Saturday, August 20, 2016

An introduction to the American Green Party Option

American voters, and those in other countries who believe the American election process matters to us all, have been treated to a barrage of personal attacks, and an assault to their sensibilities especially by the Republican candidate, Trump. Whatever policies he has advocated have been shown to be hollow, misguided, bigoted, isolationist, unaffordable and vacuous. Hillary Clinton, on the other hand, has a prescription for every ill, some of it workable, some of it mere rhetoric that seeks to find the sweet spot in the electorate’s dream fantasy. She also walks, rides and even rests under a cloud of public distrust, whether warranted or not.

On the other hand, just this week, for the first time on a national and international television program, CNN host Chris Cuomo asked the Green Party# candidates for President and Vice-president, Dr. Jill Stein, and Amaju Baraka* respectively, questions about their proposals, and the reasons for their agreeing to participate in the rough and tumble of American politics. For those watching and listening, the results were remarkable.

A medical doctor by profession, Dr. Stein has transferred her “care” from individual patients to the country and the planet. Some of her statements, expressed in almost doctor patient clarity, are both astounding and inspirational. Just a few here:
  • ·      her aggressive offensive on global warming and climate change, 
  • ·      her bold presumption to close ALL American military bases (there are some 700-800 scattered around the globe),
  • ·      her willingness to utter a startling proposal to initiate a PEACE initiative to bring the war against Islamic terrorism to an end (“We started it and we can bring it to an end!”)
  • ·      her proposal to eliminate all student debt, “just as the country baled out Wall Street” to release these graduates as an economic stimulus to the country
  • ·      her massive jobs proposal to build crumbling infrastructure
  • ·      her retraining of the jobless in small and rural communities, not only the large cities
  • ·      her embrace of a vice-presidential candidate whose career has been engaged in the human rights movement, and who criticized Bernie Sanders for his national approach that left out foreign policy, “although I really wanted to feel the Bern”

These are just some of the ideas that came from the show. And then there was the answer to the question, “How does your feminism differ from that of Hillary Clinton, and how would that influence your way of governing?”
Dr. Stein articulated a “caring” posture for all women, and then expanded her vision to include the children of all families on the planet, while being careful to endorse the aphorism, ‘it takes a village to raise a child’ (the title of Ms Clinton’s book on raising children).

For his part, Baraka was confronted by some of the more pugilistic phrases he had used to criticize President Obama (“Uncle Tom,” the most inflammatory). His explanation was that Obama brought high hopes into office yet failed to live up to the historic potential of that moment, by not bringing about the radical change of his potential. He also acknowledged that, in context, he uses rhetoric to bring the impact of his meaning to his audiences.

There is no question that the Stein/Baraka ticket infuses a heavy shot of adrenalin into the political debate south of the 49th parallel. Whether or not the duo can generate adequate public interest to climb up to the threshold of 15% in public opinion polls to enable their participation in the presidential debates is still an open question. Whether they deserve the exposure they have already achieved is unquestionable. And, in her answer to the question of drawing votes away from Clinton and thereby enhancing Trump’s vote, Stein points to a purpose to continue the Sanders revolution as a movement, now separated from a single man, pointing to the potential ‘victory’ for that movement through her and her running mate’s efforts.

When, in this space, we offered a modest endorsement of the Clinton candidacy, we had not been exposed to the person and the ideas included in the Stein/Baraka option. And while those ideas represent a singularly radical shift in both American domestic and foreign policy, the arguments sustaining that shift are so compelling as to warrant a full public airing.

For those interested in finding a political nest from which to participate in a social, cultural, political, economic, and environmental revolution, the Green Party’s proposals, while admittedly far removed from conventional Washington politics are the twigs and the mud of such a nest. It is an thought-provoking, intellectually challenging, and optimistic (even daring) set of ideas in the tradition of reaching for the stars, an integral component to the American way of doing things. Affordability, and limits to the penetration of the ideas into the public consciousness, of course, will impede their access to the real levers of power, the elected political class in Washington. The obvious need for local candidates in both the House of Representative and the Senate, candidates who can both assimilate and then articulate these Green Party ideas to their constituents, will continue to provide a measuring stick of how the party is planting the needed seeds for the eventual ground-breaking emergence of these ideas into the political sunlight.

We heartily endorse, just as we did and still do, the LEAP manifesto from a wing of the Canadian NDP at its last convention, a full public discussion of the Green Party platform, and a full scrutiny of the candidates currently espousing those positions. The American political scene is in desperate need of a shift from the ideas of money, military and hard power, environmental denial and “ostrichness,” and corporate and Wall Street domination, not to mention the rape of labour and voting rights legislation to a more egalitarian, more expansive, and more sustainable environmental position.
The baggage of both Clinton and Trump, the former from her political market-worn mis-steps, the latter from a business career of dramatic abuse of both people and government regulations, have to point millions toward a closer examination of the Green option. If we were voting in the November election, at least on the presidential ballot, we would be casting a vote for Dr. Jill Stein and her running mate Amaju Baraka. As the most powerful country in the world, the United States needs the kind of leadership that can and does offer a real beacon of light and hope to the rest of the world, and not a dark cloud of cynicism, suspicion, fear and denial supported by the largest military fortress in history.

**Baraka’s biography on his personal website says that he has fought for human rights for four decades, focusing on both domestic and international issues. He’s worked as a grassroots organizer in the Black Liberation Movement and the anti-apartheid movement. Beyond that, he has worked with Central American solidarity struggles, as well.
His biography says that he has been working in the United States to apply the international human rights framework domestically to social justice advocacy for more than a quarter of a century. He has briefed Congress on human rights and has spoken before several United Nations agencies. (From International Business Times website)


Platform of the Greens/Green Party USA (from the party website This platform is not binding for candidates on any level

Download the Platform for printing: platform.rtf (59k)
You should be able to open this file and print from most word processors.

This platform was adopted by the delegates of the membership of the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA) at their annual Green Congress, meeting in Chicago, May 26-28, 2000. It reflects the majority views of the G/GPUSA membership.
G/GPUSA's national officers, spokespeople, and National Committee are expected to act in a manner consistent with the policy framework set by this platform. In keeping with G/GPUSA's structure of "democratic decentralism" where accountability is bottom-up, not top-down, the platform is not binding on the state and local affiliates of the Greens/Green Party USA.
This platform, therefore, does not necessarily reflect in every respect the views of Green Party candidates at any level, including Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke, Green Party candidates for President and Vice-President in 2000.
The Greens/Green Party USA is the original Green Party organization in the USA. It carries forward the radical vision of the early Greens based on grassroots political and economic democracy, nonviolence, social justice, and ecological sustainability.
Formed as the Committees of Correspondence in 1984, the annual Green Congress changed the name to Green Committees of Correspondence in 1989 and to The Greens/Green Party USA in 1991. G/GPUSA is a membership organization of individual members who participate in affiliated local and state organizations and support the organization with dues scaled to their ability to pay.
Green politics is an ecological approach to politics that links social and ecological problems. Ecology studies the relationships among organisms and their environment. Political ecology brings human institutions and ideologies into this holistic perspective.
We find that the same institutions and ideas that cause the exploitation and oppression of humans also cause the degradation and destruction of the environment. Both are rooted in a hierarchical, exploitative, and alienated social system that systematically produces human oppression and ecological destruction.
For the Greens, therefore, the fights against racism, sexism, class exploitation, bureaucratic domination, war, and all other forms of social domination and violence are central to the movement for an ecologically sustainable society. In order to harmonize society with nature, we must harmonize human with human.
The Greens carry forward the traditional values of the Left: freedom, equality, and solidarity. We want to create a truly democratic society without class exploitation or social domination. But Greens expand this notion of a classless, nonhierarchical society that is harmonized with itself to include an ecological society that is harmonized with nature as well.
To the social movements, the Greens say that in order for humanity to progress toward a democratic society, we must resolve the ecological crisis so that people are still around to enjoy democracy. To the environmental movements, the Greens say that in order to have an ecological society, we must have a democratic society so that people have the power to choose ecological sustainability. To survive, we must have ecological sustainability. To choose ecological sustainability, we must have the power of democracy.
The following platform planks are the immediate policy goals we support to move us toward an ecological democracy.
An Economic Bill of Rights
  • Universal Social Security: Taxable Basic Income Grants for all, structured into the progressive income tax, that guarantee an adequate income sufficient to maintain a modest standard of living. Start at $500/week ($26,000/year) for a family of four, with $62.50/week ($3,250/year) adjustments for more or fewer household members in 2000 and index to the cost of living.
  • Jobs for All: A guaranteed right to job. Full employment through community-based public works and community service jobs programs, federally financed and community controlled.
  • Living Wages: A family-supporting minimum wage. Start at $12.50 per hour in 2000 and index to the cost of living.
  • 30-Hour Work Week: A 6-hour day with no cut in pay for the bottom 80% of the pay scale.
  • Social Dividends: A "second paycheck" for workers enabling them to receive 40 hours pay for 30 hours work. Paid by the government out of progressive taxes so that social productivity gains are shared equitably.
  • Universal Health Care: A single-payer National Health Program to provide free medical and dental care for all, with freedom of choice for consumers among both conventional and alternative health care providers, federally financed and controlled by democratically elected local boards.
  • Free Child Care: Available voluntarily and free for all who need it, modeled after Head Start, federally financed, and community controlled.
  • Lifelong Public Education: Free, quality public education from pre-school through graduate school at public institutions.
  • Affordable Housing: Expand rental and home ownership assistance, fair housing enforcement, public housing, and capital grants to non-profit developers of affordable housing until all people can obtain decent housing at no more than 25% of their income. Democratic community control of publicly funded housing programs.
Grassroots Democracy
  • Community Assemblies: Ground political representation in a foundation of participatory, direct democracy: a Community Assembly in every neighborhood, open to all of its residents, acting as a grassroots legislative body, with its own budget for local administration, and the power (in concert with other Citizens Assemblies who share a representative) to monitor, instruct, and recall representatives elected to municipal, state, and federal office.
  • A Proportional, Single-Chamber US Congress: Abolish the disproportional, aristocratic US Senate. Create a single-chamber US Congress, elected by a system of mixed-member proportional representation that combines district representatives elected by preference voting and party representatives seated in proportion to each party's vote.
  • Environmental Home Rule: Establish the right of every state, county, and municipality to restrict or prohibit the production, sale, distribution, storage, or transportation of any substance it designates as dangerous or toxic.
  • Average Workers' Pay for Elected Officials: Pay elected officials average workers' salaries so that they understand the needs of average people and stop being an elite of professional politicians with separate class interests.
  • DC Statehood: Full self-government and congressional representation for the people of Washington DC.
Fair Elections
  • Proportional Representation: Elect legislative bodies by proportional representation where each party has representation in proportion to its total vote.
  • Preference Voting: Elect single offices by majority preference voting where voters rank candidates in order of preference and votes are distributed according to preferences in instant runoffs until a winner receives a majority of votes.
  • Public Campaign and Party Financing:Equal public campaign financing and free broadcast media time for all candidates who agree not to use private money. Equal free broadcast media time for party broadcasts. Public financing of parties through matching funds for party dues and small donations up to $300 a year.
  • Fair Ballot Access: Federal legislation to require each state to enable a new party or any independent candidate to qualify for the ballot through a petition of no greater than 1/10th of 1% of the total vote cast in the district in the last gubernatorial election, with a 10,000 signature maximum.
  • Eliminate Mandatory Primaries: Allow parties the right to nominate by membership convention instead of state-run primaries.
Ecological Conversion
  • Ecological Production: Set goals and timetables to phase out and ban the production and release of synthetic chemicals and to convert all production to materials that are bio-degradable, bio-inert, or confined to closed-loop industrial cycles. Use federal investments, purchasing, mandates, and incentives to:
    • Phase out most chlorinated and other synthetic petrochemicals and phase in natural, biodegradable substitutes.
    • Phase out synthetic fertilizers and pesticides and phase in organic agriculture.
    • Shut down waste incinerators, phase out landfills, and phase in full recycling.
    • Require manufacturers to be responsible for the whole life cycle of their products by taking back used packaging and products for re-manufacturing, reuse, or recycling.
    • Legalize industrial hemp as an ecological source for wood pulp, paper, cloth, lubricants, fibers, and many other products.
  • Renewable Energy: Invest non-renewable energy sources in the creation of self-reproducing, renewable energy systems. Use federal investments, purchasing, mandates, and incentives to:
    • Shut down nuclear power plants.
    • Phase out fossil fuels and phase in clean renewable energy sources.
    • Reduce auto-based transportation and expand pedestrian, bicycle, and rail transportation.
  • Biotechnology-No Patents on Life; No Transgenic Organisms:
    • Ban patents on life forms in order to preserve genetic diversity and common access to our common inheritance of nature, including farmers' access to seeds and breeds.
    • Ban the release into the environment and the use in food production of genetically modified organisms that result from splicing the genes of one species into another.
  • Environmental Defense and Restoration:
    • Full funding for anti-pollution enforcement and toxic sites clean-up
    • Preserve ecosystems and biodiversity by strengthening the Endangered Species Act and expanding areas designated as wildlife refuges and wilderness areas.
    • Ban old-growth logging, clear cutting, and strip mining.
    • End all commercial exploitation of public lands by private timber, mining, and cattle grazing interests.
    • Ban off-road vehicles on federal lands. Decommission National Forest logging roads.
    • Restoration of public lands degraded by commercial interests.
    • Manage federal lands primarily for ecosystem protection and restoration.
    • Support large-scale ecological restoration based on conservation biology.
  • Environmental Justice: Strengthen and enforce laws that prevent toxic industries, toxic dumps and air pollution from targeting ethnic minority communities.
  • A Just Transition: A Superfund for Workers to guarantee full income and benefits for all workers displaced by ecological conversion until they find new jobs with comparable income and benefits.
Sustainable Agriculture
  • Fair Farm Price Supports: Reform farm price supports to cover the costs of production plus a living income for family farmers and farmworker cooperatives.
  • Subsidize Transition to Organic Agriculture: Subsidize farmers' transition to organic agriculture while natural systems of soil fertility and pest control are being restored.
  • Support Small Farmers: Create family farms and farm worker cooperatives through a homesteading program and land reform based on acreage limitations and residency requirements.
  • Break Up Corporate Agribusiness: Create family farms and farmworker cooperatives through a homesteading program and land reform based on acreage limitations and residency requirements.
Economic Democracy
  • Eliminate Corporate Personhood: Legislation or constitutional amendment to end the legal fiction of corporate personhood.
  • End Corporate Limited Liability: Make corporate shareholders bear the same liabilities as other property owners.
  • Federal Chartering of Interstate Corporations
  • Periodic Review of Corporate Charters: A public corporate charter review process for each corporation above $20 million in assets every 20 years to see if it is serving the public interest according to social and ecological as well as financial criteria.
  • Strengthen Anti-Trust Enforcement: Require breakup of any firm with more than 10% market share unless it makes a compelling case every five years in a public regulatory proceeding that it serves the public interest to keep the firm intact.
  • Democratic Production: Establish the right of citizens to vote on the expansion or phasing out of products and industries, especially in areas of dangerous or toxic production.
  • Workplace Democracy: Establish the right of workers at every enterprise over 10 employees to elect supervisors and managers and to determine how to organize work.
  • Worker Control of Worker Assets-Pension Funds and ESOP Shares:Pension funds representing over $5 trillion in deferred wages account for nearly one-third of financial assets in the US. 11 million workers participate in employee stock-option plans (ESOPs). Reform ERISA, labor laws, and ESOP tax provisions to enable workers to democratically control their assets.
  • Democratic Conversion of Big Business: Mandatory break-up and conversion to democratic worker, consumer, and/or public ownership on a human scale of the largest 500 US industrial and commercial corporations that account for about 10% of employees, 50% of profits, 70% of sales, and 90% of manufacturing assets.
  • Democratic Conversion of Small and Medium Business: Financial and technical incentives and assistance for voluntary conversion of the 22.5 million small and medium non-farm businesses in the US to worker or consumer cooperatives or democratic public enterprises. Mandate that workers and the community have the first option to buy on preferential terms in cases of plant closures, the sale or merger of significant assets, or the revocation of corporate charters.
  • Democratic Banking: Mandatory conversion of the 200 largest banks with 80% of all bank assets into democratic publicly-owned community banks. Financial and technical incentives and assistance for voluntary conversion of other privately-owned banks into publicly-owned community banks or consumer-owned credit unions.
  • Democratize Monetary Policy and the Federal Reserve System: Place a 100% reserve requirement on demand deposits in order to return control of monetary policy from private bankers to elected government. Selection of Federal Reserve officers by our elected representatives, not private bankers. Strengthen the regional development mission of the regional Federal Reserve Banks by directing them to target investments to promote key policy objectives, such as high-wage employment, worker and community ownership, ecological production, and inner city reconstruction.
Progressive and Ecological Taxes
  • Ecological Taxes: Tax pollution, resource extraction, harmful products, and the use of our common wealth of natural capital (land sites according to land value, timber and grazing lands, ocean and freshwater resources, oil and minerals, electromagnetic spectrum, satellite orbital zones).
  • Simple, Progressive Income Taxes: Enact a no-loopholes, graduated personal income tax with equal taxation of all income, regardless of source. Provide an income tax credit for each dependent to replace and fully compensate for the current exemptions and deductions that benefit to the average taxpayer, such as the home mortgage deduction and medical deductions.
  • Eliminate Regressive Payroll Taxes: Fund Social Security, Health Care, Unemployment Insurance, and Workers Compensation out of progressive income and wealth taxes.
  • Guaranteed Adequate Income: Build taxable Basic Income Grants into the progressive income tax structure to create a Universal Social Security system that ensures everyone has income for at least a modest standard of living above the poverty line.
  • Maximum Income: Build into the progressive income tax a 100% tax on all income over ten times the minimum wage.
  • End Corporate Welfare: Target subsidies for worker- and community-owned enterprises, not absentee-owned corporations. Put subsidies in the public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks in complicated tax codes. Progressively Graduated Corporate Revenue and Asset Taxes
  • Wealth Tax: Enact a steeply progressive tax on net wealth over $2.5 million (the top 5% of households).
  • Inheritance Tax: Replace the loophole-ridden estate tax with a no-loopholes, progressive inheritance tax on inheritances over $1 million.
  • Stock and Bond Transfer Tax: Encourage a shift from speculative to productive investments through a federal stock and bond transfer tax on all securities transactions.
  • Currency Speculation Tax: An internationally uniform tax on currency conversion to discourage speculation. Revenues from the currency speculation tax should be channeled through international agencies into ecologically sustainable, democratically controlled development in poor countries.
  • Advertising Tax: A tax on advertising to fund a decentralized, pluralistic media system of real public broadcasting, public service broadcasting on commercial media, and independent nonprofit, noncommercial media.
  • Federal Revenue Sharing: Reduce state and local government dependence on regressive sales and property taxes through federal revenue sharing that combines centralized collection of progressive and ecological taxes with decentralized decisions on spending.
  • Ecological and Feminist Economic Accounting: Expand the Bureau of Labor Statistics into a Bureau of Household, Labor, and Environmental Statistics with revised national economic accounts, statistics, and indicators that include stocks and flows of natural wealth, household production, and labor time values. Existing national income accounts and indicators such as gross domestic product (GDP) ignore the ecological foundations of the economy and the value of household production. Ecological accounting will identify the true costs of resource depletion and pollution and hence appropriate eco-taxes to internalize full costs. Social accounting will identify the true value of household production and its contribution to the economy and social well-being. Labor time accounting will record and publish the current and dated labor time for goods and services, establishing the average labor time required for each product. These labor time values will serve as shadow prices against which to judge the fairness of actual market prices.
Human Rights and Social Justice
  • End Institutionalized Racism, Sexism, and Oppression of People with Disabilities: Strengthen civil rights, anti-discrimination, and affirmative action laws, programs, and enforcement.
  • African American Reparations: A national commission on reparations for African Americans.
  • Indian Treaty Rights: Honor all treaty obligations with Native Americans and Chicanos.
  • Immigrant Rights: Support the rights of immigrants to housing, education, health care, jobs, and civil, legal, and political rights.
  • Reproductive Freedom: People should be free from government interference in making their reproductive choices, including abortion, which should be covered by all publicly funded medical insurance programs.
  • Comparable Worth: Legislation to enable women and minorities to receive equal pay for work of equal value.
  • End Discrimination Against Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgendered People: Outlaw discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation in housing, employment, benefits, and child custody.
  • Same-Sex Marriage: Legal recognition of same-sex marriages.
Criminal and Civil Justice Reforms
  • Abolish the Death Penalty
  • Prosecute Police Brutality-The Jonny Gammage Law: Require independent federal investigation and prosecution of law enforcement officers charged with violating the civil rights or causing the bodily injury or death of a human being.
  • End Political and Racial Persecution by the Criminal Justice System:Freedom for all political prisoners and prisoners of racial injustice. Clemency for Leonard Peltier. New trial for Mumia Abu-Jamal.
  • Restorative Justice: Establish a humane criminal sanction system based on prevention, restitution, rehabilitation, and reconciliation rather than vengeance, forced labor, and profits for the Prison-Industrial Complex. Restore full funding for college degree granting programs in state and federal prisons. Jobs and justice, not more police and prisons.
  • Legal Aid: Expand funding of legal aid and public defender programs so all people can have competent legal representation.
  • Fight Corporate Crime: Strengthen laws and enforcement against corporate crime with penalties that include incarceration of executives and revocation of corporate charters.
  • Oppose Tort Reform that Limits Class Action Lawsuits and Caps Victims' Compensation: The threat of high victim compensation awards by civil juries must be maintained as an important deterrent to corporate crime.
  • Civil Liberties: Support the Bill of Rights. No compromise on civil liberties and due process for "national security," "anti-terrorism," or "the war on drugs." Repeal the 1994 Crime and 1996 Anti-Terrorism bills. End domestic political spying by police, military, and intelligence agencies.
  • End the "War on Drugs:" Decriminalize possession of drugs. Regulate and tax drug distribution. Release nonviolent drug war prisoners. Treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal problem. Drug abuse treatment on demand.
Labor Law Reforms
  • Repeal Repressive Labor Laws: Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act, the Landrum-Griffin Act, the Hatch Act, and state "Right-To-Work" laws which have crippled labor's ability to organize by outlawing or severely restricting labor's basic organizing tools: strikes, boycotts, pickets, and political action.
  • A Workers' Bill of Rights: Enact a set of legally enforceable civil rights, independent of collective bargaining, which (1) extends the Bill of Rights protections of free speech, association, and assembly into all workplaces, (2) establishes workers' rights to living wages, portable pensions, information about chemicals used, report labor and environmental violations, refuse unsafe work, and participate in enterprise governance, and (3) establishes workers' rights to freedom from discharge at will, employer search and seizure in the workplace, sexual harassment, and unequal pay for work of comparable worth.
  • Expand Worker' Rights to Organize and Enjoy Free Time:
    • Majority Card-Check Recognition of Unions
    • Strong and Speedy Penalties for Employers Who Break Labor Laws
    • Ban Striker Replacements
    • Triple Back Pay for Illegally Locked-Out Workers
    • Unemployment Compensation for Striking and Locked-Out Workers
    • Binding Contract Arbitration at Union Request
    • Full Rights for Farmworkers, Public Employees, and "Workfare" Workers under the Fair Labor Standards Act
    • Ban Prison Slave Labor: End the use of US prisoners to produce goods and services for sale to the public.
    • Double-Time Pay for All Overtime
    • Prohibit Mandatory Overtime
    • 6 Weeks Paid Vacation Annually in addition to Federal Holidays
    • 1 Year Paid Educational Leave for Every 7 Years Worked
    • 1 Year Parental Leave for Each Child Born with No Loss of Seniority
    • Right to Work Short Hours: No discrimination in pay and promotion against workers who choose to work short hours.
Revitalize Public Education
  • Equalize School Funding with Federal Revenue Sharing: Federal financing of all public education (instead of by regressive local property taxes) so that every school has the resources it needs to provide the highest quality education for every child. Use a simple formula based on student population with adjustments based on need to help bring up school quality and student performance in poor communities.
  • Decentralized Administration: Cut through stifling centralized administration with site-based planning, policy-making, and management with participation by parents and teachers with release-time. Maintain central support staff for decentrally administered schools.
  • Class Size Reduction: Federal legislation and financing to reduce student-teacher ratios in classrooms to 15 to 1 in all public schools.
  • Preschool Programs: Federal legislation and financing for public schools to make available Head Start-type programs for pre-Kindergarten children starting at age 3.
  • After School Programs: Federal legislation and financing to make available after-school recreational and educational programs for all school age children.
  • Children's Health: Clinics in all schools to check eyes, teeth, and general health at all grade levels. Healthy food at breakfast, lunch, and after school programs. Birth control information at middle and high schools.
  • Improve Teacher Training and Pay: Improve the quality of teachers with support for career-long training. On-the-jobs apprenticeships for teachers-in-training. Teacher pay scales comparable to other professionals with similar education and responsibilities.
  • Multicultural Teaching Staffs: Strengthen affirmative action programs to recruit and support ethnic minorities to enter teaching at every level: teacher, aide, assistant, apprentice.
  • Tuition-Free Higher Education: Federal legislation and financing for tuition free education at public universities and technical schools for everyone who wants it.
  • Oppose the Privatization of Public Schools: We oppose all schemes for corporations to pursue private profits at the expense of public schools and schoolchildren.
    • No School Vouchers: No school vouchers from public budgets for private schools.
    • No For-Profit or Religious Charter Schools: Stop the diversion of public funds to for-profit corporations or religious organizations running charter schools with unaccountable administrations, uncertified teachers, and segregated student bodies.
    • No Commercialization: Stop turning school children into a captive market for commercial marketing interests with franchises that undermine democratic funding and accountability.
    • No High-Stakes Testing: Stop the curriculum takeover by commercial standardized test and test-prep corporations. Stop linking administrator and teacher pay and student graduation and retention to standardized test performance. Stop reducing education to answering multiple choice questions. Put teachers back in charge of ongoing, genuine assessment in the classroom.
  • Curriculum for a Multicultural Participatory Democracy: We support a democratic public school curriculum that fosters curiosity, critical thinking, and free expression, that explicitly promotes democratic and egalitarian anti-racist, anti-sexist, and multicultural values, that replaces Eurocentric with multicultural textbooks and other curriculum materials, that does not sort children into academic and non-academic tracks, and that is academically rigorous with high expectations for all children.
  • Support Bilingual Education: Minority-language children with limited English proficiency must have instructional programs that build on their native language and culture while building English proficiency.
Free, Diverse and Uncensored Media
  • Infodiversity: An uninformed people is not free. Create a vital, democratic, diverse media system, delinked from corporate profit objectives and able to present a wide range of issues and ideas in their full complexity, free from censorship by government or by private corporate power.
  • Support Nonprofit and Noncommercial Media: A decentralized, democratic system of public funding of diverse nonprofit, noncommercial media, including broadcast, print, film, website, and other cultural production. Funding to exceed existing support for for-profit media, including lower mailing rates and tax deductions for donors. Guarantee free, universal Internet access.
  • Real Public Broadcasting: Complete public funding for real public radio and television broadcasting, with no advertising or grants from private corporations or foundations. Support a decentralized, pluralistic system of multiple national networks and local stations, all independently controlled by boards elected by their publics and their workers.
  • Regulate Public Airwaves in the Public Interest: Reassert the public's right as owners of the electromagnetic spectrum used as broadcast airwaves to regulate their use in the public interest. Re-appropriate 6 prime-time hours a day of commercial broadcast time on each station for real public service broadcasting: ad-free children's and news/public affairs programming. Fund this liberated time by charging commercial broadcasters rents for the bandwidths they use, a tax on sales of commercial stations, and a tax on advertising. Program this ad-free time under the control of artists' and educators for the children's programs and journalists for the news and public affairs programs. Restore the Fairness Doctrine. Free time for all candidates for public office. Prohibit paid political ads or require free ads of equal time for opponents. Redistribute substantial bandwidth concessions to public, nonprofit, and locally owned commercial stations, including low-power stations. Increase stakeholder representation on and public accountability of the Federal Communications Commission.
  • Antitrust Actions to Break Up Media Conglomerates: Reform antitrust legislation to require the break up of corporate giants because their concentrated power threatens democracy, not just competitive pricing, especially with regard to media concentration where a few media conglomerates control the public's access to information. Require separate, independent firms for all TV stations, TV networks, TV show producers, radio stations, newspapers, magazines, book publishers, film producers, music recorders, Internet service providers, cable TV systems, cable TV stations, amusement parks, retail stores, and so forth. Repeal the pro-conglomeration Telecommunications Act of 1996. Subsidize the existence of multiple newspapers and magazines to express a diversity of opinion in all communities.
International Solidarity
  • A Global Green Deal: Build world peace and security through a Global Green Deal. First, the US should finance universal access to primary education, adequate food, clean water and sanitation, preventive health care, and family planning services for every human being on Earth. According to the 1999 UN Development Report, it would take only an additional $40 billion to Fund Global Basic Human Needs, an amount that is only 13% of the 2000 US military budget. Second, the US, which now spends half of the world's military expenditures by itself, should demilitarize its economy and reinvest the Peace Dividend in financing and technical assistance for an Ecological Conversion of Human Civilization to Sustainable Systems of Production.
  • Peace Conversion: Cut US military spending unilaterally by 75% in two years to establish a non-interventionist, non-offensive, strictly defensive military posture and save nearly $250 billion a year.
  • Peace Dividend: Dedicate the $250 billion a year Peace Dividend to the Global Green Deal, Ecological Conversion, the Economic Bill of Rights, and providing full income and benefits for all workers and soldiers displaced by demilitarization until they find new jobs at comparable income and benefits.
  • Unilateral Nuclear, Biological, and Chemical Disarmament: These weapons of mass destruction have no place in a non-offensive military. The US should set the example and demand that other nations match our lead before the proliferation of weapons to countries around the world leads to mass destruction.
  • Cooperative Security: Pursue a "cooperative security" strategy that seeks mutual arms reductions, progressive elimination of cross-border offensive capabilities, and further cuts in military spending. The goal is to progressively demilitarize down to a non-offensive defense of U.S. national territory using a coast guard, border guard, national guard, and light air defense system, which would cost about $3 billion, or less than 1% of current US military spending.
  • Democratize the United Nations: Cooperative security cannot work as long as the United Nations remains a US puppet. Support reforms to democratize the United Nations, such as more proportionality and power in the General Assembly, an elected Security Council, and the elimination of the Great Power Veto on the Security Council.
  • A Pro-Democracy Foreign Policy: We call for a fundamental shift in US foreign policy, from supporting repressive regimes in the interests global corporations to supporting the pro-democracy labor, social, and environmental movements of the people.
    • Support International, Multilateral Peacekeeping to Stop Aggression and Genocide
    • No Unilateral US Intervention in the Internal Affairs of Other Countries
    • Close All Overseas US Military Bases
    • Disband NATO and All Aggressive Military Alliances
    • Ban US Arms Exports
    • Abolish the CIA, NSA, US Army School of the Americas, and All US Agencies of Covert Warfare
    • End the Economic Blockades of Cuba, Iraq, and Yugoslavia
    • Cut Off US Military Aid to Counter-Insurgency Wars in Colombia and Mexico
    • Freedom for Lori Berenson and All Political Prisoners
    • Require a National Referendum to Declare War
  • End Global Financial Exploitation: Cancel the debt owed by poor countries to global banks. End the exploitation of poor countries by IMF "structural adjustment" policies. Abolish the IMF and World Bank and replace them with a democratic international financial institution for balancing international accounts and financing short-term current account balances.
  • Fair Trade: Withdraw from the World Trade Organization, NAFTA, and all other corporate-managed trade agreements that are driving down labor and environmental conditions globally. Establish an internationalist social tariff system that equalizes trade by accounting for the differences among countries in wages, social benefits, environmental conditions, and political rights. Tariff revenues to a democratic, international fund for ecological production and democratic development in poor countries in order to level up social and environmental conditions to a high common standard.

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