Our Platform

Green Party of New York State Platform

(Approved September 14, 2019)

The Green Party is committed to values-based politics, as expressed in our ten key values. These values aim to strengthen the democratic power of people and promote social, racial, economic, and environmental justice through direct action targeted at the root causes of these problems. The Green Party of New York State endorses the Green New Deal, as embodied in the platform of the Green Party of the U.S. The state party platform supplements the national platform to reflect additional state concerns.

Note: The ordering of the platform is aligned with the GPUS national platform. This ordering is not a commentary on the importance of particular sections. * Download a PDF of the 2019 platform 

Jump to a platform plank:

I: Democracy

1. Grassroots Democracy and Ecosocialism
2. Foreign Policy

II: Social Justice

3. Civil Rights and Equal Rights
4. Adoptee Rights
5. Housing
6. Education
7. Healthcare
8. Cannabis Legalization
9. Criminal Justice and Prison Reform
10. Immigrant Rights
11. Indigenous Nations
12. Gun Violence 

III: Ecological Sustainability

13. Ecological Sustainability
14. Transportation
15. Food Systems and Nutrition
16. Animal Rights

IV: Economic Justice and Sustainability

17. Jobs and Economic Democracy
18. Progressive Taxation and Fiscal Policy
19. Public Banks

I: Democracy

 

1. Grassroots Democracy and Ecosocialism

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Introduction: The Green Party seeks to build an alternative economic system based on ecology and decentralization of power. This would require a wholesale restructuring of political control through varied decentralized bodies such as workers' councils, workplace committees, community and neighborhood assemblies, etc. that are empowered to democratically plan political and economic life on an ecosocialist basis. We affirm that this is our ultimate goal and strive to build ecosocialist political and economic institutions as part of a broader movement for change. This includes support for prefiguration, meaning the creation of working models of the type of society that we would like to live in. So, for example, working to create community owned and democratically managed resources such as car sharing or bike sharing programs, community land trusts, libraries of things, timebanks, community solar arrays, vertical farms, fab labs, worker cooperatives, community development credit unions, and local currencies, as described elsewhere in this platform.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Citizen Engagement

  • Permit initiative and referendum processes in New York State, and its political subdivisions, in which citizens can initiate and vote on proposed laws.
  • Participation in every stage of the process should be open to all constituents and the role of money mitigated to the fullest extent possible, through the use of citizen assemblies. Every jurisdiction should have a well-organized, fully transparent, and citizen moderated online citizens' forum for the collaborative drafting, and communal deliberation of proposals, to allow for easy participation in all stages of lawmaking.
  • Establish face to face citizen assemblies in each neighborhood and town as the legislative power in society, with legislative authority in their own communities and legislative control from below over the larger jurisdictions (municipal, county, state) with which they are associated. Citizen assemblies should be guaranteed sufficient funding to ensure that they can hire the staff and experts needed to play an autonomous role in the decision-making process.
  • Empower citizen assemblies to give binding instructions to their representatives and the use of immediate recall to enable voters to remove elected officials who no longer are representing the will and interests of the local residents.
  • Enact participatory budgeting statewide.

Campaign Finance

  • Enact real ethics reform to curb corruption in Albany. Ban or limit legislators' outside income and eliminate the LLC loophole in campaign contribution limits.
  • Support full public financing of campaigns. Publicly financed candidates should receive sufficient funds to reach all the voters of their district with their message. Candidates should accept spending limits and give up private contributions once they have qualified for public funding. To qualify for public campaign financing, candidates should demonstrate a threshold level of public support, by collecting a reasonable number of $5 contributions during a pre-qualifying period.
  • Eliminate “bundled” contributions from PACs.
  • Put a limit on how much any candidate can spend on his/her campaign.
  • All ballot-qualified parties and candidates should receive free and equal broadcast time on all television and radio stations.

Electoral Reforms

  • End partisan control of the Board of Elections and institute rigorous transparency to banish the patronage, unprofessionalism, and incompetence resulting from the current system.
  • Form an independent and nonpartisan commission charged with the duty of re-apportioning the legislative districts within the state, in order to end the manipulation of district boundaries by legislators and powers within the dominant parties.
  • Enact proportional representation for legislative bodies. Seats are allocated to political parties based on the percentage of votes received. Our winner take all electoral system is fundamentally anti-democratic.
  • Enact instant runoff voting for the election of single-member offices (Governor/ Lieutenant-Governor, Attorney General, Comptroller, U.S. Congress, State Legislature). With instant runoff voting (IRV), also called preference voting, the voters rank candidates in order of preference.
  • Enable non-citizens to vote in local elections.
  • Lower the voting age in New York State to 16. Youth should have an electoral voice as they face adverse consequences from climate change, gun violence, imperialism, austerity, and unsustainable levels of student debt. Combined with increasing income inequality, these factors create a significant reduction in their prospects for a productive and prosperous life. However, we oppose exposing younger voters to military recruitment or other predations. 
  • Enact same-day voter registration for general elections and eventually move to a more European-style system where citizens of age are automatically registered to vote by default, instead of "opt-in" registration.
  • Move the deadline for party affiliation changes to at least 90 days before the first primary election of the year.
  • Eliminate the "Opportunity to Ballot" rule and ban "fusion" voting so that candidates are not incentivized to put their name on as many ballot lines as possible in every election. 
  • Abolish the Electoral College and elect the President by popular vote.

Joint Commission on Public Ethics

  • Reform the appointment process for commissioners of the New York State Joint Commission on Public Ethics. Mandate that the commission conducts background checks on the potential heads of governmental departments before they can be approved.

2. Foreign Policy

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Introduction: The Green Party stands for peace and non-intervention in the affairs of sovereign countries. We seek to stop Washington from arming, funding, bombing and deploying troops to engage in proxy wars around the globe. We also stand against Washington’s financial, economic and trade sanctions that harm developing and non-aligned countries (i.e., countries not acting as proxies for the US or other major powers). We stand against perpetual war, the military-industrial complex, and the surveillance state. Through all of this, we seek to promote an anti-imperialist foreign policy. We are committed to calling out war crimes and human rights violations wherever they occur. This includes protecting journalists and supporting whistleblowers who expose such crimes.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

War and Peace

  • The Green Party opposes all U.S. aggression and wars. We call to bring all U.S. troops home now as a vital contribution to peace worldwide. We oppose the crime of drone warfare and call for peaceful settlement of disputes without the use of force. We defend the rights of all peoples to determine their own affairs free from foreign interference and for relations with other countries based on mutual respect and benefit. The Pentagon is the world’s single largest polluter and its budget could be far better used to fund the rights of all, abroad and at home.

Puerto Rico

  • The Green Party defends the right of the Puerto Rican people to determine their own affairs free from U.S. interference and calls for the removal of all U.S. bases and implementation of the UN decolonization process. We call for canceling the debts, which have been paid many times over, and oppose use of a control board to dictate to the people of Puerto Rico. We condemn the inadequate U.S. federal government response to the effects of Hurricane Maria. We demand mobilization of state and federal resources to help in restoring basic necessities such as healthcare, housing, electricity, food, water, and sanitation.

 

II: Social Justice

 

3. Civil Rights and Equal Rights

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Introduction: The foundation of a democratic society is the guarantee of equal rights and protection under the law. This topic is also covered in the national platform. We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity; that support the self-definition and self-determination of all people; and that consciously confront the barriers of racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, class oppression, ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together. We support affirmative action to remedy discrimination, to protect constitutional rights, and to provide equal opportunity under the law. All individuals have a right to be free and protected from violence.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Women’s Rights

  • Women's rights must be protected and expanded to guarantee each woman's right to fully participate in society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination, and with autonomy over reproductive choices. Women's right to control their bodies is non-negotiable. It is essential that access to birth control, family planning resources, and safe, legal abortion remains available. Much more must be done to ensure equality in wages and employment, to end the feminization of poverty, and to redress the reality that much of the work that society assigns primarily to women is presently unpaid.

Racial Discrimination

  • We commit to full reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity, and the stark disparities which haunt the present, evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality, and the practice of mass incarceration. We understand that until significant steps are taken to reverse the ongoing abuses to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown communities, to eradicate poverty, to invest in education, healthcare, and the restoration and protection of human rights, that it will be impossible to repair the continuing damage wrought by the ideology of white supremacy which permeates the governing institutions of our nation.

Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity

  • The Green Party affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Green Party recognizes the equal rights of all persons whether they identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transsexual, queer, transgender, etc. to housing, jobs, marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in all areas of life including equal tax treatment. We support a ban on conversion therapy. We support the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or expression. GENDA also expands the state's hate crimes law to explicitly include crimes against transgender people. We support increased funding to assist queer homeless youth.

Right to Boycott

  • Uphold the right to boycott as a form of political free speech.
  • Oppose legislation that penalizes supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement as an unconstitutional and undemocratic threat to free speech.

Privacy and the Surveillance State

  • Oppose the use of technology for increased surveillance or data collection about individuals.
  • Support legislation to prevent intrusions of privacy by drones.

Persons with Disabilities

  • Support the rights of people with disabilities, including the right to voting, access to healthcare (including community and home care), and enforcement of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
  • Support the use of interdisciplinary clinical services teams of public-sector workers for developmentally disabled people rather than HMOs.
  • Fund residential, community-based services to meet the needs of people with disabilities.
  • Fund public sector service coordinators (social workers) to include individuals with disabilities living with their families or living on their own in the community.

Mental Health System and Psychiatric Patient Rights

  • Oppose mental health legislation that provides for or expands the use of involuntary outpatient commitment, also known as assisted outpatient treatment
  • Support existing federal programs, such as the Protection and Advocacy for Individuals with Mental Illness (PAIMI), which provide information, rights protection, direct legal advocacy, and other support for the self-determination and rights of people labeled "mentally ill."
  • Address concern about gun violence and mass murderers with gun control legislation, rather than blaming mental illness.
  • Support the dissemination of accurate information about psychiatric services and pharmacological interventions.

4. Adoptee Rights

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Introduction: Due to current laws, millions of adults who were adopted as children are now being denied access to vital records regarding their births. The Green Party supports creating the necessary transparency between adoptees, their mothers, and adoptive parents. Access to birth records is essential to guaranteeing basic human rights for adoptees.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Immediate and direct access to all identifying birth, hospital, foster care, and adoption agency records and files concerning the adult adoptee (including the original adoption plans and any contracts that pertain to the adoptee or in which they are mentioned) to assist with researching their genealogy, medical history, and the truth regarding the circumstances surrounding their adoptions and, if applicable, their time in foster care.
  • As New York currently prevents access to the original birth certificates of adoptees, the state should establish a fund as a form of reparations to provide financial assistance for counseling, registration fees, and private investigators that adoptees and their biological family members may need to use in order to reunite with each other.
  • Strict financial penalties need to be enforced when birth/adoption records have been lost or destroyed while under the care of agencies, hospitals, lawyers, etc. that have assumed the responsibility for storing these vital records.

5. Housing

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Introduction: The Green Party of New York State believes that housing is a human right and that all people should have the right to quality, affordable ownership and rental housing in neighborhoods of their choice. Today that is not the case and there are incredible inequities in housing which contribute to foreclosures, segregated housing, limited opportunities for home ownership, and rigid controls by those who own much of the housing available. Sustainability considerations must also be a factor with respect to housing construction or conversion.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Homelessness

  • Support housing for homeless individuals, including providing the opportunity to renovate abandoned buildings to be used for housing.
  • Replace the shelter system with apartments for homeless people that provide privacy and a safe, healthy environment.
  • Provide job training for homeless people as well as other support services for those with health problems, including drug addiction and mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.

Public Housing

  • Construct and maintain sufficient public housing to ensure an end to homelessness.
  • Replace debt financing with public capital grants, to reduce the costs of public housing construction.
  • Build all new public city housing to LEED Gold Standard or above.
  • Eliminate compulsory work service for residents of public housing.
  • Require that all public authority housing boards are elected directly by the voters in the area covered by that authority. The governing board of the New York City Housing Authority must be elected by the tenants and staff of those buildings.

Rent Regulated Housing

  • Make the state's rent control laws permanent and extend them to every municipality with less than a 5% vacancy rate.
  • Eliminate Vacancy Decontrol, which leaves new tenants of vacant housing without any rent or eviction protections.
  • Strengthen rent protections for Market Rate Tenants, including prevention of sudden rent increases.
  • Provide rent stabilization coverage for all Mitchell-Lama and project-based Section 8 buildings that leave or have left government supervision.
  • Declare a moratorium on buyouts and give tenants right of first refusal to purchase rent-regulated apartments, at prices set by an appraisal board.
  • End the provision whereby a landlord that is charging a preferential rent that is lower than the legal regulated rent may increase the rent to the legal regulated rent upon renewal of the tenancy, in cases where the lease is silent on this issue.
  • Increase protections for tenants in situations where an owner wants the apartment for personal use and occupancy as a primary residence for the owner or a member of the owner's immediate family. For example, in NYC, if the tenant has been a tenant in the building for 20 years or more.
  • Establish a rent cap for seniors and persons with disabilities, including those persons living with HIV or AIDS, so that they pay no more than 30 percent of their net income towards rent. All New York renters should pay no more than one-third of their net income toward rent.
  • Suspend the Maximum Base Rent system that requires rent-controlled tenants in New York City to pay 7.5% rent increases annually, and to pay for fuel and labor pass-alongs.
  • Make rent increases for Major Capital Improvements temporary surcharges, so that once tenants have paid them off, the rent increase disappears.
  • Repeal the Urstadt Law, to restore Home Rule to New York City on rent regulation.
  • Assist small landlords to upgrade their property with below-market value loans and technical assistance.

New Rental Housing

  • Terminate the New York City “Mandatory Inclusionary Housing and Zoning for Quality and Affordability” program.
  • End the billions of dollars in tax abatements such as the 421a program given to big real estate developers.
  • Charge a surcharge for the purchase and sale of million-dollar condos.
  • Develop affordable low rise rental housing for low, moderate, and median income individuals and families, including housing for working class individuals/families.
  • Require all development and re-development in urban communities to have a grassroots, independent, residents’ organization that has decision-making ability related to any additions/changes/planning for the neighborhoods that it encompasses.

Source of Income

  • Ban source of income discrimination in rental housing. Source of income is defined as legal, verifiable income paid directly to the tenant or his or her representative. Sources of legal income include Section 8 vouchers, Social Security, Supplemental Security Income (SSI), veteran’s benefits, public assistance, child support, alimony, unemployment insurance, pensions, and wages from any occupation.

Rent Subsidies

  • Establish a rent subsidy program to assist households with income below 150% of the poverty level, and which require rental subsidies in order to obtain or maintain standards of health and safety.

Homeownership

  • Put a moratorium on home foreclosures and require lending institutions to renegotiate mortgages to current market value for those unable to afford their present mortgages.
  • Provide for a state version of the New Deal-era Home Ownership Loan Corporation, a public bank that renegotiates mortgages when other banks are unable to for financial reasons.
  • Oppose unbridled property tax increases which make it difficult or impossible for some people to stay in their homes. 
  • Implement a property tax freeze for seniors living in homes with a market value of less than $750,000 on the date they reached age 62.
  • Abolish the use of eminent domain to take over land for use by private corporations.
  • Support surcharges for buyers of luxury residential property (e.g., over one million dollars) in New York City.

Legal Representation

  • Mandate that in residential housing cases legal services be provided for those who cannot afford a lawyer.

Rural Rental Assistance Program

  • Provide funding to the Rural Rental Assistance Program (RRAP) at levels sufficient to provide direct rental subsidies to all eligible low-income elderly, disabled, and non-elderly large families residing in multi-family housing.

Mobile Home Cooperative Fund

  • Establish a Mobile Home Cooperative Fund to provide loans to support cooperative ownership of mobile home parks.

Supportive Housing Programs

  • Provide state funding at levels sufficient for the development of supportive housing for special needs and low-income tenants.

Community Land Trusts

  • Establish community land trusts to eliminate speculation and profit-taking on the ownership of land.

Environmental Housing

  • Require that new construction maximize the use of energy efficiency and solar energy options. For example, require single and multi-family housing to be built to the extent possible with substantial South facing exposures free from landscaping obstructions.

Arcologies

  • Support the development of arcologies which are compact, self-contained, self-directed, and self-sufficient urban environments that integrate systems such as housing, transportation, energy, waste, agriculture, and manufacturing into one sustainable building structure. The technical aspects of arcologies include car sharing and bike sharing programs, solar panels and small wind turbines, composting and bioremediation, hydroponics and aquaponics, rainwater collection, and fab labs.
  • The State of New York must provide grants, technical assistance, tax exemptions, and preferential zoning for the development of arcologies. This applies to the planning and development of new building structures as well as the conversion of existing apartment buildings, complexes, or housing developments into a working model of an arcology.
  • Arcology standards for sustainability, self-governance, and self-sufficiency must be met within 10 years to remain eligible for ongoing state assistance.
  • Arcology standards are defined as habitats that: 1) have resident co-ownership and direct democratic management; 2) produce at least 50% of their own power, food, and product requirements; 3) have housing for at least 5,000 individuals; and 4) have at least 50% of all housing units available for low income individuals.

6. Education

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Introduction: The purpose of education is to produce enlightenment for society and empower every individual with all that is needed to change the world, including producing critical thinking and civically-engaged, responsible adults committed to building and maintaining a just and sustainable democracy. Everyone in New York State deserves a quality public education, pre-K through college, that fosters critical thought and creativity. Learning is a lifelong and life-affirming process and all people, regardless of age, have an equal right to education.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Primary and Secondary Education

  • Fully fund public schools with an equitable state aid formula. Currently, funding for education is unfair to poor, rural, and urban districts because it is based on outdated formulas and dependent on local taxation. Funding for education should be detached from local taxation and the value of one’s property, and funded by the state operation fund. A statewide minimum should be provided and supplemented by local taxation tied to one’s non-housing wealth including income.
  • Fully funded, full day, and developmentally appropriate Universal Pre-K and Kindergarten with certified and unionized educators available to all.
  • Discontinue high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools. Eliminate the standardized testing model. Transition to a student-, growth-, and knowledge-centered model of teaching.
  • Opt out of Common Core and Race To The Top.
  • Implement common standards, curricula, and diagnostic tests written by professional teachers in the schools, not by outside corporate contractors. Teacher and school evaluations should be based on collaboration. Student evaluations/diagnostics should be based on project portfolios and performance-based assessment tasks.
  • Include student democratic decision-making in curriculum, administration, and conflict resolution within each school.
  • Require that staff in schools throughout the state attend professional development sessions that inform them about individual racism, institutional and systemic racism, and historical racism.
  • Require that educational curricula be multi-cultural (e.g., African, Asian, Latinx, Indigenous Peoples, among others) and not be limited to the Euro-centric education that dominates now.
  • Implement affirmative action to reduce school segregation by race and class, such as regional inter-district transfer programs.
  • Support state legislation to mandate reduced class sizes and caseloads, building an expanding schools network when necessary.
  • Oppose the allocation of public money to charter schools and oppose the use of school vouchers for private and/or religious schools.
  • Stop the school to prison pipeline. Prohibit the assignment of police officers to schools. Prohibit policies such as automatic suspensions. Support restorative justice programs in public schools, which are effective in teaching non-violent, constructive methods for conflict resolution.
  • Oppose the top down mayoral control of New York City public schools. Support a school system that is democratically run with the participation of the community, teachers, and students.
  • Repeal the Education Transformation Act of 2015, which provides for state takeover of public schools and serves to eliminate public control, including by elected school boards. The Green Party defends public control of public schools and defends the rights of teachers and students to the working and learning conditions they require for the highest quality education for all.
  • Increase funding for counselors in high schools to aid students in planning their future education, vocation, and career objectives, including time off for experiential learning.

Higher Education

  • Fully fund CUNY and SUNY, and provide free higher education to all. Implement a policy of open admissions for high school graduates.
  • Increase the number of permanent, tenure track faculty at state higher educational institutions through new hires until they are the majority of instructors in state higher education.
  • Mandate per-course pay equalization with permanent faculty for contingent faculty teaching courses at state higher educational institutions. Provide a path for contingent faculty to become permanent hires.

7. Healthcare

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Introduction: Healthcare is a human right and all people should have guaranteed access regardless of income, employment status, or immigration status. The Green Party supports a single payer, Medicare-for-all healthcare system that prioritizes wellness and prevention. A for-profit healthcare system will continue to restrict access while costs continue to skyrocket. Given the nebulous nature of healthcare coverage at the federal level, the Green Party of New York supports statewide coverage of all New Yorkers as proposed by the Campaign for New York Health.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Establish a publicly funded, progressively taxed, single-payer health insurance program covering all residents in the state.
  • Rebalance the state Medicaid program to provide long term care in the community where people wish to receive it.
  • Use the funds saved through the Medicaid Global Cap to reduce health disparities and to address the social determinants of health such as safe housing, healthful food, and opportunities for education and employment.
  • Excessive caseloads for social workers and healthcare providers undermine quality of care, jeopardize patient and client safety, and are the result of unjust budget cuts. Services must be fully-funded and pay a living wage to care providers. Provide sufficient time for adequate patient-doctor interaction.

Drug Addiction and Treatment

  • Promote the principle of harm reduction to reduce the harms associated with drug addiction.
  • Treat drug addiction as a public health issue and provide compassionate alternatives to arrest and incarceration.
  • Implement overdose prevention programs, including the use of overdose reversal medication such as naloxone.
  • Fund evidence-based treatment (including buprenorphine and methadone) on demand regardless of insurance or legal status.
  • Provide sterile syringes and related equipment to decrease the transmission of blood-borne diseases such as HIV and hepatitis C.
  • Permit supervised injection facilities to provide sterile injection equipment, access to medical care, and treatment referrals.
  • Support legalization of psychoactive drugs (e.g., Ibogaine, LSD, MDMA, Psilocybin) for their use in treating medical conditions and in scientific research.

8. Cannabis Legalization

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Introduction: We call for the immediate legalization of the growth, sale and possession of cannabis under New York State law, and for legal opposition to federal prosecutions for the same. Prohibition of cannabis and the resulting “drug war” have unjustly incarcerated countless individuals and scarred communities, often along racial and class lines, while draining resources from society.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Support the legalization of recreational cannabis. 
  • Repeal section 221 of New York’s penal code and all other laws, including Federal, that make cannabis prohibited. 
  • No two-tiered system where local jurisdictions can opt-out of legalization and penalize cannabis users.
  • Specify that cannabis must be organic, contain no GMOs, pesticides, or additives, and must not have been subject to THC manipulation.
  • Allow licensed recreational cannabis dispensaries to sell cannabis for home consumption.
  • Permit licensed businesses where cannabis smoking is allowed on premises, as are found in cities throughout the world.
  • Tax cannabis in all its forms at the same rate as equivalent products and substances already on the market, as a way of encouraging a sustainable industry. 
  • Stipulate that homegrown cannabis that is for personal consumption, not for trade or sale, will not be taxed.
  • Allow the number of plants for homegrown cannabis to be ninety-nine and ease the restrictions on how and where it can be grown in or around the home.
  • Give people previously incarcerated for marijuana-related crimes grants and licenses to operate cannabis businesses as part of reparations for their unfair incarceration.
  • Specifically encourage license applications from minority- and women-owned small businesses located in communities that have been adversely impacted by the war on drugs.
  • Prohibit medical cannabis dispensaries licensed under the Compassionate Care Act from also being licensed as recreational cannabis dispensaries, so that there is no unfair economic advantage.
  • No licenses to big tobacco, liquor, pharmaceuticals, and multinationals.
  • Revenue from legalization should be reinvested in communities that have been adversely impacted by the war on drugs and used to adequately fund organic inspections.
  • Expunge the criminal records of people with prior non-violent marijuana convictions, without their having to go through a bureaucratic process.
  • Cannabis use should not exclude people from living in public housing. 
  • No removal of children from parents/guardians for testing positive for THC.

9. Criminal Justice and Prison Reform

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Introduction: The path to criminal justice reform begins with a strategic approach to grow educated, civically-engaged residents living in strong neighborhoods and healthy communities where residents work with public officials to assess problems and craft responses to those problems. All individuals, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, skin color, religion, sex, gender identity, sexual orientation, citizenship, immigration status, ability status, and economic status, must be equal in the eyes of the law. People with criminal records, especially those incarcerated for drug related offenses, suffer lifelong consequences, including discrimination in housing, education, and employment after their release from incarceration. In addition, the classification of drug use as a criminal activity when the drugs are illegal or the use is outside the bounds of medical prescribing has led to the creation of an underground drug economy that has endangered the health and well-being of users and led to high rates of incarceration and recidivism, particularly in communities of color which have been targeted disproportionately by law enforcement.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Release all individuals currently serving time for nonviolent drug offenses. Drug prohibition has only created a criminal industrial complex that targets poor and already disenfranchised people. We should legalize drugs and treat substance abuse as a community health issue. Steps toward reconciliation should include: expunging the criminal convictions of drug offenders, providing community treatment for substance abusers, and providing large scale pardons to individuals with prior drug convictions.
  • Establish a Truth, Justice, and Reconciliation Commission to study the impacts of mass incarceration on New Yorkers, largely brought about by the failed war on drugs.
  • Transition out (release) prisoners convicted only of a victimless crime such as minor drug offenses. Develop a system to assist with this transition, including providing many jobs.
  • Find alternatives to prison settings for persons with mental illnesses convicted of crimes who are not a danger to themselves or others.
  • Ban the box on employment and housing applications so people can proceed with their lives and have equal opportunity to community options.
  • End the practice of colleges such as SUNY using criminal history to screen applicants during the admission process.
  • Expand alternatives to incarceration of nonviolent offenders, such as probation or work release for paying fines, victim restitution, and community service.
  • Increase the use of restorative justice.
  • State funding of county Public Defender offices to ensure no defendant is denied competent legal counsel for lack of money. Cities should have the same rights as towns to draw juries of their peers from their municipal jurisdictions instead of the surrounding county.
  • Eliminate cash bail.
  • Preliminary hearings should be transparent and open to questioning from the defense.
  • Repeal the New York state death penalty statute.
  • Reject life without parole sentences: They fail to recognize the human capacity to change and to fully appreciate the value of each human life.
  • Prioritize and provide resources for the prosecution of financial crime (aka “white-collar crime”), as the source of much more damage to society and individual lives than so-called “street crime.”
  • Immediately terminate “stop-and-frisk” and broken windows, quota-based policing practices.
  • Justice for victims of racially-biased policing and police brutality that targets communities of color.
  • All criminal justice staff and police to have mandated in depth anti-racism training as part of the job entry requirement, with annual updates.
  • The use of body cameras by on duty police with community access to the tapes.
  • Participatory budgeting regarding police department budgets throughout the state.
  • Given the widespread research concerning adolescent brain development we support raising the age of adult criminal responsibility for all misdemeanors and felonies to 21 without exception effective immediately.
  • Restore voting rights to all persons convicted of a felony while incarcerated and on parole.
  • Eliminate solitary confinement, a practice that is both dangerous and torturous.
  • Provide access to education at all levels to incarcerated people in all of New York State's prisons. There are adjudicated juveniles who are court-placed or committed to youth facilities who are eligible for and would benefit from expanded college access. Any initiatives for incarcerated adults must also include juveniles.
  • Establish a state government funded prison to college pipeline program.
  • Close the Rikers Island correctional facility immediately.
  • Full, professional, and timely healthcare--including voluntary mental healthcare--for all incarcerated individuals.
  • No privatized prisons or privatization of prison services. Private prisons are much more dangerous and are particularly notorious for not responding to medical or mental health needs because these services are expensive.
  • Divest public funds from private correctional companies. Many pension funds include private correctional companies in their portfolios.
  • Prisoners shall not be used as sub-wage workers in private industries. Prisoners should be paid at least minimum wages, and union scale wages for highly skilled labor.
  • Prison institutions and personnel shall be barred from earning, expropriating, and extorting any money from prisoner's wages. Prisoners shall not be punished for refusing to participate in prison-based industries.
  • In making decisions concerning mental health, court ordered compliance programs, early release, and anything to do with social services while in prison or post incarceration, the Bureau of Prisons must answer to the appropriate social service agencies and not the other way around.
  • State-sponsored post-incarceration services should not be provided by private enterprises or non-profits. These should be civil service positions.

10. Immigrant Rights

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Introduction: The Green Party stands firmly for social justice for all those living in this country regardless of their immigration status. Our positions on this issue are laid out in the national platform. We oppose the building of a wall on our southern border to prevent migration. The U.S. must recognize the right of migration, including by seasonal workers, and those seeking asylum, and end regime-change policies that cause displacement. In addition, the U.S. must abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), end the practice of detaining immigrants for minor offenses, and end the practice of family separation. In New York State, the Green Party also supports the following policies:

  • Restoring the rights of immigrants to vote in local elections.
  • Providing driver licenses for undocumented immigrants.
  • New York State must commit to being a sanctuary state and all municipalities must follow suit. The Governor and Mayors must explicitly direct local and state law enforcement not to cooperate with ICE.

11. Indigenous Nations

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Introduction: The Greens support New Yorkʼs recognition of Native American nations as sovereign with the right to self-determination and self-government. New York State must honor and fulfill all treaty obligations that entitle native peoples to land, water, food, hunting rights, fishing rights, healthcare, housing, education, and other vital necessities.

The Green Party supports the following policies:

  • Sovereignty includes the right to clean water and the right to approve or deny pipelines that may cross into sovereign lands. Sovereign decisions are absolute and cannot be overruled by any U.S. agency or official, or any corporation.
  • Negotiated solutions with New Yorkʼs indigenous nations as preferable to court-imposed solutions.
  • Stopping New York Stateʼs imposition of sales taxes on sovereign nations’ land.
  • The right of indigenous people to participate in and celebrate their own culture.

12. Gun Violence

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Introduction: The Green Party of New York calls for action to immediately end the epidemic of gun violence that has killed far too many of our children, neighbors and loved ones. We need comprehensive action to address easy access to firearms and the inequality that leads to gun violence. This includes common sense gun control laws and elected officials who are not bought by the campaign contributions of the NRA and gun manufacturers. While we understand the desire of law-abiding citizens to pursue activities such as target shooting and hunting, we also recognize that other industrial countries like the UK, Australia, Japan, and Germany have enacted sensible public policies and they have far fewer gun killings than the United States. Research also shows that gun homicides are higher where economic inequality is greater and there are more guns per capita. We must therefore uproot the social conditions that breed gun violence by attacking economic inequality and insecurity, segregation and poverty, and barriers to opportunity, including access to mental health resources. The Green Party has long advocated for public jobs at living wages, single-payer universal healthcare, tuition-free education through college, abolition of student debt, a right to housing, and public financing of political campaigns. We also need gun safety laws that are enforced without discrimination. We need to put an end to police brutality, the killing of unarmed individuals, and the United States being the world’s leading weapons manufacturer.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies: 

  • Ban the sale of assault weapons, high-capacity magazines, and bump stocks.
  • Universal background checks for gun and ammunition buyers, including closing the loophole for private sales and sales at gun shows, with records maintained in a central registry, not destroyed after 24 hours as under current law.
  • Require all gun owners to pass a gun safety test, visual test, and be licensed by a government agency, similar to the requirements for obtaining a driver license.
  • Institute a 30 day waiting period after license application before firearms can be purchased if the applicant doesn't immediately pass a background check. 
  • A "red flag rule" allowing school officials, family members, and police to seek a court order blocking someone from purchasing or possessing firearms in New York if they pose an "extreme risk" to themselves or others. In order to issue one, a judge would have to weigh whether the person has used or threatened violence against themselves or others, has violated a restraining order, has any pending charges involving weapons, has recklessly brandished a firearm, or has any history of alcohol or substance abuse problems.
  • Allow government research into the health impacts of gun violence including high rates of suicides from handguns.
  • Divest state pension funds from owning shares in gun manufacturers.
  • Stop the sale of military grade equipment to, and use by, the police.
  • Support community control of the police along with de-escalation and conflict resolution tactical training

III: Ecological Sustainability

 

13. Ecological Sustainability

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Introduction: The United Nations announced in 2018 that we have 12 years left for an emergency worldwide mobilization – unprecedented in human history – to halt the use of fossil fuels and eliminate greenhouse gas emissions. They made clear that we need to try to keep global warming under 1.5 degrees (C), rather than the 2 degrees which has been the target of much of New York’s climate policy. Even 1.5C of warming would have brutal consequences. Floods, sea level rise, wildfires, heat waves and droughts will make parts of the planet uninhabitable. Climate refugees will likely be in the hundreds of millions. Support systems involving energy, food and water will break down, leading to wars over such resources. Hundreds of millions, if not billions, could die. And, according to many scientists, humans are ushering in the Sixth Great Extinction of Species, in large part as a result of climate change and pollution. Failure to take dramatic action to address the climate crisis increases the likelihood that human civilization as we presently know it will cease to exist. 

The human community is an element of the earth and all human endeavors are situated within the dynamics of the biosphere. Sustainable institutions, enterprises, and energy sources must support ecological health. The Green Party honors and seeks to follow the teachings of the Haudenosaunee who implore us to consider the impact of our decisions on the well-being of the next seven generations in our deliberations of policy and practice in all areas of life and particularly with respect to the environment.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Green New Deal - Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables

  • Establish a Green New Deal to convert New York State to 100% clean, renewable energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This would create jobs during the building phase and for ongoing operations and maintenance. This plan would rely on securing the compliance of current New York State energy providers to gradually shift their annual revenues currently spent on non-renewables toward renewables. This would prevent the construction of a redundant and competing grid, facilitate job training for displaced workers, and lower the state's funding obligation.
  • Oppose all new fossil fuel infrastructure in New York. Prohibit any more oil or natural gas pipelines or plants from being built. Phase-out existing fossil fuels.
  • Invest in wind power (offshore and onshore), weatherization, energy efficiency, geothermal (ground-source heat pumps), passive solar, solar thermal, among other renewable energy sources.
  • All renewable energy projects must source from local, state, or U.S. manufacturers when possible, and must avoid conflict area materials.
  • Set targets and goals for transportation and buildings (net zero carbon emissions), both of which account for a substantial portion of the state’s carbon footprint.
  • Adopt clear, short-term benchmarks, timelines and activities with annual reporting to the legislature.
  • Make the climate plan legally enforceable, with compliance required of state and local agencies.
  • Avoid using carbon offsets to achieve climate goals. 
  • Make energy efficiency a central goal with specific targets and timelines, as efficiency is the least costly, fastest way to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs.

Energy Democracy

  • Facilitate the conversion of investor-owned utilities to become consumer-owned cooperatives or publicly-owned and democratically run operations that meet the energy needs of each local municipality.

Just Transition and Environmental Justice

  • Ensure that displaced workers are guaranteed five years’ wages and benefits until they can find comparable work.
  • Ensure that low and moderate income people, and communities harmed by dirty fuels’ pollution impacts are able to participate in the renewable energy future.
  • Guarantee tax revenues to local governments that lose revenues due to nuclear and fossil fuel plant shutdowns.

Divestment and Carbon Tax

  • Immediately divest New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds, as well as SUNY and CUNY from all fossil fuels
  • Ban New York State, county and local governments from granting subsidies and tax waivers to fossil fuel corporations in their many manifestations (pipelines, compressor stations, metering stations, etc.) under the pretext of job creation.
  • Enact a state carbon tax.

Hydraulic Fracturing (Hydrofracking)

  • Maintain the ban on the hydrofracking of natural gas in New York State.
  • Criminalize hydraulic fracturing as outlined in New York Public Law 1 of the state's Penal Code.

Nuclear Power

  • Implement the rapid phase-out of nuclear power for environmental, health, safety, and economic reasons and the replacement of that power with clean renewable sources so that nuclear power has no future in New York State. Oppose any public subsidies for nuclear power.
  • Impose an immediate and safe termination of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY, with no further operations licenses or extensions granted to Entergy Corporation. Ensure that the plant decommissioning is fully paid for by Entergy Corporation and/or the company purchasing the plant, engages current employees in the decommissioning process, and proceeds with the safety of employees and the surrounding community paramount.
  • Legally require the use of dry cask storage for spent nuclear fuel as soon as it is technically possible to transfer fuel rods from spent fuel pools. Outlaw the transportation of spent nuclear fuel on NY highways.

Solid and Liquid Waste Management

  • Source reduction of waste and toxic products. Ban known toxic chemicals in consumer products.
  • Ban the importation of all solid and liquid wastes from fossil fuel or other industrial extraction processes, excluding potable water or goods intended for emergency response purposes. Ban the exportation of potable water from New York to other states for the purpose of fossil fuel extraction.
  • Protect biodiversity, including species and genetic diversity.
  • Remove waste sites, incinerators, polluting industries, generators, transportation hubs, and highways from oppressed communities.
  • Turn waste streams into revenue streams. True sustainability is not possible unless we treat all wastes as potential resources. Local wastewater treatment facilities should be first priority, moving them to anaerobic digestion-methane capture facilities.
  • Move New York to becoming a zero-solid waste state by 2030, with state funding provided for all municipalities to comply.
  • In an effort to reduce solid waste and increase recycling, expand New York's bottle bill law to include non-carbonated beverages such as iced tea, iced coffee, and juices.
  • Enact a statewide ban on polystyrene foam (Styrofoam) food and beverage containers.
  • Enact an immediate statewide ban on plastic carryout bags with a fee on other single use bags. The Green Party will continue to educate shoppers, corporations, and government on the harmful environmental impacts of plastic bags and will oppose efforts by the governor and the legislature to subvert the democratic right of municipalities to enact local laws on this issue.
  • Commit to a zero-discharge (or near zero) goal of industrial and agricultural pollution in our waterways, and watersheds that flow into water bodies shared with other states and countries.
  • Require full liability to be assumed by all companies operating in New York, despite bankruptcy or merger, for all waterway and land clean-up projects proposed.
  • Allow citizens to bring suit for violations of New York's environmental conservation laws.

Transport of Fossil Fuels and Hazardous Chemicals

  • Impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with “worst case scenario” spills and fires.
  • Require unlimited liability for all rail lines which carry hazardous chemicals or fossil fuels through New York State. Ban any company from doing such transport if they have been involved in a rail accident involving fossil fuels or hazardous chemicals. Ban all new fossil fuel and hazardous chemical import/export and processing/refining/storage facilities in New York; phase out existing facilities by 2025. Remove such facilities if located within a 1/4 mile of any body of water, and if located within a 1/2 mile of a residentially zoned area. Ban the transport of fossil fuels and hazardous chemicals by barge or transport ship in New York's waterways.
  • Assess local spill response capacities and invite county and local officials from communities at risk from crude oil shipping to join the state agency review at the outset.
  • Investigate and require companies currently operating in New York that are storing, handling, and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil, to provide proof of financial ability to respond to clean up efforts and claims resulting from such a spill in order to continue to lawfully operate in New York.

14. Transportation

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Introduction: The Green Party supports a transportation ecosystem that is ecologically sustainable. Mass transit is an integral part of that ecosystem and a society built for human need. It must be fully-funded, efficient, affordable, reliable, and accessible. Automobile use and its corollaries – air pollution, climate change, suburbanization, road and highway proliferation, urban neighborhood destruction – are hallmarks of how transit decisions made under a regime of urban industrial capitalism can endanger the planet and humanity with it. Transitioning to a regime of post-capitalist economic democracy requires intelligent mass transit choices that reduce environmental costs to a minimum and prioritize the needs of working class New Yorkers over the wealthy.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Mass Transit Planning

  • Develop a statewide mass transit plan that in the long run makes mass transit more economical to use than private vehicles.
  • Increase federal funding to expand public transit service access to underserved areas. Federal investment sufficient to bring the country's public transit systems to a state of good repair would create manufacturing sector jobs.
  • Fully fund the MTA.
  • Commit funding to expand mass transit to connect the corridor between Buffalo, Albany, and New York City and adjacent cities with high-speed passenger rail.
  • Support indigenous New York rail companies to design and build the passenger rail cars.
  • Build high-density webs of light-rail and bus rapid-transit in urban-suburban corridors across the state to reduce automobile use as much as possible. Fund them to allow them to be free or low-cost.
  • Electrify transportation using clean renewable electricity to power electrified trucks and cars on roads. Radically increase the more energy-efficient transport of people and freight through electrified freight rails, intra-urban mass transit, inter-urban rails, and a more advanced high-speed rail for longer inter-urban travel as an alternative to carbon-intensive air travel.
  • Transition to emissions-free buses and taxis (e.g., by vehicle electrification).
  • Award businesses and residents a tax credit to incentivize the use of public transit and biking, based on the costs saved from road repair, decreased air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution.
  • Make mass transit accessible to the disabled by installing elevators in all stations.
  • Increase access to transit options for the disabled, including paratransit and taxis.
  • Designate voting members representing transit users to local boards overseeing transit systems.

Taxis and Taxi Alternatives

  • Permit union organizing for taxicab and car service drivers.
  • Require the same regulations for taxi-alternatives as for taxis.

Freight

  • Re-prioritize transportation planning and funding from highways to railroads for transportation and shipping.

Motor Vehicles

  • Create a goal of car-free cities across the state by 2030.
  • Transition to emissions-free vehicles in rural areas where public transit is not a viable option.
  • Encourage car-pooling and expand the use of highway HOV lanes.

Pedestrians and Bicyclists

  • Encourage the choice of human powered transportation, by constructing pedestrian malls, greenways and walking paths, establishing bicycle lanes on most streets and roads, and making some streets and roads bicycle only.
  • Allow local governments to use state road and bridge money for bike and pedestrian paths.
  • Improve pedestrian facilities in urban areas by reclaiming paved open space and street space.
  • Improve bicycle parking by creating secure bicycle storage and parking facilities in office buildings and at all transit stations.
  • Expand state and federal funding of cycling infrastructure and transportation alternative programs.
  • Legally recognize various forms of electric bicycles as bicycles for various purposes, as in California with the passing of AB-1096.
  • Revise vehicle and traffic laws to better accommodate bicycles.

15. Food Systems and Nutrition

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Introduction: Access to adequate, safe, and nutritious food is a human right. Those who produce food have a right to a fair return for their labor. Food should be grown in a sustainable manner with adequate environmental and health protections.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Ensure a food system that provides an adequate income to farmers, food entrepreneurs, and food workers, along with safe and fair working conditions.
  • Provide universal access to ample, affordable, local, healthful, sustainably produced, and culturally meaningful food.
  • Establish public support for producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.
  • Provide support to communities suffering high incidences of food insecurity and diet-related disease.
  • Provide for inclusive, democratic community participation in food system policy at all levels of government.
  • Create a resilient regional food system that will better withstand the effects of climate change and other emergencies.
  • Establish a food hub in every county with a population over 100,000.
  • Institute an organic approach to food that opposes the use of harmful chemicals in our food system.
  • Encourage a vegetarian/vegan diet to reduce methane gas emissions that contribute to climate change, reduce animal suffering, reduce animal waste runoff in waterways, reduce animal consumption of grain that could feed the impoverished, and for improved health, among other reasons.

Farming

  • Only those family farmers who practice sustainable farming should be eligible for government subsidies.
  • Implement farm gate pricing. The prices paid to farmers for the produce from their farms should cover the full costs of production, including living wages for the farmers themselves and everyone who works on the farm, benefits including health coverage, retirement and workers comp for farmers and workers, and training and investment to cover maintenance and improvement of the farm. Contracts between farmers and their buyers should be negotiated, fair, and equitable.
  • Support a New York State farm worker bill of rights that protects the labor rights of farmworkers regardless of their immigration status.
  • Increase funding for preservation of farmland.
  • Encourage legislation that assists new farmers and ranchers, that promotes widespread ownership to small and medium-sized farms and ranches, that revitalizes and re-populates rural communities, and that promotes sustainable development and stewardship.
  • Support new farming and growing opportunities and urge the inclusion of non-traditional crops and foods in farm programs.
  • Support regenerative agriculture to restore carbon to the soil.
  • Decentralize agricultural lands, production, and distribution.
  • Support the development of vertical farms as a guarantee of food security for communities in large population areas and concentrated urban areas. The state of New York must provide grants and technical assistance for the creation of vertical farms that are organized as consumer cooperatives owned by members of the community. Vertical farms shall be defined as multi-story greenhouses that use hydroponic, aquaponic, and aeroponic methods to grow large quantities of food and are powered by renewable energy.
  • Require mandatory “Picked Premature” labeling of all fruits and vegetables, showing both location of origin and point in the growing season when harvested.

GMOs

  • Apply the Precautionary Principle to genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Support a moratorium until safety can be demonstrated by independent (non-corporate funded), long-term tests for food safety, genetic drift, resistance, soil health, effects on non-target organisms, and cumulative interactions. Support eliminating patent rights for genetic material, life forms, gene-splicing techniques, and biochemicals derived from them. Support the labeling of GMO foods.
  • Government should buy local food that does not contain GMOs, starting with school meals.
  • Adopt legislation allowing farmers to sue corporations that produce GMOs for any loss resulting from GMO contamination of their crops, including the cost of eliminating that contamination.

16. Animal Rights

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Introduction: Animals are sentient beings and should be free from exploitation and abuse for profit. A humane and ethical approach to animal welfare is needed.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Animal Testing

  • Phase out animal testing for consumer products and institute immediate labeling of animal testing or animal byproducts in existing products.
  • Use alternatives to animal testing for medical research whenever possible and move funding toward prevention and healthcare that eliminates the need for testing invasive procedures and drugs on animals.

Farm Animals

  • Support a rapid phase out of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) not only because of their adverse impact on the environment, but also on food safety (e.g., disease epidemics), public health, and animal protection.
  • Eliminate the subsidies that mask the true costs – environmental, physical, and moral – of animal-intensive diets, while providing resources to enforce animal safety standards on farms.

Use of Animals in Entertainment and Fashion

  • Phase out the use of animals in entertainment by transfer to or development of appropriate sanctuaries. This includes animals held in captivity in circuses and zoos for entertainment.
  • Ban the sale of fur. 
  • Ban the commercial use of carriage horses, or if a ban cannot be achieved, define safe work and living conditions that assure the horses’ welfare, e.g., not working them in extreme weather (hot or cold), providing adequate stall space, etc.
  • Ban, or at a minimum institute comprehensive reform of, the horse racing industry in the name of animal welfare. Horses are treated as a commodity: confined, drugged, forced to race at a young age and when injured, whipped and routinely put down as a result of their injuries, or slaughtered at retirement, all in the name of entertainment. Ban the use of drugs to increase recovery time, speed, etc. Make drug testing of race horses mandatory with hefty fines for violations. 
  • Ban the sale of out of service or retired horses to slaughter, requiring mandatory retirement to a sanctuary or farm.

Companion Animals

  • Governments should aggressively fund spay/neuter programs
  • Governments should provide financial assistance to local shelters and rescues, and encourage the development of well-run, no-kill shelters. This includes care for strays and companion animals through housing, adoption events, hiring workers to care for the animals, etc. 
  • End the killing of treatable and adoptable animals in shelters and rescues.
  • Governments should support microchipping of all companion animals whether adopted through rescues and shelters or purchased through breeders, so all animals can be traced to a responsible guardian.
  • Change department of health codes to allow groceries the use of companion animals, e.g., “bodega cats,” for pest control while ensuring that such animals pose no health risks.
  • Ban the sale of dogs, cats, and rabbits in pet stores and instead encourage adoptions by partnering with shelters and rescues.
  • Ban the importation and trade of wild or non-domesticated species as companion animals.
  • End the mutilation of companion animals for human aesthetics or convenience, such as tail docking or de-clawing.
  • Oppose breed-specific companion animal legislation as it results in unscientific, discriminatory practices.
  • End housing discrimination against companion animals by eliminating breed discrimination and no-pet clauses in multi-unit rentals while allowing rental responsibility and liability clauses as needed.

Drones and Wildlife

  • Ban the photographing of animals using drones or other means if it compromises their safety, interrupts their habitat, or changes the path they would have naturally been on were it not for the attention-drawing technology.

 

IV: Economic Justice and Sustainability

 

17. Jobs and Economic Democracy

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Introduction: All people who are able to work are entitled to a stable job at a living wage. All people should receive equal pay for the same job regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or disability. The Green Party must work to build a new economy in which workers and consumers exercise democratic control (and ownership) over economic decisions leading to a broader income distribution. In addition, work performed outside the monetary system, such as child and elder care, homemaking, voluntary community service, continuing education, civic participation, and the arts, has inherent social and economic value and is essential to a healthy, sustainable economy and peaceful communities.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Introduce a Green New Deal in New York State that shifts resources to invest in public jobs creation, including the construction of affordable housing units and other capital projects, retrofitting of existing buildings to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency, infrastructure to mitigate and prevent flooding of residences and vital utilities, and parks improvements. The program also could expand and improve the quality of public services in areas such as healthcare, childcare, education, recreation, elder care, and cultural enrichment.
  • Increase statewide county-by-county Equal Employment Opportunity hiring targets.
  • Amend the laws governing the state's economic development tax breaks to establish accountability related to job creation, including number of jobs and wages. Economic development programs should prioritize a set of performance metrics that can be used to evaluate and monitor the success of spending in relation to key goals, including local job creation and carbon emissions benchmarks. Communities must be able to easily monitor and assess the performance of their investments.
  • Abolish the Industrial Development Agencies around the state. The IDAs give unnecessary tax exemptions to corporations while not benefiting local residents.
  • Reduce the value of the initial Investment Tax Credit (ITC) while increasing the number of additional years (currently set at two) in which ITC beneficiaries can qualify for an Employment Incentive Credit by maintaining or increasing employment in New York. This will reduce (and, in some cases, eliminate) the benefits available to businesses that reduce employment while increasing the benefits to businesses that maintain or increase their levels of employment in New York State over time.
  • Develop and implement a mass transit-related economic development strategy.
  • Establish commercial rent control for small businesses.

Minimum Wage

  • Enforce the statewide minimum wage of $15 an hour, with no reduction in worker hours.
  • Allow local governments to establish a higher minimum wage for all workers.
  • End the tax subsidy for hiring teenagers at the minimum wage.
  • Expand minimum wage protection to tipped workers by paying them the same minimum wage as all workers without factoring in tipping which is arbitrary and often discriminatory.
  • Increase funding for the Department of Labor so that effective enforcement of minimum wage laws can be executed.

Assistance for Low Income Residents

  • Enact policies that target government subsidized job openings to low-income households. For example, “corporate subsidies” and public contracts should be tied to the hiring of public assistance participants and other low-income New Yorkers to fill entry-level positions.
  • Fund the job creation-related Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF) Initiatives: Career Pathways, Transitional Jobs, the Green Jobs Corps, and the Wage Subsidy program.
  • Ensure that a percentage of labor hours and job training hours connected with the Green Jobs – Green New York program are targeted to welfare recipients and other low-income people.
  • Provide public assistance participants with adequate basic employment supports, such as child care, education, transportation, and job training. Welfare benefits should be raised to a living standard above the poverty level.
  • Do not require welfare recipients to accept jobs that pay wages below a living wage, drive wages down, and exploit workers for private profit at public expense. Oppose Workfare as being a form of indentured servitude.

Wage Theft

  • To combat wage theft, the New York State Department of Labor must increase the number of investigators assigned to wage theft cases.
  • Strengthen New York State laws against wage theft so that victims of wage theft will be able to secure payment from their employers of unpaid wages for work already performed. Create a “wage lien” which would provide a lien remedy for all employees and allow victims of wage theft to attach an employer’s assets during the pendency of a court action. In addition, hold personally liable the largest owners of companies that engage in wage theft.

Worker Organizing

  • Repeal Taft-Hartley and the Taylor Law, and all anti-union laws that restrict the rights of workers to organize and go on strike.

Economic Democracy

  • Greens seek to build an alternative economic system based on ecology and decentralization of power, an alternative system that rejects both the capitalist system that maintains private ownership over almost all production as well as the old narrative of state socialism that assumes control over industries without democratic, local decision-making. We believe the old models of capitalism (private ownership of production) and state socialism (state ownership of production) are not ecologically sound, socially just, or democratic and that both contain built-in structures that advance injustices.
  • Instead, Greens will build an economy based on large-scale public works, municipalization, and workplace and community democracy. Some call this small-scale, decentralized system “ecological socialism,” “communalism,” or the “cooperative commonwealth,” but, whatever the terminology, Greens believe it will help end labor and environmental exploitation, racial, gender, and wealth inequality, and bring about economic and social justice. We support experimentation at the state and local levels to develop the forms of the future democratically run economy, including a basic guaranteed income for all, state start-up funding for worker owned and operated cooperatives, and an expansion of the commons.
  • Production should be democratically owned and operated by those who do the work and those most affected by production decisions. This model of worker and community control will ensure that decisions that greatly affect our lives are made in the interests of our communities, not at the whim of centralized power structures of state administrators and of capitalist CEOs and distant boards of directors. Worker-owned production, embedded in and accountable to our communities, provides an incentive for enterprises to make ecologically sound decisions in materials sourcing, waste disposal, recycling, reuse, and more. Democratic ownership of the means of production is the means to address centralization of workplace power and broader economic power.
  • The State of New York must provide grants and technical assistance for startup loans for cooperatives, a jobs program to place unemployed people into cooperatives, asset sharing between local cooperatives to reduce overhead and avoid market pressures to compromise, and employee buyout to convert existing businesses into cooperatives.
  • The State of New York must provide a basic income to all adult residents of the state through a sovereign wealth fund (i.e., a state-owned investment fund like the Alaska Permanent Fund).
  • The State of New York must provide grants and technical assistance for the development of the commons such as libraries of things/lending libraries for objects, product service systems such as car sharing and bike sharing, community land trusts in rural and urban areas, and commons-based welfare services.
  • The State of New York must provide a charter for a statewide network of local digital fabrication facilities giving community access to advanced manufacturing tools for the freedom to repair, modify, and create without having to rely on distant centralized factories and corporations. The goal should be at least one fab lab/makerspace in each county, and support to community stakeholders for their effective operation.
  • The state of New York must provide grants and technical assistance for the creation of community automation trusts. A community automation trust is a community-owned facility that houses, maintains, and rents out automated technology (e.g., robotic arms) to local businesses. The goal is to help reduce the amount of human labor needed to perform certain tasks, thus freeing up people's time for other pursuits and moving closer to a postscarcity society where people's basic needs are met.

Copyright

  • Support the use of new forms of copyright licenses in New York State to promote the development of the commons. These new forms of copyright licenses would allow free access to the commons for organizations that contribute to the commons and paid access to organizations that do not contribute to the commons.

Complementary Currencies

  • Promote the use of local complementary currencies as a means of boosting a locality's economy. Permit the acceptance of taxes and payment for services in the local currency, the issuance of municipal bonds and use of property to back currency, the chartering of local banks and currency clearing housing, and other similar actions by localities to support such currencies.

Monetary Reform

  • Support measures to enact the 'Greening the Dollar' plank in the national platform which aims to do three things: 1) nationalize the 12 federal reserve banks; 2) remove the power to create money from private commercial banks; and 3) create a system where all new money is created and put into circulation only by the U.S. government, creating tens of millions of new jobs.
  • Advocate for legislation comparable to the NEED Act (HR 2990, submitted to Congress in 2010 and 2011), which not only includes all 3 items in 'Greening the Dollar' but also provides powerful benefits to our states, counties, and municipalities: 
  1. Twenty-five percent of all new money created by the federal government should be given annually as grants, on a per capita basis, to the states. The states get to decide how to spend it, for example, to reduce state debt, reduce state taxes, etc. 
  2. The federal government will give interest-free loans to states, counties, and municipalities, making it possible to retire their bonded debt, remove interest expense, and reduce taxes.​

18. Progressive Taxation and Fiscal Policy

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Introduction: The Green Party strives for economic democracy through progressive taxation and fiscal policy. This includes a progressive income tax requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share. Restoring the more progressive state tax and revenue sharing policies of the 1970s would yield additional revenue while giving the majority of New Yorkers tax cuts. Measures include stopping the rebate of the stock transfer tax, eliminating corporate tax breaks and subsidies, and restoring state revenue sharing with local communities to previous levels. In addition, restricting local governments to taxing sales and property is both regressive and unjust. Home rule for municipalities should be allowed with the required changes to the NYS Constitution.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Require a 50% charge on all individual and organizational funds sent to offshore tax shelters, retroactive to transactions starting Jan 1, 1990. Impose stiff penalties for non compliance.
  • Support 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.
  • Encourage a land value tax. Taxing land value alone instead of “property” value reduces speculation in real estate, absentee landlordism, and has other advantages.

19. Public Banks

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Introduction: Unfair and abusive monetary and lending practices by the banking system are a major cause of economic problems in New York State. Many small business and community initiatives are unable to raise the capital needed to finance their work and/or are forced to pay usurious rates.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • New York should create a state-owned bank to target investment into the new technologies and businesses of a sustainable green economy. Public investment is the fastest way to jump-start private job creation.
  • The state bank would be capitalized by the deposits of state tax revenues, a portion of state pension funds, and private individuals, businesses, and pension funds that want to invest in the future of New York. This capital would then be invested in productive ventures in New York State that benefit the people.
  • The state bank will keep the interest collected for the benefit of the people.
  • The state bank would partner with local community banks and credit unions in financing new business activity. It would also refinance the mortgages of homes facing foreclosure on a reduced-principal, fixed-rate, long-term affordable basis. It should also have a technical assistance arm to develop worker and consumer cooperatives. Cooperatives are how we can own our jobs because they are locally owned, democratically controlled, and have no incentives to move jobs and capital out of state.

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  • Jessica Paxton
    published this page 2019-09-18 06:55:08 -0400