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The 2006 County Convention Platform and Resolutions will be voted on during the 2006 County Convention which will be held on ----- 2006. Below is a wiki version, of the past Platform, to change into the proposal for the new year.

The Orange County Democratic Party Platform represents the OCDP’s standing position on both long-term and short-term legislative, policy, and program issues at the local, state, federal and international levels. Resolutions passed at the County Convention address urgent or emerging issues and remain in effect until the next County Convention. Resolutions and platform amendments are first brought forward by precinct members. They are discussed and adopted at precinct meetings and then forwarded for review by the County Platform & Resolutions Committee. Each precinct can select a representative to the County Committee. The County Committee meets before the County Convention and compiles a “Report to the Convention” with the proposed resolutions and amendments. At the County Convention the proposed resolutions and amendments are presented for debate and adoption by the Convention. The adopted resolutions and the amended platform are then forwarded to the District Executive Committee, with a copy to the State Executive Committee, and to our local, state, and national elected representatives. They will also be posted on our website: www.orangedems.com.

See the the original 2005 County Convention Platform and Resolutions for inspiration and continuation.

To add an item, press the 'edit' tab and write your suggested priority in the edit box, under the appropriate heading (one equal sign on either side) begin your proposal with a subheading (two equal signs on either side)

To contribute to or initiate a discussion about an edit to a 2005 resolution or 2006 resolution, or a new resolution, press the 'talk' tab.

The list is as comprehensive as we make it. Please DO NOT HESITATE TO EDIT, CONTRIBUTE, OR DISCUSS.

PlatformEdit

Human Rights and JusticeEdit

1. Prohibiting discrimination based on sexual orientationEdit

WHEREAS, Discrimination against persons based on sexual orientation is harmful to the individual and wasteful to society,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party supports the passage of a bill in the N.C. Legislature to prohibit discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identify.

Submitted by Coles Store Precinct

2. Repeal the state Defense of Marriage ActEdit

WHEREAS, The 14th amendment to the United States Constitution says that no state shall “deny to any person under its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws;” and

WHEREAS, The state Defense of Marriage Act does in fact deny the protections of civil marriage to same-sex couples; and,

WHEREAS, All Democratic elected officials have sworn an oath to uphold the constitution,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party calls upon all its legislators to repeal the state Defense of Marriage Act.

Submitted by Coles Store Precinct

3. Protection of Civil LibertiesEdit

WHEREAS, We the members of the Orange County Democratic Party are increasingly concerned about the erosion of the founding democratic principles and the civil liberties incorporated therein,

THEREFORE, The Orange County Democratic Party resolves:

"We hold these Truths to be self evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain inalienable Rights, that among these are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness...", and, to assist in ensuring that end,

"Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof, or abridging freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for redress of grievances."

Submitted by Damascus Precinct

4. Resolution for a Moratorium on ExecutionsEdit

WHEREAS, The Orange County Democratic Party has a long-standing opposition to the death penalty, as expressed in its County Platform; and

WHEREAS, Prisoner appeals have been severely curtailed, increasing the risk of imprisonment and execution of innocent people:

  • So far more than 115 people, including five North Carolinians, have been released from death row after their innocence was proven, in some cases, by amateur investigators outside the justice system.
  • The most far-reaching study of the death penalty in the U.S. found that two out of three convictions were overturned on appeal, mostly because of serious errors by incompetent defense attorneys or prosecutorial misconduct. North Carolina had a 71 percent error rate.
  • In a series of rulings since 1991, the U.S. Supreme Court has drastically restricted the rights of death row prisoners to appeal their convictions and death sentences in federal courts, even in cases where prisoners present compelling evidence of innocence; and

WHEREAS, Death sentences are overwhelmingly more likely to be applied to the poor:

  • About 90% of those persons facing capital charges cannot afford their own attorney, and that figure is higher for North Carolina’s death row prisoners.
  • No state has met standards developed by the American Bar Association for appointment, performance and compensation of counsel for indigent prisoners; and

WHEREAS, There is ample evidence that the death penalty is applied in a racist manner:

  • 76% of all people executed by the State of North Carolina have been African American.
  • 63% of death row in N.C. is composed of racial minorities, one of the highest percentages in the country.
  • In N.C., a person charged with killing a white person is 3.5 times more likely to receive the death penalty.
  • In 1990, the U.S. General Accounting Office reported "a pattern of evidence indicating racial disparities in charging, sentencing and imposition of the death penalty."
  • Nationwide, 82% of those put to death had been convicted of murdering a white person even though people of color are the victims in more than half of all homicides; and

WHEREAS, The American Bar Association has concluded that administration of the death penalty is "a haphazard maze of unfair practices with no internal consistency" and has called for a moratorium on executions,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party calls on the North Carolina General Assembly, the Governor of North Carolina, the U.S. President and the U.S. Congress, to enact and adopt legislation imposing a moratorium on executions at least until this state and the nation implement policies and procedures which: • Ensure that death penalty cases are administered fairly and impartially, in accordance with basic due process • Minimize the risk that innocent persons may be executed.

Submitted by Patterson Precinct


5. Increase Access to Justice for the PoorEdit

WHEREAS, A citizen’s rights are meaningless if he or she cannot enforce them; and

WHEREAS, Enforcement of rights is nearly impossible in the court of law without the assistance of a lawyer to navigate the intricacies of the legal system; and

WHEREAS, The American Bar Association estimates that only 20 percent of the legal needs of the poor are being met; and

WHEREAS, As of 2002, there were only 3,652 attorneys working under grants from the Legal Services Corporation (LSC), or 1 attorney for every 11,500 poor people; and

WHEREAS, Restrictions on attorneys receiving LSC funds prevent them from addressing broader problems of poor people through class action litigation or lobbying legislatures and rulemaking bodies;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party supports increased funding for the LSC to allow “Universal Access” (defined by the Carter Administration as 1 attorney for every 5,000 poor people), and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party supports the repeal of restrictions that prevent Legal Services attorneys from doing class action litigation or lobbying.

Submitted by St. Johns Precinct


6. Payday LendingEdit

WHEREAS, Predatory payday lending companies (also known as “deferred deposit” companies and/or “cash advance” companies) are operating in North Carolina while claiming Federal preemption of the State’s usury laws; and

WHEREAS, Predatory payday lending companies make predatory loans to borrowers at interest rates above 300 percent APR, and the characteristics of these predatory loans encourage repeat renewal and back-to-back borrowing or these loans; and

WHEREAS, These predatory loans are targeted at low wealth and military communities; and

WHEREAS, Other states have effectively prohibited these predatory loans through legislation;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the NC General Assembly to pass legislation that eliminates predatory lending from North Carolina including the adoption of measures that lower the APR of these loans to below 60%, lengthen the minimum term of these loans to 90 days, prohibit repeat back-to-back transactions, eliminate the use of out-of-state chartered banking agency relationships for facilitating the violation of NC law, limit outstanding loan balances to $300, and make forum selection clauses in payday lending contracts unconscionable as a matter of law; and urges the Governor to support passage of and to sign the said legislation.

Submitted by Coles Store Precinct


7. Call for Special Prosecutor to Investigate Allegations of TortureEdit

WHEREAS, The U.S. Constitution forbids cruel and unusual punishment; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. is a signatory to international treaties barring the use of torture,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party calls for the appointment of a special prosecutor to investigate allegations concerning the use of torture by U.S. intelligence agencies and the Department of Defense; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That Congress will pursue legislation to ensure that agents of the federal government will not engage in torture.

Submitted by Dogwood Acres Precinct

23. Legalize Unwed Opposite-sex PartnersEdit

Whereas since 1805 it has been illegal for unwed opposite sex partners to live together; and Whereas today over 125,000 households in North Carolina include unmarried opposite sex couples; and Whereas we respect and value diverse forms of living arrangements made by consenting adults;

Be it therefore resolved that the Orange County Democratic Party supports repeal of the 1805 North Carolina law that prohibits co-habitation by unwed opposite-sex partners and requests that our county legislative delegation work to expedite this repeal.

20. PovertyEdit

Be it resolved that it is the ethical responsibility of the Orange County Democratic Party and the North Carolina Democratic Party to take an active vocal stand, especially during campaigns, against the conditions of poverty existing locally, state, and nationwide.

Eastside Precinct

EnvironmentEdit

8. Resolution on a North Carolina Approach to Global Climate Charge and Nuclear PowerEdit

WHEREAS, There is virtually unanimous agreement in the worldwide scientific community that greenhouse gases created by human activity have resulted in the highest average global temperatures in the last 14,000 years; and

WHEREAS, Most climatologists agree that the rate of warming is accelerating, and predict that global warming will have the effect of increasing floods, droughts, forest fires, damaging storms, rising ocean level, the spread of tropical diseases, poorer air quality, and damage to US agricultural and timber industries; and

WHEREAS, There is major scientific concern that greenhouse gas accumulation will trigger “abrupt climate change” tipping points that may dramatically alter climate conditions in various parts of the world in a very short time; and

WHEREAS, Recent floods, drought, and hurricanes in North Carolina have had major impact on our state and its economy and our low lying barrier islands and coastlines are very vulnerable to rising ocean level and violent storms; and

WHEREAS, The Bush administration, dominated by the oil and coal lobbies, has refused to sign the Kyoto Treaty on Climate Change and strongly opposed almost all other constructive approaches to reducing U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, with the result that states are being forced to provide leadership in cutting their emissions, preparing for increased weather emergencies, and lobbying for a change in national policy; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina utilities are forecasting a 62% increase in CO2 emissions (the main greenhouse gas) from their coal burning power plants from 2002 through 2020; and

WHEREAS, The nuclear industry is using global warming as a justification for relicensing present aging power plants and building new plants with massive public subsidies in spite of the facts that a safe and permanent solution has not been found for nuclear waste, that nuclear plants have been repeatedly mentioned by terrorist groups as prime targets, that nuclear fuel pools, such as the Shearon Harris, Brunswick and McGuire plants are highly vulnerable to terrorist attack, and that such an attack could result in a devastating radioactive fire that could highly contaminate thousands of square miles; and

WHEREAS, North Carolina can dramatically cut greenhouse gas emissions from coal burning plants, and begin phasing out its nuclear plants by initiating a vigorous program of electrical energy use reduction while bringing online non-polluting renewable energy sources; and

WHEREAS, The technology for dramatic electrical energy use reduction now exists through modern architectural design and, for existing buildings, upgrades such as efficient lighting, weatherization, electrical motors, and heating and air-conditioning, and such an initiative would stimulate both major cost savings and major economic stimulation and job growth; and WHEREAS, investment in energy-efficient new construction, retrofitting existing real estate, and bringing on line alternative clean energy sources will both save consumers in energy costs and create new North Carolina industries and thousands of new jobs, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party asks the county, district and state Democratic Parties to communicate with Governor Easley and our members of the North Carolina General Assembly and to urge them to initiate, as a matter of urgent priority, a plan to dramatically reduce greenhouse gas emissions by reducing electrical energy use in the state and by bringing non-polluting renewable generation on line; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That our elected representatives be further urged to work with local government and other state governments and to lobby the federal government to implement these goals. Submitted by Carrboro, Ridgefield and Town Hall Precincts

21. Support for Rail Transportation, Bikeways, and SidewalksEdit

Whereas our nation depends heavily on automobiles for transportation, and

Whereas this dependence and the lack of abundant surface transportation alternatives accelerates the depletion on non-renewable fossil fuel resources; and

Whereas this dependence accelerates carbon dioxide emissions that seriously threaten Climate stability and global agricultural production; and

Whereas this dependence threatens the long-term economic health of our nation; and

Whereas surface transportation technologies are vastly more fuel–efficient and considerably less pollution than automobiles and aircraft; and

Whereas, having extensive surface public transportation that is convenient , reliable, comfortable and safe makes us less dependent on fossil fuels and more secure as a nation; and

Whereas having extensive surface public transportation and sidewalks ensures better public health, environmental health and fiscal health of our communities; and

Whereas having extensive surface public transportation and sidewalks support more compact, walkable forms of development and helps preserve farmland, open space and wildlife habitat;

Be it therefore resolved that the Orange County Democratic Party supports establishment and/or expansion of dedicated federal , state, and local funding sources for all forms of Surface Public Transportation, including Amtrak intercity and high-speed, rail, computer rail, light rail and local & regional bus services, as well as for infrastructure that supports biking and walking; Be it further resolved that dedicated funding levels be set that will ensure that within 20 years most Americans will have easy access to several different forms of surface transportation of their local, regional, and intercity trips.

James Carnahan 122 Oaks St. Carrboro, NC 2751o

19. Support for Farmers and Sustainable AgricultureEdit

Whereas Orange County is with each passing day losing more of its rural character, desirable green space and family farms, and the median age of our farmers continues to rise due to consistently decreasing agricultural profit margins,

Therefore be it resolved that efforts be made to protect agricultural tax relief at every level and support farmers in their efforts to create and market diversified and sustainable uses of their land in the wake of reduced tobacco income – especially those uses such as the growing of organic produce and provision of rural recreations which contribute to public health.

Tolars Precinct

Health and Human ServicesEdit

9. Resolution on NC Health Care ReformEdit

WHEREAS, Almost one third of North Carolinians (2.5 million people) are without health insurance coverage during at least part of each year and another million North Carolinians have inadequate health insurance coverage; and WHEREAS, Nearly half of individual bankruptcy filings are related to medical bills; and WHEREAS, The uninsured receive fewer health care services and are more likely to suffer from preventable health problems; and WHEREAS, Most uninsured adults have jobs but cannot afford health insurance; and WHEREAS, Very many of those families with health care insurance could quickly lose it due to unemployment resulting from a layoff or a serious accident or illness; and WHEREAS, the current administration is proposing nothing which will address this crisis and instead is proposing to cut Medicaid payments, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party asks the county, district and state Democratic Parties to communicate with Governor Easley and our members of the North Carolina General Assembly and to urge them to support Representative Verla Insko’s Bill on the Right to Health Care which would give the voters the opportunity to decide by referendum whether the North Carolina Constitution should be amended to guarantee that residents of our state enjoy the right to health care just as it does the right to education. If the resolution passes it would mandate the General Assembly to pass a plan to bring about affordable health care for all in the state. Submitted by Carrboro, Ridgefield and Town Hall Precincts

10. Mental Health ParityEdit

WHEREAS, mental health coverage is often treated differently than physical health for insurance purposes, where it is covered at all,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party asks the county, district and state Democratic Parties to communicate with Governor Easley and our members of the North Carolina General Assembly and to urge them to support coverage of mental health on an equal footing as other health matters for insurance purposes.

Submitted by Carrboro Precinct

Political SystemsEdit

11. Campaign Reform and Voter-Owned ElectionsEdit

WHEREAS, Spending on political campaigns in North Carolina has skyrocketed in recent years; and

WHEREAS, The high costs of campaigning acts as a barrier to exclude many qualified candidates; and

WHEREAS, The increasing importance of private money in campaigns gives wealthy donors and special interests an advantage over ordinary voters and diminishes the rule of “one person, one vote”; and

WHEREAS, Big donors can sometimes use their advantage to win public policies that harm the public good and add substantial costs for taxpayers,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the N.C. General Assembly and Governor to enact a Voter-Owned, Clean Elections program for state elections similar to the public financing alternative now available for statewide judicial candidates in North Carolina and to programs in states as diverse as Arizona and Maine. Such a program provides a competitive amount of campaign money to candidates (a) who voluntarily agree to strict campaign spending limits and (b) who demonstrate broad support by gathering hundreds of small donations from registered voters in the relevant district. Such a program should be funded by closing tax loopholes or other means that result in no tax increase for the average taxpayer.

Submitted by Town Hall Precinct


12. Requiring Paper Ballots and Counting Provisional BallotsEdit

WHEREAS, The security of ballots is essential for securing the voting process; and

WHEREAS, There is a clear and disturbing trend toward electronic voting, often with no paper trail; and

WHEREAS, Electronic ballots were in fact lost in the most recent election in North Carolina and elsewhere, throwing the results in doubt and violating affected individuals right to vote; and,

WHEREAS, Provisional ballots were instituted to reduce confusion on Election Day and promote the voting of all registered voters; and

WHEREAS, Federal law and state law allow the casting of out of precinct provisional ballots and counting them where registration is verified but the NC Supreme Court has decided to throw out such ballots,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party asks the county, district and state Democratic Parties to communicate with Governor Easley and our members of the North Carolina General Assembly and to urge them to support efforts by Senator Ellie Kinnaird, Representative Verla Insko and others to require a paper ballot for all votes, even those cast electronically, and to allow the counting of verified out of precinct provisional ballots.

Submitted by Town Hall Precinct


13. Reform North Carolina selection of electors to the Electoral CollegeEdit

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the North Carolina General Assembly to adopt a system whereby selection of electors to the Electoral College is proportional to the popular vote in North Carolina. Toward that goal we support the intent of N.C. House Bill 386, and urge that Bill 386 be amended to reflect this principle.

Submitted by Eastside Precinct

EconomyEdit

14. Develop an alternative to the State LotteryEdit

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the Legislature that before it adopts the mindless option of a conventional lottery, it carefully consider the alternative of an ethical lottery; one that is known in the Governor's office and the Revenue Department since 2000 and approved by relevant NGOs; one requiring no new bureaucracy to administer it or gambling interests to rely on; and one which satisfies the social and moral scruples of our citizens while adding an element of positive enjoyment to the yearly chore of paying taxes.

Submitted by Westwood Precinct

15. Fiscally Responsible Federal BudgetEdit

WHEREAS, The $250 billion budget surplus in the federal budget in 2000 has now turned into a $500 billion budget deficit; and

WHEREAS, over the last four years the United States dollar has lost value against almost every other major world currency; and

WHEREAS, the growing national debt threatens the future of all Americans,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party calls on the federal government to immediately return to fiscally responsible policies working towards reducing the federal budget deficit. A first step in this direction should be to roll back the 2000 tax cuts on those with annual incomes over $140,000.

Submitted by Westwood Precinct

16. Social Security and MedicareEdit

WHEREAS, We believe that our society has a duty to aid the elderly, the sick, the incapacitated, orphaned children, and other people in need; and

WHEREAS, Social Security, Medicare, and Medicaid provide a minimal social safety net and we oppose efforts to weaken these federal programs;

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party opposes the privatization of Social Security and opposes the use of the Social Security Fund for current revenue expenditures; and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the government to explore alternatives for funding the Medicare program other than by burdening the poor with co-pays.

Submitted by Patterson Precinct

17. Support for Military FamiliesEdit

BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic urges our elected officials to give priority to support of military families, including establishing a program for providing mortgage relief.

Submitted by St. Johns Precinct



Foreign PolicyEdit

18. Iraq: Bring the Troops HomeEdit

WHEREAS, There is general agreement in the United States and throughout the world that Iraq did not have weapons of mass destruction that posed an imminent threat to this country or to Iraq’s neighbors, and that the government of Iraq had few if any discernable ties to those who perpetrated the Sept. 11, 2001 attacks on the World Trade Center and the Pentagon; and

WHEREAS, The federal government has approved the expenditure of 172 billion dollars in public funds for the U.S. war in Iraq, draining those funds away from domestic priorities including transportation, health care, and national security; and

WHEREAS, The U.S. is currently in the process of developing 14 permanent U.S. military bases in Iraq; and

WHEREAS, Families in the United States have paid a heavy price for the U.S. involvement in Iraq with the deaths of 1,495 U.S. military personnel – with many more seriously injured – between the start of the war on March 19,2003 and February 27, 2005; and

WHEREAS, These deaths of U.S. military personnel include 1,358 fatalities since President George W. Bush declared “mission accomplished” in Iraq on May 5, 2003, as well as 631 fatalities since the handover of power to the Iraqis on June 29, 2004; and

WHEREAS, The deaths of Iraqi citizens are estimated to be over 100,000,

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, That the Orange County Democratic Party urges the U.S Government to immediately begin withdrawal of U.S. troops on a firm timetable; to aggressively pursue internationalization of peacekeeping, security and redevelopment efforts in Iraq; and to work to ensure that the emerging Iraq Government has full sovereignty over its political and economic policies.

Submitted by St. Johns Precinct

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