Purpose Statement – The Rural Plank

Proposed Edits for the 2020 Platform

The purpose of this Caucus is to implement the first ever Rural Plank as adopted in the CDP 2018 Platform by educating elected and appointed officials on its contents and purpose, help candidates adopt it as part of their campaign platforms and utilize it as talking points in voter engagement.

These are our goals and plans for addressing the important issues in our rural communities:

CDP 201820 Platform – Rural Plank

California draws strength from our diversity, both culturally and geographically. The economy of California is built on the combination of the robust commercial and industrial enterprise of our urban areas and the abundant natural resources and agriculture of our rural areas.

In recognition of the special opportunities and challenges in developing policies and programs that work in rural communities, California Democrats will:

  • Encourage elected officials to consider the effect of any new policies or programs on rural California, by asking, “Is it fair and will it work in rural California communities?”
  • Support legislation that provides funding for equal services to all communities, in order to enhance the vibrant culture, historical significance and economy of rural areas.
  • Ensure that rural residents have reliable, clean, safe, and affordable water and waste disposal
  • Support equitable distribution of state resources, programs, and tax dollars based on need, not population, ensuring equitable investment in rural infrastructure and community development.
  • Provide funding for the siting and development of recycling infrastructure in rural areas.
  • Support policies that allow lawful and responsible gun ownership for hunting and self-protection, compliant with California’s gun safety and background check laws and regulations. balancing the lawful and responsible ownership of firearms for hunting, sport, and personal protection, with the growing need for gun safety laws, i.e. gun licensing regulations, safe gun storage, regulations, smart firearms safety technology, subsidizing age appropriate firearm safety education and training, and affirming that assault weapons have no place in civilized society and should be outlawed and removed.
  • Maintain a lasting and respectful relationship with Tribal Nations and oppose all attempts to diminish tribal sovereignty, tribal culture, land and natural resources, and the general welfare of tribes.
  • Build a stronger rural and agricultural economy, with sound conservation practices and environmentally sustainable business and agriculture.
  • Support stronger agricultural worker protections, including regulation of work hours and worker safety, elimination of agricultural exemptions to child labor laws, providing adequate housing for migrant workers, harassment protection, and sanitary facilities in the field, respecting the value and contribution of immigrants to California’s rural and agricultural economy, cultural enrichment, and diversity .
  • Promote collaborative stewardship of our finite natural resources, including land, water, wilderness, forests, and other resources, by providing assistance to producers who conserve and improve natural resources on their land.
  • Commit to closing the “digital divide” with state funds to build out broadband infrastructure in rural California and require oversight by the CPUC to hold broadband providers accountable for their levels of service. Support strengthening rural broadband infrastructure in order to make rural businesses more competitive.
  • Create a rural economic development plan for all rural communities regardless of county population.
  • Encourage rural business growth and development of infrastructure, such as water, sewer, power, Internet, and transportation, in order to retain and create jobs.
  •  Invest in and improve rural disaster resilience:
    • Dramatically increase vegetation management on rural roads, both public and private;
    • Increase fire-safe clearing on State and Federal land at the wildlife-urban interface (WUI);
    • Provide grants for private homeowners to remove fuels from properties;
    • Support  biomass facilities to reduce fuels and produce energy;
    • Address the problem of insurance agencies dropping fire insurance and refusing to insure new owners in WUI areas.
    •  Fund emergency equipment and public safety grade communications for evacuation and recovery. 
  • Support resources for improving rural election administration and technology to level out the costs of Candidate Statements across multiple counties, as well as legislation to authorize vote by mail ballot elections for rural counties.
  • Support increased financing, subsidy options and tax incentives to promote the development of new, affordable housing units in rural communities.