Summary of the Green New Deal
The Green New Deal is a four part program for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future. Inspired by the New Deal programs that helped us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Green New Deal will provide similar relief and create an economy that makes our communities sustainable, healthy and just.
THE FOUR PILLARS OF THE GREEN NEW DEAL
I - THE ECONOMIC BILL OF RIGHTS
Our country cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up, and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus, the Green New Deal begins with an Economic Bill of Rights that ensures all citizens: 1. The right to employment through a Full Employment Program that will create 25 million jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled direct employment initiative replacing unemployment offices with local employment offices offering public sector jobs which are "stored" in job banks in order to take up any slack in private sector employment.
- Local communities will use a process of broad stakeholder input and democratic decisionmaking to fairly implement these programs.
- Pay-to-play prohibitions will ensure that campaign contributions or lobbying favors do not impact decision-making.
- We will end unemployment in America once and for all by guaranteeing a job at a living wage for every American willing and able to work.
2. Worker's rights including the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal.
3. The right to quality health care which will be achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-All program.
4. The right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, local controlled public education system from pre-school through college. We will also forgive student loan debt from the current era of unaffordable college education.
5. The right to decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions. We will:
- create a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages and either restructure the mortgages to affordable levels, or if the occupants cannot afford a mortgage, rent homes to the occupants;
- expand rental and home ownership assistance;
- create ample public housing; and,
- offer capital grants to non-profit developers of affordable housing until all people can obtain decent housing at no more than 25% of their income.
6. The right to accessible and affordable utilities – heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation – through democratically run, publicly owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit.
7. The right to fair taxation that's distributed in proportion to ability to pay. In addition, corporate tax subsidies will be made transparent by detailing them in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks.
II - A GREEN TRANSITION
The second priority of the Green New Deal is a Green Transition Program that will convert the old, gray economy into a new, sustainable economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible. We will:
1. Invest in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
2. Prioritize green research by redirecting research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal. We will invest in research in sustainable, nontoxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, as well as organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
3. Provide green jobs by enacting the Full Employment Program which will directly provide 16 million jobs in sustainable energy and energy efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and "complete streets" that promote safe bike and pedestrian traffic, regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing.
III - REAL FINANCIAL REFORM
The takeover of our economy by big banks and well-connected financiers has destabilized both our democracy and our economy. It's time to take Wall Street out of the driver's seat and to free the truly productive segments of working America to make this economy work for all of us. Real Financial Reform will:
1. Relieve the debt overhang holding back the economy by reducing homeowner and student debt burdens.
2. Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation. This means we'll nationalize the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve Banks and place them under a Monetary Authority within the Treasury Department.
3. Break up the oversized banks that are "too big to fail."
4. End taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, insurers, and other financial companies. We'll use the FDIC resolution process for failed banks to reopen them as public banks where possible after failed loans and underlying assets are auctioned off.
5. Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.
6. Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks.
7. Establish a 90% tax on bonuses for bailed out bankers.
8. Support the formation of federal, state, and municipal public-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities. Under the Green New Deal we will start building a financial system that is open, honest, stable, and serves the real economy rather than the phony economy of high finance.
IV - A FUNCTIONING DEMOCRACY
We won't get these vital reforms without a fourth and final set of reforms to give us a real, functioning democracy. Just as we are replacing the old economy with a new one, we need a new politics to restore the promise of American democracy. The New Green Deal will:
1. Revoke corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. Those rights belong to living, breathing human beings - not to business entities controlled by the wealthy.
2. Protect our right to vote by supporting Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.'s proposed "Right to Vote Amendment," to clarify to the Supreme Court that yes, we do have a constitutional right to vote.
3. Enact the Voter Bill of Rights that will:
- guarantee us a voter-marked paper ballot for all voting;
- require that all votes are counted before election results are released;
- replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions;
- celebrate our democratic aspirations by making Election Day a national holiday;
- bring simplified, safe same-day voter registration to the nation so that no qualified voter is barred from the polls;
- do away with so-called "winner take all" elections in which the "winner" does not have the support of most of the voters, and replace that system with instant runoff voting and proportional representation, systems most advanced countries now use to good effect;
- replace big money control of election campaigns with full public financing and free and equal access to the airwaves;
- guarantee equal access to the ballot and to the debates to all qualified candidates;
- abolish the Electoral College and implement direct election of the President;
- restore the vote to ex-offenders who've paid their debt to society; and,
- enact Statehood for the District of Columbia so that those Americans have representation in Congress and full rights to self rule like the rest of us.
4. Protect local democracy and democratic rights by commissioning a thorough review of federal preemption law and its impact on the practice of local democracy in the United States. This review will put at its center the "democracy question" – that is, what level of government is most open to democratic participation and most suited to protecting democratic rights.
5. Create a Corporation for Economic Democracy, a new federal corporation (like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) to provide publicity, training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development and for democratic reforms to make government agencies, private associations, and business enterprises more participatory.
6. Strengthen media democracy by expanding federal support for locally-owned broadcast media and local print media.
7. Protect our personal liberty and freedoms by:
- repealing the Patriot Act and those parts of the National Defense Authorization Act that violate our civil liberties;
- prohibiting the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI from conspiring with local police forces to suppress our freedoms of assembly and of speech; and,
- ending the war on immigrants – including the cruel, so-called "secure communities" program.
8. Rein in the military-industrial complex by
- reducing military spending by 50% and closing U.S. military bases around the world;
- restoring the National Guard as the centerpiece of our system of national defense; and,
- creating a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives.
Let us not rest until we have pulled our nation back from the brink, and until we have secured the peaceful, just, green future we all deserve.
FAQ on the Green Party, the 2016 election, and the Green nomination
Questions answered below:
• Is Jill Stein the Green nominee?
• Will Bernie supporters who "Go Green" be welcome in the Green Party?
• Can Bernie run as a Green if he doesn't win the Democratic nomination?
• Aren't the Green platform and Bernie's platform the same?
• Why does the Green Party nominate candidates for president?
• Why isn't the Green Party on the ballot in my state?
• Will the Green Party spoil in 2016?
• Shouldn't we vote for the lesser-evil Democrat?
• And more...
Q: Is Jill Stein the Green nominee?
A: No, but she has enough delegates at this time to win the nomination. Jill is competing with other candidates for the nomination, which will be decided at the 2016 Green Presidential Nominating Convention, Aug. 4-7 in Houston, Texas. See http://gpus.org/committees/presidential-campaign-support/2016-recognized-candidates
Q: Will Bernie Sanders' supporters and others who decide to "Go Green in 2016" be welcome in the Green Party?
A: Yes! Visit our Welcome Page.
Q: Can Bernie run for president as a Green if he doesn't win the Democratic nomination?
A: It'll be almost impossible for Bernie to launch a new presidential campaign after the Democratic convention. Many states have ballot-access and campaign laws with strict time constraints. Some states have "sore loser" laws prohibiting a candidate who lost in the primaries from running as an independent in the general election.
The Green Party has its own nomination process (see below). Bernie has not participated in that process and has not responded to communications from the Green Party inviting him to consider running as a Green. He has repeatedly pledged to support the Democratic nominee.
Bernie's speech delivered on June 16 confirmed that he will not pursue a campaign outside the Democratic Party.
Q: Would the Green Party support Bernie if he launched an independent campaign after the Democratic nomination?
A: The Green Party will support its own Green nominees for president and vice president. The Green Party of the United States doesn't support other parties' candidates or independents.
Q: Aren't the Green Party platform and Bernie's platform the same?
A: There are strong points of agreement, especially on domestic issues (e.g., the need for a Single-Payer health care system, living wages, restoration of the Glass-Steagall Act), enough for many Greens to feel a sense of solidarity with Bernie and his supporters. There are also sharp differences on foreign policy and military spending.
Greens advocate more extensive action on climate change and reorganizing the economy to benefit middle- and low-income working people and the poor. See the Green New Deal.
Q: How will the Green nomination take place?
A: State Green Parties and Caucuses have chosen delegates to the Green Presidential Nominating Convention by participating in primaries or holding statewide meetings and caucuses.
Read about the 2016 Green Presidential Nominating Convention.
Q: Why does the Green Party nominate candidates for president when it's so unlikely that a Green will win?
A: Greens are aware that a Green campaign for the White House is an extreme long shot. But there are plenty of solid reasons to run a Green presidential campaign and to vote for a Green nominee -- beginning with the democratic principle that one has the right to vote for the candidate that best represents one's interests and ideals without being told that only two parties are legitimate.
Every Green presidential campaign helps build the Green Party as an alternative to the two parties of war and Wall Street. The presidential candidates promote local and state Green candidates and raise money for them. Many local activists connect with the party for the first time though Green presidential campaigns. Local Green candidates learn campaign organizing skills from presidential campaigns, which helps them win elections.
Presidential campaigns help achieve ballot status necessary for state Green Parties, which helps local candidates get on the ballot. Some states require a presidential candidate on the ballot for a party to receive major-party status.
Green presidential candidates carry the banner for the party nationally, advocating ideas that are left out of the two-party contest. The Green Party is a plaintiff in two lawsuits demanding admission for alternative-party candidates to the fall presidential debates. If either or both of these lawsuits are successful, the Green presidential nominee will have a place on the debate stage and enable voters across the U.S. to learn what the Green Party stands for.
If the Green nominee receives at least 5% of the popular vote on Election Day, the Green nominee in the next election will receive funds from the Federal Election Commission (FEC). See http://www.fec.gov/info/chtwo.htm
Q: Is the Green Party running candidates for state and local office too, or only for president?
A: Greens are running for public office at every level in 2016. Hundreds of Greens have been elected in previous elections. Local election victories are a top priority for Greens as a grassroots party.
Read about some of our 2016 candidates.
Q: Is the Green Party only for environmentalists, progressives, radicals, and/or recovering ex-Democrats?
A: No. Greens come from a wide variety of backgrounds. The Green Party's platform and goals cover issues that concern everyone, from enacting democratic election reforms to living-wage laws to seeking peaceful solutions to international conflict instead of attacks and invasions.
Q: Is voting Green just a protest vote?
A: Every vote helps the Green Party grow. Every vote shows support for an alternative to the two parties of war and Wall Street. Every vote is an endorsement of the Green Party's positions and principles.
Many, maybe most, of the best ideas in US history came out of alternative parties and met strong opposition from the two ruling parties: abolition of slavery, women's suffrage, the eight-hour workday, workers' benefits, public schools, unemployment compensation, the minimum wage, laws against child labor, and programs like Social Security and Medicare.
A hundred years ago, Eugene Debs ran for president five times as a Socialist. He never received more than a few percentage points, but the ideas he and the Socialist Party promoted were adopted by FDR in the New Deal during the Great Depression.
Before D and R lawmakers enacted state ballot-access laws rigged against alternative parties, there were thousands more alternative-party elected officials. In 1916, five different parties were seated in Congress.
Q: Why isn't the Green Party on the ballot in my state?
A: We might be soon. The Green Party, with the help of presidential candidates, works hard every election season to win ballot access in every state. Please help us! Find your state Green Party here: http://www.gp.org/state_parties
Ballot-access laws are different in every state. In some states, the rules were designed by Democratic and Republican lawmakers to privilege their own candidates and obstruct alternative parties. State Green Parties have participated in law suits to overturn unfair ballot-access rules.
In 2012, the Green Party was on the ballot in 37 states including the District of Columbia. 82% of all voters were able to vote for Jill Stein, the 2012 Green nominee.
Q: Will the Green Party spoil in 2016?
A: Greens call the spoiler accusation a dishonest weapon used by major parties to eliminate competition from smaller parties. Those who are seriously concerned about the alleged spoiler factor should join the Green Party in demanding Ranked Choice Voting (RCV). See http://www.fairvote.org/rcv#rcvbenefits
Crying "spoiler" accomplishes three things:
- It conceals the failures of the larger political parties' candidates. In 2000, about 308,000 Florida Democrats voted for George W. Bush, while only 24,000 voted for Ralph Nader and nearly 3 million voters didn't bother to vote. Nevertheless, Mr. Nader was blamed for Al Gore's loss by Democrats who also ignored possible GOP election theft in Florida (more than 173,000 voters were purged), a biased Supreme Court ruling that handed Mr. Bush the White House, and Mr. Gore's own weak campaign.
- It suggests that alternative parties have no right to participate in elections.
- It distracts from the need for real democratic electoral reforms like RCV, Proportional Representation, campaign financing laws, and public funding for elections.
Q: Shouldn't we vote for the lesser-evil Democrat, to prevent a Republican victory?
A: The Democratic Party's progressive supporters have been telling us to vote for the "lesser evil" for decades. They're doing the same in 2016 and they'll continue to do so in every future election.
The demand for lesser-evil voting, which pretends we have only two choices on Election Day, has kept the U.S. virtually limited to two parties. It has enabled the Democratic Party to move steadily to the right, because Democrats assume they can always take the votes of progressive, pro-environmental, and anti-war voters for granted -- while they must compete with Republicans for contributions and support from the wealthy and from corporate PACs.
By playing the lesser-evil game every election year, progressives have marginalized themselves and made goals like Single-Payer national health care more remote.
On some big issues, Hillary Clinton is not the lesser evil. Given her record of support for war, she is as likely -- maybe more likely -- than Donald Trump to order a new military invasion or attack. Despite her campaign rhetoric, Ms. Clinton is very likely to support dangerous trade pacts like the Trans-Pacific Partnership after her inauguration.
Despite their differences, both Democrats and Republicans are incapable of addressing the emergencies of the 21st century: climate change; corporate power and the increasing concentration of wealth and power among the One Percent; the shredding of rights and protections for working people and the poor; mass incarceration and deep racial disparities in the justice system; endless war.
No political revolution is possible if we retreat into lesser-evil voting. Change can only take place outside of the two corporate-money parties. That's why we call the Green Party an imperative for the 21st century.
Welcome to the Green Party: http://www.gp.org/w
Green presidential candidates: http://gpus.org/committees/presidential-campaign-support/2016-recognized-candidates
Featured Green candidates for state and local office: http://www.gp.org/featured_candidates
2016 Green Presidential Nominating Convention: http://www.gp.org/pnc-2016
Green Party nomination process: http://www.gp.org/2016-gpus-presidential-nomination
Support full access to abortion, with funding, for all women in the U.S. and around the world.
Republicans: Oppose abortion
Bail out the people
Republicans: No Bailouts
Jail for Banksters
Refuse to accept corporate contributions. Demand an end to special rights for corporations & an end to big money elections
Republicans & Democrats: Accepts donations from corporations, including defense contractors, oil companies, insurance and drug firms, etc. Republican officials indicted or under investigation of bribery, perjury, etc.
Oppose Corporations as Persons
Refuse Corporate Campaign Contributions
Republicans: Support with open hands
Support labeling of genetically modified organism
Democrats: Thinking, Thinking ...
Oppose the death penalty citing racial bias, failure to deter crime, widespread errors, and humanitarian objections.
Republicans: Overwhelmingly support it
Support electoral reform including Instant Runoff Voting and public financing of elections. Open debates.
Republicans & Democrats: Works for us, why change anything
Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline
Reduce emissions NOW
Convert to renewable energy sources such as low-cost wind and solar power.
Republicans: Bush withdrew the U.S. from the Kyoto Treaty to reduce greenhouse gases and fossil fuel use (oil, coal). Wants to lower emissions standards to try to reduce gas prices.
Democrats: Willing to weaken emissions standards to lower gas prices. Promotes subsidies to corporate agriculture as a way to reduce petroleum consumption.
Oppose Drone Warfare & Assassinations
Oppose Israeli takeover of Palestine
Reduce the military budget
Republicans: Increase the budget
Fully support the Social Security system
Republicans: Cut it to the bone
Support a Jubilee for Student Debt
Support a living wage and the right to organize
|Universal Health Care|
Demand real universal health care: Single-payer national health insurance, with guaranteed treatment and medicine regardless of age, ability to pay, employment, prior medical condition, including choice of doctors and hospitals.
Republicans: Oppose guaranteed universal health care; Support health policy based on corporate profits for insurance, HMO, and drug companies instead of human need.
Democrats: Support health policy based on corporate profits; Deleted plans for universal health care from the Democratic platform.
The nation's second-largest state is also one of its reddest. In 2012 and 2014, Republican candidates for president, governor, and U.S. Senate all topped 57% of the vote in Texas, and the state has not had a non-Republican governor or senator in more than 20 years. But even in such seemingly inhospitable terrain, the Green Party is making inroads.
In 2012, two Green candidates for statewide office (state Supreme Court and railroad commissioner) received nearly 500,000 votes each, and the GP national ticket received more than 24,000 votes after receiving fewer than one thousand statewide in 2008. Two years later, Green U.S. Senate nominee Emily Marie Sanchez took 1.2% of the vote, and U.S. House candidate Antonio Diaz finished second in a three-way race with 15% of the vote. And last year, Green George Altgelt was elected to the city council in Laredo, a city of 250,000.
The GPTX has already set a new record in 2016, with more than 50 candidates seeking offices across the state. There are candidates for the U.S. House in 19 of the state's 36 districts, the first time the Green Party will field candidates in a majority of the state's races.
"Texas is a red state, so there is no 'lesser evil' risk in voting Green," says state co-chair Aaron Renaud. "Besides, the Democrats do not have the energy or motivation to fix the campaign finance system, in that regard they are just as culpable. In the end, I would say to vote for the only party that doesn't accept corporate donations. I would say to put real people into office, not politicians."
But there are challenges in organizing in a state that covers more than a quarter-million square miles and that has more than 250 counties.
Co-chair Laura Palmer says, "Because the state is so large, party cohesion is one of our biggest challenges. Getting to know party members in other areas, keeping track of the status of local parties, and having the ability to screen volunteers for key roles are all enormous concerns." Palmer says the GPTX has started to implement an "intentionally regional approach," urging locals in the same parts of the state to work together.
Beyond the physical and logistical challenges, some aspects of the Green agenda are a challenge to sell in the Lone Star State.
"Obviously Texas is deeply invested in oil and gas, so the complete transition to renewable energy is received with some anxiety and skepticism," says Palmer. "But even so, people seem willing to concede that it is a transition that must eventually happen. There is also resistance to the idea of a basic income, as if people can't believe that we could actually provide for everyone. … Still, I think the assurance of basic income could be a comfort to those who have anxiety about systemic transition; so that people need not fear losing their job in the oil and gas sector, because everyone will be allowed a basic living."
Renaud sees a similar challenge. "While people can easily identify with rooting out corruption, fair campaigns, environmental protections, and other common sense ideas, the myth of the American Dream is still very powerful, especially in Texas," he says. "There are many that do not acknowledge the relationship between economic and social oppression."
Still, as America is changing, so is Texas. As of 2010, nearly 38% of the state's population was Latinx, with 45% of residents non-Latinx whites. Only one out of three students in the state's schools today are non-Latinx whites.
"Our humane perspective on immigration is certainly welcoming to the Hispanic community," Palmer says. "Poverty, social justice, and the need for single-payer healthcare all resonate here, as does ending the drug war."
Renaud says Greens in Texas are reaching out to the state's Latinx community by working with the new GPUS Latinx Caucus and producing campaign literature in Spanish. He adds, "Many of our members, candidates, and officers are Latino/a or speak Spanish, much like Texas as a whole."
"For years, we have watched as the establishment agenda grinds on," says Palmer." Regardless of which party is in power, we continue our imperialist wars and policies that benefit big business." But Texas "is very liberty-loving. … To the degree that GPTX can project itself as non-statist and respectful of the rights of individuals while also recognizing the need for government to function for the common good, we emerge as a viable alternative."
Palmer sees opportunities for the party as voters become disenchanted and turnout declines.
"With all the billions of dollars that are poured into elections each cycle, the establishment parties can't even motivate more than one-third of voters to participate," she notes. "As soon as Greens build enough awareness in the general public, we are poised to emerge as a major factor in U.S. elections by giving the disenfranchised two-thirds something to vote for."