Keep in mind that the posting of third party platforms is meant to be informative only, and is in no way an endorsement of any particular party.

B. Environmental Justice
Low-income citizens and minorities suffer disproportionately from environmental hazards in the workplace, at home, and in their communities. Inadequate laws, lax enforcement of existing environmental regulations, and weak penalties for infractions undermine environmental protection.

Therefore, the Green Party advocates:

1. Devoting greater efforts to full enforcement and prosecution of environmental crimes.

2. Funding environmental crime units for district attorneys in counties with significant pollution problems.

3. Imposing a moratorium on siting new toxic chemical or waste facilities in those counties with the highest percentage exposure to hazardous substances.

4. Not forcing workers to choose between a hazardous job or no job at all.

5. Preventing communities, especially low-income or minority communities, from being coerced by governmental agencies or corporations into siting hazardous materials, or accepting environmentally hazardous practices in order to create jobs.

6. Preceding the siting of hazardous materials or practices with public hearings, conducted in the language of those community members who will be directly affected.

C. Economic Justice/Social Safety Net

We have a special responsibility to the health and well-being of the young. Yet we see the federal safety net being removed and replaced with limited and potentially harsh state welfare programs. How will social services be adequately provided if local resources are already stretched thin?

We believe our community priorities must first protect the young and helpless. Yet how will state legislatures and agencies, under pressure from more powerful interests, react? We believe local decision-making is important, but we realize, as we learned during the civil rights era, that strict federal standards must guide state actions in providing basic protections. As the richest nation in history, we should not condemn millions of children to a life of poverty, while corporate welfare is increased to historic highs.

The Green Party opposes the privatization of Social Security. It is critical that the public protections of Social Security are not privatized and subjected to increased risk. The bottom 20% of American senior citizens get roughly 80% of their income from Social Security, and without Social Security, nearly 70% of black elderly and 60% of Latino elderly households would be in poverty.

D. Welfare: A commitment to ending poverty

It is time for a radical shift in our attitude toward support for families, children, the poor and the disabled. Such support must not be given grudgingly; it is the right of those presently in need and an investment in our future. We must take an uncompromising position that the care and nurture of children, elders and the disabled are essential to a healthy, peaceful, and sustainable society. We should recognize that the work of their caregivers is of social and economic value, and reward it accordingly. Ensuring that children and their caregivers have access to an adequate, secure standard of living should form the cornerstone of our economic priorities. Only then can we hope to build our future on a foundation of healthy, educated children who are raised in an atmosphere of love and security.

1. All people have a right to food, housing, medical care, jobs that pay a living wage, education, and support in times of hardship.

2. Work performed outside the monetary system has inherent social and economic value, and is essential to a healthy, sustainable economy and peaceful communities. Such work includes: child and elder care; homemaking; voluntary community service; continuing education; participating in government; and the arts.

3. We call for restoration of a federally funded entitlement program to support children, families, the unemployed, elderly and disabled, with no time limit on benefits. This program should be funded through the existing welfare budget, reductions in military spending and corporate subsidies, and a fair, progressive income tax.

4. We call for a graduated supplemental income, or negative income tax, that would maintain all individual adult incomes above the poverty level, regardless of employment or marital status.

5. We advocate reinvesting a significant portion of the military budget into family support, living-wage job development, and work training programs. Publicly funded work training and education programs should have a goal of increasing employment options at finding living-wage jobs.

6. We support public funding for the development of living-wage jobs in community and environmental service. For example, environmental clean-up, recycling, sustainable agriculture and food production, sustainable forest management, repair and maintenance of public facilities, neighborhood-based public safety, aides in schools, libraries and childcare centers, and construction and renovation of energy-efficient housing. We oppose enterprise zone give-aways which benefit corporations more than inner-city communities

7. The accumulation of individual wealth in the U.S. has reached grossly unbalanced proportions. It is clear that we cannot rely on the rich to regulate their profit-making excesses for the good of society through “trickle-down economics.” We must take aggressive steps to restore a fair distribution of income. We support tax incentives for businesses that apply fair employee wage distribution standards, and income tax policies that restrict the accumulation of excessive individual wealth.

8. Forcing welfare recipients to accept jobs that pay wages below a living wage drives wages down and exploits workers for private profit at public expense. We reject workfare as being a form of indentured servitude.

9. Corporations receiving public subsidies must provide jobs that pay a living wage, observe basic workers’ rights, and agree to affirmative action policies.

E. Education and the Arts

Access to quality education for all Americans is the difference that will lead to a strong and diverse community. Fundamental changes in our priorities are needed at the national and local levels, within the public and private sectors, in the classroom, and at home to make education our first priority.

1. Education
Greens support educational diversity. We hold no dogma absolute, continually striving for truth in the realm of ideas. We open ourselves, consciously and intuitively, to truth and beauty in the world of nature. We view learning as a lifelong process to which all people have an equal right.

Education starts with choice, and within public education we believe in broad choices. Magnet schools, Site-based Management, Schools within Schools, alternative models, and parental involvement are ways in which elementary education can be changed to make a real difference in the lives of our children. Curricula should focus on skills – both basic skills that serve as a solid foundation for higher learning, and exploratory approaches that expand horizons, such as distance learning, interactive education, computer proficiency, perspectives that bring an enriched awareness of nature (biological literacy), intercultural experiences, and languages.

Greens view learning as a lifelong and life-affirming process. In learning, and openness to learning, we create the foundation of our platform.

a. We advocate creative and noncompetitive education at every age level, and the inclusion of cultural diversity in all curricula. We encourage hands-on approaches that promote a multitude of individual learning styles.

b. Parental responsibility should be encouraged by supporting parenting, as more families confront economic conditions that demand more time be spent away from home. Parents should be as involved as possible in their children’s education; values do start with parents. Teaching human sexuality is a parental and school responsibility.

c. Student responsibility is a key to developing capabilities. Greens hold strongly to the empowerment of individuals. Students should recognize their own personal responsibilities and strive to achieve their fullest potential as individuals.

d. Federal policy on education should act principally to ensure equal access to a quality education.

e. Educational funding formulas at the state level need to be adjusted as needed to avoid gross inequalities between districts and schools. Educational grants should provide balance to ensure equal educational access for minority, deprived, special needs, and exceptional children. In higher education, federal college scholarship aid should be increased and offered to any qualified student.

f. Our teachers are underpaid, overworked and rarely supplied with the resources necessary to do their work. It is time to stop disinvesting in education, and start placing it at the top of our social and economic agenda.

g. We call for equitable state and national funding for education and the creation of schools controlled by parent-teacher governing bodies.

h. We oppose vouchers, or any scheme that will transfer money out of the public school system. That course only leads to a separate and unequal educational system. We also oppose charter schools or the administration of public schools by private, for-profit entities.

i. We support after-school programs for “latchkey” children.

j. We advocate state funding for day care that includes school children under the age of ten when after-school programs are not available.

k. Classroom teachers at the elementary and high school levels should be given professional status and salaries comparable to related professions requiring advanced education, training and responsibility.

l. Principals are also essential components in effective educational institutions. We encourage state Departments of Education and school boards to deliver more programmatic support and decision-making to the true grassroots level- the classroom teacher and school principal.

m. Use of computers in the early grades should not supplant the development of basic interpersonal, perceptual, and motor skills as a foundation for learning.

n. Dispute resolution is an important part of resolving classroom or after-school disputes, and a life skill that all children should learn. We call for the teaching of non-violent conflict resolution at all levels of education.

o. We recognize the viable alternative of home-based education.

p. We support a host of innovative and critical educational efforts, such as bi-lingual education, continuing education, job retraining, mentoring and apprenticeship programs.

q. We are deeply concerned about the intervention in our schools of corporations that promote a culture of consumption and waste. Schools should not be vehicles for commercial advertising. Schools must safeguard students’ privacy rights and not make private student information available on corporate (or federal government) request.

r. Within higher education, we oppose military and corporate control over the priorities and topics of academic research.

s. We support tuition-free post secondary (collegiate and vocational) public education.

t. In an economy that demands higher skills and a democracy that depends on an informed, educated electorate, opportunities for universal higher education and life-long learning must be vastly expanded.

u. Until tuition-free schooling is available to all, student loans should be available to all students attending college, and should be repayable as a proportion of future earnings rather than at a fixed rate.

v. Individualized training accounts should be made available to students who choose to pursue vocational and continuing education.

w. The Leave No Child Behind Act must be repealed, especially the section that gives the military access to student records.

2. The Arts
Freedom of artistic expression is a fundamental right and a key element in empowering communities, and in moving us toward sustainability and respect for diversity. Artists can create in ways that foster healthy, non-alienating relationships between people and their daily environments, communities, and the Earth. This can include both artists whose themes advocate compassion, nurturance, or cooperation; and artists whose creations unmask the often-obscure connections between various forms of violence, domination, and oppression, or effectively criticize aspects of the very community that supports their artistic activity. The arts can only perform their social function if they are completely free from outside control.

The Green Party supports:

a. Alternative, community-based systems treating neither the artwork nor the artist as a commodity.

b. Eliminating all laws that seek to restrict or censor artistic expression, including the withholding of government funds for political or moral content.

c. Increased funding for the arts appropriate to their essential social role at local, state and federal levels of government.

d. Community-funded programs employing local artists to enrich their communities through public art programs, including public performances, exhibitions, murals on public buildings, design or re-design of parks and public areas, storytelling and poetry reading, and publication.

e. The establishment of non-profit public forums for local artists to display their talents and creations. Research, public dialogue, and trial experiments to develop alternative systems for the valuation and exchange of artworks and for the financial support of artists. Some examples include community subscriber support groups, artwork rental busts, cooperative support systems among artists, legal or financial incentives to donate to the arts or to donate artworks to public museums.

f. Responsible choices of non-toxic, renewable, or recyclable materials. Funding sources not connected with social injustice or environmental destruction.

g. Education programs in the community that will energize the creativity of every community member from the youngest to the oldest, including neglected groups such as teenagers, senior citizens, prisoners, immigrants, and drug addicts. These programs would provide materials and access to interested, qualified arts educators for every member of the community who demonstrates an interest.

h. Funding and staffing to incorporate arts education into every school curriculum. We encourage local artists and the community to contribute time, experience, and resources to these efforts.

i. Diversity in arts education in the schools including age-specific hands-on activities and appreciative theoretical approaches, exposure to the arts of various cultures and stylistic traditions, and experiences with a variety of media, techniques and contents.

j. The integration of the arts and artistic teaching methods into other areas of the curriculum to promote a holistic perspective.
The United States must respect the measures other nations take to ensure public health, and must not use medication, medical equipment, and other medical necessities, or threats of withholding them, as leverage for political reasons or as extortion for the sake of commercial profit. We oppose any embargo or economic sanction that would cause the suffering or death of civilians.

F. Health Care

1. Medicare, which provides health care for over 40 million Americans, is at risk. We would vigorously pursue savings and cuts from abundant waste and fraud, eliminate unnecessary services that benefit providers more than patients, and rein in pharmaceutical industry price-gouging.

2. 70% to 85% of illness in America is due to unmanaged stress. This means that national measures to reduce work hours, promote cyber-commuting for work, and increased vacation time for workers will significantly improve the public’s health. We advocate access for all, irrelevant of income, to stress management training such as meditation techniques, yoga, tai chi, qigong, and biofeedback.

3. A large percentage of illness is diet-related; therefore, improving the quality of our nation’s food supply and our personal eating habits will lessen the strain on our health care system. We advocate subsidies for organic foods, as well as removing sugar/caffeine snacks from schools. This could save our nation as much as $700 to $850 billion of the $1 trillion annual health costs.

4. We support the teaching of holistic health approaches and, as appropriate, the use of complementary and alternative therapies such as herbal medicines, homeopathy, acupuncture, and other healing approaches.

5. We call for wider implementation of hospice care.

6. We oppose the arrest, harassment or prosecution of anyone involved in any aspect of the production, cultivation, transportation, distribution or consumption of medicinal marijuana. We also oppose the harassment, prosecution or revocation of license of any health-care provider who gives a recommendation or prescription for medicinal marijuana.

7. We support informed consent laws to educate consumers to potential health impact of types of treatment. For truly informed consent, a professional must explain the limitations of his or her professional training, and make the patient aware of what other professionals could offer differently or in addition.

8. Primary care, through a renewed attention to family medicine as opposed to increased medical specialization, is necessary.

9. We unequivocally support a woman’s right to reproductive choice, no matter her marital status or age, and that contraception and safe, legal abortion procedures be available on demand and be included in all health insurance coverage in the U.S., as well as free of charge in any state where a woman falls below the poverty level. [See section A.1. Women’s Rights in this chapter]

10. Medical research must be increased, and alternative therapies actively sought, to combat diseases and eliminate their causes, especially cancer and HIV/AIDS.

11. We call for competent social and health services for those who have special needs: the mentally ill, the handicapped, and those who are terminally ill.

12. Public policy needs to move in the direction of a voluntary, community-based mental health system that safeguards human dignity, respects individual autonomy, and protects informed consent. A wide variety of humane, effective, and empowering alternative and complementary approaches should be available for anyone who experiences a psychiatric problem or mental disability.

1. Universal Health Care
The United States is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system. The current system’s high costs and widely recognized failures demand that bold steps be taken. The Green Party supports a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health insurance program as the only solution to the current disastrous for-profit system.

Under a universal national single-payer health care system, the administrative waste of private insurance corporations would be redirected to patient care. If the U.S. were to shift to a system of universal coverage and a single payer plan, as in Canada, the savings in administrative costs would be more than enough to offset the cost. Expenses for businesses currently providing coverage would be reduced. State and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services provided to the previously uninsured, and because public programs would cease to be the “dumping ground” for high-risk patients and those rejected by HMOs when they become disabled and unemployed.

Most importantly, the people of America will gain the peace of mind in knowing that needed health care will always be available to them. No longer will people have to worry about facing financial disaster if they become seriously ill, are laid off their jobs, or are injured in an accident.

The Green Party supports a universal, comprehensive, national single-payer health plan that will provide the following with no increase in cost:

a. A publicly funded health care insurance program, administered at the state and local levels.

b. Lifetime benefits for everyone. No one will lose coverage for any reason.

c. Freedom to choose the type of health care provider, with a wide range of health care choices.

d. Decision-making in the hands of health providers and their patients.

e. Comprehensive benefits, as good or better than existing plans, including dental, vision, mental health care, hospice, long-term care, substance abuse treatment and medication coverage.

f. Participation of all licensed and/or certified health providers, subject to standards of practice in their field.

g. Portable health plan benefits.

h. Primary and preventive care as priorities, including wellness education about diet, nutrition and exercise.

i. Greatly reduced paperwork for both patients and providers.

j. Fair and full reimbursement to providers for their services.

k. Preservation of all health care services currently available.

l. Cost controls via streamlined administration, national fee schedules, bulk purchases of drugs and medical equipment, and coordination of capital expenditures. Prices of medications must be publicly supervised.

m. Hospitals that can afford safe staffing levels for registered nurses.

n. Establishment of national, state, and local Health Policy Boards consisting of health consumers and providers to oversee and evaluate the performance of the system, expand access to care, and determine research priorities. All meetings of the boards shall be open to the public.

o. Establishment of a National Health Trust Fund that would channel all current Federal payments for health care programs directly into the Fund, in addition to employees’ health premium payments.

2. AIDS / HIV
We call for comprehensive, humane, and competent care of all people with AIDS/HIV.

An all-out campaign must be waged against AIDS and HIV. The AIDS epidemic has not been adequately addressed at the local, state, federal, or international levels. All people in all countries, including those with AIDS/HIV, have a right to medical care, protection from discrimination, and confidentiality.

Drug corporations have a strong profit motivation to make this disease a manageable one (like diabetes) with guaranteed sales of very expensive drugs, in the billions of dollars every year. Drug companies have not emphasized research that targets a cure. While new drugs have dramatically saved lives, many have side effects so debilitating that the quality of life is poor, if not intolerable during the extended lifetime of the patient. But even these need to be produced generically to stop the devastation resulting from corporate refusal to provide these drugs to the millions dying throughout the world who cannot afford these basic lifesaving drugs. Drug researchers should have a cure for AIDS as their ultimate goal.

The Green Party calls for:

a. Increased funding for AIDS education and patient care.

b. Increased funding for comprehensive sex education that includes AIDS education.

c. Increased funding for research focusing on a cure, methods of prevention, and on bolstering the immune system.

d. Improved technology, facilities, laboratories, researchers, staff and personnel to cure AIDS/HIV. A “Manhattan Project” for a cure is required.

e. Complete sharing of information between researchers, funding agencies (including corporations), and the public on AIDS/HIV before awarding the next research grant.

f. More research into better methods of prevention of HIV infection. While we support condom use, better condoms are also required. We support more vaccine research.

g. Equal access to AIDS education, treatment and medications for all affected. Accordingly, funding and accountability should be increased.

h. Allowing all prisoners affected with AIDS/HIV in all countries to have the same access as free citizens to education, treatment, preventive measures (including condom use), and medical care.

i. A uniform international definition of AIDS.

j. Protecting the confidentiality of all people diagnosed with AIDS/HIV or tested for HIV.

k. More careful and timely approval of effective AIDS drugs by the FDA.

l. Production of affordable and available versions of patented medicines in all countries.

m. Targeting the young for age-appropriate education about AIDS/HIV and appropriate methods of prevention. We support sex education and the distribution of condoms in schools.

n. Prevention awareness and access to condoms to prevent the spread of AIDS. We condemn HIV-related discrimination.

o. Make drug treatment and other programs available for all addicts who seek help.

p. Expand clinical trials for treatments and vaccines.

q. Speed-up the FDA drug approval process.

r. Providing housing for homeless and poor people with AIDS/HIV.

s. Providing treatment for homeless people with AIDS/HIV.

t. Support for needle exchange programs and for programs to help drug addicts.

u. No mandatory screening for AIDS/HIV; anonymous screening must be available.

v. Lifting the ban prohibiting HIV positive people from entering the U.S. as visitors or as immigrants.

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