Approved minutes of the 3-29-11 SCC (State Central Committee) 7pm meeting of the Green Party of CT. Location: Portland Senior Center, 7 Waverly Avenue, Portland, CT 06480
Attendees by chapter:
Fairfield: co-chairpersons: Jane Weston and Richard Duffee;
Greater Hartford: co-chairperson: S. Michael DeRosa, treasurer: Christopher Reilly, secretary: Barbara Barry, Jeff Russell;
New Haven: Jerry Martin, Tim McKee. Facilitator: Barbara Barry, secretary of CTGP
A. Preliminaries: 1. Introductions of voting attendees; chapters; quorum was met; no timekeeper.
2. Approval of tonight' proposed agenda; without deletions or additions.
3. Consensus: approval of minutes of the SCC meeting of: 2-22-11: abstain: Tim McKee.
4. Consensus: acceptance of the minutes from the EC meeting of: 3-17-11.
5. Report from treasurer: Christopher Reilly: We have $1325 i.e. we are likely short money to do a ballot mailing of more than 4 pages. Chris will continue to try to fit everything into 4 pages. Reason: any one ounce mailing of more than 4 pages is more expensive than the initial 4 pages.
B. Proposals: a) Tim McKee' email announcements of 3-2-11 and 3-16-11.
Here is his 3-2-11 email:
To: CTGREENSNEWSLISTERVE; GREENS-Forum
Subject: [CTGP-forum] Breaking news! State convention speaker-Dr. Jill Stein-Presidential candidate?
We are excited to announce that our State Convention on Saturday May 14, Dr. Jill Stein will speak to the state party. Dr Stein was the Mass Green Party candidate for Governor and help revived that state party and many people are pushing her to run for President on the Green Party banner.
Please mark your calendars- more details about the exact time and place to be announced later! This email is for press and media notices for the Connecticut Green Party
Green Party of Connecticut web site: http://www.ctgreenparty.org
For further information contact:Tim McKee cell (860) 778-1304--- Press spokesperson and National Committee Member)
Here is his 3-16-11 email:
Subject: Re: [CTGREENPARTYNEWS] proposed agenda for TIM MCKEE' Proposal for Next State Convention on May 14th 2011.
BACKGROUND-The state wide election if new officers is held once a year both by mail and by people attending a state yearly meeting. Various numbers of people have voted by mail and have attended an all day meeting were we counted the ballots and heard people speak to why they have wanted to become a state party leader. A few people have attended and wanted to bring out pet issues or block certain people from gaining office or becoming a member of the National Committee. Few people attend more than one or two of these meetings. Expect when we nominated a slate of state wide candidates for the Constitutional Officers (Governor, Lt. Gov..etc,etc) we have had almost no news media coverage and less than 50 people have attended. Proposal: Move to the "Annual State Meeting" from April 30th to Saturday May 14, 2011 and call is a "State Convention" and have a high profile speak to attract both MORE Green Party members and the local news media.
1. Dr. Jill Stein, the Massachusetts who has received over 18% of the state wide vote there has already agreed to speak on May 14 and talk about what it will take to organize more Green Party state and run a Presidential candidate in 2012. She will speak about an hour and will take questions. This will be a great time to bring out the news media and tap it for state wide television CT-N). She already has agreed to do other media in advance of the meeting to bring new people out.
2. Have state wide candidates for Green Party internal offices speak from 10 till 11 am. Most of the voters may have already decided whom to vote for but for those who have not it will be a chance to listen to their plans. Question in writing could be submitted to all the candidates for all the candidates to answer. Candidates can answer in positive terms their own plans and not feel they have accused or attack other candidates. The voting will b closed after that point.
3. While votes are being counted in another room, the Speaker can speak for about one hour.
4. A light lunch or potluck can be served from 12-1pm
5. if the votes are not finished after 2 hours. one hour can be used for a platform discussion and voting. 1pm to 2pm
6. One hour can be used to pass any bylaws changes 2-3pm
7. Final elections results can be announced and any extra work can be done in last hour 3-4pm. end of program at 4pm.
This email is for press and media notices for the Connecticut Green Party Green Party of Connecticut web site: http://www.ctgreenparty.org For further information contact:Tim McKee cell (860) 778-1304--- Press spokesperson and National Committee Member .__
b) From: Jerry Martin [mailto:gtmart345@...]
Sent: Wednesday, March 16, 2011 2:18 PM
To: Mike DeRosa; Barbara Barry DeRosa; Richard Duffee; Christopher Reilly
Subject: GPCT EC Meeting Agenda
In regard to tomorrow's EC meeting, Tim McKee's proposal to move the annual meeting to May was brought up at the New Haven Chapter's last meeting and there was consensus in support of the proposal. The opportunity to hear a potential Green Party presidential candidate will certainly draw more attendees that an otherwise empty agenda and with luck get some press coverage. We see no reason not to schedule the meeting for May.
Jerry Martin, Co-Chair, New Haven Green Party
c) Proposal for a 5-14-11 Jill Stein, MD event separate from the 4-30-11 CTGP Annual Meeting.
Submitted by seven CT Greens: David Ionno and Albert Marceau and CTGP co-chairpersons: Jane Weston, Richard Duffee, S. Michael DeRosa, treasuer: Christopher Reilly and secretary: Barbara Barry.
Purpose: We propose maintaining the authorized and scheduled 4-30-11 CTGP annual event and have a separate fund raising and media event for potential GPUS presidential candidate, Jill Stein, MD of MA.
Time and place: Saturday, May 14th 2011 as arranged by Tim McKee (CT rep to GPUS PCSC=Presidential Campaign Support Committee) at a restaurant in the Greater Hartford area (or nearby).
The purpose of this event will to give people and media in CT some exposure to a possible 2012 Presidential run by Jill Stein of MA on the Green Party line and an opportunity to raise money for our state treasury. Activities over the 2-4 hour anticipated time period: The event would include a fundraising dinner for CTGP and will go to the Green Party of CT (after expenses), a speech by MA' Green Party member and former candidate for MA governor, Jill Stein, MD, followed by questions, answers and discussion. Cost will be $20-30 per person. Background: We have had similar events in Fairfield recently and over 35 people have attended. )
d)Request for the Green Party of CT and CTGP chapters of: New Haven, Fairfield and Hartford to co-sponsor the following 5-14-11 event by Between the Lines:
Between The Lines Radio Newsmagazine will be celebrating our 20th anniversary this spring with an event featuring a keynote address by America's best known, most effective citizen activist and former independent presidential candidate Ralph Nader. The event will take place Saturday, May 14th at the United Church on the Green, Corner of Temple & Elm Streets in New Haven, CT at 7:00 pm.
In addition to Ralph Nader's talk titled, "Overcoming the Power of the Plutocrats by Forging the Power of the People - 2012?," and a post-talk reception at the home of Charlie Pillsbury and Rev. Allie Perry -- we will present our Democracy in Action awards to two Connecticut groups that embody the best of grassroots progressive activism: The Universal Health Care Foundation of Connecticut and Council 4 of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees - AFSCME.
As we organize our 20th anniversary celebration, we're writing to invite the New Haven Green Party to become a co-sponsor of this event, in recognition of the important work you do in our community.
If you choose to join us as a co-sponsor, we will provide your group with an acknowledgment on our publicity flyers, email and advertising, offer table space to distribute your group's literature at the event, thank your organization from the podium and provide a 20% discount on tickets to the post-event reception with Ralph Nader. In return, we ask for your group's help in publicizing the May 14th event to your membership through your regular communication channels: email, organizational newsletters and other means you have to reach a wider audience.
Our goal is to have all the event co-sponsors confirmed by March 30 so we can include your group's name in flyers and invitations set to be mailed April 2, 2011. (Sorry for the short deadline on this.)
This event will recognize the critical link between journalism insulated from corporate spin and activism, as well as the importance of supporting the work of independent media outlets such as Between The Lines produced by an all-volunteer staff. Through advance ticket sales for the Nader speech and reception, and a suggested contribution at the door, we will be raising funds to support the continued production of our program. No one in the community, however, will be turned away from attending the event.
As you may know, Between The Lines is a nationally syndicated radio program aired on more than 50 stations each week -- including WPKN and WESU in Connecticut -- that regularly features the voices of progressive activists, journalists and academics advocating for peace and social justice. We began producing the show in Connecticut in response to the build-up before the first Persian Gulf War in 1991, and then decided to continue the program, but with a broader focus, covering issues corporate media wouldn‚Äôt touch. We look forward to your joining us as we celebrate our 20 years of challenging the status quo and broadcasting timely, in-depth progressive analysis and dissenting points of view often marginalized in the nation's major newspapers, television and radio outlets. We'll be contacting you soon to provide additional details and answer any questions you may have that may help in making a decision on becoming a co-sponsor. Or, feel free to contact us directly to get additional information or to sign on as a co-sponsor by calling or emailing me at 203 451-6799; betweenthelines@....
Thanks for considering this request and for all the Green Party's important work.
Scott Harris, executive producer For the Between The Lines production team.
Minutes of the 3-29-11 attendee discussions about all the above proposals.
Tim advised he made an error when he sent out these emails to the listservs on 3-2-11 and 3-16-11. Reason: Tim was not authorized to send out the emails about changing the date of the annual meeting without the authorization of the EC and/or the SCC. The CTGP Annual Meeting was authorized at the SCC meetings of 1-25-11 and 2-22-11 and also at the EC meetings of: 1-17-11, 2-14-11 and 3-17-11. His emails erroneously stated the CTGP Annual Meeting was changed from April 30, 2011 to May 14, 2011. He was also erroneous when he stated that the 5-14-11 event was to include a speaker: Jill Stein, MD from MA who is considering being a GPUS presidential candidate for 2012.
Consensus: Attendees discussed that Tim and others may continue to pursue arranging to have Jill Stein come to the 5-14-11 CTGP media and fundraising event (if that is the only date available for her) OR at another date per appropriate action of the EC. Ms Stein needs to leave CT no later than 1pm on 5-14-11 to attend a family event. Site is to be determined. Tim and S. Michael DeRosa await responses from Ms Stein. Potential Jill Stein event sites may be in Stamford, CT or New Haven, CT or Greater Hartford areas. Jill Stein lives in Lexington, MA which requires traveling (one way) either: 1.5 hours to the Greater Hartford area; 2.25 hours to the New Haven area or 4 hours to the Stamford area.
Consensus: The CTGP agrees to co-sponsor the Between The Lines May 14, 2011 event. Jerry Martin will have the New Haven chapter discuss their possible co-sponsoring this event also. Jerry will email New Haven' decision to Between The Lines and to this secretary.
1. CTGP candidates for the: a) Tuesday, 4-12-11 special election for District 148 seat( part of Stamford): Rolf Maurer, www.vote.rolf.org. and b) for the 11-8-11election: Ben Holder for Canton Board of Selectmen.
2. GPUS reports from a) CT representatives to the GPUS: Tim McKee and Charlie Pillsbury; b) CT representatives to the GPUS Committee Members; c) GPUS is seeking video reports from local and state Green Parties. One may contact: Starlen Rankin, co-producer/host GreenStream Wednesdays; http://www.livestream.com/greenpartyus or the media-states mailing list: media-states@...; http://lists.gp-us.org/mailman/listinfo/media-states
3. CTGP items and concerns for the 2011 CT legislative agenda: campaign and ballot access reform: IRV; timeliness and fair play of Elections Dept of the Secretary of State to minor party petitions and actions; Energy: proposed change in electric rates; Green renewable energy; lack action to create a Power Authority; living wage; Infrastructure bill; jobs program; revision of the entertainment tax breaks; requirements for seat belts in every motor vehicle which transports school children (from pre-school to undergraduate levels). CTGP volunteers to address these concerns.
4. CTGP state platform proposed for CTGP annual meeting in April 2011 from: Andy Derr, Jerry Martin and Richard Duffee . Richard advised that this committee is now reviewing other possible platform recommendations for the April 30, 2011 Annual Meeting.
5.Consensus regarding agenda for the 4-30-11 CTGP annual meeting (at the Portland Senior Center which is handicapped assessable):
10am to 10:10am: Greetings from facilitator: Charles Pillsbury; designation of a timekeeper; review of the agenda; introduction of Nancy Burton, attorney and nuclear energy activist.
10:10am to 10:40am: speech by Nancy Burton regarding nuclear energy, Chernobyl, India, Three Mile Island, Japan, etc.
10:40am to 11:10am: questions from the attendees to Nancy Burton.
11:10am: Nancy Burton' formal portion of the agenda ends but she will be available for more media coverage in another room.
11:10am to 11:20am: Charlie Pillsbury (or Christopher Reilly) educate the attendee about the election procedures and explanation of the voting process; he directs any attendees who are seeking a ballot to the contact the CTGP monitors.
11:20am 11: 30am: any nominations from the attendees and/or a written proxy by a CTGP member to be a candidate.
11:30am to 1pm: candidate speeches and questions from attendees to candidates. a) (30minutes) attending candidates for: three CTGP co-chairperson positions (Jane Weston, Ronna Stuller, S. Michael DeRosa, Rolf Maurer, Ken Krayeske, Jerry Martin), one treasurer position and one secretary position ( Barbara Barry, Patricia Kane); will have a maximum of 2 minutes each to speak. After all the candidates have spoken, a total of 10 minutes will be allowed for questions to these candidates. b) (15 minutes) attending candidates for CT representatives to the GPUS positions(Timothy McKee, Charles Pillsbury, S. Michael DeRosa; Jeff Russell) will have a maximum of one minute to speak. After all the candidates have spoken, a total of 10 minutes will be allowed for questions to these candidates. c) (18 minutes) attending candidates to be three CT representative to the GPUS International Committee positions( Barbara Barry, S. Michael DeRosa, Richard Duffee, Hector Lopez, Justine McCabe, Jeff Russell): will have a maximum of one minute to speak followed by 12 minutes for candidate' responses to questions. d) (16 minutes) attending candidate to be three CT representative to the GPUS Platform Committee positions(Justine McCabe, Jeff Russell, Cole Stangler, Amy Vas Nunes): will have a maximum of one minute to speak followed by 12 minutes for candidate' responses to questions. e) (11 minutes) attending candidates for any other GPUS committees. Each committee has a maximum of 3 positions. Each candidate will have a maximum of one minute to speak. Attendees may direct questions to the candidates for the remaining minutes. 3 CTGP representatives, each, for the following GPUS national committees: Accreditation (AC): reviews any state chapter which petitions to join the GPUS; reviews criteria for state delegates to GPUS annual meetings and conventions; Annual National Meeting (ANMC) working on the summer 2011 GPUS annual meeting to be held in Rapid City, Iowa; Ballot Assess (BA): discussion of efforts, difficulties, strategies and successes of state Green Parties gaining ballot access: S. Michael DeRosa; Bylaws, Rules, Polices, Procedure (BRPP): for the GPUS officers and national committees: Amy Vas Nunes; Coordination Campaign (CCC): distribution of any GPUS money to Green Party candidates for public office; Dispute Resolution (DRC): mediation of any disputes within the GPUS organization: Charles Pillsbury; Diversity (DC): strategies and actions to urge/maximize diversity within the GPUS: Michelle L. Bickering; Eco Action (EC): develop strategies for the GPUS regarding ecological matters; Finance (FinCom) : review and determine how to spend the money of the GPUS organization; Fundraising (FC): raises money for the GPUS operations; Green Party of the U. S. internet news: acquire and write articles for the GPUS website; International Committee (IC): develops and promotes GPUS positions regard issues affecting the world: Hector Lopez, Barbara Barry, Richard Duffee, S. Michael DeRosa, Justine McCabe, Jeff Russell; Merchandizing Committee (MERCH): determines and acquires to items the GPUS; Media Committee (MC): writes GPUS press releases; Outreach (OC): interacts with other groups who may have similar interests of the GPUS; Peace (GPAX): discusses and develops strategies of how the GPUS may promote peace throughout the world: Amy Vas Nunes, S. Michael DeRosa, Jeff Russell; Platform (PC): promotes positions on issues for the GPUS which are consistent with Green Party Ten Key Values: Amy Vas Nunes, Cole Stangler, Justine McCabe and Jeff Russell; Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC): develop strategies to support any GPUS presidential candidate: Timothy McKee; Steering (SC): the 7 co-chairpersons of the GPUS which promote the GPUS (similar to an executive committee of CTGP). Black Caucus: Michelle L. Bicking; Latino Caucus; Women‚Äô Caucus: Michelle L. Bicking. 1pm: Ballot counters: Steve Fournier and Mary Anne Davis, will start counting the mailed ballots and ballots from the attendees.
1pm to 2:30pm: Each of the 30 items in the proposed CTGP platform will be read by the CTGP platform committee members: Richard Duffee and/or Jerry Martin. Voting will be an up or down vote i.e. on each item. No amendments will be voted on at this meeting. Any item not approved at this meeting may be revisited by local chapters, the SCC and the platform committee for further consideration. Suggestions may be presented to: the CTGP platform committee members or CTGP officers for ongoing CTGP SCC consideration, SCC review and SCC vote. If CTGP attendees are interested in joining the CTGP platform committee, they may contact the CTGP platform members or the CTGP offices. BAB to provide copies of the platform items from the Platform Committee.
2:30pm to 3:30pm: Speeches by current CTGP candidates and past candidates since the 4-24-10 annual meeting. That is, speeches from locally elected municipal CTGP members and CTGP members who ran in special and general elections after our 4-24-10 CTGP annual meeting through the present.
3:30pm to 3:45pm: update/discussion with S. Michael DeRosa regarding our ACLU lawsuit against the 2005 CT Campaign Finance Law.
3:45pm: results of the internal elections and closure of the meeting. NOTE: a) setting up of merchandise and literature will need to be done prior to 10am; b) there is NO TIME set aside for lunch. Attendees are urged to bring their own food/beverages. However, there are large coffee dispensers available. So BAB will be providing: coffee, tea bags, creamers and sweeteners so attendees may purchase coffee and tea for donation to the CTGP treasury. BAB will also provide paper plates and napkins. c) We need another person for the IRV ballot counting. d)Consensus: no bylaws have been presented or vetted for this 4-30-11 annual meeting
Announced candidates for the CTGP state party positions are: 3 Co-chairperson positions (one co-chairperson must be female): Jane Weston, Ronna Stuller, S. Michael DeRosa, Rolf Maurer, Ken Krayeske, Jerry Martin; one treasurer: Christopher Reilly; one secretary: Barbara Barry, Patricia Kane; 5 CTGP representatives to the GPUS: Timothy McKee, Charles Pillsbury, S. Michael DeRosa; 3 CTGP representatives, each, for the following GPUS national committees: Accreditation (AC): reviews any state chapter which petitions to join the GPUS; reviews criteria for state delegates to GPUS annual meetings and conventions; Annual National Meeting (ANMC) working on the summer 2011 GPUS annual meeting to be held in Rapid City, Iowa; Ballot Assess (BA): discussion of efforts, difficulties, strategies and successes of state Green Parties gaining ballot access: S. Michael DeRosa; Bylaws, Rules, Polices, Procedure (BRPP): for the GPUS officers and national committees: Amy Vas Nunes; Coordination Campaign (CCC): distribution of any GPUS money to Green Party candidates for public office; Dispute Resolution (DRC): mediation of any disputes within the GPUS organization: Charles Pillsbury; Diversity (DC): strategies and actions to urge/maximize diversity within the GPUS: Michelle L. Bickering; Eco Action (EC): develop strategies for the GPUS regarding ecological matters; Finance (FinCom) : review and determine how to spend the money of the GPUS organization; Fundraising (FC): raises money for the GPUS operations; Green Party of the U. S. internet news: acquire and write articles for the GPUS website; International Committee (IC): develops and promotes GPUS positions regard issues affecting the world: Hector Lopez, Barbara Barry, Richard Duffee, S. Michael DeRosa, Justine McCabe, Jeff Russell; Merchandizing Committee (MERCH): determines and acquires to items the GPUS; Media Committee (MC): writes GPUS press releases; Outreach (OC): interacts with other groups who may have similar interests of the GPUS; Peace (GPAX): discusses and develops strategies of how the GPUS may promote peace throughout the world: Amy Vas Nunes, S. Michael DeRosa, Jeff Russell; Platform (PC): promotes positions on issues for the GPUS which are consistent with Green Party Ten Key Values: Amy Vas Nunes, Cole Stangler, Justine McCabe and Jeff Russell; Presidential Campaign Support Committee (PCSC): develop strategies to support any GPUS presidential candidate: Timothy McKee; Steering (SC): the 7 co-chairpersons of the GPUS which promote the GPUS (similar to an executive committee of CTGP). Black Caucus: Michelle L. Bicking; Latino Caucus; Women‚Äô Caucus: Michelle L. Bicking.
6. GPUS annual meeting will be August 4-7, 2010 at Alfred University, NY. It will be held in conjunction with New York State Green Party and GreenFest. Agenda: GreenFest activities; non-delegates will be able to participate in workshops while delegates attend National Committee meetings. Contact: EC and Tim McKee at: 860/778-1304 or timmckee321@...
7. Recent media announcements: see B a), b) c) and d).
8. ACLU lawsuit: Green Party of CT, S. Michael DeRosa, et. al. against the State of CT' 2005 Campaign Finance Laws. The State of CT appealed our successful lawsuit against the State of Connecticut regarding the 2005 Campaign Finance Reform laws. Their appeal was heard, 1-13-10, at the 2nd Circuit Court of Appeals. This Appeals Court agreed to the State of CT on count I: (petitioning requirements). The initial decision was handed down by U.S. Judge Underhill on 8-28-09. Judge Underhill found that the 2005 CT Campaign Finance laws were unconstitutional i.e. the laws violated third party (and other groups) constitutional rights under the 1st Amendment (free speech) and 14th Amendment (equal protection under the law). The National Chapter of the ACLU received authorization from U.S. Supreme Court Judge Ruth Bayer Ginsberg to present papers to this Court by December 2, 2010. The ACLU has done so. The State of CT has requested a continuance until mid February 2011 from the U.S. Supreme Court. Outgoing CT Attorney General Richard Blumenthal actions and the original agreement indemnifying S. Supreme Court arguments to other CT Attorney General attorneys. There has been no March 25, 2011 announcement by the U. S. Supreme Court about if that court will hear arguments about this case (i.e. certiorari). SMD has received a 3-24-11 letter from our ACLU lawyer which reaffirms that the "ACLU will pay any case related costs as part of our agreement to represent you (Green Party of Connecticut) in this case.
9. BAB: chapters and attendees are urged to convey to CTGP members that they may join speaker' bureau of: CTGP regarding domestic issues(see the below CT websites) and/or that of GPUS: http://www.gp.org/speakers .
10. Chapter report: Fairfield: there will be a march through New Canaan, CT to bring attention to the inequality of wealth in the U.S. exact date and time: to be determined.
11. Consensus: next SCC meeting is desired for: Tuesday, April 26, 2011 at the Portland Senior Center. Next EC meeting: to be determined.
Green Party Key Values: non-violence, respect for diversity, grassroots democracy, social justice and equal opportunity, ecological wisdom, decentralization, community-based economics and economic justice, future focus and sustainability, personal and global responsibility, feminism and gender justice.
Current CTGP websites: www.ctgreenparty.org; www.ctgreenparty.com; wwwgreenpartyct.org; www.greenpartyct.com.
Addendum: current proposed Green Party of Connecticut Platform 2010. This platform was created by the members of the Green Party to provide the voter with clear knowledge of the principles and legislative goals of the Party. It is intended to show how the concepts of the national Green Party platform can be applied in Connecticut to improve the well being of the people of the state. Our candidates universally support the positions outline in this document and pledge to work to convince their constituents of the need to enact its points into law. (So that voters can know what they are getting, our candidates are obligated to support this platform as a whole and to explain the nature of any exceptions may they take to it.)
DEMOCRACY: "The Green Party proposes a comprehensive political reform agenda calling for real reform, accountability, and responsiveness in government through the powers and abilities of citizens as created by the Constitution of the United States of America." Platform: Green Party of the United States:
Voter Choice: We believe in a multiparty system facilitated by fair and easy ballot access. Voter registration should also be made easily available to all citizens through programs such as Election Day Registration.
Campaign Finance: Full public financing of elections to remove undue influence in political campaigns. A basic stipend should be available to all candidates who achieve ballot status as defined under current law and who agree to contribution limits and a ban on PAC contributions. Additional funds should be made available to candidates as they meet reasonable fund raising goals. ("Basic" and "reasonable‚Äô have huge fudge factors. In the present climate, the first would gain acceptance by the major parties and the second would be interpreted in a way that would make it unacceptable to us.)
Voter Access: We support instant Runoff Voting to guarantee that the winner has majority support and that the voters are not relegated to choosing between the lesser of two evils. (Range voting is better.)
CIVIL RIGHTS: "The foundation of any democratic society is the guarantee that each member of society has equal rights. Respect of our constitutionally protected rights is our best defense against discrimination and the abuse of power." Platform: Green Party of the United States:
Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity: The Green Party affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender, or sexual orientation and support equal rights of gay, lesbian, bisexual, or [and] transgender [persons] in all areas of life provided to all other citizens, including marriage.
Racial Discrimination: We support efforts to overcome the effects of over 200 years of racial discrimination including the work of the State Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities. We condemn the practice of racial profiling and the enforcement of federal immigration law by profiling by law enforcement agencies.
We oppose discriminatory English-only legislation.
Women' Rights: Reestablish the Permanent Commission on the Status of Women. The people of the state can only develop remedies to address gender inequalities if it has knowledge of those abuses. The Commission would gather information and suggest solutions for the public to support. We endorse women' right to use contraception and, when they choose, to have an abortion. We further believe that it should be illegal to deny the provision of these services or insurance coverage for them. [I think the thing to do is to subsidize contraception, provide abortions on a sliding scale, and to deny federal and state funds to medical institutions that refuse to perform abortions or to provide contraception.]
CRIMINAL JUSTICE: "Our criminal Justice System is inhumane, ineffective, and prohibitively expensive. The breaking of the bonds of community and the economic and social root causes of crime must be addressed." Platform: Green Party of the United States:
Drug Reform: The state should support the efforts on the federal lever to legalize, decriminalize, and medicalize drugs in this country in order to eliminate the illegal drug trade worldwide
Alternate Sentencing: The incarceration of non-violent criminals is not cost-efficient and generally not effective. Alternatives to incarceration should be [greatly] expanded and improved [in order to bring US incarceration levels down to the levels of the civilized world.]
Abolish the Death Penalty.
Prisoner Rehabilitation: As free state higher education and advanced skills training becomes available, the prison system should utilized those resources to make its inmates ready to re-enter society.
Prisoner Reintegration: The few small programs that are now available to support ex-offenders after their release should be expanded so that every person will have the maximum chance for a successful reintegration into the community.
ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY: "Our actions and policies should be motivated by long term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safe disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions."
Platform: Green Party of the United States: Globalization has and will continue to have a great impact on the people of Connecticut. Real wages have not risen in 20 years for the median income family. The combined federal, state and local tax burden is higher than ever while at the same time the risk of job loss, ruinous medical costs, and pension cuts have reduced the financial security of all but the wealthiest residents of our state. We know that both major parties have squandered the sacrifices we made in the early 90' to balance the federal budget with their costly wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, bad trade policies, and corporate bailouts. The amount of our national debt will make the cost of capital very high in the foreseeable future so economic expansion and job growth will remain low for years to come. The result in trade dependent states like Connecticut will mean more good jobs will go overseas and few will be created. These problems can only be addressed on the federal level but there are something that can be do to help the situation here in Connecticut through our budget priorities.
[I believe the most important item in this section is legislation to reduce the difference between the rich and the poor. Please read "The Spirit Level" by Richard Wilkinson and Kate Pickett. I‚Äôll give you a copy on the 31st or sooner if we can arrange it‚Äîor you can get it in a bookstore or library if you prefer. It' a report on 30 years of statistical research by British epidemiologists. It proves that the effect of the extreme inequality of US society include the highest levels of 1) violent crime in developed countries, 2) incarceration, 3) mental illness, 4) drug addiction, 5) teenage pregnancy, 7) obesity, 8) mistrust, and the lowest levels of 1) education and literacy, 2) life expectancy, and 3) social mobility.
Connecticut has the fourth greatest difference between the rich and the poor in the country. Because it also has the highest per capita income in the country, it has the greatest unused capacity to improve the lot of the poor.
I think it would be irresponsible of us not to respond to this explicitly in our platform and to recommend some remedial actions, among them legislation to prevent any CEO from increasing his own income without raising the income of the least-paid employee in the firm to a certain percentage of his own. Sam Pizzagati recommends a 1:10 ratio. I‚Äôm for a smaller one, 1:4. We should also recommend more progressive taxes on individuals and corporations and preventing corporations from off-loading their costs onto society.] ‚Ä®‚Ä®Full employment‚Ä®The Green Party supports maintain the highest level of employment by refusing to lay off state employees and by maintaining funding levels for state-contracted social services in bad economic times.‚Ä®‚Ä®Economic Justice‚Ä®We believe that not only should the minimum wage be adjusted to keep pace with inflation but that the state should support efforts to create a living wage system for its people. State employee pensions should be fully funded and health care benefits should be maintained.‚Ä®‚Ä®Pay equity‚Ä®In those industries that are regulated by the state, executive salaries should be held to a reasonable ratio with the pay of their workforce.[Please see note above; I think we should define this.]
LABOR: "The right to organize in unions, bargain freely and strike when necessary is being destroyed by employers and their representatives in government. Today, nearly one out of ten workers involved in union organizing drives is illegally fired by employers who wage a campaign of fear, threats, and sick propaganda to keep workers from exercising a genuinely free choice." Platform: Green Party of the United States:
Right to Organize: Realizing how important the right to collective bargaining is to maintaining a free market and provide for the economic security of every member of society, the Green Party supports the efforts of workers to organize.
Privatization: We also believe that public employers, i.e. state and local government, should never privatize their workforce in order to cut costs because those saving can only be realized through the impoverishment of their employees. [We should also address privatization of whole sectors of the government and commonwealth, such as prisons, the military and police, the state and national forests, the water supply, etc.]
ENVIRONMENT: "We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that the future generations will benefit and not suffer from to practices of our generation." Platform: Green Party of the U. S.: In the age of Global Warming we are all aware of the need to promote sustainable living but we realize that the citizens of Connecticut will need help to make the transition. They need to know how to spend their limited funds to make their homes energy efficient. They need transportation alternatives that will enable them to get to work without a car. They need a way to purchase high quality, low cost food produced locally. The Green Party believes that the state government should play a major role in meeting these needs. [We should recommend a government loan program for re-insulating buildings and converting to renewable energy sources. Special provisions must be made for rental buildings where the tenant pays the utility bills. See my changes to "incentives" below.]
Planning: With its network of colleges, research organizations, and manufacturers, Connecticut is in the perfect location to become a clearinghouse for green information.
Incentives: With small grants, [loans], and tax incentives, the state government could encourage homeowners to improve the efficiency of their homes, [landlords to improve the efficiency of their rental units,] businesses to produce new products, and workers to train for new technology jobs. The private sector is best at creating jobs but government leadership can stimulate the private sector to create jobs more efficiently.
TRANSPORTATION: "The Green Party supports a transportation policy that emphasizes the use of mass transit and alternatives to the automobile and truck for transport. We call for major public investment in mass transportation, so that such systems are cheap or free to the public and are safe, accessible, and easily understandable to first time users." Platform: Green Party of the United States:
Roads: The Green Party calls for a ban on all new highway construction in the state. Only repairs to existing roads will be funded and those repairs must include provisions for the safe use of those roads by people using alternative forms of transportation.
Rail: The rail network in the state should be expanded [and light rail should be created.] Current plans to complete the rail line between New Haven and Springfield should be expedited. Data should be gathered to determine what the amount of sensitization that will be needed to make the rail lines an economically viable alternative to the automobile commuter.
Infrastructure [& Flexible Alternate Transportation]: The Infrastructure to accommodate alternate fueled vehicles should be planned. Where seed money from the state would be beneficial, the state should consider not only the size of the potential market but the jobs that would be created by the suppliers of the new technology.[The current bus system is wasteful and inconvenient. A mini-bus system should be created for lines with few passengers, new lines should be created, and the lines should run more frequently.] More low-tech infrastructure should also be developed such as parking lots for shared vehicles like Zip-cars [and Zip cars should be available for trips and errands for which mass transportation is not appropriate.] Racks for securing bicycles and motorized scooters should be installed and should include recharging capability. "Bike Boxes" at all urban traffic intersection.
EMPLOYMENT: "There is plenty of work to do that does not jeopardize our future, does not widen the gap between the richest and the poorest in our society, and that can enrich our communities. We must encourage the creation of these opportunities." Platform: Green Party of the United States
Job Retention: In difficult economic times like these the State of Connecticut should continue to fund essential services like health care and education. If the state reduces its employment it will offset the federal efforts to create jobs and eliminate the services that are needed even more during bad times
Job creation: Job creation is an area that underscores the Green Party belief that most issues require a coordinated effort by all levels of government to be successful. The federal government has the major tool to create jobs and maintain the highest possible employment levels. The monetary and fiscal policy of the U.S. government, combined with its financial oversight, controls the flow of capital available for job creation, but the States still have a role to play. The state is in the best position to determine which industries will be growing in the future and to plan for that the infrastructure and human capital to support that industry. The State can also use its tax laws and its treasury to help reduce some of the risks that are a part of job creation. State taxpayer resources should only be used to promote the long-term financial well-being of the people of the State. Corporate Welfare will never be supported by the Green Party.
EDUCATION: "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 level, within the public and private sectors, in the classroom, and at home to make education our first priority." Platform: Green Party of the United States
Funding: The combined state and federal contribution to local education should equal 49% of the cost. [Please explain the reason for this. I favor abolishing property tax as a basis for education because it is too inequitable. I‚Äôd replace it with progressive income tax.] State payments in lieu of taxes should be equal to 100% of the revenue loss.
Vouchers: We oppose the use of vouchers to non-public schools.
Lifetime Learning: Higher education and skills training beyond the high school level should be available at state institutions to all state residents.
HEALTH CARE: "Health care is a human right, not a privilege." Platform: Green Party of the United States.
Insurance: Sustinet, the Connecticut program designed to meet the requirements of the new federal health insurance will not meet the healthcare needs or the budgetary limits of many of the people of Connecticut. In addition the new federal program, with its lack of cost controls, will put pressure on the state to cut existing healthcare programs like Medicaid. The Green Party will work to maintain funding for current healthcare programs for the people of the state while fighting on the national level for a real, insurance based, single payer system to cover every American [Everyone in the Western Hemisphere is an American. I‚Äôd use "resident of the US" but we must here arguments for "US citizen."]
HOUSING: "Housing is one of the basic necessities of life, yet too many people can no longer afford adequate shelter. Government should play an activist role in the availability of housing." Platform: Green Party of the US.
Home Ownership: State funding should continue to support the construction and maintenance of affordable and energy-efficient housing. Programs that work with and supplement federal home ownership programs should also be continued.
Homelessness: Programs to eliminate the causes of homelessness and to provide the homeless with shelter should be expanded to meet the current need. [Abandoned housing should be taken over and renovated for the use of the homeless.]
ENERGY: "Our energy use and abuse is at the core of many environmental and even social problems. With less than 5% of the world' population, the U.S. consumes more than 25% of the world' oil, gas, and electricity. Major damage to land, air, and water around the world has resulted from such industries as mining, drilling, transportation, pipelines, and generation of toxic and radioactive wastes. Our oil and gas addition in particular has led to wars and human rights abuses in many countries."
Platform[b1] : Green Party of the United States.
Nuclear: Nuclear energy is unsafe, [uninsurable except by the blanket exemptions of the Price-Anderson Act], and not cost-effective, and the processes that produce fuel for the industry pollute the environment at levels that equal carbon based fuels. The Green Party calls for a halt to the construction of new nuclear plants and for the replacement of existing nuclear power plants as soon as the energy that they produce can be replaced by energy from cleaner sources.
Deregulation: Deregulation of the electric industry in Connecticut has failed. Real competition has not developed in the state and the cost of electricity has risen dramatically. Regulators do not seem to want to intervene to protect electric consumers from unfair rate increases. The Green Party supports the re-regulation of the industry.
Solar: The funding that the State has made available to provide incentives for the installation of solar energy systems has been very small and limited mainly to businesses. The Green Party calls for expanding these programs and making them available to individual homeowners. Providing incentives now will not only help the environment but will also create jobs in the State.
Wind: The Green Party believes that the State should support efforts to develop wind power in Long Island Sound as long as it can be done without harm to the environment. Provisions should be made in the Connecticut tax code to provide incentives for investors to partner with the farmers to construct wind turbine generators and produce an electric crop as in other states.