2014 Sioux County Democratic Platform

Sioux County Democratic Platform

(approved at the Sioux County Convention on March 8, 2014)


Statement of Principles



The following principles undergird our platform and our proposals.  These principles help explain why we have chosen to be Democrats.  This is not an exhaustive list, but ones which have come readily to mind.


  1. We support the ability of all citizens to cast their votes in all elections without undue obstacles.


  1. We support taking America off a permanent war footing.


  1. We support governmental policies which make it easier for every member of society to achieve the American Dream when they work hard and governmental policies which reverse the trend of greater income disparity.


  1. We oppose trickle-down economic theory.


  1. We support the patriotism of companies which pay their employees a living wage.


  1. We support a smarter, evidence-driven criminal justice/corrections policy—one which reduces our prison rate (which is the highest in the world) while maintaining public safety.


  1. We believe that greater transparency and accountability is needed for our nation’s prisons.  We support programs in prison which lead to the rehabilitation of inmates.


  1. We support agricultural policies which strengthen families and communities.  We also support agricultural policies which protect our air, our soil and our water.


  1. We support equal pay for equal work.


  1. We support continued refinement and improvement of the Affordable Care Act.


  1. We believe human actions contribute to global climate change and we support policies and legislation designed to reduce climate change.



Statement of Issues



We support:

  1. Immigration reform that includes:
  • A pathway to citizenship for undocumented immigrants
  • Reducing the visa backlog for legal entry
  • A guest worker program for lower-skilled workers
  • E-verify to end the hiring of undocumented immigrants
  • Improved policies for granting visas to facilitate reuniting family members with documented immigrants
  • Other measures to enable immigrant families to stay together or reunite


  1. The DREAM Act
  2. Access to driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants
  3. In-state tuition rates for undocumented high school graduates
  4. The elimination of any forms of racial profiling by law enforcement officers
  5. Laws and policies which are intended to reduce violence against women
  6. Universal background checks for all guns purchased in the United States
  7. Reinstatement of the ban on assault weapons for private citizens
  8. A ban on high-capacity magazines for guns


  1. A greater use of restorative justice in our criminal justice system
  2. A review of the sentencing structure that takes better account of the gravity of the crime
  3. Increased funding for drug rehabilitation programs in prison to be available to any inmate, regardless of the length of his or her prison term


  1. The use, when appropriate, of alternative justice measures for sentencing instead of

mandatory minimum sentences or warehousing of prisoners:  i.e., house arrest,             probation, restitution, rehabilitation


  1. A ban on solitary confinement in prisons in excess of 15 days


We oppose:


  1. The privatization of prisons, with the exception of private, not-for-profit organizations that                               have the primary purpose of rehabilitation



We support:

  1. The reduction of military expenditures and the use of the resulting savings to build                                infrastructure in the United States


  1. The reduction of aid to Israel until there is a just resolution to the Palestinian occupation



We support:

  1. Increased funding for high-quality health care for veterans, including mental health services


  1. Policies and practices in the military which are designed to reduce the rate of sexual assault



We support:

  1. Extension of unemployment benefits to those who have been out of work longer than 24                            months
  2. Raising the federal minimum wage and the Iowa minimum wage, specifically, raising the minimum wage to $10.10/hour in three $.95 increments and then indexing the minimum wage to the rate of inflation
  3. The awarding of government contracts at every level of government only to those employers             that pay a minimum wage of $10.10 per hour



We support:

  1. Continued matching grants in Iowa for bioreactors to remove nitrates from our water
  2. Continued funding of agricultural research in Iowa which protects our soil, our water and our                      air
  3. Improved inspection of food imports
  4. A re-examination of the list of crops which are eligible for crop insurance under the federal        Farm Bill


We support:

  1. Tax policies and financial incentives to corporations and small businesses for the                                       manufacture and distribution of renewable energy technology





We support:

  1. Increased funding for mental health services


Submitted by the Platform Committee:  Ruth Kocisko, Chair, Anita Cirulis, Barbara Schaap, and Janice Vander Meulen