Jobs and the Economy
We recommit ourselves to the wise stewardship and protection of our air, water, soil, forests, wetlands, watersheds, barrier islands, and ridge tops. We promote the research and implementation of alternative, sustainable, and renewable energy solutions. We believe that by preserving our natural resources, we are preserving our quality of life, our economic growth, and our health. The Democratic Party has consistently supported serious and effective measures to protect our environment and natural resources. We believe we can and must take steps to address climate change.
We believe government must provide a safety net covering the basic human needs of all citizens and should work to enrich their quality of life. To fulfill this responsibility, all persons should have the opportunity to develop their talents and abilities. We believe that every North Carolinian should have adequate food, clothing, shelter, health care and work. We believe that we, as a society, have a responsibility to help those persons in need: distressed families, the unemployed, the homeless, persons with disabilities, and the mentally ill. We should eradicate hunger.
We recognize that every person is entitled to basic health care, regardless of income or geographic location. We North Carolina Democrats authored and continue to support the Patients’ Bill of Rights, established to improve the relationship between patients, doctors and insurance companies. In March 2010, President Obama fulfilled a promise that Democrats have pursued for nearly a century: making health care available to all Americans. Despite unanimous opposition from Republicans, Democrats were finally able to pass comprehensive health reform into law. We support the increasing leadership role of North Carolina’s biomedical researchers in exploring medical advances that will benefit all humanity. We encourage healthy lifestyles.
One of the most important rights of American citizens is the franchise — the right to vote. Voting rights are fundamental rights because they are protective of all other rights. The path to full voting rights for all American citizens was long and often challenging. We will work to fully protect and enforce the fundamental Constitutional right of every American to vote—to ensure that the Constitution’s promise is fully realized. We will vigorously enforce our voting rights laws instead of making them tools of partisan political agendas. We oppose laws that require identification in order to vote or register to vote, which create discriminatory barriers to the right to vote and disenfranchise many eligible voters.
We reaffirm our commitment to the full and equal protection of the lives, liberties, rights, and properties of all citizens and residents of North Carolina. Democrats have a long and proud history of defending Civil Rights and expanding opportunity for all Americans. We are a community of world citizens representing a tapestry of diverse heritages and rich cultures and we work to ensure that the right of each member of our global family is protected. From the Civil Rights Act of 1964 to the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act in 2009 to including marriage equality in the party platform in 2012, Democrats have fought to end discrimination in all forms—including discrimination based on race, sex, ethnicity or national origin, language, religion, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, or disability. We are committed to protecting voting rights, enacting the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, ensuring marriage equality and equal federal rights for LGBT couples and achieving equal pay for equal work.
North Carolinians have a right to a quality education. Our State must have an outstanding educational system in order to produce an informed community, to promote economic development, and to build for an economic future characterized by a skilled and trained workforce. We agree with Thomas Jefferson – a founder of our Party – that “any nation which expects to remain both ignorant and free expects that which never has been nor ever shall be.” We should strive for educational excellence for all persons – regardless of their race, age, gender, national origin, ethnicity, sexual orientation, economic status, developmental disability, primary language, location, or station in life. We support the Supreme Court’s ruling in Brown v. Board of Education and believe that racial segregation of our schools is incompatible with equal opportunity for all. We support continued efforts to produce, recruit, and retain highly qualified educators at all levels to ensure that our citizens receive an outstanding education. The way in which we compensate our educators should reflect our respect for the teaching profession.