free and fair elections are a cornerstone of our democracy. We support equitable access to the political process for all Americans.
- We support the pursuit of Automatic Voter Registration, including pre-registration for 16 and 17 year-olds.
- We believe elections should be publicly administered in order to avoid discrepancies and to ensure that votes cast are tabulated scientifically and impartially.
- We support a full and thorough 2020 census count that ensures all residents, regardless of residency, citizenship status, sexual orientation or gender identity, are counted.
- We support non-precinct voting, early voting, and Election Day as a national holiday. Additionally, we support same-day voter registration and universal access to mail in ballot options nationwide.
- We support thorough campaign finance reform in order to remove all private money above the individual limit from elections.
- We support federal redistricting reform, including uniform state redistricting standards through nonpartisan boards, confirmed by the State Supreme Court, and oppose political gerrymandering.
- We support clear and transparent elections throughout the government, and at all levels of the Democratic Party.
- We oppose excessively long waiting times to vote.
- We support the option of public financing for local elections.
- We will not tolerate voting impediments or voter intimidation in any form. We oppose any law that would require identification to vote, because such laws only serve as impediments to students, the poor, the elderly and otherwise marginalized communities.
- We oppose abusive attempts to purge voter registration rolls.
- We support measures that expand access to voting, including ballot drop boxes and postage-paid ballots.
- We support uniform standards for voter registration and absentee ballot application allowing all citizens, regardless of state residence, to apply for and participate in ongoing absentee voter status.
- We support full inclusion, representation, and voting rights for American citizens in all U.S. territories, including the District of Columbia.
- We support requirements of a paper trail for any electronic voting that protects individual privacy while preventing fraud.
- We support a uniform delegate selection process for presidential elections.
- We oppose decisions by the Supreme Court undercutting campaign finance laws.
- We oppose the use of the election process for judicial selection.
- We support full voting rights to all Washington residents regardless of incarceration status, felony status, LFO repayment status, or community supervision status.
As Democrats, we believe in creating a comprehensive and humane immigration system that shows compassion towards immigrants and secures the future of our nation.
- We believe in suspending mass deportations and detention centers.
- We support family unity as a priority for all policies, including opposing issues of child separation.
- We support a simple pathway to citizenship for immigrants seeking to enter the country and undocumented immigrants currently in the US.
- We believe in protecting migrant workers and giving them the same rights and benefits that are enjoyed by all other people living within the boundaries of the United States.
- We oppose the removal of DACA until a clean DREAM act is passed.
- We oppose the construction of a wall on the Mexican border.
- We support increasing the refugee cap and promoting programs that aim to help individuals and families seeking asylum.
- We support sanctuary cities and oppose all non-criminal (not including entry and overstay violations) information flow to I.C.E.
Tribal Relations and Sovereignty
Local, state, and federal governments must respect Native American nations, Alaska Natives, and all other indigenous peoples on a sovereign government-to-government basis and must respect the decisions of Native American and Alaska Native Nations, affirm their rights derived from treaties and state compacts, and oppose attempts to diminish their sovereignty and cultures. We call on local, state, and federal governments to help improve the social, economic, and health status of all Native American, Alaska Native, and all other indigenous people to a level equivalent to that of other Americans.
- We support upholding treaties and tribal agreements by all parties.
- We support restoration of federal recognition for formerly recognized Tribes.
- We support continued efforts to maintain and restore salmon runs and protect shellfish resources critical to Native American, Alaska Native, and other indigenous cultures and economies.
- We support the preservation and protection of sites of historic, cultural, and religious significance.
- We support educating the American public about the inherent and treaty-based rights of Indian tribes, a step that is vital to respectful and civil relations between Indian tribes and local communities, the state, and the nation.
- We support educating students in the local school districts by incorporating more of the history and culture of Native American Peoples, especially those residing in Washington.
- We support continued funding of programs that combat social and economic problems, such as poverty and alcoholism.
- We support fully cooperative relations with Indian Country regarding water and land rights.
- We will fight for justice for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, supporting and following the lead of our tribal nations.