IF you want a progressive presidential candidate that you can get excited about voting FOR, then Jill Stein, the Green Party presidential candidate is worth serious consideration. Jill Stein has selected her Green Party running mate, Vice President choice, Ajamu Baraka. Mr. Baraka is an internationally recognized human rights activist, organizer and geo-political analyst with a deeply progressive resume. Here is their platform:
Jill Stein 2016 Platform
Our Power to the People Plan
Climate Action: Protecting Mother Earth and Humanity
- Enact an emergency Green New Deal to turn the tide on climate change, revive the economy and make wars for oil obsolete. Initiate a WWII-scale national mobilization to halt climate change, the greatest threat to humanity in our history. Create 20 million jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030, and investing in public transit, sustainable agriculture, conservation and restoration of critical infrastructure, including ecosystems.
- Implement a Just Transition that empowers those communities and workers most impacted by climate change and the transition to a green economy. Ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work.
- Enact energy democracy based on public, community and worker ownership of our energy system. Treat energy as a human right.
- Redirect research funds from fossil fuels into renewable energy and conservation. Build a nationwide smart electricity grid that can pool and store power from a diversity of renewable sources, giving the nation clean, democratically-controlled, energy.
- End destructive energy extraction and associated infrastructure: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, natural gas pipelines, and uranium mines. Halt any investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, including natural gas, and phase out all fossil fuel power plants. Phase out nuclear power and end nuclear subsidies. End all subsidies for fossil fuels and impose a greenhouse gas fee / tax to charge polluters for the damage they have created.
- Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, parks, and pollinators. Ban neonicotinoids and other pesticides that threaten the survival of bees, butterflies, and other pollinators.
- Support a strong enforceable global climate treaty that limits global warming to no more than 1.5 degrees Celsius and provides just financial compensation to developing countries.
- Label GMOs, and put a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe.
- Support organic and regenerative agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
- Protect the rights of future generations. Adopt the Precautionary Principle. When an activity poses threats of harm to human health or the environment, in the absence of objective scientific consensus that it is safe, precautionary measures should be taken. The proponent of an activity, rather than the public, should bear the burden of proof.
- Invest in clean air, water, food and soil for everyone. Clean up America.
- Enact stronger environmental justice laws and measures to ensure that low-income and communities of color are not disproportionately impacted by harmful pollution and other negative environmental and health effects.
- Support conversion to sustainable, nontoxic materials and the use of closed-loop, zero waste processes.
Jobs as a Right, and Key Support for Labor
- Create living-wage jobs for every American who needs work, replacing unemployment offices with employment offices. Government would be the employer of last resort, and the unemployed would have an enforceable right to make government provide work. Create direct public employment, as the Works Progress Administration did, in public services and public works for those who can’t find private employment.
- Advance workers’ rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.
- Enact the Green Deal full employment program to create 20 million green jobs in sustainable energy, mass transit, sustainable organic agriculture, clean manufacturing and improved infrastructure, as well as social work, teaching, health care, after school and home care, drug rehabilitation and other service jobs.
- Provide grants and low-interest loans to 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.
- Replace NAFTA and other corporate free trade agreements that export American jobs, depress wages, and undermine the sovereign right of Americans and citizens of other countries to control their own economy and political choices. Enact fair trade laws that benefits local workers and communities.
- Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act which banned secondary boycotts and permitted state “right-to-work” laws. Enact a federal just cause law (to prohibit firing without just cause,) and outlaw scabbing on striking workers.
- Guarantee economic human rights, including access to food, water, housing, and utilities, with effective anti-poverty programs to ensure every American a life of dignity.
- Establish a guaranteed minimum income.
- Reform public assistance to be a true safety net that empowers participants and provides a decent standard of living.
- Free universal child care.
Health Care as a Right:
- Establish an improved “Medicare for All” single-payer public health program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings by eliminating the $400 billion annually spent on the paperwork and bureaucracy of health insurance. No co-pays, premiums or deductibles. Access to all health care services, including mental health, dental, and vision. Include everyone, period. No restrictions based on pre-existing illness, employment, immigration status, age, or any other category.
- Eliminate the cancer of health insurance, which adds costs while reducing access to health care.
- End overcharging for prescription drugs by using bulk purchasing negotiations.
- Eliminate health disparities in communities of color and low-income communities. Ensure easy access to health care in communities of color, including community health centers.
- Allow full access to contraceptive and reproductive care.
- Expand women’s access to “morning after” contraception by lifting the Obama Administration’s ban.
- Avoid chronic diseases by investing in essential community health infrastructure such as local, fresh, organic food systems, pollution-free renewable energy, phasing out toxic chemicals, and active transportation such as bike paths and safe sidewalks that dovetail with public transit.
- Ensure that consumers have essential information for making informed food choices by expanding product labeling requirements for country of origin, GMO content, toxic chemical ingredients, and fair trade practices.
- Prioritize preventive health care, including physical activity, healthy nutrition and pollution prevention.
Education as a Right:
- Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university.
- Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude.
- Protect our public school systems from privatization.
- Use restorative justice to address conflicts before they occur, and involve students in the process.
- Evaluate teacher performance through assessment by fellow professionals. Do not rely on high stakes tests that reflect economic status of the community, and punish teachers working in low income communities of color.
- Replace Common Core with curriculum developed by educators, not corporations, with input from parents and communities.
- Stop denying students diplomas based on high stakes tests.
- Stop using merit pay to punish teachers who work with the most challenging student populations.
- Restore arts, music and recreation to school curriculums.
- Ensure racially inclusive, sensitive and relevant curriculums.
- Use Department of Education powers to offer grants and funding to encourage metropolitan desegregation plans based on socioeconomically balanced schools.
- Recognize poverty as the key obstacle to learning. Ensure that kids come to school ready to learn: healthy, nourished, secure and free from violence.
- Increase federal funding of public schools to equalize public school funding.
A Just Economy:
- Guarantee a living wage job for all.
- Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage, with indexing.
- Break up “too-big-to-fail” banks and democratize the Federal Reserve.
- Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses.
- Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes.
- Create democratically-run public banks and utilities.
- Provide full protection for workplace rights, including the right to a safe workplace and the right to organize a union without fear of firing or reprisal by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Ensure equal pay for equal work, ending discrimination based on race, gender, or generation.
- Enact paid sick leave and family leave, strong overtime protections.
- Take action against wage theft.
- Oppose two-tier wage systems (e.g., for young people and individuals with disabilities).
Freedom and Equality:
- Expand women’s rights, including equal pay and reproductive freedom. Pass the ERA (Equal Rights Amendment).
- Protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination.
- Defend indigenous rights, lands and treaties.
- Support immigrants’ rights. Create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants.
- Halt deportations and detentions of law-abiding undocumented immigrants, including the shameful practice of night raids being used to terrorize refugee families.
- Improve economic and social conditions abroad to reduce the flow of immigrant refugees, in part by repealing NAFTA, ending the failed drug wars, and halting CIA and military interventions against democratically elected governments.
- Demilitarize border crossings throughout North America.
- Protect the free Internet. Oppose the Online Piracy Act and all other legislation that would undermine freedom and equality on the Internet.
Criminal Justice Reforms
- End the failed war on drugs. Replace drug prohibition with harm reduction. Legalize marijuana/hemp. Treat substance abuse as a health problem, not a criminal offense.
- Release nonviolent drug offenders from prison, removing such offenses from their records, and provide them with both pre- and post-release support.
- End police brutality, mass incarceration and institutional racism within our justice system. Support the Black Lives Matter Movement.
- Demilitarize police. End use of SWAT teams and no-knock raids for drugs and serving papers.
- Repair our communities rather than dump resources into the prison-industrial complex.
- Establish police review boards so that communities control their police, and not the other way around. Appoint dedicated investigators to investigate every death or serious injury at the hands of police.
- Enact laws to require independent outside legal representatives to investigate and prosecute any killing or brutality by the police rather than prosecutors involved in the local criminal justice system.
- Eliminate harsh mandatory sentencing requirements which often result in unjustified sentences.
Justice for All:
- Enforce the Bill of Rights by protecting the right to free speech and protest, to be secure from unwarranted search and seizure and invasion of privacy, as well as our other Constitutional rights.
- Terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, close Guantanamo, and repeal indefinite detention without charge or trial. Repeal the unconstitutional provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that give the president the power to indefinitely imprison and even assassinate American citizens without due process.
- America’s youth should not be put in jail for offenses they commit.
- End discrimination against former offenders who have paid for their crimes and should get a fresh start.
- Abolish the death penalty.
- End persecution of government, corporate and media whistleblowers.
- Issue an Executive Order prohibiting Federal agencies from conspiring with local police to infringe upon right of assembly and peaceful protest.
- Repeal the Patriot Act that violates our constitutional right to privacy and protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
Peace and Human Rights:
- Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, human rights, and nonviolent support for democratic movements around the world.
- Cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases. Ensure a just transition that replaces reductions in military jobs with jobs in renewable energy, transportation and green infrastructure development.
- Stop U.S. financial and military support to human rights abusers. Barring substantial changes in their policies, this would include Saudi Arabia, Israel and Egypt.
- End the US’ role as the world’s arm supplier.
- End use of assassination as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, including collaborative assassination through intermediaries.
- End the destructive US economic and military intervention into the affairs of sovereign nations. Such intervention serve the interests of multinational corporations and global capitalism over the interests of the vast majority of the citizens of those nations.
- Freeze the bank accounts of countries that are funding terrorism, including the Saudi royal family.
- US policy regarding Israel and Palestine must be revised to prioritize international law, peace and human rights for all people, no matter their religion or nationality. End US policies that have supported the worst tendencies of the Israeli government in its treatment of the people of Palestine.
- Restore the National Guard as the centerpiece of our defense.
- Ban use of drone aircraft for assassination, bombing, and other offensive purposes.
- End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, withdrawing troops and military contractors.
- Join 159 other nations in signing the Ottawa treaty banning the use of anti-personnel land mines.
- Lead on global nuclear disarmament:
- Rejoin the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, which the US dropped out of in 2002 when it installed missiles and missile bases in Turkey, Romania, and Poland.
- Agree to Russia’s proposal to jointly reduce US and Russian nuclear arsenals to 1,000 nuclear weapons each. Also call for all countries to the table to negotiate a treaty for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons.
- Remove US nuclear weapons in Germany, Belgium, Turkey, Italy and the Netherlands.
- Support Russia and China’s joint effort to open negotiations on a treaty to ban weapons in space.
- Pledge to end any further laboratory or sub-critical nuclear tests at the Nevada and Novaya Zemlya test sites, and end all nuclear weapons research, design, and modernization at the weapons laboratories.
- The US must take the lead in nuclear disarmament by itself starting to disarm. We should create a nuclear-free zone in the Middle East region and require all nations in the area to join.
Empower the People: Fix our Broken Elections with Real Democracy
- Eliminate the doctrine of corporate personhood that among other things has been used to justify unlimited corporate spending in elections with a constitutional amendment to clarify that only human beings have constitutional rights.
- Enact electoral reforms that break the big money stranglehold and create truly representative democracy: full public election financing, ranked-choice voting, proportional representation, and open debates.
- Protect voters’ rights by enforcing and expanding the constitutional right to vote (including a new amendment if necessary). Enact the full Voter’s Bill of Rights guaranteeing each person’s right to vote, the right to have our votes counted on hand-marked paper ballots, and the right to vote within systems that give each vote meaning. Make voter registration the responsibility of government, not a voluntary opt-in for citizens.
- Restore Section 4 of the Voting Rights Act, requiring preclearance by the Attorney General or federal district court of DC to election law changes in areas previously found to limit voting rights.
- Abolish the Electoral College and directly elect the President using a national popular vote with ranked-choice voting..
- Restore the right to run for office and eliminate unopposed races by removing ballot access barriers.
- Guarantee equal access to the debates to all ballot-qualified candidates.
- Provide equal and free access to the airways for all ballot-qualified candidates, not just those with big campaign war chests.
- Eliminate “winner take all / first past the post” elections in which the “winner” may not have the support of most of the voters. Replace that system with ranked choice voting and proportional representation.
- Enact statehood for the District of Columbia to ensure the region has full representation in Congress, and full powers of democratic self-rule.
- Restore voting rights to offenders, including while in prison.
- Replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions.
- Reduce barriers to voting by making Election Day a national holiday.
- Enact simplified, safe same-day voter registration to the nation so that no qualified voter is barred from the polls.
- Protect local democracy by making clear that acts of Congress establish a floor, and not a ceiling, on laws relating to economic regulation, workers’ rights, human rights, and the environment.
A Humane Federal Budget with Fair Taxes
- Increase government revenues for social needs by restoring full employment, cutting the bloated, dangerous military budget, and cutting private health insurance waste.
- Require full disclosure of corporate subsidies in the budget and stop hiding subsidies in complicated tax code.
- Rewrite the entire tax code to be truly progressive with tax cuts for working families, the poor and middle class, and higher taxes for the richest Americans.
- Strengthen rather than cut Medicare and Social Security. Remove the cap on social security taxes above a certain level of income.
- Maintain and upgrade our nation’s essential public infrastructure, including highways, railways, electrical grids, water systems, schools, libraries, and the Internet, resisting privatization or policy manipulation by for-profit interests.
- Establish federal, state, and municipal publicly-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities and focus on helping people, not enriching themselves.
- 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.
- Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation. This means nationalizing the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve Banks and placing them under a Federal Monetary Authority within the Treasury Department. Prohibit private banks from creating money, thus restoring government’s Constitutional authority.
- Manage pension funds by boards controlled by workers, not corporate managers.
- Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.
- Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks.
- Impose an immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
- 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.
- 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 and increase funding for public housing.
- Use Department of Housing and Urban Development authority to grant or withhold funds in order to encourage state and local governments to take positive steps to desegregate housing, including ending zoning laws that effectively prohibit multi-family housing, prohibiting landlords from refusing to accept Section 8 vouchers, increasing Section 8 voucher amounts so that poor people can move into middle income neighborhoods, prohibiting the use of Low Income Housing Tax Credits to increase low income housing in already segregated neighborhoods, and building new public housing in middle income communities that is high quality and mixed income.