BDC Platform 2016


Berkeley Democratic Club

Platform for the 2016 Election

Guiding Principles

As the oldest and largest Democratic Club in Alameda County, the Berkeley Democratic Club stands for these principles:

  • Government is a force for good, providing a safety net for the most vulnerable and underserved in our society and bringing balance and fairness to the market economy.
  • Access to health care, a decent standard of living, a clean and safe environment and access to quality education from early childhood to college are fundamental.
  • Diversity and inclusion in the political process lead to better outcomes.
  • Public policy should be crafted based on sound research and best practices, with social and economic justice as our guide.
  • Government should be ethically and fiscally responsible.

These priorities ought to be fought for at every level — local, state, federal and global.

We believe the Democratic Party offers the best vehicle to advance our principles.

Issues

At the local level, Berkeley Democrats support:

Housing Affordability

  • Build new residential housing at both market-rate and below-market rate so that our workforce, families, children and seniors at all income levels have an opportunity to live in Berkeley
  • Continue to require developers to build or contribute a fee toward meeting affordability goals
  • Maintain rent stabilization for the primary benefit of low-income individuals and households and minimize costs for small property owners
  • Encourage in-law units that increase the housing stock and help seniors age in place

Social and Economic Justice

  • Raise the local minimum wage to $15 at or sooner than the state of California’s implementation timeline of 2022, with input from low-wage workers, small business owners, nonprofit leaders and other stakeholders
  • Attract living-wage green and clean energy job opportunities for Berkeley residents, especially those without a college degree
  • Actively consider the equity implications of policy decisions, including allocation of public safety, social services and economic development resources in historically underserved areas
  • Encourage broad participation in Berkeley’s commissions from people of all racial, social-economic, religious and political backgrounds

Community Health and Safety

  • Target funding for social services and addiction recovery to nonprofit organizations with a demonstrated record of sound management and outcomes
  • Practice compassion toward the homeless and those with mental illnesses while keeping our commercial districts safe and welcoming
  • Nurture positive relationships between police and the neighborhoods they serve
  • Maintain or increase the size of the police force and give police additional tools and equipment

Environmental Stewardship

  • Hold city council and staff accountable for meeting the Measure G (2006) mandate to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050
  • Preserve parks and open space, actively consider environmental justice in land use decisions, encourage urban gardens and expand recreational space and opportunities for active lifestyles

Transportation and Mobility

  • Fund a multi-modal transportation system that facilitates walking, biking and use of public transit
  • Increase transit options for seniors and people with disabilities to access groceries, healthcare, recreation and other essential activities
  • Produce an action plan to addresses deferred maintenance of the city’s streets, parks and public facilities

Budget and Taxes

  • Maintain current taxation rates and service levels to ensure needs are met at a cost taxpayers can bear
  • Practice shared accountability that includes increased individual contributions to pensions from newly-hired city employees, starting with non-public safety employees
  • Advocate for statewide reform of Proposition 13 to ensure commercial property owners pay their fair share

Education

  • Continue the 20/20 vision and partnership between BUSD, UC and City of Berkeley to address disparities in our schools
  • Acknowledge the pivotal role of supplemental funding for Berkeley schools while pressing state legislators to increase funding statewide
  • Advocate for increased support for K-16 education

Political Reform

  • Defend the current contribution limit and rules for financing campaigns, while declining to endorse the use of general fund money for public financing
  • Explore some form of term limits, potentially limiting councilmembers to three four-year terms or two four-year terms with the possibility of returning to office later
  • Establish a redistricting commission that takes the power to redraw council districts out of the hands of current incumbents

Berkeley Democrats also support the principles behind the adopted platforms of the state and national Democratic Party.

 

May 26, 2016