[press releases in roughly reverse chronological order, reactions following DNCC releases]


July 9, 2016

Democrats Unite to Advance Most Progressive Platform in Party History

Ambitious Platform Represents Full Diversity of Democratic Party, Affirms Unified Progressive Vision on Key Issues

ORLANDO - Today, after weeks of regional events designed to welcome every voice within the Democratic party, the full Platform Committee voted to advance the most ambitious and progressive party platform in history. The 187-member committee met to consider amendments to the draft platform that was approved by the Platform Drafting Committee in St. Louis, Missouri on June 25th. Developed through an open, inclusive, and transparent process, the document contains substantive solutions and ideas on important issues including Wall Street reform, fixing our broken immigration system, expanding Social Security, and honoring our tribal nations.

From taking on systemic racism to protecting women's rights and making historic investments into good paying jobs, the draft 2016 Democratic platform represents the full diversity of the Democratic party. The platform reaffirms our commitment to not only find common ground, but to seek higher ground. It reflects hundreds of hours of deliberation, the testimony of 144 witnesses, thousands of comments from experts, elected officials, advocates, and everyday Americans, and issues championed throughout the primary process by both Secretary Clinton and Senator Sanders.

"As we conclude this unprecedented platform process, I am truly delighted to see the way in which we as Democrats have engaged in substantive debate and responsible dialogue around the most important issues facing our nation. The progressive platform that we will present during the Democratic National Convention outlines strategies to support working families, reassures that healthcare is a right and ensures our nation's safety and security,” said Platform Committee Co-Chair, Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-CT). "Though our discussion has often been passionate, this process ensured all voices were heard and allowed us to emerge united and ready to support our nominee for President."

“Our platform is evidence that Democrats from all walks of life can work together to propose thoughtful and meaningful solutions to the challenges faced by American families. From improving our public education system to proposing measures to combat the reality of climate change, the Democratic Party is taking historic steps to brighten the future of our children,” said Platform Committee Co-Chair, Former Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta. “I am proud to say tonight’s advancement of such a bold, progressive platform is the direct result of a transparent and open process where every voice was heard and every opinion was respected.”

“I had no doubt that through this process Democrats would come together and articulate a clear progressive vision for our Party and the future of this nation. From abolishing the death penalty to fighting for higher wages, the platform we developed together is worthy of the Americans who faithfully elect Democrats up and down the ballot each election cycle,” said Democratic National Convention CEO, Rev. Leah D. Daughtry. “Democrats reaffirmed our commitment to addressing the needs of everyday Americans, refusing to allow right wing extremists to unravel the progress we have experienced over the past eight years under President Obama. When Democrats gather in Philadelphia, the world will see an inclusive vision that stands in stark contrast to the hateful and divisive policies Republicans have proposed for our nation.”

"From Washington, to Phoenix, to St. Louis, and now in Orlando, the members of the Drafting and the full Platform Committee have brought the broad spectrum of our party and the best ideas of our campaigns to our party's platform. They've done it with healthy and enthusiastic debate, and ultimately proved without a doubt that we are stronger together,” said DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. “After five and a half years as Chair of the DNC, I could not be more proud of the fact that this platform is poised to be the most progressive, inclusive and ambitious one in the Democratic Party’s history."

The finalized platform, approved by the full Platform Committee will be presented for ratification at the Democratic National Convention.

Bernie 2016
July 10, 2016
Contact: Michael Briggs

Democrats Adopt Most Progressive Platform in Party History

BURLINGTON, Vt. – Pressed by supporters of U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, Democratic Party platform writers meeting this weekend in Orlando, Florida, adopted a progressive agenda that underscores the need for bold action on climate change, addresses criminal justice reform and calls for doubling the federal minimum wage.

“We have made enormous strides,” Sanders said. “Thanks to the millions of people across the country who got involved in the political process – many for the first time – we now have the most progressive platform in the history of the Democratic Party.”

The Platform Committee also adopted an amendment focused on criminal justice reform which calls for an investigation by the Department of Justice to investigate all shootings involving police officers.

The platform that will be submitted at the Democratic National Convention later this month in Philadelphia also would support Congress putting a price on carbon and methane to discourage continued use of fossil fuels that are causing severe climate change. The platform also says lawmakers must consider the impact on the climate in all federal decisions and invest heavily in wind and solar power rather than natural gas.

Delegates allied with Hillary Clinton's and Sanders' campaigns also passed amendments to fight for a $15 federal minimum wage tied to inflation, urged passage of progressive immigration reform and called for legalization of marijuana.

The changes adopted this weekend in Orlando improved platform language passed by drafters at a meeting last month in St. Louis, Missouri. The initial document already included commitments to abolish the death penalty, break up too-big-to-fail financial institutions, establish a modern Glass-Steagall Act, end corporate tax loopholes, ban private prisons and expand Social Security.

The platform improvements were in addition to announcements last week by Clinton who vowed to expand health care and make higher education more affordable.

Clinton on Saturday announced a health care program that her campaign developed in consultation with Sanders. The new plan would allow those older than 55 to participate in Medicare, clear the way for a public option for health insurance and dramatically expand community health centers which provide primary care, dental care, low-cost prescription drugs and mental health counseling.

And in a major development last Wednesday, Clinton announced a plan that would make public colleges and universities tuition free for students in families with incomes up to $125,000 a year. That would result in free tuition for 83 percent of American students.

"While we have made great progress in the Democratic platform advancing the issues that have inspired millions of Americans in this campaign, the fight is just beginning," Sanders said.

"If we are going to transform America and create a government which works for all and not just the 1 percent we need to elect candidates who will fight for these principles. We need to elect a Democratic Congress and president and make certain that the language in the Democratic platform is translated into law. We must ensure that progress for working families in America does not end on the pages of the Democratic platform but becomes reality," Sanders said.


July 9, 2016

Day One Full Platform Meeting

Democrats Advance Most Progressive and Ambitious Platform in Party History

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Unanimously Adopt Platform Preamble, Underscore Commitment to Social Security, Good Paying Jobs and Economic Security

ORLANDO – Today, during the first session of the full Platform Committee, Democrats met to review and deliberate the draft platform approved by the Platform Drafting Committee on June 25th. The full Platform Committee which consists of 187 Democrats from across the country, united and reaffirmed their commitment to Social Security, good paying jobs and economic security.

“In less than 17 days the eyes of the world will fix their gaze on the 2016 Democratic National Convention. I am thrilled that Democrats joined together today to focus on what’s at stake in this election: the health and well-being of our communities," said DNCC CEO, Rev. Leah D. Daughtry. “As we refine our Party’s vision for the future, our platform will yield a vision and a plan that will make our nation stronger.”

“Today was a perfect example of how we as Democrats firmly believe in fighting for an open democratic process where the business of government is people, their lives, their hopes, and their dreams for a better life for themselves and their families,” said Platform Committee Co-Chair, Governor Dannel Malloy (D-CT). “Our debates are passionate and our beliefs are strongly held, but at the end of the day we will be united as a Party behind a progressive platform that will move our nation forward and a nominee that has the vision and expertise to build on the progress of the last eight years.”

“Today our nation faces a wide range of challenges that are both concerning and disheartening. I believe that if we work together, we can determine how this country can move beyond these challenges,” said Platform Committee Co-Chair, Former Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta. “My fellow Democrats reaffirmed that belief today when we met in Orlando to review our Party Platform. Men and women from all walks of life engaged in informative discussions on the ways in which we can make our government work for the people.”

Democrats will reconvene on Saturday, July 9th to review the remaining sections in the platform.


Bernie 2016
July 9, 2016

$15 Federal Minimum Wage Included in Democratic Platform

ORLANDO, Fla. – U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders scored a big victory here Friday when the Democratic platform committee approved an amendment committing to raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and index it to inflation.

"Raising the federal minimum wage sets the moral standard in this country that we as Democrats affirm over and over again that ensuring that we don't leave a sister or a brother behind is how we roll," Sen. Nina Turner said at the meeting. "Raising the federal minimum wage is the beginning of creating an America as good as it's promise."

The platform now reads: "We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour over time and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy so every worker can earn at least $15 an hour."

Increasing the minimum wage would directly benefit 62 million workers who currently make less than $15 an hour, including over half of African-American workers and close to 60 percent of Latino workers. If the minimum wage had kept up with productivity and inflation since 1968, it would be more than $26 an hour today.

Already California, New York, Washington, D.C. and numerous cities across the country have passed laws raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour.


Bernie 2016
July 9, 2016
Contact: Michael Briggs

Democrats Pass Most Aggressive Climate Change Plan in Party History

ORLANDO, Fla. – Democrats agreed to the most aggressive plan to combat climate change in the history of the party here Saturday night. The accord commits Democrats to fight for a price on carbon, methane and other greenhouse gases and for massive investment in renewable energy sources like wind and solar power.

It will also further advance the goals of the grassroots environmental movement by applying the formula that was used to evaluate and ultimately oppose the Keystone XL pipeline to all future fossil fuel pipeline projects. All federal decision making should look at the proposal's impact on the climate, according to the new platform language. 

While the plan does not ban fracking nationally as Sanders has called for, it will significantly limit fracking by forcing companies to disclose the chemicals they pump into the ground by eliminating the Halliburton Loophole. It also protects the right of states and localities to ban fracking.

"I am extremely proud of what we have accomplished tonight. This is the most aggressive plan to combat climate change in the history of the Democratic Party. As a result of this plan natural gas is no longer regarded as a bridge to the future. The future of America's energy system now clearly belongs to sun and wind power. But we are not finished. We have got to follow through on the promise of this agreement, to put people before the profits of polluters and solve the global crisis of climate change before it’s too late," Warren Gunnels, Sanders' policy director said.

The amendment to the Democratic Party advances nearly all of the goals Sanders laid out in his platform to address climate change.

Below is the amendment to the Democratic platform:

Secondary Amendment to Amendment number 41

Democrats are committed to closing the Halliburton loophole that stripped the Environmental Protection Agency of its ability to regulate hydraulic fracturing, and ensuring tough safeguards are in place, including Safe Drinking Water provisions, to protect local water supplies. We believe hydraulic fracturing should not take place where states and local communities oppose it. We will reduce methane emissions from all oil and gas production and transportation by at least 40-45% below 2005 levels by 2025 through common-sense standards for both new and existing sources and by repairing and replacing thousands of miles of leaky pipes. This will both protect our climate and create thousands of good-paying jobs.

Page 19 Line 18, insert:

Democrats believe that carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases should be priced to reflect their negative externalities, and to accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy and help meet our climate goals. Democrats believe that climate change is too important to wait for climate deniers and defeatists in Congress to start listening to science, and support using every tool available to reduce emissions now.

Page 19, Line 26, insert:

We will streamline federal permitting to accelerate the construction of new transmission lines to get low-cost renewable energy to market, and incentivize wind, solar and other renewable energy over the development of new natural gas power plants.”

We support President Obama's decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline. As we continue working to reduce carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gas emissions, we must ensure federal actions don't “significantly exacerbate” global warming. We support a comprehensive approach that insures all federal decisions going forward contribute to solving, not significantly exacerbating climate change.

Democrats believe that our commitment to meeting the climate challenge must also be reflected in the infrastructure investments we make. We need to make our existing infrastructure safer and cleaner and build the new infrastructure necessary to power our clean energy future. To create good-paying middle class jobs that can't be outsourced, Democrats support high labor standards in clean energy infrastructure, and the right to form or join a union, whether in renewable power or advanced vehicle manufacturing. During the clean energy transition, we will insure landowners, communities of color and tribal nations are at the table.

For Release: 
Saturday, July 9, 2016

Labor Leaders Win Strong Fair-Trade Platform Language

ORLANDO—American Federation of Teachers President Randi Weingarten, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees President Lee Saunders and International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers President Bob Martinez on the Democratic Party platform committee’s adoption of the Saunders amendment on fair trade:

“The Democratic Party made history today on the crucial issue of fair trade. We adopted language in our platform that declares our support for working families by setting the highest possible standards for worker and environmental protections and significantly strengthening enforcement and accountability tools.

“We are proud to oppose trade agreements that do not support good American jobs, raise wages and improve our national security.

“This amendment is a clear statement of where we stand on the Trans-Pacific Partnership and all other trade deals, past and future: We stand with American workers and against bad trade deals.

“Even in a tense negotiating environment, our bold statement in support of fair trade standards for working people passed overwhelmingly, by a count of 117 to 64.”

# # # #

The AFT represents 1.6 million pre-K through 12th-grade teachers; paraprofessionals and other school-related personnel; higher education faculty and professional staff; federal, state and local government employees; nurses and healthcare workers; and early childhood educators.

July 8, 2016

Democratic National Convention Platform Committee Convenes Final Regional Meeting and Announces Platform Committee Members

Full Platform Committee to Review Party’s Statement of Principles and Policies to Keep America Moving Forward

ORLANDO – Today, Friday, July 8th and Saturday, July 9th at the Doubletree Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando, Orlando, Florida, the 2016 Democratic National Platform Committee will meet to review and deliberate the draft platform approved by the Platform Drafting Committee on June 25th. The Orlando meeting marks the last in a series of four regional events designed to engage every voice in the Party. Platform Committee Co-Chairs Gov. Dannel Malloy (D-Connecticut) and Former Mayor Shirley Franklin of Atlanta; DNCC CEO Rev. Leah D. Daughtry; and Democratic National Committee Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D-Florida) will deliver opening remarks.

A list of the Full Platform Committee of 187 members can be found here

WHAT: Democratic National Platform Committee Meeting

WHEN: Friday, July 8, 2016 
3:00 p.m. ET*

Saturday, July 9, 2016 
9:00 a.m. ET*
 *All times are approximate and subject to change

WHERE: Doubletree Hilton at the Entrance to Universal Orlando
5780 Major Boulevard, Orlando, Florida 32819
Meeting to be held in the Citrus Ballroom

All Platform events will be live streamed at www.demconvention.com/platform and open to the public. Members of the media interested in attending must RSVP by emailing chuntley@demconvention.com  Members of the media should also enter through the Convention Complex entrance of the Doubletree Hilton.

Bernie 2016
July 7, 2016
Contact: Michael Briggs

Sanders Campaign's Priority Amendments to Democratic Platform

Please find below, on background, a series of amendments to the Democratic platform that Sen. Bernie Sanders' campaign will officially support at the meeting in Orlando, Florida, Friday and Saturday.


Purpose: This amendment puts the Democratic Party on record opposing a vote on the Trans-Pacific Partnership in the lame duck session of Congress and beyond.

On Page 10, Line 30, strike: “On the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP), there are a diversity of views in the party. Many Democrats are on record stating that the agreement does not meet the standards set out in this platform; other Democrats have expressed support for the agreement. But all Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.”

Insert in its place: “It is the policy of the Democratic Party that the Trans-Pacific Partnership must not get a vote in this Congress or in future sessions of Congress. Democrats believe that any trade agreement must protect workers and the environment and not undermine access to critically-needed prescription drugs.”

2. $15 MINIMUM WAGE AMENDMENT – By Sen. Nina Turner
Purpose: This amendment will make it the policy of the Democratic Party to increase the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour.

On Page 3, Line 33 after “We should raise” add “the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour” On page 3, Line 33, after “index” add “it”

On Page 3, Line 34 delete “the minimum wage”

Here is the revised language:

“Democrats believe that the current minimum wage is a starvation wage and must be increased to a living wage. No one who works full time should have to raise a family in poverty. We believe that Americans should earn at least $15 an hour and have the right to form or join a union. We applaud the approaches taken by states like New York and California. We should raise the federal minimum wage to $15 an hour and index it, give all Americans the ability to join a union regardless of where they work, and create new ways for workers to have power in the economy. We also support creating one fair wage for all workers by ending the sub-minimum wage for tipped workers and people with disabilities.


On Page 19, Line 3, after “waters.” insert “We will fight for a full national moratorium on fracking.”

Purpose: This amendment will make it the policy of the Democratic Party to guarantee workers at least 12 weeks of paid family and medical leave through an insurance fund. This amendment will also guarantee workers 7 paid sick days.

On Page 4, Line 29, delete “act” and add “insurance fund”

On Page 4, Line 31, delete “allow” and insert “guarantee”

On Page 4, Line 31, after “leave” insert “annually”

Here is the revised language:

“Democrats will make sure that the United States finally enacts national paid family and medical leave by passing a family and medical leave insurance fund that would provide at least 12 weeks of paid leave to care for a new child or address a personal or family member’s serious health issue, and we will fight to guarantee workers the right to earn at least seven days of paid sick leave annually."

Purpose: This amendment makes it the policy of the Democratic Party to fight to enact legislation to ensure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut.

On Page 5, Line 41, strike "Democrats will also fight to protect the earned pension benefits of Americans in multi-employer pension plans" and insert "Democrats will also fight to enact legislation to make sure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut. This legislation would be paid for by closing tax loopholes that benefit millionaires and billionaires."


On Page 5, Line 41, strike “Democrats will also fight to protect the earned pension benefits of Americans in multi-employer pension plans” and insert “Democrats will also fight to enact legislation to make sure that the earned pension benefits of Americans will not be cut. This legislation would be paid for by closing tax loopholes that benefit millionaires and billionaires.” Criminal Justice, page 11

Strike: "We will invest in training for officers on issues such as de-escalation and the appropriate use of force, and encourage better police-community relations and the use of smart strategies like police body cameras. We will end racial profiling that targets individuals, based solely on race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin, which is un-American and counterproductive. We support states and localities that choose to make the investigations and prosecutions of police-involved shootings more independent and transparent, including through reforming the grand jury process."

Replace: “We will invest in training for officers on issues such as de-escalation and the appropriate use of force. We will encourage better police-community relations, require the use of body cameras, and demilitarize our police forces so they do not act and look like invading armies. We will end racial profiling that targets individuals solely on race, religion, ethnicity, and national origin. We will require the Department of Justice to investigate all police-involved shootings, and we will support states and localities who help make those investigations and prosecutions more transparent, including through reforming the grand jury process."


On Page 12, at the end of Line 44, insert: “We will fight to end deportation programs that promote racial profiling, such as 287g and the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP); build on the DACA and DAPA programs to cover those who would have qualified for the 2013 Senate Immigration Reform bill; establish an affirmative process for workers reporting labor violations to request deferred action; expand the Affordable Care Act to those with deferred action (including DACA and DAPA) and work towards a universal healthcare system that includes aspiring Americans; and make sure that DREAMers are eligible to serve in the uniformed services through executive action and legislation so that they can receive financial aid and become eligible for in-state tuition if they meet a state’s residency requirements."


On Page 19, Line 23, after “production.” insert “We will fight to revise the Clean Power Plan to incentivize renewable energy development, wind and solar power, to replace old dirty coal plants, and not to encourage the development of fracked natural gas power plants.

9. CARBON TAX AMENDMENT – By Russell Greene

On Page 19, at the end of Line 18 add: “Carbon dioxide, methane and other greenhouse gases should be taxed at a rate high enough to reflect their negative externalities and spur the transition away from fossil fuels toward renewable energy and energy efficiency, consistent with the temperature goals agreed to in Paris in 2015. The proceeds of such taxes should be applied to keep low-and middle-income families whole against increases in the prices of fuels, help them afford low-cost, zero emission and low-pollution energy technologies that will reduce their bills, and reduce pollution in the most affected communities now.”


On Page 19, Line 26, after “We support President Obama’s decision to reject the Keystone XL pipeline” add: “, and we support the test he used to arrive at that decision: whether or not a policy would 'significantly exacerbate' global warming. A similar test should be applied across all relevant federal agencies and decisions.


On Page 20, Line 13, strike “can” and insert “will” and strike “down” and insert “out” so that the following sentence reads:

“We will phase out extraction of fossil fuels from our public lands, starting with the most polluting sources, while making our public lands and waters engines of the clean energy economy and creating jobs across the country.”


On page 30, line 11, after “national security obligation.” add “To this end, we will work to reduce excessive spending on nuclear weapons-related programs that are projected to cost $1 trillion over the next 30 years, including by finding at least $100 billion in savings over the next decade by reducing nuclear weapons upgrades and scaling back new delivery systems as proposed in the SANE Act.”

Dream Action Coalition
July 7, 2016

Young American Dreamers Demand Democrats to Keep Immigration Reform as a Priority

Immigrant families and advocates put pressure on the DNC to keep immigration reform on their platform for this election year.
Who: Young American Dreamers (YAD)
What: Rally and press conference
When: Two-day event, main event on Saturday 7/9.

Friday, July 8th, 2016           2:30-3:00PM Available for interviews (outside)
    3:00-6:00PM Democratic Platform Hearing
Saturday, July 9th, 2016      9:00AM-TBD Democratic Platform Hearing
           10:00AM-12:00PM Rally and Press Conference
Where: Doubletree by Hilton Universal Orlando. 5780 Major Blvd, Orlando, FL 32819
This weekend, hundreds will gather at the Democratic Platform Committee Meeting in Orlando, FL to voice their opinions on immigration reform. The Young American Dreamers will send a delegation from Auburndale to join Cesar Vargas, a Dreamer, platform committee member and staff of the Bernie Sanders campaign,to be present both days of the event. YAD has worked diligently looking after undocumented immigrant families while defending one of their core values, social justice. During this event, YAD members and supporters will join their voice to other Central FL groups in the call to act on an Immigration Reform proposal including bolder language against deportations and interior enforcement.
The immigrant community and supporters are overly frustrated with elected officials who seem indifferent to injustice and tired of their inaction when it comes to pushing for an Immigration Reform bill. The ever-growing Latino voter population supporting immigrants in Florida will hold them accountable in this upcoming election. A reform to the immigration system should remain at the top of their list; YAD demands to move forward an initiative that improves the living conditions of undocumented families.
After the major disappointment on the Supreme Court’s decision on DAPA and DAPA expansion, Central FL advocates are not stopping and they are reaching out to every branch of the government to make sure immigration remains a relevant item on their agenda. "The fight is far from over. If the system will not protect our families, then we will keep fighting and when we vote, we'll remember who stood with us and who stood against us." shared Daniel Barajas, YAD’s Executive Director.