The separation of ownership of
major societal assets from their control permits the
concentration of power over such assets in the hands of the few
who control rather than in the hand of the many who own. The
owners of the public lands, pension funds, savings accounts, and
the public airwaves are the American people, who have
essentially little or no control over their pooled assets or
A growing and grave imbalance
between the often-converging power of Big Business, Big
Government and the citizens of this country has seriously
damaged our democracy.
Corporations have perfected
socializing their losses while they capitalize on their profits.
It’s time to end “corporate welfare” as we know it. The
power of “civic action” is an antidote to abuse. As we look
at the dismantling of democracy by the corporatization of
society, we need to rekindle the democratic flame. As voter
citizens, taxpayers, workers, consumers and shareholders, we
need to exercise our rights and, as Jefferson urged, counteract
the “excesses of the monied interests.”
A. Political Reform
1. The Green Party, proposes a
COMPREHENSIVE POLITICAL REFORM AGENDA calling for real reform,
accountability, and responsiveness in government.
2. Political debate, public policy, and legislation should be
judged on its merits, not on the quid pro quo of political
barter and money.
3. We propose comprehensive CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM,
including caps on spending and contributions, at the national
and state level, and/or full public financing of elections” to
remove undue influence in political campaigns.
4. We will work to ban or greatly limit POLITICAL ACTION
COMMITTEES and restrict SOFT MONEY contributions.
5. We support significant lobbying regulation, strict rules
that disclose the extent of political lobbying via “gifts”
and contributions. Broad-based reforms of government operations,
with congressional reorganization and ETHICS LAWS, must be
instituted. At every level of government, we support “Sunshine
Laws” that open up the political system to access by ordinary
6. We recognize individual empowerment, full citizen
participation, and PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION as the foundation
of an effective and PLURALISTIC democracy."
7. We demand choices in our political system. This can be
accomplished by proportional representation voting systems such
as: 1) Choice Voting (which is candidate-based) 2) Mixed Member
Voting (which combines with district representation) ; and/or 3)
Party List (which is party based), and semi-proportional voting
systems such as: 1) Limited Voting and 2) Cumulative
Voting. All are used throughout the free world and by U.S.
businesses, and community and non-profit groups to increase
democratic representation. We call on local governments to lead
the way toward more electoral choice and broader representation.
8. We believe in MAJORITY RULE. Accordingly, we call
for the use of INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING in chief executive races
(mayor, governor, president, etc.) where voters can rank their
favorite candidates (1,2,3, etc.) to guarantee that the winner
has majority support and that voters aren't relegated to
choosing between the "lesser of two evils."
9. We believe in MULTI-PARTY DEMOCRACY (for partisan
elections) as the best way to guarantee majority rule, since
more people will have representation at the table where policy
10. The Electoral College is an 18th century
anachronism. We call for a constitutional amendment
abolishing the Electoral College and providing for the direct
election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting. Until
that time, we call for a proportional allocation of delegates in
11. We encourage building alternative, grassroots
institutions that support participatory and direct democracy at
the local level. Political reform goes beyond elected politics,
ultimately residing in choices each of us makes in our own
12. Using our voice to help others find their voice, a
national Green Party should spring from many sources: state and
local Green Party electoral efforts, individual efforts,
political involvement and direction at every level. As Greens,
we look toward forming bioregional confederations to coordinate
regional issues based on natural and ecosystem boundaries
instead of traditional political ones.
B. POLITICAL PARTICIPATION
1. Greens advocate direct democracy as a response to local
needs and issues, where all concerned citizens can discuss and
decide questions that immediately affect their lives, such as
land use, parks, schools and community services. We would
decentralize many state functions to the county and city level
and seek expanded roles for neighborhood boards and
2. We call for more flexibility by states and local
3. We advocate maintaining and enhancing federal guarantees
in the areas of civil rights protections, environmental
safeguards, and social “safety net” entitlements.
4. We endorse and advocate citizen rights to INITIATIVE,
REFERENDUM and RECALL. We believe that these tools of democracy
should not be for sale to the wealthy who pay for signatures to
buy their way onto the ballot. Therefore we call for a
certain percentage of signatures gathered to come from volunteer
5. We call for citizen control of REDISTRICTING processes and
moving the “backroom” apportionment process into the public
light. Minority representation must be protected and secured in
order to protect minority rights.
6. We will act to broaden voter participation and BALLOT
ACCESS, urging UNIVERSAL VOTER REGISTRATION and an ELECTION DAY
7. We believe that a binding “None of the Above” option
on the ballot should be considered.
8. We believe that providing free television and mail under
reasonable conditions for every qualified statewide,
congressional, presidential candidate and party can move the
political process toward increased participation.
9. We support statehood for the District of Columbia.
The residents of D.C. must have the same rights as all other
U.S. citizens to govern themselves and to be represented in both
houses of Congress.
10. Individual participation in the life of our local
community – in community projects and through personal,
meaningful, voluntary activity – is also political and vital
to the health of community.
11. We support citizen involvement at all levels of the
decision-making process and hold that DIRECT ACTION can be an
effective tool where peaceful democratic activism is
appropriate. We support the right to non-violent direct action
that supports green values. We call for the implementation of
Parliaments, whereby representatives elected by students to
discuss, debate and make proposals to their city councils and
Community is the basic unit of
green politics because it is personal, value-oriented and small
enough for each member to have an impact. We look to community
involvement as a foundation for public policy. Social diversity
is the well-spring of community life, where old and young, rich
and poor, people of all races and beliefs can interact
individually and learn to care for each other, to understand and
cooperate. We emphasize a return to local, face-to-face
relationships that humans can understand, cope with, and care
Within the Greens, as we look
at community issues, it is a guiding principle to “think
globally, act locally.” Community needs recognize a diversity
of issues, and LOCAL CONTROL recognizes a variety of approaches
to solving problems, one that tends to be “bottom up” not
“top down.” Green politics does not place its faith in
paternalistic “big government.” Instead, we believe
face-to-face interactions are essential to productive and
meaningful lives for all citizens.
The Green vision includes
building communities that nurture families, generate good jobs
and housing, and provide public services; creating cities and
towns that educate children, encourage recreation, and preserve
natural and cultural resources; building local governments that
protect people from environmental hazards and crime, and
motivate citizens to participate in making decision.
The Green vision calls for a
GLOBAL COMMUNITY of communities, recognizing our immense
diversity, respecting our personal worth, and sharing a global
perspective. We call for “A POLITICS OF 2000,” which
acknowledges our endangered planet and habitat. Our politics
responds to global crisis with a new way of seeing our shared
We conceive of a new era of
international cooperation and communication, a set of responses
nurturing CULTURAL DIVERSITY, recognizing the interconnectedness
between communities, and promoting opportunities for cultural
exchange and assistance.
1. We call for increased PUBLIC TRANSPORTATION, and
convenient playgrounds and parks for all sections of cities and
small towns, and funding to encourage diverse neighborhoods.
2. We support a rich milieu of art, culture, and significant
(yet modestly funded) programs such as the National Endowment
for the Arts and National Endowment for the Humanities.
3. We call for social policies to focus on protecting
FAMILIES. The young – our citizens of tomorrow – are
increasingly at risk. A “CHILDREN’S AGENDA” should be put
in place to focus attention and concerted action on the future
that is in our children.
4. Programs must be encouraged to ensure that children, the
most vulnerable members of society, will receive basic
nutritional, educational and medical necessities.
5. A universal, federally funded CHILDCARE program for
pre-school and young schoolchildren should be developed.
6. Family assistance such as the EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT,
available to working poor families in which the parent supports
and lives with the children, should be maintained and increased
to offset regressive payroll taxes and growing inequalities in
7. We support successful PRE-NATAL programs and “HEAD
8. It is our realization that “a living family wage” is
vital to the social health of communities.
9. The actuarial protection of SOCIAL SECURITY is essential
to the well-being of our seniors, and the maintenance of the
system’s integrity is an essential part of a healthy
10. We support the leading-edge work of NON-PROFIT PUBLIC
INTEREST GROUPS, and those individuals breaking out of “careerism”
to pursue NON-TRADITIONAL CAREERS in public service.
D. FOREIGN POLICY
As we look back at the wars and
deprivations of the past, and set our minds to overcoming
continued conflicts and violence, we realize the difficulties
inherent in encouraging democracy, and of advancing THE CAUSE OF
PEACE. With the end of the Cold War has come a more complex set
of challenges in how our nation defines its NATIONAL SECURITY.
Our present task is to rid ourselves of the residue of the
geopolitical conflict of East versus West, with its bloated
defense budgets, thousands of unneeded nuclear weapons and major
troop deployments overseas. Greens support sustainable
development and social and economic justice across the globe.
Reducing militarism and reliance on arms policies is the key to
progress toward collective security.
1. With half of all discretionary spending now going to the
military, the president requesting spending even the Pentagon
thinks is wasteful, and the Congress proposing even more than
the president requests, Greens believe the more than $300
billion DEFENSE BUDGET MUST BE CUT. The Green Party calls for
military spending to be cut by 50% over the next 10 years, with
increases in spending for social programs. Preventive diplomacy,
a strong economy and humane trade relations are our best
defense. We must maintain a viable American military force,
prudent foreign policy doctrines, and readiness strategies that
take into account real, not hollow or imagined threats to our
people, our democratic institutions and U.S. interests. Even so,
Greens seek strength through peace.
2. The Green Party would press for the immediate start of the
negotiation of a treaty to abolish nuclear weapons, and for the
completion of those negotiations by the year 2002. We would cut
off all funding for the development, testing, production, and
deployment of nuclear weapons, and also cut off funding for
nuclear weapons research. All nuclear weapons should be taken
off alert and all warheads removed from their delivery vehicles.
3. We call for our foreign policy establishment to engage in
a national debate on how we can convert to a PEACETIME ECONOMY.
We believe our nation’s ultimate strength is in its people and
a healthy economy. These will best protect our national security
interests over the long-term.
4. We endorse a reordering of priorities as to how our nation
can best achieve national security. The Green Party asserts that
security and liberty prosper together. HUMAN RIGHTS are the
foundation of EMERGING DEMOCRACIES and international relations.
We argue that the support of democracy, human rights and respect
for international law should be the cornerstone of American
5. We endorse ending support for repressive regimes. We
believe the United States and all nations should abide by World
Court decisions. We support the right of habeas
corpus being available to any person anywhere whose
imprisonment violates fundamental norms of international law.
6. It is our belief that the massive debt owed by the Third
World is causing immense misery and environmental destruction.
FOREIGN AID must be addressed in the context of retiring this
debt and not forcing “structural adjustments” via the
INTERNATIONAL MONETARY FUND (IMF) and WORLD BANK on the
economies of the underdeveloped world.
7. We call for a more enlightened policy on the part of
INTERNATIONAL AGENCIES and their financial arms which takes into
account the impact of international debt management. The United
States should rein in the IMF and World Bank, whose policies
have wreaked havoc, and demand that loans be conditional on
human rights and labor rights records, social and environmental
impact statements, and the providing of basic health and
8. INTERNATIONAL LAW and INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS are
inseparable. We do not support a world-view that relies on
accommodation of tyranny or repressive regimes.
9. We encourage policies that work to assist the FORMER
SOVIET UNION in its move toward a government based on rights and
a more open political and economic system.
10. We support peace in the MIDDLE EAST based on respect for
civil liberties and human rights.
11. We endorse human rights policies in regard to relations
with CHINA, SOUTH AFRICA and other nations with a history of
12. We support the end of the economic blockade of Cuba.
Unjust economic coercion by one state against another
constitutes a violation of human rights.
13. We demand, along with Green Parties around the world,
that the United States support the international anti-personnel
14. As stated in the United Nation’s “Universal
Declaration of Human Rights - Article 25”, the U.S. Green
Party, one of more than eighty Green Parties internationally,
calls for the global adoption of basic human rights. “Everyone
has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health
and well-being of [themselves] and of [their] family, including
food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social
services, and the right to security in the event of
unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other
lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond [their] control.”
15. We believe in the core RIGHT of SELF-DETERMINATION; of
the special character and needs of INDIGENOUS PEOPLES; of the
essential importance of balancing economic development in the
THIRD WORLD with a respect for the “old ways.”
16. We trust that NON-VIOLENCE provides a road to PEACE. We
understand the right of self-defense, yet believe we must move
beyond behavior that perpetuates violence. We oppose structural
and direct violence of all kinds: assaults against individuals,
families, nations and cultures, the environment and the
17. We endorse an EXPANDED PEACE CORPS.
18. We encourage the important work of NON-GOVERNMENT
ORGANIZATIONS (NGOs), much in evidence at the United Nations “Earth
Summit” in 1992 and in efforts to democratize the World Trade
Organization in 2000.
19. Essential in any broad definition of SECURITY, whether
defined in national, international or global terms, is that we
must find ways to secure and preserve our common Earth,
sustainer of all life. We must look to domestic and
international regulation to protect the global ecology,
utilizing the UNITED NATIONS and related agencies as well as
regional associations to advance our mutual interests.
20. We must build on the “Earth Charter” that came out of
the 1992 U.N. environmental Earth Summit. New definitions of
what constitutes real security between nations must be debated
and adopted by the foreign policy community.
II. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
The failing report card of American
education is troubling for most every American. Who fails to see
the connection between our investment in education and our
success as a people? Who believes there is no relation between
personal achievement and a quality education – an education
that teaches creative and critical thinking skills and a respect
for lifelong learning? Where can we best make a difference in
The Green Party maintains that
access to quality education for all Americans is the difference
that will lead to a strong and diverse community. The Green
Party seeks fundamental change in our priorities at the national
and local levels, within the public and private sectors, in the
classroom and at home, to make education our first priority.
1. Greens support EDUCATIONAL DIVERSITY. We hold no dogma
absolute, continually striving for truth in the realm of ideas.
We open ourselves – consciously and intuitively – to truth
and beauty in the world of nature. We view learning as a
lifelong process to which all people have an equal right.
2. Education starts with CHOICE and within public education
we believe in broad choices. “Magnet schools,” “Site-based
Management,” “Schools within Schools,” alternative models
and parental involvement are ways in which elementary education
can be changed to make a real difference in the lives of our
children. CURRICULUM should focus on SKILLS, both basic skills
that serve as a solid foundation for higher learning, and
exploratory approaches that expand horizons, such as distance
learning, “interactive” education, computer proficiencies,
perspectives that bring an enriched awareness of nature (“biological
literacy”), intercultural experiences, and languages.
3. We advocate creative and noncompetitive education at every
age level, and the inclusion of cultural diversity in all
curricula. We encourage “hands on” approaches that encourage
a multitude of individual learning styles.
4. PARENTAL RESPONSIBILITY should be encouraged by finding
ways to help support parents in their efforts to help support
their children as more families confront economic conditions
demanding a greater deal of time be spent away from home.
Parents should be as involved as possible in their children’s
education; values do start with parents.
5. STUDENT RESPONSIBILITY is also key to developing intrinsic
capabilities. Greens hold strongly to empowerment of
individuals; therefore, we support each student recognizing
their own personal responsibility: to strive to achieve their
fullest potential as an individual.
6. FEDERAL POLICY on education should act principally to
ensure equal opportunity to a quality education.
7. Educational funding formulas at the STATE LEVEL need to be
adjusted as needed to avoid gross inequalities between districts
and schools. Educational grants should provide necessary balance
to ensure equal educational access for minority, deprived,
special needs and exceptional children. In higher education,
federal college scholarship aid should be increased and aimed at
excluding no qualified student.
8. Our teachers find they are underpaid, overworked and
rarely supplied with the resources necessary to do the work most
are sincerely trying to do to reach their students. It is time
to stop disinvesting in education, and start putting education
at the top of our social and economic agenda.
9. We call on all Greens to include education as a regular
part of our meetings so we can be clear about what unites us as
well as what divides us.
10. We call for equitable state and national funding of
school education and the creation of schools controlled by
parent-teacher governing bodies.
11. We support after-school programs for “latchkey”
12. We advocate state funding for DAY CARE that includes
school children under the age of ten when after-school programs
are not available.
13. Classroom teachers at the elementary and high school
levels should be given PROFESSIONAL STATUS, and salaries
comparable to related professions requiring advanced education,
training and responsibility.
14. Principals are also essential components in effective
educational institutions. We encourage state Departments of
Education and school boards to deliver more programmatic support
and decision-making to the true grassroots level – i.e., the
classroom teacher and school principal.
15. Use of computers in the early grades should not supplant
the development of basic interpersonal, perceptual and motor
skills as a foundation for learning.
16. We call for the teaching of non-violent conflict
resolution at all levels of education.
17. We recognize the viable alternative of HOME-BASED
18. We support a host of innovative and critical educational
efforts, such as BI-LINGUAL EDUCATION, CONTINUING EDUCATION, JOB
RETRAINING, MENTORING AND APPRENTICESHIP PROGRAMS.
19. Dispute resolution is an important part of resolving
classroom or after-school disputes, and a life skill that
all children should learn.
20. We are deeply concerned about the intervention in our
schools of corporations that promote a culture of consumption
and waste. Schools should not expose children to commercial
advertising. Schools must safeguard students’ privacy rights
and not make available private student information upon
corporate (or federal government) request.
21. Within higher education, we oppose military and corporate
control over the priorities and topics of academic research.
22. We support tuition-free post secondary (collegiate and
vocational) public education.
23. In an economy that demands higher skills and a democracy
that depends on an informed, educated electorate, opportunities
for universal higher education and life-long learning must be
a.) Short of tuition-free
schooling, student-loans should be available to all students
attending college, and they should be repayable as a proportion
of future earnings, rather than at a fixed rate.
b.) On the same terms, individualized
training accounts should be made available to students who
choose to pursue vocational and continuing education.
24. Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental right and
is a key element in empowering communities and moving us toward
sustainability and respect for diversity. Artists can create in
ways that foster healthy, non-alienating relationships between
people and their daily environments, communities, and the Earth.
This can include both artists whose themes advocate compassion,
nurturance, or cooperation; and artists whose creations unmask
the often-obscure connections between various forms of violence,
domination, and oppression, or effectively criticize aspects of
the very community that supports their artistic activity. The
arts can only perform their social friction if they are
completely free from outside control.
The Green Party supports:
community-based systems treating neither the artwork nor the
artist as a commodity.
b.) Eliminating all laws which
seek to restrict or censor artistic expression, including
withholding of government funds for political or moral content.
c.) Increased funding for the
arts appropriate to their essential social role at all levels of
government: Local, State and Federal.
d.) Community-funded programs
employing local artists to enrich their communities through
public art programs. These could include, but would not be
limited to, public performances, exhibitions, murals on public
buildings, design or re-design of parks and public areas,
storytelling and poetry reading, and publication of local
e.) The establishment of
non-profit public forums for local artists to display their
talents and creations. Research, public dialogue, and trial
experiments to develop alternative systems for the valuation and
exchange of artworks and for the financial support of artists
(e.g., community subscriber support groups, artwork rental
busts, cooperative support systems among artists, legal or
financial incentives to donate to the arts or to donate artworks
to public museums).
f.) Responsible choices of
non-toxic, renewable, or recyclable materials and choosing
funding sources not connected with social injustice or
g.) Education programs in the
community that will energize the creativity of every community
member from the youngest to the oldest, including neglected
groups such as teenagers, senior citizens, prisoners,
immigrants, and drug addicts. These programs would provide
materials and access to interested, qualified arts educators to
every member of the community who demonstrates an interest
h.) Incorporating arts
education studies and activities into every school curriculum
with appropriate funding and staffing. We also encourage local
artists and the community to contribute time, experience, and
resources to these efforts.
i.) Diversity in arts education
in the schools, including age-specific hands-on activities and
appreciative theoretical approaches, exposure to the arts of
various cultures and stylistic traditions, and experience with a
variety of media, techniques and contents.
j.) The integration of the arts
and artistic teaching methods into other areas of the curriculum
to promote a holistic perspective.
Greens view learning as a
lifelong and life-affirming process to which all people should
have access. We cannot state more forcefully our belief that in
learning, and openness to learning, we find the foundation of
B. HEALTH CARE
Fundamental reform of our
nation’s health care system is necessary to provide
affordable, quality and accessible health care for all
Americans. Currently, we are the only industrialized country
without a national health care system. Unfortunately, we have a
private insurance system that insures only the healthiest
people, systematically denying coverage to individuals with “pre-existing”
conditions and routinely terminating coverage to those who
The Green Party considers health care a human right, and
therefore supports a single-payer national insurance program for
the United States. This program would be publicly financed
at the national level, administered locally, and privately
delivered, i.e., private physicians, hospitals, and other health
care providers would remain private and competitive, and
consumers given full choice of provider.
It would cover all standard medical procedures, treatment,
diagnosis, etc. as well as drug treatment, dental care,
medication, chronic and terminal illness, and abortion. The
program must include equal coverage for treatment of mental
illness. All Americans must be covered under this plan,
regardless of employment, income, housing, age, or prior medical
The Green Party believes, based on comparison with other
nations that have enacted similar programs, that such a program
would be more economical and would save money in many
areas. In order to enact this program, we must dismantle
the current managed care system.
The current system’s high costs and widely recognized
failures demand that bold, not incremental steps, be taken.
1. Alongside the many Americans calling for action that makes
health care a right, not a privilege, the Green Party states
with a clear voice its strong support for UNIVERSAL HEALTH CARE.
2. We call for passage of legislation at the national and
state level that guarantees comprehensive benefits for all
Americans. A single-insurer system funded by the federal
government and administered at the state and local levels
remains viable and is an essential barometer of our national
health and well-being.
3. We support maintaining private medical providers,
including doctors, hospitals and clinics…
4. As we support cost savings by small business, we note it
is estimated that businesses will save significantly compared to
their current premiums – an estimated $900 billion – under a
proposed SINGLE-PAYER “National Health Trust Fund” plan.
5. We endorse NATIONAL HEALTH INSURANCE and demand that
Congress again propose and act to support the practical and
moral imperative of Universal Health Care. Major features of
this health care legislation should include:
a.) UNIVERSAL ACCESS without
concern for work status or health history;
b.) FREEDOM OF HEALTH CARE
CHOICE so patients can choose their own clinics, doctors
other health care professionals;
c.) substantial COST SAVINGS
through annual, global budgets, national fee schedules, and
streamlined administration which acts to eliminate the waste of
the current system;
d.) COMPREHENSIVE BENEFITS,
without insurance premiums, deductibles or co-payments,
including hospital and physician care, prescription drugs,
dental and vision care, reproductive and preventative care, and
defined mental health benefits;
e.) a focus on RURAL HEALTH
f.) and continued support of
MEDICAL RESEARCH into the quality, effectiveness and
appropriateness of medical care.
6. MEDICARE provides health care for nearly 40 million
Americans over the age of 65. Medicare: Part A is financed by
the Medicare Trust Fund, which is replenished by payroll taxes.
But as the major portion of the Fund’s financing moves from
these dedicated payroll taxes and premiums to general funds, the
Fund’s trustees predict insolvency looms, putting Medicare is
at risk. In order to correct this, we would vigorously pursue
savings and cuts from abundant waste and fraud, eliminate
costly, unnecessary services that benefit providers more than
patients, and rein in pharmaceutical industry rip-offs.
7. MEDICAID, which pays for basic medical assistance for the
disabled, blind, pregnant women, and children in families who
have no insurance, also must be protected and put on a firm
8. The prices of all kinds of medication must be publicly
supervised, with federal controls, and be set with respect to
the needs of patients and consumers, instead of demands for
9. Successful reform of our health care system must start
with WELLNESS education; that is, PREVENTATIVE health care. It
is each of our responsibilities to tend to our own health
through education, diet, nutrition and exercise.
10. The Surgeon General has stated that a large percentage of
illness is diet related; therefore improving the quality of our
nation’s FOOD SUPPLY and our personal eating habits will go a
long way toward improving our health care system – by reducing
the need for care.
11. We support a wide-range of health care services, not just
traditional medicine that too often emphasizes “a medical arms
race” relying upon high-tech intervention and surgical
12. We support the teaching of holistic health approaches
and, as appropriate, the use of complementary and alternative
therapies such as herbal medicines, homeopathy, acupuncture, and
other healing approaches.
13. We oppose the arrest, harassment or prosecution of anyone
involved in any aspect of the production, cultivation,
transportation, distribution or consumption of medicinal
marijuana. We also oppose the harassment, prosecution or
revocation of license of any health-care provider who gives a
recommendation or prescription for medicinal marijuana.
14. As a matter of appropriate professional responsibility,
we support INFORMED CONSENT LAWS to educate consumers to
potential health impacts.
15. PRIMARY CARE, through a renewed attention to family
medicine as opposed to increased medical specialization, is
appropriate and necessary.
16. Special attention must be given to WOMEN’S HEALTH
ISSUES, including reproductive rights and family planning.
17. We believe the right of a woman to control her own body
is inalienable. It is essential that the option of a safe, legal
abortion remains available.
18. Medical research must be increased, and alternative
therapies actively sought, to combat breast cancer.
19. We call for adequate SOCIAL AND HEALTH SERVICES being
made available to those who have special needs: the mentally
ill, the handicapped, those who are terminally ill.
20. We call for wider implementation of hospice care.
21. We believe an all out campaign must be waged against AIDS
and HIV, and we will press for the implementation of the
recommendations of the National Commission on AIDS. We call for
prevention awareness and access to condoms to prevent the spread
of AIDS. We condemn HIV-related discrimination; would make drug
treatment and other programs available for all addicts who seek
help; would expand clinical trials for treatments and vaccines;
and speed up the FDA drug approval process.
22. In matters of international trade, the United States must
respect the measures other nations take to ensure public health,
and must not use medication, medical equipment, and other
medical necessities -- and threats of withholding them -- as
leverage for political reasons or as extortion for the sake of
commercial profit. We oppose any embargo or economic
sanction that would cause the suffering of innocent civilians.
C. Economic Justice/Social Safety Net
The passage of the 1996 WELFARE ACT by Congress, and its
signing by the President, confronts us with hard choices.
Democrats and Republicans seem to be saying we cannot afford to
care for children and poor mothers. In ending over fifty years
of federal policy guaranteeing cash assistance for poor
children, Congress has set in motion a radical experiment that
will have a profound impact on the lives of the weakest members
of our society. How will the states, city and county
governments, local communities, businesses, churches – all of
us – respond?
We believe we have a special responsibility to the health and
well-being of the young. Yet we see the federal safety net being
removed and replaced with limited and potentially harsh state
welfare programs. How will social services be adequately
provided if local resources are stretched thin already?
We believe our community priorities must first protect the
young and helpless. Yet how will state legislatures and
agencies, under pressure from more powerful interests, react? We
believe local decision-making is important, but we realize, as
we learned during the civil rights era, that strict federal
standards must guide state actions in providing basic
protections. As the richest nation in history, we should not
condemn millions of children to a life of poverty, while
corporate welfare is increased to historic highs.
Welfare: A Commitment to Ending Poverty
The health of the planet is inseparably bound to the health
of our human communities. Greens understand that an unjust
society is an unsustainable society. When communities are
stressed by poverty, violence and despair, our ability to meet
the challenges of the post-industrial age are critically
impaired. A holistic, future-focused perspective on how we
distribute resources in this country will consider the effects
of such distribution not just on our present needs, but on the
seventh generation to come.
The ones who suffer most from economic injustice are children
- those who will inherit the social and environmental problems
of the 20th century, and who will carry the responsibility of
sustaining our society into the next millennium. Ensuring that
children and their caregivers have access to an adequate, secure
standard of living should form the cornerstone of our economic
It is time for a RADICAL PARADIGM SHIFT in our attitude
toward support for families, children, the poor and the
disabled. Such support must not be given grudgingly; it is the
right of those in present need and AN INVESTMENT IN OUR FUTURE.
We must take an uncompromising position that the care and
nurture of children, elders and the disabled are essential to a
healthy, peaceful and sustainable society. We should recognize
that the work of their caregivers is of social and economic
value, and reward it accordingly. Only then can we hope to build
our future on a foundation of healthy, educated children who are
raised in an atmosphere of love and security.
1. We believe that all people have a right to food, housing,
medical care, a living wage job, education, and support in times
2. We believe that work performed outside the monetary system
has inherent social and economic value, and is essential to a
healthy, sustainable economy and peaceful communities. Such work
includes, but is not limited to: child and elder care;
homemaking; voluntary community service; continuing education;
participating in government; and the arts.
3. We call for restoration of a federally funded entitlement
program to support children, families, the unemployed, elderly
and disabled, with no time limit on benefits. This program
should be funded through the existing welfare budget, reductions
in military spending and corporate subsidies, and a fair
progressive income tax.
4. We call for a graduated supplemental income, or negative
income tax, that would maintain all individual adult incomes
above the poverty level, regardless of employment or marital
5. We advocate reinvesting a significant portion of the
military budget in family support, living wage job development,
and work training programs. Publicly funded work training and
education programs should have a goal of increasing people’s
employment options at living wage jobs.
6. We support public funding for the development of living
wage jobs in community and environmental service, for example,
environmental clean-up, recycling, sustainable agriculture and
food production, sustainable forest management, repair and
maintenance of public facilities, neighborhood-based public
safety, aids in schools, libraries and childcare centers, and
construction and renovation of energy-efficient housing. We
oppose enterprise zone ‘give aways’ which benefit
corporations more than inner city communities
7. The accumulation of individual wealth in the U.S. has
reached grossly unbalanced proportions. It is clear that we
cannot rely on the rich to regulate their profit-making excesses
for the good of society through “trickle-down economics”. We
must take aggressive steps to restore a FAIR DISTRIBUTION OF
INCOME. We support tax incentives for businesses that apply fair
employee wage distributions standards, and income tax policies
that restrict the accumulation of excessive individual wealth.
8. Forcing welfare recipients to accept jobs that pay wages
below a livable income (“a living wage”) drives wages down
and exploits workers for private profit at public expense. We
reject “workfare” as a form a slave labor.
9. Corporations receiving public subsidies must provide
livable wage jobs, observe basic workers rights, and agree to
affirmative action policies.of such distribution not just on our
present needs, but on the seventh generation to come.
D. TAX JUSTICE / FAIRNESS
Middle-class and poor people
are paying an ever greater proportion of federal taxes, and too
often local and state taxes are unfair and regressive. The tax
code is a labyrinth of deductions, loopholes, exemptions and
write-offs, the result of insider- and industry-lobbying that
has damaged our economy as it has served the interests of big
business and financial institutions.
1. We call for SYSTEM-WIDE TAX REFORM that acts to simplify
the tax system.
2. Subsidies, export incentives, tax loopholes and tax
shelters that benefit large corporations now amount to hundreds
of billions of dollars each year and must be cut to the bone.
The high price of corporate
welfare corrupts the political process by encouraging the
exchange of political favors for campaign donations. Corporate
tax breaks are ultimately paid for by higher taxes on the middle
class; they distort the rules of the marketplace and seldom
serve a larger public purpose.
We call for a tax policy that
moves to eliminate loopholes and other exemptions that favor
powerful interests over TAX JUSTICE. Small business, in
particular, should not be penalized by a tax system which
benefits those who can “work” the legislative tax committees
for breaks and subsidies.
3. We support substantive and wide-ranging reform of the tax
system that helps create jobs, economic efficiencies and
innovation within the small business community.
4. We believe fiscal and tax policies should confront and end
destructive “corporate welfare” and subsidies. Smaller
businesses are America’s great strength. Greens believe
government should have a tax policy that encourages small- and
socially responsible business.
5. Where corporations act with corporate citizenship, that
is, with “fiduciary responsibility” that includes the
interests of their community and employees as well as
shareholders, we support appropriate tax incentives.
6. We call on new approaches to taxation, such as
ENVIRONMENTAL TAXES as a partial substitute for income taxes.
Taxing industrial pollution is an idea long overdue.
Environmental taxes of this type, and “true-cost pricing,”
will aid in transforming major industries from being
non-sustainable in their use of natural resources to being
sustainable in character.
7. We believe that we must take a closer look at the costs
and benefits of consumption and VALUE-ADDED TAX approaches.
8. We do not support a FLAT TAX, but agree that the host of
deductions and adjustments to income, dividends and
miscellaneous revenue afforded under the current system to those
at the top produces cynicism on the part of most Americans
toward their tax system and government.
9. We would raise corporate taxes. The corporate share of
taxes has fallen from 33% in the 1940s to 15% today, while the
individual share has risen from 44% to 73%, according to the
Alliance for Democracy.
10. Greens support progressivity in taxation as a matter of
principle, believing that those who benefit most from the system
have a responsibility to return more, their “fair share.”
11. We believe a central goal of tax policy should be “transparency”
– that is, a system that is simple, understandable, and
resistant to the machinations of special interests.
12. The Green Party opposes the “privatization” of Social
Security. The Social Security trust fund, contrary to claims
being made by Republican and Democrat candidates, is not about
to “go broke” and does not need to be “fixed” by Wall
Street. The alleged demise of Social Security benefits is based
on what economist and former Clinton cabinet member Robert Reich
has called “the wildly pessimistic assumption” that the
economy will grow only 1.8% annually over the next three
decades. At a more realistic 2.4% a year, Reich points out (what
the current White House budget predicts for the next five
years), “the fund is flush for the next 75 years.”
Considering that the bottom 20%
of American senior citizens get roughly 80% of their income from
Social Security, and that without Social Security nearly 70% of
black elderly and 60% of Latino elderly households would be in
poverty, it is critical that the public protections of Social
Security are not privatized and subjected to increased risk
based on misleading projections of shortfalls.
E. MANAGEMENT-LABOR RELATIONS
1. In the PRIVATE SECTOR, we acknowledge the many challenges
responsible SMALL BUSINESS must overcome to remain competitive
with big business, and we support addressing these obstacles by
creating cooperative relationships and effective communication
in the workplace.
2. The concepts of ECONOMIC AND WORKPLACE DEMOCRACY must be
expanded in management-labor negotiations because the decisions
a company makes affects its employees, its consumers, and the
surrounding communities. In order to protect the legitimate
interests of these various constituencies, as well as the
natural environment, people in each of these groups must be
empowered to participate in economic decision-making.
3. There should be no compromise of basic WORKER RIGHTS.
4. We support a fair MINIMUM WAGE, which, adjusted for
inflation, is still well below the purchasing power it had
throughout the 1960s and 1970s.
5. We endorse federal legislation to address problems
associated with large plant closings; WORKPLACE SAFETY and
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reform; and
National Labor Relations Act (NLRA) reform.
6. We particularly support substantive reforms toward “workplace
democracy” in large corporations, especially reform that
impacts socially and environmentally irresponsible big business.
7. We endorse legal rights to organize and join unions with
democratically elected leadership.
8. We encourage the use of mediation as a tool for resolving
disputes in the workplace.
9. We support the right to strike without being “permanently
10. We support employee stock ownership plans (ESOP’s) with
functioning, democratic structures; and cooperative ownership
11. In the PUBLIC SECTOR, Greens are concerned with an
employee’s right to join a union, and with associated
COLLECTIVE BARGAINING rights.
12. “Good” government demands effective and efficient
management, that is, wisely spending the people’s hard-earned
tax dollars. We support initiatives between management and labor
that produce “better” government through performance,
productivity and accountability.
13. We believe government is truly the “people’s business”
and serious reform proposals should be given close attention.
F. CRIMINAL JUSTICE
1. A plan to revitalize our economy must be a central element
of any overall plan to reduce crime. Fear of violent crime is
growing and it is our belief that the breaking of the bonds of
community, the economic and social root causes of crime, must be
addressed in the same way politicians today propose putting more
firepower on the streets; threatening criminals with harsher
sentences (“three strikes and you’re out”); and building
2. The advent of a “prison industrial complex” in the
United States has become a national disgrace. The Green Party
raises a united voice in opposition to the terrible inequities
within the criminal justice system, the systemic injustice and
prejudice, the lack of adequate legal representation for the
poor and under privileged, the gross punishments mandated under
punitive sentencing laws that fill the jails, prisons and
penitentiaries with non-violent offenders.
3. The Green Party opposes privatizing of prisons.
4. Any attempt to combat crime must begin with restoration of
community; positive approaches that build hope, responsibility
and a sense of belonging.
5. Young men and women must have access to work that pays a
family a living wage.
6. We would initiate social programs that are alternatives to
gangs, such as “Gang Intervention Units.” Practical
education with a real promise of a future is needed if we are to
expect long-term success in this struggle, especially against
street crime and hard drug trafficking.
7. We encourage our political leaders to remember that “an
ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” With the costs
of maintaining a prisoner far outstripping the costs of
educating a child, or the costs of providing job training, or
job creation incentives, or providing adequate social services
and a “social net” to those in need, we believe it is only
appropriate to focus on where our societal intervention can be
most successful and effective.
8. At the same time, we must develop law enforcement
approaches that are firm and directly address VIOLENT CRIME,
street crime, and trafficking in hard drugs. Violence that
creates a climate of further violence must be stopped.
9. While toughening penalties for violent crimes, it is
inappropriate to have a de facto policy of leniency to “WHITE
COLLAR CRIME.” We believe broad corporate crime legislation
should be enacted and enforced. We support efforts that target
the worst cases of corporate (and governmental and defense
industry) illegality, and we support resultant sentencing (and
fines) that acts “with teeth” as an effective deterrent.
10. We recommend establishing effective, independent CIVILIAN
REVIEW of complaints of police misconduct.
11. We support the ‘Brady Bill’ and thoughtful, carefully
considered GUN CONTROL.
12. We endorse PRISON EDUCATION and JOB TRAINING.
13. We support innovative approaches to rehabilitation, and
transitioning of non-violent criminals back into their
14. We do not support, as a matter of conscience, the DEATH
15. We support JUDICIAL REFORM that opens up the court
system, makes it affordable and convenient to ordinary citizens,
and provides for more efficient administration of justice.
16. We support tough DWI laws.
17. We call for consistent policy of protection against
VIOLENCE IN SCHOOLS.
18. We endorse federal funding for RAPE CRISIS CENTERS and
DOMESTIC VIOLENCE SHELTERS. We call for rape and domestic
violence prevention and education programs and stiffer sentences
for people convicted of domestic violence.
19. VICTIMS’ RIGHTS must be guarded and protected.
Victim-impact statements are appropriate vehicles for achieving
full justice, and restitution should be considered in many cases
to ensure victims will not be lost in the complexities of
20. We support decriminalization of “VICTIMLESS” CRIMES,
for example, the possession of small amounts of marijuana.
21. We call for legalization of industrial hemp and all its
22. We oppose the illicit activities of the international
drug trade and the illicit money laundering that often
accompanies the drug cartels. We call for a revised view of the
“drug problem” and an end to the “war on drugs,”
recognizing that after over a decade of strident law-and-order
posturing, the problems with hard drugs have only worsened.
23. We call for expanding drug counseling and treatment for
those who need it.
24. We believe mandatory drug testing violates civil rights;
therefore, we oppose mandatory testing.
25. We favor innovative sentencing and punishment options,
including community service for first-time offenders and “Drug
Court” diversion programs. We support alternative sentencing
for non-violent crimes (i.e. community service) and guaranteed
education within prison – G.E.D. courses and college courses
as well as skill training and dispute resolution.
G. CIVIL AND EQUAL RIGHTS
The foundation of any
democratic society is the guarantee that each member of society
has equal rights. Respect for our constitutionally protected
rights is our best defense against discrimination and the abuse
of power. We should treasure and celebrate our people’s
differences and diversity.
We recognize an intimate
connection between our RIGHTS as individuals and our
RESPONSIBILITIES to our neighbors and the planet. The balance
between rights and responsibilities is found as we provide for
the maximum participation of everyone in the decisions affecting
our well-being, our economic security, our social and
1. As Greens, we uphold the key value of respect for
diversity. We recognize that the development of the United
States has been marked by conflict over questions of race. Just
as we acknowledge that our Nation was formed only after Native
Americans were first displaced, we also acknowledge that the
institution of slavery had as its underpinnings the ideology and
practice of white supremacy, which we as Greens condemn. We know
that, in slavery's aftermath, discrimination and racial violence
against people of color continues to be a social problem of
paramount significance, even today. We condemn discrimination
and violence against anyone but also recognize that people of
color have borne the brunt of racial violence and discrimination
throughout the history of the United States.
a.) Therefore, we call for an
end to official support for any remaining badges and indicia of
slavery and specifically call for the immediate removal of the
Confederate battle flag from any and all government buildings
because we recognize that, to many, this remains a painful
reminder of second-class status on the basis of race.
b.) In addition, we support efforts
to overcome the aftereffects of over 200 years of discrimination
and, hence, support affirmative action.
c.) Furthermore, we recognize that
people of color have legitimate claims in this country to
reparations in the form of monetary compensation for these
centuries of discrimination. We also uphold the right of the
descendants of the African slaves to self-determination, as we
do for all indigenous peoples.
2. We, as Greens, are committed to establishing relationships
that honor diversity; that support the self-definition and
SELF-DETERMINATION of all people; and that consciously confront
the barriers of racism, sexism, homophobia, class oppression,
ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working
together to define and solve our common problems.
3. We affirm the right to openly embrace SEXUAL ORIENTATION
in the intimate choice of who we love.
4. We support the rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual and
transgendered people in housing, jobs, civil marriage and
benefits, child custody – and in all areas of life, the right
to be treated equally with all other people.
5. We affirm the right to worship or not to worship as
each one chooses.
6. We support affirmative action to remedy discrimination, to
protect constitutional rights and to provide equal opportunity
under the law.
7. The Green Party abhors punitive discrimination in any
form, and thus condemns the practice of those law enforcement
agencies in the country which are guilty of discriminatory “racial
profiling,” stopping motorists, harassing individuals, or
using unwarranted violence against suspects with no other
justification than race or ethnic background.
8. We also favor strong measures to combat official racism in
the forms of police brutality and racial profiling directed
against people of color. We agree with groups such as Amnesty
International, which has recently said that police brutality has
reached epidemic levels in the United States and we call for
effective monitoring of police agencies to eliminate police
brutality and racial profiling.
9. We support effective enforcement of the “VOTING RIGHTS
ACT,” including language access to voting.
10. We will resist discriminatory English-only pressure
groups. We call for a national language policy that would
encourage all citizens to be fluent in at least two languages.
11. We strongly support the vigorous enforcement of CIVIL
RIGHTS LAWS, the aggressive prosecution of hate crimes, and the
strengthening of legal services for the poor.
12. We support the full enforcement of the “Americans with
Disabilities Act” to enable all people with disabilities to
achieve independence and function at the highest possible level.
Government should work to ensure that children with disabilities
are provided with the same educational opportunities as those
13. WOMEN’S RIGHTS must be protected and expanded to
guarantee each woman’s right to be a full participant in
society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination or
interference in the intensely personal choice about whether to
have a child.
14. We support the EQUAL RIGHTS AMENDMENT.
15. The EQUAL EMPLOYMENT OPPORTUNITIES COMMISSION (EEOC)
should actively investigate and prosecute sexual harassment
complaints. Women who file complaints must not be persecuted and
should be protected under federal and state law. We must
enshrine in law the basic principle that women have the same
rights as men, and promote gender equality and fairness in the
work force to ensure women receive equal pay for jobs of equal
16. Consumers have the right to adequate enforcement of the
federal and state CONSUMER PROTECTION LAWS. Health and safety is
paramount and we oppose lax or inappropriate regulatory actions.
17. Consumers have the right to participate in decisions that
affect their lives and protect their interests beyond simply
voting on election day. We support the creation of CONSUMER
ADVOCACY AGENCIES (for example, along the model of the Illinois
Citizen Utility Board) to protect the interests of consumers
against the corporate lobbyists who have essentially (and too
often successfully) argued against the rights of consumers
before the regulatory agencies. We would require that legal
monopolies and regulated industries (for example, electric, gas,
water, and telephone utilities) set-up statewide CONSUMER ACTION
GROUPS to act on behalf of and advocate for consumer interests.
18. We call for consumer legislation to outlaw the use of
animals in cosmetics and household product testing; in tobacco
and alcohol testing; and in weapons development or other
19. We call for reforms to better inform consumers about the
products they are buying; and where and how they are made. We
endorse “truth in advertising,” including the clear
definition of words like “recycled” and “natural.”
20. We call for the restoration of consumers’ rights to
file class actions suits against manufacturers of unsafe
products and restrictions on secrecy agreements that act to
prevent lawsuits by not revealing damaging information.
21. We support “whistleblower rights” laws.
22. We support a citizen’s right of access to justice. Our
system of justice must be made convenient to rich and poor
alike, guarding it against big business attempts to regulate
and, in effect, control our civil justice/civil jury system.
23. Recently proposed bills that encroach on civil liberties,
such as the Crime Bill of ’96 and the Terrorist Bill of ’97,
as well as the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, which
circumvents the 4th Amendment and opens the door for CIA to spy
domestically on U.S. citizens, are of special concern to the
Green Party. The Bill of Rights must remain a fundamental
touchstone in defense of our civil rights.
H. FREE SPEECH
As we look to the foundation of
our freedoms, it should be remembered that the Constitution of
the United States is not only “the supreme law of the land”
but is also the original source of other laws. In Article I, the
Constitution spells out the “legislative powers” that are
vested in Congress, which ultimately affect the personal and
business lives of us all. In the Bill of Rights, the
Constitution sets forth the fundamental rights and freedoms of
all people, rights and freedoms that cannot be denied or
abridged by Congress, or by any other branch or level of
An informed electorate is
critical to good government. The scope of the First Amendment is
extensive and prohibits any law which would abridge the freedom
of speech, or of the press, most clearly in reference to
political matters. Our legal right to criticize government is
essential to the effective working of democracy.
1. We support openness in government, not secrecy, and
endorse the “FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT” (FOIA) as a way of
guaranteeing access to government decision-making.
2. We recognize that access to information has profound
consequences to our democracy, and we have concerns regarding
the concentration of information in the hands of fewer and fewer
corporations. The FEDERAL COMMUNICATIONS COMMISSION (FCC) must
promulgate telecommunications policies that ensure the First
Amendment rights of viewers and listeners. New and existing
technologies must provide outlets for scientific and cultural
expression and enhance the electoral process. The “affordable
access” and “universal access” provisions of the “Telecommunications
Act of 1996” should be interpreted by the FCC for what they
are – a clear mandate for the telecommunications industry to
make advanced communications systems affordable and equitably
available to all American schools and libraries.
3. As Greens, we support those who urge the public to “reclaim
the public airwaves.” The privatization of the broadcast
airwaves – one of our most important taxpayer assets – has
caused serious deformations of our politics and culture. The
basic problem is that private broadcasters control what the
public owns. And in return for free licenses to use taxpayer
property, broadcasters give us a steady stream of increasingly
coarse, redundant, superficial programming and, of course,
exclusively decide who says what on our public airwaves.
4. The Green Party supports “community radio,”
particularly those rulemaking petitions before the F.C.C., which
allow for a new service of small, locally-owned FM stations.
5. The concentration of power that has characterized the
telecommunications industry must be limited. A wide span of
programming and information, genuine citizen access, diversity
of views, respect for local community interests, news, public
affairs and “QUALITY CHILDREN’S PROGRAMMING” – the FCC
should closely monitor applications for license renewals to the
public airwaves to ensure that these public interest criteria
6. Although we see regular assaults on the freedoms of speech
enshrined in our nation’s founding documents, we oppose
censorship in the arts, media (including the World Wide Web and
Internet), and press. We encourage individual and social
responsibility by artists, creative media, writers – and all
I. NATIVE AMERICANS
Native American culture is
worthy of protection and special respect. As Greens we feel a
special affinity to the respect for community and the Earth that
many Native peoples have at their roots.
1. We recognize both the SOVEREIGNTY of Native American
tribal governments and the government’s trust obligation to
Native American people.
2. The federal government must renew its obligation to deal
in good faith with Native Americans; to honor its treaty
obligations; adequately fund programs for the betterment of
tribal governments and their people; affirm the RELIGIOUS RIGHTS
of Native Americans in ceremonies (“American Indian Religious
Freedom Act”); provide funds for innovative economic
development initiatives, EDUCATION and public HEALTH PROGRAMS;
and respect land, water and mineral rights within the borders of
reservations and traditional lands.
3. We support efforts to broadly reform the BUREAU OF INDIAN
AFFAIRS (BIA) to make this vast agency more responsible, and
responsive, to tribal governments.
4. We support the just settlement of the claims of the
thousands of Native American URANIUM MINERS who have suffered
and died from radiation exposure. We condemn the stance of
secrecy taken by the Atomic Energy Commission during this era
and its subsequent claim of “government immunity,” taken
knowingly (and immorally) at the expense of Native peoples’
health and safety.
5. We support the complete clean-up of those mines and
tailing piles that are a profoundly destructive legacy of the
Cold War era.
6. We recognize that Native American land and treaty rights
often stand at the front-line against government and
multinational corporate attempts to plunder energy, mineral,
timber, fish, and game resources, polluting water, air, and land
in the service of the military, economic expansion, and the
consumption of natural resources. Therefore, we support legal,
political, and grassroots efforts by and on behalf of Native
Americans to protect their traditions, rights, livelihoods, and
their sacred spaces.
J. IMMIGRATION / EMIGRATION
Our nation was built with a
rich tapestry of immigrants and we must continue to respect the
potential contributions and RIGHTS of our new immigrants.
1. Preferential quotas based on race, class, and ideology
should be abandoned for immigration policies that promote
fairness, NON-DISCRIMINATION and family reunification.
2. We support policies that reflect our constitutional
guarantees of freedoms of speech, association and travel.
3. We find particular attention should be given those
minorities who are political exiles and refugees, including
Russian Jews, mid-East Kurds, Tibetans and Haitians.
4. Our relationship with our neighbor to the south, Mexico,
needs to be given added attention. Our border relations and
reciprocal economic opportunities should be a central concern of
government that is looking to improved economic, environmental
and social conditions for both peoples.
5. We oppose those who seek to divide us for political gain
by raising ethnic and racial hatreds, blaming immigrants for
social and economic problems.
1. Decent, AFFORDABLE HOUSING for every American must be a
component of a campaign at the federal, state and local level.
2. We hold that government should play an activist role in
the availability of housing. A COORDINATED HOUSING PLAN that is
broad and inclusive should devote resources to non-profit
community housing projects, private sector investments and
appropriate public housing initiatives that encourage individual
ownership over time.
3. We encourage low-impact, site-specific designs that
encourage human-scale development and environmentally sensitive
4. Pension funds and community development banks can be
targeted and can become important sources of new funding.
Subsidies, trade-offs with developers, and the creative use of
city and county zoning ordinances should be emphasized to
increase the affordable housing stock available within local
communities depending on need.
L. NATIONAL SERVICE
1. We must create new opportunities for citizens to serve
their communities. ALTERNATIVE SERVICE to the military should be
2.We advocate the formation of a CIVILIAN CONSERVATION CORPS
(CCC) with national leadership, and state and local affiliates,
to spearhead efforts to work on the tasks of environmental
education, restoration of damaged habitats, reforestation, and
cleaning up polluted waterways. Providing land and resource
management skills will challenge young people while encouraging
III. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
A. ENERGY POLICY
If we do not alter our energy
use soon – and drastically – the ecological crisis may be
exacerbated past a point where it can be resolved. A
comprehensive energy policy must be a critical element of our
environmental thinking. Investing in ENERGY EFFICIENCY and
RENEWABLE ENERGY is key to sustainability.
Just as ecological materials
management is governed by the concept of “Reduce, Reuse,
Recycle” (in priority order), ecological energy management
must be governed by the principle of Conservation, Efficiency,
and Clean Renewables. Of highest importance is to use less, then
to use wisely, and to have clean production of what is used.
1. Extensive conservation measures will bring huge resource
savings for both the economy and the environment. Conservation,
along with energy efficiency and renewables, is an essential
part of an effective energy policy. The Greens call for
pervasive efforts on the energy conservation front. We encourage
the creation and design of human environments that are as
energy-efficient as possible, recognizing that yet further
conservation efforts are a significant means to meeting our
future energy needs without further energy production.
Similarly, we support the phasing out of the most ecologically
harmful sources of energy.
2. We call for the development of STATE ENERGY POLICIES that
include taxes and/or fines on energy “waste,” and the
funding of energy research, including credits for alternative
and sustainable energy use such as solar, wind, hydrogen and
3. Greens also support enacting mandatory carbon reduction
measures and setting the bar for carbon emissions at a
percentage well below the best appropriate technology.
4. In order to aid in the rapid replacement of extremely
polluting energy systems (nuclear and coal-fired power plants),
natural gas power plants could help provide needed replacement
power until conservation, efficiency and truly clean renewables
are fully phased in. Natural gas power plants should not be used
to feed an increase in energy demand.
5. Thanks to technological innovation prompted by regrettably
limited federal support, photovoltaic cells now cost one-tenth
what they did 20 years ago, and wind-generated power costs
one-fifth what it did 10 years ago. It is now estimated that the
total RENEWABLE ENERGY contribution to our nation’s energy use
could realistically be 10% by the year 2010 and 20% by the year
2020 – but only if increased emphasis is placed on renewable
energy. We urge that new construction be required to achieve
substantial portions of its heating energy from the sun in the
next few years. Incentives/disincentives should be put in place
to move utilities toward establishing SOLAR POWER STATIONS to
augment and eventually supplant fossil-fuel generated
6. “TRUE-COST PRICING,” which reflects the “realistic”
cost of products including ecological damage and externalities
caused during the manufacturing process, must be adopted to
achieve accurate financial accounting. Only with a shift in the
way we are seeing, can we accurately assess our energy choices
and costs – and the long-term impacts of the energy decisions
we are making.
B. NUCLEAR ISSUES
1. The Green Party recognizes that there is no such thing as
nuclear waste “disposal.” All 6 of the “low-level”
nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked. There are
no technological quick fixes which can effectively isolate
nuclear waste from the biosphere for the duration of its
hazardous life. Therefore, it is essential that generation
of additional nuclear wastes be stopped.
2. The Green Party calls for the early retirement of nuclear
power reactors as soon as possible (in no more than 5 years) and
for a phase-out of other technologies that use or produce
nuclear waste. These technologies include non-commercial
nuclear reactors, reprocessing facilities, nuclear waste
incinerators, food irradiators and all commercial and military
uses of depleted uranium.
3. Current methods of underground storage are a danger to
present and future generations. Any nuclear waste management
strategies must be aboveground, continuously monitored,
retrievable and repackageable, and must minimize transportation
4. The Green Party strongly opposes any shipment of
high-level nuclear waste across the United States to the
proposed Nevada waste “repository” at Yucca Mountain or any
other centralized facility. The Green Party believes that this
proposal is part of a move to re-fire a fast-track, commercial
nuclear industry, if they can get their unsafe waste product “safely
5. We call for cancellation of the WASTE ISOLATION PILOT
PLANT (WIPP), the nation’s first weapons complex nuclear dump,
in southern New Mexico.
6. We call for independent, public-access radiation
monitoring at all nuclear facilities.
7. We support applicable environmental impact statements (EIS)
and National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis with
citizen participation at all nuclear sites.
8. We support an immediate and intensive CAMPAIGN TO EDUCATE
THE PUBLIC about nuclear problems, including disposal, clean-up
and long-term dangers.
C. WASTE MANAGEMENT
1. Legal requirements and standards for businesses applying
for zoning permits should be formulated to require disclosure of
toxics which may be used.
2. Past violations, illegal use and misuse of hazardous
materials have to be remedied appropriately. Those responsible
for toxic waste dumping, spills, and contamination on or off
their sites should be responsible for costs of complete
clean-up. In addition, we call for levying sizable fines on
those found guilty of violating such standards.
3. We endorse a revisiting of “Superfund” legislation to
make these clean up laws more effective.
4. Waste management is a critical challenge to the survival
of the modern world. Real reductions in per capita consumption
of materials, and significant increases in the efficiency with
which materials are used, is a problem that must be faced sooner
rather than later. We support RECYCLING at every level of the
economy. We endorse SOURCE REDUCTION and municipal programs that
particularly focus on household recycling.
5. We oppose INCINERATION of municipal solid waste, sewage,
non- biological medical waste, and toxic waste. We support a
moratorium on any new incinerators that burn such materials and
a rapid shutdown of existing incinerators that do so.
6. We oppose shipping of toxic wastes across national
borders, and the SHIPMENT OF TOXIC/HAZARDOUS OR RADIOACTIVE
WASTES, without regulation, across any political borders.
7. We oppose the exportation, under any circumstances, of
chemicals that are prohibited in the United States.
8. Environmental justice demands that poor communities,
minority and under-represented communities not bear an unfair
burden when it comes to disposal of toxic wastes.
9. The environmental problems associated with the personal
computer and electronics industry are growing worse. The Green
Party believes these environmental issues must be identified and
a.) Pollution. The manufacture
of computer chips, computers and peripherals involves a host of
chemicals that end up in our water, air, and landfills. Cleanup
is a major cost, an "externality" that must be
addressed. Health costs associated with the use of computers and
electronic devices are not insignificant and range of
work-related injuries and illnesses. At work, at home and on the
road the digital era is ubiquitous. The shift mandated by the
FCC from analog to digital communications systems (including
HDTV), as just one example, will produce tens of millions of
out-of-date televisions and monitors over the next decade. The
chemicals in these devices are dangerous and should not be
allowed to simply be deposited in land fills or disposed of in a
way that will produce long-term health damaging and adverse
b.) Power. Energy bills
associated with the electronics industry are rising and
alternative sources of power are needed. Cleaner, cheaper ‘green’
energy has to become a universal goal.
c.) Paper consumption. The
demand for printing paper puts pressure on dwindling forests.
Clear cutting continues with all the attendant environmental
damage. The pollution caused by mills is considerable, and the
production of white paper is particularly damaging. Alternative
paper stock, and recycled papers, should become the norm.
d.) Packaging.The excessive
amounts of plastic, cardboard and Styrofoam many manufacturers
use to package computers and software are an increasing problem.
These non-biodegradable materials contribute layers to
landfills. It’s time to have a complete makeover of the
electronics packaging industry.
e.) Recycling. All the
materials associated with the personal computer and electronics
industry must be identified as recyclable and recycled wherever
possible as part of a closed-loop system.
D. FOSSIL FUELS
1. We are aware of the environmental hazards that accompany
the use of fossil fuels and of their non-sustainability and
eventual depletion. We call for TRANSITION ENERGY STRATEGIES,
including the use of relatively clean-burning natural gas, as a
way to reorder our energy priorities and over-reliance on
2. We call for a gradual phase-out of gasoline and other
fossil fuels. Until gasoline driven cars can be replaced, we
advocate FUEL EFFICIENCY standards, a “gas guzzler” tax on
new low mileage vehicles, and a “gas sipper” rebate on high
3. We advocate fair “buybacks” of the most polluting and
least efficient vehicles to remove these vehicles from the road.
4. We oppose further development of our nation’s outer
continental shelf for oil drilling or exploration.
5. We acknowledge the relative benefits that can be achieved
in the production of and use of NATURAL GAS in current economic
alternatives and transition strategies.
6. Public ownership and/or strong public regulation of
UTILITIES should be encouraged to advance energy efficient
policies. Appropriate tax-exempt bonds should be authorized to
finance public ownership in utilities. Tax-exempt bonds should
be authorized to allow publicly owned utilities to finance
conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable energy projects.
E. RENEWABLE ENERGY
1. Overall, it is essential in the long-term that ALTERNATIVE
ENERGY SYSTEMS be put in place that produce goods that are
durable, repairable, reusable, recyclable, and energy-efficient,
using both non-toxic materials and nonpolluting production
2. We call on regulatory agencies to include “life-cycle”
considerations in their standard-setting process for product
approval. We promote citizen participation in this process.
3. Ultimately, environmentally destructive technologies,
processes, and products should be replaced with alternatives
that are environmentally benign. Producers/manufacturers must
look to redesigning their products. Legislation that will assist
this transition (including bans, taxation, recycled content
standards and economic incentives/disincentives such as
taxation, special fees, and/or deposits) will be required in a
any concerted move toward system-wide sustainability.
F. TRANSPORTATION POLICY
1. We encourage providing a broad range of incentives for
ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION, including natural gas vehicles,
solar and electric vehicles, bicycles and bikeways, and MASS
2. As a nation we must push for motor vehicle fuel
efficiency, raising the standard to a minimum of 45 miles per
gallon by 2005.
3. We must require that an increasing percentage of the
Federal motor fleet is converted to natural gas and aims at
being pollution free over the next decade.
4. We must expand our country’s network of rail lines, high
speed regional passenger service, and urban light rail systems.
5. We support efforts to develop inexpensive, efficient solar
cells, chips and panels via “industrial grade” silicon and
other advanced materials.
6. We endorse converting our nation’s weapons complex and
labs toward civilian RESEARCH AND DEVELOPMENT. We are especially
interested in public/private partnerships that work to create
breakthrough battery technology which would enable electric cars
(and all solar electric applications) to become energy efficient
and market competitive.
G. CLEAN AIR / GREENHOUSE EFFECT / OZONE DEPLETION
Climate change presents very
real economic and social opportunities for new and sustainable
jobs from new energy technologies, including both energy
efficiency and renewables. Yet, too often, the focus of debate
has been only on the pain of adjustment to carbon reductions,
this because of the influence of multinational business on
With only 4% of the earth’s
people, the United States produces more than 20% of emissions.
From 1990 to 1996, total U.S. emissions grew by an amount equal
to what Brazil and Indonesia produce every year. Per capita, the
United States emits 85% more than Germany, twice as much as
England and Japan, and currently nearly 10 times as much as
The Green Party urges the U.S.
Congress to act immediately to address the critical global
warming and climate change issues. When the U.S. Senate voted
95-0 to oppose any global warming treaty that does not also bind
developing countries to specific, if smaller, emissions
reductions in the future, which many industrializing countries
oppose, it put a roadblock in the way of progress by all
Greens believe the following
are possible, if we are to make a start on protecting our global
climate. It is imperative that we strive for no less:
1. An early target must still be set to prevent emissions
rising so far that future reductions become even more difficult.
There must be commitments for 2005.
2. Avoiding loopholes is now even more important than an
ambitious target. Unless a very ambitious target is set, which
now seems unlikely, allowing sinks and trading within the
protocol will create such loopholes that no real reductions will
occur. Trading and sinks must be left until there is much more
scientific precision about how they are measured.
3. Nuclear power is not an acceptable alternative to fossil
energy. We should not accept country commitments that depend on
increasing nuclear capability. We must join the solar age.
4. Targets are not enough without credible policies and
measures to achieve them. We urge all governments to table a
list of the policies and measures they intend to adopt to attain
their target, for example eco-taxes and energy performance
5. The Green party endorse the “Contraction and Convergence”
model under discussion at international talks, which as proposed
would eventually give every human being an equal right to the
atmosphere, as the most practical way to achieve justice and
participation for developing countries.
6. The strict, comprehensive protections of the “Clean Air
Act” must be maintained and enhanced if we are to keep in
place effective federal programs that deal with urban smog,
toxic air pollution, acid rain and ozone depletion. State and
local clean air initiatives should advance and improve national
efforts. As an example, California has taken the lead in
legislation moving forward stricter clean air and fuel
efficiency standards, and vehicle and fleet conversions. These
programs should serve as a model for other local, regional and
7. It is said that U.S. industries emit over 20% of
greenhouse gases globally. As a nation, we must implement public
and private initiatives at every level to support the “GLOBAL
CLIMATE TREATY” signed at the “Earth Summit” in 1992,
committing industrial nations within a time framework to
reducing emissions to 1990 levels.
8. The Earth’s atmosphere, according to informed scientific
opinion, is in great danger due to man-made chemicals and
hydrocarbon emissions. Chloro-fluorocarbons (CFCs), hydrochloro-fluorocarbons
(HCFCs), and other related ozone-depleting substances should be
banned as soon as is possible.
9. GREENHOUSE GASES and the threat of GLOBAL WARMING must be
addressed by the international community in concert, through
international treaties and conventions, with the industrial
nations at the forefront of this vital effort.
H. LAND USE
Greens are advocates for the
Earth. All the rivers, lakes, landscapes, forests, and wildlife.
This is our birthright and our home - the green Earth.
When we see the first picture
ever taken of our green oasis from space, photographed from the
window of the Apollo flight, we marvel at the preciousness of
We remember John Muir's and
Edward Abbey's call to protect what is critical to our spirit.
Experiencing the wilderness calls us to preserve pristine
nature. We are advocates for our home. Our advocacy is based on
our love of nature and our recognition that it is beyond us.
Greens take a BIOREGIONAL VIEW
of the ecosystem, acknowledging political boundaries while
noting that the land, air and water, the interconnected
biosphere, is a unique and precious "community",
deserving careful consideration and protection. Greens support
restructuring institutions to conform to bioregional realities.
We feel that, just as the planetary ecology consists of nested
systems at various scales, so must our programs and institutions
of ecological stewardship be scaled appropriately.
Guided by our sense of
stewardship, we feel that all land use polices, plans, and
practices should be based on sustainable development and
production, the reduce-reuse-recycle ethic, and the
encouragement of balance between optimum and diverse use of
1. Land Ownership and Property Rights
We encourage the social
ownership and use of land at the community, local, and regional
level, for example in the form of community and conservation
land trusts, under covenants of ecological responsibility.)
2. Communities and Urbanism
Greens find inspiration in
building healthy, livable communities. Communities must be
designed or redesigned so that they are built with energy
efficiency in mind, on a human scale, with integrated land uses.
Such integrated land uses should provide, for example, ready
access between home and work, and to schools, a local supply of
food, shopping, worship, medical care, recreation and natural
areas. Integrated land use should also de-emphasize individual
motorized transport and place more emphasis on ecologically
responsible mass transit, bicycling, and the pedestrian.
We promote urban design and
architecture that does not alienate, but fulfills, the spirit
and that is compatible with human, social, artistic, and
environmental values. Greens support the concepts advanced by
the NEW URBANISM movement. As there is much to learn about
human-scale development and neighborly social interaction from
historical patterns of urbanism, we support historic
Recreational opportunities are
the beginning of lifelong appreciation of our natural
environment. We should all have opportunities to experience
3. Land Use Planning
It is imperative that we as a
nation find a means to CONTROL URBAN SPRAWL. The ecological,
social, and fiscal crises engendered by sprawl are becoming
ever-more apparent. Greens enthusiastically endorse the
Metropolitics movement, which seeks to control sprawl by
integrating such measures as urban growth boundaries, tax base
sharing, fair housing, and metropolitan transportation. Urban
areas can be revitalized through “brownfields” redevelopment
although standards for the clean up of contaminated sites must
not be lowered. Rural areas and farmland should be preserved,
through such measures as purchase of development rights.
WATERSHED PLANNING should be
undertaken to mitigate the impacts of urban development on our
streams, rivers, and lakes. Storm water management, soil erosion
and sedimentation control, the establishment of vegetative
buffers, and performance standards for development are
appropriate measures in this area. Special attention must be
given to the restoration and protection of riparian areas, which
are critical habitats in healthy ecosystems.
4. Natural Resource Management
Greens believe that effective
land and resource management practices must be founded on
stewardship, such as incorporated in a “land ethic” as
articulated by Aldo Leopold.
a.) Stringent natural resource
management should serve to prevent activities that adversely
affect public and adjacent lands. We call for repeal of the “Mining
Act of 1872.” We demand a halt to federal mineral, oil and
gas, and resource giveaways, “royalty holidays,” and
flagrant concessions to the mining, energy and timber
industries; and an immediate crackdown on their evasions and
b.) We call for strict CLEAN-UP
ENFORCEMENT of industrial-scale natural resource extraction
activities, for example, of tailings, pits and run-off from
mining operations via agreement with companies that can include
posting of site-restoration bonds prior to commencement of
operations. The regional long-term environmental and social
impacts of any resource extractions should be minimized, and the
land restored to a healthy ecological state.
c.) We call for a halt to all
current international funding policies that promote destruction
of forest ecosystems and we call for an end to the trade in
endangered hardwoods. We support laws that promote paper
recycling and mandate SUSTAINABLE FORESTRY practices that
d.) We urge protection of “old
growth” forests, a zero-cut policy banning industrial timber
harvest on federal and state lands, a ban on all clear-cutting,
and a reduction of road building on public lands.
e.) We advocate raising grazing
fees on public land to approximate fair market value and
significant grazing reforms. We support policies that favor
small-scale ranchers over corporate operations (which are often
used as tax write-offs, a practice which undermines family
f.) We must promote the
preservation and extension of wildlife habitat and biological
diversity by creating and preserving large continuous tracts of
open space (complete ecosystems so as to permit healthy,
self-managing wildlife populations to exist in a natural state.
We oppose any selling off of our National Parks, the commercial
"privatizing" of public lands; and/or cutbacks or
exploitation in our national wilderness areas.
g.) Public involvement in
decision making via active and well-funded RESOURCE MANAGEMENT
DISTRICTS and COUNCILS will aid a long-term process on the use
of federal and state trust lands which are currently controlled
by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), National Forest Service,
National Park Service, and State Land Offices.
h.) We support banning
indiscriminate wildlife “damage control practices” and
abolishing the ANIMAL DAMAGE CONTROL agency that has been
renamed “Wildlife Services.”
i.) We urge comprehensive
baseline mapping of our nation’s biodiversity resources.
Together we must look ahead and
plan for future water uses, as well as today’s needs. Who can
disagree that clean and sufficient water resources will
determine what kind of future we have?
1. With the longer term in mind, we call for elimination of
wasteful subsidies on the use of water in agriculture and for
municipal water rates to be set high enough, or that other
INCENTIVES/DISINCENTIVES be set in place, to discourage the
wasteful use of water.
2. We support the federal “Clean Water Act” setting
strict requirements for sewage discharges, wetland protection
and water quality standards. Recent moves to rollback
protections would in effect create a dirty water act. Our right
to clean water is non-negotiable.
3. Given the profound importance of clean water, we support
the establishment of federal, state, and local GROUNDWATER
PROTECTION agencies with authority to establish standards for
the use of water; to provide tough and timely enforcement of
laws enacted; and to protect our aquifers from overuse,
depletion and contamination.
4. We endorse alternative solutions to water treatment and
clean-up, for example CONSTRUCTED WETLANDS and biological
5. We acknowledge Native American rights regarding water, and
urge fair and equitable solutions with tribes on the part of the
courts and State Water Engineers.
The human species is at the top
of the food chain and is, therefore, very vulnerable to the
degrading of the environment and the loss of species. If for no
other reason than our own preservation, we should work to
protect our environment and the diversity of our region’s and
planet’s rich life forms.
Factory farming (“industrial
farming”) threatens to further erode the family farms and the
general quality of life in our rural areas. Family farms are the
basis of community-based economics and essential to rural
development and a healthy, diverse economy.
The consequences of factory
farming are devastating. Open pits of putrefying animal wastes
are allowed to discharge into rivers and streams, degrading
water and air quality, killing aquatic life and posing serious
threats to human health and the environment.
Corporate industrial farming
practices are inhumane and cause unnecessary suffering to
animals. Industrial farming has changed the type of food we eat,
and studies are now demonstrating that nutritional value has
been decreased, with resultant immune system impacts.
The story of industrial farming
needs to be told. The Green Party strongly opposes the rampant
and damaging policies of corporate industrial farming and calls
for a national shift away from these practices.
The Green Party opposes the “biodevastation” that
Monsanto and related “biotech” companies are engaged in. The
actions of Monsanto in trying to subvert labeling of RBGH need
to be exposed. Monsanto and other biotech companies need to be
brought into the light and their actions made public. For
example, over half the soybean production in the United States
(for example, “Roundup Ready soya”) is the result of
genetically modified seeds. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
are the new stealth product of the U.S. transnational
The acquiescence of the U.S. government to biotech-friendly
capitalism, despite the loud protests of governments and peoples
around the world, is a scandal. It is unacceptable that
consumers purchasing soy products, for example, do not know
whether they are eating or drinking genetically modified
organisms. If a fish gene has been transferred to a crop to make
it more tolerant of cold, consumers should know that they’re
ingesting a genetically modified food organism. If a gene has
been added to seed stock to make that crop more capable of being
heavily doused with pesticides like “RoundUp,” consumers
should be warned.
Genetically modified “Terminator” seeds that are more
about “intellectual property rights” and corporate profit
than they are about sustainable agricultural practices,
Third-world economic independence, and health, should be banned.
Labeling should fully disclose where genetically engineered
(and/or irradiated) food is being supplied. Consumer choice
needs to be based on full and complete disclosure. Whether it is
Bt corn, genetically modified maize, or GM oilseed that finds
its way into a menu of other products, the consumer needs to
know and choose.
Ralph Nader has called for consumer revolts. The time has
come. The Green Parties and the Green Platforms around the world
are united in opposition to genetically engineered “vat food”
that is being shoved down our throats. The arrogance of
U.S. biotech firms needs to be shown for what it is – food
production for profit, not health. Food will be a key part of
the next millenium’s struggle for democracy. The Green Party
stands in opposition to a gen-food future as delivered by
unaccountable mega-transnational corporations.
1. We call for the establishment of an ecologically based
sustainable agricultural system that moves as rapidly as
possible towards regional/bioregional self reliance.
2. An adequate FOOD SUPPLY is tied to many of our nation’s
domestic, export, foreign aid, geopolitical and related overseas
goals. We support anti-hunger and “Food Stamp” programs at
home, and support assistance to foreign countries and their
people that moves them toward SELF-SUFFICIENCY and
sustainability in food production.
3. WORLD HUNGER can be best addressed by FOOD SUPPLY
INDEPENDENCE. Population growth and accompanying deprivation,
which has led to increased poverty and environmental destruction
in the Third World, can be replaced by a decent standard of
living, and sustainable populations and growth. Goals and
policies that aim at sustainable production to end hunger while
preserving the environment are crucial for success of these
efforts. Food security is a base-line necessity.
4. We call for phasing out the use of man-made pesticides and
artificial fertilizers, and funding for research to find
5. We support “Integrated Pest Management” techniques, as
an alternative to current chemical-based agriculture.
6. We support the adoption of “organic certification
standards” and support regional efforts to broaden this effort
by reaching out to and identifying growers and buyers of organic
7. We call for a reconsideration of the potentially
far-reaching and unforeseen effects of seed and plant
hybridization and especially of genetic engineering in
agricultural systems. We are particularly concerned about loss
of and increasing threat posed to plant diversity, which must be
saved, maintained and enhanced if we are to have an authentic
ALTERNATIVE GREEN REVOLUTION, based on diversity, sustainable
agriculture and local self-empowerment.
8. We generally oppose the patenting of life forms, including
gene-splicing techniques, and call for a moratorium on
agricultural genetic engineering while an evaluation of its
effects on ecological and social sustainability is carried out.
The implications of a corporate takeover, and resulting
monopolization of genetic “intellectual property” by the
bioengineering industry, are immense. With the introduction of
the world’s first genetically engineered (and duly patented)
tomato, we need to re-examine our government’s oversight of
this untested, unproven field.
9. We advocate REGIONALIZING our food system and
decentralizing agricultural lands, production, and distribution.
10. We support research, within the public and private
arenas, including educational institutions, for sustainable,
organic, and ecologically balanced agriculture.
11. The Green Party supports the strongest “organic”
standards. California has had the highest standards of any state
for organic foods labeling. These standards were authored by
those in the industry, growers, manufacturers and those in the
business of livestock raising and feed production. Proposed USDA
standards should be based on the highest standards.
Currently, organic food is priced such that it is beyond the
means of low-income consumers. Rather than allow for a
system whereby only the wealthier in society get to eat safer
and healthier foods, there must be remedies in place to protect
all consumers. First, the use of sewage sludge or
hazardous wastes as fertilizer, the use of food irradiation and
the use of genetic engineering must be banned in ALL food
production. Other aspects addressed in organic
standards, such as the use of intensive animal confinement and
the use of persistent, toxic pesticides must be phased out as
well for all food production. Until these take place,
there should be an end to government price supports, which aid
in non-organic food production and government subsidies should
be shifted such that the cost of organic food products is
increasingly competitive with pesticide/non-organic crops.
K. BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY
Ecological systems are diverse
and interlocking, and nature’s survival strategy can best be
found in the adaptability that comes as a result of biological
diversity. Although many people may think first of tropical
rainforests in reference to the richness of (and threat to)
biological diversity, we believe diversity close to home is
worthy of saving, as are the myriad species within the
rainforest and its teeming canopy.
1. The Green Party supports a strong, enforceable “ENDANGERED
SPECIES ACT” based on the principles of conservation biology.
2. We look to the “CONVENTION ON BIOLOGICAL DIVERSITY,”
first adopted at the “Earth Summit” in 1992, as a primary
statement of purpose regarding how we can act to preserve and
sustain our common genetic resources. Greens emphasize
conservation of “natural” populations and ecosystems, and we
seriously question the demands of the US to amend this
unprecedented international agreement on behalf of the
biotechnology and pharmaceutical industries, with their
insistence upon protection of their “intellectual property”
and technology transfer rights. Within these demands are
inconsistencies which can threaten the Convention’s overall
3. We encourage support of and public access to seed banks
and seed collections that emphasize “DEEP DIVERSITY,”
particularly through traditional and heirloom seeds.
4. We call for wide-spread education on the critical
importance of efforts being made (including “backyard
biodiversity” gardening) to replant indigenous plant life
where it has dwindled or been lost.
5. Corporate agribusiness is founded on F-1 hybrid seeds,
proprietary products that cannot be saved season-to-season and
have to be bought from the company store at each new planting.
We discourage monopolistic production of high-tech hybrid seeds,
the basis of the evolving industry of “MONOCULTURE”
agriculture – i.e., agribusiness which relies on
NON-SUSTAINABLE METHODS (single crop varieties bred with
industrial traits and grown with high energy, chemical and
6. We know that agriculture and food comprise the world’s
largest economic market. We find it of great concern that the
practices of corporate agribusiness are leading, as scientists
are beginning to point out, to diminishing yields; increasing
petrochemical fertilizer and pesticide costs; serious topsoil
loss; non-point, runoff pollution of waterways and aquifers; and
the return of resistant pests and blights requiring ever-larger
doses of environmentally harmful pesticides, herbicides,
fungicides, and/or miticides.
7. Monocultures have also led to a massive loss of
biodiversity as they have displaced traditional varieties and
seed stocks. We encourage the use of diverse natural varieties,
those passed down over many generations, called “open-pollinates”
because they can be grown out, the best plants’ seeds being
saved season to season. In practice, we support this as the
basis of an “Alternative Green Revolution,” sustainable
agriculture that is closely connected to the environment, and
not dependent on outside companies and their industrial
8. We oppose in principle international trade agreements
(NAFTA, GATT and the WTO in particular) which have
precedent-setting provisions protecting transnational, corporate
control of the “INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY” of genetic material,
hybrid seeds and proprietary products.
9. Greens call for a move away from corporate control of
agriculture (and the resultant extinction of traditional plant
varieties) and instead envision a healthy and sustainable food
system, based on crop diversity, community empowerment,
self-sufficiency, cooperative marketing, recycling, seed saving,
local (and fresh) production, and organic methods.
10. The struggle over the production and quality of our food
supply is critical and has yet to be determined. The outcome of
this struggle will have an intimate connection to our personal
health and the future biological diversity of our environment.
We believe strongly that we must work to bring this message
every community throughout the world.
11. Cloning is a challenge to basic Green philosophy. Since
the efforts to clone animals, and eventually, humans, has been
undertaken by profit-making corporations, the purpose behind
such projects is to manufacture commodities. To classify a human
(or any part thereof, including human DNA or body organ) as a
commodity) is to turn human beings into property.
12. Finally, as Greens, we must add that the mark of a humane
and civilized society truly lies in how we treat the least
protected among us. To extend rights to other sentient, living
beings is our responsibility and a mark of our place among all
of creation. We find cruelty to animals to be repugnant and
criminal. We call for an intelligent, compassionate approach to
the treatment of animals.
IV. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
We can learn from indigenous
people who believe that the earth and its natural systems are to
be respected and cared for in accordance with ecological
principles. Concepts of ownership should be employed in the
context of stewardship, and social and ecological
responsibility. We support environmental and social
responsibility in all businesses, whether privately or publicly
To create an enduring society,
we must devise a system of production and commerce where every
act is sustainable and restorative. We believe that all business
has a social contract with society and the environment (in
effect a “fiduciary responsibility”), and that “socially
responsible business” and “shareholder democracy” can be
models of prospering, successful business.
1. We call for an economic system that is based on a
combination of private businesses, decentralized democratic
cooperatives, publicly owned enterprises, and alternative
economic structures, all of which put human and ecological needs
alongside profits to measure success, and are accountable to the
communities in which they function.
2. Community-based economics constitutes an alternative to
both corporate capitalism and state socialism. It is very
much in keeping with the Greens’ valuation of diversity and
Recognition of limits is central to a Green economic
orientation. The drive to accumulate power and wealth must
become recognized for what it is, a pernicious characteristic of
a civilization headed, ever more rapidly, in a pathological
direction. Greens advocate that economic relations become
direct, more cooperative, and more egalitarian.
Humanizing economic relations is just one aspect of our
broader objective: to consciously and deliberately (albeit
gradually) shift toward a different way of life –
characterized by sustainability, regionalization, a more
harmonious balance between the natural ecosphere and the
human-made technosphere, and a revival of community life.
Our communitarian perspective is antithetical to both Big
Business and Big Government. It distinguishes the Greens
and will enable us to make a unique contribution toward deriving
political and economic solutions for the 21st century.
3. Greens support a major redesign of commerce. We endorse
“true-cost pricing.” We support production that eliminates
waste. In natural systems, everything is a meal for something
else. Everything recycles, there is no “waste.” We need to
mimic natural systems in the way we manufacture and produce
things. “Consumables” need to be designed to be thrown into
a compost heap and/or eaten, for example. “Durable goods”
would be designed in closed-loop systems, ultimately to be
disassembled and reassembled. “Toxics” would be safeguarded
and could have “markers” identifying them as belonging, in
perpetuity, to their makers.
4. We need to remake commerce to encourage diversity and
variety, responding to the enormous complexity of global and
local conditions. Big business is not about appropriateness and
adaptability, but about power and market control. Greens support
small business, responsible “stakeholder capitalism,” and
broad and diverse forms of economic cooperation. We argue that
economic diversity is more responsive than big business to the
needs of diverse human populations. Sustaining our quality of
life, eco-nomic prosperity, environmental health, and long-term
survival demands that we adopt new ways of doing business.
5. Greens support a definition of sustainability where we
openly examine the economy as a part of the ecosystem, not as an
isolated subset in which nothing but “resources” come in and
products and waste go out and never the economy and the real
world shall meet.
B. RE-ASSERTING LOCAL CITIZEN CONTROL OVER CORPORATIONS
Currently, corporations possess more rights and freedoms than
natural human persons. Through a series of judicial rulings, and
by virtue of their ability to control governments and economies
by virtue of wealth, corporations have judicially rewritten our
Constitution and have emerged as unaccountable, unelected
governments. The Greens, therefore, support all reforms that
seek to supplant governmental regulation of corporations with
communities that seek to define corporations. In the interim,
Greens support measures that hold executives and officers of
corporations directly liable for harm that results from their
When we look at the HISTORY OF
our states, we learn that citizens intentionally defined
CORPORATIONS through charters – the certificates of
incorporation. In exchange for the charter, a corporation was
obligated to obey all laws, to serve the common good, and to
cause no harm. Early state legislators wrote charter laws to
limit corporate authority, and to ensure that when a corporation
caused harm, they could revoke its charter.
In the late 19th century,
however, corporations claimed special protections under the
Constitution. Large companies used legal power to assert legal
authority over what to make and how to make it, to move money,
influence elections, bend governments to their will. They
insisted that once formed, corporations may operate forever,
with the privilege of limited liability and freedom from
community or worker interference in business judgments.
It is inappropriate for
investment and production decisions that can shape our
communities and lives to be made essentially from afar, in
boardrooms, closed-door regulatory agencies, and prohibitively
It is unacceptable to have the
level of influence now being exerted by corporate interests over
the public interest. We challenge the propriety and equity of
“corporate welfare” in the form of tax breaks, subsidies,
payments, grants, bailouts, giveaways, unenforced laws and
regulations; and historic, continuing access to our vast public
resources, including millions of acres of land, forests, mineral
resources, intellectual property rights, and government-created
We call for revisiting what one
Supreme Court Justice called, when referring to the history of
constitutional law, “the history of the impact of the modern
corporation upon the American scene.” We believe that
corporations are neither inevitable nor always appropriate.
Judicial and legislative decisions that have made it possible
for big business to stay beyond the reach of democracy need to
Legal doctrines must be continually revised in recognition of
the changing needs of an active, democratic citizenry. Huge
multi-national corporations are artificial creations, not
natural persons uniquely sheltered under constitutional
protections. It is time to support local government and state
government attempts to DEFINE CORPORATIONS and to prevent these
entities from exercising democratic rights which are uniquely
possessed by the citizens of the United States.
One point remains unequivocal:
Because corporations have become the dominant economic
institution of the planet, they must address and squarely face
the social and environmental problems that afflict humankind.
C. LIVABLE INCOME
1. We affirm the importance of access to a livable income.
2. Job banks and other innovative training and employment
programs which bring together the private and public sectors
must become federal, state and local priorities. People who are
unable to find decent work in the private sector should have
options through publicly funded opportunities.
3. Workforce development programs must aim at moving people
out of poverty – a “living wage” campaign and “living
wage” standard will go a long way toward achieving this goal.
4. We urge that a national debate be held and broad public
mandate be sought regarding (fiscal and monetary) economic
strategies and policies as they impact wages. This debate is
long overdue. The growing inequities in income and wealth
between rich and poor; unprecedented discrepancies in salary and
benefits between corporate top executives and line workers; loss
of the “American dream” by the young and middle-class –
each is a symptom of decisions made by policy-makers far removed
from the concerns of ordinary workers trying to keep up.
5. A clear living wage standard should serve as a foundation
for trade between nations, and a “floor” of wage protections
and worker’s rights should be negotiated and set in place in
future trade agreements. The United States should take the lead
on this front – and not allow destructive, corporate predatory
practices under the guise of “free” international trade.
D. COMMUNITY INVOLVEMENT
Reforms to allow communities to
have influence in their ECONOMIC FUTURE should be implemented,
1. Locally owned small businesses, which are more accessible
to community concerns.
2. Local production and consumption where possible.
3. Consumer co-ops, credit unions, incubators, microloan
funds, local “currencies,” and other institutions that help
communities develop economic projects.
4. Allowing municipalities to approve or disapprove large
economic projects case-by-case based on environmental impacts,
local ownership, community reinvestment, wage levels, and
5. Allowing communities to set environmental, human rights,
health and safety standards higher than federal or state
6. We support a national program of INVESTING IN THE COMMONS;
to rebuild the infrastructure of communities; to repair and
improve transportation lines between cities; and to protect and
restore the environment. A federal capital budget should be put
in place and applied in a process that assesses federal spending
as capital investment.
7. We endorse DIRECT DEMOCRACY through TOWN MEETINGS, which
express a community’s wishes on economic decision-making
directly to local institutions and organizations.
E. SMALL BUSINESS AND JOB CREATION
1. Greens support an economic program that combats
concentration and abuse of economic power. We support many
different initiatives for forming successful, small enterprises
that together can become an engine (and sustainable model) of
job creation, prosperity and progress. Small business is where
the jobs are. Over the past decade and a half, all new net job
growth has come from the small business sector.
2. The Green economic model is about true prosperity – “Green
means prosperity.” Our goal is to go beyond the dedicated good
work being done by many companies (which is often referred to as
“SOCIALLY RESPONSIBLE BUSINESS” or “VALUE-DRIVEN BUSINESS”)
and to present new ways of seeing how business can help create a
sustainable world, all the while surviving in a competitive
3. We believe that conservation should be “profitable”
and employment should be creative, meaningful and fairly
4. ACCESS TO CAPITAL is often an essential need in “growing”
a business. There should be a comprehensive set of approaches to
making loans available to small business at rates competitive to
those offered big business. Financial institutions unfairly
favor large corporations and the wealthy when determining how to
“work” their loan portfolios. Government needs to reform
current lending practices. We support “disclosure laws,” “anti-redlining
laws” and a general openness on the part of the private sector
as to what criteria are used in making lending decisions.
5. As lending institutions have obligations to the health of
their local communities, we oppose arbitrary, or discriminatory
practices which act to deny small business access to credit and
expansion capital. We oppose “disinvestment” practices, in
which lending and financial institutions move money deposited in
local communities out of those same communities, in effect often
damaging the best interests of their customers and community.
6. The present TAX SYSTEM acts to discourage small business,
as it encourages waste, discourages conservation, and rewards
consumption. Big business has used insider access to dominate
the federal tax code. The tax system needs a major OVERHAUL, to
get it up and running in a way that favors the legitimate and
critical needs of the small business community. RETENTION OF
CAPITAL, through retained earnings, efficiencies, and savings,
is central to small business remaining competitive. Current tax
policies often act to unfairly penalize small business.
7. Government should reduce wherever possible unnecessary
restrictions, fees, and “red tape.” In particular, the “Paper
Simplification Act” should be seen as a way to benefit small
business and it should be improved in response to the needs of
8. We support the full deductibility of health insurance
premiums paid by the self-employed.
9. Overall we believe that Federal and State government must
pay more attention to putting forward policies that work on
behalf of small business, and break their cycle of excessive
welfare for big business.
10. State and local government should encourage where
appropriate businesses that especially benefit the community.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT INITIATIVES should include citizen and
community input. The type and size of businesses provided
incentives (tax, loans, bonds, etc.) should be the result of
local community participation.
11. Pension funds, the result of workers’ investments,
should be examined as additional sources of capital for small
business. Definitions of “fiscally prudent” need to be
broadened within acceptable margins of safety to include
investments beyond the current practices (and a credit rating
system) almost exclusively benefiting large corporations.
Investment managers need to be given discretionary powers to
channel these monies, now in the trillions of dollars, into
productive small and mid-sized businesses at the local level.
12. Insurance costs need to be brought down by means of
active engagement with the insurance industry. Insurance pools,
for example, of the kind offered businesses in the association,
“Business for Social Responsibility,” need to be expanded.
13. “One-stop” offices should be set-up by government to
assist individuals who want to change careers, or go into
business for the first time.
14. HOME-BASED BUSINESSES and NEIGHBORHOOD-BASED BUSINESSES
need to be assisted by forward-looking planning, not hurt by
out-of-date zoning ordinances. “Telecommuting” and “home
offices” should be aided, not hindered, by government.
1. We reject trade agreements negotiated in secret and unduly
influenced by corporate attorneys and representatives. In
particular, we oppose the NORTH AMERICAN FREE TRADE AGREEMENT
(NAFTA), the GENERAL AGREEMENT ON TARIFFS AND TRADE (GATT), and
its progeny, the WORLD TRADE ORGANIZATION (WTO). They threaten
the constitutional power of Congress and local sovereignty, and
they effectively limit the participation of citizens in
decisions. Instead, they create administrative bureaucracies
which will be run by corporate interests unaccountable to public
input or even legal challenge.
2. We demand that these agreements be updated to include more
specific environmental, worker, health and safety standards in
the text itself, not as “side agreements,” and full funding
of existing environmental/health commitments (for example, the
North American Development Bank and Border Environmental
3. We reject any agreement which threatens the authority of
states and local communities to establish more stringent health,
safety and environmental standards.
4. We reject agreements that negotiate downward our basic
environmental, health, safety and labor standards, including the
right to bargain collectively, a reasonable minimum wage,
prohibitions against child and forced labor, and which threaten
and violate human rights generally. The historic role of the
United States has been to raise living standards, not to be
dragged down by the lowest common denominator abroad.
5. The Tobin tax, named for the economist who first proposed
it, calls for a small sales tax on cross border currency
transactions. The purpose is to suppress market volume and
volatility and help restore national sovereignty over monetary
policy. In view of the growing disparity between the rich and
poor in the United States and the world, and in light of the
negative impacts of monetary speculation in the “Asian crisis”
of Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia, and Russia, as well as similar
crises in Brazil, Mexico and many other countries in the late
’90s, the Green Party urges that state and international
governments work together to impose an effective form of Tobin
In the last ten years,
international moneychanging has grown in volume from $200
billion to $1.8 trillion daily with dangerous consequences for
countries caught in a speculative riptide. Even a small tax of
.01% to .05% would cool the speculative fever and raise between
$75 billion and $250 billion annually. While reining in grievous
financial abuses, the Tobin tax receipts could be devoted to
reducing world poverty, funding international peacekeeping, and
attacking environmental problems.
G. RURAL DEVELOPMENT
Economic development in rural
areas spans many agencies of government, but eventually comes
back to prospering, healthy farms and ranch lands. Recreation,
local business, schools and education, health care and energy
availability – all are necessary to support diversified,
successful rural economies.
1. RURAL DEVELOPMENT POLICY should begin with the local
people. FAMILY FARMS are the backbone of a sustainable rural
economy. They are more likely than corporate agribusiness to
follow ecological practices that enrich the land; to use
labor-intensive rather than energy-intensive farming methods;
and to support agricultural biodiversity. Because of their
smaller scale and production methods, they are more likely to
produce food products that are healthier for consumers. Federal,
state and local governments should provide financial assistance
to small farmers to help them compete against agribusiness.
2. Price-fixing and anti-competitive actions of the corporate
agricultural giants must be confronted aggressively.
3. Programs must be implemented by the federal and state
government that add value to the production from family farms to
help them remain competitive.
4. Government should encourage BANK POLICIES that spread
their loan portfolios beyond corporate agriculture and ranching,
and the big, subsidized grazing permit holders, in order to
diversify local economies.
5. We support COOPERATIVE VENTURES to broaden markets of
6. We encourage state-assisted PRODUCT MARKETING EFFORTS and
RURAL DEVELOPMENT BANKS.
H. BANKING FOR PEOPLE
1. We support a broad program of reform in the banking and
savings and loan industry that acts to ensure that their “COMMONWEALTH”
OBLIGATIONS to serve all communities are met. We understand that
the present system is skewed to service first and foremost large
businesses, transnational corporations and wealthy individuals.
Since lending institutions are chartered by the state to serve
the best interests of communities, the privileges that come with
being given power at the center of commerce carry special
2. The government should take serious steps to ensure that
low- and moderate-income persons and communities, as well as
small business, have access to banking services, affordable
loans and small-business supporting capital.
3. We support the extension of the “COMMUNITY REINVESTMENT
ACT” and its key performance data provisions to provide public
and timely information on the extent of housing loans, small
business loans, loans to minority-owned enterprises, investments
in community development projects and affordable housing.
4. We believe Congress should act to charter COMMUNITY
DEVELOPMENT BANKS, which would be capitalized with public funds
and work to meet the credit needs of local communities.
I. INSURANCE REFORM
1. We endorse wide ranging INSURANCE INDUSTRY REGULATION to
reduce the cost of insurance by reducing its special-interest
protections; collusion and over-pricing; and excessive
industry-wide practices that too often injure the interests of
the insured when they’re most vulnerable and in need.
2. We call for actions at the federal and state level to rein
in “bad faith” insurance actions – including the standard
practice of attempting legal avoidance of obligations, and the
current widespread practice of price fixing.
3. We support federal law that acts to make policies “transportable”
from job to job and seeks to prevent insurance companies’
rejection of applicants for “prior conditions.” This is a
move in the right direction but in no way addresses the scope of
the problem, whether in health insurance, life insurance,
business, liability, auto or crop insurance.
4. We support initiatives in secondary insurance markets that
work to expand credit – for economic development in inner
cities; affordable housing and home ownership among the poor;
“transitional” farming to sustainable agriculture; and for
rural development maintaining family farms.
J. PENSION REFORM
1. Working people, who own over $3 trillion in pension monies
(deferred wages in effect), should have financial options for
where their money is invested apart from the current
near-monopoly exerted by a handful of managers, banks, insurance
companies, and mutual funds. We do not believe the overuse of
pension funds for corporate mergers, acquisitions and leveraged
buyouts is appropriate or productive.
Yet, the current system has allowed vast amounts of American
workers’ hard-earned money to be squandered on job-ending,
plant-moving, corporate downsizing. The irony of investing
pension funds in corporate decisions that undercut workers
rights, employment, and retirement while hugely rewarding
non-productive speculation should no longer be ignored.
2. PENSION FUNDS are gigantic capital pools that can, with
government support, be used to meet community needs and benefit
workers and their families directly.
3. Corporate-sponsored pension funds (the biggest category of
funds) should be jointly controlled by management and workers,
not exclusively ruled by management.
4. Federal law must be changed so that pension funds need
simply seek a reasonable rate of return, not the prevailing
market rate, which greatly restricts where investments can be
5. A secondary pension market set up by the government to
insure pension investments made in socially beneficial programs
needs to be considered as one method that could greatly expand
the impact of this capital market, as has been demonstrated in
the case of federally insured/subsidized mortgage lending.
6. Prudent pension fund investing can and should be made on
behalf of those whose best interests are served by having their
money both make money and do good work. Creating jobs and
supporting employment programs in public/private partnerships
can become a priority as we seek to expand opportunities “where
the jobs are” (toward small business, not transnational
business). Why not look to targeting the under- and un-employed?
We believe there are myriad opportunities for a profound shift
to occur in how the capital of America’s workers is best put
K. ANTI-TRUST ENFORCEMENT
1. We support strong and effectively enforced ANTI-TRUST
REGULATION to counteract the concentration of economic power
that carries a severe toll on the economy. The anti-trust
division of the Justice Department has had its scope and powers
reduced over the past decade. Media mergers concentrating power
in the hands of media giants have been ineffectively challenged.
An explosion of unregulated mergers and acquisitions, spin-offs
and leveraged buy-outs has overwhelmed the federal government’s
capacity to provide effective oversight. Financial and trading
markets have become particularly vulnerable to “insider
trading.” Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC)
regulation of these markets has seriously fallen short. Overall,
what we see in unchecked market power is corruption,
self-serving abuse of the democratic, political process, price
gouging, loss of productivity and jobs, reduced competitiveness,
and an array of predatory market practices that history has
documented in detail about monopolies at work.
2. Although the pressure on Congress from the trans- and
multi-national corporations is fierce when it involves effective
oversight and accountability, we call for the federal government
to step up and enforce the existing anti-trust laws and
regulations – and tighten the laws as necessary.
3. The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) must vigorously oversee
mergers where the combined sales of the companyies exceed $1
4. The Justice Department must redefine its definition of “relevant
market share” in assessing mergers.
5. The Congress must enact its calls for “competitiveness”
by stopping illegal monopolistic practices.
6. We oppose the largesse of government in the form of
massive corporate entitlements.
L. ADVANCED TECHNOLOGY AND DEFENSE CONVERSION
The conversion of
defense-related technologies to a peacetime technology-based
economy is a major challenge. We must ask ourselves what we are
to make of our nation’s defense-related industrial base in the
face of the collapse of the Soviet threat to our vital interests
and resultant need for a winding down of “national security”
1. CONSOLIDATION of the nuclear weapons complex should move
toward alternative civilian technologies and non-proliferation
work, not toward a new generation of nuclear weapon design and
2. The Green Party, recognizing the need for de-escalating
the arms race which continues unabated in spite of the end of
the 'Cold War", strongly opposes putting nuclear weapons,
lasers and other weapons in space in a new militarization policy
that is in clear violation of international law.
3. We generally support defense TECHNOLOGY TRANSFER efforts,
particularly new INDUSTRIAL APPLICATIONS and developments in the
areas of advanced communications, alternative energy, and waste
4. Let us go forward with government and civilian space
programs; RESEARCH INITIATIVES in transportation, advanced
products and manufacturing; industrial applications, appropriate
technologies and technology transfer; environmental sampling and
monitoring; systems testing; laser communications; high speed
computers; genetic mapping (with “Genome” project results in
the public domain).
5. Let us devote a larger percentage of our nation’s
research and development budget, both private and public, toward
civilian use and away from military use. Let us become more
competitive in developing consumer products and addressing our
chronic trade imbalance in this fashion – not by increasing
exports of military weapons and technologies.
6. Advanced telecommunications technologies (many of which
came originally from defense applications) such as fiber optics,
broadband infrastructure, the Internet and the World Wide Web
hold great promise for education, decentralized economies, and
local control of decision-making. We believe we must move toward
decentralization in these efforts – carefully protecting our
individual rights as we go forward.
Advanced and high definition
TV, digital communications, and wireless communications hold
promise and challenge. For example, the public airwaves that
will accommodate the new generation of telecommunications
technology should not be free giveaways to media giants. An
auction and built in requirements that attach to these licenses
to act “in the public interest” is needed. Technology
provides a tool – we must use these tools appropriately and
Myriad opportunities for
technical excellence and continued economic achievement, apart
from strategic, tactical and defense-related weapons systems,
are in front of us. We urge Congress, all of government, and a
forward-looking private sector to take up this challenge.
7. We call for a federal Technology Assessment Office to
examine how technology fits in with life on Earth, in our
neighborhoods and the quality of our daily lives.
M. THE NATIONAL DEBT
For many years the federal
government borrowed hundreds of billions of dollars. Money
that should have been going into a better “safety net” for
the poor, homes for the homeless, new business and jobs,
research and development, roads and bridges, schools and the
technologies of tomorrow, has been lost to servicing the
national debt (currently over $5 trillion).
We now have surpluses and
projected larger surpluses. However, we cannot ignore the
consequences of our nation’s past deficits and the related
costs of debt service.
Working people and the small
business community are shouldering a disproportionate amount the
debt burden. Yet the incurrence of the federal debt was, to a
large degree, the end product of those who were on watch during
the Cold War and military-defense industry buildup. Hundreds of
billions were lost in the savings and loan bailout. The billions
upon billions were lost on loopholes, tax breaks, and
transnational/multinational corporate tax avoidance. Hundreds of
billions were lost due to a failed tax code that has been, in
effect, held prisoner to special interests and has produced
historic gross inequities between corporate America and working
Americans. During the 1980s, our national debt grew from
approximately $1 trillion to over $5 trillion.
During that time, we refused to
fund Social Security, food stamps, public housing, higher
education, public transportation, etc., etc. In effect when you
neglect the economic well-being of the society and refuse to
protect the environment, the result can hardly be described as a
1. We must continue to move toward reduction in the national
debt and we must make up for the neglect that the deficits
2. We believe a comprehensive approach that forms a basis for
a DEBT REDUCTION PLAN would include debt payback; increased
revenues; and decreased expenditures in some areas.
3. We support increases in domestic and discretionary
spending that is our nation’s essential “safety net,”
protecting those most in need. We support increases in the
portion of entitlement benefits (one-fifth) that go to the
children, the lowest income, aged, blind and disabled.
These include food stamps, family assistance, Medicaid, and
supplementary security income.
4. We support increased funding for Social Security, public
housing, higher education, public transportation, environmental
protection, renewable energy and energy conservation.
5. To help make up for our nation’s neglect, we support tax
increases on mega-corporate and wealthy interests; defense
budget reductions (see FOREIGN POLICY); and entitlement
reductions to those who can afford reductions most.
Entitlement spending is over one-half of the federal budget. One
way to reduce entitlement costs substantially would be by “means
testing,” i.e. by scaling back payments to the six million
citizens in families with incomes over $50,000 annually.
A. Political Reform
Comprehensive Political Reform Agenda
Campaign Finance Reform
Political Action Committees
B. Political Participation
Initiative, Referendum and Recall
Universal Voter Registration
Election Day Holiday
“A Children’s Agenda”
Earned Income Tax Credit
“A Politics of 2000” / International Security
An Expanded Peace Corps
Non-Government Organizations (NGO’s)
Non-Profit Public Interest Groups
D. Foreign Policy
The Cause of Peace
The End of the Cold War
“A Peacetime Economy”
Human Rights/Emerging Democracies
International Monetary Fund (IMF) / World Bank
International Law/International Relations
The Former Soviet Union
The Mid-East / China / South Africa
“Right of Self-Determination” / Indigenous Peoples
The Third World
Nonviolence and Peace
Security / The United Nations and Related Agencies
II. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Educational Diversity (“Choice”)
Federal / State Policy
Private / Cooperative / Parochial Schools
Bilingual Education / Continuing Education / Job Retraining
Mentoring / Apprenticeship Programs
B. Health Care
Universal Health Care
Single-Payer / National Health Insurance
Universal Access / Freedom of Health Care Choice /
Cost Savings / Comprehensive Benefits
Rural Health Services
Medicare / Medicaid
Wellness / Preventative Health Care
Education / Diet/Nutrition/Exercise
Informed Consent Laws
Women’s Health Issues
Social and Health Services
AIDS and HIV
C. Economic Justice / Social Safety Net
A Radical Paradigm Shift
An Investment in the Future
A Fair Distribution of Income
D. Tax Justice / Fairness
System-Wide Tax Reform
Value-Added Tax/Flat Tax
E. Management-Labor Relations
Economic and Workplace Democracy
F. Criminal Justice
The Law and Order Debate
“White Collar” Crime
Community / Neighborhood Policing Programs
Civilian Complaint Review Boards
Prison Education / Job Training
Violence in Schools
Rape Crisis Centers / Domestic Violence Shelters
G. Civil And Equal Rights
Rights and Responsibilities
“Equal Rights Amendment”
“Voting Rights Act”
Civil Rights Laws
Equal Employment Opportunities Commission (EEOC)
Consumer Protection Laws
Consumer Advocacy Agencies/Consumer Action Groups
H. Free Speech
“Freedom of Information Act” (FOIA)
Federal Communications Commission (FCC)
Quality Children’s Programming
I. Native Americans
Education / Health Programs
Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA)
J. Immigration / Emigration
Coordinated Housing Plan
L. National Service
Civilian Conservation Corps.
III. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
A. Energy Policy
Energy Efficiency / Renewable Energy
State Energy Policies
Solar Power Stations
B. Nuclear Issue
Waste Isolation Pilot Project (WIPP)
Monitored Retrievable Storage (MRS)
Campaign to Educate the Public
C. Waste Management
Shipment of Wastes
D. Fossil Fuels
Transition Energy Strategies
E. Renewable Energy
Alternative Energy Systems
F. Transportation Policy
Mass Transit / Regional Rail System
Research and Development
G. Clean Air / Greenhouse Effect / Ozone
“Global Climate Treaty”
CFC’s/Greenhouse Gases/Global Warming
H. Land Use
A “Land Ethic”
Resource Management Districts and Councils
Animal Damage Control (ADC)
Incentives / Disincentives
Food Supply / Self-Sufficiency
World Hunger / Food Supply Independence
1996 Farm Bill
Sustainable Agricultural Practices
Alternative Green Revolution
K. Biological Diversity
“Endangered Species Act”
“Convention on Biological Diversity”
“Monoculture” / Non-Sustainable Methods
GATT / NAFTA / WTO
IV. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
B. Re-asserting Local Citizen
Control Over Corporations
History of Corporations
Statutes / Precedents to Hold Corporations Accountable
C. Livable Income
A “Living Wage”
D. Community Involvement
Investing In the Commons
E. Small Business And Job Creation
“Socially-Responsible Business” / “Value-Driven
Access to Capital
Tax System Overhaul
Retention of Capital
Economic Development Initiatives
Home-Based Businesses / Neighborhood-Based Businesses
GATT / NAFTA / WTO
G. Rural Development
Rural Development Policy
Product Marketing Efforts
Rural Development Banks
H. Banking For People
Community Reinvestment Act
Community Development Banks
I. Insurance Reform
Insurance Industry Regulation
J. Pension Reform
K. Anti-Trust Enforcement
L. Advanced Tech / Defense Conversion
Technology Transfer / Industrial Applications
M. The National Debt
Debt / Deficit Reduction
Green Party Platform Website
Green Party Website
Links to Green Resources