2007 Democratic State Convention
The Resolutions Committee recommends the following resolutions for adoption by the Convention:
Resolution In Support of Governor Granholm’s 2008 Budget
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party recognizes that Michigan’s state government is in a $3 billion budget crisis due to a structural deficit caused by tax cuts passed in the 1990’s without any accompanying budget cuts, the elimination of the Single Business Tax without a replacement and a loss of revenue caused by a struggling economy; and
WHEREAS, Governor Granholm has already cut $3 billion from the state budget in the last 4 years; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party understands while Governor Jennifer M. Granholm’s economic plan has put the state on the right course, Michigan needs to continue taking bold action that invests in our people; and
WHEREAS, Michigan’s budget crisis can not be solved through budget cuts alone. An attempt to solve it through only budget cuts would threaten Michigan’s vital services such as education, health care and safety and would cause our struggling economy even more harm; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes Michigan’s budget crisis requires a long-term, sustainable solution. In the past, state government has looked to short-term solutions that only compound the problem for the future. We can not do this again. Michigan does not need to have a continual fiscal crisis; and
WHEREAS, Governor Granholm’s budget includes many innovative and dynamic proposals to fix Michigan’s structural deficit, while acceleratingMichigan’s economic rebound at the same time; and
WHEREAS, programs like “No Worker Left Behind” provide real opportunity forMichigan workers that have been ignored and harmed by President Bush’s trade and outsourcing policies. By giving these workers the opportunity to start over inMichigan, “No Worker Left Behind” provides stability for all of Michigan; and
WHEREAS, it is necessary and valuable to invest in alternative energy, to increase education funding at all levels, to create ways to fill existing job openings, to make acceptable cuts in the budget and change the state’s tax structure to make it simple and fair to allow Michigan to compete with other states;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party states for the record its support of Governor Granholm’s 2008 Budget Proposal; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges the Michigan State Legislature to quickly approve Governor Granholm’s budget plan to invest in a better Michigan for our citizens.
Resolution Supporting the “Bring Our Troops Home And Sovereignty Of Iraq Restoration Act”
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party in August 2006 unanimously adopted a resolution calling for the return of U.S. troops from Iraq; and
WHEREAS, in the six months since then, over 500 additional U.S. soldiers and Marines, and untold numbers of Iraqis have been killed, thousands of U.S. troops have been wounded and disabled, with the additional monetary cost of the war over that time at $75 billion, and long-term costs estimated at over $1 trillion; and
WHEREAS, the overwhelming majority of the people of the United States, as well as the people of Iraq, oppose a continuing U.S. military presence in Iraq; and
WHEREAS, all of the arguments against a continuation of the war presented in our original resolution apply with equal or greater force today; and
WHEREAS, despite the efforts underway in Congress to pass a non-binding resolution against the continuation of the war, both the President and the Vice-President have made it clear that such a resolution will in no way impede their plans to escalate the war.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Congress must use the power of the purse to support our troops by bringing them home, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges our elected members of Congress to support H.R. 508, the ”Bring Our Troops Home and Sovereignty of Iraq Restoration Act”. This bill would:
• Withdraw all U.S. troops and military contractors from Iraq within six months from date of enactment.
• Prohibit any further funding to deploy, or continue to deploy U.S. troops in Iraq. The bill does, however, allow for funding to be used, as needed, to ensure a safe withdrawal of all U.S. military personnel and contractors, and for diplomatic consultations. Funding may also be used for the increased training and equipping of Iraqi and international security forces.
• Accelerate, during the six month transition, training of a permanent Iraqi security force.
• Authorize, if requested by the Iraqi government, U.S. support for an international stabilization force. Such a force would be funded for no longer than two years, and be combined with economic and humanitarian assistance.
• Guarantee full health care funding, including mental health, for U.S. veterans of military operations in Iraq and other conflicts.
• Rescind the Congressional authorization for the War in Iraq.
• Prohibit the construction of permanent U.S. military bases in the country.
• Ensure that the U.S. has no long-term control over Iraqi oil; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be sent to themembers of the Michigan Congressional Delegation and Senators Debbie Stabenow and Carl Levin.
Resolution Demanding An Investigation Of The Intelligence Failure And The Justification Of The War In Iraq By The Bush Administration
WHEREAS, President George W. Bush, Vice President Richard B. Cheney and other administration officials have falsified intelligence and grossly misled Congress and the public regarding the threat posed by Iraq in order to justify a new war against Iraq; and
WHEREAS, the War in Iraq spirals out of control while the Bush administration continues to be oblivious or resistant to any suggestions for a change in strategy; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration is even now pushing sweetheart oil production sharing agreements through the Iraqi Parliament, the terms of which are of course not being made public; and
WHEREAS, Bush leads one of the more secretive and intellectually obstructionist administrations in the history of America; and
WHEREAS, examples of the Bush administration’s secrecy include its steadfast resistance to any investigation of its handling of the war or intelligence and the Administration’s refusal to reveal to Congress the names of business executives and others who met with Vice President Cheney’s energy task force before it proposed a new energy policy; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration has actively vilified media outlets that aggressively pursue important stories such as the NSA surveillance program, the Abu Graib prison scandal, and the treatment of prisoners of war held at Guantanamo Bay and under “extraordinary rendition”; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration has also attacked individuals that oppose their political agenda in such cases as outing Ambassador Joe Wilson’s wife as a CIA agent; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges Congress to aggressively reclaim its role as a check and balance to the Bush administration and urges Congress to challenge Bush administration practices that undermine the rule of law, short circuit the accountability of the administration and undermine faith in democratic debate; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that while secrecy, particularly military secrecy, may be necessary in the world as it is, secrecy mixed with partisan intrigue is deadly to the open and informed debate necessary for the proper functioning of a democracy; those who hold state secrets in a democracy must be held to very high standards of objectivity and non-partisanship; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this investigation, if it is conducted without stooping to the crass tactics of the Bush administration, will not be an act of partisan revenge as some will likely claim but will be an action for justice and redemption; real crimes and treasons appear to have been committed; they must not be allowed to go unanswered least they become the norm.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Congress should continue to aggressively investigate the Bush administration’s so called intelligence failures and other abuses of its war making and intelligence powers, and hold the administration accountable to the people of this country and to our fallen and disabled soldiers; and
BE IT FINALY RESOLVED that a copy of this resolution shall be furnished to Senator Levin’s and Senator Stabenow’s office and to the Michigan Congressional Delegation.
Resolution Condemning Abuses By The Bush Administration
WHEREAS, President Bush has admitted to ordering the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct electronic surveillance of American civilians without a warrant; and
WHEREAS, the Federal Court in the Eastern District of Michigan has ruled inACLU v. NSA that the NSA program is unconstitutional; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration continues to conduct widespread surveillance of innocent Americans that violates their fundamental right to privacy, including data mining private information and profiling peaceful protesters; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration has permitted the illegal torture of prisoners and has expanded the use of CIA kidnapping, a practice known as “extraordinary rendition”; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration through the Military Commissions Bill has acted to strip Americans of their constitutional rights by ordering indefinite detention of citizens, without access to legal counsel, without charge and without opportunity to appear before a civil judicial officer to challenge the detention (the right of Habeas Corpus), based solely on the discretionary designation by the President of a U. S. citizen as an “enemy combatant”; and
WHEREAS, the right to file a habeas petition allowing an accused to gain a hearing on the charges against him or her in a court of law is a fundamental necessity in any democratic system; and
WHEREAS, President Bush has rejected the limits established by the Constitution upon the Executive Branch through his unprecedented use of “signing statements”, ignoring the Congress’ exclusive power to make laws; and
WHEREAS, the Bush administration is forcing states to implement the REAL ID Act, which, for all its extraordinary cost does nothing for the security of this nation and encourages discrimination; and
WHEREAS, transparency is not only the hallmark of good government, it is a sign of respect for the people government serves; and
WHEREAS, President Bush leads one of the most secretive administrations in the history of America;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges Congress to aggressively pursue its role as a check and balance to theExecutive Branch and that it challenge Bush administration practices that undermine the rule of law, government transparency and accountability; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges its Congressional Delegation to refuse to legalize the warrantless electronic surveillance program already found unconstitutional by the Federal Court; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges its federal representatives to aggressively investigate the torture of detainees by United States personnel and the practice of “extraordinary rendition”; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges its federal representatives to repeal the Military Commissions Bill and restore theright of Habeas Corpus; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls on its Congressional Delegation, now in the majority, to use their authority to immediately and aggressively investigate the Bush administration’s abuses in these and other areas, and hold the administration accountable.
Resolution Declaring The Essence Of American Patriotism Is To Honor The Constitution Of The United States
WHEREAS, the Constitution of the United States establishes the governing framework under which we have come to live and work together peacefully, despite our differences, while generally avoiding the fate of places like Beirut, or Kabul, or Baghdad; and
WHEREAS, the Constitution’s establishment of due process and equality before the law are bedrock principles of our Democratic Party, which is the Party of Jefferson; and
WHEREAS, every brave man or woman serving in any branch of the United States armed forces swears an Oath to protect and defend that same Constitution against all enemies, foreign or domestic; and
WHEREAS, the President of the United States and all Members of Congress are likewise sworn to defend the Constitution; and
WHEREAS, the Executive – and until recently a complicit, Republican-controlled Congress—have betrayed both the trust of those who serve in uniform, and their own oaths of office, by seeking to undermine Constitutional Separation of Powers, circumvent the system of Checks and Balances, deny due process to United States citizen, and generally place the Executive above the law.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party recognizes that genuine American patriotism means upholding the nation’s founding principles and values by consistent adherence to the Constitution’s provisions as we go about the business of self-governance; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party proclaims that the rights secured under the Constitution necessarily apply to everyone lest they become no more than an empty promise to us all; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party declares it the duty of all patriotic Americans to defend the Constitution of the United States by demanding the observance of its system of Checks and Balances and Separation of Powers, and its provisions for due process and equality before the law; and by upholding the rights it secures for everyone, all of the time. No exceptions.
Resolution Supporting Proper Use Of The National Guard and Reserves
WHEREAS, the National Guard and Reserves were never intended to serve as a primary full-time fighting force in foreign lands.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the National Guard and Reserves be used for their intended purpose.
Resolution Calling For Action To End The Violence In Darfur
WHEREAS, hundreds of thousands of innocent civilians have been killed in what USAID and the United Nations have called an “ethnic cleansing” by theSudanese government and the militia it supports; and
WHEREAS, over 2.5 million people have been displaced into unprotected refuge camps and systematic rape and torture of women and children is used as a weapon against the people of Darfur; and
WHEREAS, this violence is not confined to Darfur but has been used in other parts of the Sudan to suppress dissent and is spreading to neighboring Chad; and
WHEREAS, Sudan’s President has repeatedly broken promises to end what Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has referred to as a “humanitarian disaster”, and has in fact escalated his systematic genocide against the people of Darfur.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls upon President Bush and the United States Congress to take the following actions to end the violence in Darfur:
1. Cooperate with other world leaders to enforce the no-fly zone as already approved by the United Nations Security Council;
2. Work with the United Nations to speed up deployment of an United Nations force of 20,000 as authorized by U.N. Security Council Resolution 1706 to join the outnumbered African Union force of 7,000;
3. Enact tougher, targeted economic sanctions and punitive measuresagainst the government of Sudan if it fails to cooperate with world attempts to aid the people of Darfur and end the violence;
4. Play a major diplomatic role in supporting renewed, multi-party peace efforts and engaging other world leaders in finding a diplomatic solution to end the genocide in Darfur; and
5. Ensure sufficient funding for peacekeeping and humanitarian efforts by the African Union and the United Nations.
Resolution Supporting The Employee Free Choice Act
WHEREAS, in 1935 the United States established by law that workers must be free to form unions; and
WHEREAS, the freedom to form or join a union is internationally recognized bythe 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights as a fundamental human right; and
WHEREAS, the free choice to join with others and bargain for better wages and benefits is essential to economic opportunity and good living standards; and
WHEREAS, unions benefit communities by strengthening living standards, stabilizing tax bases, promoting equal treatment and enhancing civic participation; and
WHEREAS, states in which more people are union members are states with higher wages, better benefits and better schools; and
WHEREAS, union workers receive better wages and benefits, with union workers earning 29 percent more than workers without a union, 35 percent more likely to have access to health insurance, and are four times more likely to have access to a guaranteed defined-benefit pension; and
WHEREAS, unions help raise workers’ pay and narrow the income gap for minorities and women, by increasing median weekly earnings by 31 percent for union women workers, 31 percent for African-American workers, 50 percent for Latino workers, and 9 percent for Asian American workers; and
WHEREAS, workers across the nation are routinely denied the freedom to form unions and bargain for a better life, with 25 percent of private-sector employers illegally firing at least one worker for union activity during organizing campaigns; and
WHEREAS, 77 percent of the public believes it is important to have strong laws protecting the freedom for workers to make their own decision about having a union, and 58 percent of workers would join a union if they had the chance; and
WHEREAS, employers often refuse to bargain fairly with workers after forming a union by dragging out first contract bargaining for up to two years in 45 percent of successful campaigns; and
WHEREAS, each year millions of dollars are spent to frustrate workers’ efforts to form unions, and most violations of workers’ freedom to choose a union occur behind closed doors, with 78 percent of employers forcing employees to attend mandatory anti-union meetings; and
WHEREAS, when the right of workers to form a union is violated, wages fall, race and gender pay gaps widen, workplace discrimination increases and job safety standards disappear; and
WHEREAS, a worker’s fundamental right to choose a union free from coercion and intimidation is a public issue that requires public policy solutions, including legislative remedies; and
WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act has been introduced in the U.S. Congress in order to restore workers’ freedom to join a union;
WHEREAS, the Employee Free Choice Act will safeguard workers’ ability to make their own decisions with these abuses, provide for first contract mediation and arbitration, and establish meaningful penalties when employers violate workers’ rights.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports the Employee Free Choice Act which would authorize the National Labor Relations Board to certify a union as the bargaining representative when a majority of employees voluntarily sign authorizations designating that union to represent them; provide for first contract mediation and arbitration; and establish meaningful penalties for violations of a worker’s freedom to choose a union; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that we urge Congress to pass the Employee Free Choice Act to protect and preserve for America’s workers their freedom to choose for themselves whether or not to form a union.
Resolution Supporting The Decent Working Conditions And Fair Competition Act (S. 3485 and H.R. 5635)
WHEREAS, corporations that search out the cheapest labor and fewest standards in order to produce their goods fuel the global race to the bottom. As we know, these finished products are often bound for the U.S. market. In this process, workers abroad are exploited, while workers here find themselves unable to compete on any thing-but-a-level playing field; and
WHEREAS, for the first time, anti-sweatshop legislation has been introduced inthe U.S. Congress which will prohibit the import, export or sale of sweatshop goods in the United States. Companies have demanded and won all sorts of enforceable laws – intellectual property and copyright laws backed up by sanctions – to defend their corporate trademarks, labels and products. Yet, they have said that extending laws to protect human rights of children in Bangladesh and other workers world-wide who sew, would be “an impediment to free trade”; and
WHEREAS, the Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act will, forthe first time, hold corporations legally accountable to respect human and workers rights by prohibiting the import, sale, or export of sweatshop goods inthe U.S. Products made under conditions which violate the core ILO labor rights standards (no child labor, no forced labor, freedom of association, the right to organize the bargain collectively and to require decent working conditions) will be banned.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that our United States Representatives and Senators are urged to sign on and support the “Decent Working Conditions and Fair Competition Act,” S. 3485 and H.R. 5635, which establishes strict anti-sweatshop government purchasing standards; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that a method of meaningful enforcement be included in the legislation.
Resolution In Support Of A Marshall Plan For American Manufacturing
WHEREAS, the trade and economic policies of the Bush Administration have led to the loss of hundreds of thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs; and
WHEREAS, trade agreements which do not require basic labor, health and safety and environmental standards have encouraged the export of hundreds of thousands of good-paying American manufacturing jobs; and
WHEREAS, a strong manufacturing sector is vital to the economic wellbeing and national security of the United States; and
WHEREAS, Americans generously supported the rebuilding of war-torn Europeafter World War II through the Marshall Plan; and
WHEREAS, Americans are currently spending billions of dollars to rebuild roads, schools, public utilities and other public infrastructure in Iraq.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States should pursue a domestic Marshall Plan to revitalize our manufacturing base for the 21st Century.
Resolution Supporting Automatically Adjusting The Minimum Wage For Inflation
WHEREAS, those working at minimum wage are often at the bottom of the pay scale, living in poverty; and
WHEREAS, higher minimum wages are proven to stimulate the economy; and
WHEREAS, a minimum wage that is automatically adjusted for inflation helps workers keep pace with changing economic factors.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports an adjustable minimum wage and urges that it be placed into law either by action of the State Legislature or a ballot initiative.
Resolution Supporting Making Unemployment Compensation Benefits Tax-Exempt
WHEREAS, taxing unemployment compensation benefits is double taxation; and
WHEREAS, before 1981 unemployment compensation benefits were tax-exempt; and
WHEREAS, unemployment compensation benefits were established to help working families who have lost their employment with financial aid; and
WHEREAS, those receiving unemployment compensation benefits need all their benefits to pay for heating fuel, electricity, food, health-care coverage, prescription medications, etc.; and
WHEREAS, taxation on unemployment compensation benefits is a heavy burden on everyone; and
WHEREAS, returning unemployment compensation benefits to tax-exempt income would help our economy by putting additional cash flow back into our economy; and
WHEREAS, as a nation we believe in helping those who need it the most; and
WHEREAS, other government assistance programs are tax-exempt and so should unemployment compensation benefits.
NOW,THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Legislature is urged to reinstate the tax-exempt status of unemployment compensation benefits.
Resolution To Continue The Fight For Equal Opportunity And Diversity
WHEREAS, discrimination is still a reality in our society and diversity, equal rights and equal opportunity are essential for a just society; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party (MDP) has long supported and sought for equal rights and opportunity for racial minorities and women; and
WHEREAS, the MDP has long believed that diversity in our state must be embraced as an asset and an advantage which makes us stronger; and
WHEREAS, in pursuit of these goals the MDP has long supported and fought for affirmative action as an important tool in achieving equal opportunity and diversity; and
WHEREAS, the MDP opposed 2006 Proposal 2 because it would eliminate affirmative action; and
WHEREAS, the MDP spent considerable resources and effort against Proposal 2; and
WHEREAS, a broad coalition of racial, ethnic, religious, education, community, business, labor and political groups came together as One United Michigan to vigorously oppose Proposal 2; and
WHEREAS, despite all of our best efforts the fraud and deception of Proposal 2’s proponents, our racially segregated state, and economic and social fears led to the passage of Proposal 2; and
WHEREAS, One United Michigan and the MDP are determined to continue thefight for equal opportunity and diversity;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the MDP commends and thanks One United Michigan for its courageous fight against Proposal 2, a fight MDP was proud to be part of; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the MDP reaffirms its support for equal rights and opportunity and diversity; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the MDP will work with One United Michigan in its vital efforts to ensure that equal opportunity is provided to all in Michigan; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports efforts to repeal the ban on affirmative action.
Resolution Opposing Insurance Redlining
WHEREAS, automobile and homeowner insurance redlining has forced manyDetroit residents to choose between foregoing coverage and paying oppressive and unjustified insurance rates; and
WHEREAS, a 2002 study by then-Michigan Attorney General Jennifer M. Granholm demonstrated that residents of Michigan cities with large African-American populations pay more for insurance. The Granholm study showed disparities in auto rates of up to 17 percent between cities with similar population sizes and auto theft rates, but with different racial make-ups. Insurance providers largely ignored Granholm’s request that they offer an explanation of the rate differences; and
WHEREAS, the 2002 Granholm study documented that a homeowner in Detroitand his or her neighbor living just blocks away in suburbs pay markedly different insurance rates. For example, a resident in the 13900 block of E. Jefferson Ave.in Detroit is charged nearly 68% more for automobile insurance than his or her neighbor in the 15100 block of E. Jefferson Ave. in Grosse Pointe Park; and
WHEREAS, insurance providers have attempted to justify outrageous insurance rates in Detroit and other majority African-American communities by basing rates on consumers’ credit scores, even though insurance companies have not presented a direct link between a consumer’s credit score and his or her insurance worthiness; and
WHEREAS, it has been estimated that 60% of entry-level jobs in southeasternMichigan are not accessible by mass transit and 28% of those currently transitioning from welfare to work miss work because of transportation issues. Adding to this problem is the fact that the working poor in Detroit and other majority African-American cities who do have access to a car are often unable to afford automobile insurance.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party asserts its strong conviction that automobile insurance rates should be based on a driver’s record, not on the neighborhood where he or she lives. We further believe that neither homeowners’ insurance nor automobile insurance rates should be based a consumer’s credit score; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls upon Governor Jennifer M. Granholm to continue to devote significant and immediate attention to working closely with the Michigan Insurance Commissioner and theMichigan Legislature to create regulations and legislation designed to end thediscriminatory practice of insurance redlining.
Resolution Urging Making The Rescue Of New Orleans A National Priority
WHEREAS, New Orleans is a still a disaster because of Federal neglect and ineptitude, in the lack of preparedness and availability of federal resources, and inadequacy of all agencies charged with emergency assistance; and
WHEREAS, the current progress of agencies which have responsibility for the resurrection of this great City have resulted in the exodus of more and more of its citizens and the perpetuation of despair and increase of crime in its streets and neighborhoods; and
WHEREAS, the failure of our Federal Agencies, FEMA, and the Corps of Engineers is so great that we must assume that we have a national responsibility for the present state of the City; and
WHEREAS, the actions of the Administration resulted in appointing political creatures with no credentials relevant to the scale of thedemands of the problems involved; and
WHEREAS, we are faced daily with civic deterioration and lack of effective correction of the fiscal, health, and criminal problems for which we must assume responsibility more so than problems in theMiddle East and the appearance that we could care less what happens tothe people of New Orleans; and
WHEREAS, the environmental problems presented in the preservation ofthe area of New Orleans need to be addressed by the appropriate agencies, FEMA, EPA and Corps of Engineers, to bring about a proper solution of the preservation of wetlands, adequate design of levees and design of protective systems.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Congress make the rescue and preservation of New Orleans a national priority and that all means needed be brought to bear on the correction of the problems of New Orleans.
Resolution Opposing The Under-Representation Of African-Americans And Low Income Citizens On Wayne CountyJuries
WHEREAS, the Fifth Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to citizens the right to a jury of one’s peers; and
WHEREAS, the Seventh Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees to citizens the right to a jury trial in civil matters; and
WHEREAS, Article 1 Section 2 of the Michigan State Constitution of 1963 guarantees to citizens the right to a jury trial; and
WHEREAS, when the Michigan Legislature dismantled Detroit Recorder’s Court and merged the court with Wayne County Circuit Court in 1995, legal experts predicted that black defendants would face jury pools that did not reflect theracial and ethnic diversity of Wayne County; and
WHEREAS, sadly, these predictions have been proven true. A study by theNational Center for State Courts that was released in 2006 found that representation of African-Americans in the Wayne County Circuit Court jury pool is approximately half of what is expected given the county’s population of African-American adults; and
WHEREAS, Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly has not acted on the findings of the report in any meaningful way; and
WHEREAS, the National Center for State Courts also concluded that poor citizens are disproportionately under-represented in Wayne County’s jury pools; and
WHEREAS, the study concluded that Michigan’s current process of using onlythe names of citizens holding current drivers licenses or state-issued identification cards results in the under-representation of poor citizens in jury pools; and
WHEREAS, the National Center for State Courts recommends adding the list of names from voter registration rolls, the state income tax rolls, the state unemployment rolls and the state welfare rolls to the lists of names from the state drivers license and state identification card rolls to enhance the opportunity of poor citizens to participate in the jury service process.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls upon Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly to address the very serious issue of thelack of racial diversity on Wayne County juries; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges Democratic state legislators to introduce and the Governor to sign legislation requiring the addition of the voter registration rolls and state tax return, welfare and unemployment rolls to the current use of the state drivers license and identification card rolls all to be jointly used to establish the list of potential jurors to serve in Michigan courts.
Resolution Concerning Wayne County Family Court Attorneys
WHEREAS, the Michigan Supreme Court under the control of Engler appointees has appointed the chief judges of all local Michigan courts, contrary to the former practice of election of the chief judge by the judges of the local court; and
WHEREAS, contrary to the Michigan statute MCLA 712A.17C, Wayne County Circuit Court Chief Judge Mary Beth Kelly, an Engler appointee, has issued an administrative order removing attorneys representing children in Wayne County. Statutory law only allows the removal of attorneys in such cases for good cause; and
WHEREAS, Kelly has replaced these attorneys through a questionable bidding process. The net result has been the reduction of African-American attorneys representing African-American children by two-thirds. The number of black attorneys now assigned cases representing children is only 20, down from 60. Approximately 80 percent of the children in the Wayne County Court system are African-American; and
WHEREAS, the attorneys who have been arbitrarily given the responsibility for representing these minors have, in large part, never practiced in this court. Their lack of experience and/or interest in the welfare of their clients has grievously harmed the children they represent and could destabilize black families; and
WHEREAS, in many cases, the children have long-standing relationships withtheir former attorneys, sometimes the only consistent or stable relationships they have with adults in their lives.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls for an independent investigation of the process that led to the dismissal of qualified lawyers and the bidding process for appointment of new attorneys in the Wayne County Family Court.
Resolution Supporting Allowing Felons Who Have Been Discharged From Their Sentence To Be Eligible To Serve On A Jury
WHEREAS, current Michigan laws and Court Rules – MCL 600.1307a, Michigan Civil Court Rule 2.511(D), and Michigan Criminal Court Rule 6.412(A) – prohibit a person convicted of a felony from ever serving on a jury, regardless of discharge from sentence; and;
WHEREAS, Michigan laws allow for convicted felons to vote once discharged from sentence; and
WHEREAS, numerous studies have shown that minorities in the criminal justice system are, and historically have been, disproportionately convicted and incarcerated; and
WHEREAS, adequate safeguards against bias among potential jurors exists in current procedures for voir dire, by exclusion from serving on a jury if the court determines “cause” is shown, and by exercise of peremptory challenges; and
WHEREAS, exclusion of ex-felons from eligibility for jury service tends to deny members of minority communities of their right to a trial by their peers; and
WHEREAS, the goals of the criminal justice and corrections systems include rehabilitation, and once a person has fully paid his or her debt to society and been discharged from sentence, the ability to resume full citizenship is an appropriate incentive for reintegration into society.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party calls upon its elected legislators and leadership to draft and introduce legislation in the Michigan Legislature which will amend the appropriate statutes and revise the relevant court rules to eliminate the current ban on persons convicted of a felony from being eligible to serve on a jury once they have been discharged from their sentence.
Resolution Supporting The Study Of Reparations For African-Americans
WHEREAS, the United State Government and various states therein, have seen fit to provide some balm to the wounds that they have caused by their bigoted actions, i.e. the Native Americans and Japanese of American heritage; and
WHEREAS, the balm can be cited as a payment to the Ottawa and Chippewa Indians of Michigan in the amount of $32 million which represents money plus interest on the money promised them by the United States Government by a treaty signed in 1836 and to the Klamath Indians of Oregon who were awarded $81 million and the Sioux Indians of South Dakota who were awarded $105 million plus; and
WHEREAS, the United State Government has acknowledged the cruelty, theprejudice and the arrogance, if not racial hatred, of its acts to confine Japanese-Americans to concentration camps during World War II. Said acknowledgement resulted in an agreement to compensate each survivor to the sum of $20,000 each; and
WHEREAS, while we applaud these token expressions of conscience on the part of the United States Government for these acts, it does give cause to ponder thehesitancy of the United States Government to honor broken agreements with African-Americans for those acts of criminality and immorality directed towardthem; and
WHEREAS, African-Americans suffered, as did the Native Americans and Japanese Americans, from broken promises, broken contracts, abandonment of moral justice, deprived of land, of life, of freedom and of property; further, African-Americans labored in the chains of slavery on the farmlands, highways and byways of this nation, thus contributing fruitfully toward the growth and development of this nation;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party commends to the attention of its leadership, the obligation on the part of this nation to acknowledge its debt to the African-American slaves, descendants of slaves and to consider awarding them just compensation for the deprivation, indignities and cruelty imposed upon them; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports legislation introduced by Congressman John Conyers to establish a commission to study the issue of reparations for African-Americans.
Resolution Supporting A National Universal Single Payer Health Plan
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes that adequate health care is a fundamental basic right of all Americans; and
WHEREAS, currently there are 46 million Americans with no health insurance and another 50 million who are underinsured; and
WHEREAS, even those Americans who currently have adequate employer-provided health care are seeing those benefits ended, or at best, being required to pay increasingly high out-of-pocket costs; and
WHEREAS, nearly every other industrialized democracy in the world has health care for its people; and
WHEREAS, nearly 1 of every 4 dollars spent on health care in this country goesfor the activities of the for-profit system: corporate profits, executive salaries, advertising, marketing, the cost of paperwork—anywhere from 15 to 30 percent, as compared to Medicare’s 3 percent; and
WHEREAS, the for-profit health care system is crushing everyone, except theinsurance companies, crushing workers who may actually be working 40 hours a week and not have health care coverage, crushing businesses, particularly small businesses, who are finding that they cannot afford health care for their employees, and causing major manufacturers to renege on commitments they made to their workers years ago and to retirees years ago for health care; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes we are already paying for a universal standard of care—we’re just not getting it, and if we took that almost $500 billion a year and put it into health care in the form of a universal system, we would have enough money for all basic medical care, plus dental care, vision care, mental health care, long-term care, prescription drugs and even broader coverage; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes we need to end health care for profit in the United States and start a health care system which helps those who do not work or cannot work, and which helps workers, small businesses, and manufacturers.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports the passage of national legislation providing a universal, single payer health plan such as HR 15 sponsored by Congressman John Dingell and HR 676 cosponsored by Congressman John Conyers; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party will communicate this support to all elected Michigan Democratic Party U.S. House and Senate members.
Resolution Supporting Mental Health Parity Legislation
WHEREAS, the January 12, 2007 MIRS Capitol Capsule quoted Mayor Kwame Kilpatrick of Detroit stating “mental health problems account for 60% of the crime we (Detroit) have to deal with and 80% of the homeless problem. We need to get some results;” and
WHEREAS, other cities in Michigan are showing similar statistics that persons experiencing mental illness are now ending up in jail, prison or incarcerated without proper treatment or medication; and
WHEREAS, mental health parity would require insurance companies and health care providers to treat mental illness with the same regard as physical health or any other disease; and
WHEREAS, mental health parity legislation won the approval of the State Senate in 2006, progressing further than this legislation has ever progressed; and
WHEREAS, 42 states have passed parity legislation in some fashion and none have repealed their parity legislation; and
WHEREAS, Governor Granholm’s Mental Health Committee in 2004 recommended parity legislation for Michigan and in her 2006 State of the State address she stated: “It is important to cover mental health as well as physical health”; and
WHEREAS, nine million federal employees have had comprehensive parity under Presidential executive order since 2001, and studies of federal employee parity in 2006 showed less out-of-pocket expenditures for members with virtually no increase in insurance premium cost; and
WHEREAS, in 2001 the Congressional Budget Office estimated that the cost of mental health parity “would equal about 0.9% of employer-sponsored health insurance premiums and that this is consistent with other actuarial studies that have been done on this issue.”
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party urges the Michigan Legislature to adopt this legislation.
Resolution Supporting Embryonic Stem Cell Research
WHEREAS, Michigan’s economic plan includes increasing medical technology as a focus of new industry; and
WHEREAS, opportunities for medical advances will be increased by funding embryonic stem cell research; and
WHEREAS, the people of the state of Michigan already support organ donations to save lives when the donor cannot be saved.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports the Governor’s position to remove restrictions on funding embryonic stem cell research.
Resolution Supporting Youth Detoxification Services InMichigan
WHEREAS, many youth currently experiment with and many become dependent on alcoholic beverages, tobacco, and the recreational use of illicit and prescription drugs; and
WHEREAS, some of these youth decide to try to stop using on their own or by seeking detoxification and rehabilitation services; and
WHEREAS, there are insufficient treatment resources for adolescents suffering from substance abuse or chemical dependency.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that programs for youth substance abuse prevention, detoxification, rehabilitation and family education about substance abuse and therapy be provided to the families of these Michigan adolescents.
Resolution Opposing Criminal Penalties For Doctors Who Prescribe And Patients Who Use Prescribed Medical Marijuana
WHEREAS, four Michigan cities (Detroit, Ann Arbor, Ferndale, Traverse City) have now overwhelmingly passed initiatives in support of medical marijuana; and
WHEREAS, public polls of Michigan residents have shown 70-80% in favor of medical marijuana; and
WHEREAS, the National Academy of Sciences Institute of Medicine concluded, after reviewing relevant scientific literature including dozens of works documenting therapeutic value of marijuana, that “there are some circumstances in which smoking marijuana is a legitimate medical treatment”; and
WHEREAS, a scientific survey conducted in 1990 by Harvard University researchers found that 54% of oncologists with an opinion favored the controlled medical availability of marijuana, and 44% had already suggested at least one that a patient obtain marijuana illegally; and
WHEREAS, tens of thousands of patients nationwide, people with AIDS, cancer, glaucoma, chronic pain, and multiple sclerosis have found marijuana in its natural form to be therapeutically beneficial and are already using it with their doctors’ approval; and
WHEREAS, numerous organizations have endorsed medical access to marijuana, including the AIDS Action Council, AIDS Project Rhode Island, Alaska Nurses Association, American Academy of HIV Medicine (AAHIVM), American Anthropological Association, American Bar Association, American Nurses Association, American Preventive Medicinal Association, American Public Health Association, Americans for Democratic Action, Associated Medical Schools of New York, Being Alive: People With HIV/AIDS Action Committee (San Diego), California Democratic Council, California Legislative Council for Older Americans, California Nurses Association, California Pharmacists Association, California Society of Addiction Medicine, California-Pacific Annual Conference of the United Methodist Church, Colorado Nurses Association, Connecticut Nurses Association, Consumer Reports magazine, Episcopal Church, Gray Panthers, Hawaii Nurses Association, Illinois Nurses Association, Iowa Democratic Party, Life Extension Foundation, Lymphoma Foundation of America, Medical Society of the State of New York, Minnesota AIDS Project, Minnesota Nurses Association, Minnesota Public Health Association, Minnesota Senior Federation, Mississippi Nurses Association, National Association of People With Aids, New Mexico Medical Society, New Mexico Nurses Association, New York County Medical Society, New York State AIDS Advisory Council, New York State Association of County Health Officials, New York State Hospice and Palliative Care Association, New York State Nurses Association, New York Statewide Senior Action Council, Inc., Ninth District Of the New York State Medical Society (Westchester, Rockland, Orange, Putnam, Dutchess, and Ulster counties), Oregon Democratic Party, Progressive National Baptist Convention, Project Inform (national HIV/AIDS treatment education advocacy organization), Rhode Island Medical Society, Rhode Island Nurses Association, Test Positive Aware Network (Illinois), Texas Democratic Party, Texas League of Women Voters, Texas Nurses Association, Union of Reform Judaism (formerly Union of American Hebrew Congregations), Unitarian Universlist Association, United Church of Christ, United Methodist Church, United Nurses and Allied Professionals (Rhode Island), Wisconsin Nurses Association, and Wisconsin Public Health Association; and
WHEREAS, a national CNN/Time magazine poll published November 4, 2002, found that 80% of U. S. adults “think adults should be able to use marijuana legally for medical purposes”; and
WHEREAS, a national Gallup poll released in November, 2005 found that 78% of Americans support “making marijuana legally available for doctors to prescribe in order to reduce pain and suffering”; and
WHEREAS, numerous other national public opinion polls have found substantial support for medical marijuana, including surveys conducted by ABC News, CBS News, the Family Research Council, and the Gallup Organization between 1997 and 2006; and
WHEREAS, since 1996, medical marijuana initiatives received a majority of votes in every state in which they appeared on the ballot: Alaska, Arizona, California, Colorado, the District of Columbia, Maine, Minnesota, Montana, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington State; and
WHEREAS, since 2000, state legislatures in Hawaii, Vermont, and Rhode Island have enacted effective medical marijuana laws; and
WHEREAS, the May 14, 2001, and the June 6, 2005, United States Supreme Court rulings on medical marijuana dealt exclusively with federal law and do not affect the ability of individual states to allow patients to grow, possess, and use medical marijuana under state law; and
WHEREAS, the Ninth U. S. District Court of Appeals, in the case of Walters v. Conant, upheld the right of physicians to recommend medical marijuana to patients without federal government interference, and the United States Supreme Court declined to hear the federal government’s appeal of this ruling; and
WHEREAS, on September 6, 1998, after reviewing all available medical data, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s chief administrative law judge, Francis L. Young, declared that marijuana is “one of the safest therapeutically active substances known” and recommended making marijuana available by prescription; and
WHEREAS, the federal penalty for possessing one marijuana cigarette, even for medical use, is up to one year in prison, and the penalty for growing one plant is up to five years; and,
WHEREAS, the penalties are similar in most states, where medical marijuana users must live in fear of being arrested; and
WHEREAS, the present federal classification of marijuana and the resulting bureaucratic controls impede additional scientific research into marijuana’s therapeutic potential, thereby making it nearly impossible for the Food and Drug Administration to evaluate and approve marijuana through standard procedural channels; and
WHEREAS, seriously ill people should not be punished for acting in accordance with the opinion of their physicians in a bona fide attempt to relieve suffering;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that licensed medical doctors should not be criminally punished for recommending the medical use of marijuana to seriously ill people, and seriously ill people should not be subject to criminal sanctions for using marijuana if the patient’s physician has told the patient that such use is likely to be beneficial.
Resolution Supporting Domestic Partner Benefits
WHEREAS, employees in Michigan who have secured domestic partner benefits in their places of employment are entitled to those benefits.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party opposes the recent Court of Appeals decision threatening the right to those benefits under 2004 Proposal 2.
Resolution Urging Action To Stop Global Warming
WHEREAS, the latest scientific findings indicate that human activity is very likelythe major cause of global warming; and
WHEREAS, global warming will in all likelihood have disastrous ecological and economic results.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the United States government pursue policies to combat global warming, including but not limited to thefollowing:
1) Engage all nations in a second round of climate negotiations. A treaty must be signed by December 31, 2009. The treaty must be enforceable and require all nations to play a role in combating this crisis.
2) Establish a cap-and-trade system for major greenhouse gas emissions within the United States by December 31, 2009.
3) Establish a Renewables Portfolio Standard requiring at least 20% of electricity sold in the U.S. to be generated from environmentally friendly renewable sources by 2018.
4) Increase support for research and development of clean energy technologies by at least 400% by FY 2010; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the State of Michigan make the necessary investments to ensure that Michigan becomes the world leader in thedevelopment and manufacture of advanced vehicle propulsion systems.
Resolution Urging Protection Of The Great Lakes
WHEREAS, the Great Lakes and inland lakes are a huge economic resource to our state; and
WHEREAS, the Great Lakes and inland lakes are in danger of devastation and destruction from both environmental factors and exportation of water.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan implement specific legislation to protect the quality of water in our lakes; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party opposes theexport of water in any amount from the Great Lakes.
Resolution Urging Responsible Environmental Conduct
WHEREAS, our grandchildren have to live in the world we leave them; and
WHEREAS, people and corporations should not foist their cost of production onto the public through environmental damage and contamination, while keeping the money profits for themselves; and
WHEREAS, the documentary film “The Corporation” (2004) makes the case for responsible conduct by both people and corporations;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that it is essential for our modern democratic society for both citizens and corporations to behave ethically. Leaving environmental damage/contamination is unethical. Not working to achieve production that is environmentally sustainable is unethical.
Resolution Supporting Alternative Energy
WHEREAS, climate change has been scientifically determined beyond a reasonable doubt to be the result of human-created carbon emissions; and
WHEREAS, using oil produces carbon emissions and the United States’ dependence on foreign oil sources threatens national security; and
WHEREAS, Michigan’s dependence on carbon emitting energy sources is growing.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Democratic Party stands for policies and programs which will employ our skilled workforce in creating technologies to promote energy conservation and reduce carbon emissions by developing and utilizing alternative energy technologies such as alternative fuel vehicles, public transportation and renewable energy resources.
Resolution Regarding Subsidies And Tax Credits For Biofuels
WHEREAS, global warming threatens our very existence; and
WHEREAS, the use of biofuels can reduce the use of fossil fuel provided theproduction of biofuels does not require more fossil fuel than the biofuel produced.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that biofuels should receive subsidies and tax credits as calculated by the total BTU content per unit of biofuel minusthe total BTU content of fossil fuel used to create the unit of biofuel divided by thetotal BTU content per unit of biofuel. If this amount is negative a tax should be added to the unit of biofuel in the same proportion.
Resolution Supporting School Funding Equity
WHEREAS, the Democratic Party holds dear the ideal of equality for all citizens; and
WHEREAS, the 2006-2007 School Foundation Grant has a large discrepancy among Michigan school districts ranging from $7085 to $12,220 per pupil; and
WHEREAS, the amount that each school district has available for each student should be equal.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that achieving school funding equity for all Michigan districts without reducing the funding of any district for is the goal of the Michigan Democratic Party.
Resolution Supporting Repeal Of The Drug Company Immunity Act
WHEREAS, citizens of Michigan have been harmed due to the negligence of pharmaceutical companies; and
WHEREAS, Michigan is the only state that provides legal protection to pharmaceutical companies that denies Michigan citizens the right to sue pharmaceutical companies for injuries or death.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Legislature eliminate theimmunity of pharmaceutical companies against litigation over injuries and deaths.
Resolution Urging Investigation Of The Benefits Of Growing Industrial Hemp
WHEREAS, hemp is an easily grown crop which can be used for many purposes: paper, clothing, plastics, fiberboard, and bio-mass fuels etc. Hemp is an annual plant that can be grown year after year. One acre of hemp equals four acres of trees in terms of pulp production; and
WHEREAS, industrial hemp is not related to marijuana production.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State of Michigan should investigate the benefits of growing industrial hemp.
Resolution Supporting Conservation Districts
WHEREAS, Conservation Districts provide cost effective services which protectthe state’s natural resources and provide local landowners with gateway services to access conservation programs and implement practices to preservetheir land.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the State of Michigan should fully fund conservation districts annually.
Resolution Supporting Food Labeling
WHEREAS, what people eat and how those products are grown, determine thehealth of our communities, our state and nation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the federal government should require food labeling laws that allow people to make informed choices on thenutrient quality of the food and food supplements they buy. These labels should include all fertilizers, herbicides and insecticides used, all genetically modified organisms, and country of origin.
Resolution Supporting The Elimination Of Term Limits
WHEREAS, term limits voted in by the citizens of Michigan have not achieved the desired remedies perceived by the citizens of Michigan; and
WHEREAS, term limits have forced the loss of legislative memory, and this loss has created turmoil and confusion in the legislative process; and
WHEREAS, this loss has overturned years of common sense legislation and eliminated concerned legislators and elected officials; and
WHEREAS, the existing electoral process has an automatic term limit capability every two or four years,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party recommends that term limits be eliminated for all Michigan elected officials.
Resolution Supporting Election Reform
WHEREAS, Michigan’s elections are currently conducted using optical scan tabulators and there has been no valid certification of the security of these machines. All three brands are demonstrably insecure from undetected replacement or alteration of programmed memory cards. Michigan has no election integrity audit process in place that would ensure that the correct candidate is elected. Current procedures leave private vendors and officials to police themselves without any external checks. The current use of paper ballots provides no assurance that votes are counted accurately. Counting of the vote is not subject to public scrutiny. Minor errors in the sealing of voted ballots can lead to an election being classified as “un-recountable”, effectively certifying mistakes and fraud instead of causing a new election to be held; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Constitution fails to guarantee or protect the right to vote. Michigan citizens must scale major barriers to gain access to their right to vote. The present 30-day deadline for voter registration serves no useful or compelling government purpose, and it excludes large numbers of citizens, particularly those who are young, poor, travel for a living, rent their dwelling place, move frequently, or who are homeless. Citizens who wish to vote by mail must choose one of six limited reasons for voting absentee.
Citizens who register for the first time by mail cannot vote absentee, creating a barrier for those in the United States who travel or live temporarily far away from home.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports a comprehensive legislative election reform plan including specifically these priorities:
1) Amend the Michigan Constitution to guarantee a right to vote to all U. S. citizens 18 years of age or older who have been a resident in the state for 30 days or more on the day of an election. This right shall not be denied or abridged by the United States, any State, or any other public or private person or entity.
2) Require hand count audits in each precinct of at least one randomly chosen race or ballot initiative (to vary from precinct to precinct). Require the audits to be conducted by trained and sworn election auditors during the period following the election and after the results are officially certified.
3) Mandate a full recount by hand of any race or ballot initiative in which the margin of victory recorded on the first tabulation of the ballots is 2% or less. If the required random audits or independent audits show that a margin of victory of 2% or less has occurred in any race or initiative, then a full recount by hand shall be mandated for that race or initiative, for the entire district, jurisdiction, or set of jurisdictions in which that race or initiative was put to the ballot. Mandate a new election for any and all races or ballot initiatives in which mistakes or fraud have corrupted the election process beyond the possibility of an accurate and conclusive recount.
4) Ensure voting machine security by preventing any alteration of the programmed functions of vote tabulators after they have been tested and sealed. The source code actually used to implement the tabulator memory in any tabulator used during an election must be available for review by election officials at every level. Consistent with current law that all parties touching voting equipment must be sworn to an oath, require that any person who programs a ballot and optical scan tabulator memory be sworn to uphold the Constitution, and that the programming must be audited and approved by a second sworn individual. Require that local election administrators maintain a written log of the chain of custody of vote tabulators, program memory cards, blank ballots AutoMark test ballots, voted ballots, and spoiled/defective ballots. Require that AutoMark test ballots be clearly identified, permanently labeled, and unusable for fraud. Require that all blank, unused ballots must be documented and accounted for, including blank ballots that were not delivered to any precinct.
5) Protect access to voting by allowing absentee voting for any registered elector who applies, without requiring or asking for any reason to be specified on the application. Allow Election Day registration at the local clerk’s office, or at the clerk’s discretion, at the precinct. Allow a registered elector to vote one more time from their last registered address. Drop the current requirement that first-time voters who register by mail must vote in person. Provide that mail-in registrations may have the registration signature officially witnessed by any sworn election official or certified notary public, so that the registrant may then vote by absentee ballot.
Resolution Supporting Methods Of Voting Which Produce A Paper Trail
WHEREAS, voting by electronic voting machines can cause inaccurate reports on total vote counts; and
WHEREAS, the only way to insure accurate vote tallies is to have an accurate record of votes cast; and
WHEREAS, voting officials must have a method of recounting votes cast.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports the statewide use of a voting process that includes a paper trail on every vote cast.
Resolution Opposing National Voter Photo ID Cards
WHEREAS, voting is a fundamental right and sacred duty of American citizenship, and any burdensome obstacle to voting for eligible citizens is an affront to democracy; and
WHEREAS, national voter photo ID cards have been proposed; and
WHEREAS, the adoption of a national voter photo ID card would likely result inthe disfranchisement of many eligible voters. Implementation of such a system would also risk undermining the basic privacy protections that are a hallmark of American citizenship, and no doubt prove exceedingly complex, costly and burdensome; and
WHEREAS, proponents of national voter photo ID cards have said the cards will stem election identity fraud, but an extensive inquiry covering a ten-year period (1992 to 2002) concluded that election fraud is infrequent and rarely affects election outcomes; and
WHEREAS, voter photo identification requirements will disenfranchise seniors,the poor, racial, ethnic and language minorities, people with disabilities and urban dwellers. It has been estimated that 10-12% of eligible voters do not have government-issued photo IDs. Some states present difficult, time-consuming and expensive obstacles to those seeking photo ID cards; and
WHEREAS, poll workers are more likely to ask voters of color to offer proof of their eligibility to vote, a problem that will likely be exacerbated by voter photo ID requirements; and
WHEREAS, inevitable errors in a national database of more than 200 million eligible voters would lead to the disenfranchisement of American citizens. Because voter photo identification requirements will present unnecessary barriers to voting, the requirements violate provisions of both the Voting Rights Act and the U.S. Constitution; and
WHEREAS, implementation of a national voter photo ID system will be expensive, likely costing billions of dollars.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that because the Michigan Democratic Party supports the expansion of access to the vote among eligible American citizens, it strongly opposes the establishment of a national voter photo ID system.
Resolution Supporting Campaign Finance Reform
WHEREAS, the continued growth of money in electoral politics is perverting our democratic system of government; and
WHEREAS, the recent gubernatorial election saw the most expensive race inMichigan’s history; and
WHEREAS, clean election laws have been adopted in seven states and two cities: Arizona; Connecticut; Maine; New Jersey; New Mexico; North Carolina; Vermont; Albuquerque, New Mexico; and Portland, Oregon and two-third of theAmerican public support such legislation.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports public financing of all state and local elections in the state of Michigan; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that this resolution be forwarded to all Democratic Party members holding office in the State Legislature and Governor Granholm with a recommendation for its immediate consideration for legislation before theupcoming 2008 elections.
Resolution Opposing Partisan Gerrymandering
WHEREAS, partisan gerrymandering has several detrimental effects on theelectoral process including depriving voters of their right to fair and competitive elections, denying voters their right to a representative of their choosing, and creating polarized legislative bodies; and
WHEREAS, Michigan GOP Chair Saul Anuziz has admitted that the GOP gerrymandered Michigan’s Congressional and Legislative Districts in 2001, gerrymandering which prevented even worse election losses for the GOP in 2006; and
WHEREAS, elections should be decided by voters based on candidates and issues, and not decided by districts drawn to favor one political party.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party opposes gerrymandered districts and supports a system to create fair and competitive districts.
Resolution Supporting Net Neutrality Legislation
WHEREAS, the growth of a free and open Internet has provided historic advances in the realms of communication, research and economic development; and
WHEREAS, development of new technology is a crucial element in thetransformation of Michigan’s economy to meet future needs; and
WHEREAS, to encourage broadband deployment and preserve and promote theopen and interconnected nature of the Internet, Michigan consumers are entitled to access the lawful Internet content of their choice without interference by their Internet service providers; and
WHEREAS, to encourage the transformation of Michigan’s economy to meet future needs and to further the growth of Michigan’s technology industry, Michigan businesses are entitled to, and require, open and unfettered Internet access; and
WHEREAS, a free and open Internet helps to ensure the free flow of information and political and religious speech that makes for a strong and vibrant democracy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports passage of Net Neutrality legislation in Michigan and at the federal Level.
Resolution Supporting Strengthening Michigan Through Strong Public Transit
WHEREAS, national studies such as “Public Transportation and the Nation’s Economy,” by Cambridge Systematics Inc. (1999) show that every dollar invested in improved public transit generates between $4 – $9 in local economic activity; and
WHEREAS, national studies by the U.S. Department of Transportation show that every $1 billion spent on transit creates and maintains over 47,000 permanent jobs; and
WHEREAS, air service to small communities around Michigan has been completely eliminated or severely reduced and made cost prohibitive; and
WHEREAS, population demographics indicate an increasing proportion of seniors, who face mobility difficulties; and
WHEREAS, studies show that in our urban centers, one-third of households do not have private transportation, placing an economic hardship on thedemobilized; and
WHEREAS, the State of Michigan is eligible for hundreds of millions of dollars in federal monies for transit and has passed legislation to enable regions in thestate to take advantage of this funding; and
WHEREAS, the Detroit metropolitan area is the largest urban area in population or size without a regional public transit system; and
WHEREAS, the economic, recreational and environmental benefits of rationalized public transit has been established; and
WHEREAS, global climate change is now recognized by over 300 mayors signing the U.S. Mayors Climate Change Protection Agreement, calling for cities, states, and the federal government to take actions to reduce emissions contributing to global warming.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that Michigan must invest in public transit to continue to be a world leader in transportation and attract thecompanies that will create the next economy; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Governor is urged to immediately create an action group to lay out a plan for public transit in Michigan; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that such an action group should pull togetherthe several state agencies, the Michigan Strategic Fund as well as regional leaders and local leaders to build a comprehensive plan; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Legislature and Governor should support and promote new public transit investments within and between our cities, such as the Kent County streetcar and Washtenaw-Wayne County regional commuter rail.
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that, independent of the above public transit plan,the state Legislature and Governor should immediately authorize that themaximum share of gas tax revenues be allocated for current public transit.
Resolution Commending The Michigan Democratic Party County Commission And Municipal Election Program And Urging The Continuation And Expansion of the Program
WHEREAS, it is important to have Democrats in leadership positions at the municipal and county government level where decisions are made that directly affect citizens; and
WHEREAS, assisting candidates for municipal and county level office is a part of developing a farm team of future state and federal leaders; and
WHEREAS, assisting the campaigns of candidates for municipal and county level office plays an important Party building role at every level of the Democratic Party; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party has implemented and enjoyed great success with its County Commission and Municipal Election Program including in 2006 where the seats targeted by the County Commission Program contributed to the net gain of 45 Democratic County Commission seats around the state; and
WHEREAS, the program has helped train candidates and local parties in developing systematic and coordinated campaigns.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the leadership and staff of the MDP are commended for the County Commission and Municipal Election Program; and
BE IT FINALLY RESOLVED that the MDP continue and expand the CountyCommission and Municipal Election Program for the 2008 election cycle and beyond.
Resolution Supporting H.R. 808 Creating A U.S.Department of Peace
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes that violence is not the solution to the problems facing the United States, both at home and abroad; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes that war and other forms of violence are not inevitable; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes that peaceful and harmonious relationships between all peoples is an achievable goal; and
WHEREAS, the Michigan Democratic Party believes that achieving that goal requires governmental support on a par with the Department of Defense and the Pentagon; and
WHEREAS, H.R. 808 would create a cabinet level Department of Peace to support the goal of peace; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Peace would carry out its mission by providing problem-solving options, providing practical and nonviolent solutions to the problems of domestic and international conflict, develop policies and allocate resources to effectively reduce the levels of domestic and gang violence, child abuse, and various other forms of societal discord, and advise the President and Congress on the most sophisticated ideas and techniques regarding peace-creation among nations; and
WHEREAS, the Department of Peace legislation would provide much-needed assistance to efforts by city, county, and state governments in coordinating existing programs as well as develop new programs based on best practices nationally, teach violence prevention and mediation to America’s school children, effectively treat and dismantle gang psychology, rehabilitate the prison population, build peace-making efforts among conflicting cultures both here and abroad, support our military with complementary approaches to peace-building, and create and administer a U.S. Peace Academy, acting as a sister organization to the U.S. Military Academy.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Michigan Democratic Party supports the passage of H.R. 808 and calls upon all elected Michigan Democratic Party U.S. House and Senate members to support it.