HARRIS COUNTY GREEN PARTY
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The Green Party Platform 2000

The Green Party Platform approved in June 2000 at the National Convention of the Association of State Green Parties in Denver is a 36-page evolving document. The following is a synopsis. It is organized into the categories of Democracy, Foreign Policy, Education, Health Care, Social Justice and Equal Opportunity, Environmental Sustainability, and Economic Sustainability. It covers issues pertaining to foreign policy, education, health care, women, racial minorities, gays, children, and animals. We prefer that you quote from the complete platform, which may be referenced at www.gp.org, www.votenader.org or www.greens.org. Caution: Platforms on other Web sites may claim "Green Party" affiliation but should not be confused with the Green Party Platform 2000 of the ASGP, the party whose presidential nominee is Ralph Nader.

Green Party Platform

I. U.S. Democracy

Democracy cannot thrive without empowering citizens. In the United States, big business and big government dominate politics, limiting citizens' political and economic opportunities. To remedy this limitation on democracy, the Green Party offers a comprehensive reform agenda, including:
1) Proportional representation, to be realized through choice voting, mixed member voting, party list, and semi-proportional systems.
2) Abolition of the anachronistic Electoral College through a constitutional amendment.
3) Campaign finance reform that includes caps on spending and contributions at national and state levels and/or the full public financing of elections.
4) Telecommunications policies that protect the First Amendment rights of viewers and listeners. The public should reclaim the public airwaves. Democracy requires free speech.
5) Decentralization of many state functions in favor of more local participation through expanded roles for neighborhood associations and citizens' rights to initiative, referendum, and recall, and more community involvement with nurturing and educating children, preserving natural and cultural resources, and protecting people from crime.
6) Increased voter participation through universal voter registration and an election-day holiday.
7) Statehood for the District of Columbia.

II. Foreign Policy

The Green Party recognizes the right of self-defense but is committed to nonviolence. Although the Cold War has ended, America retains its bloated military budgets, dangerous nuclear weapons, and major troop deployments overseas. Reducing militarism in favor of diplomacy, a strong economy and humane trade relations is a key to enhancing global security. Green Party proposals include:

1) Cut the military budget by 50% over the next 10 years.
2) Begin immediate negotiations to abolish nuclear weapons. Cease all funding for the development, testing, production, and deployment of nuclear weapons.
3) Implement a peacetime economy.
4) Support democracy and human rights, including adequate food, health, housing, social services, and security.
5) Require all nations to abide by World Court decisions.
6) End the U.S. economic blockade against Cuba.
7) Support immigration policies that promote fairness, nondiscrimination and family reunification. Our relationship with Mexico should seek to improve economic, environmental and social conditions for both peoples.
8) Address the needs of political exiles and refugees, including Russian Jews, mid-East Kurds, Tibetans, and Haitians.
9) Build on the "Earth Charter" of the 1992 U.N. Environmental Earth Summit.

III. Education

Good education is central to a strong and diverse community. The Green Party proposes fundamental changes at national and local levels, within public and private sectors, in the classroom and at home.
1) All people have a right to lifelong learning.
2) Choices should be expanded to include magnet schools, site-based management, schools within schools, home-based education, bilingual education, continuing education, job retraining, mentoring and apprenticeship programs.
3) Education should be creative, noncompetitive and culturally diverse.
4) Along with interpersonal learning, curricula should utilize distance learning and computer- interactive education.
5) Funding formulas should be adjusted to avoid gross inequalities among districts and schools.
6) We support state-funded day-care and after-school programs.
7) Teachers should be given professional salaries and status.
8) Schools should not expose students to commercial advertising.
9) We support tuition-free college and vocational public education.
10) Until we get free higher education, loans should be repayable in proportion to future earnings.

IV. Health Care

The U.S. is the only industrialized country without a national heath-care system. Unfortunately, our private insurance system often excludes the poor and those with pre-existing conditions, and terminates insurance when the healthy become ill.
1) The Green Party considers access to health care a human right and thus supports universal coverage of comprehensive benefits.
2) We support a single-payer national insurance program. The program would be publicly funded but privately delivered, thereby ensuring competition and choices for patients. This system would save small business an estimated $900 billion.
3) Cost savings would also be achieved through global budgets, national fee schedules, and streamlined bureaucracies.
4) The Medicare Trust Fund should be replenished by cutting waste and fraud and eliminating costly unnecessary services. Medicaid must be adequately funded.
5) Preventive medicine - including a healthy environment, better eating habits and adequate exercise - should be emphasized.
6) More attention should be paid to women's health issues, such as reproductive health, breast cancer, family planning, and the right to a safe and legal abortion, as well as to the needs of the handicapped and mentally ill.

V. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity

An unjust society is an unsustainable society. Poverty, violence and despair undermine our ability to meet modern challenges. Injustice permeates the workplace and the criminal justice system, and current arrangements perpetuate discrimination. The Green Party proposes:
1) Economic and workplace democracy must be expanded in management/labor negotiations.
2) We endorse reform for the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) and the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA). Reform must address large-plant closings.
3) We support the legal right to organize and join unions with democratically elected leadership.
4) Mediation should be the major form of resolution for workplace disputes.
5) We support the right to strike without being permanently replaced.
6) We must address America's prison system, which is rife with injustice and discrimination.
7) Responding to crime requires positive approaches that restore communities and build hope, responsibility and a sense of belonging.
8) Law enforcement must firmly address violent crime, street crime and trafficking in hard drugs.
9) Legislation addressing white-collar crime and corporate crime must be enacted and enforced.
10) We support civilian review of complaints of police misconduct.
11) We support thoughtful, carefully considered gun control.
12) We oppose the death penalty.
13) We oppose racial profiling and police brutality.
14) We support federal funding for rape crisis centers and domestic violence shelters. We call for prevention and education programs dealing with rape and domestic violence. Stiffer penalties should be levied against those found guilty of domestic violence.
15) Victims' rights must be protected. This includes victim-impact statements and restitution.
16) Victimless crimes such as the possession of small amounts of marijuana should be decriminalized.
17) Industrial hemp should be legalized.
18) We support affirmative action.
19) We support equal rights for gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people in all areas of life.
20) The federal government must repair its relations with Native Americans. This includes the recognition of the sovereignty of tribal governments, the honoring of our treaty obligations, and the reform of the Bureau of Indian Affairs.
21) We urge the provision of affordable housing for all Americans.

VI. Environmental Sustainability

A comprehensive environmental program must be implemented to avoid a global ecological crisis. The Green Party offers a policy of conservation, efficiency and clean renewables.
1) We call for funding of energy research; credits for alternative and sustainable energy use such as solar, wind, hydrogen, and biomass; and taxes and fines on energy waste.
2) We urge Congress to immediately address global warming. Chlorofluorocarbons, hydrochlorofluorocarbons and other related ozone-depleting substances should be banned.
3) We support the establishment of federal, state and local groundwater protection agencies to establish standards for water use and to protect our aquifers from overuse and contamination.
4) Gasoline and other fossil fuels should be gradually phased out. Until then, fuel-efficiency standards should be raised (to 45 mpg by 2005), low-efficiency vehicles should be taxed, and rebates should be offered for high-efficiency vehicles.
5) Mandatory carbon-reduction measures and carbon-emissions standards should be enacted.
6) Rapidly replace harmful, polluting energy systems, such as nuclear and coal-fired power plants. Natural-gas power plants should be utilized until clean renewables are fully implemented.
7) True-cost pricing that reflects the cost of products, including ecological damage and externalities caused in the manufacturing process, must be adopted to achieve accurate financial accounting.
8) Technologies that use or produce nuclear waste should be phased out, including nuclear reactors, reprocessing facilities, nuclear waste incinerators, food irradiators, and all commercial and military uses of depleted uranium.
9) We support proper nuclear cleanup and disposal programs.
10) Environmental justice requires that poor communities and minorities not bear an unfair burden when it comes to the disposal of toxic wastes.
11) Public regulation or ownership of utilities should be encouraged to advance efficient policies.
12) We call for protecting forests with a ban on industrial timber harvesting on federal and state lands, a ban on clear-cutting, and a reduction in road building on public lands.
13) We favor banning indiscriminate wildlife "damage control practices" and abolishing the Wildlife Services agency.
14) We oppose corporate industrial farming that harms animals, damages air and water quality, harms aquatic life, undermines family farming, decreases the nutritional value of food, and genetically alters food without adequate testing.
15) We support high standards for organically grown food.

VII. Economic Sustainability

Public and private ownership should be understood within the context of social and ecological responsibility. We believe production and commerce can be socially responsible and democratic.
1) We support economic diversity, a combination of private businesses, decentralized democratic cooperatives, publicly owned enterprises, and alternative economic structures that evaluate success in terms of human and ecological needs and profits.
2) Our economic system should emulate natural systems by recycling and designing closed-loop systems for durable goods, to be perpetually disassembled and reassembled.
3) We challenge the propriety and equity of "corporate welfare" in the form of tax breaks, subsidies, payments, grants, bailouts, the unenforcement of laws and regulations, and access to our public resources such as land, forests, minerals, intellectual property and government-created research.
4) Price fixing and anti-competitive actions of large corporations should be confronted.
5) Corporate executives should be held personally liable for harm that results from their decisions.
6) We should establish a living wage for all persons.
7) We encourage more community involvement through town meetings, locally owned small businesses, local production and consumption, consumer co-ops, credit unions, incubators, and micro-loan funds.
8) We oppose the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade (GATT), and the World Trade Organization (WTO), because they threaten the constitutional power of Congress and limit the participation of citizens.
9) We favor an effective form of the Tobin tax that calls for a small sales tax on cross-border currency transactions. Even a small tax of .01% would raise $75 billion annually that could be used to reduce poverty, fund international peacekeeping, and address environmental problems.
10) Federal, state and local governments should provide financial assistance to family farmers.
11) We support an extension of the Community Reinvestment Act to assist with housing loans, small business loans, loans to minority-owned businesses, community development projects, and affordable housing.
12) We endorse wide-ranging insurance industry regulation.
13) We support strong anti-trust regulation.
14) We recommend the establishment of a federal Technology Assessment Office to examine the impact and prospects of technology on our quality of life and environmental health.
15) We advocate higher taxes for mega-corporations, a reduced military budget, and entitlement reductions for those who can afford it.
16) We support increased funding for Social Security, public housing, higher education, public transportation, environmental protection, Medicaid, supplementary security income, children, the elderly, and the disabled. The Green Party opposes the privatization of Social Security.

 




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