2000 Democratic Platform Supports Bilingual Education And English As "Our" Common Language, Self-Determination Based On Federally Defined Status Options
The 2000 Democratic National Platform
Investing in Our Schools
We must assure that schools have the resources to meet the challenges of an increasingly diverse student population with programs for English language learners, including bilingual education, to close the achievement gap. We oppose language-based discrimination in all its forms, including in the provision of education services, and encourage so-called English-plus initiatives because multilingualism is increasingly valuable in the global economy.
Welcoming Our Newest Americans
We believe that all levels of government,,,must devise and pursue a comprehensive immigrant integration agenda that will make the newest Americans full participants in the nations mainstream. Thats why Democrats support increased resources for English language courses, which not only help newcomers learn our common language but also help us promote our common values.
Renewing Our Democracy
Just as our country has been the chief apostle of democracy in the world, we must lead by example at home. This begins with our nations capital.
The citizens of the District of Columbia are entitled to autonomy in the conduct of their civic affairs, full political representation as Americans who are fully taxed, and statehood.
Puerto Rico has been under U.S. sovereignty for over a century and Puerto Ricans have been U.S. Citizens since 1917, but the islands ultimate status still has not been determined and its 3.9 million residents still do not have voting representation in their national government. These disenfranchised Citizens who have contributed greatly to our country in war and peace are entitled to the permanent and fully democratic status of their choice. Democrats will continue to work in the White House and Congress to clarify the options and enable them to choose and to obtain such a status from among all realistic options.
Democrats believe the people of Guam, American Samoa, and the Virgin Islands have a right to be fully self-governing. We are committed to fair treatment in economic and social policies as well as improvement in federal-territorial relations in accordance with the needs of each area. Elected representatives of these areas will be regularly consulted on policies, laws, and treaties that affect the areas and we will ensure fair treatment for our fellow Citizens in the territories.