Thursday, April 24, 2008

HCDEC. Democratic Party of Hillsborough County. Platform & Issues Committee. April 2008.

HCDEC. Democratic Party of Hillsborough County. Platform & Issues Committee.

Report on meeting of Thursday, April 17 from 4:30 to 6:30 pm at the HCDEC headquarters. The work of this committee is so close to that of the Legislative Liaison that we also consider Sara Romeo an ex officio member.

Committee cursorily reviewed its charge, composition, and plan for achieving goals prior to August Primary.
Charge: identify and study key political issues at the local, state, and federal levels; Assist in the
dissemination of information on issues contained in the National and State Democratic Party Platforms; Report on local issues; development of a platform on local issues.]

Budget. (Old business from the March meeting) The Committee approved the budget that we had failed to approve at the last meeting, namely: a budget of $750 for copying and postage for the calendar year 2008, calculated at $75 per month, but there being only ten months left.

Substantive Agenda Items.
Reducing Principles to five and editing them appropriately.
The Committee reviewed two draft attempts to edit the old 2006 “Principles” pursuant to the suggestions of members at the March meeting. One was presented to the committee as Agenda Attachment B and the other as Agenda Attachment C. While the Committee has saved these drafts for the record, we present in this report only the final outcome of our work, attached here as

“Draft HCDEC Platform for 2008.”(Appendix I).
Issues Relating to these Principles. The Committee recognized a variety of issues that have been mentioned during February and March of 2008 on the Platform-Issues-Legislation YahooGroup or that have been suggested by members via other media. The decision was made to work on HCDEC positions to be taken on these issues and then to report only those issues on which positions are proposed. Status of Positions on Issues.

VADT, Value Added Deferred Taxation (raised by Neil Cosentino []). The idea is that local communities could encourage the positive development of their own communities by deferring taxation on improvements to real property. Such improvements add immediate value to the community and in the long run would add revenue. Local jurisdictions do not now have legislative authority to take this positive approach to economic development. See discussions on Platform- Issues-Legislation YahooGroup. (Kent Bailey)

Alternative energy program (raised by Thomas Franklin). The idea is to implement current legislation that permits a long-term U.S. DOE program of investing in development of alternative energy by means of hydrogen fusion and connecting to the power grid that serves Florida, serving public energy needs generally and most specifically the energy needs of public facilities in Florida.

Voting rights of former felons. Still problem in Hillsborough County. (Attorney Michael Steinberg, chair of the HCDEC, is aware of the problem and can be helpful).

Health care: Hillsborough Health Care/SCHIP (Dena Gross Leavengood []).

Transportation & Distribution Initiative (Neil Cosentino []).
Nonpartisan Commission for Redistricting (Status of petition?).

Florida Universities slide into mediocrity (Kathleen de la Peña McCook []).

Separation of Church and State. Democrats believe that religion is a matter of personal choice. The government should not promote any one faith or organization over any other. (Linda Rued).
Florida Amendment 2 – gender and marriage (Anna Scott).

Language in education.

Evolution in education.

Guns, guns, guns.

Personal and Corporate Rights. Re: First Principle: Real People before Corporations.

Insurance regulation (Exemption from antitrust regulation should be repealed).

The Committee will continue to work on developing positions for many of these issues, and responsibility for leading that work is sometimes indicated in parentheses following the issue on the list above. Readers are urged to review the YahooGroup Platform-Issues-Legislation for discussion.
Next Meeting is scheduled for: May 1, 2008
from 4:30-6:30 P.M. at the HCDEC headquarters,
Suite 100, 4221 Himes Avenue, Tampa, Fl. 33607 /
Adjourned at 6:30 p.m.
Respectfully submitted,
Alvin W. Wolfe,
Chair, Platform and Issues Committee
DRAFT HCDEC Platform for 2008
(Committee Draft, April 2008)
In order that our American government would be genuinely of the people, by the people, for the
people, We, the Hillsborough County Democratic Party, support the restoration of accountability to the people through a careful balancing of power both among the legislative, executive, and judicial branches and also among the various levels from individual through families, local communities, states and the federal government. Toward that end we resolve and restate our beliefs in certain principles that, combined together, form a solid platform for our local party.
Individuals and Families
  1. … It is in our common interest and common duty as Americans to respect the rights and worth of each individual, regardless of race, religion, age, gender or sexual orientation.
  2. Families provide the building blocks for communities and individuals have basic rights toprivacy, so that every American has the right to make personal choices in their domestic lives,without government intrusion.
  3. … Economic strength is based on fair treatment of every American citizen and the American entrepreneurial spirit is founded on the principle of fair play for all.
  4. … America is founded on the idea of vigorous, uncensored public debate and every citizen has theright and the duty to vote in fair elections and to have that vote counted.
  5. … All employees have the right to organize and to negotiate with their employers through the workers’ elected union representatives.
  6. The safety and security of our communities must not come at the expense of the freedoms thathave made us the most admired country in the world.
  7. )… When our communities need to grow, the growth must be within the bounds of a healthy, wellplanned infrastructure – roads, utilities, and schools.
  8. The health of individuals, the health and well-being of communities, and the conditions of the environment are inseparably tied to each other and that comprehensive whole deserves priority over all else.
  9. … Honor and integrity are requisites of public service, and those who serve, whether as military or civil servants, deserve to be appropriately respected and rewarded.
  10. … A strong public education system is an essential element of democracy.
To comment, subscribe to YahooGroup Platform-Issues-Legislation
or contact: Alvin Wolfe, Chair, Platform & Issues Committee
Attachment A

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