Saturday, November 24, 2007

Paging All Georgia Democrats: What Do You Believe?

I'm headed up to Atlanta today for an initial meeting of the Platform Committee of the Democratic Party of Georgia. Without boring you with the details, this committee has a unique opportunity to formulate a platform of values and principles that reflects not just who Georgia Democrats are but also who we aspire to be. We have an opportunity to help make "the argument" for why, in Georgia, Democrats should again be given the opportunity to lead.

One of our first tasks is to gather the ideas of Georgia Democrats-to ask what is it we believe? What do we stand for. A month or so ago, I posted on this and got some excellent responses. Focusing on values and principles, rather than positions or programs, I want to again invite your ideas.

Why are you a Democrat? What are the fundamental values and principles that make us who we are?

This is cross-posted at Tondee's Tavern.


Open+Transparent said...

There are two schools of thought: You can be DuBose Porter and Calvin Smyre, and do nothing and hope Repub's keep screwing up and voters get tired of them.

Of you can try to lead, and get the voting public to believe in you and get behind you on the big important stuff that Sonny and Glenn are incapable of. So what you don't have the majority in the state house & senate. That doesn't mean you still can't lead by shaping the debate, and calling out B.S. when B.S. needs to be called out. And every GA Dem needs to be on the same page when you call out B.S. If some are not, then kick them to the goddamn curb.

Stuff like a Dept. of Transportation that includes all forms of transportation, especialy heavy and light rail, more HOV's lanes, better synchronized traffic lights, bike lanes, etc. A Dept. of transportation that doesn't whore for road builders, and doesn't waste tens of millions each year from waste & inefficiency.

Stuff like properly funding our already good state park system, which is starting to face a big backlog of deferred maintenance and capital project needs. Our state park system draws in a lot of out of state folks who spend their money here, but more importantly, we have a much better quality of life with a good state park system. We owe it to our kids and grandkids.

Stuff like addressing the overwhelming needs of our state troopers, for needing more of them, paying them better, and replacing all of the cars, radio's, computers and facilities. Way, way too many people die on Georgia's highways and state roads, and the lack of enforcement is part of the reason.
When GA Dems ran the show, they didn't properly fund our state troopers, but now its even worse.

Stuff like being the voice of those that need a voice. We need Peach Care. We need Georgia's US rep's and senators to fight their tails off for SCHIP. And if they don't, we will do everything freaking thing necesary to boot them from office. The state mental health system is collapsing. DYAFCS is a joke. Predatory lending is still an issue. When was the last time DuBose or Calvin sat down with a family making less than $35,000 a year, and really, really listened to them?

Stuff like a real water plan, even if it means a litle bit of sacrifice. My freaking lord, our guvna is reduced to holding prayer services??!! We are years behind states that are best in class when it comes to water. Even Clayton Co. has a best in class county water plan. We have the expertise from Tech, Emory & UGA. But we don't have the will. Have the will, GA Dem's.

There is a whole generation of people under 35 who don't take GA Dem's seriously. The statewide candidates are weak jokes. The party stands for nothing. it's going to take years to fix. it may never be fixed with real leadership and positions that are worth a hard fight.

Tina said...

1) The government of Georgia should exercise better stewardship over the environment.
2) The government of Georgia,including the legislature and the DOE, should understand that the root of poor performance in our schools is poverty. More punitive testing won't solve the problem. Families that are more prosperous, healthy and stable, will do more to enhance a child's learning ability than tests and threats. Putting glasses on the kids who can't see would help too.
Child and adolescent health care in Georgia is the pits.
3) The government of Georgia should encourage farmers to grow ethanol-producing crops.
4) The government of Georgia should stop outsourcing oversight and administration of Georgia state agencies to out-of-state concerns. Why can't the reservation and accounting systems for our state parks and historic sites be handled by a Georgia firm?
Why do we have a massive contract with American Psych Systems of Bethesda, MD, to oversee MHDDAD services? Why is a firm from Chicago supervising Georgia purchasing? If the idea is to save money, wouldn't more be saved by paying salaries to Georgians who bank in GA, buy homes in GA, and pay state taxes in GA? Keeping Georgia's state business IN GEORGIA would add to our state's prosperity.
5) Horse-racing with pari-mutuel state-controlled betting would be good for our economy.

As a native Georgian, and one who loves this state, I can get by with saying this: "I am tired of Georgia having to be so durn cheap and SORRY in so many areas that really matter, like health, education, and environment. We need to jerk our own bootstraps and move into the 21st century. I am tired of being apologetic and would prefer to be proud !"

Vic said...

1) Public Safety
2) Transportation
3) Improve our Elected Officials competency in overseeing State Bureacracies.

Open+Transparent said...

I want to hear a lot more of Tina's No. 4. First I've heard of that, and she's point on: If we're going to outsource (which needs to be re-considered often), at least outsource to Georgia firms. The average Georgian doesn't know the state is doing this, and the average Georgian ain't going to like it.

Tina just gave DuBose and Calvin and all elected GA Dem's something big and viable to make a loud, public, line in the sand, bring it on MF-er stand on.

(But do they have the intestinal fortitude to do so, especially if their cherished (and worthless) consultants/startegists don't like it??? I'm guessing they don't, but one can dream)

Amy Morton said...

Thanks for the feedback. Keep going. But, I want to ask to you focus on the underlying values and principles first and then talk about specific programs.

I support public schools because I believe in equality of opportunity, for example.

Tina said...

We can always dust off the words on the Georgia Seal: "Wisdom, Justice and Moderation."

Vic said...

Moderation? Thats your, Amy and my middle name!