EQUITY & SOCIAL JUSTICE

Texas Democrats believe all people are equally deserving of dignity, respect, and equitable treatment. The Texas we deserve is free from violence and harm and yet a Black Texan was shot for simply being in his own apartment, Hispanic and Latinx Texans shopping in a Walmart were targeted by a gunman in El Paso leaving 23 people dead, Asian American and Pacific Islander Texans have been verbally and physically attacked while going about their daily lives, and trans women of color have been murdered at alarming rates. The same Texans that are often the targets of ignorance and hate are also disproportionately working on the front lines as low-paid essential workers most exposed by the current pandemic. Texas Democrats will not ignore the unconscionable systemic disparities that ultimately leave us all behind. We stand together and amplify each other’s voices for a more equitable, just, and free Texas.

The Texas Democratic Party supports policies and programs that:

  • Promote racial equity and ensure that Asian American Texans, African American Texans, Hispanic/Latinx Texans, and Indigenous Texans are treated with dignity and respect;
  • Value and assure women’s full, equal, and essential role in Texas’ future success;
  • Ensure equal protections and rights for all lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, intersex, asexual, and other non-cis non-heterosexual or LGBTQIA+ people; and
  • Require fact-based, fair perspectives from all marginalized groups in history and social studies classes in Texas public education.

Racial Equity

  • Treat Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) Texans, including 1.8 million Asian American Texans, 3.8 million African American Texans, 11.4 million Hispanic/Latinx Texans, and 350,000 Indigenous Texans as respected and welcomed as members of a diverse American family;
  • Condemn all hateful speech, violence, racism, and misinformation directed at BIPOC both past and present;
  • Call on local law enforcement agencies to fully and vigorously enforce hate crimes statutes;
  • Call on local law enforcement agencies to fully and vigorously enforce hate crimes statutes;
  • Provide BIPOC the right to heal on their own terms and in culture-specific ways they determine to be most beneficial for their overall health and well-being; and
  • Recognize the unique contributions that people of all racial identities make to our party and our society, applaud the ongoing contributions of BIPOC, and encourage further civic engagement from these communities.

Asian American Texans

  • Recognize historic and ongoing discrimination against Asian Americans, such as the Chinese Exclusion Act and the “bamboo ceiling”;
  • Rectify proactively the contemporary effects of discrimination against Asian Americans, especially those effects stemming from COVID-19-related xenophobia;
  • Appreciate and teach Asian American contributions to American society such as knitting the country together with the transcontinental railroad and pioneering Universal Basic Income; and
  • Acknowledge the ethnic and cultural diversity of the Asian American community.

African American Texans

  • Acknowledge African Americans as the descendants of the survivors of the middle passage, chattel slavery, convict leasing, and mass incarceration, an ongoing condition that remains unresolved;
  • Provide reparations for the descendants of slaves who were brought to America through the Atlantic slave trade;
  • Treat today’s thriving Black families as the experts, those who mastered the Black experience of survival and resiliency under the weight of prolonged systemic oppression;
  • Uphold that African Americans are not a monolith and own the right to address their issues individually or collectively, as a distinct cultural group, without suspicion or fear of unjustified retribution for doing so as exemplified by the Red Summer of 1919 or the FBI’s COINTELPRO and IRON FIST programs;
  • Affirm African Americans’ right to explore new solutions, while recommitting to those practical approaches that made the triumphs of their 400-year survival possible; and
  • Make better health outcomes possible in the African American community by effectively addressing the Five Social Determinants of Health: economic stability, education, social and community context, health and healthcare access, and the built environment in and around communities where they live, work, and play.

Hispanic/Latinx Texans

  • Affirm the dignity and the civil and human rights of all documented and undocumented persons and stand against racism, religious discrimination, and persecution; and
  • Hold the government accountable to all individuals and communities it serves, documented and undocumented, and ensure it is not used as a tool for oppression or intimidation.

Indigenous Texans

  • Acknowledge that our institutions were built on land stolen from a variety of Aztlan Nation and American Indian groups, including the Caddo, Apache, Karankawa, Comanche, Wichita, Coahuiltecan, Tonkawa, and many more;
  • Condemn past and present wrongs against Aztlan Nation and American Indians including the genocide, erasure, and exclusion of Indigenous Texans; and
  • Commit to building relationships with American Indians and tribal communities as well as to decolonizing ourselves and our institutions.

Texas Women

  • Uphold affirmative action and the rights accorded to women in Title IX and the U.N. Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW);
  • Work to ratify the Equal Rights Amendment (ERA) to the U.S. Constitution;
  • Preserve confidential, unrestricted access to affordable, high-quality, culturally sensitive healthcare services, including the full range of reproductive services, contraception, and abortion, without requiring guardian, judicial, parental, or spousal consent, while continuing to defend the rights enshrined in Roe v. Wade;
  • Increase parenting and job skills for incarcerated and formerly incarcerated women through accessible, comprehensive education and training;
  • Guarantee a safe and inclusive workplace by providing access to affordable childcare and support the right of a woman to report hostile and abusive work environments without retribution; and
  • Develop a pipeline for women in leadership with diverse experiences within the Texas Democratic Party.

LGBTQIA+ Texans

  • Call for the immediate passage and enactment of the Equality Act by Congress;
  • Ensure the right of all people to participate in all aspects of life in a manner that is consistent with their gender identity or expression, irrespective of the gender they were assigned at birth, including the use of facilities; streamlined access to accurate legal documents regardless of surgical status; fully inclusive, employer-based healthcare; and gender confirmation surgery;
  • Classify discrimination against transgender, intersex, and nonbinary individuals as being on the basis of gender;
  • Ensure that LGBTQIA+ youth have the right to learn in a bullying and harassment-free setting, are safe from conversion therapy, including recognizing its practice as abuse, and have access to safe housing and healthcare;
  • Provide inclusive and comprehensive housing and healthcare for LGBTQIA+ seniors; and
  • Protect the U.S Supreme Court decisions which guaranteed marriage equality and the full benefits of marriage to all couples.

Hate Crimes

  • Enforce the federal Hate Crimes Prevention Act and include “actual or perceived gender-related characteristics” in the Texas James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Act;
  • Adopt enforceable requirements for law enforcement agencies to collect and report hate crimes data;
  • Enhance training for law enforcement personnel on hate crime identification, response and reporting, including training on cyberstalking, cyberbullying and other forms of online expressions or actions of hate;
  • Adopt criminal penalties for cyberstalking, cyber harassment and online activities that encourage, solicit or facilitate the commission of hate crimes;
  • Include false alarm “swatting” in crimes eligible for enhancement when motivated by hate; and
  • Establish liability and civil remedies for “doxing” harm caused by maliciously sharing personal information of individuals to incite harassment or other abuse.

 

FAMILY SECURITY

Texas Democrats believe all people have a right to live in safe, secure, and healthy environments, and that no one in Texas should live without a home, electricity, or running water. Texas Democrats believe it is a moral imperative to ensure all people are afforded these basic needs, regardless of their race, ethnicity, geographic location, income, disability status, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, or immigration status. Texas Democrats imagine a world in which compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act is a given, not a fight, and all people can comfortably retire with dignity and financial security.

The Texas Democratic Party supports policies and programs that:

  • Ensure the safety of children, youth, people with disabilities, and older adults, prioritizing people over profits;
  • Ensure people with disabilities and older adults can live safely and independently in the community supported by appropriate personal care support;
  • Preserve and protect retirement benefits, including Social Security, private, and public pensions; and
  • Provide housing, utilities, and insurance options to all at affordable prices supplemented by public and private assistance as needed.

Care for Children and Vulnerable Adults

  • Provide greater oversight of private and state facilities and institutions that serve children and vulnerable adults;
  • End the privatization of the Department of Family Protective Services;
  • Fund Child Protective Services (CPS) and Adult Protective Services (APS) to reduce caseloads, provide essential training, ensure compliance with federal guidelines for caseworker/client meetings, and adequately compensate experienced caseworkers to reduce turnover;
  • Require education to address disproportionality and prevent discrimination in the foster care and guardianship systems while providing safe, secure environments for vulnerable populations;
  • Allow fostering and adoption of children by qualified adults without encountering discriminatory barriers; and
  • Ensure medically fragile Texans have access to the complete care they need through an effective system that includes Medicaid coupled with the appointment of a state inspector general to review quality of care complaints to improve patient outcomes.

Long-term Services and Support

  • Provide people with disabilities and older adults with choices about where they want to live and receive support services;
  • Revise the long-term care system to include Assisted Living, personal care homes, and in-home care options, as well as include increased Medicaid reimbursement rates for long-term care and in-home care providers;
  • Ensure coordination of accessible, affordable, and integrated housing and other non-medical services to contain costs and allow greater individual control; and
  • Encourage higher wages for personal care providers who typically are employed by for-profit agencies, develop personal care provider virtual training programs, and establish a state registry of those who have completed training and passed background checks.

Social Security and Retirement

  • Mandate Social Security remain an essential federal government program and preserve the state retirement systems as defined benefit systems;
  • Guarantee those who have paid into Social Security receive the benefits they have earned regardless of other systems for which they may qualify as well as ensure that income caps are raised or removed;
  • Calculate cost-of-living adjustments for older adults using the Consumer Price Index for the Elderly (CPI-E);
  • Provide legal protections for participants in any retirement system to safeguard the full benefits they have earned;
  • Freeze funds of companies filing for bankruptcy or encountering legal problems to secure their pension plan funding; and
  • Support, in addition to the existing Social Security system, a system for Universal Basic Income which would cover all adults within the jurisdiction of the United States, in light of the historic job displacement resulting from COVID-19 and continued advances in technological automation, and in recognition of unsustainable levels of income inequality.

Housing, Utilities, and Property Insurance

  • Ensure housing policies prioritize providing permanent housing to people experiencing homelessness, thus ending their homelessness and serving as a platform from which they can pursue personal goals and improve their quality of life;
  • Promote homeownership for all persons living in Texas and prevent people from being taxed out of their homes;
  • Provide people experiencing homelessness access to housing combined with individualized case management to guide and support their needs;
  • Eliminate unfair underwriting and other discriminatory practices as well as strictly enforce insurance policies that require companies to justify rates;
  • Permit the Insurance Commissioner to approve or deny rates in combination with oversight by expanded consumer representation in insurance regulatory matters;
  • Encourage all homeowners and renters to purchase appropriate insurance to protect them from disasters, including flood insurance, windstorm and hail insurance, and otherwise as may be appropriate; and
  • Require the Public Utility Commission to mandate all utility providers describe their products and policies transparently regarding bill calculations and rate history, and eliminate fine print, tiered rates, and confusing rate structures.