The basic role of government in the lives of California citizens is to promote and protect equality of opportunity.
Issues and Ideas for California 2000
I support the platform of the California Democratic Party and the basic moral principle on which it stands: Equality of Opportunity. Democrats believe that every person has the fundamental right to an equal chance to achieve the best life that they are capable of achieving. One of the basic functions of government is to create legislation to protect and promote equal opportunity for all citizens.
This is why I believe that government should:
-provide quality education for all children, from pre-school to college. Education is one of the basic supports of equal opportunity. If the state failed to provide free education, then only the children of wealthy parents would get an education, giving them opportunities not provided to children of the majority. California was once unsurpassed in the quality and quantity of educational opportunities in the U.S. I pledge to do everything in my power to put us back on the top.
-In order to insure a future source of high quality teachers, we must improve their pay and status. One way to do this is to adopt the suggestion of Richard Riley, U.S. Education Secretary, to make teaching a year-round profession with at higher pay.
-continue the efforts pioneered by State Senator Jack O'Connell to reduce class sizes at all grade levels through high school.
-return fine arts and humanities programs to teaching curriculums at all educational levels.
-return trade and technical programs to teaching curriculums in high schools and junior colleges.
-guarantee that no child goes to bed hungry, has inadequate shelter, or clothing. Children are persons, not property. Their opportunities to achieve the good life should not be entirely dependent on the income of their parents.
-create legislation consistent with the free enterprise system that will provide jobs that pay a living wage. For example, we should require that firms employ California workers where public funds are used to finance bridge, highway, and other public works construction.
-vigorously enforce prevailing wage and apprenticeship provisions of existing state laws.
-provide all Californians unrestricted access to health care. Health care should be determined by individual need, not by profit margins.
-provide adequate police protection in those neighborhoods where children take a risk of getting killed or assaulted when they walk to school or play in their front yard.
-guarantee that seniors enjoy their retirement years without the worry that their hard-earned benefits will be cut or eliminated.
-protect all minority groups from discrimination in employment, housing, and the ability to enter into contracts with each other.
-protect the air we breathe and the water we drink from pollution.
-protect our beautiful coastline from oil spills caused by drilling for oil and gas in coastal waters.
-provide enough public parks and open space for the enjoyment and recreation of all citizens.
-keep assault weapons off of the streets and out of the schools.
-license persons who want to engage in any potentially dangerous activity, including driving an automobile, handling explosives, and firing a handgun.
-protect reproductive rights.
-provide tax breaks and streamline the regulatory process for Californians who want to start or invest in a small business or family farm.
-invest in programs that eliminate the demand for drugs by increasing funding for medical and psychological treatment for drug-users and addicts.
This list is by no means complete. I welcome your ideas, dialogue and discussion on any of these topics. Please send me an email message to <firstname.lastname@example.org>