The Party Platform
DC Statehood Green Party
I. Politcal Democracy, Justice and Civil Rights
II. End Discrimination
III. Election Reform
IV. Political Structure Reform
V. Government Performace
VI. Fiscal Issues
VII. Environmental Issues
VIII. Health Issues
X. Law Enforcement and Criminal Justice
XIII. Safety Net, Economy and Housing
This is the local DC Statehood Green Party Platform; for the national
Green Party of the United States platform, please click here.
Also please see our Key Values and Guiding
Principles for a general summary of the ideas contained in our platform.
I. POLITICAL DEMOCRACY, JUSTICE & CIVIL RIGHTS
1. We demand statehood which would give us democracy and self-government
including: · Local authority within the District over our three branches
of government: legislative, executive and judicial. · The elimination
of all Federal government committees and sub-committees that have oversight
or appropriation power over D.C. government. · Complete and equal voting
representation in the United States Congress.
2. We support official acknowledgement of and apology for the U.S. government's
role in the trans-Atlantic slave trade, and reparations to slave descendents.
The D.C. government should enact its own reparations legislation, notwithstanding
its continued advocacy for passage of a national reparations bill.
3. We support passage of the Equal Rights Amendment to the Constitution.
The D. C. government should enact its own legislation that affirms equal
rights for men and women as it continues to advocate for passage of the
ERA. (top of page)
II. END DISCRIMINATION
1. We oppose discrimination in any form, based on gender, religion, race,
sexual orientation, age, disability, ethnicity, immigration status, or
national origin. The D.C. Statehood Green Party is an explicitly anti-racist/anti-oppression
2. We oppose racism in all its forms. We support affirmative action to
remedy discrimination in education and employment and, to protect constitutional
rights and to provide equal opportunity under the law. We oppose racial
profiling and condemn government harassment and targeting of immigrants,
and urge equal protection under the law for all residents of the District
of Columbia and of the United States regardless of immigration status.
3. We oppose discrimination based on sex or gender. We support sustained
action, guided by a feminist perspective, on legal, political, social,
and economic fronts to eliminate sexism and achieve full equality between
men and women. We oppose discrimination against women in the workplace
and in the family, and any practice that does not protect and promote
equal treatment of women under the law.
4. We support full human rights for all individuals regardless of sexual
orientation, gender, or sexuality. We support education on sexuality in
the schools including education about homosexuality, bisexuality and transgenderism.
Same-sex marriage must have the same legal standing as heterosexual marriage.
Same-sex couples must have equal adoption rights as heterosexual couples.
(top of page)
III. ELECTION REFORM
1. We support free and equal access to radio and television media for
set amount of time distributed during a campaign to all qualified candidates.
We support a legal limit on the campaign period.
2. We support a broader mandate for the Board of Elections and Ethics
to increase voter turnout. Implementing this mandate should include the
distribution of political profiles and platforms of all candidates to
all registered voters in advance of the election, education on how to
use the ballot, facilitation of candidate forums that include all candidates,
and implementation of other ideas to increase voter participation.
3. Reduce the number of signatures required for non-ballot-status parties
or independent candidates, and lengthen the petition period. Hold elections
on non-working days, and permit same-day registration.
4. We demand the passage of "Clean Elections" legislation in the District
of Columbia to provide for public funding of campaigns.
5. Allow non-U.S. citizens who are legal residents to vote in D.C. elections.
(top of page)
6. We demand that the District of Columbia replace the "winner take
all" method of apportioning presidential electors which effectively
disenfranchises votes for all runner up candidates with a requirement
that electoral votes shall be divided in proportion to the popular vote
for each candidate.
IV. POLITICAL STRUCTURE REFORM
1. We support the use of Instant Runoff Voting in voting for elected
officials in which there can only be a single winner to ensure the winner
is supported by a majority of those casting a vote. Legislative seats
with a single winner should be replaced with multi-member districts elected
by proportional representation.
2. Enlarge the D.C. City Council to at least twice its current size,
with each member representing a smaller constituency. The present number
of council members is too few to fulfill their committee responsibilities,
perform adequate oversight, and legislate public policy into law.
3. Expand the authority and resources of Advisory Neighborhood Commissions
(ANCs). Allow ANCs to authorize ballot initiatives collectively; to sue
the DC Government; to elect a representative from among the commissioners
to serve on the Committee of Public Works and the Environment.
4. To Involve residents in all decisions affecting development and the
environment in their neighborhoods, especially through ANCs, the following
steps are required: · Hold hearings at times and places convenient to
residents. · Require outreach to by the council notify residents when
debating issues that may affect them. · Give resident concerns greater
consideration than those of developers, contractors, and other corporate
entities. · Gifts and other bribes to individual neighborhood representatives
by corporate entities that hold a developmental interest in such neighborhoods
must be prohibited and punishable by law. (top of page)
V. GOVERNMENT PERFORMANCE
1. Enforce open government, “sunshine laws”, and accountability rules
on all agencies and appointed or elected officials.
2. Public services should be performed by the DC Government. Agencies
or functions that are essential and provide service to the entire public
(e.g., waste management, transportation, utilities, law enforcement, education,
health care delivery) should not be privatized, contracted out, or otherwise
made subject to the caprices of the for-profit marketplace.
3. Public contracts let by DC Government, Council of Governments, or
the Federal Government to private companies for profit must be regulated
by the government, not by market forces. When it is not feasible for Government
to perform a service, it should be contracted to a locally owned business
employing local labor. The labor practices and environmental protection
rules in force in the DC government must apply equally to all contractors
4. The D.C. City Council should be a full-time job, with council members
barred from simultaneously holding other jobs. Elected representatives
salaries should be reduced and set to be more in line with the median
income of the constituents they represent. Conflict of interest rules
should be strictly enforced.
5. The D.C. City Council should not enact tort reform legislation that
will arbitrarily limit judgments, limit access to the courts, or under
any circumstances hold citizen plaintiffs liable for corporate defendants’
legal costs concerning medical malpractice, personal injury and consumer
product safety claims. (top of page)
VI. FISCAL ISSUES
1. A progressive, fair and efficient tax system is necessary for a physically,
socially and economically healthy community. The DC Government should
develop a comprehensive revenue policy that meets fiscal goals as well
as promote the needs and interests of the residents of D.C. and not work
to their detriment. The policy should identify the appropriate proportion
of revenue to be provided from various sources and tax laws should be
modified to accomplish this.
2. D.C. personal income tax rates are less progressive than the federal
tax rates and the income brackets, personal exemptions and standard deductions
are lower and not inflation adjusted. Calculate D.C. personal income taxes
as a direct percentage of the federal income taxes. This will simplify
tax filings, reduce the number of people required to file, and make the
progressive nature of the income tax consistent with the federal tax structure.
3. Reduce the general sales tax and eliminate the convention center surtax
of 1% on prepared food.
4. Change the property tax structure to a split rate property tax. The
split rate property tax takes the value of a piece of property and splits
it into two parts: the value of the land and the value of the buildings/improvements
on the land. It reduces the tax on buildings/improvements and increases
the tax on land. Compared to the current system, people who improve their
properties get a tax break and speculators who hold vacant lots or deteriorating
empty buildings will pay more.
5. The current business tax structure of four different taxes on different
types of business is difficult for both businesses to manage and the D.C.
government to collect. Replace the four taxes with one tax based on the
direct and indirect compensation, dividends and interest of all D.C. businesses.
6. Benefits from restructuring business taxes should go to businesses
that hire D.C. residents, pay a living wage and provide benefits, reduce
solid waste and other pollutants, recycle, encourage public transportation,
and invest profits in D.C. instead of taking them out of the city.
7. A broad-based energy tax should be levied to promote the use of energy
efficient technologies. These will not only aid the environment, but also
can promote the development of new industries to supply the technologies.
Any such energy tax should be coupled with measures guaranteed to protect
low income and working class residents from an erosion of their real income.
8. All D.C. taxpayers should be taxed under the same rules. There should
be no special deals for any business, individual, or property owner.
9. The D.C. government must control the investment of its pension funds
and should share investment decisions with a citizen commission.
10. Projects costing $5 million and above must comply with the D.C. Environmental
Policy Act (DC EPA).
11. Government offices in the District should be required to procure
goods and services from District-based vendors, if possible, unless a
competing bid is more than 15% lower. All government procurement bid specifications
should include, where applicable, high standards favoring post-consumer
content; minimal packaging; nontoxic ingredients and processes; fair labor
practices in production and distribution; and reused or refurbished goods.
12. Congress should allow the District to work with Maryland and Virginia
to institute a region-wide reciprocal income tax. The tax would direct
a portion of an individual’s local income tax to the jurisdiction in which
that individual works to compensate for the use of services and infrastructure.
13. The District should immediately implement Initiative 51, passed by
voters, which opens to the public the process under which commercial property
owners appeal their real estate tax assessments. (top of
VII. ENVIRONMENTAL ISSUES
1. Create an environmental department or agency with full authority
to monitor for compliance and to enforce the law. Maintaining the health
of D.C.’s natural habitat - water, river, streams, air and land, will
come under the jurisdiction of this environmental authority.
2. Expand the Metropolitan Police Department’s Environmental Crimes Unit;
add more inspectors and lawyers in the Department of Consumer and Regulatory
Affairs; add more environmental planners in the Office of Planning; create
a new special branch in the Corporation Council’s Office to deal with
environmental legal concerns.
3. Clean up and prohibit further pollution of the Anacostia and Potomac
Rivers by private entities and government agencies, and by storm water
run-off. Pollution infractions should be fined sufficiently to discourage
offenders. Much of our pollution drains into the rivers directly and from
no sited source, it is equally damaging to the environment and must be
captured and filtered.
4. Adopt and enforce ambitious goals for solid waste reduction, including:
· Increase recycling, · Adopt a bottle bill · Impose quantity-based disposal
fees. · Require consumer products be sold with the minimum necessary packaging
and that all reasonable efforts be made to use recycled and/or readily
recyclable materials in packaging. The primary burden for reducing packaging
waste must be put on the manufacturers of that waste. · Standards governing
trash transfer stations must be enforced. · Phase out all trash transfer
operations involving imported solid waste, and site transfer operations
involving the District's solid waste in compliance with EPA environmental
justice policies. · Phase in recycling of organic waste to be transformed
into compost by District of Columbia composting centers.
5. Mandate recycling for all government agencies, schools, apartment
buildings, and businesses. The recycling target should reach 50% by 2005
and 80% by 2010. Requirements for District government agencies and contractors
to use post-consumer recycled materials should be enforced. A goal should
be to open a recycling plant within District boundaries.
6. The D.C. Government must direct its policies toward the maximum feasible
use of energy from renewable resources and use the most environmentally
friendly technology for all buildings and vehicles.
7. There should be a municipal utility district in D.C., providing for
the municipal aggregation of electricity buying for all D.C. residents,
businesses, and government agencies. (top of page)
VIII. HEALTH ISSUES
1. All health-related policy enacted in the District of Columbia should
be consistent with the goal of introducing publicly funded single-payer
universal healthcare. This health care must include: · Universal access
without concern for work status or health history; · Patient choice of
clinics, doctors, and other health care professionals; · Comprehensive
benefits, without insurance premiums, deductibles or co-payments, including
hospital and physician care, prescription drugs, dental and vision care,
reproductive and preventative care, and defined mental health benefits.
2. Until the introduction of single-payer universal health-care in the
District of Columbia, we demand: · Adequate social and health services
must be made available to those who have special needs - the mentally
ill, the handicapped, those who are terminally ill. · A publicly funded
hospital that provides quality health care for all ill and injured residents
equally regardless of income or status of health insurance coverage. ·
Public health clinics established throughout the city with accessible
hours and affordable to all and offering preventive care such as inoculations,
contraception, and HIV education as well as abortion services. Drug-addiction
treatment and needle exchange should be available at the clinics. Public
health outreach, especially in underserved areas, should be a primary
mandate of public clinics.
3. Guarantee nursing homes and assisted-living facilities for senior
citizens and the mentally handicapped. Senior citizens should not be dispersed
to private homes except on their own volition.
4. Guarantee shelter minimally for a year to all homeless people. Initiate
a training program for homeless teams to repair and restore dilapidated
buildings and houses for them to manage and dwell in. The D.C. government
is obliged to assist the homeless by supplying them with food, clothing,
shelter, medical care, and training for employment.
5. In order to prevent death or injury from hypothermia in cold weather,
emergency shelter should be provided for homeless residents during winter
months. Such shelter should be free, safe, adequately spacious, and equipped
with sufficient sleeping and shower facilities so as to provide an environment
that respects the dignity of the residents. Government buildings, such
as the Reeves Center at 14th and U Streets, NW, would be excellent spaces
for such use.
6. We support a woman’s right to complete reproductive freedom, with
no societal intervention in decisions about abortion, contraception, or
7. Healthcare in the District of Columbia should place equal emphasis
on women's health concerns.
(top of page)
1. All public schools must be fully and equally funded, and equally
supplied with books and class equipment. Teacher/student ratio should
not exceed 1/15 for grades 1 through 8 in all schools.
2. Public schools should not be: · Privatized · Made to compete with
private schools through government-funded vouchers · Used for military
recruitment (e.g., through JROTC) · Used as places to advertise corporate
products or sell junk food to students
3. Elementary schools should be within walking distance of all students’
residences. Elementary school size should be targeted at 250 students
and must not exceed 500 students. Middle school and junior high should
be targeted at 500 students and should not exceed 1000.
4. All high schools must offer a college-preparatory curriculum. Schools
should provide students the opportunity to supplement that curriculum
with courses in art, music, crafts, mechanics, and computers. High schools
should be targeted at 750 students and must not exceed 1,500 students.
5. Teacher standards should be increased and pay levels should reflect
the higher expectations. Continuing education should be part of maintaining
teacher standards. Teacher salaries should be consistent with other jurisdictions
in the region. Teachers must be qualified in the subjects that they teach.
6. In keeping with their higher qualifications, principals and teachers
should have more authority over their class curriculum and classroom methodology.
7. The University of the District of Columbia (UDC), including the School
of Law, should be fully funded and expanded to meet the higher education
needs of residents.
8. Offer G.E.D. programs in schools and in prisons for all persons who
left school before graduating.
9. Schedule Adult Education evening classes at high schools, at UDC and/or
in public libraries, available for a minimum fee to cover books and/or
equipment. A conflict resolution course with practice in the other classes
should be taught as an extra-curriculum course each year.
10. Open all Public Libraries 6 days per week, with evening hours on
11. Tuition to UDC should be at a level that makes the school accessible
to everyone and satellite campuses should be opened.
12. All D.C. public schools should teach nonviolence and conflict resolution.
13. Recognizing that sports, recreation, music and arts comprise an important
part of the healthy development of our youth, all students in D.C. public
schools should have access to a full range of opportunities for athletic
and artistic endeavors, with adequate facilities, equipment, and training
14. D.C. public schools should comply with Federal law and provide adequate
Special Education services to students that require them so that students
with special needs do not have to seek these services in the outlying
school systems of Maryland and Virginia.
15. D.C. public schools should comply with all federal law regarding
equal treatment and opportunity for boys and girls in education. D.C.
public schools should vigorously enforce Title 9 requirements for parity
between boys and girls athletics. (top of page)
X. LAW ENFORCEMENT AND CRIMINAL JUSTICE
1. No death penalty.
2. The current societal function of prisons needs to be challenged, as
does our concept of what constitutes criminal behavior. Restructure the
approach to law enforcement so that it emphasizes crime prevention, aided
in part by aggressive intervention with at-risk youth, mentoring and conflict
resolution programs, supervised after-school and community activities,
job skills training and economic opportunity, and freely available treatment
for chemical addiction will all serve to drastically reduce anti-social
and destructive behavior.
3. Sentencing policies that re-integrate non-violent offenders into the
community rather than isolate them are also necessary for rehabilitation
and relieving overcrowded prisons. 4. D.C.'s incarcerated residents should
not be imprisoned in institutions that are privately run for private profit.
Every effort should be made to house prisoners as close to D.C. as possible,
including consideration of the construction of a publicly run facility
in the metro-D.C. area.
5. Strengthen the Civilian Complaint Review Board (CCRB). · Give the
Board subpoena power. · Require that complaints be mediated within 6 months
of the filing of the complaint. · Use volunteer mediators to help resolve
complaints. · Allow the CCRB to review police training, policies, and
practices to identify areas for improvement.
6. End “zero tolerance” police harassment of residents.
7. We reaffirm a commitment to equal protection under the law for all
residents of the District of Columbia, regardless of immigration status.
Rescind extended police right of entry to buildings without warrant. Rescind
stop and search rights.
8. No curfew for adolescents, partial or total, should be permitted.
9. We oppose the continued criminalization of drug use, and support
free drug treatment for all who request it as part of a comprehensive
health care system. (top of page)
1. Democracy in the workplace should be the defining principle in all
places of work. We support full protection of the right for labor to organize
at the worksite and bargain collectively.
2. No permanent replacement of workers on strike.
3. All jobs in the District of Columbia must pay a living wage and include
basic benefits. Until single payer universal health care is implemented,
this must include healthcare and maternal and paternal paid leave. Portability
of healthcare must be immediate, complete, and affordable.
4. Locate apprentice training stations for District employment within
D.C. and reachable by bus or rail. (top of page)
1. Metrobus and Metrorail are essential public services and should be
maintained as publicly run entities.
2. Routes must not be chosen on the basis of profit, but on the basis
of need. Return to longer routes, away from using busses primarily to
feed riders to the subway.
3. Reduce public transportation fares.
4. The transportation budget must serve public transportation first and
foremost. We must direct our economic planning to more buses, jitney buses,
light rail and Metrorail. Business must be encouraged to locate on public
transportation lines rather than locations accessible only by car.
5. Bicycling and walking are important elements of an integrated, intermodal
transportation system. Include bicycle and pedestrian concerns during
all transportation improvement studies, and provide bicycle facilities
and sidewalks whenever streets are constructed or maintained. Expand efforts
to make the streets bicycle-friendly, including designating bike lanes,
closing some streets to automobile traffic, allowing unlimited bicycle
access on Metrorail, and promoting bicycle safety.
6. There should be no construction of new highways through or around
7. End all use of roads in Rock Creek Park as commuter routes. The primary
purpose of the Park should be as a nature reserve; recreation consistent
with this purpose should be promoted. Motor vehicle access to the Park
should be limited to those entering it for recreational purposes or Park
business; the section of Beach Drive currently closed on weekends should
be permanently closed to motor vehicles.
8. Replace and/or convert all diesel Metrobuses with alternatives such
as hydrogen fuel cells, electric or compressed natural gas. (top
XIII. SAFETY NET, ECONOMY AND HOUSING
1. Provide adequate funding for Temporary Assistance to Needy Families
(TANF) to support families for the duration of their need.
2. Restore the Tenant Assistance Program (TAP) and Emergency Assistance.
3. Continue and strengthen rent control to include all new rental housing.
4. Re-define economic development to mean a sustainable economy built
on locally generated business, locally owned, serving local residents
and hiring local people.
5. Childcare, food stamps, school lunches and other necessities for sustenance
must be part of the safety net. Access to public assistance programs should
be simplified, with "one-stop" intake and administrative offices located
in every ward. Applicants for public assistance should be able to provide
required financial and personal information once for all available forms
6. Public housing communities should be secure, well maintained, and
served by public transportation. Residents of public housing should not
be forcibly removed from their homes unless and until they have been guaranteed
immediate placement in homes that are equally safe, secure, and accessible
to public transit.
7. Blighted houses should be rehabilitated and made available to low-income
residents; demolition should be allowed only when rehabilitation is physically
impossible due to the condition of the building.
8. City programs to secure home ownership must be targeted toward low-income
(top of page)
Postlude: Organizing For Change
Through the D.C. Statehood Green Party
The D.C. Statehood Green Party is dedicated to creating a society based
on the principles of equality, liberty and social responsibility. Humankind's
well-being and prosperity depend on a sustainable economy that distributes
its wealth to all, while protecting the planet and its ecosystems.
The D.C. Statehood Green Party does not exist simply to obtain a seat
at the legislative table; we seek to challenge the fundamental rules regarding
such a seating process. While some victories for social, economic, environmental,
and political justice may be won through the electoral process, we believe
that the magnitude of such change will always be limited by constraints
built in to our current political and economic system. Such constraints
serve to protect the interests of corporations and their owners against
the interests of local and global residents and the environment.
It is with recognition that these constraints themselves must be challenged
that the D.C. Statehood Green Party places as much emphasis on its political
activism and agitation as it does on its electoral pursuits. Challenging
these constraints means challenging directly the expanding system of globalized
capitalism. Electing good people to office is not enough; an engaged,
educated and empowered citizenry must have a controlling interest in our
society. We believe that the creation of such a citizenry requires new
levels of local and transnational solidarity that challenge the global
rule of for-profit capital. For instance, neoliberal approaches such as
structural adjustment programs should be resisted as one way to achieve
local, national and global justice.
Because the D.C. Statehood Green Party intends to represent the interests
of the majority of D.C. residents, we refuse any corporate sponsorship,
corporate donations, or anything else that would bind us to the corporate
class. This is quite different from most political parties, which operate
on the assumption that the need for money justifies the acceptance of
contributions from any source. We believe that a system requiring so much
money as a prerequisite for participation is not democratic, and cannot
represent a true majority of the people.
Under real democratic self-government, public policy controls and regulates
an economy designed to serve the public interest. However, under the current
system, the economy serves private profit, and government serves merely
to protect this relationship against the public interest. Powerful economic
interests now drive politics to serve their own advantage. Our mission
is to reorder these priorities and place the general public squarely in
the political driver's seat.
The planks outlined above in this platform have been derived from this
basic mission and view of the world. We welcome all who want to be a part
of a viable challenge to the system to join the D.C. Statehood Green Party
and share your talents and ideas. (top of page)
REDUCE - RE-USE - REPAIR - RECYCLE
[[ Adopted November 1, 1999; Revised
April 4, 2002 ]]