What Saugerties Democrats believe

donkey drawingThe Saugerties Democratic Committee (SDC) on Feb. 24, 2015 adopted a Statement of Values which helps to define why its members are enrolled in the Democratic Party and why they work through the party and through other organizations to turn these values into policies and practices. If you share all or some of these values and would like to become involved in activities to advance them, please let us know by contacting the committee’s chair Lanny Walter at lanny@lannywalter.com or calling at 246-4668.


Statement of Values of the Saugerties Democratic Committee

Democrats have a long and proud history of supporting Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment benefits, environmental protection, civil rights and equal opportunity, equal pay for women, marriage equality and non-discrimination laws.

Income Equality and Living Wage— The SDC believes in closing the income gap by providing greater access to living-wage jobs. Increasing the minimum wage, supporting policies that keep jobs within the United States by providing tax breaks for companies that keep their jobs stateside, and regulating the financial and banking systems to prevent corruption and avoid future recessions are steps needed.


Workers’ Rights— The SDC believes all workers, union and non-union, should be covered by fair labor standards and have equal protection under the law. Further the SDC believes that the right to organize into unions and collectively bargain is a fundamental right of all working people, and gives every worker a voice on the job, respecting the dignity of each individual.

Public Education— The SDC believes in a quality education for all children, regardless of economic class. To achieve this goal the SDC supports generous funding for public schools, including free pre-school and community college, which are not financed on the back of property owners but upon other financing options like the graduated income tax. The SDC believes that society should provide a safe, healthy and effective learning environment for all students and teachers.

The Environment— The SDC recognizes that all living things depend on clean air, water and habitable land to exist, and we must take responsibility for preventing the degradation and promoting the sustainability of these elements, which will maintain the health and survival of all people, now and in the future.

The SDC believes that legislation like the Clean Air and Clean Water acts are public agreements that protect our environment. We believe by conserving natural resources and maintaining outdoor recreational opportunities we improve the health and aesthetic quality of our lives. These efforts, which are an integral part of our economic activity, are a net creator of job growth and opportunity.

Climate Change— The SDC recognizes that global warming is largely caused by human activity and that science confirms it. This reality presents a real and formidable threat to our health and the very existence of the human race. We believe the solution to this crisis is a prompt and committed transition to carbon-free sources of energy such as water, wind, solar, geothermal.

The SDC also believes that it is the government’s responsibility and duty to protect the environment. Leaving the responsibility of environmental protection to market forces without government intervention will harm the environment and humankind.

Reproductive Rights, Health and Justice— The SDC believes in a woman’s right to choice in medical care, which includes access to reproductive and sexual health information, care and treatment, affordable birth control and the right to privacy. Pregnant and parenting individuals should have equal treatment in the workplace and in schools and have their important roles supported by our society.

Immigration— The SDC believes that our strength as a nation lies in our diversity. We call on the federal government to enact comprehensive immigration reform, and we reject using local law enforcement to enforce non-criminal immigration violations and/or to deny due process to persons because of their immigration status.

Campaign Finance Reform— The SDC stands for campaign finance reform that will allow all candidates to receive sufficient public funds to allow for an effective political campaign.

We also believe that corporations are not people and shouldn’t be considered such under the law. Citizens United should be overturned and additional steps are needed to eliminate corporate money from the electoral process.

Voter Participation— The SDC believes that all citizens should be encouraged and have equal access in voting, and not be hindered in that right by special requirements beyond those of initial registration.

Redistricting— The SDC believes democracy can best be achieved when voters have no artificial barriers placed in their way in choosing their representatives. Gerrymandering by any party is such a barrier, unfair to both candidate and voter. We believe that redistricting must be removed from the control of party or elected officials and be placed with a nonpartisan commission whose decisions are free of political domination or review.

Community Policing— The SDC believes in community policing, which has police officers engaged on the street and in the neighborhood with the people they are assigned to help and protect. This strategy provides the best and safest method to ensure public safety and crime prevention.

Healthcare— We believe access to healthcare is a human right. We further believe that all people should have access to affordable, quality healthcare, and that a single-payer system is a viable option. Veterans have earned the right to quality health care and should receive it in a timely manner.

Incarceration Reform— The SDC believes that spending billions of dollars per year to support the New York prison system, at a current cost of about $60,000 per year per inmate, does not serve the best interests of society. We support an end to this bloated taxpayer funded system, fueled by the war on drugs, and support alternatives to incarceration for non-violent offenders. We also call for an end to the privatization of prisons.