An Inclusive California Democratic Party
We support an inclusive California Democratic Party – a Party whose members, culture, and structure are consistent with the progressive democratic values set forth in its platform. The Grassroots Slate will:
- Ensure that the California Democratic Party respects and values the opinions and lived experiences of all people, from all backgrounds;
- Promote and encourage maximal participation in the ADEM process by advocating for continuing the use of an absentee/vote-by-mail election system in future election cycles;
- Work with delegates, progressive activists, and party leaders across the state in a manner that is free from harassment and personal attacks; and
- Promote and encourage anti-harassment and anti-racist values at every level of leadership within the California Democratic Party.
We believe that climate change is an existential crisis which requires nothing less than bold and progressive solutions – and that California should lead the way. For this reason, the Grassroots Slate will:
- Support and promote A Green New Deal;
- Support investing in renewable energy and a transition away from fossil fuels;
- Support capping unused/idle oil wells all over Los Angeles;
- Support Electrification of new buildings;
- Support an Energy Democracy; Angelinos deserve a world free of pollution and renewable energy sources that are reliable, sustainable and accessible to all;
- Carry the adoption of the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge for candidates seeking the Democratic Party endorsement; and
- Support a just transition for workers in the fossil fuel industry.
Housing & Homelessness
We believe that all Californians have the right to quality housing in the community of their choice. Furthermore, we recognize that building more housing adjacent to transit, jobs, and services is a key strategy in addressing climate change. The Grassroots Slate supports bold action to address California's housing and homelessness crises. Specifically, the Grassroots Slate will:
- Support policies that protect renters; incentivize the production of new displacement-free housing; and reduce the cost of new housing construction;
- Advocate for greater investment in subsidized housing for low-income and unhoused Californians; and
- Demand that our unhoused neighbors be treated with dignity, and that resources be reallocated from policing the unhoused to services and housing.
Sexual + Gender-based Violence
Members of the Grassroots Slate are committed to ending sexual assault, domestic abuse, and other gender-based violence. It should be stated that the California Democratic Party does not currently have a policy platform regarding sexual and gender-based violence. To advance this cause, Grassroots Slate members will:
- Work with CADEM to develop a working policy to effectively address Sexual + Gender-based Violence;
- Seek to understand the intricate ways in which the criminal justice system and police officers interface with victim advocate services; and seek to understand the role that restorative justice serves in healing;
- Recognize that sex workers, who are disproportionately women of color and transgender women, face especially high rates of sexual assault and violence, and support policies to protect – and not criminialize – the lives of sex workers;
- Recognize that immigrant and undocumented workers face unique, oversexualized gender and ethnic stereotypes that make them even more likely to become targets of harassment and are less likely to report due to fears of losing their job or retaliation related to their legal status that could, in turn, lead to deportation;
- Support the expansion of services for survivors of violence including access to housing, legal assistance, victim advocate services and job-protected safe leave to enable survivors to seek medical and legal support; and
- Promote safe, inclusive school environments that are free from sexual violence, are supportive of survivors, and that respect and affirm gender identity and expression.
Criminal Justice Reform
Our criminal justice system is failing to keep communities safe – and failing to deliver justice. America is the land of the free, and yet more of our people are behind bars, per capita, than anywhere else in the world. Instead of making evidence-based investments in education, jobs, health care, and housing that are proven to keep communities safe and prevent crime from occurring in the first place, our system has criminalized poverty, overpoliced and underserved Black and Latino communities, and cut public services. The Grassroots Slate believes that we must:
- Break the school-to-prison pipeline that too often relies on arrests and law enforcement to address misbehavior that ought to be handled and deescalated within the school;
- Ensure real accountability for individual and systematic misconduct in our police departments, prevent law enforcement from becoming unnecessarily entangled in the everyday lives of Americans, and reimagine policing for the benefit and safety of the American people;
- Support efforts to reinvigorate community policing approaches, so officers on the beat better serve the neighborhoods they work in, and make smart investments to incentivize departments to build partnerships with social workers and mental health and substance use counselors to help respond to public health challenges;
- Appoint judges who are committed to seeing justice be served, and support judicial nominees who come from diverse backgrounds and experiences, including as public defenders, legal aid attorneys, and civil rights lawyers; and
- Deepen our commitment to helping those who have served their time to re-enter society, earn a good living, and participate in our democracy as the full citizens they are; continuing to punish a person after they have rejoined the community is both cruel and counterproductive.
Given these challenging times, our workforce has had to be flexible and make adjustments to their entire lives. The Grassroots Slate stands behind our workers and union leadership, and will:
- Support the right of every worker to organize and participate in union activities — and to do so without interference;
- Support a living wage for all workers;
- Support legislation that provides economic relief to businesses that will pass on the benefits to their employees; and
- Support an economic recovery that ensures our labor employees can go back to work safely and to a safe environment.
Healthcare as a Human Right
Quality, affordable healthcare is a human right, not a privilege. No Californian should be denied access to healthcare due to their socioeconomic status. We will provide the needed advocacy flexibility to consider all viable options to achieve the goal of healthcare coverage for all. To that end, the Grassroots Slate believes:
- Universal coverage should be the top priority for healthcare reform;
- A publicly funded single-payer system is very likely to be the best long-term solution for California (and the nation); the transition to this system must be done responsibly, maintaining coverage and without negatively impacting health outcomes;
- We should protect the gains in healthcare coverage established under the Obama Administration and support and implement universal comprehensive health care and health coverage for all Californians; and
- Full reproductive health services that respects a woman's right to choose must be an integral component of all healthcare strategies.
Gun Violence Prevention
Members of the Grassroots Slate assert that the traumatic and lasting impacts of gun violence on the lives of Californians, especially in communities of color, warrant swift action. In spite of California's leadership on gun laws, more than 3,000 Californians die as a result of gun violence each year.
To advance the cause of ending gun violence, Grassroots Slate members:
- Apply an anti-racist approach to policymaking and advocacy;
- Prioritize public health over policing to end gun violence;
- Encourage divestment from aggressive policing and investment in communities and community-based solutions to end gun violence;
- Support banning candidates from accepting campaign contributions from the National Rifle Association (NRA) or other gun-rights organizations;
- Support policy that keeps guns out of the hands of perpetrators of domestic violence, stalking, and other intimate partner violence;
- Support removing legislative restrictions on gun data collection and sharing, including the Dickey Amendment and The Tiahrt Amendment;
- Oppose policy responses that further stigmatize individuals with mental health conditions, or that expand police presence in schools and the criminalization of youth of color, including proposals to arm teachers with firearms and to "fortify," "harden," or "militarize" school facilities; and
- Affirm all gun violence prevention policy recommendations as outlined by the California Democratic Party Platform.
Public Schools & Education
We believe in the importance of a universally well-educated population for California. To achieve this, our K-12 public education system must prepare our students to thrive in a multicultural and multilingual world.
The Grassroots Slate believes we should fully fund public education. In addition, we:
- Believe all four-year-old children should have access to a high-quality preschool;
- Will work to close our opportunity and achievement gaps by leveraging the flexibility of the Local Control Funding Formula, particularly for low income students;
- Support increasing access to modern jobs by requiring that all school districts offer STEAM subjects; and
- Support state funding for existing community colleges and online class systems, and restrict funding for unaccredited, completely online community college.
In 2018, Trump executed his "Zero Tolerance" program, separating children and families at the US-Mexico border. This travesty made international headlines and, yet, it still continues. To date, there are approximately 500 children in detention centers across 12 states. They are alone and scared, without access to counsel.
The Grassroots Slate believes in full reunification of all children who have been separated. Period. In addition, we support:
- Ending the of separation of families at the US border;
- A Cohesive and collaborative approach towards immigration policies; and
- Ensuring that immigration is a human right for all peoples.
We believe that a healthy democracy is based on free and fair elections, where all eligible voters are able to participate with ease. Freedom to vote without obstruction and to have one's vote counted are fundamental to voting rights. We support publicly financed elections and will vigorously fight the culture of cronyism and corruption. We strongly endorse the California Democratic Party's platform in regards to voting rights, including:
- Supporting and defending voter protection under the federal Voting Rights Act and the California Voting Rights Act, and working to restore Voting Rights Act provisions requiring federal pre-clearance for changes to local and state voting laws and policies that were deemed outdated by the Supreme Court in 2013 in Shelby v. Holder;
- Ensuring that every college campus houses precinct polling operations, voter centers, or vote-by-mail (VBM) drop-off locations easily accessible to young voters;
- Supporting lowering the voting age to 17 years of age and reinstatement of civics classes as a high school graduation requirement;
- Supporting and encouraging the implementation legislation for full public financing of election campaigns at the local, state, and federal levels;
- Supporting and encouraging the implementation of full disclosure of all funding sources for political advertisements and ballot initiatives;
- Extending voting hours and/or days, scheduling elections on weekends, and by declaring Election Day a holiday; and
- Investigating and prosecuting any and all forms of voter intimidation and election fraud, including misuse of social media to purposely mislead voters.
With transportation producing more carbon emissions than any other economic sector in the state, it is essential that California invests in a modern, sustainable transportation system. The Grassroots Slate supports:
- Moving state transportation dollars away from building new highway capacity, and toward high speed and regional rail, transit, and active transportation;
- Investing in complete streets that accommodate all users regardless of transportation mode, age, or disability;
- Statewide adoption of the Vision Zero goal of eliminating traffic fatalities; and
- Action to reverse the damage associated with building highways through existing communities of color.
Socially Responsible Investing
The Grassroots Slate supports Socially Responsible Investing (SRI) by advocating for the investment of public funds (like CalPERS and CalSTRS) to produce a positive impact on society with strong financial returns. SRI aims to address the world's most complicated challenges in various sectors, including renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, humanitarian crises, air pollution, saving oceans from plastic, as well as accessible and affordable basic human services, including education, healthcare,and housing. The Grassroots Slate will:
- Advocate against the investment of public funds in companies that produce or sell addictive substances (like alcohol, gambling, and tobacco), or provide services that disproportionately and adversely affect society (like private prisons), or produce products that endanger the environment (like coal and other fossil fuels); and
- Support reforms to the tax code that are more progressive, equitable, and accessible; advocate for new, refundable tax credits (to expand on the Earned Income Tax Credit and Child Tax Credit) for families and small businesses that allow for easier and more equitable access to tax provisions that build and protect wealth (i.e., equalizing tax benefits for retirement contributions, and providing more accessible tax breaks for homeownership, small business creation, and affordable healthcare.)
Economic Relief Efforts
The pandemic has taken a toll on mental health and our finances, among many other things. We, as a Grassroots Slate made up of grassroots leaders, believe that we need a comprehensive approach to rebuilding our economy. No government entity alone can resolve our nation's economic needs. It starts from the ground up. We have a straight-forward approach to economic relief efforts:
- Support individuals and families in financial need;
- Provide resources to small businesses to help them weather the storm; and
- Ensure that local social services have the resources they need to provide for community members.