O‘ahu County Convention
O‘AHU COUNTY PLATFORM
May 4, 2002 - Moanalua High School
[adopted May 4, 2002 by the O‘ahu County Convention]
Hawai‘i, the most-recent state of the union, has, under the leadership of the Democratic Party of Hawai‘i, boldly embraced American democracy in a manner that sets an example for the rest of the nation. We are at the forefront of social change, determined to face the challenges of the new century. Our confidence rests on our accomplishments:
That of the veterans who, in the Second World War, shed their blood on the battlefields of Europe and the Pacific to secure democracy for a nation that regarded them as second-class citizens;
That of our predecessors who carried out the Democratic Revolution of 1954;
That of Democratic labor leaders who brought a new awareness to the islands in realizing our worth as working men and women; and
That of far-sighted educators, in public schools and at the University of Hawai'i, who taught the lessons of American democracy to the sons and daughters of our immigrant forebears.
We applaud these Democrats who forged the values of the party through their actions. We pledge to transmit these lessons of American democracy to new generations.
The clock of social change must not be turned back. Democrats must act now to revitalize our tradition of engagement in creating a better society.
O'ahu Democrats remain confident that we can and will create a society better than the one we inherited by addressing the needs, ambitions, and accomplishments of all citizens; by providing equal opportunity for all, kama'aina and newcomers; by honoring the wisdom and courage of our elders; by cherishing our children above ourselves; and by intelligently anticipating the opportunities and perils of the future,
In troubled times, less than a year following the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, we affirm our resolve to steer a course into the uncertain future to a secure and better society, guided by the traditional values of the Democratic Party of Hawai'i.
- A premiere public-education system available to every student, wherever geographically located and of whatever learning capacity, that will provide the foundation for a productive, resourceful, innovative, and globally oriented civil society.
- Economic progress as a means of attaining sustainable growth and broad-based prosperity, and providing challenging, well-paying employment that will give a sense of security and accomplishment to our working people and contribute to the stability of our community.
- Preservation of the fragile and complex ecology of our beloved islands by ensuring protection of our environment and habitat for future generations to enjoy, and as an example for the world.
- Quality healthcare at affordable cost for all, and a safety net of social services for all who may be in need.
- Respect for both our host culture, encouraging its efforts to revitalize itself and to seek self-determination, and the new culture emerging from acceptance by and interaction with our host.
- A government that will adequately, efficiently, courteously, openly, and fairly administer to the needs of the people.
We O'ahu Democrats will articulate our values at public hearings and rallies, in our precincts and neighborhoods, and in the media. Most important we will vote and get others to vote with us. We will use our votes, voices, and collective effort to ensure that the principles of American democracy are protected and that our diverse people and cultures and the unique beauty of our islands are indeed preserved in righteousness.
We believe that government in Hawai'i should be guided by the following principles:
- The education of our children is the most important endeavor undertaken by government. Our government must ensure that a foundation of solid educational programs, supported by first-rate facilities, is available to all our children equally.
- A premiere educational system requires the collective effort of courageous political leaders, skillful and productive administrators, well-trained, highly motivated teachers, responsible parents and students, and concerned and supportive citizens.
- The University of Hawai‘i system must serve the community as a partner in steering the course to a better society. In addition to engaging in research, attracting research grants, and commercializing knowledge, the university must be the center of liberal education, vocational education, and socialized knowledge.
- The economy of Hawai‘i must be diversified. While tourism and defense appropriations will remain important to Hawai'i's economic base, Hawai‘i must seek other economic endeavors that will lessen our heavy reliance on those two components. The events of September 11, 2001, brought into glaring relief the weakness of an economy with such a narrow base. One means of broadening the base is to foster entrepreneurial activity by developing a versatile, disciplined, multilingual workforce capable of interacting with foreign companies and nations.
- Hawai‘i will be a business-friendly state, one that speedily responds to the needs of business, small and large, while at the same time diminishing its role as a dispenser of corporate welfare.
- Hawai‘i must protect the health and safety of its people and economy by securing its airports, harbors, and shoreline, along with its sources of water and power and its network of communications.
- Hawai‘i's natural resources are not for sale; its limited precious resources constitute a public trust; and their wise use is the key to long-term prosperity, urban and agricultural development, civil harmony, and our survival.
Jobs and Workers' Rights
- Work is essential to human dignity. We believe that all workers have the right to organize and bargain collectively, through unions, on wages, hours, and working conditions to improve their quality of life, seek economic justice, and provide meaningful employment for the people of Hawai'i.
- We support the principle of economic justice by raising the minimum wage to a living-wage standard.
- We pledge an end to all forms of workplace discrimination and our support for pay equity and equal opportunity for all, regardless of race, color, creed, ancestry, national or ethnic origin, age, disability, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, or non-merit characteristics.
- The rising cost of healthcare requires broad community-wide education regarding good health and the prevention of disease; it also requires assurances that the people of Hawai'i are receiving quality care at affordable costs.
- O‘ahu Democrats affirms reproductive freedom and choice.
- Hawai‘i is and must remain the showcase for the world as to how diverse peoples, cultures, and ethnic groups can establish a harmonious relationship. This harmony, which emanates from the aloha spirit of our host culture, is priceless and worth defending; we must not abuse it or take it for granted.
- The aloha spirit is the priceless gift from our host culture to all who have come here, whether as settlers, sojourners, or tourists; out of a sense of fairness and social justice, we support self-determination for Native Hawaiians.
- As members of a prosperous and humane society, we must marshal our resources in order to provide for others in a time of need.
- Government must be of sufficient size and scope to adequately care for the needs of its citizens, within the constraints of sound fiscal policy. More important than its size is government's efficient, lawful, and impartial performance of its duties, without fear or favor, and with the broad confidence of Hawai‘i's residents and taxpayers.
- Public officials must be and remain honest, innovative, responsive, and inspirational leaders. We hold our public officials to a high standard of performance, decency, decorum, and civility, and to unchallenged honesty in the conduct of public affairs.
Our journey to a better society is, in our mind's eye, within sight. Guided by the aloha spirit, it can be reached. Generosity of heart is the essence of the Hawai‘i we seek.