Kansas Democrats believe that, to express the democratic will of the people of Kansas, our government should encourage, enable, and facilitate the active participation in the political process of all people regardless of their race, color, age, physical abilities, economic status, religion, creed, sex, national origin, ethnicity, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or gender identity.
The Kansas Democratic Party asks the people of Kansas to examine our traditions of leadership, of upholding of core Kansas values, and of promoting expanded opportunities for every Kansan, and to then join us in moving our state forward to an even brighter tomorrow.
Strengthening Public Education
Education is a core value of Kansans; therefore, investing in public education at all levels has been, and always will be, a top priority of Kansas Democrats. The success of our children and our communities depends on quality schools with educators who have successfully completed teacher education programs and are licensed through the Kansas Department of Education. A quality education depends on attracting and retaining quality teachers. The success of our economy depends on a well-educated and well-trained workforce.
Creating Kansas Jobs & Growing the Kansas Economy
Without good jobs, many Kansas families would be unable to contribute to their communities and take advantage of all the opportunities life in our state has to offer. As such, Kansas Democrats are unwavering in their efforts to encourage the creation of new, good-paying jobs to our state and building a strong economy so that every family may benefit.
Kansas Democrats support creating new Kansas jobs through investment in research and new technologies. We will seek to form partnerships with businesses – encouraging the private sector to create good jobs here in Kansas and helping businesses that play by the rules to succeed.
Kansas Democrats continue to welcome immigrants and recognize they benefit our state in important ways. Immigrants have helped create, transform, and revive Kansas communities, helping to reverse the long decline many rural areas are experiencing.
Quality of Life for Kansans
Kansas Democrats believe government should provide robust funding for the arts in our communities to enhance our education, culture, and quality of life and also benefit our economy. Kansas Democrats believe all Kansans have a right to be safe in their homes, schools, offices, places of worship, and communities. We recognize our safety is due to the hard work and sacrifice of law enforcement officers, social workers, educators, and others involved in overseeing the safety of others. We thank them for their service.
Kansas Democrats recognize our economy and thousands of jobs depend on maintaining good quality infrastructure, particularly for our communication and transportation networks. Business investment will tend to follow communications infrastructure, resulting in job growth and entrepreneurial creativity. Distance learning and telemedicine will continue to be important, especially to rural Kansas communities. Government operations can be made both more cost-effective and more convenient through greater online access.
Protecting Kansas Workers
Kansas Democrats strongly support efforts to protect Kansas workers. We believe every worker should be paid a living wage, by paying the prevailing wage on state and local construction projects and other initiatives to pay workers a living wage.
Keeping Kansans Healthy
The health of our citizens is important to the health of our state. Children will only reach their full potential with a healthy start in life; all Kansans can benefit from good nutrition, physical activity, and health care services throughout our lives. Kansas Democrats believe that every Kansan should have social and physical environments that promote good health and access to high quality affordable health care from birth until death.
Upholding Ethics in Government & Elections
Kansas Democrats believe voting is a right, not a privilege, for all citizens. Voting is also a duty. Impediments to the exercise of that right and the practice of that duty are deplorable. The sanctity and security of elections in Kansas must be protected from partisan, ideological and personal motives.
Transparency in Campaigns
Public trust in our democracy requires that the actions of our elected officials are guided by the public good. Kansas Democrats believe ethics in campaigning and government are absolute principles to which our candidates and public officials must adhere.
Protecting Our Natural Resources & Environment
The health of Kansans is intertwined with the quality of our water, air, and soil. Kansas Democrats believe incentives should be offered to assist farmers, industries, and municipalities as they adopt more environmentally-friendly practices. We support environmental policies and long range planning that will enhance, rather than diminish, the natural assets we pass on to our children and grandchildren.
Water & Soil
We assign a high priority to cleaning up our rivers and streams, reducing the pollutants in the air, protecting ground water from depletion and pollutants, preserving biodiversity and wildlife habitat, and addressing climate change.
Kansans must protect the environment while pursuing energy sources, utilize renewable energy resources when available, and reduce the dependence on fossil fuels. The environmental impact must be considered when exploring for oil or natural gas.
Kansas Democrats acknowledge human activities are contributing to unprecedented changes in the climate of our planet. This climate change poses a very real danger to our state’s residents and economy. Kansas Democrats support action to reduce the emission of greenhouse gases, both through the use of alternative fuels and increased energy conservation and efficiency.
Fiscal Responsibility, Equity & Tax Fairness
Kansas’ fiscal condition is dire. Fiscal analysts have projected deficits approaching a billion dollars by 2018 because of the loss of revenue from income tax cuts that disproportionately benefit the wealthiest people and businesses in the state. Bond ratings have been downgraded because of budgets where spending exceeds revenues. Property taxes have increased by more than 10% in 71 of 105 counties and in total over $300 million during the Brownback administration. The current tax regime shifts the tax burden more to the middle class via higher sales and property taxes in order to replace revenue lost from 2012 income tax cuts.
Kansas Democrats oppose this tax shift and favor restoration of the “three-legged stool” concept of having a balance among income, sales, and property taxes. This balanced approach to taxation has protected the state during economic downturns, and has provided sufficient revenue for decades to fund education suitably and to meet the other primary needs of the state.
Children & Families
The policies of the last four years have caused a rise in child poverty, hunger among school children, and homelessness. Social service mechanisms and rules have been dismantled, changed or discarded. Changes in SNAP benefit rules have resulted in many people being disqualified. Needs are increasing while funding is decreasing. The next governor will have much work to do to return to a set of policies that support all Kansas children and families being allowed access to basic necessities of food, shelter, and protection from harm.
Honoring Senior Citizens
Kansas Democrats recognize the tremendous contributions of senior citizens. We support initiatives aimed at helping them maintain their independence and live their lives with dignity. We supported the recent increase in the personal needs allowances of Medicaid recipients in adult care homes.
Honoring Our Military & Veterans’ Service
Just as we support law enforcement officers, Kansas Democrats also support the men and women of our Kansas National Guard and armed forces as they defend our state and nation. Kansas Democrats led the way in the creation of a Military Bill of Rights to help ease the financial burden of military service. Kansas Democrats pledge to always stand with military personnel, veterans, and their families as they serve as well as when they return home. We support additional help for Kansas veterans as a way to honor their service to our nation.
Supporting Rural Communities & Family Agriculture
Kansas Democrats recognize the value of vibrant rural communities. Yet many rural areas of our state face real challenges. That is why we believe we must do even more to address these challenges and restore opportunity to rural Kansas.
Promoting Equal Rights, Human Dignity & Diversity
Kansas Democrats believe in equal treatment under the law for every Kansan regardless of race, color, age, physical abilities, economic status, religion, creed, sex, national origin, ethnicity, veteran or military status, sexual orientation, or gender identity. Kansas Democrats support cultural, linguistic, ethnic, sexual identity, religious, and spiritual diversity as personal freedoms which demand protection under the law.