Convention Central:  Common Ground
July 11, 2016

The full 187-member Democratic National Committee's Platform Committee emerged from this weekend's two-day meeting in Orlando, Florida with what is unquestionably the most progressive plank of issues in the Party's history.

The meeting, which was open to party members, the public and media, included review of a proposed 180 amendments to the Platform Draft Resolution and continued through late Saturday night.

The draft was based on the input from delegates, party officials and, constituency groups, as well as input from forum participants over a series of four regional meetings. Released following the third meeting June 25th, it is crafted to best represent the values and ideals of the Democratic Party as a whole. 

Despite the often contentious debate, both presumptive nominee Hillary Clinton and her primary challenger, Bernie Sanders, reportedly are content with the final result.

Sanders policy director Warren Gunnells said their campaign achieved "at least 80 percent" of what it came for. Their greatest "disappointment" was a loss on the vote to oppose the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).  

Sanders' amendments to end illegal settlements in the West Bank and to support rebuilding of the Gaza strip also failed.

"We are proud of the work that Democrats did in Orlando and for coming together to further strengthen the most progressive platform in the history of our party," said Clinton senior policy adviser Maya Harris.

Clinton supporters also lost an amendment to call Clinton the party's nominee.  Although Sanders campaign officials had signed off on the language, his delegates and supporters passionately protested the amendment.

The Highlights
The final product showed Sanders' clear influence in moving the Party's statement of principles further to the left than Clinton's positions on certain issues.

The Final Platform Resolution Highlights
- The establishment of a $15 minimum wage
- Supports nationwide ban on the death penalty
- Strong criminal justice language on investigation of law enforcement-related shootings
- Decriminalization of marijuana (passed by an 81-80 vote)
- Reinstating a new version of the Glass-Steagall Act, which required that commercial banking 
  and securities activities be separated
- A tax on carbon according to its impact on the environment and compromise language on 
  increased fracking regulations.
- Commitment that Medicaid expansion under the ACA will be fully implemented in all 50 states
- Support for a Constitutional amendment to overturn the Supreme Court's ruling on
Citizens United
Download The Full DNC Draft Platform

Final Steps
The Draft Platform will be presented for ratification at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia July 25-28th.

Although Sanders has a short window to decide whether he will demand a vote at the Convention on any of the amendments he lost, he is not expected to bring objections. 

The common ground on the platform paves the way for Sanders to endorse Clinton at an event in New Hampshire on Tuesday (@11:00am EDT).

The Party Rules
In addition to the platform, the official business of the convention includes approving the party rules and its process for nominating the 2020 nominee.  This is an entirely separate process and one that will have its own challenges, including a Sanders push to eliminate superdelegates.

14 days and counting! Check the DemList Convention Calendar for all events at the Convention (already over 120 posted) and watch for our Daily updates.  Pass it on!

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Kimberly Scott
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