2012 Connecticut Green Party Platform

PLATFORM
GREEN PARTY OF CONNECTICUT

Adopted April 28, 2012

Green Party members created this Platform to provide voters with clear knowledge of the principles and legislative goals of the Party. We intend 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. For each position, our candidates are obligated either to state any disagreement clearly in campaign literature or to pledge themselves to work to convince their constituents of the need to enact its points into law, and, if elected, to work to enact each position.

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.

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.

Corporations Are Not People

The Green Party believes the rights protected by the Constitution of the United States are the rights of natural persons only.  Artificial entities, such as corporations established by the laws of any State, the United States, or any foreign state, should have no rights under this Constitution and should be subject to regulation by the People.  We urge the General Assembly to begin the process to amend the U.S. Constitution to make it clear that a corporation is not a person and can be regulated.

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 300 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's Rights

Strengthen 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's 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.

We oppose the government’s use of passive technology to replace direct police observation in law enforcement.

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 Green Party supports the efforts to legalize, decriminalize, and medicalize drugs in order to eliminate the illegal drug trade.

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 state incarceration levels down to the levels of the civilized world.

The Death Penalty should be abolished and replaced with life without parole.

Prisoner Rehabilitation

As free State higher education and advanced skills training becomes available, the prison system should utilize 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.

Mediation

Mediation has become an important tool in resolving minor criminal matters and the Criminal Court Mediation Program should be restored with full funding.

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

Full Employment

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.

Economic Justice

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.

Pay Equity

In industries regulated by the state, executive salaries should be held to a reasonable ratio with the pay of their workforce.

Fully fund the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) program

LABOR

"The right to organize 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 oppose privatization of whole sectors of the government and commonwealth, such as prisons, the military and police, public parks and forests, and the water supply.

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 United States

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 with out 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 advocate 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.

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

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 and 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. We should develop low-tech infrastructure, such as parking lots for shared vehicles. Zip type 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" should be installed at all urban traffic intersections.

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

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.

Local School Funding

The State should fund local education.

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 nor 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 state and national level for a real, insurance based, single payer system to cover every US resident.

Insurance Commissioner

In order for the public to have greater control over the regulation of insurance, the State Insurance Commissioner should be made an elected official.

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 United States

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's population, the U.S. consumes more than 25% of the world's 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: 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.

 

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