Virginia Focus: What Democrats Believe, from the Albemarle Democratic Party
Who Are Democrats?
We are women and men from every walk of life. We are members, of every religion, every race, every sexual orientation, and every segment of society. We are the Party of inclusion.
We are the Party that puts into practice our belief that all people are created equal. We are a community of caring people who believe that by working together through democratic government we can achieve beneficial ends that cannot be achieved individually. We look to the future, not the past. We want to build a better world for future generations.
What Democrats Believe:
Equality of Opportunity
We believe that everyone should be given the opportunity and the support needed to realize his or her potential. Everyone, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religion or social status, should have an equal opportunity to compete for jobs. We are committed to the principle of equal pay for equal work.
Quality Education for All
We believe that public education is the cornerstone of American society. Providing public education, of equally high quality in every community, is essential. Democrats have led the way in initiating preschool programs, providing job training, and expanding college opportunities.
We believe that the gains of the civil rights and women's movements have benefited all Americans and must not be lost. As Democrats, we continue to fight against discrimination.
We believe that the right to vote, and to have that vote accurately counted, is fundamental. Easy and equitable access to the voting booth is essential to a free society.
We believe that everyone who works should earn at least a living wage. We support the right of workers to unionize without interference from employers and to bargain collectively.
We believe all workers are entitled to a safe and non-hostile working environment.
A Voice for the Voiceless
The Democratic Party is the champion of the disenfranchised and the powerless. We provide the opportunity for those who have not been heard to be represented.
This is a nation of immigrants and descendants of immigrants. The Democratic Party welcomes new immigrants and embraces the ethnic diversity that they bring. We believe in equal opportunity and the protection of due process for all immigrants.
Equal Justice for All
We believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and that everyone accused of a crime should have the right to equal courtroom justice.
The Right to Privacy
We believe that there is a Constitutional right to privacy, and that government should not intervene in individual's medical, decisions. Furthermore, we believe that the intimate details of adult lives and relationships should not be regulated by government.
Caring for Each Other
We believe that our government has a moral obligation to provide lifelines for those who need help.
The Democratic Party has led the way in establishing universal programs (such as Social Security) in which we all contribute to protect each other from falling in poverty.
We believe that everyone should have access to affordable high quality health care.
Improving Quality of Life
We believe that government can and should help improve people’s quality of life in such ways as:
Helping families (assuring quality day care and providing for family leave).
Ensuring an adequate supply of affordable housing
Providing accessible transportation for all.
Ensuring safe, violence-free neighborhoods.
Supporting the arts.
Responsible Free Enterprise
We believe in the free enterprise economic system but know it must have rules and referees. We support regulation that prevents corporate cheating, protects consumers, and provides for fair competition.
We encourage the development of businesses that benefit local communities.
Open Government with Transparent Decision Making
We believe in open government and deplore secret. closed-door decisions.
We encourage public participation and we believe that every citizen should have eqaul access to the decision process.
Citizens who participate should be listened to and their views should be given full consideration.
Sensible Progressive Taxation
We believe that taxes are the price we pay for good government and quality services for all our citizens. Democrats work to ensure that tax dollars are carefully appropriated and spent efficiently. We believe that individuals with higher incomes should contribute proportionately, and that the tax system should be simple and fair.
Fiscal Responsibility – Balanced Budgets
Democrats are fiscally responsible and do not run large deficits year after year. We object to passing on excessive debt to our children grandchildren.
Separation of Church and State
We believe in the Constitution's wise provision separating church and state. Religion is a personal choice and government should not intervene.
Protecting the Earth
We believe that we have an obligation to protect the earth, and to ensure that our air and water are clean. We have seen that both environmental protection and an expanding economy can occur simultaneously. We encourage conservation, the development of renewable sources of energy and alternative means of transportation. We believe that sustainability must be a major consideration in growth and development.
Defending our Country
Our government has the duty to defend our country against our enemies, both at home and abroad, and we honor the sacrifices of those who keep us safe and free.
Democrats Think Globally
We share the planet with many others whom we regard with respect. We believe that the United States should be a considerate world neighbor and cooperate in multinational endeavors to solve worldwide problems and should support the United Nations. We believe further that the United States should promote and protect human rights in all nations, and peacefully assist those nations that are struggling to become democracies.
This is a well-stated, well thought out expression of Democratic Values. Thanks to the Albemarle Democratic Party for such a clear description.