State of the Union 2022: Our Democracy

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This is the sixth in my installments on the State of the Union compared to the Democratic Presidential Party Platforms that President Joe Biden ran on.

The Democratic Party had a little over 5 pages devoted to the environment.

Just so I can keep everything straight, I put the information into a simple table, like I would for corporate goals. Pretty easy to understand; I think:  We will______________ by_____________ so that______________ happens, followed by the progress I found.

So here’s the Democrats’ Restoring and Strengthening Our Democracy:

person dropping paper on box
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The opening paragraph of this section of the Democratic Platform focuses on protecting the interests of all Americans, not just the wealthiest few and corporations.

We willBySo thatProgress
Guarantee that every American’s vote is protected.

Passing legislation that restores and strengthens the Voting Rights Act;

Ensuring the Department of Justice challenges state laws that make it harder for Americans to vote;

Supporting automatic voter registration, same-day voter registration, early voting, and universal vote-from-home and vote-by-mail options.
We protect and Enforce Voting RightsMany states receive grants under the Voting Rights Act.

19 states enacted laws to restrict voting. So far, the Supreme Court has upheld them all.

H.R. 775: Disability Voting Rights Act was introduced in February 2021, it stands a 4% chance of passing.


Fully implement the Help America Vote Act and require that polling places and elections are accessible for people with disabilities.

Make vote-from-home and vote-by-mail universally available during the pandemic.
Returning citizens have their voting rights restored upon release from jail or prison;

Ensuring that all jurisdictions take steps to
ensure continued meaningful, safe opportunities to vote in person.
We protect and enforce voting rightsNo federal laws have been enacted since 2021. Seven states enacted laws that improve voting rights of incarcerated people.

Three states expanded absentee voting, votes by mail, and voter drop boxes, while four states enacted laws limiting absentee voting.

10 states expanded early voting, while one state limited it.

Six states expanded voter registration opportunities, five states limited voter registration and in-person voting opportunities.

Click here to see the details.
Enact measures to end partisan gerrymandering in federal elections.

Protect the integrity of the decennial Census from
political interference;

Find out if counting prison population where they are incarcerated creates equitable outcomes in state or federal representation or funding allocations.
Equipping the Census Bureau;

Maintaining the legal requirement for Census participation

Increasing resources to reduce undercounts of communities;

Studying the counting process for prison populations
We protect and enforce voting rightsThe Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, Public Law 116-260, Section 110 authorizes the U.S. Census Bureau to award cooperative agreements to appropriate entities, including any Federal, State, or local government unit, or institution of higher education, to aid and promote certain statistical, research, and methodology activities.
Prevent election interference;

Protect the integrity of our elections from all enemies, foreign and domestic.
Increasing investments to help state and local governments upgrade election technology;

Ensuring that election technology is accessible
 for people with disabilities.
We protect and enforce voting rightsNo federal laws have been enacted since 2021. Seven states enacted laws that improve voting rights of incarcerated people.

Three states expanded absentee voting, votes by mail, and voter drop boxes, while four states enacted laws limiting absentee voting.

10 states expanded early voting, while one state limited it.

Six states expanded voter registration opportunities, five states limited voter registration and in-person voting opportunities.

Click here to see the details.
Fight to pass a Constitutional amendment to overturn Citizens United and relateddecisions like Buckley v. Valeo.Eliminating all private financing from federal elections.We reform the broken campaign finance system.Congressman Schiff introduced a constitutional amendment in March 2022 which will overturn Citizens United.
Aggressively enforce and strengthen federal ethics laws, including rules around personal financial disclosures for Executive Branch officials;

Make campaign finance, financial disclosure, and lobbying disclosure filings easier for the public to access and understand.
Establishing a commission on federal ethics;

Requiring all candidates for federal office to publicly disclose at least 10 years of tax returns.
We build an effective, transparent federal government.H.R. 664: Tax Transparency Act of 2021 and H.R. 347: Presidential Tax Transparency Act both stand a 4% chance of passing according to GovTrack.us.
Assure that their elected officials and federal appointees work for Americans, not for special interests. 

Restore and re-empower independent inspectors general across the federal government and work to strengthen whistleblower protections
Re-establishing merit-based federal contracting decisions and prohibiting political appointees from interfering in grantmaking.

Protecting federal employees from retaliation. And we will in order.
We build an effective, transparent federal government President Binden signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021 or the PRICE Act of 2021 PRICE Act of 2021 into law in February 2022.
Ban lobbying by foreign governments and significantly lower the threshold for having to register as a federal lobbyist.Closing loopholes that allow special interests to secretly influence policymaking in Congress and across the federal government.We build an effective and transparent federal government.131 bills were introduced to limit or control lobbying. The prognosis of success is 2% or less for each of them. To see the list, click here.
Recruit people with expertise in science, social science, technology, and innovation to jobs in public service.Ensuring that federal funds are invested as effectively and efficiently as possible.
We have the best experts working to protect and improve the lives of Americans.
President Binden signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021 or the PRICE Act of 2021 into law in February 2022.
Use the best available evidence when making budget and spending decisions.Ensuring federal data collection and analysis is adequately funded and designed to allow for disaggregation by race, gender, geography, disability status, and other important variables;
We understand and address disparities.President Binden signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021 or the PRICE Act of 2021 PRICE Act of 2021 into law in February 2022.
Use strategies to promote evidence-based policymaking.Allocating funds for program evaluation.American people receive the most productive, efficient services from our federal governme

S. 780: Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act

H.R. 1522: Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act
S. 865: Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021


nt.
President Binden signed the Promoting Rigorous and Innovative Cost Efficiencies for Federal Procurement and Acquisitions Act of 2021 or the PRICE Act of 2021 PRICE Act of 2021 into law in February 2022.
Stop treating the more than 700,000 people who live in our nation’s capital as second-class citizens.Making Washington, D.C. the 51st State.The citizens of the District can at last have full and equal representation in Congress and the rights of self-determination.The House passed a bill making Washington D.C. the 51st state, Washington Douglass Commonwealth, in 2021. It faced a filibuster in the Senate.

 Support various status options in Puerto Rico.
Developing federal legislation that will set forth a fair and binding process for the people of Puerto RicoPuerto Ricans have the right to vote for President of the United States.
S. 780: Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act

H.R. 1522: Puerto Rico Statehood Admission Act
S. 865: Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021
H.R. 2070: Puerto Rico Self-Determination Act of 2021 has 76 cosponsors. According to GovTrack.us, each has a 2% chance of success.

H.R. 7409: TRUST for Puerto Rico Act of 2022 has a 27% chance of success according to GovTrack.us.
 
Help Puerto Rico rebuild.Mobilizing resources to address the island’s disparities in energy, infrastructure, health care,
education, housing, agriculture, employment, and disaster preparedness
We give the same priority to disaster response in Puerto Rico as elsewhere in the United States.89 Bills have been passed into law that include recovery in Puerto Rico.
H.R. 1192: Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act of 2021 is specific to Puerto Rico.
Invest in Puerto Rico’s future through economic development initiatives, increased education funding, construction of affordable housing, and innovative energy and climate resilience programs.Accelerating access to disaster recovery funds;
We end unequal treatment of Puerto Rico;

The island can improve its infrastructure and transform itself into one of the fastest-growing, most prosperous parts of the United States.
89 Bills have been passed into law that include recovery in Puerto Rico. Specific to the territory, President Biden signed
H.R. 1192: Puerto Rico Recovery Accuracy in Disclosures Act of 2021 into law.
Dissolve the Financial Oversight and Management
Board.

Providing relief from Puerto Rico’s remaining debt burden.The island can improve its infrastructure and transform itself into one of the fastest-growing, most prosperous parts of the United States.H.R. 7409: TRUST for Puerto Rico Act of 2022 has a 27% chance of success according to GovTrack.us.
Support self-government and self-determination for the people of U.S. territories.Respecting citizens’ right to decide their future status in a manner that does notCitizens U.S. Territories have the right to vote for President.Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico have followed the process and voted to become states decades ago. No territories that followed the process have been denied, although Oklahoma and Alaska both took decades to be included as states (104 and 92 years, respectively.) (Longley, Robert. “How the US Statehood Process Works.” ThoughtCo, Jun. 2, 2021, thoughtco.com/us-statehood-process-3322311.)
Help the U.S. territories recover from recent natural disasters and build increased resilience to the impacts of climate change. Expanding access to clean, affordable, reliable energy and water systems.We support the U.S. Territories.The US Territories are: Puerto Rico, Guam. US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Wake Island. Navassa Island
304 bills are under consideration
Improve health care access and affordability in the territories.reviewing the feasibility of extending the Affordable Care Act and increasing the Medicaid cap in the territories;

Ensuring veterans from the U.S. territories have access to
timely and quality health care through the VA.
We support the U.S. Territories.The US Territories are: Puerto Rico, Guam. US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands, American Samoa, Midway Atoll, Palmyra Atoll, Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Wake Island. Navassa Island
304 bills are under consideration.


Ensure the USPS is financially sustainableRepealing the mandate that the agency “pre-fund” retiree health costs;

Allowing secure shipping of alcoholic beverages by mail;

Exploring options to enable unbanked and underbanked Americans to access financial services through the Postal Service.
We strengthen the Postal Service. President Binden signed Postal Service Reform Act of 2022 in April 2022.

What do you think?  Was this enlightening?

Things are getting done, albeit quite a bit slower than in other areas.

Next up: Immigration

After that, I have Education, Immigration, and Leadership. That’s four more weeks of research. No wonder people have trouble sorting through the facts. I wonder how many people have the stamina.

If you missed my prior State of the Union 2022 reviews, here are the links:

State of the Union 2022: Criminal Justice

State of the Union 2022: The Pandemic

State of the Union 2022: It’s The Economy

State of the Union 2022: Healthcare

State of the Union 2022: The Environment

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