Support a Progressive, Pro-Peace Platform

2012 Democratic State Convention 2012 Democratic State Convention. Boston Globe photo / Aram Boghosian

The Massachusetts Democratic Party revises its platform every four years.  It will do so on June 3, 2017 at its convention in Worcester.  Many MAPA members have been elected as convention delegates, among some 700 progressive delegates organized by Our Revolution Massachusetts, with the intention of adopting a progressive platform.   Read the 2013 platform and other information here.

The party has organized a series of public hearings around the state where concerned citizens can speak about what they think the party platform should say.  MAPA has proposed three platform planks (see below) and we will urge our members to attend hearings and speak to them. Attend a hearing near you!  See a map of upcoming hearings.

Our Revolution MA has endorsed 7 planks, one of which was submitted by MAPA.  Local OR groups may also have their own lists.

MAPA is a non-partisan organization and we urge our members who are not Democrats to work to advance a peace agenda within the parties they belong to. For those who are Democrats, MAPA asks you to support the following three foreign policy related planks, as well as the entire ORMA agenda.  

 

FEDERAL BUDGET

(Included in ORMA proposed planks)

Our nation spends over half of its discretionary budget on the military, more than the next seven nations combined (several of which are our allies). No conceivable military threat to the United States can justify such a massive military expenditure. President Trump is proposing even more increases in military spending (and prisons) and corresponding cuts in necessary domestic programs including housing, environment, education and more. He proposes a $1 trillion expenditure on a new nuclear arsenal including new bombers, submarines, missiles, weapons production facilities, and destabilizing offensive nuclear weapons. Past increases in Federal military spending have severely undercut the amount of Federal support for Massachusetts transportation, education, housing, health care, infrastructure, and human services, which have increasingly forced state taxpayers to shoulder the burden of providing these essential services.

Massachusetts Democrats support:

Responsible reductions in military spending and oppose any increases, especially new nuclear weapons programs. We call for steep increases in spending to address the Commonwealth’s people’s need for housing, health care, response to climate change, food security, and education. The Massachusetts Democrats call for shifting Federal resources to these needs from the bloated military budget. We call for corporations and higher incomes to pay their fair share. We call for the state government to educate Massachusetts taxpayers on how Federal dollars are spent, how this is changing, and how it impacts on the Massachusetts budget and taxpayers.
Healthy funding levels for scientific research. Massachusetts is very dependent on federal grant money from such federal programs as the National Institute of Health and the National Science Foundation. If these grants disappear, the state must ensure the funding levels continue.

Support for public media Corporation for Public Broadcasting, and Public Broadcasting System, and the arts, as well.

ISRAEL/PALESTINE

(This was proposed by MAPA to ORMA but ORMA’s committee declined to support it  (with some saying they disagreed with it and others saying they thought it might lose and hence we should not advance it). While respecting the latter argument, we do not agree with it; we feel that getting the issue ventilated and debated, even if we lose a vote, would be a positive step. ORMA has not had a wide discussion of its planks. We recommend people speak for it at platform hearings.

The Massachusetts legislature is being asked to consider legislation to strike at the right to boycott Israel because of its policies of settlement and occupation of Palestinian territory. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) is constitutionally-protected speech, and BDS does not discriminate on the basis of national origin. It is not anti-Israeli or anti-Semitic, but non-violently opposes the occupation of Palestinian lands and denial of Palestinians’ human rights.

Massachusetts ethics laws and regulations allow lobbyists to pay for expensive travel by state officials, even when legislators taking free trips are then asked to vote on legislation supported by those same lobbyists. Dozens of state legislators and other officials have taken trips to Israel funded by “pro-Israel” lobby groups, and these same lobby groups then ask legislators to vote on their anti-BDS legislation. Lobbyist-paid junkets should not be allowed when those lobbyists have business before state officials. Massachusetts should support the free speech right to boycott and should not pass any law which seeks to penalize those engaging in nonviolent boycotts.

PEACE AND TRUE NATIONAL SECURITY

“Recognizing that one of the greatest dangers to our population and our planet is an accidental or intentional nuclear war, while the excessive costs of nuclear weapons drain our tax dollars from critically needed civilian programs, we therefore call on the Administration and Congress:

-To renounce the first use of nuclear weapons, and take our weapons off of hair trigger alert;

-To embark on a serious path toward nuclear disarmament according to our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;

-To cut the excessive expenditures for nuclear weapons upgrades by supporting Senator Markey’s SANE Act.”“Peace and True National Security”

“Recognizing that one of the greatest dangers to our population and our planet is an accidental or intentional nuclear war, while the excessive costs of nuclear weapons drain our tax dollars from critically needed civilian programs, we therefore call on the Administration and Congress:

-To renounce the first use of nuclear weapons, and take our weapons off of hair trigger alert;

-To embark on a serious path toward nuclear disarmament according to our obligations under the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty;

-To cut the excessive expenditures for nuclear weapons upgrades by supporting Senator Markey’s SANE Act.