Proposals to amend the GPMN Platform will be considered at the Summer Membership Meeting June 23, 2018, in Winona (see Upcoming Events for details). To review the proposals, please click here.
Initial Platform Adopted June 1994, Revised June 1996, June 1998, June 2000, April 2001, June 2004, June 2006, June 2007, June 2010, May 2012, June 2014, June 2016.
Green political philosophy is inspired by four basic values: Ecology, Nonviolence, Social and Economic Justice, and Grassroots Democracy. Fundamentally, we believe human beings should understand themselves as part of a living planet, rather than attempting to dominate and exploit it, or each other. We seek to return to our nation’s original ideal government of, by, and for the people by empowering all of our citizens through direct, grassroots democracy.
We envision a world where people can live fulfilled lives by achieving their personal destiny as a contributing member of a living planet.
We envision the revitalization of culture and human interaction that can occur in communities of people living close together who play together, work together, share sorrows and joys together and care about the well-being of their neighbors.
We envision each community applying human-scale technologies in their workplaces and having a diversified base of businesses, which supply many of the product and service needs of that community.
We envision each community having a strong level of control over community affairs and over businesses within its boundaries. We envision national and regional governments which are truly democratically-controlled and which take true leadership in protecting the environment, bringing peace to the world, alleviating human suffering and promoting human development.
A. Human Rights
We call for a renewed recognition of human values, which have been eroded in modern culture: harmony, peace, cooperation, community, honesty, justice, equality, compassion, understanding and love.
1a. We oppose institutional, interpersonal and cultural racism. Greens view racism as prejudice plus power in which prejudice is systematically enforced by the distribution and use of resources, institutions and those who have access to them.
1b. Conscious efforts should be made by all persons in government (elected or appointed) to neutralize past discrimination when making decisions that affect the use of public resources and institutions.
1c. The United Nations defines genocide as an international crime committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnic, racial or religious group. Greens condemn the denial of genocide as an effort to absolve the perpetrator, blame the victims and erase the ethical meaning of the genocidal act. We call upon all societies with a history of genocide to face their past as a prerequisite for establishing democracy, peace, freedom, and justice.
2.) Native American Treaty Rights.
2a. We recognize that Native American land and treaty rights represent agreements between nations that have international legal standing and cannot be changed without the consent of all nations involved.
2b. We fully support legal, political and grassroots efforts of Native Americans to protect their rights, their livelihoods, their sacred places, their tribal sovereignty and natural resources.
2c. We applaud Native American efforts to establish and maintain community controlled, sustainable economic enterprises.
2d. Greens support the renewal of traditional cultures and practices which embody a wealth of spiritual and ecological teachings.
2e. Greens honor all Native American sovereignty and treaty rights including land and water rights,hunting, fishing and trapping rights and the right of self government.
2f. We encourage Native American nations and tribes to guarantee open and democratic systems of government.
The Greens are dedicated to aiding the completion of the historical task of feminism and transforming the relationship between men and women from one characterized by exploitation, violence and dominance to one based on equality and mutual respect.
3a. Greens support equal pay for work of comparable worth.
3b. We support hiring and promotions that include women in all areas and at all levels of business, government and nonprofits.
3c. Greens support efforts to eliminate the gender bias in education, which is visible in curriculum, teacher-student interactions, textbooks and role models.
3d. Greens support comprehensive prenatal, delivery, and postnatal care for all women and their infants with a price based on the woman’s ability to pay.
4.) Reproductive Freedom
4a. Greens support the right of women to full reproductive freedom and to determine the degree of technological intervention, including abortion, that they deem necessary for their own care and protection regardless of ability to pay. Women old enough to conceive are old enough to make decisions regarding the termination of their pregnancy without needing the permission of others.
4b. We support full privacy for individuals who receive or give licensed provision of an abortion.
4c. We believe individuals have the right to access voluntary family planning and counseling services, and to scientifically accurate information concerning human reproduction and sexuality.
4d. We oppose mandatory waiting periods for abortion services.
4e. We support amendments to the state and national constitutions which provide an explicit right to personal privacy.
4f. Greens support the mandatory dispensing of all contraceptive prescriptions by pharmacists.
4g. We support requiring crisis pregnancy centers and pregnancy counseling centers to post a sign on their doors that states what services they do and do not provide, including: abortion services, abortion referral, birth control and medical staff on site.
5.) Sexual Orientation
The Greens are committed to full equal civil rights for people of all sexual/affectional orientations and gender identities.
6a. We support a society that includes an intergenerational influence in its meaningful work and community activities.
6b. We value the perspective of people of all ages and work to overturn the social, institutional and political marginalization of young people and the elderly.
6c. Greens stand against any form of elder abuse, whether it be physical, financial, or psychological, and will oppose it wherever it occurs.
6d. The Greens support mandatory diversity training for caregivers of members of the elderly community, as one in ten members of the elderly population is classified as a minority. Training should include religious and cultural awareness, as well as issues concerning elderly members of the GLBTQ community including spouses of elderly members of the GLBTQ community being granted the same rights as elderly spouses of the heterosexual community.
7.) People with Disabilities
The Green Party supports protections for Americans with disabilities and will include practices within our own organization as well as support protections in outside organizations that assist with grassroots participation of members who face challenges surrounding disabilities.
8.) Military Personnel
8a. We oppose holding US servicepersons beyond their terms of enlistment.
8b. Greens support full services for veterans, including psychological, emotional, educational, vocational, and medical needs.
9.) End all Torture
Greens demand a ban on any and all forms of torture and that the United States abides by Geneva Conventions.
10.) Move to Amend
We reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission, and move to amend to the U.S. Constitution to establish that:
- Money is not speech; and
- Human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.
11.) Separation of Church and State
We advocate strict separation of church and state, and the expenditure of no tax dollars to support sectarian organizations. We also support the free exercise of religion which does not look to the state for funding.
12.) Indefinite Military Detention
The Green Party condemns indefinite military detention and advocates that section of the National Defense Authorization Act be repealed
13.) Peaceful Protest
The Green Party supports the right to peaceably assemble and protest in near and close proximity to the focus of the action. We condemn all forms of brutality and oppression, such as mass arrests, pepper spraying and restriction of movement to designated gated areas.
14.) Freedom to Organize
The Green Party supports the right of human beings to organize in support of the Ten Key Values without fear of being harassed, infiltrated, raided or accused of criminal behavior.
Greens seek to create an economy in which wealth and economic power is distributed broadly among the entire population rather than concentrated in a few hands; we reject domination of economic life by corporate and government oligarchies alike; we believe in a marketplace governed not only by supply and demand, but also by a conscious commitment to the welfare of all participants in that marketplace, as well as a commitment to ecological harmony with the rest of the natural world.
1.) Investment in Children
Investment in children and those who care for them is an investment in the future of both the human race and the planet. We believe that all children have a right to housing, healthy food, medical care, education and loving, competent caregivers, and we support policies and programs that help ensure these rights.
2.) Workers Superfund
Greens support the establishment of a fund to provide education retraining, and interim income to workers displaced by bankruptcies, shutdowns, technology shifts, environmental reforms, and conversions from military to civilian production. Funding should also be made available where appropriate to assist workers in purchasing and operating economically viable plants and other facilities that are threatened with closing by corporate owners.
3.) Excessive Personal and Corporate Wealth
Through a progressive tax structure, relying on income and inheritance taxes, and eliminating loopholes that overwhelmingly benefit the wealthy, a check should be placed on the growing concentration of wealth in the hands of people who do not contribute to productivity yet exercise tremendous economic and political power.
4.) Cooperatives and Public Enterprises
We support laws that would encourage the formation of consumer cooperatives, worker cooperatives, and community land trusts. We also support public ownership especially of essential services such as utilities and mass transportation.
5.) Business Decentralization
The Green Party call for restructuring and decentralizing corporate conglomerates through legislation prohibiting the ownership of one private corporation by another. We advocate community-based and community-owned industries, whether public or private, and the accountability of business to employees and neighbors.
We support evaluating all goods and services on the basis of their true social/ecological costs, including their resource extraction, manufacture, processing, marketing, durability, and disposability.
We oppose the trend toward overuse of public subsidies to private corporations. Such subsidies should be used sparingly, and only when they serve a demonstrable community need, such as the creation of living wage jobs.
8.) Responsible Globalization
8a. Rather than a “free” trade policy that obeys only the mandate of corporations to maximize profit, we support fair exchange among nations of goods, services, and capital, regulated to assure human rights, labor rights and environmental conservation among trading partners. This means favoring local self-sufficiency over export for cash.
8b. The Green Party only supports those trade agreements that set strong and fully enforceable protections for environmental, labor and food safety standards; protect democratic freedoms, and provide for dispute resolution processes that are open to citizens. Green Party demands the revocation of all trade agreements that do not meet
9.) Accountability to Other Nations
9a. Greens advocate solidarity with and support for people throughout the world struggling to control their own lives. In keeping with our international responsibility, we condemn United States government decisions to disregard international law and the World Court.
9b. We also oppose the exportation of harmful products that cannot legally be sold at home or that are for destructive purposes (e.g., military materials, pesticides, non FDA-approved contraceptives).
9c. We support a global single-ethic for the workplace: wages and environmental standards set for corporations operating within the United States must be met by those corporations and their subsidiaries in all the nations they operate. Failure to meet these standards should result in the revocation of their corporate charter.
Greens call for the re-engineering of current technologies and the development of new technologies for clean production. Greens also support the development of technologies that can be applied on a small-scale basis instead of the current concentration on technologies for massive and large-scale production.
11.) Manufacturer Responsibility
We support manufacturer’s cradle-to-grave responsibility for the end use products that it creates. Manufacturers would be responsible for the recovery and recycling of materials used in their products. That responsibility would engender more thoughtful product design and materials selection
12.) Communications Technology
We support the adoption of international standards for telecommunications systems, protocols and services. Communications technology has the potential to significantly reduce business travel, employee commuting and the associated waste of nonrenewable and human resources
13.) Worker Retraining
We encourage and support worker retraining such as existing business/social service professional mentorships to assist in changes in profession. Internship and apprenticeship programs should be supported by the community and its businesses.
14.) Level Playing Fields for Environmental, Labor and Social Standards
We support “level playing field” laws and the right for our Nations, States, and Localities to implement them. These allow communities to adopt minimum environmental, labor, and social standards that are stricter than National and International standards, and create fees for outside corporations and their products that nullify any competitive advantage they have by operating from places with lower standards. This would reverse the present “race to the bottom” of lowest possible standards that transnational corporations are imposing on communities worldwide.
15.) Workplace Democracy
We support laws and public policies that encourage and support greater control and decision-making power for the workers of corporations.
16.) Social Security
We call for the removal of the cap on the amount of income that is taxed for Social Security. The presence of this cap makes the Social Security tax a profoundly regressive tax on the poor and the middle class. A person making a million dollars per year pays no more Social Security tax than someone making $68,000 a year. All persons should receive equal Social Security benefits upon retirement. The present system ties benefits to the amount of money earned in one’s lifetime.
17.) Code for Corporate Responsibility
The Green Party of Minnesota supports legislation to amend the Minnesota state corporate charter. Charter shall name the mission of corporations to make profits for shareholders but not at the expense of the environment, human rights, the public health and safety, the communities in which they operate, or the dignity of their employees.
18.) Living Wage Jobs
18a. Greens support living wage laws and ordinances requiring private businesses that benefit from public money to pay their workers enough so that they can support themselves and provide for their own basic needs. Public dollars should be reserved for those private sector employers who demonstrate a commitment to providing decent, family supporting jobs in our local community.
18b. Greens support Living Wage policies that require companies receiving public money to honor the rights of workers to organize, form or join unions if they so choose.
18c. Living Wage policies, ordinances and legislation that require the largest companies to provide living wage jobs, even without receiving any public subsidy, should also be considered.
19.) Outsourcing of Jobs
The Green party opposes privatization or outsourcing of public services.
20.) Right to Unionize
20a. The Green Party supports the right of working people to form or join labor unions.
20b. The Green Party expects our endorsed candidates and elected officials to actively assist working people to form or join labor unions, by advocating legislation to protect workers’ organizing rights, opposing the use of public funds to block organizing efforts, asking employers to maintain neutrality, walking on picket lines, and taking other supportive actions.
21.) Open Source Software
The Green Party advocates the use of open source software.
22.) State Bank of Minnesota
We support legislation to create a state bank owned by the people of Minnesota.
1.) Energy Conservation and Reduction
Greens place a high emphasis on gaining efficiencies in energy usage so that total energy usage is reduced.
2.) Nuclear Power
2a. The Greens call for an immediate end to all investments in nuclear power, and the early shutdown of all nuclear reactors as soon as possible, replacing them with energy conservation measures and non-polluting sustainable energy sources.
2b. We demand that every state that has a nuclear power plant store its own nuclear waste in as responsible manner as possible within the boundaries of that state, and that immediate action be taken locally to address nuclear waste storage.
2c. The Green Party demands that no public money be used to subsidize insurance coverage for nuclear power plants.
3.) Energy Utilities
3a. We support an electric rate setting structure that encourages the development of least-cost planning in the electric utility industry. The intent is to create an incentive for utilities and new competitors to invest in energy efficiency and conservation. It is an important step toward making renewable energy sources economically viable.
3b. We support public ownership of electric utilities.
3c. We support and encourage the right of local government entities to evict for-profit utilities and create energy utilities, to directly...and to acquire the distribution assets occupying rights-of-way at a fair price.
3d. The Green Party calls for public release of detailed maps of all private utility assets to allow effective 3rd party and public review of any proposed non-publicly owned utility asset.
4.) Alternative Energy Sources
We support the phasing out of ecologically harmful sources of energy, such as non-renewable fossil fuels. We support the immediate large-scale research and development of alternative energy sources including solar power, wind power, and biomass conversion for use in both the power grid and in transportation.
5.) Building Codes
Greens support amending building codes to require the use of alternative energy sources on some portion of new residential, commercial and government construction, additional insulation and weatherproofing, and double pane window glass. We encourage a revision of zoning laws to allow for protection of solar access and other small-scale energy production units.
6.) Taxation and Subsidies
6a. We support the elimination of subsidies, tax benefits, and research funding to nuclear and other non-renewable energy corporations and utilities.
6b. We propose the imposition of fair and equitable carbon taxes on all fossil fuels. These taxes would be an incentive for efficiency and conservation and would be earmarked to fund the development of renewable energy resources.
6c. We support partial subsidies for the rebuilding of certain infrastructures along more ecologically sustainable lines, including public transportation.
7.) Coal Gasification
Greens oppose the siting of any coal gasification plants in Minnesota.
8.) Peak Oil and Energy Depletion
8a. Greens acknowledge the seriousness and reality of peak oil and energy depletion.
8ai. Peak Oil is defined as the peak in world oil production.
8aii. Energy Depletion is a broader term that involves the depletion of the world’s fossil fuels. At current and rising consumption rates, all fossil fuels cannot last many more decades or generations.
8b. In addition ongoing fossil fuel burning not only depletes energy but also results in the equally serious issue of climate change.
8c. Greens call for local, regional and statewide measures to help in softening the coming forced decline of oil and natural gas use.
8ci. Greens encourage “relocalization” efforts to produce as much local food and local energy as possible.
8cii. Greens encourage reducing fossil fuel energy use (energy conservation), while increasing the practices of permaculture, local & organic agriculture, intentional communities and community dialogue.
1.) Sustainable Agriculture
1a. Greens promote a shift from intensive agricultural systems that depend heavily on petrochemically based fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and phosphates.
1b. Greens support sustainable practices such as crop rotation, unprocessed natural fertilizers, disease resistant indigenous plants, integrated pest management and crop cultivation.
1c. Greens support full labeling of all pesticides and herbicides, when they are used to produce food, and labeling of the country of origin (state & county in USA).
1d. We support the maintenance and development of smaller, community or privately owned farms that provide a variety of agricultural products and can be managed on a human scale. Farming and food production should be encouraged in cities, towns, and suburbs as well as in the countryside.
1e. All farm animals must be humanely treated and respected in their own right. Diversity and natural husbandry must be used to maintain healthy stock.
1f. Greens support local and sustainable food practices, encouraged by tax incentives.
1g. We encourage food distribution systems which ensure that a higher percentage of money spent on food goes to the farmers rather than to food processors, packagers, and distributors.
1h. We support the implementation of Organic Certification Standards.
1i. Greens promote the development of new and ecologically sound agricultural products, including non-food uses of plant fiber, hemp and agricultural waste.
1j. Farmers should be allowed to plant industrial hemp.
1k. Greens advocate growing crops in Minnesota for local consumption, and reducing the amount of food that is shipped here from the southern and western United States.
1l. In order to enable farmers to get a fair price, federal and state law should prohibit meat packers from owning livestock for more than 14 days before slaughter.
1m. We oppose efforts to weaken or “streamline” environmental review of large development projects, including feedlot operations.
2.) Food and Health
2a. Greens recognize that a vegetarian or vegan diet is an alternative that is less harmful to the environment, to humans and to animals. We support a reduction in animal agriculture to provide more opportunity for grain production to feed the human population.
2b. Public education should include non-biased information on proper nutrition.
2c. The Greens oppose the use of irradiation on agricultural products.
3a. Greens oppose the use of growth producing hormones and the preventative use of antibiotics in the production of livestock.
3b. We call for mandatory labeling, and a five-year moratorium, on products, and development of products, using genetically engineered organisms, from seed, to processing, to table, including Bovine Growth Hormone.
3c. In keeping with the Precautionary Principle, all genetically engineered products must be proven safe to long-term public health and the long-term integrity of the environment before being put on the market or having any possible chance to enter the environment.
3d. We oppose the patenting of life forms.
3e. Administering bovine growth hormone (rBGH) to milk cows should be prohibited.
3f. Greens stand with native tribes in Minnesota in support of legislation that would ban production of genetically modified wild rice in the state of Minnesota.
E. Land Use
1) Community and Economic Development
Greens call for an end to poorly planned, sprawling and costly land uses that threaten our environment, health, and quality of life. These include sprawling, scattered strip malls, highways, and housing that increase traffic, sap local resources, increase air and water pollution, destroy parks, farms, wetlands and forests and increase the risk of flooding.
1a. We advocate for the revitalization of already developed areas by attracting new businesses, reducing crime and improving schools and for land use policies that direct development towards existing neighborhoods and the infrastructure and resources they offer.
1b. We call for the establishment of urban growth boundaries that preserve open space, farmland, parks, forests, wetlands, flood plains and other natural resources and critical environmental areas on the urban fringe.
1c. We support investment in alternate forms of transportation and the development of more walkable, pedestrian-friendly neighborhoods.
1d. We advocate land use and development strategies that provide a range of quality housing options for people of all income levels, the use of more compact building design as an alternative to conventional, land consumptive development and the integration of mixed land uses into communities.
1e. We support land use planning that encourages community and stakeholder collaboration where a vision and standards for development and construction can be set that respond to each community’s own goals and values and one that makes development decisions predictable, fair and open so that land use plans can be embraced by the both the public and private sectors.
2a. Cost of timber
Greens advocate raising the price of publicly owned timber in Minnesota to reflect the true costs of managing virgin fiber. Detailed cost accounting must be instituted at the Dept. of Natural Resources, based on the model already in use by the United States Forest Service. All auctions of public timber must be public, and no bids below true timber price would be accepted.
2b. We must stop destroying forests and adopt a policy of reforestation of marginal and open public lands, where appropriate.
2c. Goal of Public Forestry
The primary management goal of public forestry should shift from fiber production (commodities) to enhancing biodiversity. Particular emphasis must be placed on preserving all remaining old growth forests in their natural state. This should be done in part by increasing the acreage of State Parks in a manner that establishes contiguous corridors for the purpose of wildlife.
2d. Recycled Fiber
We support the use of tax incentives to encourage the use of recycled fiber, and disincentives for using virgin fiber.
2e. Community Greenlands
We support the creation of multiple use community forests on marginal farm land. The purpose would be to: capture carbon, protect soils, moderate water runoff, produce fuel and food, provide recreation, cool the air, shelter human communities and to provide wildlife habitat.
2f. We call for no off highway vehicle or snowmobile use on public lands, except for hunting and gathering (no “recreational” use.)
3a. Greens advocate for a drastic reduction in the use of mining for oil, natural gas, and non-ferrous metals. Instead, we support investment in renewable energy, conservation, and holistic product design.
3b. Greens oppose the mining of tar sands and frack sands, and the use of hydraulic fracturing for the development of oil and natural gas reserves.
3c. No sulfide mines shall be permitted as they threaten Minnesota’s water resources and natural heritage.
F. Waste Management
Greens support a waste management philosophy that prioritizes in the following order: reduce, reuse, recycle, and compost. Given the inherent limitations of recycling, and the fact that it uses considerable energy and may cause pollution in its own right, drastic reduction of waste at the source, and maximum reuse of products is essential. Put simply, we have to create far less garbage to begin with if we are to manage our garbage problem. Zero Waste can help fight climate change, contribute to local economic development, and foster justice. Additionally, Zero Waste can foster more green jobs in a system that values people as well as the environment. We adopt the internationally recognized definition of Zero Waste developed by Zero Waste International Alliance.
Greens recognize that we must reclaim the virtue of frugality, replacing overconsumption and its attendant waste which came to be valued during the industrial age. The first priority of any Zero Waste plan must be waste minimization. Only reduction at the source in manufacturing and packaging will solve our growing waste problems.
Our second priority toward Zero Waste is maximum reuse of materials. Although we support current recycling efforts, we realize that labor and energy are required to recycle. Ensuring that durable goods are designed to be repaired and reused is vital for change. We must adopt standardized reusable containers, mechanical parts, and other goods wherever possible.
Our third Zero Waste priority is recycling. We support the expansion and increased efficiency of all current recycling efforts, and encourage recyclable product design.
All materials that are derived from nature and have been proven to break down into soil must be composted in order to reduce waste and help renew soil, which is being depleted at a rate 17 times faster than it is created. Manufactured products must be third-party certified to break down in an industrial composting facility and be certified to meet the ASTM D6400 or ASTM D6868 standard.
Greens support a goal of zero discharge of toxic chemicals from industry, agriculture, communities and landfills. Until we have accomplished the transition to a sustainable society, residue of waste streams that remain after exhausting the first three Zero Waste priorities must be permanently isolated from the environment in a manner that protects against toxic releases and allows future recovery of additional useful materials. The costs of such disposal must be internalized and included in the price of products or services requiring it.
6.) Plastic Bags
The Green Party of Minnesota calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags and a fee on all other single-use bags in an effort to further conserve resources and protect the planet and all its inhabitants.
G. Air and Water
1a. Greens have a goal of eliminating use and emissions of all air polluting substances. We advocate stringently tightening national air pollutant health and emission standards, expanding the number of substances monitored and regulated, increasing testing, and establishing stiffer penalties and better-funded remedial programs for violators. We must also seek international agreements to reduce air pollution from all sources.
1b. Greens support the development of non-fossil fuel and non-combustion methods of transportation technology.
1c. We support the collection of all used heating and cooling units to recover or destroy CFCs used as refrigerants or insulation. Service and salvage operations that deal with air conditioning units should be required to recover all CFCs.
1d. We support HR2919 and other legislation that addresses the problem of indoor air quality that would help stop the proliferation of chemicals in our work places and homes which cause health problems.
1e. We support legislation that addresses the use of “Good Neighbor Agreements” where industries and neighborhood groups can come meet in a non-adversarial, nonregulatory setting and develop steps of action to reduce emission of toxic pollutants.
1f. Greens would require that the state of Minnesota, through a replacement process, convert its vehicle fleet to a bio-fuel burning, low emission, or zero emission vehicle fleets which is to result in net energy conservation.
1g. Greens support initiatives that install state of the art mercury control technologies for air emissions and ash waste on all new and existing coal fired power plants. We urge the state of Minnesota to establish enforceable mercury reduction targets based on a 90% reduction by 2010, and virtual elimination by 2020.
1h. The Green Party opposes the incineration of scrap tires due to the potential health, economic and environmental impacts that would be caused; and supports enacting legislation that any use of tire-derived fuel be subject to waste combustor regulations and that tire-derived fuel be considered a fossil fuel for major source review under Title V air permitting standards.
1i. Greens acknowledge that global warming and climate change are serious issues that should be addressed statewide. The Green Party resolves to organize at all levels to reduce human-made greenhouse gas emissions.
2a. Greens support development of national, regional, and local groundwater protection policies requiring elimination of all pollution of groundwater and long-term management of all aquifers.
2b. Greens believe that residential and commercial water pricing in both rural and urban areas ought to be determined and based on a fair cost for water usage which applies all expenses actually involved in water acquisition: transportation, storage, and quality maintenance and restoration.
2c. Greens demand an immediate halt to the destruction of all existing wetlands. Greens support measures to restore certain previously existing wetlands.
2d. Greens propose a groundwater management program that would include regular and extensive quality testing of aquifers, regulation of groundwater pumping to avoid drafting aquifers faster than their recharge rate and to avoid leaching of salts and dissolved solids, banning of deep well injection of hazardous waste, wetlands conservation to assure adequate surface area for groundwater recharge, programs to clean up previous dumping and landfill with potential for groundwater contamination and to avoid future contaminating dumping, and development of bioregional strategies for cleaning toxified aquifers.
2e. Zero discharge of toxic chemicals or heavy metals into water or into landfill and land dumping sites must be enforced by law with heavy penalties for violation, including the revocation of business license. Landfills must be required to be lined and contained. All underground storage tanks containing toxics must be required to be of the double container type. To reduce salt content in wastewater, self-regenerating water softeners must contain built-in salt recovery systems.
2f. Greens support agricultural practices which use water efficiently and avoid polluting it, such as low runoff tillage methods, drip irrigation, use of compost, and organic growing methods not applying chemical pesticides and fertilizers to the land and recycling organic wastes.
2g. We support legislation, financial incentives, and educational programs being developed and/or expanded to encourage conservation and reuse of water, low-use water systems, and reduced use patterns in all residential and commercial buildings.
2h. Present and future water supply projects should be funded on the user-pays principle rather than by taxpayer subsidy.
2i. We propose that all water and sewage management be converted to publicly owned and democratically-organized regional agencies, ideally in the form of consumer cooperatives.
2j. The MN legislature should give municipalities, park districts and watershed districts the power to ban certain classes of pesticides (including but not limited to diazinin, 2,4-D, and MCPP) from golf courses, private lawns and park lands in their areas.
3.) Environmental Outlook Documents
We support the development of Environmental Outlook documents to support environmentally responsible, long range political and economic decision making, based on the best information available from our technical and social scientists. The documents would be used for international, national, regional, state, county and city planning activities. They would be updated annually based on the latest information available. Projections for conditions for 10, 25, 50 and 100 years into the future should be included. Prototype documents, and completed and commented documents could be made available via ECONET to all levels of the global community. Tailoring of the prototypes would enable specific local versions to address local concerns and priorities.
We oppose the use of motorized watercraft or land vehicles in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.
1.) Public Transportation.
We support the rebuilding of public transportation into a convenient and financially attractive alternative to massive individual vehicle use.
2.) Combustion Engines
Greens advocate reducing as much as possible the amount of internal-combustion engine vehicular traffic, especially in cities. Ultimately, the Greens support a reduction of combustion engine traffic through a reorganization of living patterns into a self-reliant, human-scaled society.
3.) Alternatives for Transportation
Transportation alternatives should be efficient, be sustainable, have a small ecological footprint, minimize fossil fuel use, be accessible to all, and be economically efficient. We recognize that a variety of transportation modes are necessary to achieve these goals.
4.) Automobile Efficiency
4a. Greens support mandated increases in automobile efficiency.
4b. The Green Party supports tax incentives for purchase of fuel-efficient, carbon-neutral and/or alternative energy vehicles, and disincentives for vehicles that are not fuel-efficient.
Greens recommend designation or construction of bicycle lanes (or separate bicycle pathways) on or parallel to every second or third street in cities and the installation of bicycle racks at business, recreational, shopping, and other public destinations.
6.) Plant and Non-fossil Based Fuels
Greens support ecologically responsible and sustainable development of plant-based fuels and other non-fossil fuels.
7.) Downtown Transportation
We support designating free mass transit areas within the major business districts of Minnesota’s major cities to promote use of mass transit, limit automobile traffic in downtown areas and promote use of downtown businesses.
8.) Automobile Free Zones
We support the designation of automobile free zones within downtown areas.
9.) Railroad Right of Ways
Greens support prohibiting the use of herbicides on railroad right of ways and encourage the use of seasonal burning to prevent wild fires and promote the return of native prairie growth.
10.) Public Transit Funding
Greens support increased and stable funding for non-auto transit infrastructure and operating costs over further expenditures for automobile based infrastructure.
11.) Rail to Trail
Greens support public acquisition of railroad rights of way for use as trails, mass transit, or other public benefits, as determined within a broader planning process.
I. Health Care
1.) Single Payer Health Program
1a. Given that health care is a right, we support a single-payer health program designed to serve all residents equitably. Responsibility for such health care will be shared by the individual, workplace, and government.
1b. In the absence of a national health care program we support legislation creating a universal and comprehensive single-payer system within the state of Minnesota, including provisions for control of prescription drug prices, treatment of mental illness, home and community based long-term care, and availability of proven alternative forms of medicine.
2.) Alternative Health Care
We support access/choice, through the national health plan, to use alternative care providers such as chiropractors, massage therapists, acupuncturists, and nutritional analysts. We oppose attempts to regulate such personnel except by licensing and review boards made up of representatives of their respective alternative health care fields.
3.) Elderly Care
We support deinstitutionalization of vulnerable persons and the elderly, and favor less costly support services for the long-term care of such persons. These services would include home health care and assisted living for the elderly, respite care and group homes.
4.) Mental Health
We support the rights of patients in mental health systems to provide informed consent for their treatments to the extent possible. We support the use of alternative and complementary therapies in the treatment of mental illness. We oppose compulsory medication of the mentally ill without judicial oversight and review.
5.) Smoking Ban
We support a ban on smoking in all workplaces, to include bars, restaurants, and coffee houses. All employees should be able to work in a smoke free environment.
6.) Medical Marijuana
Greens support the legal use of marijuana by patients with terminal and chronic illnesses, if their physicians have recommended its use. Greens support a system of state regulated nonprofit dispensaries to dispense marijuana to patients meeting these criteria.
7.) Training and Supplying Midwifery Care Statewide
We support training for traditional midwives and supplying midwifery care in each and every community statewide.
8.) Doula Care
We call for legislation to ensure that doula care is covered by private and public health insurance for all who desire this care.
9.) End-of-Life Options
9a. Upon diagnosing any patient with a terminal illness or upon a prognosis of less than one year to live, a health care provider or health care institution shall offer to provide to the patient counseling and written information about all end-of-life care options legal in Minnesota, including hospice care, refusal or withdrawal of life-sustaining treatment, voluntary cessation of eating and drinking, and palliative sedation.
9b. We support the legalization of physician aid in dying: a terminally ill, mentally competent adult whose diagnosis is verified by two physicians can request and receive from one’s physician a prescription for lethal medications that will end one’s life quickly and painlessly.
1.) Support to Families
1a. We support family friendly policies including employer-paid leave for birth, adoption of a child, death of a family member, or to take care of any sick family members. Public funds shall be available to reduce the burden on small businesses.
1b. We advocate increasing the minimum wage so that all Minnesotans who work full time are able to support themselves and their families.
1c. We support maintaining a board, with broad parent and professional representation, at the state level for the planning and coordination of public and private services for children and families.
1d. We support local planning councils and collaboratives to assess the needs of children and adolescents at the local level and develop resources to meet those needs, provide technical assistance with service implementation and educate consumers and providers.
1e. We oppose the commercialization of private life. We oppose unsolicited commercial advertising and marketing.
2a. The Greens promote public funding of community-based support services for elders to avoid unnecessary nursing home placement and encourage the highest degree of independence, dignity and choice.
2b. We encourage the formation of programs which supports the use of wisdom, expertise and energy of elders in service to the community for those who choose to participate in community programs. Education and access should be emphasized in what community and social programs have to offer, and assistance provided when and where it is needed, including transportation.
2c. Housing options for elders should include multigenerational settings and peer based settings. We support independent living arrangements for elderly citizens who choose to remain at home, and support community assistance with these arrangements whenever possible.
2d. We support the option of worker retirement phase-in over a period of several years to ease the working to not working transition trauma and allow time for economic and personal adjustment, to develop replacement social connections and to help people find a new place in the community.
3a. We advocate the full participation of children in determining how their needs can best be assured.
3b. The Greens advocate adopting the U.N. Convention “The Rights of Children” as the basis for national policies protecting children from abuse and neglect, armed conflicts, imposed labor, lack of education, discrimination because of differing abilities, ill health, sexual exploitation, denial of nationality and restricted development.
3c. We acknowledge the legitimacy and value of diverse family arrangements and support primary caregivers (parents, guardians etc.).
3d. We support the availability of comprehensive programs that address child care, child health care, adequate income, parent skills and family enrichment skills.
3e. We support government funding for programs that meet the needs of the poor for food, shelter, child care, health care, job training, and education.
3f. We oppose threats or use of corporal punishment, and we support the prohibition of corporal punishment in institutional settings. We support initiatives to teach alternative, nonviolent forms of discipline.
3g. We support providing treatment for all juveniles in the legal system who may want or need treatment for mental health and drug problems.
3h. While working to end domestic violence against women and children, we support services and shelters for battered women and their children, as well as education/outreach efforts so that services will be available as long as they are needed for all women who need or want them in every county in Minnesota.
3i. We support full funding of crisis nurseries, respite care to help prevent abuse by providing child and safe housing for children whose parents are temporarily unable to care for them.
3j. The Greens support expanding the state mandate requiring breakfast to be served in schools where more than 30% of the students receive free and reduced lunches.
3k. We support school programs that provide more pesticide free, organic, fresh produce with limited packaging and food prepared on site.
3l. A qualified, consistent, fairly paid and culturally responsive caregiver should be ensured for every child in child care by preventing the deterioration of current licensing standards. Increase licensing staff and promote annual visits and support for care providers.
3m. Childhood immunizations should be made available for all families that desire them by increased collaboration; by offering immunizations through early childhood programs; educating parents and doctors about the possible benefits and risks of immunizations; and by keeping better track of children’s immunizations.
3n. We should improve and expand early childhood services for children with special needs by supporting a voluntary professional accreditation system for providers and programs serving special needs children, making screening and therapeutic services available to homes and centers serving special needs children and linking special needs programs with Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Screening and Early Childhood Special Education programs.
3o. Access to child care should be assured for every school-aged child of working parents who needs it. Include school-aged and other child care programs in the criteria for family services collaborative grants.
4.) Domestic Partners
4a. Greens recognize domestic partnerships between same-sex couples.
4b. We support full domestic partner benefits for public and private employees.
4c. We support rights of same-sex couples to co-parent, become foster parents or jointly adopt children by applying the same standards and requirements as those applied to different-sexed couples.
4d. We support legalizing marriage for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons by applying the same standards, requirements, privileges, and responsibilities as applied to different-sexed couples.
1.) Housing Codes and Standards
Housing codes and construction standards should require and reward energy efficiency.
2.) Public Housing
Greens support volunteer efforts to address public housing problems.
3.) Tax Forfeited Land and Buildings
Donation of tax forfeited land and buildings suitable for housing to nonprofits and public institutions should be encouraged.
4.) Affordable Housing
4a. We support accessible, low income housing integrated into all communities.
4b. We support comprehensive statewide efforts, plans and funding to reduce or eliminate homelessness in Minnesota by 2012 and to provide safe, decent and affordable housing to all Minnesotans.
4c. We support community land trusts as a way to improve affordability of home ownership.
5.) Alternative Ownership
We support co-housing developments and cooperative housing arrangements owned and managed by the residents of such developments.
6.) Housing Allowances
We support providing housing allowances for Minnesota Family Investment Program families.
7.) Rental and Mortgage Assistance
Temporary rental and mortgage assistance should be increased through the Emergency Mortgage and Rental Assistance program in order to provide families with counseling services, grants and loans for 6 months, to help them stay in their homes when they have a temporary disruption of income including layoff, medical problems or divorce.
8.) Lead Poisoning Prevention
We support funding to prevent lead poisoning, especially in high risk urban neighborhoods in order to adequately fund such projects as the lead poisoning prevention “swab teams.”
9.) Standards for Carpeting Materials
We support state and local legislation that sets standards for building materials (including but not limited to paints, adhesives, carpeting, composite materials and cabinetry) that reduces or eliminates toxicity. These standards should apply to workplaces, residences, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles.
10.) Eminent Domain
We support legislative changes to eminent domain law that do not exempt utilities. In addition, the “Buy the Farm” provision, that allows landowners to require a full taking so they can move away, must cover all high-voltage transmission lines and pipelines as defined in the statute.
We support maintaining the right of counties and townships to go beyond state standards for land use and local development and to enact zoning ordinances to protect the health and well-being of their communities.
L. State Spending
All expenditures should be met with measurable, demonstrated results which requires that results be evaluated rigorously and impartially.
2.) Nongovernment Collaborations
Greens advocate meeting more public responsibilities through collaborative efforts with non-governmental communities, like families, neighborhood groups, ethnic organizations and churches, in which people already have relationships of mutual obligation by viewing them as appropriate, effective and accountable mechanisms for meeting public responsibilities.
3.) Property Tax Relief
Greens oppose current property tax relief programs which subside people who are already advantaged and do not need public assistance.
4.) Progressive Taxes
We support a shift away from local property taxes and sales tax to fair progressive income taxes based on one’s ability to pay.
5.) Development Funding
When government funding is used to support business growth and development, requirements must be met for paying living wages, engaging in pollution prevention activities, and in enforcing human and civil rights standards.
6.) Sports Stadiums
We strongly oppose any use of any public funding or financing for building or renovating sports stadiums in Minnesota. We also oppose any new tax or extensions of existing taxes to subsidize professional sports leagues, teams or facilities.
The Green Party considers the public schools to be a public trust and a public asset. As such, they should be supported by public taxes. We oppose the use of tax vouchers and tax credits to support private schools.
2.) General Policies
2a. The state should move in the direction of full public financing of public higher education and preschool education to make college and preschool available to all citizens who desire it.
2b. We believe that all children should be well prepared for kindergarten, and therefore support the public funding of early childhood education. We support legislation that helps parents, improves the quality of early care and education programs, increases access to high quality education for all children, and coordinates the efforts of parents and programs.
2c. Greens support a transition from an assessment system based on grades to a system of holistic, critical assessment practices within academic relationships. In addition, we support peer-directed processes of evaluation and growth.
2d. We call for a de-emphasis on standardized tests at all levels of education.
2e. Recognizing that conventional classroom practices tend to maintain social inequality, we support practices that encourage equal participation of all students. We support practices which build meaningful and nonhierarchical academic relationships.
2f. We recognize that students achieve success through varied and diverse styles of learning, and we encourage programs that encompass a broad array of teaching and learning strategies.
2g. Recognizing that education is essential to the functioning of a just society, we call for teacher compensation to reflect their critical importance in the social and intellectual development of children.
2h. Students should have significant voice in determining curriculum and disciplinary procedures according to their ability to assume such responsibilities. Families and students need to be free to choose from a wide array of approaches and free not to.
2i. The student/classroom teacher ratio should be no more than 15 to 1 in kindergarten through 3rd grade and 20 to 1 in all others.
2j. Minnesota’s charter school experiment deserves more support. The governor, legislature, teachers’ unions, political party leaders, teacher, parents and citizens throughout the state ought to embrace it as one way to improve the way schools work in Minnesota. The Minnesota State Charter Law should be improved to:
Let applicants go to other elected bodies, besides local school boards, including county boards and city councils, as well as directly to the state board for sponsorship. [ed., Since this plank was adopted, the State Board of Education was abolished by the legislature as of Jan. 1, 2000.]
Remove the limit on the number of charter schools allowed. [ed., Since this plank was adopted, the limit has been lifted.]
Remove the right of a district to object the location of a charter school sponsored by another district in its area, and
Give charter schools referendum revenue and allow all per-pupil funds, instead of only the statewide portion, to follow the student to a charter school. The Department of Children, Families and Learning should do a careful review of charter school laws, across the country and should listen carefully to what charter school operators have already identified as limitations and problems with Minnesota’s law.
2k. Staying in School. Greens support programs and services that encourage students to remain in school until they are 18 or achieve the equivalency of a high school diploma. This includes programs that address the child’s individual academic and/or behavioral needs by providing alternative teaching techniques and environments. Alternatives to suspension from school should be explored, including academically-focused day treatment centers.
2l. State educational standards must have the flexibility to allow for individual communities and classrooms to tailor curricula to fit their unique needs.
2m. We call for a sexual education curriculum that offers information on sexual health and safety, contraception, abstinence, and the diversity of sexual orientations and gender identities. We oppose publicly funded abstinence-only sexual education programs.
2n. We support access to our schools for representatives of nonviolent action organizations (i.e. Peace Corps, Americorps), especially public high schools, where armed services recruiters are allowed.
2o. The Green Party supports strengthening anti-bullying legislation in Minnesota to more fully identify and combat all forms of bullying and discrimination.
3.) K-12 Education & Minnesota State Policy
3a. Greens support making structural changes to the public K-12 education system that increase the decision-making authority of teachers, parents and students.
3b. We advocate cooperatively managed schools in which operational decision making authority is shared by students, parents, teachers and administrators.
3c. Deteriorating schools and new schools should be built to meet community needs. Make schools centers for community activities, creating local jobs, allowing more classrooms and smaller classes, and providing space for libraries, music, art and sports.
3d. The Board of Teaching should provide special licensing provisions to permit professionals from other fields with special qualifications to teach in schools.
3e. We advocate that all necessary means be employed, so all public school students have access to high-quality education programs on an equal basis.
4.) Higher & Adult Education in Minnesota
4a. To make Minnesota’s higher education system more equitable the state should reduce the share of support provided via appropriations and increase the share provided directly to individuals on the basis of financial need.
4b. Ensure that an individual’s state aid follows that student to the campus and program he or she selects.
4c. We believe the state should extend free public education to include post high school students in our public institutions. Post secondary charter schools can be considered for the above funding if they meet all standards of the state department of education, and are not sectarian in nature.
4d. Students should be active participants in the planning, implementation and evaluation of their education.
4e. Greens are committed to the value of continuing adult education.
4f. Public programs should be available so that all citizens who wish to learn to read and write can find effective and acceptable programs within which to do so.
4g. We promote literacy, job training and other educational opportunities which have been positively linked with reducing the number of repeat offenders for prisoners in prison.
N. Non-Human Animal Issues
The Greens recognize that:
Non-human animals exist for their own reasons.
Non-human animals have the right to live on a healthy planet.
Non-human animals have the right to live freely and in harmony with their nature, rather than according to human desires and exploitation.
Non-human animals have the right to not be treated as property.
Humans have a moral responsibility to uphold these rights and protect non-human animals from suffering whenever possible.
1.) Conscientious Objection
No person should for any reason be made to compromise their morals, values, beliefs or ethics concerning the lives and well-being of nonhuman animals. For this reason the Greens believe that:
1a. Students, faculty, employees and volunteers of institutions and businesses should have a protected right to refuse, without penalty, participating in or assisting others with animal experimentation, dissection, unnatural activities or other actions that would cause an animal pain, distress or death.
1b. Students, faculty, employees and volunteers of institutions and businesses should have a protected right to refuse, without penalty, handling, transporting, or otherwise coming into contact with animals living or dead when such handling is not explicitly part of their job description or program, and even when alternatives are not available.
2.) Education and Research
Animal research and experimentation in education is all too common, often beginning in grade school and continuing through the graduate programs in the sciences. Other government based institutions and private corporations continue to perform painful or unnatural research on nonhuman animals. The Greens believe that:
2a. Education, especially in the life sciences should communicate an awareness of, a respect for and compassion towards all life on the planet.
2b. We should support the use of existing, alternative teaching techniques that enhance the learning of anatomy and physiology while instilling greater respect and compassion for life.
2c. The development of non-animal models of human disease should be funded and pursued at least as vigorously as is the development of animal-based models, until such time as these models can be abolished.
2d. Non-animal in-vitro testing methods should be vigorously supported by our government, universities and institutions.
2e. Product manufacturers and producers should be required to use ingredients or constituents recognized to be safe for animals and people.
2f. Companies that need to perform product or ingredient testing should be required to use already-existing alternative testing methods that do not use animals.
2g. Products which contain animal or animal-derived ingredients should clearly indicate to the consumer the use of such ingredients on the label. In addition, products which were tested on animals or which contain ingredients which were tested on animals should clearly indicate this on the label.
2h. Corporate and institutional animal use and care committees should include members other than those with a vested interest in the continuation of animal experimentation and should publicly disclose all nonproprietary business.
3.) Animals Used for Entertainment
Entertainment animals used for entertainment such as racing, gambling, zoos, circuses and the film industry are subject to abuses that are often hidden from the public. Forcing non-human animals to live lives that are unnatural or unhealthy to their species for the sake of entertainment is unjust.
3a. We support government regulations and funding that provide for the vigorous enforcement of minimum acceptable conditions for animal use in entertainment.
3b. We support vigorous enforcement of all current laws and the enactment of new, tougher laws prohibiting animal fights.
3c. Individuals using endangered species in entertainment should have their permits revoked and animals removed from their possession.
4.) Animal Agriculture
The current objective of corporate agri-business is to produce as much food as possible for the least expense, without regard to human or non-human animal life. The Greens believe that: 4a. Animal confinement systems that restrict an animal’s natural physical and social activity or those that cause physical or psychological pain or distress should be prohibited.
4b. The use of drugs and hormones to produce abnormally fast growth and/or production is cruel, unnatural and unhealthy.
5.) Government Investment and Divestment
Federal, state and local governments often have financial investments in corporations which do harm to animals in the course of their business practices. The Greens believe that: 5a. Governments should completely divest from corporations which harm animals, and the ethical treatment of animals should be used as a criterion when selecting a corporation in which to invest.
6.) Wildlife and Habitat
Recreational hunting and fishing does not primarily exist to provide food, government programs sometimes favor recreational hunting and fishing over natural predator prey relationships as means of controlling populations, and the natural habitat of wildlife is in a state of crisis due to human interference and encroachment. The Greens believe that:
6a. Whenever possible, non-lethal and educational approaches to human conflicts with wildlife should be used in place of deadly or painful methods.
6b. Wildlife advocates, non-hunters/anglers, and anti-hunters/anglers should receive proportional representation in the oversight of wildlife management agencies.
6c. Wildlife refuges should be established and maintained for the protection of both habitat and species, not for the production of game animals. These refuges should provide nonhuman animals the opportunity to live a natural and healthy life, favor natural predator-prey relationships ahead of hunting by humans, and encourage biodiversity.
6d. Current laws hold that hunters may enter private land unless a landowner has posted prohibiting such activity. These laws should be reversed, to require landowners’ permission to enter private property for the purpose of hunting.
6e. The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources should be prohibited from all attempts to promote “new game species” and no new hunting, trapping or fishing seasons should be established.
6f. Public funds should not be used to promote or subsidize recreational hunting or fishing.
6g. Public funds should not be used to promote or subsidize sport trapping, commercial trapping or fur ranching.
6h. The use of trapping devices which often result in non-fatal mutilation or otherwise prolonged suffering, such as leg hold traps, should be abolished.
7.) Companion Animals
Overpopulation of companion animals has reached epidemic proportions in the country. The Greens believe that:
7a. Governments should aggressively fund spay/neuter programs,
7b. Governments should provide financial assistance to local pounds and shelters, and encourage the development of no-kill shelters.
7c. There should be a moratorium on all companion-animal breeding until a balance can be achieved between the number of animals and the number of available homes.
7d. The importation and trade of wild or non-domesticated species for companion animals should be abolished.
7e. The mutilation of companion animals for human aesthetics or convenience, such as tail docking or de-clawing, should be abolished.
8.) Veganism, Vegetarianism and Meat-eating
In addition to contributing to personal health and the health of the planet, a meatless or vegan diet is a valid expression of nonviolence, and it has a profoundly positive effect on reducing the suffering of non-human animals. Conversely, the humane, sustainable raising of livestock for the purpose of meat-eating is a viable option for human nutrition.
The Greens believe that:
8a. We should reduce our present reliance on animal agriculture in favor of a peaceful and compassionate agri-system.
8b. The meat and dairy industry funded nutritional information in schools must be replaced with scientifically-accurate materials from independent sources, and nutrition classes in schools should include information on meatless and vegan options.
8c. Government-funded organizations that provide meal programs, such as schools, prisons, hospitals and the military, should always adequately provide for meatless and vegan options.
8d. All food meant for human consumption which contains animal ingredients, including genetically engineered material from animal sources, should clearly indicate to the consumer such ingredients on the label.
O. Crime and Justice
The Greens believe the most effective way of dealing with the crime problem is prevention, tackling the root causes that generate criminal behavior. This starts with ensuring every child gets to grow up with all their physical, social and emotional needs met, and every young adult gets the opportunity to find their meaningful place in society. We recognize that, regardless of whether these needs have been met, individuals are still fully accountable for their own actions, and must face appropriate consequences for any misdeeds they commit.
1.) Crime and Punishment
1a. Imprisonment keeps the criminal away from society, at least for a while. But it is ineffective for rehabilitation, and does not allow a criminal to repay his or her “debt to society.” Conflict resolution programs should be promoted in schools, prisons, and as part of probation. Restitution programs and alternative sentencing, such as meaningful community service, must be emphasized as much as possible.
1b. Our justice system must begin to attach equal importance to justice for white-collar criminals, including environmental violators. Corporate executives should be held personally responsible for the social and environmental consequences of their corporate actions.
1c. Community members must be involved directly in crime control in their own communities, through citizen police boards, recruitment of police officers from areas to be patrolled, and neighborhood watch programs.
1d. The Greens support efforts to review improprieties in prosecutions that appear politically motivated, including convictions of individuals associated with the American Indian Movement, the Black Panthers and civil rights movement, the Puerto Rican independence movement and Earth First, including Leonard Peltier, Alejendina Torres, Geronimo Ji-Jaga, Mark Davis, Mumia Abu-Jamal, Eddie Hatcher and Norma Jean Croy. Innocent prisoners should be freed. [ed., Since this plank was adopted, Torres, Ji-Jaga, Davis and Croy have been released from prison.]
1e. The justice system should be freed from discrimination based on political ideology, economic status, class and race.
1f. We oppose the use of capital punishment.
1g. We advocate banning the manufacture, sale and possession of assault weapons, handguns, and other firearms and ammunition used primarily for violence against humans.
1h. We support full funding of programs to end sexual and domestic violence and assist its victims and survivors.
2a. The United States is the world leader in imprisoning its own citizens. While our long-term goal must be to lose this distinction we must take immediate steps to improve the conditions of the prison system, and to educate the incarcerated.
2b. We envision small, sustainable businesses such as organic farms, greenhouses, and small appliance repair services being established in prisons, with the profits used to help compensate crime victims and to help underwrite the cost of running the prisons.
2c. We oppose the privatization of prisons.
3a. War on Drugs. Greens recognize that the “war on drugs” is racist and disproportionately targets people of color and poor communities. We call for a revised view of the “drug problem” and the “war on drugs,” and we call for more innovative approaches to healing communities in which there is a high frequency of drug abuse—such as investing in the development of locally-based economic opportunities.
3b. Drug abuse. Drug abuse of all kinds should be treated as a disease, rather than a criminal offense. We support the decriminalization of personal possession of non-addictive drugs.
4.) Civil Liberties
We oppose legislation which limits or abridges constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties.
We recognize population growth along with the resource demands and waste production of our economic-growth-based lifestyles is causing great stress to our planet. We support efforts toward sustainable consumption and human reproduction as well as equitable resource allocation.
2.) Individual Empowerment
It has been conclusively demonstrated that the more personal power individual women and men have over their lives as a whole, the more likely they are to plan their families in an intentional and sustainable manner. The first step in stabilizing and ultimately reducing population growth must therefore be the determination to create just and nurturing human societies.
While the Minnesota Greens recognize that the current total population of this planet has stressed the physical environment in many regions, they also recognize that when addressing “population” as an issue they must also include a critique of the patterns of overconsumption. It is widely known that the industrialized northern countries use much more of the world’s non-renewable resources, consume far more energy, and thus produce much more waste than developing Third World countries.
4.) Family Planning
We support the dissemination of information on the full range of currently available contraception options, including natural family planning. We also support the easy availability of contraceptives to all sexually active females and males. We endorse UN and all international, national, state and local agencies which advocate family planning and birth control in a culturally sensitive and ethical manner.
Q. The Arts
1.) Artists and Society
We advocate a mutually supportive relationship between artists and society, one that recognizes and supports an expanded role for artists in society.
2.) Diverse Artistic Expressions
We recognize that free and diverse artistic expressions are vital for challenging people to rethink their assumptions and for educating people about past and present issues and future visions, and that these expressions should play a vital role in our movement.
We oppose censorship in the arts, and encourage individual and social responsibility by artists.
4.) Art Education
We advocate creative, noncompetitive art education at every level from preschoolers to the elderly.
5.) Institutionalized Arts
We support the voices and visions of artists underrepresented in the institutionalized arts mainstream.
R. Grassroots Democracy
Grassroots Democracy is one of the basic principles upon which the worldwide Green Movement is founded. It is a value that Greens accept without equivocation, condition or reservation. It is a value to be implemented wherever possible. We must enliven democracy to create widespread grassroots involvement in decision-making at the community level. We support direct participation such as the New Hampshire model of the town meeting. The Green party endorses and supports passage of the Earth Charter on a local, state, federal and global level.
We support decentralizing governmental and political structures so that as much control as is reasonable is passed down to the community level. We support this decentralization of control while at the same time maintaining global, national, and regional government structures. Decisions and policies affecting citizens shall be made at the most local level possible.
2.) Citizen Participation
Citizen participation shall be sought at all levels of government; no citizen may be denied information regarding decisions made by elected officials or politically appointed officials.
3.) Initiative and Referendum
We support binding initiatives and referendums at the state, county and community levels. The constitution of the State of Minnesota should be amended to include binding Initiative and Referendum. Decisions of a local government body may not be overturned by a less local body, except in cases of fundamental infringement of human rights.
4.) Campaign Financing
4a. We support banning the gifts and perks, including those of food, transportation, lodging and entertainment, lobbyists currently give elected officials on all levels of government.
4b. We support equitable public financing for all qualified candidates of political campaigns based on the number of supporters a candidates receives.
4c. Campaign contributions for local, state and national races should be limited to $100 per individual in an election year and $50 in a non-election year.
4d. Greens support reducing overall spending limits on campaigns to $150,000 for governor & Lt. governor, $150,000 for attorney general, $75,000 for secretary of state, state treasurer and state auditor, $40,000 for state senator, and, $20,000 for state representative.
4e. We support prohibiting candidate and party fund-raisers during the legislative session.
4f. The Green Party of Minnesota and its candidates accept no money from corporations, Political Action Committees (PACs) or SuperPACs.
5.) IRV and Proportional Representation
5a. Representatives to all assemblies of members (such as state and national legislatures) should be selected on the basis of their party’s percent of the total votes cast. The Green Party encourages gender parity and multicultural representation in elected bodies.
5b. Instant runoff voting/balloting should be used for all public elections in the state of Minnesota where applicable. All executive positions, such as president, governor, mayor, etc., should be elected by a multiple choice preference voting method.
6.) Election Reform
6a. Voting time, when citizens may cast ballots, should be extended to 48 hours and include a weekend day.
6b. The Green Party supports a fair campaign system finance which includes the following:
Candidates have the option of nearly full public financing if they agree to forego almost all private contributions;
The size of contributions individuals and PACs can give to political parties and legislative caucuses is limited;
The unfair advantages caused by independent expenditures are reduced; and
Grassroots participation in the political process is encouraged.
6c. We believe Minnesota law should be changed so that election judges are allowed to register as “unaffiliated,” indicating that they align themselves with no major political party or with no party at all.
7.) Media Access
7a. We support reinstating the Fairness Doctrine, which required broadcasters to provide equal time to all sides of an issue.
7b. All political parties should be granted free, equal access to the media including political advertisements. All candidates on the ballot for an office shall have equal access to any organized multi-candidate debate, interview or other media or public event. Because the broadcast airwaves are public property, all candidates on the ballot for public office shall be allotted an equal amount of free airtime.
7c. We support small and locally-owned television and radio stations, newspapers, and other media to reflect diverse viewpoints, a broader range of debate, local content, and the free flow of information and ideas.
8.) Public Education
The rights and responsibilities of citizenship in a democracy should be taught at all levels of public education, including adult community education.
9.) Neighborhood Associations
We support funding neighborhood associations to inspire and foster individual and collective community action. This makes the concept of “grass roots” a reality.
10.) Simultaneous Nominations
We support strengthening Minnesota laws regarding simultaneous nominations to provide a separate tally line for each party from which a candidate is nominated. Remove requirement for parties to qualify as a “minor” party before they are able to nominate a candidate nominated by another party. Retain the requirement that the candidate and the party chairperson must consent to any nomination.
11.) Elected Metropolitan Council
Decisions of the Metropolitan Council regarding air and water quality, housing, transportation and waste management affect issues that many people care about deeply. As presently appointed, council members are insulated from the will and influence of these people. The large number of governor-appointed boards only serves to centralize more power in the hands of the governor and less in the hands of individual citizens. In order for Metropolitan Council Members to work in the best interests of the citizens they represent, they should be elected by the citizens from within the districts they represent.
12.) Early Civic Engagement
Beginning at an early age, children should not only learn about democratic principles, but also participate in political decision-making in their schools and in their communities. This will enrich the children’s education, increase their motivation for being politically involved throughout their lives, and add new perspectives and insight to the debate in which they participate.
13.) Local Governments
13a. The Green Party supports initiatives that maintain community and township rights to enact ordinances and rules, and opposes any attempt to weaken township, municipal or county rights.
13b. We support amending the constitution of the state of Minnesota to enable local jurisdictions to provide resident aliens with the right to vote in local elections.
14.) Election Integrity
Greens support requiring the state to have a voter-verified paper audit trail, mandatory random audits, open-source software available for public inspection, and same-day registration.
15) Voter Restrictions
We oppose any effort to restrict a person’s right to vote, including requirements to show photo identification, restrictions on same-day registration, and restrictions based on criminal convictions.
16) Public Ownership Structure
Greens call for increased democracy in the public sector. All publicly owned enterprises should be either 1) self-managed by their workers through the formation of worker’s councils/direct democracy/representative democracy, or 2) municipally owned and managed collectively by their community. We also support the formation of unions in the public sector.
S. Foreign Policy & Peace
1.) Trade Policy
Trade and other economic engagement between our country and other countries must be based on vigorous standards for human rights, including women’s rights and the protection of racial and ethnic minority rights, gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender and children’s rights, worker’s rights and environmental protection.
2.) Principles of foreign policy
The Greens believe:
2a. No nation is more or less entitled than any other to a place on this earth and to benefit from its resources.
2b. All nations have a responsibility to recognize at least the basic human rights of their own people and the people of other nations.
2c. Greens oppose any “pre-emptive” military actions or “pre-emptive” and preventative war.
2d. The United States must renounce the doctrine of preemptive war and support the rebuilding and maintenance of a cooperative, international community to resolve serious international issues. Terrorism, genocide, nuclear proliferation, and tyrannical regimes must be addressed through the use of culturally sensitive diplomacy, focused, nonviolent intervention, peaceful conflict resolution, and the international court of justice.
2e. Greens support the creation of an executive level United States Department of Peace that shall hold peace as an organizing principle.
2f. The Green Party of Minnesota supports the call for Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against the State of Israel until it complies with International Law and Universal Principles of Human Rights.
3.) Illegal Weapons
3a. We support immediate worldwide elimination of all nuclear, biological, and chemical, including the termination of all production and research connected with them.
3b. Greens support immediate worldwide elimination of all weapons that kill and maim people long after battles are over. This includes depleted uranium weapons, armor, cluster bombs, and landmines. Thus, we also support the termination of all production and research connected with them.
3c. The Green Party should take a leadership role in demanding that the United States immediately cease production and use of illegal weapons. Generically, this refers to any weapons that kill and maim innocent men, women, and children long after battles are over. Specifically, this refers to depleted uranium weapons, armor, cluster bombs, and land mines.
4.) Military Reductions
Our military budget should be cut drastically. The annual United States budget monies should be reallocated to programs crucial to human dignity and personal, community, family, and social security. The size of our military should be greatly reduced and the majority of our troops brought home. We call for the abolition of all covert agencies and operations which promote military and economic aggression. We call for an end to all forms of coerced military service.
5.) Conflict Resolution
Greens support the development of peaceful conflict resolution. This would include the learning and application of mediation skills at the global, national, regional and local levels. We believe that an organization such as the U.N. is necessary to mediate disputes between nations, and direct efforts to control human population growth, resource use, and global pollution. Such an organization must play a role much expanded, and more powerful, than it does today. This type of organization must be governed in such a way that wealthy or militarily powerful nations do not dominate.
6.) Resource Distribution
Because the earth’s resources are not distributed equally among nations, a fair and equitable system for ensuring that basic resources are available to all nations is imperative. Such a system must balance need for resource “sharing” with the energy waste of long distance transportation and the exploitation of resource-rich nations by resource-hungry nations.
7.) Global Pollution
All nations must take steps to reduce the pollution of other nation’s air, land, and water. Pollution that may seem localized has global impact of greater or lesser extent.
8.) Immigration and Population
8a. Priority for immigration should go to people whose basic human rights are not being recognized.
8b. Sexual orientation and HIV status must not be regarded as a basis for denying immigration or citizenship.