The Platform of the Massachusetts Democratic
PART IV: ECONOMIC GROWTH, JOBS & SECURITY
We support initiatives that promote healthy growth, stimulate opportunity,
heighten our competitiveness in the global marketplace, and aid in the continuing
transition to a knowledge-based economy. We know that our Commonwealth depends
on the energy and skill of our private sector to create jobs and prosperity,
and that government has an important role in expanding opportunity, assuring
necessary infrastructure, and helping dislocated workers manage through
transition. We advocate vigorous efforts, including through establishment
of a Jobs Creation Commission, to promote increased employment at high wages
and with good benefits.
We support initiatives that invest in the skills of the working men and
women of the Commonwealth. We are aware that one out of three workers in
this state need additional skills to maintain their employment in today’s
changing economy. We recognize the challenges faced by employers trying
to recruit a skilled workforce; and faced by workers applying for living
wage jobs who lack requisite skills. In the face of a global economy and
advanced technology, workers need ongoing skill development and job training.
We support increased public and private funding for business and labor
to address the Massachusetts skills gap.
A Healthy Business Environment.
We support monitoring the costs of doing business in the Commonwealth, so
that companies can grow and compete while still meeting their obligations
to workers and the community. We endorse reasonable, flexible, user-friendly
regulations and recognize the role incentives play in creating, attracting,
and keeping jobs. To remain competitive and help in areas of high unemployment,
the state must be prepared to offer incentives for companies to retain and
add good paying jobs. We support tax incentives for business when accompanied
by commitments to good corporate citizenship and enforceable terms assuring
continued investment in Massachusetts.
Supporting Small Businesses.
We recognize small businesses as vital to economic growth and prosperity
in the Commonwealth, both through job creation and the opportunities of
ownership. We favor policies that support the growth and health of small
businesses, and which are responsive to their unique needs and concerns.
We recognize that regulations and other important elements of public policy
must be sensitive to the differences between large and small companies.
We recognize the importance of continued strong federal funding for the
U.S. Small Business Administration. We support public efforts to ensure
full and fair participation by women and people of color in the workforce
and in business ownership.
Competitive Advantage and a Global Economy.
We believe the extraordinary depth and breadth of the knowledge-based sector
of the Massachusetts economy is a key competitive edge in the global market.
We champion strong federal research & development funding programs, and
assistance to smaller companies and startups seeking to commercialize promising
technology. We encourage open global trade that promotes fair employment
and sound environmental standards by our trading partners. We support state
and federal efforts to promote Massachusetts exports.
We recognize that tourism is among our largest exports and we acknowledge
the vital importance of tourism and business convention travel to communities
and regions across the Commonwealth. Cognizant of the stiff competition
we face from other states and countries, we advocate more aggressive efforts
to promote the Commonwealth as a tourism destination to both domestic and
international visitors. We support construction of a world-class convention
center that will accommodate the lucrative and important larger meetings
which now bypass Boston because of our inability to meet their needs. We
must also safeguard the rich and diverse physical and cultural heritage
of the Commonwealth, which enhances our state’s ability to attract tourism.
We support a well-planned commitment of state resources to ensure that our
transportation infrastructure remains accessible, affordable, safe and reliable
for all residents, whether living and working in urban, suburban or rural
regions. We restate our pledge to keep public transportation public. We
call for state and federal funding and transportation management policies
that ensure full and timely completion of the Central Artery project, while
allowing for needed repairs, reconstruction and maintenance of roads, bridges,
and other public works elsewhere in the Commonwealth. We promote the development
and use of public transportation and commuter and intercity rail systems
as a convenient, efficient, and environmentally sound means of moving people
and cargo. We oppose the Cellucci/Swift Logan Runway Expansion Proposal.
We support creative and courageous leadership that understands the importance
of alternatives such as the expanded use of regional airports, demand and
gate management techniques to reduce over scheduling, and the development
of a community-oriented multi-model transportation network.
Farming, Fishing and Aquaculture.
We recognize the importance of agriculture to our Commonwealth, as a source
of top quality fresh foods for our residents, an engine of economic prosperity,
and a preserver of land and open spaces. We encourage diversification, value-added
processing, organic farming, and applied research partnerships among our
universities, farmers, and farm businesses. We renew our pledge to fight
for our fishing industry, to support its efforts to market and export valuable
and alternative species, and to protect it from international overfishing.
We recognize the importance of aquaculture in our Commonwealth. We call
for aggressive and creative approaches to ensure maximum possible markets
for the fish and farm commodities of the Commonwealth.
Supporting the Transition from Welfare to Work.
We seek to help welfare recipients successfully find and keep jobs. We advocate
increased job training and educational opportunities, and we must ensure
that support systems in child care, transportation, and health insurance
are in place to enable people to work and to advance into more highly paid
jobs. We are committed to ensuring a safety net to members of our families
in times of need. We recognize that for some, that transition may take a
lifetime. We support measures that reduce, not increase, the number of children
living in poverty.
We support the modernization of public systems and recognize that the private
sector can offer some solutions. We assert and recognize, however, that
it is the public sector, not the private sector, which has the distinct
capacity to deliver efficient, high quality services in many areas. We oppose
misguided privatization schemes that place quality and continuity of service
at risk and impose hidden costs in the form of reduced wages and benefits
as well as an increased opportunity for corruption in the form of waste
and fraud. We recognize that serving the public interest involves maximizing
efficiency and productivity without sacrificing the quality of services
delivered to our citizens.
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