ONE of the purposes of a political convention is to adopt a party platform. The Democratic platform was approved by a committee on June 27, and adopted virtually unchanged July 14 by the New York convention.
Following are excerpts from the platform, called "A New Covenant with the American People": Introduction
We can no longer afford business as usual - neither the policies of the last 12 years of tax breaks for the rich, mismanagement, lack of leadership and cuts in services for the middle class and poor, nor the adoption of new programs and new spending without new thinking....
Therefore we call for a revolution in government - to take power away from entrenched bureaucracies and narrow interests in Washington and put it back in the hands of ordinary people.... Economic growth
* Our party's first priority is opportunity - broad-based, non-inflationary economic growth and the opportunity that flows from it. Democrats in 1992 hold nothing more important for America than an economy that offers growth and jobs for all.
* To begin making our economy grow, the president and Congress should agree that savings from defense must be reinvested productively at home....
* We will create jobs by investing significant resources to put people back to work, beginning with a summer-jobs initiative and training programs for inner-city youth.
We support ... targeted fiscal assistance to cities that need it most. Budget deficit
The Democratic investment, economic conversion, and growth strategy will generate more revenues from a growing economy. We must also tackle spending by putting everything on the table...; reform entitlement programs to control soaring health-care costs; cut federal administrative costs by 3 percent annually for four years...; and make the rich pay their fair share in taxes. School system
* We oppose the Bush administration's efforts to bankrupt the public-school system - the bedrock of democracy - through private-school vouchers.
* To help children reach school ready to learn, we will expand health and nutrition programs and extend Head Start to all eligible children....
* A Domestic GI Bill will enable all Americans to borrow money for college, so long as they are willing to pay it back as a percentage of their income over time or through national service.... Civil Rights, abortion
* We support ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment, affirmative action, stronger protection of voting rights for racial and ethnic minorities, including language access to voting, and continued resistance to discriminatory English-only pressure groups.
We will reverse the Bush administration's assault on civil- rights enforcement, and instead work to rebuild and vigorously use machinery for civil rights enforcement....
* Democrats stand behind the right of every woman to choose, consistent with Roe v. Wade, regardless of ability to pay, and support a national law to protect that right. Environment
We will protect our old-growth forests, preserve critical habitats, provide a genuine "no-net-loss" policy on wetlands, conserve the critical resources of soil, water and air, oppose new offshore oil drilling and mineral exploration and production in our nation's many environmentally critical areas, and address ocean pollution by reducing oil and toxic waste spills at sea. Law and order
* We will create a Police Corps, in which participants will receive college aid in return for several years of service after graduation in a state or local police department.
* We support a reasonable waiting period to permit background checks for purchases of handguns, as well as assault weapons controls to ban the possession, sale, importation and manufacture of the most deadly assault weapons.
We do not support efforts to restrict weapons used for legitimate hunting and sporting purposes. National security
* America is the world's strongest military power, and we must remain so.
A post-cold-war restructuring of American forces will produce substantial savings beyond those promised by the Bush administration, but that restructuring must be achieved without undermining our ability to meet future threats to our security.
* The United States must be prepared to use military force decisively when necessary to defend our vital interests. Foreign policy
* We must act decisively with our European allies to support freedom, diminish ethnic tensions, and oppose aggression in the former communist countries, such as Bosnia-Herzegovina, which are struggling to make the transition from communism to democracy.
* The end of the cold war does not alter America's deep interest in our longstanding special relationship with Israel, based on shared values, a mutual commitment to democracy and a strategic alliance that benefits both nations.