Texas Democrats believe government exists to achieve together what we cannot achieve as individuals; and government must serve all people. A representative democracy is only truly representative if every single citizen is guaranteed the inalienable right to vote in fair and open elections.
EQUALITY & FREEDOM
Texas Democrats believe in equal opportunities and freedom for all human beings no matter a person’s race, disability, religion, gender identity, sexual orientation, socioeconomic or immigration status.
Texas Democrats believe in a fair criminal justice system serving all people; robust public and higher education opportunities are critical for our future; and our economy must benefit all Texans.
A HEALTHY TEXAS
Texas Democrats believe healthcare is a right; women’s rights are human rights; we owe future generations a clean and healthy planet; and a strong social safety net creates opportunity for all Americans.
Principles of the Texas Democratic Party
Texas Democrats believe democratic government exists to achieve as a community, state, and nation what we cannot achieve as individuals; and that it must serve all its citizens.
We believe every Texan has inalienable rights that even a majority may not take away:
We believe in freedom:
We believe in responsibility:
We believe in equal rights:
We believe in equal opportunity:
We believe a growing economy should benefit all Texans:
We believe that our lives, homes, communities and country are made secure:
We believe in America:
We believe in Texas:
Texas Democrats believe that a healthy democracy is based on free, fair, and transparent elections; that our constitutional right to vote should be protected at all costs by elected officials who exhibit ethical public service.
Voting Rights & Fair Elections
We must adopt policies to eliminate the barriers to voting and encourage full participation in elections. As Texas Democrats, we support:
Campaign Finance Reform
Texas Democrats believe money should not determine who wins and loses elections. Campaign spending limits and keeping corporate money out of politics is essential to a healthy, responsive democratic system that can be trusted by voters. We support:
In a healthy democracy, officeholders must adhere to the highest ethical standards and be accountable to taxpayers by avoiding real or perceived conflicts of interest. No elected official is above the law. We believe that:
Texas Democrats believe a world class education system is a moral imperative and an economic necessity. Every child should be provided the opportunity to succeed – not just a select few. Achieving student success requires an unwavering state commitment to provide every Texas child the opportunity to receive a quality education from pre-K through college or career programs. The changing demographics of the Texas student population pose new challenges that must be met to keep the Texas economy strong and our communities prosperous. Owing to inadequate investment in public education, minority and economically disadvantaged Texas students continue to suffer from a persistent achievement gap. Every child should have access to an educational program that values highly skilled teachers and encourages critical thinking and creativity, without the harmful impact of high stakes standardized testing.
Public Education Funding
The Texas Constitution guarantees the right to a suitable free public education for all Texas children. Texas Democrats condemn the unanimous decision by Texas Supreme Court justices and the Governor who declared “victory” when the Court refused to enforce the constitutional right that guarantees a free public education for every Texas child. The Republican legislative majority has shortchanged education funding every session since taking control of both houses. In 2011, Republicans cut public school funding by $5.4 billion despite having more than enough in the state “Rainy Day Fund” and still haven’t fully restored those funding cuts. Correcting the deficiencies in funding Texas public education must be a legislative budget priority. Texas Democrats believe:
Preservation of the Texas Public Education System
Texas Democrats support the Constitution’s “duty of the legislature” to provide suitable support for a system of “free public schools” and prohibition on using public school funds for the support of “any sectarian school.” Texas Democrats:
PreK and Early Childhood Education
Early childhood education is essential to help students from all backgrounds begin to cultivate the skills that will last the rest of their lives. We believe:
Every Student Should Have a Highly Qualified Teacher
Half of new teachers leave the profession within five years, leaving many students taught by teachers who are not certified to teach the subjects they are teaching. Early career educators are driven from the profession by low teacher pay, the constraints placed on them by high stakes testing, and inadequate funding that forces teachers to spend hundreds of dollars from their own pockets for their classrooms. Democrats believe we must work to attract the best teachers and keep them in our classroom.
Quality Classroom Learning Environment
Crowded classrooms and an overreliance on high stakes standardized tests that stifle creativity and leave little time for genuine teaching and learning. Smaller class sizes improve student performance, but class size waivers are all too common. Teachers have sued TEA over plans to increase the testing stakes by imposing a statewide test-based “Value Added Measure” as a teacher evaluation metric, despite research that demonstrates such measures are not valid. Parents have sued TEA over numerous flaws in the STAAR test. There is a better way to create an excellent classroom learning environment to help students think critically and succeed. Therefore, Texas Democrats support:
· replacing high-stakes tests that effectively punish students, teachers and schools, with multiple measures designed to diagnose student needs and improve instruction;
Community Schools: A Proven, Sustainable Way to Improve Schools
Parental and community involvement in neighborhood schools has long been the hallmark of successful public schools. The community school model, engaging parents, educators and community in designing and implementing school improvement plans, offers a proven blueprint for restoring excellence in public education. This model provides real local control and accountability that detached, corporate-run schools simply cannot match. Texas should:
Opportunity for Every Child
Many children who enter school with unique needs have extraordinary potential, if we simply address their needs and provide them an opportunity to succeed. Texas should:
· develop peer-reviewed curriculum for mandatory ethnic studies classes, such as Indigenous, Chicano, and African-American studies.
To make the promise of educational opportunity a reality for students at risk of dropping out or failing academically, we believe the state should support:
Preserving the defined benefit pension for retired teachers
Most retired teachers worked for years with inadequate pay and have no Social Security. Texas Democrats support:
All too often, extremists on the State Board of Education have made a laughingstock of our state’s process by approving curriculum standards and textbooks that violate the integrity and reliability of mainstream science and social studies, leading even conservative think tanks to call our social studies curriculum standards a “politicized distortion of history.” Texas Democrats believe the State Board of Education should:
Making Schools Safe and Bully-Free
Students, teachers and school personnel should be safe from acts of violence and must be protected from bullying, including cyber-bullying. We support fair enforcement of disciplinary standards, early interventions and mediation which support the success of every child regardless of their current socio-economic circumstances.
In light of Texas current discriminatory suspension and expulsion rates, Texas Democrats have taken the lead in passing legislation to eliminate disparities in discipline based on race, ethnicity, national origin, disability, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity/expression, or any other improper grands. The Texas Education Agency should be directed to investigate and correct any patterns of apparent discriminatory enforcement or non-enforcement of discipline standards, including standards for out-of-school suspension.
Texas Democrats have enacted and will work to implement measures to stop indiscriminate use of misdemeanor ticketing for minor infractions on campus and indiscriminate expulsion or placement of students in disciplinary alternative education programs for trivial misconduct. Students referred to disciplinary alternative education programs should continue to receive strong academic instruction. When a student’s misconduct is serious enough to warrant disciplinary placement, the state should make sure the disciplinary setting offers a full array of educational and social/behavioral services to help that student get back on track.
Texas Democrats believe all Texans should have the opportunity and be encouraged to pursue affordable higher education at public universities, community colleges, and technical schools. Today, too many students are saddled with a mountain of debt when they graduate from college, and Republicans have made damaging cuts to formula funding, deregulated tuition and restricted financial aid, policies that threaten our ability to meet state “Closing the Gaps” goals essential to our economic future. We believe the opportunity of higher education to be a right of all those that may seek it, regardless of race, gender, sexual preference, socioeconomic, or immigration status. We support policies that provide opportunity, free from debt, and a vision for tuition-free higher education system for college students, including:
Texas Democrats recognize and support the essential role of Texas community colleges, where the vast majority of Texas’ post-secondary students are enrolled. By combining affordability, high quality and responsiveness to community needs, these institutions provide an education to those who would be otherwise excluded.
State funding for community colleges has been drastically reduced and that burden has been shifted onto students, their families and property taxpayers. In addition, state funding for community college employee benefits has been cut, adding that burden onto tuition and local property taxes. The resulting, reduction in per student state funding has been exacerbated by cutting formula funding for community colleges by an additional 10% to fund a “performance funding” scheme. To maintain community colleges’ role in providing job skills lifelong education, we endorse:
To prevent further erosion of community colleges’ ability to serve their communities, Texas Democrats oppose:
Diversity and Safety
Texas Democrats support innovative approaches to ensure diversity and safety in every Texas institution of higher education. We strongly support:
Good Jobs at Home
Hardworking Texans have the right to good jobs to support their families and invest in their future. Texas Democrats understand we must have an economy that works for all, not just the wealthy. The Texas Republicans reckless reductions in state funding for education at all levels will leave us vulnerable in attracting the jobs of the future. To this end we propose the following as the correct approach to providing the jobs to make our communities strong and resilient long into the future:
Texas Democrats continue to believe healthcare is a fundamental human right for all Texans and not a privilege reserved for those able to afford it. Texas Democrats oppose the repeated efforts by Republican politicians to repeal the Affordable Care Act and return America to the disastrous system that has failed small businesses, working families and drained state and family budgets. Every family deserves quality healthcare they can count on and a secure and stable system that ensures access to affordable medical care. Texans deserve a Texas Solution to fix our medical coverage gap – a solution that should also consider a single payer option.
In order to address critical health care needs, Texas Democrats:
The underlying philosophy of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is to move our country forward to a preventive based system where a priority is placed on the health and wellness of all Americans. Democrats support the legislation’s elimination of copayments for preventive services, as well as plans to expand community health centers and the number of primary care physicians and healthcare practitioners. Democrats support efforts in Texas to increase the number of primary care physicians and nurses, as well efforts to encourage healthy living. Texas Democrats support reducing childhood obesity, as well as promoting vaccinations and immunizations.
Protecting and Improving Medicaid
Texas Democrats join a long list of Texas business associations and local governments in support of a Texas Solution for Medicaid expansion. We believe that accepting the billions of federal dollars for the state’s Medicaid program can provide coverage to those working Texans that fall between the cracks and are denied or cannot afford private coverage. It would keep those working Texans out of the emergency room where they often cannot afford to pay their bills and would stop those costs from being passed on to Texans through higher insurance premiums and property taxes.
In order to protect and improve Medicaid, Texas Democrats:
Democrats support the security for seniors that the Medicare programs has delivered for decades. Democrats support the Medicare provisions in the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act that provide improved quality of care, increase services to rural areas, crack down on waste and abuse and ensure more money goes to benefits and not insurance providers. Democrats support the Medicare reforms enacted by Democrats in Congress to close the costly prescription drug “donut hole” that burdened seniors.
Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
We support the new coverage now allowed for by the Affordable Care Act for mental health and substance abuse services as well as to encourage Texas to accept the Federal Medicaid dollars and deliver coverage to those Texans living in the coverage gap that has been denied coverage by Republican leaders. We support:
Education and Services to Prevent and Treat Communicable Infections
Texas Democrats support increased education initiatives and services to address prevention and treatment of communicable diseases, such as Viral Hepatitis, HIV/AIDS, Sexually Transmitted Diseases, and Tuberculosis. Effective treatment and therapy for all communicable diseases improves the quality of life and encourages a return to the workforce. Texas Democrats:
Eliminating Health Disparities
Health studies have long indicated disease and mortality does not uniformly impact everyone in our state. Millions of Blacks, Latinos, Asians, Pacific Islanders, Indigenous Peoples, and LGBTQ persons, living in America should not be disadvantaged by income, gender, region, immigration status, and discrimination. Texas Democrats:
Choice and Family Planning
Texas Democrats believe in the fundamental American values of freedom, privacy and personal responsibility. We believe in the right to make sound, responsible personal healthcare choices for ourselves and our families. Texas Democrats:
Texas Democrats recognize that climate change is a real and serious threat that is causing drought, crop failure, heat waves, more torrential storms, and extreme climate events. We recognize that Texas has some of the dirtiest coal plants in the nation, and our residents are at great risk from the health effects of carbon pollution and climate disruption.
We also recognize, as does the Department of Defense, that crop failure and drought caused by climate disruption can lead to political instability throughout the world resulting in massive migration and violence. To mitigate these risks, we recommend statewide and national clean energy policies that will spur economic development and reduce carbon emissions in Texas and the nation through the use of renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Texas has long been a world energy leader, and Texas can continue that dynamic leadership in a transition to diverse, clean, abundant energy as we tap our wealth of alternative energy sources – solar, wind and geothermal resources. We support:
Clean and Available Water
Texas Democrats understand that global climate change has accelerated and recognize that natural and man-made droughts and floods and changes in emerging energy policy must be addressed as part of a comprehensive federal and state approach to water conservation and control. Clean Water from publicly managed resources is critical to our future and our health. We support:
Environmental Protection, Regulation and Enforcement
Environmental protection, regulation, and enforcement is essential to preserve the health of our people, the quality of life, and to secure long-term economic growth. It is vital that the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality (TCEQ) look out for the health and welfare of Texans through environmental stewardship. We support:
The Texas Railroad Commission has been tasked with overseeing the operation of Texas’ natural gas wells. However, they have become little more than a rubber stamp for businesses that damage air and water supplies in the name of profit. We support the Sunset Commission’s recommendations to improve the functionality of this agency as it relates to transparency, conflict of interests, ethics and changing the name of the agency to better reflect its role and jurisdiction.
We believe that:
The preservation of recreational and open spaces is essential to a healthy Texas. We support:
Recycling & Waste Reduction
Reducing the use of natural resources is the best option, followed by reuse and then recycling. We support:
We oppose any attempts by the Texas Legislature to stifle efforts of municipalities to regulate litter and pollution through city ordinances and regulations that ban bottles, bags, Styrofoam, or other wasteful packaging. Municipalities should be allowed to address waste reduction locally without state interference and allowed to enact ordinances to combat the problem that may be more restrictive than state laws if it is of the will of the local community.
Texas has more people in prison and a higher incarceration rate than any other state. Texas also has more private prisons than any other state. The inadequacies of our criminal justice system disproportionately impact people of color and the poor. District attorney offices across the state often reward performance by the number of convictions, not necessarily the administration of justice. These forces, coupled with racial profiling, and draconian budget cuts to education, create an environment where profit usurps the public interest. Texas Democrats have appreciation and respect for public safety personnel who risk their lives to protect our communities. We must not allow inappropriate actions by a small number of rogue officers that undermine that respect, nor allow systemic inequities to perpetuate injustices in all communities. Texas must be smart in dealing with crime and punishment. The “War on Drugs” should be redirected to treatment and the reclassification of certain drug felonies.
Gun Violence Prevention
The Texas Democratic Party supports the language of the 2nd Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and recognizes the need for a balanced approach between upholding and respecting our fundamental constitutional rights and those needs in protecting the rights from those seeking to cause harm. We believe in a comprehensive approach recognizing gun violence as both a public health and criminal justice issue.
We strongly support:
The mantra “to serve and protect” must be applied equally to all communities. Democrats believe a community-based approach to crime fighting makes our streets and neighborhoods safer. Public trust in the police department ultimately increases safety. Partnerships should be formed with community groups to assist officers on the streets. Citizen oversight boards should be in place to address conflicts between the police and the community.
The state’s ability to restrict individual liberty must be subject to due process. Democrats believe each citizen is innocent until proven guilty. Texas Democrats call for the end of racial profiling and police brutality. Incidents like the arrest, detention and unnecessary death of Sandra Bland epitomize the problems of police brutality, poor jail standards and inadequate oversight of treating those with mental health issues in our county jails. Such practices are an embarrassment to conscientious law enforcement officials and unacceptable to all Texans. When police misconduct is alleged, we support the implementation of civilian review boards with proper subpoena power.
To continue the fight against crime, and to make our streets and homes safer, Texas Democrats support just and smart policies, including:
Sexual Assault and Family & Domestic Violence
Sexual assault and family and domestic violence are violent crimes that occur in all types of families and disproportionately harm women and children; crimes that often involve a cyclical, generational pattern, thus affecting entire communities as long as such crimes continue to be perpetrated. We support:
Administration of Justice
Texas Democrats believe in the efficient, fiscally responsible and moral administration of Justice. County jails should not be the largest mental health providers in Texas. Texas Democrats support:
Cannabis Policy Reform
Our current cannabis laws give power, control, and illicit funding to violent drug cartels. These laws disproportionately affect communities of color, even though cannabis use among different ethnicities is equal, and destroy lives with a criminal record. Cannabis policy reform can improve public safety, boost our economy, and provide much-needed health care options for struggling Texans. As Texas Democrats, we:
Juveniles are presumed to be less culpable for their crimes than adults and therefore have a constitutional right to be treated differently. Prison-style incarceration often does young offenders more harm than good. The use of tasers and pepper spray at Texas Juvenile Justice Department (TJJD) facilities should be banned unless it is necessary to prevent loss of life or serious bodily injury. Community-based juvenile justice prevention and intervention programs can ultimately reduce adult crime, Texas’ high incarceration rate and the need for prison construction. Texas Democrats support:
Texas Democrats support programs which decrease recidivism by providing ex-offenders a pathway back to productive participation in society. Texas Democrats support reducing recidivism by:
Texas Democrats support policies that:
Despite 13 death row exonerations in Texas in the last 11 years, the death chamber and its machinery are still fully operational in Texas. Death penalty exonerations have already revealed deep flaws in our State’s criminal justice system. Evidence, including scientific evidence, extensive studies by Innocence Project, major newspapers, and university research, strongly suggests that Texas has already executed innocent defendants including Carlos DeLuna, Ruben Cantu, and Cameron Todd Willingham. We must take every step to ensure there is never another innocent person executed. Texas Democrats support and urge:
Access to Justice
Democrats believe our legal system is the bedrock that protects and guarantees our rights and freedoms. Democrats believe that instead of taking the law into their own hands, all people must have full access to the courts and equal treatment before the law, with confidence that their grievances will be fairly adjudicated. We support:
Texas Democrats believe responsible, accountable and progressive state budget policy is necessary to restore trust between taxpayers and elected officials in Austin. Earning that trust requires leaders who will talk straight about the challenges facing Texans today and, in the future,—unlike Republican politicians who have created short-term and long-term budget problems and then have blocked solutions.
These Republican budget policies have intentionally created a long-term “structural deficit” by cutting school property taxes while not providing the substitute revenue they promised from business taxes. The price for these irresponsible state fiscal policies has fallen squarely on the backs of hardworking Texans for more than a decade.
Drastic state budget cuts in education, healthcare and other areas have shifted the tax burden to local government, often requiring cities, counties and school boards to cuts services or increase local property taxes or regressive sales taxes. As Texas Democrats, we support:
State government must invest wisely and efficiently to meet the needs of our rapidly growing population and develop the human resources that are the key to our economic future. Texas must reform state fiscal policy and develop reliable revenue sources that grow with the economy to provide essential state services for a growing population. Texas Democrats support policies to restore responsible state fiscal policy, including:
Texas Democrats recognize that the United States is a vibrant nation of immigrants. We value those who come from different countries and cultures. Immigrants have added to the prosperity and resilience of this great country and we believe in fostering better bilateral relationships with all nations including our southern neighbor whom we share an extensive border with. Importantly, we understand that viewing immigrants through a lens of fear and prejudice only hurts our nation and Texas. We recognize that through a more fair and equitable immigration system our county is strong. We therefore:
Security for Our Families
Texas Democrats support initiatives to ensure the security of our families. Every parent should be able to provide housing, nutrition, clothing and health care for his or her family. Therefore, we support:
Privatization of Social Services
Under Republicans, Texas entered has entered into a series of questionable contracts with private companies that have reduced and harmed state services and thereby thwarting attempts by Democrats to improve the lives of the people of Texas. Therefore, we support:
Child Protection and Foster Care
The Department of Child Protective Services (CPS) is in crisis. The underfunding, understaffing and turnover inside CPS is literally putting the lives of our most vulnerable Texans at risk on a daily basis. Given the existing emergency Texas Democrats support:
Long-term Services and Support
Texas Democrats believe that elderly and disabled Texans of all ages should have access to long-term services and supports that promote independent living in the most integrated setting possible. We believe the state must comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act. Therefore, we support:
Texas Democrats believe that we must maintain the promise of Social Security and keep the system strong and certain for all working Americans. Therefore, we support:
Millions of workers have invested in public or private pensions to secure their retirement. We believe it is a legitimate role of government to protect the position of stakeholders in these pension systems. Therefore, we support;
Access to Affordable
Democrats believe that Texans must have access to insurance protecting our homes and businesses at an affordable rate. Therefore, we support:
Democrats understand that Texans must have affordable utilities and deregulation has failed to drive down rates and has produced an always confusing and often times misleading marketplace. Therefore, we support:
· Requiring the Public Utility Commission to construct policies that force all providers to display all products using the same language terminology and industry measurements, including cancellation policies, to describe those products so that they might be easily understood and compared.
Texas Democrats believe government has a responsibility to protect the people from dangerous products and fraudulent, unfair and discriminatory business practices. Therefore, we support:
Texas Democrats believe quality, affordable housing strengthens families and revitalizes communities. As the population of Texas continues to grow, the importance of housing policy extends beyond the critical value of shelter. Quality, affordable housing improves school performance, diminishes health problems for both children and adults, and decreases psychological stress – among other benefits. We support:
Texas Democrats understand the obstacles faced in rural Texas, and we are committed to providing our rural communities with the tools necessary to maintain their quality of life and create enhanced opportunities for future generations of rural Texans. All areas of Texas need access to natural and economic resources to grow and thrive, yet rural communities’ assets are under increased pressure from forces beyond their control. We support rural communities in their efforts to protect the materials necessary for their economic livelihood.
Water is a necessity for both the private individual, agricultural business, and emergency management. We believe that it is essential that Texas meet its citizens water needs, especially in the face of climate change, ongoing droughts, and threatened aquifers.
In order to do so:
Texas Democrats understand that the backbone of our food supply should be local farms, and not massive industrial farming. There can be a healthy balance between ensuring that our food is safe for consumers to eat without any long-term health effects and allowing farmers to use petrochemicals/pesticides/antibiotics to ensure good crop and livestock yields. There must also be a concerted effort by the Texas Department of
Agriculture to support the local farmer over the industrial. In order to do so:
Access to quality healthcare in rural Texas is critical; many areas in rural Texas are underserved because of budget cuts from the state legislature. In order to remedy this:
Education in Texas is an important priority in rural areas. Lack of jobs and economic opportunities has forced many talented young people to leave rural communities. To remedy this, Texas Democrats support policies that would:
The founders of Texas and America understood that the protection of personal property is a cornerstone of freedom and liberty. The use of eminent domain for the benefit of the corporation would be something that they would not stand for, and the Texas Democratic Party will not either. Texas Democrats understand that seeking personal property should be in cases where extreme action is needed. In regard to emanate domain:
The Texas Democratic Party stands for the complete inclusion of Texas women in our state’s affairs and respect the preservation of their autonomy and their rights. Equality and justice for all Texas women, in every part of our state, in every circumstance, in every condition, is a core value of our party. Texas is the proud home of pioneering women: who have blazed new trails in business, entrepreneurship, culture, and politics.
The Texas Democratic Party is committed to ending the damaging policies and laws that threaten Texas women’s economic and physical health. We proudly and vigorously support a woman’s right to choose how to use her body and her time. Texas Democrats respect women as full partners in family and society. The Texas Democratic Party demonstrates its commitment to Texas women through women’s leadership at all levels of party activity and by working for policies, laws and elected officials that share our commitment to women’s full, equal, and essential role in Texas’ future success.
The Texas Democratic Party recognizes Texas women are strong, independent and powerful. The Texas Democratic Party seeks to address persistent inequalities that make women’s economic, physical and legal well-being subject to circumstance, prejudice, sexism and antiquated views of women’s role in society. As the Party that truly values Texas women and their families, the Texas Democratic Party will:
Texas Democrats take pride in and support the continued progress of the LGBTQ movement. Since Lawrence v. Texas, our country has continued to take steps towards achieving full equality for LGBTQ citizens. However, our work is not done when someone can still face discrimination for being LGBTQ and harassed or harmed for representing their authentic selves. Texas Democrats support and welcome all people regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
· support the passage of the Equality Act by Congress;
The Texas Democratic Party believes in the right of every Texan to lead a productive life, enjoy liberty, and to pursue happiness. Texas Democrats want all Texans with disabilities, including veterans, to have a sustainable quality of life in the least restrictive environment possible and to have accessible community settings that are functional to their everyday life. This is not only a basic civil right but is also part of the economic vitality and interest of Texas. No person should face discrimination based on disability status.
Texas Democrats support the following to impact this sector of our population and enact necessary change to promote social justice for all disabled persons:
Texas Democrats believe that our veterans should be awarded all the benefits they have been promised, honored for their service, and accepted back into society with open arms.
Providing education benefits to veterans for their service enables them to be the next generation of leaders, business owners, and highly skilled workers. Historically, empowering returning veterans to obtain education, at any level, has benefitted America as a whole, and ushered in eras of prosperity.
Texas Democrats wish to see this continue, and will do so by:
Veterans put both their bodies and their minds on the line when they answered their call to service. Many return home with physical wounds, and many more return home with wounds invisible to their fellow citizens. Texas Democrats know that the death of even one veteran on the Homefront, be it self inflicted or by lack of access to healthcare, is a tragedy to the entire nation, and having veterans live on the streets is shameful. Texas Democrats wish to remedy this by:
Empowering veterans economically allow them to successfully reintegrate into their communities and provides them with the stability needed post service separation. Texas Democrats believe that enabling veterans to buy houses, land, and start businesses not only helps them, but helps their community, state, and country. In order to do so:
Like most Texans, Democrats support an increase in transportation funding to alleviate our congestion and safety crisis. More traffic accidents on highways as well as highways in our urban core between cars and cyclists and cars and pedestrians call for us to take a new look at where our transportation dollars go. The growth we have been experiencing has had negative effects on our traffic congestion – raising concerns about air quality, traffic safety and lost productivity from commute wait times. Texas Democrats support:
Texas Democrats believe that religious freedom is a fundamental right for all Americans as provided by the Texas and U.S. Constitutions.
We recognize the importance of religion and prayer in the lives of Texans and support our Constitution’s guarantee of every individual’s right to practice his or her own beliefs without imposing them on others. We support the U.S. Constitutional provision that no religious test shall be required as a qualification for public office. We believe:
America is the most religiously observant country in the West because our founders wisely provided for separation of church and state, which allows religion to flourish in freedom and respects those who have no religious faith; and
Democrats hold political views motivated by deeply held personal beliefs. No political party and no extremist group hold a lock on religious or ethical beliefs and values. We believe that religion should not be invoked to supersede the rights of others.
These rights include:
Texas Democrats believe peace, prosperity, and national security are assured by maintaining a strong national defense, promoting democracy, and advancing development abroad.
Military action should be used only as a last resort, authorized only as allowed by our Constitution. We support consistent diplomacy and development efforts abroad in coordination with our allies. We believe the most important element in our military is the individual service member, and it is absolutely critical that we keep faith with those who serve and defend us.
Security and Development
Texas Democrats believe that protecting our national security requires maintaining robust military capabilities and strong alliances, while also addressing the sources of security risks that stem from state weakness, poverty, corruption, and social breakdown abroad. Therefore, we believe America must:
Texas Democrats believe that our foreign policy must also enhance the economic and employment conditions of American workers and restore our balance of trade. Therefore, American policies must:
Texas Democrats believe that our national security is advanced by legitimate conduct, strong international leadership, and sustained international engagement. Therefore, American policies should: