Issues and Values at Stake in the 2018 Election

Democrats believe America is a great country that can become even better. Therefore, our mission in 2018 is to elect leaders who will protect the American Dream, the American Worker, and the Future of our Children. Democrats are a diverse group — often called a “Big Tent” — nonetheless, there are certain values we share.

For the 2018 election, the most salient shared value is that government should work for the all of people; the culture of corruption that enriches the few at the expense of the many must be rooted out.  These values manifest themselves in specific policies, some of which are noted below.

Education:  American is great because quickly after the nation was founded its citizens recognized the importance of free public education. In Arizona, this value is incorporated in the Arizona Constitution.

  • In recent decades, tax cut fervor and corporate profiteers have stripped our public schools, community colleges, and universities of the funds necessary to educate our sons and daughters. This trend must be reversed, getting us back to our roots.
  • So long as Arizona ranks at the bottom in educational achievement and funding, industries will not locate here. Successful companies want a well-prepared workforce and their executives want their children to have access to excellent education.
  • Students who graduate from college with crushing debt cannot contribute fully to our economy — they cannot buy homes or cars or even afford to have children. The trend toward higher tuition financed by debt instead of scholarships must be halted and reversed.

Jobs & the Economy:  On the surface, the Arizona economy is good with statewide unemployment low. But that statistic masks the higher unemployment rates in rural and remote areas and the low wages too many workers are forced to accept. If the national economy weakens —because of a trade war, perhaps, or just a business cycle shift, the tourist and housing industries which fuel the Arizona economy will falter.

  • Corruption and propaganda keep wages low, resulting in workers who are employed full time but still need food supplements, taxpayer-subsidized healthcare, and housing assistance. Many have second jobs.
  • Government’s failure to invest in infrastructure as a means of expanding economic opportunity to remote areas by providing broadband and upgrading roads and bridges leaves too many of our citizens behind.
  • Corruption on the Corporation Commission allows regulated industries like APS to ignore our solar resources while other less likely states establish themselves as leaders in the solar industry.

Immigration: We need comprehensive immigration reform that serves the needs of our economy and upholds the values and honor of our country.

  • We are not a country that puts children in cages and separates families for no reason.
  • We need leaders who will take us past fear and into practical solutions. There are bills already written and pending in Congress that can do this, but Republican fear-mongering and Trump’s demand for a useless and expensive wall stand in the way of real solutions.
  • Industries beg for talented workers and yet we send people we’ve educated out of the country. This is wrong.

Healthcare:  No one should be denied healthcare because they have a pre-existing condition or lack the funds to purchase expensive insurance. The Affordable Care Act was a start – undermining it must stop and building on it must resume. There are lots of good ideas out there — we just need to elect politicians who will enact some of them.

Environment:  Let’s stop pollution in its tracks! In the middle of the last century, America was faced with polluted cities and sludge-filled lakes and rivers. Thanks to a bi-partisan coalition of Republicans and Democrats, laws forced industries to clean up the mess and to keep our water and air clean.

  • Democrats support keeping and enforcing those laws.
  • Democrats accept science: Our climate is in crisis; the time for action to avert further climate change is now.
  • Corruption in the enforcement of our environmental protection laws and regulations must stop. This begins for Arizona with a change in leadership at the Corporation Commission and in the Office of Attorney General and must lead to a change in administration of the USEPA.

Public Lands: Democrats believe there are more than enough resources to fuel our economy without spoiling the Grand Canyon, Bears Ear, Grand Escalante, and other national treasures.

  • “If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.” ~ President Lyndon Johnson
  • Our forests and parks need maintenance driven by science and experience, not by political favors or industry giveaways.

Voting Rights: The right to vote is fundamental to liberty and democracy. Voter suppression must be stopped. Instead, we must find ways to vastly increase voter participation. Electing a new Arizona Secretary of State will be a big step in the right direction.

Law & Order: People have the right to be safe. The vast majority of our law enforcement personnel are reliable public servants. We must root out the exceptions and change personnel, cultures, and systems as needed to ensure that every man, woman, and child in the United States is treated equally by law enforcement and the courts.

  • Our political leaders must establish and maintain in our local, state, and federal agencies a culture where all are treated fairly and equally under the law. A change in the U.S. House and Senate and election of a new Governor and Attorney General will return us to the right path.
  • Opioid addiction is a national crisis that must be addressed on all fronts: As a mental and physical health problem, as an economic problem, and as a law enforcement problem. Simply jailing addicts while unregulated industries push pills is not a solution we can accept.
  • Our local law enforcement agencies should not be forced to pledge allegiance to the U.S. Justice Department to obtain federal money that Congress has appropriated to improve, enhance, and maintain local safety. Congress must more actively check this President and his appointees.
  • The private prison industry thrives on political influence and enforcement of laws that jail drug users instead of treating them. This corruption must stop. 

Guns: It’s simply a lie that Democrats want to take everyone’s guns away. We do think that not everyone should have a gun and that weapons of war should be kept in the military and not in our homes. Americans are entitled to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness and that includes being safe in their homes and streets and in theatres, schools, malls, and concerts. We need sensible gun laws.

Abortion:  Abortion should remain safe, legal, and rare. Democrats are willing to invest in making it rarer through education and women’s healthcare.

Generally: Americans believe there are more than enough resources to go around and that greed and corruption need to be reined in for the good of all. American is not an oligarchy and we do not want to become one. These principles guide Democrats in crafting public policies and laws from fair taxation to distribution of broadband access and everything in between.

More Details on our Mission and Agenda for 2018.

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