By Ross Lenihan

This past Friday the Democratic Party released what some are calling the most progressive party platform in U.S. history. Notably, the blueprint document calls for a $15 minimum wage and the right of “all Americans to join a union regardless of where they work.”

Released ahead of the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia – where Labor 411 will be promoting our BuyBlue message – the draft platform reiterates the views of millions of Americans on topics ranging from climate change to paid family leave.

Below are just some of the policies the Democrats are poised to endorse:

•    Taking on the “greed and recklessness of Wall Street” through more, as well as smarter, antitrust and competition policies.

•    Helping Americans achieve better work-life balance through equal pay laws, guaranteed paid maternity leave (the US remains the only developed nation without it) and improved family/medical/sick leave.

•    For the first time, a party platform calls for the equal rights of transgender Americans. The Dems also endorse federal nondiscrimination policies for the LGBT community, another first for a major party platform.

•    A call for citizenship for “all law-abiding families who are here” that resists forcible deportation for non-violent undocumented immigrants.

•    The need to hold climate deniers who know the facts accountable. This includes including calling on the Justice Department to investigate fossil fuel companies like ExxonMobil for misleading the public on the threat of climate change.

•    Making a high-quality education more affordable for millions of Americans, including free community college and allowing students to refinance their student loans.

While the document is simply a guide post and subject to an incredibly divided Congress, it represents a step in the progressive direction for the Dems. As drafting committee member Rep. Keith Ellison (D-MN) put it, the platform “moves [the Democratic] party firmly toward justice, fairness, and inclusion.” Sounds like a step in the right direction to us.

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