JULY 20, 2022

South Dakota Democratic Party Adopts New Platform 

Sioux Falls – During the 2022 State Convention, delegates met to discuss and adopt a new South Dakota Democratic Party platform. Platform subcommittee members discussed issues facing South Dakotans in the areas of agriculture and rural development, economic development and tourism, education, health and human services, human rights, labor and employment, natural resources and environment, senior citizens, state and local government, tribal and Native American issues, veterans and military affairs, and women’s issues. On Saturday, July 9, convention delegates voted to adopt the twelve planks of the SD Democratic Party Platform. 

Chairs of subcommittees released the following statements: 

“South Dakota Democrats remain committed to protecting our natural resources, including groundwater resources and the beautiful Black Hills. We have an immediate concern that a private corporation is seeking to use the power of eminent domain to place a highly dangerous CO-2 pipeline across South Dakota farmland,” said Jay Davis, chair of the Natural Resources & Environment subcommittee.

“The SDDP believes that every South Dakotan, especially the LGBTQ+ and Two-Spirit individuals and women of child-bearing age are entitled to live without government interference in their personal lives and in their healthcare decisions. Everyone is entitled to basic housing, food security, a job, and healthcare without facing discrimination,” said Lawrence Novotny, chair Human Rights subcommittee.

“The SDDP State Convention Ag and Rural Life Subcommittee was proud to have submitted down-to-earth realistic grassroots platform position recommendations, which were submitted to the subcommittee by our farmers, ranchers, and other hard-working South Dakotans (both Democrat and Republican) who are concerned about these issues and would like to see them adopted and implemented,” said Larry Olsen, chair of the Agriculture and Rural Life subcommittee.

“The Labor and Employment committee took a bold approach to what labor and employment looks like for all workers in South Dakota. We believe that our labor force in the state is strong and by adding some critical pieces to the platform the SDDP is ready for the incoming 21st Century workforce,” said Jessica Meyers, chair of the Labor and Employment subcommittee. 

“Our subcommittee, Veterans and Military Affairs, put together some good points on helping South Dakota veterans with post-traumatic stress disorder, mental health, funding for transportation for medical services in rural areas, educational and training benefits, and we especially emphasized the need for suicide prevention and treatment for substance abuse,” said Robert Amon, chair of Veterans and Military Affairs subcommittee.

“Our committee established a strong education platform advocating for public education at all levels. In addition to affirming the South Dakota Democratic Party’s ongoing support for competitive teacher pay, comprehensive preschool opportunities for all children, and affordable tuition at public universities and technical schools. Our Education platform was expanded to advocate for restoring Diversity Centers on university campuses, supporting the teaching of accurate history, and the inclusion of climate science education at all levels,” said Jennifer Keintz, chair of the Education subcommittee.

“The SDDP believes that high-quality, evidence-based healthcare and addressing the social determinants of health are critical to the safety and economy of our state. Our Health & Human Services subcommittee adopted thoughtful policy initiatives that will strengthen our communities and support people. I am grateful to have worked with brilliant healthcare leaders to ensure that the well-being of South Dakotans is a priority,” said Kameron Nelson, chair of the Health and Human Services subcommittee. 

For 2024, delegates voted to create separate subcommittees for economic development and tourism and to add a youth subcommittee.

The 2022 SDDP Platform can be found here.