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Report from the Democratic National Convention Platform Committee

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Thanks to Voncille Hines, from Arlington, for providing this report, and thanks to all of the Virginia members of the Platform Committee.


In an effort to provide every American an opportunity to give their input in shaping the principles of the Democratic Party, Senator Barack Obama and the Democratic National Committee launched the “Listening to America” initiative.  After months of preparation, the participation of more than 25,000 individuals in 1600 listening to America forums that took place in communities in all 50 states, including a national hearing held in Cleveland, Ohio, the 186-member Democratic Platform Committee convened in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on August 9, 2008, to deliberate on the draft document presented by the Platform Drafting Committee. An overview of each section of the platform was given by noted elected officials and prominent members of the Democratic Party, including Dr. Susan Rice, foreign policy advisor to Senator Obama. Over 120 amendments were submitted, several of which were withdrawn, or included in the chair’s amendments. At the end of the day-long meeting members voted to endorse the draft platform presented by the Platform Drafting Committee.

The platform, Renewing America’s Promise, is the heartbeat of Senator Obama’s Campaign for Change and encompasses the issues of concern voiced by thousands of Americans around the country regarding the economy, healthcare, education, national security, and the environment to name a few.

Representing the Commonwealth of Virginia at the meeting were Kevin Vincent, E. J. Scott, Sandra Brandt, and Arlington County Board Member, Jay Fisette, who were elected by the Virginia Convention Delegation. Also attending the meeting were Nancy Kennan and Voncille Trotter Hines, who were appointed to the committee by DNC Chairman Howard Dean. Kevin Vincent spoke on behalf of the Obama Campaign in support of a compromise plank on universal health care that was adopted by unanimous vote. An amendment drafted and submitted by Voncille Trotter Hines to support the ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities was also adopted unanimously.

The document will be presented to convention delegates in Denver for final adoption.

Final Draft Platform