As the Democratic Party’s convention nears, results of “Listen to America” to shape party platform
Traditionally, every four years, the Democratic Party leadership meets in closed session and develops a platform for the next four years of national political focus. Senator Barack Obama wants to change that. He has proposed that, starting this year, the party draw input and ideas from the American people directly. To that end, several hundred local groups across the country participated in “brainstorming” events. The national leadership will formulate the new direction of the Democratic Party based on the priorities identified in the work product from the many local Obama Campaign “Listen to America” Committees across the nation.
Clarksville For Obama met recently to do its part in crafting this new national party platform. About 50 people converged at “Get Some Coffee” at the Great Escape Theater Complex along Trenton Road for Clarksville’s “Listen to America” event. Jim Robertson and Tyrone Taylor, Clarksville for Obama and Tennessee for Obama members, respectively, co-chaired the event. The meeting objective was to choose five topic areas, brainstorm to finalize, prioritize and develop enactment of those particular interest proposals. Five brainstorming groups were formed to consider the specific topics.
The final work product as developed by Clarksville area residents, concluded in the following the proposals:
- Improve foreign relations with the international community and NATO.
- Reinstate Baker-Hamilton
- Address improving the Veterans Administration: elevate it to full presidential cabinet department status and non-discretionary funding
- Upgrade soldiers and veterans health care; command leadership must recognize its responsibility to support soldiers in all aspects of health care, including casting aside negative connotations regarding seeking mental health care
- Aggressive support for improving support systems for active duty military families and the families of service member casualties
- More funding of regularly budget-reduction targeted curriculum subjects of music and the arts.
- Increase funding and support for counseling and counselors.
- Support calls for quality teachers nationwide
- Encourage a 100 percent high school graduation rate.
- Lessen dependence on foreign oil and petroleum-based energy
- Support and fund alternative energy generation and fuel development.
- Look beyond corn-based ethanol and bio-diesel development
- Wind and solar energy technologies must also be made part of the national energy profile
- Encourage and promote local recycling programs to prolong and extend useful lifespan of local landfills
- Establish universal health care coverage
- Exclude pre-existing condition penalties
- Include dental and mental health care coverage in addition to physical health care
- Shift Medicare and Medicaid to a universal insurance plan
- Aggressive support for mass transit nationwide
- Insist on concentrated attention to infrastructure needs fund repair of roads, bridges, levees and waterways
- Institute a living wage and universal child care
- Encourage small business development and operations
- Encourage private individual savings and aggressively reduce the national debt
These five proposals were formalized and forwarded to the National Obama Presidential Committee for inclusion in a final report to the National Democratic Committee. This action is being repeated across the nation as the American people come together to formulate their party’s national focus for the next four years. Such initiatives truly represent citizen empowerment.
For more information on the local Clarksville for Obama group, or to sign up to host a house party, get assistance in hosting such an event or otherwise support the Obama campaign, visit their website at: <www.clarksvilleforobama.com.>