Removing Barriers to Opportunity

Delaware Democrats believe everyone regardless of gender, race, class, religion, ethnicity, immigration status, sexual orientation, gender identity, age, and disability, deserves the same opportunities for success and we must lift up communities that have traditionally been left behind. We must encourage greater diversity in both elected office and other positions of power and influence in our local and state governments. Our state is stronger when we work together and when people are empowered to succeed.

Combating Racism and White Supremacy: Racism is within the foundation of every institution and aspect of our society. It is systemic and generational. For centuries racism has been written into our laws, ingrained in our business dealings, disparaging in healthcare, stifling in education and prohibitive in wealth building. Racism is a public health crisis that must be genuinely dealt with. Delaware Democrats will fight to end systematic and institutional racism throughout the state and in all facets of Delawareans’ lives. We believe our public policies must promote racial justice through fair, equitable, and impactful practices — such as reparations — that encourage making amends for past inequities.

Confronting Sexism: Sexism is real and pervasive in all institutions. The Delaware Democratic Party is committed to ending systemic and institutional sexism throughout Delaware. 

Reforming Our Criminal Justice System: In Delaware, we are committed to true criminal justice reform and ending mass incarceration as the entire system upholds systemic racist policies and the penal state. We support abolition of the state’s death penalty, which has been applied arbitrarily and unjustly and does not deter crime. We prioritize prevention and treatment over incarceration when tackling addiction, substance use disorder, and mental health issues. We believe in legalizing marijuana for individuals over 21, commuting non-violent marijuana related crimes, expunging criminal records for those with marijuana related drug offenses, and ending practices that perpetuate racial profiling. Currently, our justice system criminalizes poverty through outdated policies such as cash bail as well as court-mandated fines and fees (i.e. losing a driver’s license for non-driving related penalties) for those who are unable to pay them. Delaware Democrats support restorative reforms that put an end to debtors' prison policies.

Eliminating Income Inequality: Delaware Democrats believe that everybody deserves a chance to improve their way of living. This can be done through implementing policies that increase homeownership, access to high quality jobs, career education, job training for the industries of the future and facilitating access to capital while increasing support for nascent entrepreneurs. Business incubators — particularly focused on underserved communities — could help achieve their dreams providing for themselves and their families while bringing positive economic development impact to the state.

Supporting Working Families: We strongly support equal pay for equal work and fair wages for all, which is why we support the initiative to implement a paid parental leave program at the federal level, and will work for a similar program at the state level. The Delaware Democratic Party supports implementing a high-quality, comprehensive, and inclusive paid family and medical leave system that protects workers from the unfair choice between attending to urgent health or caretaking needs and earning a paycheck. We support at least 12 weeks of guaranteed paid family and medical leave for all workers and family units, to enable new parents to recover from childbirth and bond with their newborns, foster or adopted children, provide safe time to victims of domestic violence, paid time for families adjusting to a military deployment, and in the occurrence of the passing of a family member or loved one. We believe it is necessary to support the improvement, expansion, and affordability of high-quality childcare and the home health care workforce

Ensuring Housing: Delaware Democrats believe that access to safe, affordable housing is a right. In order to reduce the number of Delawareans experiencing homelessness, we believe in a Housing First policy that cares for our unhoused neighbors. We also need to grow the supply of affordable rental housing throughout the state. Finally, we support creating innovative pathways to homeownership that include education, financing, and home supply — particularly for first-time homebuyers. Homeownership is one vital way to build wealth for working families. We must also dedicate resources to building new sustainable homes and updating existing homes to be more energy efficient.

Supporting Immigrants: Our country was founded on the ideals of liberty and religious freedom, and our culture has been enriched by the arrival of immigrants drawn to those ideals. We believe that we must be unwavering in our aim for diversity and inclusivity. Delaware Democrats believe in cultivating a safe, welcoming community for everyone to have access to good-paying and non-exploitative jobs, quality education, and affordable housing. While understanding that our security requires the establishment and enforcement of boundaries, Delaware Democrats support preserving the historical openness of our society. Our federal government must develop comprehensive immigration reform that reflects humane practices and fairness to families while valuing the economic and cultural contributions immigrants have made and will continue to make to our communities. Immigration reform must include a pathway to citizenship.

Empowering People with Disabilities: Delaware Democrats recognize that people with disabilities often face physical and systemic barriers that limit their access to full community inclusion. We believe that people with disabilities and their families deserve to have greater access to home and community-based services, so that individuals with physical, intellectual/developmental and mental health disabilities have appropriate health care in the community that is driven by choice and self-determination. Delawareans with disabilities have a right to better infrastructure that includes an affordable transportation system that delivers accessible sidewalks to public transportation, more affordable accessible housing and web access that meets the federal WCAG 2.2 guidelines for those who are blind or visually impaired. We stand for an education system that provides a free public education at all levels for every student in Delaware with a disability including special education. We maintain that supporting students with disabilities in the classroom, their teachers and family members is a gateway to a more successful and inclusive life as an adult. Delaware Democrats will advocate for equal opportunity employment, whether it be full-time, part-time and/or supportive employment. People with disabilities are guaranteed the right to employment opportunities for any job that they can perform the essential functions of, with or without reasonable accommodations. For those who achieve employment we support pay that is no less equal to their peers. For those who choose not to work, we support opportunities to volunteer or participate in programs of their choice with the assistance of well-paid direct support workers when needed. Delaware Democrats stand firmly for removing barriers and eliminating discrimination so that Delawareans with disabilities have the supports available to not only live independently in the community, but most importantly be a part of the community.

Ending Poverty and Homelessness: Delaware Democrats advocate for the elimination of persistent poverty throughout our state. We support fighting poverty by implementing policies that use targeted data to build empowerment zones, enacting anti-hunger campaigns, and supporting investment in small businesses, youth employment programs, reentry services, post-secondary education, and vocational and trade programs. We, as Democrats, need to stand up for equitable support services with a strong voice for women, children, elderly, and people who are homeless or disabled, and not assume that poverty is just being unemployed.

Striving for LGBTQ+ Equality: Delaware Democrats believe in full equality for LGBTQ+ people in employment, housing, public accommodations, education, and throughout life. We will continue to build on Delaware’s historic progress to guarantee protections and rights for the LGBTQ+ community. Delaware Democrats will fight to ensure that Delaware remains at the forefront of equality and continues to serve as a beacon of opportunity for LGBTQ+ people across the country.