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A Call to Action
The Green Platform presents an eco-social analysis and vision for our country. In contrast to the way in which major political parties create their platforms, through the back-room deals of insiders and power-brokers, we have created a grassroots process that invites submissions from every local Green Party and every Green individual. Through democratic process over a year and a half, we arrive at a final draft to present to our national convention for approval. The Green Platform is an evolving document, a living work-in-progress that expresses our commitment to creating wise and enduring change in specific policies and in the political process itself. The Green Party is committed to values-based politics, as expressed in our Ten Key Values. These values guide us in countering and changing a system that extols exploitation, unsustainable consumption, and destructive competition.
Never has our country faced as many challenges and crises as we do in 2004 and the near future. Levels of federal revenue are the lowest they have been since 1950 because of tax cuts and breaks for the very rich and for corporations. Government agencies charged with safeguarding public health and safety are operating with slashed budgets that paralyze their efforts. Jobs are being permanently relocated outside the country, while social and educational programs are being gutted. Our food, water, air, and soil are increasingly found to bear toxins and debilitating pollution. Every single level of government - local, county, state, and federal - is operating in the red, running up crushing amounts of debt. Many of our allies and former friends around the world are disgusted with our imperial foreign policy, militarism, and arrogant corporate behavior. Realizing that our actions will be judged by future generations, we ask how we can draw on the best of our traditions, calling forth a spirit of ingenuity and citizen participation to achieve a free, democratic, just, and responsible society, one that actively responds to the crucial ecological challenges of our time, rather than denying them.
We submit a bold vision of our country's future, a Platform on which we stand:
We propose a vision of our common good that is advanced through an independent politics free from the control of corporations and big money, and through a democratic structure and process that empowers and reaches across lines of division to bring together our combined strengths as a people.
We, the Green Party, see our political and economic progress, and our individual lives, within the context of an evolving, dynamic world.
As in nature, where adaptation and diversity provide key strategies through which life flourishes, a successful political strategy is one that is diverse, adaptable to changing needs, and strong and resilient in its core values:
- Participatory Democracy, rooted in community practice at the grassroots level and informing every level, from the local to the international.
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity emphasizing personal and social responsibility, accountability, and an informing ethic of Nonviolence.
- Ecological and Economic Sustainability, balancing the interests of a regulated market economy and community-based economics with effective care for the Great Economy in which we are embedded: the ecosystems of the Earth.
The Green Party Platform seeks to identify the most crucial problems facing our country and offers ideas for responsible action to solve them. Looking to the future with hope and optimism, we believe we can truly correct the course of reckless, destructive governance that has allowed and encouraged the degradation of our ecological life-support systems, gutted our economy, and strained the social fabric to the point of causing material hardship for millions of Americans. Our common destiny brings us together across our nation and around the globe. We act in service to our children and the future generations of all our relations in the Earth community. We act in service to the future we are creating today.
10 KEY VALUES
1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
- Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life and should not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
- All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM
- Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature.
- We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
- It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments.
- We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
- Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
6. COMMUNITY BASED ECONOMICS
- Redesign our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. Develop new economic activities and institutions that will allow us to use our new technologies in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and accountable, and responsive to communities.
- Establish some form of basic economic security, open to all.
- Move beyond the narrow "job ethic" to new definitions of "work," jobs" and "income" that reflect the changing economy.
- Restructure our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy: those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, etc.
- Restrict the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.
7. FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY
- We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
8. RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY
- We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines.
- We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
9. PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY
- We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY
- Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
- Make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking.