The convention has adopted the nearly 40-page Texas Democratic Party platform that platform committee chairman Rep. Garnet Coleman of Houston described as "beliefs that are shaped by Democratic values." The following are highlights on which LSR will expound later this week.
The platform proclaims that all Texans should have access to a "quality public education, from childhood through college." It also states that tuition should be affordable, calling for repeal of tuition deregulation and a lowering of tuition in the state. It also calls for the federal government to fully fund No Child Left Behind. The platform also supports the top-ten percent rule, which guarantees high school students in the top ten percent of their graduating class admission to the state-run higher education institution of their choice.
It also goes after the "unscrupulous homebuilders" by calling for a "reshaping of the Texas Residential Construction Commission to include homeowner representation and empowering it with the authority to take meaningful actoin on their behalf."
The platform also calls for universal health care, the expansion of the Children's Health Insurance Program, education and services for HIV and STDs, state funding for stem cell research, preservation of "choice" and the encouragement of "family planning."
Greenhouse gases must be reduced, the platform says. It calls for alternative energy includingsolar, thermal and wind. Coleman said that the environment "is as important as anything."
In criminal justice, the platform calls for further reforms of the Texas Youth Commission, aswell as work on the incarceration rate in the state, which is the second highest among the 50 states. It also calls for a moratorium on the death penalty and the development of the "Innocence Project" which deals with cases of alleged wrongful convictions.
The platform also takes shots at the Trans-Texas Corridor -- at least Gov. Rick Perry's vision thereof. "Eminent domain should not work against our people," Coleman said. He went on to say that Perry's vision of the TTC would benefit corporations and be "no benefit" to Texans. The platform places more emphasis on eminent domain issues and curtailing abuses of it than in years past.
And of course, the platform denounces photo ID to vote or other voter ID measures. It also calls for an end to the "Iraq occupation" as Coleman described it. It also calls for a "new G.I. bill" to address veterans' affairs. Several speakers at the convention have argued that the government needs to provide returning veterans more resources to reenter society.
The platform was adopted with few if any audible nays from the audience.