Resolutions

Resolutions

RESOLUTIONS OF THE MASON COUNTY DEMOCRATS, 2016

RESOLUTION No. 2:

In Support of Passing Initiative 735 and Post-Election Follow Up

 

Whereas, the US Supreme Court in its Citizens United v. FEC and Buckley v. Valeo decisions construed the spending of money by individuals, corporations and special interests in elections as protected free speech under the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States, and

 

Whereas, previous US Supreme Court decisions have eroded the authority of government to regulate campaign contributions and expenditures, and

Whereas, the prompt disclosure of all political contributions and expenditures in a manner accessible to voters prior to elections is in the best interest of holding free and fair elections; and

 

Whereas, Initiative 735 seeks to make Washington the 17th state calling for a US Constitutional amendment to overturn US Supreme Court decisions that threaten to destroy our democracy, and

 

Whereas, the Washington State Democratic Central Committee has endorsed I-735 and its provisions identified as follows:

  1. The rights listed and acknowledged in the Constitution of the United States are the rights of individual human beings only.
  2. The judiciary shall not construe the spending of money to be free speech under The First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States.
  3. Federal, State and Local governments shall be fully empowered to regulate political contributions and expenditures to ensure that no person or artificial legal entity gains undue influence over government and the political process.
  4. All political contributions and expenditures shall be disclosed promptly and in a manner accessible to voters prior to elections.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

The Legislative District, County and State Democratic Party urge its elected officials to endorse I-735 and to pass endorsement resolutions in their jurisdictions, and encourage all voters to vote for I-735, and

 

Be it further resolved, that the Democratic Party at all levels commits to holding Washington State Democratic members of Congress accountable to abide by the wishes of their constituents and to urge Democrats represented by Republican members of Congress to hold their members of Congress accountable following the November 2016 election.

 

RESOLUTION No. 6:

Reinstating Voting Rights for those with Felony Record

 

Whereas, persons who have served their jail sentences for felony crimes are denied voting rights to be a productive citizen.

 

Whereas, the persons being denied their basic rights constitute a large group of persons – who are effectively being denied citizenship.

 

Whereas, citizenship is critical to a well-organized and productive society.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

The Washington State Legislative adopt appropriate legislation to ensure persons mentioned above (Felons with time completed/served) to have voting rights reinstated automatically.

 

 

RESOLUTION No. 9:

Nuclear Weapon Funding

 

Whereas, the US Navy wants to spend $100 billion over 10 years to rebuild it’s nuclear submarine and missile systems, and

 

Whereas, the Pentagon wants to spend $1 trillion over 30 years to expand nuclear weapon systems, and

 

Whereas, this same amount of money could allow 9 million people 4-year university enrollments, or hire 1.8 million math and science teachers for 10 years.

 

Whereas, the US faces a huge homeless and hungry population, lack of infrastructure repairs, fast trains and underfunded responses to Global Warming,

 

Whereas, any use of nuclear weapons would be immoral, cause immediate suffering and death to millions and cause Nuclear Winter killing millions more.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

The Washington State Democrats and Congressional Delegation endorse and promote the Smarter Approach to Nuclear Expenditures (SANE) Act, thereby saving $100 billion over 10 years scaling down, delaying, or cancelling nuclear weapons programs, and

 

Be it further resolved, that the US save $1 trillion over 30 years by abolishing all nuclear weapons through international agreements.

 

RESOLUTION No. 10:

We need to propose and support laws for those using our Olympic National Forest for technological and/or military warfare practice.

 

Whereas, concern over long term effects of these electronic radio waves on all living things; the people of the Olympic Peninsula region, all plants, all animals (big, small, endangered), insects, other ecological necessary life.  Even the long term effects on the water supply.  Incidentally 20% of the nation’s drinking water is generated from the National forest areas.  The Olympic National Forest is considered 1/2 of the Earths lungs.  The endangered, disappearing Amazon is the other half.

 

Whereas, to protect the Wilderness Act; “An Act to establish a National Wilderness Preservation System for the permanent good of the whole people, and for other purposes.”  The Wilderness Act implies that a wilderness consists not only of the physical aspects, the wildlife, plants, land, water, cultural resources, but also the emotional and spiritual components such as solitude, beauty, exploration, and adventure.  The “other purposes” listed later in the Wilderness Act states: “…wilderness areas shall be devoted to the public purposes of recreational, scenic, scientific, educational, conservation, and historical use.”

 

Whereas, further concerns are to keep an area of wilderness where the earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man, where man himself is a visitor who does not remain; an area of undeveloped Federal Land retaining its primeval character and influence.

 

Whereas, allowing this military action would violate the National Wilderness Act, and would set precedence for proposals to use other sacred areas of this great nation.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

Deny the US Navy’s proposal to use the Olympic Peninsula region for an Electronic Warfare Range, and deny the use of the Olympic National Forest for military warfare practice

 

RESOLUTION No. 11:

Social Security Act

 

Whereas, the 1981-1982 Social Security Act passed to help funding for Social Security.

 

Whereas, this act greatly impacted the social security benefits of federal employees who had also worked in the private sector.

 

Whereas, all elected and appointed federal employees were exempted from this act.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

We repeal the above act and make any such future Acts apply to everyone equally, public employees including elected and appointed individuals.

 

RESOLUTION No. 12:

Campaign Finance Reform

 

Whereas, money in politics has corrupted the system to work only for those with money to contribute.

 

Whereas, citizens rely on money to get elected & politicians rely on money to get reelected.

 

Whereas, it is hard for the average citizen to get elected without money or large special interest donors.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

The Democratic Party include in its platform a resolution to eliminate all money from public elections and develop a detailed plan outlining for how elections would be conducted.  For example, any media outlet that relies on FCC licensing MUST provide free access; debates would be televised for free.

 

RESOLUTION No. 13:

Single Payer Healthcare

 

Whereas, the ACA (Affordable Care Act) is not affordable and the deductibles are very high.

 

Whereas, access to healthcare and premiums should not be based on personal income.

 

Whereas, medical insurance should not be a for-profit making business and an estimated 25-30% of healthcare costs are profits that should be eliminated.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

The Democratic Party support adoption a single payer not for profit system.

 

RESOLUTION No. 14:

No More Wars or Secret Wars

 

Whereas, the US has caused mayhem, death, and destruction in foreign countries and has not been held accountable.

 

Whereas, over 60% of our federal taxes go to fund the military, more than any other country combined. And we (U.S.) pay for the bulk of NATOs military budget which is wrong.

 

Whereas, killing is wrong!

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

We defund the military, contractors and mercenaries, not to include Veteran benefits or any veteran’s hospitals, and stop the aggression of invading other countries.

 

 

RESOLUTION No. 15:

Eliminate Super-delegates when selecting Democratic nominee

 

Whereas, having super-delegates is the most undemocratic aspect of our democratic party.  People feel very disenfranchised when party leaders have the power to diminish what the voters elect to do.

 

Whereas, the presidential election of 1968 was the last time a democratic nominee (Hubert Humphrey) was selected while a fellow running-mate and democrat (Eugene McCarthy) had more votes.  Not only were there riots at the convention in Chicago, the democrats lost the general election to Richard Nixon.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that:

Super-delegates not exist. And that the Democratic Presidential candidate with the most pledged delegates should be our nominee.

 

RESOLUTION No. 16:

Promotion of Fair Representation by Unpledged Party Leaders and Elected Official Delegates (Superdelegates)

 

  1. Whereas, We live in a democratic society where we claim that every vote counts and that no individual’s vote counts as more, or less than another’s.

 

  1. Whereas, Washington state Superdelegates are not accurately reflecting the will of the voters which they represent.

 

  1. Whereas, Senator Sanders has won 72.7% of the pledged delegates in the state of Washington, and has yet to receive a single commitment of support from Washington State’s 17 unpledged superdelegates.

 

Be it therefore resolved by the Mason County Democrats that Washington State Democrats should/shall:

  1. Eliminate Superdelegates effective no later than January of 2020.
  2. Strongly recommend that Superdelegates (unpledged delegates) accurately represent the will of the Washington State Democratic voters, effective immediately.

 

RESOLUTION No. 17:

Requiring that Publicly Subsidized Meals immediately shift to plant-based ingredients for rapid and dramatic reductions in the worst Greenhouse Gases – Nitrous Oxide and Methane; and dramatic reductions in freshwater waste and freshwater pollution in some of the most drought stricken parts of the US; and that elected officials and public agencies appropriately use their media platforms to education the general public about the strong relationship between climate change and animal agriculture

Whereas, it is becoming inescapably clear that climate change is caused by human activities which have unleashed greenhouse gases.  The amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere has increased 40% since the industrial revolution and 25% since 1958, but carbon dioxide is NOT the only greenhouse gas involved in climate change;

Whereas, the year 2015 was the warmest year on record since temperatures were reliably recorded since 1880.  January, February and March 2016 each hold new records for highest monthly global average temperatures as now much of the world faces a hotter and drier future under climate change;

Whereas, weather events are becoming more extreme and, wildfires, once confined to a season, burn earlier and longer.  Many areas of the planet already experience severe sustained drought, dramatically altering the habitat that was once able to support a great diversity of life, plummeting people and animals into starvation and death;

Whereas, the great boreal forest surrounding Fort McMurray, near the Alberta tar sands in Canada is currently burning, with the largest evacuation of people in the history of Alberta;

Whereas, rain necessary to grow crops and for drinking water is becoming more unpredictable and unreliable.  Glacier and snow packs are disappearing and those that remain melt sooner, diminishing surface water traditionally used for food during the summer growing season;

Whereas, the predicted climate refugee crisis has already begun in the US with the relocation of an island community impacted by rising seawater, at an initial financial impact of $48,000,000, and the US Department of Interior anticipates this to be the beginning of a trend;

Whereas, as other parts of the US continue to experience perpetual drought, people are flocking to the PNW and will continue to come here for water to survive, putting extreme pressure on our diminishing water resources;

Whereas, animal agriculture contributes more greenhouse gases than all transportation emissions combined – cars, trucks, trains, planes, ships.   Although it accounts for only nine percent of global CO2, animal agriculture generates 65% of human-related nitrous oxide and 35% of methane, which have 296 times and 23 times the Global Warming Potential of CO2, respectively.  This information has been available since 2006 when the United Nations (UN) Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) released its official report of estimated sources of global greenhouse gases, and at the time, called for Urgent Action to reduce this source of greenhouse gases.  Henning Steinfeld, Chief of FAO’s Livestock Information and Policy Branch and senior author of the report said: “Livestock are one of the most significant contributors to today’s most serious environmental problems.  Urgent action is required to remedy the situation”;

Whereas, in the same UN FAO report – issued 10 years ago calling for urgent action – it was projected that this same major source of greenhouse gas emissions was growing faster than any other agricultural sub-sector due to increased human population growth and food demand;

Whereas, animal agriculture is also responsible for major land and water degradation;

Whereas, the UN FAO estimates animal agriculture’s greenhouse gas emissions at between 15-18%, others estimate a much greater impact, as much as 51%;

Whereas, crops grown for livestock feed consume 56 percent of the water used in the US.   In the US 70 percent of the grain grown goes to feed livestock raised for consumption.  The water used to produce even minimal amounts of animal products are staggering—1,000 gallons of water to produce 1 gallon of milk.  About 15 Trillion gallons annually goes to animal agriculture just in the US;

Whereas, 80% of the world’s soy crop is fed to animals, and most of this soy is grown on cleared lands that were once rain forests with fragile soils, resulting in massive erosion and destruction of once stable forest ecosystems, especially in the Amazon—where forest destruction has risen to 91%.  Our forests, especially our rain forests, absorb carbon dioxide from the atmosphere and exchange it for oxygen: Killing the forests is a death sentence for the planet, as we find ourselves lethally despoiling the lungs of the earth largely for the benefit of the animal agriculture industry;

Whereas, the industry that is destroying the South American rainforests is so powerful, citizen activists that try to stop them are routinely killed, with no accountability;

Whereas, land devoted exclusively to raising livestock now represents 45 percent of the earth’s land mass;

Whereas, in the US alone, chickens, turkeys, pigs, and cows in factory farms produce over five million pounds of excrement per minute. These are the animals raised each year so that people can continue eating meat, and they produce 130 times more excrement than the entire human population in our country. This manure sewage is responsible for global warming, water and soil pollution, and air pollution. Runoff from the waste produced by the animals raised for food includes with it all the antibiotics, pesticides, herbicides, hormones, and other chemicals used during the raising and growing process, and biological oxygen demand from this river of waste is destroying marine life in estuaries and creating huge “dead zones” in the oceans along our coasts;

Whereas, according to journalist Will Potter, “The animal agriculture industry is one of the most powerful industries on the planet.  Most people in this country are aware of the influence of money and industry on politics.  We really see that clearly on display with this industry in particular.  Most people would be shocked to learn that animal rights and environmental activists are the No. 1 domestic terrorism threat according to the FBI. … They, more than any other social movements today, are directly threatening corporate profits”;

Whereas, the refusal by major environmental organizations, including Greenpeace, 350.org and the Sierra Club, to confront the animal agricultural business is a window into how impotent the activist community has become in the face of corporate power;

Whereas, all US political efforts to date to reduce greenhouse gas emissions focus on energy and emissions and do not include a strategy for reducing greenhouse gases from this major source – animal agriculture;

Whereas, on any given acre of land we can grow twelve to twenty times the amount in pounds of edible vegetables, fruit, and grain as in pounds of edible animal products. We are essentially using twenty times the amount of land and crops and hundreds of times the water, as well as polluting our waterways and air and destroying rainforests, to produce animals to kill and eat … which is unhealthier than eating the plant products we could have produced;

Whereas, we have only a few years left, at best, to make radical changes to save ourselves from ecological meltdown;

Whereas, last year, for the first time ever, the United States Department of Agriculture signaled it would amend its dietary guidelines to shift to a plant based diet not for human health, but for the health of the planet;

Whereas, a person who is on a vegan diet will save 1,100 gallons of water, 20 pounds CO2 equivalent, 30 square feet of forested land, 45 pounds of grain, and one sentient animal’s life EVERY DAY.  We do not, given what lies ahead of us, have any other option;

Whereas, most people are simply not aware of the link between food and climate;

Whereas, public agencies provide major direct and indirect subsidies for food and meals including directly serving meals in prisons, the military, hospitals, schools and universities, at public events, on ferries, and most symbolically, in Governor’s Mansions and the White House;

Whereas, some prison and school systems have gone to vegetarian or vegan menus exclusively, and in one instance, a county prison system has decreased publicly subsidized meal costs from $4 per inmate to $1 per inmate, decreased the amount of time it takes to prepare meals, and reduced medical costs by decreasing saturated fats in inmates diets and by dramatically increasing fiber;

Whereas, just in the Washington State prison system which has on average 17,000 inmates, the state could save a conservative $6 Million per year ($1/inmate/day), save 124,000,000 lbs (62,000 tons) of greenhouse gases per year, and over 6 Billion gallons of water if it transitioned to its existing vegan menu and dropped the 3 other omnivore menus;

Whereas, if the US military (1,300,000) and US prison populations (2,220,000) were to transition to vegan, the annual water savings would be 1.2 Trillion gallons, and the greenhouse gas savings would be 25 Billion lbs., 12 Million tons, per year;

Whereas, Congressional or Legislative approval to change publicly subsidized meals is not required since no additional budget allocation would be required, in fact, there would likely be a cost savings, and much of this authority rests with existing elected officials including Governor Inslee whose direct reports include the Department of Corrections Director and Department of Social and Health Services;

Now, therefore be it resolved, the Democratic Party adopts the following policies:

  1. All publicly financed meals immediately transition to vegetarian or vegan including prisons, hospitals, schools, universities, military, ferries, subsidized food programs, and publicly provided residences including the Governor’s Mansion, to dramatically reduce greenhouse emissions-and some of the worst greenhouse gases-and conserve rapidly diminishing freshwater supplies; and
  2. All levels of publicly elected officials and public agencies shall use their appropriate media platforms to educate the general public about the relationship between animal agriculture, high greenhouse gas emissions, extraordinary water consumption, land clearing, air, soil and water pollution, and the perils of inaction.