Green Key Values
A. Political Reform
MAJORITY RULE AND PROPORTIONAL REPRESENTATION
We believe in majority rule and demand fair and equal representation of our state's diverse communities through proportional representation.
INSTANT RUNOFF VOTING
We call for the use of Instant Runoff Voting through which voters can rank their favorite candidates (1,2,3, etc.) for an office. This will guarantee that the winner has majority support and that voters aren't relegated to choosing between the "lesser of two evils." This will eliminate the 'spoiler effect,' allowing voters to choose from outside the two-party system.
B. Political Participation
Our beliefs and policies are rooted in the concern for the rights of people and communities. We believe in self- determination of all people, and that democratic involvement should be maximized in policymaking, implementation and enforcement. Affected communities should have real input on decisions that affect them. The Green Party is the party of and for the everyday person. The decisions of the party should, therefore, reflect this. We believe that democracy begins and ends with the assemblage of informed citizens of all backgrounds who come together, especially at the local level. We are committed to the principle of universal suffrage and one person, one vote. To this end we believe that all elections should be determined by direct vote only, including voting for officials, issue and referendum, and constitutional amendments. All elected officials are responsible directly to the people and should be subject to recall.
Louisiana should invest in technologies and policies that provide for more direct democracy. This should include secure voter accounts with public kiosks, touchtone service, and Internet appliances made available to voters. Robustness, full access, and redundancy should be guaranteed by any such technologies.
We call for the establishment of town and neighborhood assemblies in every town and neighborhood in Louisiana, and that political responsibilities be increasingly decentralized to the level of these associations.
We call for social policies that strengthen our families, regardless of structure. Because our children?our future--are increasingly vulnerable, we should focus on guaranteeing that they receive basic nutritional, educational and medical necessities, and housing. Public policies should be installed that provide universal childcare for pre-school and young schoolchildren.
We believe that we are stewards of our cultural heritage, so we support public funding of rich and diverse cultural programs such as the Endowments for the Arts and the Humanities.
D. Foreign Policy
WAR ON TERRORISM
It is impossible to win a war against terrorism, because terrorism is a tactic. Violence and hate can never defeat violence and hate, but can only create more terror. Therefore, the Green Party of Louisiana supports international diplomatic efforts that respect human rights to bring terrorists to trial before fair and impartial tribunals.
WAR ON TERROR (ADDENDUM)
We oppose these policies because this fraudulent "war" promotes the interests of global imperialists, These policies are used more specifically to legitimate many forms of intervention including bombing and invasion, used to destroy movements of opposition to corporate globalization all over the world, used to give massive support to terrorist states, used to neutralize domestic opposition in this country, used to expand state and corporate domination of media, and used to undermine civil liberties. Terror has historically been a relative monopoly of the state. The competition that state-sponsored and executed terror is getting from terrorist groups today has not substantially changed this conspicuous imbalance of terror.
II. SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY
Education is the most important of our communities? social structures. It is currently a largely flawed system that treats our children?our future?as raw materials whose usage will be determined by corporate tests, corporate texts, and an administrative bureaucracy that encourages underachievement and mediocrity from education professionals and from students. The Green Party of Louisiana maintains that access to quality education is critical to our communities? success. This education should build creative and critical thinking skills and should foster respect for life and our communities? social structures.
The Green Party of Louisiana seeks fundamental change in our communities to make education our first priority. We call for a major shift in educational funding to put education at the top of the social and economic agenda.
We call for a redesign of the education policy in Louisiana with focus on the premise that schools can best reach their maximum potential when there is a true democratic sense of responsibility, involvement and ownership in the entire local community.
CHECKS AND BALANCES
We call for the strengthening of community control and implementation of checks and balances in educational administrative structures. We call for the public election of local school superintendents whose powers and duties will counterbalance the school board's fiscal oversight.
We call for the replacement of private funds for the TOPS program, which provides tuition-free post secondary education, with full state funding from Tobacco Settlement Funds among other sources.
We oppose utilizing public funds for vouchers to support private schools.
EQUAL RESOURCE ALLOCATION
We call for policies that will correct gross inequalities between various districts and schools. Schools with the lowest performance should be given first preference to ensure a balanced and equal educational access.
We call for the enhancement and expansion of Head Start programs to ensure every child's critical early learning experience is stimulates and nurturing.
We call for the removal of all economic development incentive plans, which often deplete local educational funds to provide corporate welfare.
CONSUMERISM IN SCHOOLS
We call for removal of methods that foster a culture of consumption and waste in our schools, including those that expose students to commercial marketing.
REMOVAL OF MARKETING FROM SCHOOLS
Public schools should be rid of all institutionalized commercial messages and marketing tactics targeted at students. Commercial messages, surveys, spyware, and marketing of any type should be removed from education.
We call for curricula that demonstrate the effectiveness of energy efficiency, organic gardening, and other sustainable living methods. These practices should be implemented on school grounds as a part of the learning experience.
We call for a thorough review of LEAP tests and similar high-stakes testing programs with emphasis on children first.
HIGH STAKES TESTING
Although teachers and students should be held accountable for their performance, the practices behind high-stakes-testing should be removed from public schools. Education should be re-imagined by education professionals as a child-centered service where assessments of performance for teachers and students are solely in the hands of educators, rather than for-profit corporations and politicians.
MENTORSHIP FOR TEACHERS
Teacher training should include hands-on classroom experience under a mentor or master teacher. This policy should provide guidance and collaboration opportunities to less-experienced teachers, both within and outside of their disciplines. Interdisciplinary collaboration should be encouraged among teachers of all skill levels.
EQUALITY IN EDUCATION
While legislating prejudices and perceptions would prove difficult, steps should be taken to ensure that students in our schools will not be discriminated against in any way due to their gender, race, ethnicity, age, home background, national origin, class, disability, or other difference. Teachers should be trained to educate the diverse array of children that may be found in our classrooms, with special committees at the school level created to protect students from their teachers? perceptions of them.
GREATER PARENTAL INVOLVEMENT IN EDUCATION
All employers should be required to provide a certain amount of paid time off, upon request and on a regular basis, for parents and guardians to take an active role in their children's educations. Activities sponsored by public schools and other institutions should carry an official excuse similar to a doctor's excuse.
Public education at the secondary level should be available to all students, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, home background, national origin, class, disability, or other difference. Career counseling should also be available to all students and should not differ according to said identifying traits.
FUNDING FOR POST-SECONDARY EDUCATION
All children should have access to a choice of fully funded academic and vocational post-secondary educational services. Stipends should provide living expenses, and all books, fees, and tuition should be publicly funded.
The Green Party of Louisiana calls for multilingual education and the preservation of Louisiana's linguistic heritage.
B. Health Care
UNIVERSAL SINGLE-PAYER HEALTH CARE
Louisiana should follow the lead of the industrialized world by instituting a universal single-payer health care system at the state level. All persons should be assured of equal care and treatment regardless of ability to pay.
ACCESS TO WOMEN'S HEALTH CARE AND CONTRACEPTION
Women's health care, education, and options should be made publicly available to all women. Prescriptions (including contraceptive pills and pregnancy termination drugs), other forms of contraception, and procedures should all be publicly funded and accessible to all communities and individuals. Restrictions should be removed on would-be women's health care providers that are providers of general health care, as should laws that discourage their provision of such services.
C. Economic Justice / Social Safety Net
LIVABLE ASSISTANCE BENEFITS
We support the equalization of welfare benefits to the living wage standard established in each jurisdiction.
D. Tax Justice / Fairness
REVISION OF REGRESSIVE SALES TAXES
Tax structures should be fundamentally reformed, increasing taxes on the wealthy and corporations while decreasing taxes on the poor. State and local sales taxes on food, drugs, and utilities should be eliminated.
STATE-LEVEL EARNED INCOME TAX CREDIT
To reduce poverty and to combat Louisiana's regressive tax structure, the state should institute a state-level Earned Income Tax Credit. This tax-break will combine with living wage initiatives to alleviate some of the financial burdens on low-income workers.
TAXATION OF TRANSPORTATION
Corporate transit of goods and materials in our state should be more greatly taxed by weight and by size of transport. Motor fuel should be taxed at a higher rate and vehicles should be taxed according to fuel efficiency, weight, and maximum number of passengers. This fuel tax should provide universal liability insurance, funding for alternative transportation research and development, and encouragement for responsible transportation choices by consumers.
INDUSTRIAL PROPERTY TAX EXEMPTION
The Industrial Property Tax Exemption should be eliminated and all revenues lost to these exemptions should be refunded to our communities.
E. Management-Labor Relations
Unionization and labor peace should be encouraged in contracted companies, as well as in the private sector.
EQUAL ACCESS TO PAY AND WORK
Equal and fair pay for equal work should be guaranteed, facilitated, and enforced by public policy. Posting of pay stubs, job descriptions, and pay should be provided for, as should other means of regulation. Affirmative action should provide for access to work, and hiring practices should be free from discrimination based on gender, race, ethnicity, age, home background, national origin, class, disability, or other difference.
REMOVAL OF RIGHT TO WORK LAWS
So-called ?right to work? laws play a significant role in the assault on the dignity and livelihood of Louisiana's workers. These laws allow arbitrary firing of employees, and thus disempower them in seeking fair compensation for their labor.
LABOR UNION SECURITY
Current laws that prohibit union shops and allow beneficiaries of a union's gains to avoid financial support of that union should be removed, as should all other laws hostile to organization and self-determination of workers.
REGULATION OF EMPLOYMENT AGENCIES
Employment agencies and other contractors should be regulated, and fair treatment, pay, and security should be guaranteed for employees of these corporations.
STATE LABOR RELATIONS COMMISSION
A State Labor Commission (based on a State Labor Relations Act) should be created to oversee union elections for workers not covered by the NLRA (as amended) and not allowed NLRB elections. This would include state and municipal employees Farm Labor and could also include employees of some medium sized businesses with 10 or more employees.
We call for equal workers' rights in all sectors throughout Louisiana. No worker shall be disciplined, transferred, demoted or terminated without due process.
INFORMATION OF RIGHTS
All workers, on the first day of employment, shall be given a state approved package that informs them of their rights in the workplace. All information shall be provided in the primary language of each worker. Workers shall be informed of any job related health hazards.
RIGHTS TO DEMONSTRATE
We respect the right to freely discuss, organize, and/or participate in demonstrations, including, but not limited to, strikes and boycotts to effect change in any private or public policy, with protection against permanent replacement and/or retaliation form any employer, or from any public agency.
We call for an overhaul of Louisiana's prevailing wage laws, which pertain to any public works project. Policies should mandate full documentation and require contractors to audit these projects and public agencies to oversee contractors.
We encourage and demand living wage policies for all of Louisiana and/or in every jurisdiction.
EMPLOYEE STOCK OWNERSHIP PLANS
We support only Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOP's) that feature functioning, democratic structures, and cooperative ownership and management.
F. Criminal Justice
WAR ON DRUGS
The Green Party of Louisiana should take the lead in ending the ?war on drugs? by demanding the decriminalization of drug offenses. Social structures should focus on rehabilitation rather than incarceration.
The Green Party of Louisiana calls for the repeal of the state's ?anti-terrorism? law on the basis that it violates the privacy rights of the state's citizens.
G. Civil And Equal Rights
Any flag flown by the Confederate States of America does not represent Southern culture or heritage. No flag represents Southern culture or heritage. Confederate flags represent slavery, the immoral treatment of human beings as chattel animals, and a wrongful notion to dissolve the Union of the United States of America. Therefore, facilities owned by the public should not display any flag of the Confederacy.
REPARATIONS FOR SLAVERY
Everyone in the United States has benefited, and continues to benefit, from the labor of the people of the African Diaspora who were kept as slaves or were victims of post-Fourteenth Amendment discrimination. Full reparations should be delivered to the descendants of these people. These reparations can take the form of policies, services, and/or funds and should take into account the belated nature of these payments.
EXPLICITLY EQUAL RIGHTS FOR ALL
Everyone is entitled to all the rights and freedoms of our society, without distinction of any kind, such as race, color, gender, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status, or sexual orientation.
Equal opportunity to adopt should be enjoyed by all adults, regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, age, home background, national origin, class, disability, or other difference. While social measures should be taken to ensure fitness of the adoption candidate, oversight and enforcement should be provided for.
HUMAN RIGHTS AND DIGNITY
The mission of our state should be to ensure the human rights and dignity of all persons within it or acted upon by it.
H. Free Speech
I. Native Americans
J. Immigration / Emigration
L. National Service
III. ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY
A. Energy Policy
B. Nuclear Issues
C. Waste Management
D. Fossil Fuels
E. Renewable Energy
F. Transportation Policy
Studies show that of all trips made in private vehicles nationwide, 58.5 percent are five miles or less, and 76.3 percent are ten miles or less. These distances are ideal for bicycle travel, which is less polluting, less wasteful, builds physical fitness and has beneficial social effects. Yet Louisiana discourages cycling on its roads through a variety of means, including legislation hostile to cyclists. The Green Party of Louisiana stands for safe accommodation of cyclists on every public road. We will encourage and promote bicycling in Louisiana.
The Green Party of Louisiana calls for a state-owned, statewide commuter rail system, and for the implementation of complementary municipal systems.
G. Clean Air / Greenhouse Effect / Ozone Depletion
H. Land Use
GREATER TAXATION ON NATURAL RESOURCE USAGE
Natural resources should be more greatly taxed upon their extraction, transport, or usage. This includes non-renewable natural resources, foresting, and use of airwaves for transmission of information.
ENDING AGRICULTURAL EXPLOITATION
Because our land and the people who have worked it have been exploited, we must implement policies that respect the land and its sustainability and those that will break the vicious cycle that threatens our agricultural communities.
We call for examination of current trends and a projection of what our agricultural resources will look like in ten years? time and what solutions should be implemented to conserve our soil and to enrich it.
We call for an emphasis on polyculture over monoculture.
We call for the expansion of the Master Farmers program, which promotes sustainable practices such as crop rotation, ecologically based pest management, and use of natural fertilizers, green manures, and disease resistant indigenous plants.
ORGANIC SOIL ENRICHMENT
We call for the utilization of organic processes that build healthier soils by developing a better balance of nutrients, soil bacteria, earthworms and plant pest predators.
LAND USE PROGRAMS
We call for expansion of the following programs, Conservation Reserve, Wetland Reserve, Wildlife Habitat Programs.
We call for complete public/private funding for efforts to mitigate the loss of our wetlands and swamps.
We call for restructuring of agriculture's economic foundations by allowing farmers and fisherman to sell directly to consumers through co-ops, farmers markets, and on-site and u-pick-em operations.
DOMESTIC PRODUCE INCENTIVES
We call for the use of incentives to promote the purchase by consumers of Louisiana produce in grocery outlets throughout the state.
We call for the establishment and funding of the farmland trust.
COMMUNITY SUPPORTED AGRICULTURE
We call for the establishment of Community Supported Agriculture projects throughout the state.
VALUE-ADDED AGRICULTURAL PRODUCTS
We call for economic policies that focus on rural communities and how they may benefit from value-added agriculture products.
We call for implementation of community-based development plans that examine natural and social capital to address how sprawl impacts rural communities.
GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS
We call for a moratorium on genetically engineered products. We demand that all genetically engineered products be proven safe to long-term public health and the integrity of the environment before being put on the market or having any chance to enter the environment.
We call for a reformulation of how the state funds Agriculture/Forestry Dept. and related research.
We call for the expansion of community gardens within urban communities.
URBAN LAND USE
We call for set-aside programs by urban communities to ensure that lands designated for agricultural use are maintained and supported.
We call for the establishment of Edible Schoolyard projects throughout the state.
Farmers have the right to save viable seed they have grown. This contributes to sustainable farming. Therefore, so-called "terminator gene" plants which have been genetically modified to produce sterile seeds should not be allowed in Louisiana. Further, contracts that prohibit farmers from saving seeds from their harvest for planting the following season shouldn't have legal standing.
K. Biological Diversity
IV. ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY
For an economy to be vibrant and sustainable, it must encourage the creation of meaningful work that provides a living wage reflective of the true value of a person's work, and must encourage investment in innovative labor-intensive green enterprises.
LOCAL COMMUNITY-BASED BUSINESSES
We call for a new economic direction that encourages and supports the development of local community based businesses, which currently comprise 95% of the state's economy.
LOCAL ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
Local communities must design their own economic development plans with full public participation. These plans should take into account the role of natural capital in restoration of our air, water and soil. They should also ensure workers? rights and improve the quality of life for present and future generations.
Forestry is our most valuable agriculture commodity, making it the leading natural resource based industry in our state. The Green Party of Louisiana calls for the restoration/reforestation of our degraded forest ecosystem. To ensure that our forests are not plundered, as they have been in the past, we call for sustainable forestry practices utilizing adaptive management.
VALUE ADDED ECONOMICS
We call for the development of value added economics from our forest products with special emphasis on the promotion of viable enterprises in rural communities that ensure safe, secure and fair jobs.
We call for a thorough analysis of absentee landowners who hold abandoned property.
LAND ALLOCATIONS TO SMALL PROPERTY OWNERS
We call for the development of innovative financial incentives and penalties to make these lands viable by turning them over to small property holders under terms similar to the Homestead Act of 1867.
We call for the oversight of corporate forestry interests and timber speculators to ensure that they utilize forestry practices that will preserve and enrich the soil.
BEST MANAGEMENT PRACTICES
We call for multi-jurisdictional oversight of Best Management Practices (BMP) with full involvement of Parish governing bodies and a focus on forestry and wetlands.
We call for the removal of invasive species and a full commitment to the reestablishment of indigenous species where appropriate, especially Bald Cypress and Longleaf Pine.
INCENTIVES FOR LAND USE
We call for the reevaluation of inheritance taxes and policies that will provide incentives for maintenance of agriculture/rural lands.
We call for the implementation of "Smart Growth" planning to minimize sprawl, the biggest threat to our forests, and related fires issue at the forest's edge.
We call for measures that will minimize the use of paper and related products.
We call for the development of alternative fibers i.e., Kenaf, bamboo, industrial hemp and bagasse.
URBAN AND COMMUNITY FORESTRY
We call for state/local funding to match the federal share of the Urban and Community Forestry program.
LIMITING INFLUENCE OF TIMBER INDUSTRY
We call for a new funding model for the Department of Forestry that will minimize the influence of the timber industry.
Louisiana's significant mineral resources consist of oil, gas, sulphur, lignite, salt, gravel, shells and groundwater. The misallocation of these resources results in toxic waste. The Green Party of Louisiana calls for the true costing, sustainability and restoration of our minerals.
LOCAL CONTROL OF RESOURCES
We call for the elimination of all barriers that prevent local entities from having jurisdiction over the minerals in their communities and setting those policies that pertain to hazardous materials that are produced, stored or handled within the community.
We call for a thorough analysis of the Department of Environmental Quality, Department of Natural Resources and the Public Services Commission and reforms to ensure citizen access to all regulatory matters.
We call for a shift of state tax policy from that which penalizes jobs and income to one that taxes waste in form of resource depletion, pollution and all toxic discharges.
We call for policy that requires toxins to have "markers? identifying them as belonging, in perpetuity, to their makers.
We call for the establishment of a property tax policy on gas and oil pipeline transmission systems that run through the state based on volume of minerals transported via such.
We call for the elimination of tax exemptions in any form for minerals extracted within the state.
B. Re-asserting Local Citizen Control Over Corporations
C. Livable Income
All workers should be guaranteed fair and livable compensation for their labor. Further, wages sensitive to cost of living should be determined municipally. There should be no limits to municipal or living wage referenda at any level.
D. Community Involvement
E. Small Business And Job Creation
G. Rural Development
H. Banking For People
I. Insurance Reform
J. Pension Reform
K. Anti-Trust Enforcement
L. Advanced Tech / Defense Conversion
M. The National Debt
The Green Party of Louisiana opposes privatization of state and local services.
P. Economic Accountability
The Louisiana Green Party calls for a fundamental change in economic policies of our communities to reestablish trust in the systems
1. Amend/supplement Art. 12, sec. 12, 1974 La. Constitution titled, "Corporations...?, and the Corporate Code to ensure that the state legislature uses it's "reserved" power to revoke the charters of errant domestic corporations.
2. Institute processes that will ensure that citizens can petition the Attorney General to revoke the permission of errant foreign corporations to do business in Louisiana.
3. Allow municipalities to enact local ordnances defining corporations within their jurisdiction.
4. Re-open corporate affairs to legislative scrutiny.
5. Reinstate stockholders/owner control over corporate management and policy.
6. Give state courts clear authority to hear all corporate cases.
7. Reinstate historic limits on corporations.
a. Prohibit corporations from seeking or accepting "incentive' packages from any government entity.
b. Must state specific purpose, with a penalty of revocation if said purpose is either not fulfilled or is exceeded.
c. Require that in the event of bankruptcy, corporate management be withheld until all debts to employees and creditors are paid.
d. Impose strict liability for all corporate officers and/or stockholders.
e. Require every corporate document to be signed by a human being.
f. Require a percentage of stockholders to live within the state.
` g. Prohibit corporation from owning stock in other corporations.
h. Issue corporate charters for only a specific term of existence.
i. Limit real estate holdings to that necessary for corporate purposes.
j. Prohibit any and all political donations by corporations and/or their associations especially to local and state entities.
k. Prohibit all civic, charitable, or educational donations not specifically provided for in the corporate purpose.
l. Forbid corporations from doing business under pseudonyms or alternative names.
m. Require corporations to pay for periodic health, safety and environmental audits by independent experts selected by workers and affected communities.
n. Require uniformity of health benefits throughout the corporation.
The Green Party of Louisiana calls for a qualitative shift towards a common sense tax code that mandates that those who benefit from the natural capital of our communities must pay a fair share of their profits to maintain the common good.
We call for "true-cost pricing" taxes that will put an economic evaluation on pollution of our environment and extraction of non-renewable resources. Louisiana produces 2% of the country's noxious gases, (the highest concentration in the nation) which have been identified as contributing to ozone depletion and related health hazards. Taxing the emitters of these gases will not only provide substantial revenue for the community, but will act as an incentive to reduce these emissions and turn them into useful commodities.
We call for the elimination of the tax incentives that are administered by the state but drain local economies of funds.
We call for the removal of barriers that hinder local jurisdictions? ability to devise appropriate tax codes through a full and open public process.
We call for the enforcement of fees and penalties on those who violate the current environmental standards.
We call for a reevaluation of health and environmental permits, fees and penalties via the inclusion of an open process that encourages public participation in their design.
We call for the redesign of the property tax assessment process.
We call for the establishment of a rural economic incentive policy with focus on family farms.
We call for policies that penalize waste.
ALLOCATION OF RESOURCES
We call for policies based on nature's efficiency in allocation of materials and human capital.
We call for the Economic Development Department to focus on programs that emphasize the viability of existing local business and encouragement of sustainable green entities.