2016 DEMOCRATIC PARTY PLATFORM
In 2016, Democrats meet in Philadelphia with the same basic belief that animated the
Continental Congress when they gathered here 240 years ago: Out of many, we are one.
Under President Obama’s leadership, and thanks to the hard work and determination of
American people, we have come a long way from the Great Recession and the Republican
policies that triggered it. American businesses have now added 14.8 million jobs since private-
sector job growth turned positive in early 2010. Twenty million people
have gained health
insurance coverage. The American auto industry just had its best year ever. And we are getting
more of our energy from the sun and wind, and importing less oil from overseas.
But too many Americans have been left out and left behind. They are working longer hours with
less security. Wages have barely budged and the racial wealth gap remains wide, while the cost
of everything from childcare to a college education has continued to rise. And for too many
families, the dream of homeownership is out of reach. As working people struggle, the top one
percent accrues more wealth and more power. Republicans in Congress have chosen gridlock
and dysfunction over trying to find solutions to the real challenges we face. It’s no wonder that
so many feel like the system is rigged against them.
Democrats believe that cooperation is better than conflict, unity is better than division,
empowerment is better than resentment, and bridges are better than walls.
It’s a simple but powerful idea: we are stronger together.
Democrats believe we are stronger when we have an economy that works for everyone—an
economy that grows incomes for working people, creates good-paying jobs, and puts a middle-
class life within reach for more Americans. Democrats believe we can spur more sustainable
economic growth, which will create good-paying jobs and raise wages. And we can have more
economic fairness, so the rewards are shared broadly, not just with those at the top. We need an
economy that prioritizes long-term investment over short-term profit-seeking, rewards the
common interest over self-interest, and promotes innovation and entrepreneurship.
We believe that today’s extreme level of income and wealth
inequality—where the majority of
the economic gains go to the top one percent and the richest 20 people in our country own more
wealth than the bottom 150 million—makes our economy weaker, our communities poorer, and
our politics poisonous.
And we know that our nation’s long struggle with race is far from over. More than half a century
after Rosa Parks sat and Dr. King marched and John Lewis bled, more than half a century after
César Chávez, Dolores Huerta, and Larry Itliong organized, race still plays a significant role in
determining who gets ahead in America and who gets left behind. We must face that reality and
we must fix it.
We believe a good education is a basic right of all Americans, no matter what zip code they live
in. We will end the school-to-prison pipeline and build a cradle-to-college pipeline instead,
where every child can live up to his or her God-given potential.
We believe in helping Americans balance work and family without fear of punishment or
penalty. We believe in at last guaranteeing equal pay for women. And as the party that created
Social Security, we believe in protecting every American’s right to retire with dignity.
We firmly believe that the greed, recklessness, and illegal behavior on Wall Street must be
brought to an end. Wall Street must never again be allowed to threaten families and businesses
on Main Street.
Democrats believe we are stronger when we protect citizens’ right to vote,
corporations’ outsized influence in elections. We will fight to end
the broken campaign finance
system, overturn the disastrous
Citizens United decision, restore the full power of the Voting
Rights Act, and return control of our elections to the American people.
Democrats believe that climate change poses a real and urgent threat to our economy, our
national security, and our children’s health and futures, and that Americans deserve the jobs and
security that come from becoming the clean energy superpower of the 21st century.
Democrats believe we are stronger and safer
when America brings
the world together
with principle and purpose. We believe we should strengthen our alliances, not weaken them.
We believe in the power of development and diplomacy. We believe our military should be the
best-trained, best-equipped fighting force in the world, and that we must do everything we can to
honor and support our veterans. And we know that only the United States can mobilize common
action on a truly global scale, to take on the challenges that transcend borders, from international
terrorism to climate change to health pandemics.
Above all, Democrats are the party of inclusion. We know that diversity is not our problem—it is
our promise. As Democrats, we respect differences of perspective and belief, and pledge to work
together to move this country forward, even when we disagree. With this platform, we do not
merely seek common ground—we strive to reach higher ground.
We are proud of our heritage as a nation of immigrants. We know that today’s immigrants are
teachers, doctors, lawyers, government leaders, soldiers, entrepreneurs, activists,
PTA members, and pillars of our communities.
We believe in protecting civil liberties and guaranteeing civil rights and voting rights, women’s
rights and workers’ rights, LGBT rights, and rights for people with disabilities. We believe
America is still, as Robert Kennedy said, “a great country, an unselfish country, and a