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The Democratic Party of Silicon Valley

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Support for Gay Marriage in Party Platform
The Democratic Party Platform Drafting Committee has recommended including support for gay marriage as part of the 2012 Democratic Party platform. The platform will be ratified at the Democratic National Convention in Charlotte in early September. Including such a plank would be a historic step towards ensuring civil rights for all Americans.

President Clinton Will Nominate Barack Obama for Reelection
President Bill Clinton will play a major role at the Democratic National Convention by giving a primetime speech on Wednesday, September 5. He will eloquently describe why the Democratic Party's economic policies are better for the American people. He will then enter President Obama's name into nomination.

Obama Administration Offers Hope to Thousands of Young Immigrants
With the DREAM Act stalled in Congress, President Obama has issued a policy directive safeguarding young immigrants brought to the U.S. as children from deportation proceedings, enabling many to get work permits. The directive does not provide a clear path to citizenship, and those eligible must meet certain criteria, but the policy will come as a relief to many young immigrants who have grown up considering themselves American yet don't have legal status.

President Obama Opposes Discrimination: Gay Marriage Should Be Legal
President Obama revealed today, "I think that it's important for me to affirm that I think same-sex couples should be able to get married." While the president has made great progress on ensuring civil rights for LGBT Americans, including repealing Don't Ask Don't Tell, banning job discrimination in federal hiring and expanding hate crimes to include sexual orientation, his endorsement of civil unions was not quite the same as support for gay marriage. He has finally made such support clear, citing his conversation with staff members, gay servicemen and women and even members of his own family as influencing his position.

Democrats fight for Tax Fairness
Insisting that deficit reduction must mean that millionaires pay their fair share, Senate Democrats fought to pass the "Buffett rule" this week, which would ensure that millionaires pay at least 30 percent of their income in taxes. The rule, named for billionaire Warren Buffett, is so named for a the fact that the super wealthy are often taxed at a rate less than working people who earn much less. Unfortunately, like many other pieces of important legislation, the rule went down once again to a Republican filibuster.

Ash Kalra heads crackdown on payday lenders
San Jose City Councilman Ash Kalra is spearheading an effort to curb payday lenders, capping their number and imposing stricter requirements on where they can be located. With fees equivalent to a 460 percent interest rate in some cases, such lenders have come under increasing scrutiny. "This is an effort for the entire city and its residents -- especially residents who are being taken advantage of," said Kalra.

Nora Campos's Facebook privacy bill passes unanimously in State Assembly
Local Assemblywoman Nora Campos doesn't believe that your employer should force you to disclose your Facebook password, and it appears many of her fellow lawmakers agree. In response to a rising trend of employers demanding that prospective employees hand over their passwords to their personal social media accounts, Campos introduced a bill banning the practice in California, which was passed unanimously in the State Assembly. The bill now moves on to the State Senate.

Focus on health care reform: A Q&A with Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones
California's Insurance Commissioner Dave Jones wants the power to block excessive rate increases by the state's largest health insurance companies, a policy that 34 states have already implemented. So far, the health insurance lobby has succeeded in blocking this effort, which is why Jones wants California voters to support a reform initiative he hopes to see on the state ballot in November. Click here to see what Jones has to say about the Affordable Care Act and why he believes it's the best way to lower health care costs for all Californians.

President Obama Targets Market Manipulation of Oil Prices
President Obama urged Congress to tighten federal oversight of oil markets to prevent speculators from inflating prices. Among other restrictions, the president called on legislators to increase penalties for market manipulation and empower regulators to increase the amount of money energy traders are required to put behind their transactions. "We can't afford a situation where some speculators can reap millions while millions of American families get the short end of the stick," Obama said in remarks from the Rose Garden.

Happy Anniversary Obamacare!
This month, the Affordable Care Act (or, as it is better known, "Obamacare") celebrates its second anniversary. While it won't be fully implemented until 2014, the law is already providing coverage to millions of young adults, providing seniors with major savings on prescription drugs, boosting small businesses and offering new protection to those with pre-existing conditions. Despite suffering a blizzard of misinformation, Obamacare is working, delivering on the Democratic promise of ultimately providing each American with quality, affordable health care.

Assembly votes to support overturning Citizens United
Democrats in the California Assembly, led by local Assemblyman Bob Wieckowski, have called on Congress to pass a constitutional amendment overturning the controversial Citizens United Supreme Court ruling. Asserting that corporations are people, the ruling has unleashed a storm of unprecedented campaign spending by unregulated Super PACs. The bill, which received no Republican votes, now passes to the State Senate.

President Obama talks values, slams bailout opponents in UAW speech
In a "barn-burner" of a speech to United Auto Workers, President Obama strongly defended his bailout of U.S. carmakers, lauding the resurgence of the American auto industry and slamming those (read: Mitt Romney) who urged the country to "let Detroit go bankrupt." He also criticized the effort to demonize workers as a "special interest," asking, "Since when are hardworking men and women special interests? Since when is the idea that we look out for each other a bad thing?" According to the Center for Automotive Research, the auto industry bailout saved or generated close to 1.5 million jobs.

Senate Democrats Defeat Controversial Birth Control Measure
With Republicans in solid opposition, Senate Democrats defeated an amendment that would have undone the new White House rule requiring insurance companies to cover contraceptives as free preventative care. "Women and families across America can breathe a sigh of relief that this radical amendment was blocked by Senate Democrats today," said Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer both voted against the amendment; the only Republican to vote against it was Maine's Olympia Snowe, who just announced her retirement.

Dems Fight GOP Effort to Attach Birth Control Amendment to Highway Bill
Senator Barbara Boxer vowed to use her chairmanship of the Environment and Public Works Committee to fight a Republican attempt to attach an anti-birth control amendment to national highway legislation. The amendment, allowing employers to deny insurance coverage for anything that might conflict with their "religious beliefs and moral convictions," is designed to counter President Obama's insistence that insurers provide contraception free of co-pays as a preventative service. Said Senator Boxer, "In 2012, I stand here in complete amazement that in a country known for its medical breakthroughs and advancements, Republicans would have us go back to the medical dark ages."

Obama Proposes Mortgage Relief for Struggling Homeowners
In his latest effort to bring relief to homeowners, President Obama has proposed helping struggling borrowers lower their monthly payments by allowing them to refinance their mortgages at today's historically low interest rates. The program would be paid for by imposing a tax on financial firms' profits. Republicans have promised to oppose the plan.

CFPB Up and Running
The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, long fought by Republicans, has hit the ground running. Even before its new chief, Richard Cordray, finally took office last month, the bureau was inundated with consumer complaints, mostly about credit cards and mortgage fraud. According to the bureau's first semi-annual report to Congress, more than half of the over 13,000 complaints received so far have been settled "with relief." Cordray has said he will move quickly to ramp up the bureau's operations.

Governor Hails Bold Future in State of the State Address
After a year of wrestling with the state budget, Governor Jerry Brown took time to outline a bold future for California in his annual State of the State speech. Hailing California's leadership in pioneering the green economy and going all-in for high-speed rail, Brown sketched out a confident tomorrow made possible by critical investments today. He called out Republicans for leaving the state with "unfinished business" by refusing to budge on temporary tax hikes, but reiterated his commitment to deal with the state's budget issues with a combination of cuts and new revenues. He also called for major education reform. The entire address can be found here.

President Obama welcomes home troops from Iraq: A Promise Kept

Governor Brown Lambastes Climate Change Deniers at California Academy of Sciences Conference
Calling them climate change deniers "political lemmings" who are putting the future at risk, Governor Jerry Brown called for investment technologies that will blunt the effects of global warming. He noted that climate change in California has lengthened the fire season, quickened the snow melt, and placed undue burdens on an already overloaded public infrastructure.

GOP Blocks Vote on Money for Teachers and Firefighters
Senate Republicans once again defeated Democratic efforts to get Americans working again, this time filibustering a $35 billion aid package to states for hiring teachers and first responders. The bill was part of President Obama's comprehensive jobs plan, which Republicans had previously rejected. Although the proposal was deficit neutral, relying on a 0.5 percent surtax on millionaires to pay for it, such a demand on the wealthy proved unacceptable to the GOP. A recent CNN poll indicated that 70 percent of voters support the bill.

Jerry Brown Signs California DREAM Act
Removing a barrier to college for thousands of high-achieving, but undocumented, students, Governor Jerry Brown signed the California DREAM Act as one of hundreds of bills signed at the end of the legislative session. "Going to college is a dream that promises intellectual excitement and creative thinking," Brown said in a statement. "The Dream Act benefits us all by giving top students a chance to improve their lives and the lives of all of us."

Visit our campaign headquarters
Volunteers are welcome at any of our campaign headquarters. In August, we open headquarters in downtown San Jose and Menlo Park. Come join us as we work to reelect President Obama, support Prop 30, oppose Prop 32, and elect Democrats to Congress and local offices.

Battleground California
More than a half dozen Republican-held Congressional Districts are up for grabs giving us a once-a-decade opportunity to help Win Back the House and deliver a Democratic Congress that will work with President Obama, not against him. Join Battleground California to be part of the 2012 campaign.

2012 Statewide Initiatives
The California Democratic Party Executive Board has taken official positions on the November 2012 state initiatives. Vote YES on Proposition 30 to save public services and NO on Proposition 32 to prevent corporations from taking over California politics.

California Disclose Act
The Santa Clara County Democratic Party believes that true transparency is the best way to fight back against unlimited corporate spending on campaigns. We support the California Disclose Act, which would require the three largest funders of political ads to be clearly identified with their names and logos.

Democratic Convention 2012
Democrats will gather in Charlotte, NC for the 2012 National Convention.

California Democratic Party Convention
The 2012 California Democratic Party Convention was held in San Diego Feb. 10-12. Highlights included speeches by Senator Al Franken (Minnesota), Governor Brown, House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, and Attorney General Kamala Harris. Watch all the videos at

Learn How the California Democratic Party is Organized
The Santa Clara County Democratic Party's governing body is the Santa Clara County Democratic Central Committee, made up of elected delegates. Learn how SCCDP fits into the State Party structure by watching a short video.

See our Calendar for a summary of upcoming events.

Watch Democratic Television
Steve Preminger talks with Ann Grabowski, Vice President of Policital Action for the Democratic Activists for Women Now, about the upcoming Special Exemptions Act (proposition #32), her education, and thoughts on other issues.

Join one of our Great Democratic Clubs
There is a club for every interest and every part of the county. Using our request form, you can contact clubs of interest and request information.

Become a Permanent Absentee Voter
The Santa Clara County Registrar of Voters and Democratic Party urge you to become a permanent absentee voter. By doing so, you will always get a ballot mailed directly to your home 4 weeks before each election. This will save you time taken to go to the polls on election day and make voting easy.

Your Elected Democrats
Santa Clara County has elected leaders that are committed to progressive values of fairness, opportunity, environmental protection, open government, and educational excellence. See our list of great Democrats leading the way locally.

California Democratic Party's Platform
The 2010 California Democratic Party platform was adopted at the State Convention in Los Angeles in April. The platform contains the party's view on economic, social, and foreign policy issues.

The Road We've Traveled
"Not since the days of Franklin Roosevelt had so much fallen on the shoulders of one president." It can be hard to remember just how dire a situation Barack Obama inherited when he took office January, 2009. Two wars, an economy on the verge of collapse - presidential historian Michael Beschloss has argued that President Obama actually entered office with the hardest job of any incoming president in modern American history. Three years later, Americans are benefitting from real reforms in health care and on Wall Street, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq are winding down, Osama bin Laden is gone, and the economy is finally regaining its footing. The documentary film above, narrated by Tom Hanks, demonstrates that, although there is much more to be done, it's worth taking a look back to see how far we have come.
The SCCDP Blog: Make your voice heard! Discuss the Issues!


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