Connecticut Democrats reaffirm, now more than ever, our commitment to rebuild prosperity and restore opportunity for all the people. From town meetings, to city halls, from the Governor’s Mansion to Congress and the White House, Connecticut Democrats will listen and lead, always on the side of people striving for good jobs at good wages, quality health care, educational excellence, strong fiscal management, and equality of opportunity.
In 2010, we the people of Connecticut find ourselves confronting great challenges as we begin to return opportunity and prosperity to our State and nation. We have inherited the failed policies of the Republican Party, a nation in the worst economic crisis since the Great Depression, and a Governor unable to lead in a time of difficulty for Connecticut’s families.
We reaffirm the principles and pledges that are the core of our Party Platform:
We hold that the principle of public service must rise above that of self-interest. We believe that the role of government is to provide opportunity for all citizens and security for those in need while remaining fiscally responsible and accountable to the public. We commit ourselves to improving the quality of life of all the people of Connecticut, from our largest cities to our smallest towns.
As a party, we respect the rights of people to assure that all laws, rights, or privileges shall be upheld, regardless of a person’s age, sexual orientation or gender identity, ethnicity, race, religion, country of origin, marital status, disability or political affiliation and to continue to protect the right of Choice for all females as guaranteed by law. Connecticut is a state in which same sex marriage is legal and we uphold the principle that same sex couples deserve equal rights and responsibilities under Connecticut law.
We support responsible State budgets, backed by a fair and equitable revenue structure that will ensure not only that basic human needs are met throughout the State, but that the promise of opportunity is fulfilled today and in the years ahead for our children, our families, our workforce, our senior citizens and our veterans.
We recognize that Connecticut and the nation are in the midst of the worst economic crisis in generations and pledge to create and implement, with bipartisan input to the greatest extent possible, a long range strategic plan to help, among other things, (1) to ensure the fair and equitable allocation and distribution of state resources among and between our municipalities, and (2) to foster regional initiatives and cooperation to support more efficient, responsive, cost effective government services.
We support responsible, respected foreign policies grounded in the basic tenet that we will work with our allies to address global tensions and strive for a world that includes protection of human rights for all people. We also pledge to do everything possible to support our courageous men and women in uniform.
We will strive to uphold individual dignity and to recognize the value of diversity while working to preserve and promote the sense of community that unites us all in our day-to-day struggles and successes. We will foster a government that speaks directly and honestly to its constituents – a government which our citizens can trust and in which they actively participate.
Our platform foundation is supported by three vital pillars - - Economic Recovery, State Infrastructure, and Quality of Life - - each containing meaningful action items for the people of Connecticut.
Creating, Maintaining, and Sustaining Good Jobs
Expanding Connecticut’s job base is essential to reviving, sustaining, and growing the State’s economy. Good jobs secure Connecticut’s economic future and will stem the flight of our citizens, particularly young adults, to other states in search of opportunities.
Enterprise zones and properly placed tax breaks are not enough. The Governor must lead by demanding that state agencies work together to assure that all the factors essential to attracting new businesses are in place. The Governor must create a comprehensive plan that encourages and attracts emerging business while enhancing our existing industry base. An emphasis should be given to Connecticut’s small, minority-owned, and start-up businesses with potential for long-term growth and to those in targeted emerging industries. We are committed to diversity in both our economic base and workforce to ensure the State’s economic prosperity. We also recognize the importance of Connecticut’s agricultural industry and will support their ongoing efforts to provide fresh, sustainable locally grown food to our communities.
We support fundamental improvements that emphasize and promote results-based accountability in budgeting and ensure reliable funding for our key responsibilities. We are committed to reducing municipalities’ overreliance on property taxes and to securing funding for state required programs. We believe in fiscal policies that treat individuals and businesses fairly, thus securing Connecticut's status as a desirable place to live, work, and do business.
Educational Excellence for All Connecticut Residents
An educated population is vital to our State’s economic growth and quality of life. Connecticut Democrats are dedicated to providing every Connecticut child, adolescent, young adult, and older person returning to school with an adequately state funded public education, regardless of where in the State they may live. This includes quality early childhood education, elementary schools that truly advance their students’ academic growth, and secondary schools (including both traditional and technical high schools) that give them the skills for the 21st century workforce and/or college.
Connecticut Democrats also know that our State’s long-term prosperity depends on a system of public higher education characterized by excellence at every level, access for students of all backgrounds and ages, and responsiveness to the needs of our rapidly changing society. We are committed to ensuring that our public schools, from early education to community college and university systems, have access to the resources they need to prepare their students for future success.
A Comprehensive Energy Policy
With the overwhelming consensus among scientists that human activity is adversely affecting the climate worldwide, the need for a comprehensive, sustainable energy policy, at the local, national and global levels, is imperative. Connecticut Democrats are committed to renewing the State’s leadership in energy policy and technology in order to lower energy costs, provide future generations with a livable environment, and to cultivate opportunities for economic and job growth. As such, technology companies involved in new energy research should be encouraged to locate in Connecticut. Additionally, the State’s academic institutions need to be provided the resources necessary to expand their role in developing innovative and sustainable solutions to our future energy needs.
Quality of Life
Affordable, Universal Health Care and Insurance
As Democrats we believe that the inalienable rights of “life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness” can only be achieved by removing the burden and worry of inadequate health care from the lives of all citizens of Connecticut. We believe reproductive rights are basic and fundamental to healthy women and families. We believe that affordable, universal, uninterrupted health care coverage is not just a benefit or privilege for those who are employed, but is a right to which all citizens of Connecticut are entitled. Our party supports the SustiNet plan and combining the state employee plan with a strengthened Medicaid program as an option for small businesses, nonprofits and Connecticut’s uninsured. Connecticut Democrats will continue to stand as champions on these issues, and will continue to protect the right of Choice for all women and girls. In addition, comprehensive, age appropriate, medically accurate sex education curricula should be included in all middle and high schools.
We commend the Democratic members of Connecticut’s Congressional Delegation for their leadership on achieving major national health care reform, and pledge to work with them as they build on the foundation established by President Obama and the Democratic Congress.
Excellence in Services to our Veterans and Their Families
We are committed to treating our veterans and their families with dignity and respect as they re-integrate into civilian life. We will ensure that returning veterans are welcomed home with honor and provided access to quality health care, counseling, education, housing, job training and employment.
Support for Connecticut’s Young Adults
Recognizing the challenges faced by our young people, our future leaders, Connecticut Democrats will continue to engage young adults in the political process, support policies that will keep them safe and healthy, and promote efforts that will open more opportunities for them in Connecticut. We understand the need to prepare our young people with the skills and tools they will need for future success, and we will foster an environment in which they can find employment, raise a family, and contribute to their communities.
A Supportive and Caring Environment for Vulnerable Members of Our Society
Democrats believe that the State budget must not be balanced on the backs of residents who most need care and support, including a growing senior population, children, residents who are unemployed, disabled, mentally ill, homeless, or impoverished, and other vulnerable residents. The State must provide adequate social services, and should strive to improve the quality and cost-effectiveness of these services in community-based programs.
Stronger Communities through Regional Partnerships
We understand that our nation, our State, and our municipalities are facing pressing budgetary challenges. We believe that communities should have the choice to develop regional partnerships to meet the needs of their residents. These partnerships, while encouraged, should not be mandated but rather entered into voluntarily to meet ever-changing and varied local needs.
Urban Revitalization and Livable Communities
We are committed to working with our cities in their efforts to build strong urban centers. Utilizing sustainable development policies, these should be a blend of vibrant business communities with a variety of housing options, offering an array of recreational opportunities and programs for people of all ages.
Protection of Small Towns
Small towns have an important place in the fabric of our state. We recognize that one size does not fit all municipalities when it comes to regulations and governmental structures. We will seek to enhance the strengths of smaller towns and give them the tools they need to thrive.
A Nationally Acclaimed Transportation Network
Highway congestion and crumbling transportation infrastructure are impeding Connecticut’s growth and competitiveness. There is a direct link between a strong, diverse transportation system and the advancement of economic opportunities. Rebuilding our aging transportation infrastructure will create job opportunities as well as better position Connecticut to attract new businesses and residents. We are committed to building effective multi-modal, mass-transit systems to reduce pressure on the State’s major arteries. Connecticut should pursue development of its deep water ports as alternative freight transportation hubs, and investigate increased use of rail freight for containers passing through the State.
Quality Housing That Maintains the Unique Character of Our Cities and Towns
Connecticut has a wide variety of vibrant communities, but a diversity of quality housing is often out of reach for working families. State and local governments must work collaboratively to address this problem by reforming the property tax system, providing incentives for first-time home buyers, and encouraging smart growth development. All Connecticut residents should have the opportunity to live in the communities of their choice. We pledge to support policies and programs which provide Connecticut seniors with the ability to remain in the homes in which they raised their families and built our communities.
A Forward-Looking and Science-Based Environmental Policy
We support new economic activity and development through measures which preserve the unique character of all our communities, rural and urban alike. We believe in responsible environmental policies which respect the integrity of ecosystems, improve the quality of our air and water, and protect wild and open spaces balanced with those which reclaim and revitalize existing urban and industrial properties - as in the Brownfields Program. We are also committed to vigorously addressing the inter-related problems of suburban sprawl and the rapid loss of Connecticut's farmland.
A Transparent and Effective Government
Connecticut Democrats believe that an open and transparent government, in which all citizens have access and a voice, is the key to engaging the electorate and avoiding cynicism and voter apathy. We uphold the principles of clean elections. We support the fundamental goals of the Citizens Election Program which established a public financing system for state elected officials.
A Safe and Secure State
We believe that the people of Connecticut have a right to live in safety and security. As Democrats, we accept the responsibility to provide the training, equipment, and other support to the first responders of this State who protect our health and safety.
A Respected Foreign Policy
We support efforts to build international alliances to confront the transnational threats of the 21st century. We understand that solving problems such as terrorism, climate change, nuclear proliferation, economic dislocation and pandemics require international cooperation.
We believe the use of diplomacy, defense, and development assistance is necessary to protect our interests abroad and our values at home. We support actions taken against those who would seek to do us harm to protect the American people, and we support the men and women of the Connecticut National Guard and our Armed Forces who serve our nation with bravery and distinction.
As Democrats we are guided by our principles and experience to serve the people of Connecticut, and to provide the environment for Economic Recovery & Growth, the leadership to create a more efficient State Infrastructure, and the compassion to support an enriched Quality of Life.