Statement from Senior Policy Advisor Maya Harris on Democratic PlatformFollowing yesterday’s meeting of the Democratic Platform Drafting Committee in St. Louis, Hillary for America senior policy advisor Maya Harris, who is the campaign’s official representative to the committee, issued the following statement:
“We are proud that the draft 2016 Democratic Platform, which the drafting committee approved yesterday, represents the most ambitious and progressive platform our party has ever seen, and reflects the issues Hillary Clinton has championed throughout this campaign, from raising wages and creating more good-paying jobs to fixing our broken immigration system, reforming our criminal justice system, and protecting women’s reproductive health and rights. As our Chairman, Congressman Elijah Cummings, directed us at the outset, our platform does not merely reflect common ground—it seeks higher ground.
“For the first time ever, our platform calls for ending mass incarceration, shutting down the school-to-prison pipeline, and taking on the challenges of systemic racism. This year’s platform contains the most ambitious jobs plan on record, including historic investments in infrastructure, pledges to increase American manufacturing and stop companies from shipping jobs overseas, and a robust, stand-alone plank on youth jobs. It contains ambitious, progressive principles on wages, stating that working people should earn at least $15 an hour, citing New York’s minimum wage law and calling for raising and indexing the federal minimum wage. It also calls for the elimination of the ‘tipped’ wage and for the right of workers to form or join a union. And for the first time, the Democratic Party platform explicitly calls for repealing the Hyde Amendment, which restricts access to women’s reproductive rights, particularly low-income women and women of color.
“Four years ago, the Democratic platform called for an ‘all-of-the-above’ energy strategy. This platform moves far beyond that framework, with a robust commitment to combating climate change and ambitious goals, like generating 50 percent of our electricity from clean sources within a decade. This vision was further strengthened through an amendment offered by representatives of both campaigns to see America running entirely on clean energy by mid-century.
“We are also pleased that there were many issues where committee members worked collaboratively to articulate a bold vision, including making sure Wall Street greed and recklessness never again threatens American families and businesses on Main Street; proposing a surtax on multi-millionaires to ensure the richest among us are paying their fair share to build an economy that works for everyone; and expanding Social Security benefits by raising more revenue above the $250,000 threshold.
“Members also worked together on framing Democrats’ shared commitment to comprehensive immigration reform, with an eloquent unity amendment stating, ‘Immigration is not a problem to be solved, it is a defining aspect of the American character and history to be supported and defended against those who would exclude or eliminate legal immigration avenues and denigrate immigrants.’
“And we are proud the draft 2016 Democratic platform sets forward progressive principles and high standards on trade, including calling for trade agreements to be more protective of workers’ rights, labor rights, the environment, and public health. The draft reviewed by committee members yesterday included a call to review past trade agreements and update them to reflect these principles. An amendment adopted yesterday further emphasized the fact that many Democrats oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership because ‘the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform.’ Hillary Clinton is one of those Democrats, and has been strongly and unequivocally on the record opposing TPP. Just this week, she said, ‘We will defend American jobs and American workers by saying ‘no’ to bad trade deals and unfair trade practices, including the Trans-Pacific Partnership.’
“Make no mistake about it: The 2016 Democratic platform represents an ambitious, progressive agenda that all Democrats can and should be proud of.”