Every week appears to be notable for one reason or another, and this past week was no exception. There were at least two reasons to consider the last week in April notable in South Carolina: the state Democratic Party Convention and the release of a new Winthrop Poll.
In addition to the predictably rousing keynote speaker (Labor Secretary Thomas Perez) and the selection of delegates to the Democratic National Convention, this year’s South Carolina Democratic Convention passed a number of Resolutions covering a wide range of topics. As initial food for thought, here are the topics. The Winthrop Poll addressed many of them as well, noting which divide us along ethnic and/or political party lines and which unite us. All of them are likely candidates for discussion among readers of The Edgefield Advertiser over the coming weeks.
- Sensible Gun Laws. What should we as a state and as a nation consider to be “sensible”?
- Criminal Justice Reform. Are our detention and incarceration policies working? Are they ethical?
- Black Lives Matter. What is this movement all about, and should it single out blacks alone?
- Immigration Reform. Should across-the-board reforms continue to receive bipartisan support?
- Political advertisements and political contributions. Do we need a Constitutional Amendment or other action to overturn the recent “Citizens United” Supreme Court decision permitting unlimited corporate and individual political campaign contributions, notwithstanding bipartisan legislation limiting them?
- Economic Security. Both national party platforms will agree that our nation’s economy should be stronger than it is in recovering from the 2005-2008 Great Recession. What specific steps should the next administration carry out to solidify the recovery begun in 2009?
- Minimum Wage. Should the South Carolina and/or the federal government raise the minimum wage from its present $7.25, set in 2009 as the recovery was barely beginning?
- Particularly within our state, what should be done to prioritize and fund repair and expansion of our infrastructure without stripping funding from education and other programs?
- Election Law Review. Are Voter ID laws part of the solution or part of the problem?
- Equal Pay for Equal Work. Is there a pay equity problem that discriminates against women whose qualifications match their male counterparts? If so, what is the solution?
- Equal Opportunity and Treatment. Should LGBTQ Americans as a class be added to existing anti-discrimination laws, within our state and within our nation?
- The public school system in South Carolina reportedly ranks 47th out of the 50 states. What needs to be done?
- Environmental Issues. Should we be expanding or reducing our fossil fuel production and use in South Carolina (including offshore exploration and drilling) and across the nation?
- International Trade. Should Congress and the next administration support or oppose new “free trade” agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP)?