Progressives Push Polk Platform Left
After three weeks of work, the Polk County Platform committee presented their draft of the 2018 Polk County Platform for debate and ratification and the final product included some planks that were originally part of the Iowa Progressive Caucus platform. While the process went far more smoothly than the last convention, there was still some contention in passing some of the planks.
The first embattled minority report, which is a plank or statement that receives 10% of the committee support to be held out for debate, was within the Statement of Principles regarding the inclusion of “immigration status” as a group that the county party should oppose discrimination against. Those in speaking in favor of excluding the group from the list cited that it was at odds with the law and one used the term “illegal immigrants” in their reasoning. This incited Progressive Caucus Chair Jason Frerichs to give a fiery speech against striking, stating he found it “disgusting” that any who called themselves a Democrat would support striking the group or use such a term as “illegal immigrant”. Efforts to include “immigration status” successfully passed by voice vote.
Another point of contention came with, not a $15 per hour minimum wage, but the timeframe. An effort to include language that would have put the wage at $12 per hour by 2020 and $15 per hour by 2024, a timeline resembling the plan presented by gubernatorial candidate Nate Boulton. This was challenged by a minority report to shorten that timeline to $15 per hour by 2020, which has been advocated by gubernatorial candidate Cathy Glasson. In the end, the 2020 deadline won out.
Also passing were planks in support of universal voting rights including for those currently incarcerated, universal basic income, human rights for immigrants, and all gender restrooms.
Copies of the draft presented to the convention and the final ratified platform can be found below.