Cheryl Simpson, Union County Progressives, Union County Democrats

The Democratic Party of Oregon’s 2018 platform preamble states: “The Democratic Party of Oregon is committed to the principles and positions contained in this platform in order to secure a more just and prosperous future for all Oregonians. We recognize and embrace shared rights and responsibilities and affirm that every person is guaranteed rights to life, liberty, equity and the pursuit of happiness. In exercising these rights for ourselves, we are respectful of the interdependent web of life on this planet.

“We promise to work to uphold the protections granted to us by our state and national constitutions and to act on our responsibilities to assure that ‘We the People’ resume governing this nation. We steadfastly oppose any attempt to dilute those rights and liberties in the name of political convenience or security. At a time when our nation is suffering under misguided leadership that seeks to divide us and turn back the clock to a supposed “greater” America, we declare that the greatness of our nation is in its diversity and its ability to move forward with full understanding of our historical strengths and weaknesses. We invite all Oregonians to join us in affirming our determination that Oregon become a beacon of opportunity, tolerance, and freedom.”

In an April 17 press release (available at,) Molly Woon wrote, “After months of work, hundreds of hours of input, and the largest platform convention in recent history, the Democratic Party of Oregon released their 2018 party platform and legislative priorities today.”

The press release continued: “ ‘The DPO 2018 Platform is a critical component of shaping our Party’s future. It is the foundation of who we are as a Party and articulates our vision for Oregon and our country,’ said Valdez Bravo, vice chair of the DPO and chair of the platform convention. ‘Over 500 Democrats with diverse backgrounds and perspectives came together to create a Party platform that reflects the interests and addresses the needs of working- and middle-class people everywhere.’

“Oregon Democrats began the process of drafting the platform in October 2017. Multiple workgroups, each focused on one of eleven different Articles, or policy areas, met virtually and in person to construct what became the ‘planks’ of each Article. These groups also proposed legislative action items, also known as LAIs. The platform is crafted by the party every two years.

“ ‘Through grassroots advocacy and in-depth policy discussions, our LAIs represent where Oregon Democrats see the greatest need and urgency for action,’ said Jeanne Atkins, chair of the DPO. ‘This list of 22 legislative items is a key tool in how we convey our highest priorities to our elected Democratic leaders.’

“The 2018 Democratic Party of Oregon Priority Legislative Action Items call on lawmakers to create, adopt, or implement legislation. The top three items, as voted on by members of the platform convention are as follows:

1. As health care is a human right, adopt an equitable, high-quality, comprehensive, universal, publicly-funded healthcare system including general, preventative, and emergency care, plus vision, dental, hearing, prescription drugs, long-term care, substance abuse, hospice care, and mental health services at the state or federal level.

2. Swiftly enact the Clean Energy Jobs Bill and continue to reduce greenhouse gases based on full life cycle emissions to meet the Paris Climate Agreement, fund renewable energy, energy efficiency, promote carbon sequestration, and fund training and job creation, especially for the benefit of rural, low-income, and minority communities.

3. Amend the U.S. and Oregon constitutions to clarify that rights protected by the U.S. Constitution are the rights of natural persons only, and government shall regulate, limit or prohibit campaign contributions and expenditures to ensure corporations and wealthy individuals do not dominate the political process.

“ ‘Delegates from all over the state debated ideas on how to make the lives of Oregonians better. The rigorous process was a positive experience that strengthened our statewide bonds. Oregon Democrats largely agree on the Platform, the defining document of who we are as a state political Party,’ said Bravo. ‘We are the big tent party — and the people inside are amazing.’ ”

Readers, if you share the values and aspirations of the Democratic Party of Oregon 2018 Platform and want to secure a more just and prosperous future for all Oregonians, make sure to vote in the upcoming Nov. 6 general election. Working together, we the people will promote the right to life, liberty, equity and the pursuit of happiness. This is our privilege, right and responsibility.

Editor’s Note: The Republican writer did not submit an On The Fence piece for this week’s topic