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					AUGUST 21, 2006

                    IREDELL COUNTY DEMOCRATIC PLATFORM

Written by: Linda Larkin, Patrick Larkin, R. Wayne Surratt, Neal Grose, Richard Capich,
Gary Hargus, Maxine Hargus, Paul Polk, and Paul Klaene representing Precincts, 2, 4, 6,
Bethany and Eagle Mills. (a “QUADRACINCT” Precinct Project)

Committee for the Iredell County Platform-April 2006 retyped and approved by the
committee AUGUST 2006

As Approved by the Quadracinct Precincts of the Iredell County Democratic Party
Date: January 20, 2007

As Approved by the Iredell County Democratic Party Executive Committee
Date: _____________


PREAMBLE
We believe that the best way to protect our way of life is to maintain our constitutional liberties
and to work to extend respect for human dignity to those whom we deal with in the world. We
believe that a public office is a public trust. We believe in honest, open, and accountable
government that carefully weighs all decisions concerning public revenues.

As the oldest continuous political party in the world, the Democratic Party has carried out its
commitment to freedom, fairness, human rights, and responsible government for over 200
years. This Party fully supports the Constitution and The Bill of Rights. We pledge to continue
this tradition.

We take pride in our Democratic heritage as a party of spiritual and patriotic values; a party of
inclusiveness; a party of diversity; a party of compassion; a party of educational and economic
opportunities; a party of social justice; and a party of responsible leadership.

This Party shall provide an avenue for the free and open expression of diverse ideas and
opinions, including the right of every person to dissent, and shall work to promote government
which is responsive to the legitimate needs, interests, and aspirations of every man, woman,
and child in a manner which does not diminish human dignity or those fundamental rights, which
are the birthright of all people of a free and a Democratic nation.

We, as Iredell County Democrats, seize this agenda, and vigilantly defend our historic
Democratic heritage. We shall not abdicate our historical role as the party of action and the
party of progress in this County. The lives and the livelihoods of the people of Iredell County are
our sacred trust. We must act decisively; we must act swiftly; we must act together.




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ABORTION
We oppose “legislating from the bench” in the effort to overturn the Supreme Court
decision in Roe vs. Wade, because this would return the country to a quagmire of
conflicting and inequitable laws among the states.

We believe that a majority of our citizens are tired of the stridency of the radicals on both sides
of this issue. We call for our legislatures to engage in open and reasoned debate with the goal
of finding a pragmatic compromise on the abortion issue.

AGRICULTURE
We recognize farmers as the primary stewards of our land and support the continued
presence of a viable farming community as a fundamental part of our community and
way of life.

We support increased funding of pragmatic conservation practices. We believe cutbacks in
funding of soil and water conservation are short sighted.

We support policies that reduce the volatility of agricultural commodity markets. We ask for
increased use of production controls and incentives for diversification as a way to balance
decreased commodity payments from the government.

We recognize that the animal industry in Iredell County contributes tremendously to the local
economy, and encourage the establishment of “Animal Industry Zones” within the county.

We understand the need to include farmers as “stakeholders” in maintaining the environment
and in providing good quality of life in the community. We support pragmatic policies to regulate
and supervise the spreading of animal wastes. We call for fines and notice of violation to be
levied only for actual environmental damage.

We recognize that lawn and ornamental landscaping are now the largest segment of agriculture
in the county, and that we need to pay due respect to the impact of this industry on the
environment.


CIVIL JUSTICE, CRIME AND SAFETY
• We are committed to firm and effective law enforcement and to the swift and fair
prosecution and rehabilitation of those who engage in criminal activity. We believe that
adequate procedural safeguards are essential to the protection of those wrongly accused
and the preservation of liberty.

We believe that the best way to safeguard our community is to be prepared, and that North
Carolina and Iredell County should have all available means to protect from attacks and natural
disasters. This preparation should include the best technology and other appropriate tools for
local and State law enforcement officials.

We strongly support our men and women in uniform who protect our communities every day.
We take pride in and are thankful for their service.


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We believe that an efficient civil justice system is necessary to maintain a stable business
environment, to promote social order, and to protect individual rights.

We support continued efforts to develop appropriate alternative methods of dispute resolution
including court-ordered mediation and non-binding arbitration. We oppose any measures that
deprive individuals and businesses of full and equal access to the civil justice system.

We oppose arbitrary caps on jury awards for the victims of negligence.

CONSUMER PROTECTION
The Iredell County Democratic Party urges government agencies to continue their efforts
to protect consumers and to promote confidence in a fair marketplace that is free from
price fixing, unfair restraints of trade, deception, fraud, and other abuses of the free
enterprise system.

We encourage banks, savings and loans, and other financial service institutions to maintain high
quality service at a reasonable cost for all consumers. We oppose predatory lending practices.

We stand for firm enforcement of the laws against illegal counterfeit trademarked goods.

ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT AND JUSTICE
We believe that access to our legal and financial systems for all of our citizens without
discrimination is necessary to a viable economy.

The Democratic Party is the party of Iredell County’s working people. We understand that
meaningful employment at a living wage is critical to the people. We believe that economic
growth is fully consistent with fair employment practices, fair wages, and a safe, clean, and
healthy work place.

We believe Iredell County must continue to attract and foster both new and traditional industries
while encouraging growth from within the County. We support efforts that continue to make
North Carolina’s business climate competitive, especially industrial recruitment in our low-wealth
communities.

We support expanded government efforts to promote entrepreneurship and to help small
businesses grow and prosper. We support efforts to provide tax and other incentives to existing
small businesses to expand their operations in Iredell County. We strongly support the
expansion of apprenticeship and on-the-job training programs to help our young people and
displaced workers to develop marketable job skills. We believe that special care should be taken
to expand job opportunities for the disabled and handicapped.

We support development of incentives for private employers to provide high quality childcare
services. We also support development of incentives for, and the removal of obstacles to,
alternative work opportunities such as part-time, shared-time, and flexible time work schedules
in order to expand opportunities for more people to care for their children.

We support access to employment without discrimination of any kind. We support vigorous
enforcement of existing anti-discrimination laws to ensure that all persons have access to good
jobs at fair wages and benefits.
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We support access to our legal systems without discrimination in regards to gender, ethnicity,
sexual orientation, veteran status, religious affiliation, spiritual beliefs, health care, education,
retirement programs, housing, or any other area. We encourage vigorous enforcement of
existing civil rights laws and a periodic re-examination of their adequacy.

We believe that marriage is a covenant between two (2) people and that the authority of the
government in this contract should be limited.

EDUCATION
We believe that democracy cannot survive without high quality universal education.

North Carolinians have a right to a quality education. Iredell County must have an outstanding
educational system in order to produce an informed community, to promote economic
development, and to build for an economic future characterized by high-skill, high-wage
employment. We agree with Thomas Jefferson in that "any nation which expects to remain both
ignorant and free expects that which never has been nor ever shall be."

We should strive for educational excellence for all persons, regardless of their race, age,
gender, national origin, ethnic identity, sexual orientation, economic status, developmental
disability, primary language, location, or station in life.

We support early childhood intervention, including the “More at Four” programs, reductions in
class size in all grades, and increased support for home-to-school transition programs such as
Head Start and Smart Start. We believe that every child in Iredell County should have equal
access to all educational opportunities.

Local parents, teachers, and administrators deserve a stronger voice in the establishment of
educational priorities.

North Carolina's community colleges play a vital role in enhancing the lives of our people and in
paving the way for a brighter future for our state. We support adequate funding for all community
college programs, including basic literacy programs, technical and vocational programs, new
and expanded industrial training, small business centers, and occupational retraining. We also
support voluntary links between community colleges and four-year institutions to encourage the
development of an improved system of higher education in this state.

We encourage the General Assembly to maintain low tuition at our community colleges and to
encourage business/education partnerships associated with such institutions, in order to
stimulate the state's economy.

We do not support military recruitment while in high school without direct parental consent; a
policy made possible by the No Child Left Behind Act. We believe parents should be aware of
the “Opt Out” program so that they can be involved in their children’s career decisions.

ENVIRONMENT
We support wise stewardship of our natural resources and believe that this is critical to
the health and economic vitality of our community.


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The Democratic Party has been the only Party consistently in support of protection of the
environment and natural resources. By committing ourselves to a safer environment we protect
our food stocks, our natural resources, and life itself.

We support the preservation of our rich history of forest, agriculture and wildlife refuge lands.
We believe that these lands are critical to the beauty and way of life that we have come to love
in this county.

We support the development of renewable and alternative fuel sources, as well as a renewed
emphasis on energy conservation. This is a necessary step to reduce global warming and to
achieve energy self-sufficiency for this country.

We encourage the recycling of reusable materials to reduce the need for landfills.

We support tax incentives, policies and regulations that encourage environmentally friendly
disposal of chemicals.

We support the funding of conservation practices in crop and pasture land; and encourage
timber management that fosters reforestation.

We oppose the highly destructive coal mining practice known as mountaintop removal. We
further urge that all strip mining practices be evaluated by giving due account to the
environmental costs associated with them.

We support local land management that includes responsible control of surface water run-off,
including the use of buffer and filter strips, to insure the proper treatment and disposal of
wastewater, and minimize the pressure exerted by increased population.

We recognize the interdependence of ecosystems and community economies and believe that
all communities have an obligation to use land and resources in ways that do not harm the
environment, or the economies of neighboring or distant towns and communities.

HEALTH AND HUMAN SERVICES
We believe that every person is entitled to basic health care. This basic care should be
available and affordable for everyone. We believe that this is crucial to a healthy
business economy.

We recognize that health care decisions are best made between the health care provider and
the patient. We believe that new medical technologies will make it increasingly necessary to
prevent health insurance providers from practicing discriminatory practices.

We support a mental health system that provides access to appropriate treatment for mental,
behavioral, developmental disabilities, and substance abuse. We believe that the proper funding
of mental health and substance abuse programs have been neglected, and fear that we will
soon see far reaching adverse consequences to this neglect.

We support systems that would enable the Senior Citizen to remain in a home setting for as
long as possible. We insist on their protection from abuse and neglect.

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We support child, maternity and senior care leave policies that allow citizens to maintain
consistent health care for all family members without fear of job loss and retribution.

We believe all women should have access to prenatal and postnatal care and appropriate
counseling and information regarding all choices related to pregnancy.

We encourage healthy lifestyles and wellness programs.

HERITAGE AND CULTURE
The Iredell County Democratic Party recognizes the importance of cultural development
in the growth of our County. We are proud of all of our County’s diverse cultures and
heritages that have contributed to our rich history and continue those contributions to
society today.

We strongly support the programs and institutions that have established our County’s stature in
the areas of the arts, theater, music, folk life and historic preservation. We encourage the
continued development of museums and historical research facilities to embrace the cultural
diversity of our County.

HOUSING AND TRANSPORTATION
We believe that quality, affordable, decent and safe housing should be available to all
members of our communities. We believe in equal housing opportunities for all.

We support quality, affordable, safe, easily accessed public transportation.

HUMAN RIGHTS
We continue to support responsible measures to limit the amount of information
gathered by government agencies about individuals, and to prohibit the use of such
information in an improper manner. Government must respect individual liberties and
refrain from intruding into our private lives and interfering with our personal decisions.

    We support the fundamental rights to freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of
     association and assembly and the right not to be deprived of life, liberty, or property
     without due process of law. We oppose efforts to limit or eliminate these fundamental
     constitutional rights.

    We believe that all persons should have access to our courts.

    We oppose discrimination of any kind, whether in employment, gender, ethnicity, sexual
     orientation, veteran status, religious affiliation, spiritual beliefs, disability, health care,
     education, retirement programs, housing, or any other area.

    We encourage vigorous enforcement of existing civil rights laws and a periodic re-
     examination of their adequacy.

IMMIGRATION
Immigrants have become a vital part of North Carolina’s economy. Recognizing that fact,
the state should provide access to important information about state services and
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benefits in the primary language of legal immigrants. We encourage continuing
education classes of “English as a Second Language.”

While we recognize that immigration laws are enacted at the federal level, local government and
grassroots citizens can impact such policies by influencing our federal representatives. We
strongly support immigrants who follow the legal path to citizenship or visitation. We also believe
the North Carolina Department of Justice should swiftly prosecute persons who intentionally hire
undocumented workers in this State, or persons who aid and abet that process.

OPEN AND EFFECTIVE GOVERNMENT
We firmly believe that the government belongs to the people, and we are entitled to
observe its work. We should have easy and prompt access of inquiries to information as
provided by the FOIA. (Freedom of Information Act) The government should go to greater
lengths to ensure that the residents of Iredell County understand not only what decisions have
been made, but also why decisions were made. We also believe that "Closed Sessions" should
be kept to an absolute minimum, and that the reason for a Closed Session should be public
knowledge. We believe there should be prompt publicity of meetings and minutes.

SOCIAL SECURITY
We believe ill, Senior Citizens, handicapped and/or disabled people should be able to
enjoy the greatest possible independence and economic security. We will not tolerate
fraud, abuse, or mismanagement that destroy public trust in these programs and diminish their
intended purposes. As Democrats, we believe that we have an obligation towards our fellow
Americans, both present and future.

We believe Social Security is a contract and must not be compromised. We oppose privatization
and the diversion of Social Security funds for other purposes. We condemn massive federal
budget deficits, which force the government to borrow from the Social Security Trust Fund.

We must ensure the long-term stability of the Trust Fund, without subjecting individual
Americans to the insecurities of the market.

VETERANS, ARMED FORCES AND THEIR FAMILIES
The Iredell County Democratic Party reaffirms its longtime commitment to our sons and
daughters who presently serve proudly in the Armed Forces of the United States, and to
all veterans of the Armed Forces of the United States.

Iredell County Democrats believe that all potential military recruits should be fully and honestly
advised of the risks and obligations they face in military service.

Iredell County Democrats believe that all potential military personnel should be properly
equipped with the latest equipment, including personal protective gear. The military must cut
through the red tape that delays or prevents immediate delivery of medical or mental health care
delivery to active personnel or veterans. This must be free of charge.

Veterans should receive their pre-war civilian jobs, according to the law. They should be given
preference in hiring, housing, and education.


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We stand in support of all efforts to care for their families while those soldiers are away, and to
assist them when they return. This party must never let them down, and keep its promises to
veterans and their families.

CONCLUSION
THEREFORE, We Iredell County Democrats:

    Offer a platform that secures the rights of our children, protects the integrity and dignity of
     the Senior Citizens, and promotes the right of working men and women across the
     County and State to compete freely and equally for economic advancement and self-
     fulfillment.

    Believe that a public office is a public trust. We believe in honest, open, and accountable
     government that carefully weighs all decisions concerning public revenues.

    Support current businesses, and strongly support the development of new local
     businesses and entrepreneurs.

    Believe that democracy cannot survive without education.

    We believe that adequate health care must be accessible to all and that homelessness,
     illiteracy, and poverty must be eradicated from every corner of our State.

    Strongly support the protection and preservation of our environment.

    Are committed to firm and effective law enforcement and to the swift and fair prosecution
     and rehabilitation of those who engage in criminal activity. We believe that adequate
     procedural safeguards are essential to the protection of those wrongly accused and the
     preservation of liberty.

On this platform we proudly stand.




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