NewDems Letter to Dem Platform Committee

Earlier today, the NewDem Leadership sent a letter to the DNC Platform Committee outlining NewDem priorities. We shared with the Platform Committee economic, government reform and national security priorities that NewDems have proposed over the last year and a half. To be successful electorally and to govern, NewDems believe that our party and nation needs to focus on pragmatic solutions to keep our economy growing and competitive as well as pursuing a tough and smart national security strategy that secures our homeland and protects our values. The full letter is below.

July 7, 2016

Dear Chairs Wasserman Schultz, Malloy, Franklin, and Cummings:

On behalf of the members of the House New Democrat Coalition, we would like to thank you for your service developing the Democratic platform. Building on the platform set forth at the 2012 convention, we have an opportunity to share a unified vision for the country that prioritizes growth, innovation, and security. The majority of Democratic primary voters made clear with their choice at the ballot box that they want an optimistic, hopeful agenda focused on America’s future, not the past. We believe the Democratic Party is strongest when we are united and hope that our platform will be inclusive of the goals and ideals of all members of the party.

The New Democrat Coalition (NDC) is a group of pro-growth, innovation focused Democratic members of the U.S. House of Representatives committed to seeking pragmatic solutions that will keep our economy growing and competitive. We are also committed to a tough and smart national security strategy that secures our homeland and protects our values. Our Members and the candidates we support represent many of the “swing-seats” needed to reclaim and maintain a majority in the House of Representatives. Over the last year and a half, the NDC has proposed economic, government reform, and national security policy priorities that we would like to share with you for consideration in the 2016 platform. We urge you to include our priorities in the platform. Please share this letter with the rest of the Platform Committee.

Economic Growth and Making Government Work Better

There is no question that today’s economy isn’t the one we grew up in. In the past two decades, the Internet and a rapid boom in technology have forever changed the shape of our economy. Americans have seen the immense benefits these technological advances have had in their everyday lives. However, more and more Americans are concerned about what these changes may mean for their place in the economy.

The NDC released its American Prosperity Agenda, which is our plan to help hardworking Americans win in the changing global economy. This agenda has two dozen economic and government reform policy priorities that fit under the following policy pillars:

  1. Grow the Economy in Every Town and City
  2. Give Everyone a Shot at the American Dream
  3. Make Government Work Better for the Middle Class

As a party and a nation, we need to focus on the economy of the future. Making our government more efficient and transparent, ensuring our laws and regulations keep pace with new technologies, and giving all Americans the opportunity to succeed will spur innovation. We need to write rules of trade that elevate standards and level the playing field for our workers, businesses, and farmers. We need to encourage an environment conducive to entrepreneurship and the startup ecosystem — particularly for women and minorities — by facilitating access to early stage capital and funding programs that invest in innovative businesses.

We need to ensure that all students have access to an affordable high-quality education that will prepare them for the 21st century economy. We need to pass comprehensive immigration reform to ensure we remain a magnet for the world’s top talent. And, we need to support innovative policies such as investing in research & development, fostering innovative technologies and simplifying our tax code, to help us maintain our status as a global leader in areas like discovering new cures for medicines, moving toward sustainable energy, and increasing investment in infrastructure.

In order to restore trust in government, we need to continue to improve the way government interacts with the American people and how our leaders are chosen. This means we must insist that Congress seriously addresses substantive issues, continue to streamline government agencies, and work to update the mindsets and practices in government to better equip it to function effectively in the 21st century. We also need to make elections more fair and truly representative by fixing our campaign finance system, protecting voting rights for everyone, and ending gerrymandering so voters pick their political leaders, not the other way around.

Tough and Smart National Security Strategy

As New Democrats, we believe that international engagement in the form of security guarantees, diplomatic and economic partnerships, and aid-based cooperation have helped and should continue to help create a climate of global peace and prosperity. Indeed, the institutions created in the postwar era have fostered the most peaceful global security climate in history and helped to lift untold millions out of poverty. America should turn toward this legacy, not away from it.

The threats of the 21st century are distinctly different than the threats we faced in the past century. Today’s threats are from hackers in cyberspace, lone-wolf terrorists here at home, and non-state actors who operate across borders, among others. These threats require us to adapt to modern challenges and eliminate terrorist threats without reckless interventions abroad. As elected officials, our top responsibility is to work to keep America safe. Toward that end we must advance a comprehensive national security policy that focuses on what really keeps Americans safe.

To create a framework for a 21st century national security strategy, the NDC released principles for a Tough and Smart National Security Strategy that:

  1. Defeats Terrorism Abroad and Protects American Families at Home
  2. Makes Smart, Streamlined National Security Investments
  3. Increases Engagement Without Risky, Unnecessary Interventions

Thank you for the opportunity to share our vision for the platform. The choice for Americans in this election could not be any clearer: a proven leader with a track record of strengthening America at home and abroad or a divisive, mean-spirited isolationist whose businesses failed when they went bankrupt and whose agenda would bankrupt America. We stand united in working together to elect Hillary Clinton as our next president and Democrats up and down the ticket.


Rep. Ron Kind, Chair

Rep. Gerry Connolly, Vice Chair

Rep. Susan Davis, Vice Chair

Rep. Jim Himes, Vice Chair

Rep. Jared Polis, Vice Chair

Rep. John Carney, Whip

Rep. Derek Kilmer, PAC Chair

Click here to see full letter with attachments.

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