Green Party of Minnesota Platform

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.

Contents

The Green Vision

A. Human Rights

B. Economics

C. Energy

D. Agriculture

E. Land Use

F. Waste Management

G. Air and Water

H. Transportation

I. Health Care

J. Families

K. Housing

L. State Spending

M. Education

N. Non-Human Animal Issues

O. Crime and Justice

P. Population

Q. The Arts

R. Grassroots Democracy

S. Foreign Policy & Peace

The Green Vision

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.

1.) Racism

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. 

1d. Greens support government enforcement of civil rights laws, targeting both overt and covert violations that lead to racial disparities in employment and housing. Covert violations of the civil rights of others, whether intended or unintended, must be detected and prosecuted in order to achieve full compliance. This would enhance affirmative action programs and end an era of token enforcement that allows employment discrimination through minimal compliance strategies.

1e. The Green Party opposes "color-blind" policies in K-12 education that have a disparate effect on people of color, such as those that result in schools attended mostly by children of color having the least experienced teachers. Under federal education laws, including Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, color-blind policies that harm people of color and other protected classes may be considered violations of the law which require a timely remedy. 

2.) American Indian Treaty Rights

2a. We recognize that American Indian 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 the 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.

2g. Greens support the re-opening of “Compacts” related to the Indian Gaming Industry and for the insertion of a clause that all state and federal labor laws protecting all other workers also apply to casino workers.

3.) Feminism

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 curricula, 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. 

3e. Greens oppose all neonatal genital cutting, including female, male and intersex. Greens oppose all genital cutting/mutilation against children and infants as a violation of their human rights.

3f. While working to end domestic violence against women, men and children, we support services and shelters for battered women and men and their children as long as they are needed, as well as education/outreach efforts, in every county in Minnesota.

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 family planning, counseling services, and 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.

6.) Ageism

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.

7.) Military Personnel

7a. We oppose holding US servicepersons beyond their terms of enlistment.

7b. Greens support full services for veterans, including psychological, emotional, educational, vocational, and medical.

8.) End all Torture

8a. Greens demand a ban on any and all forms of torture and that the United States abides by Geneva Conventions.

9.) Move to Amend

We reject the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission and in McCutcheon v. Federal Election Commission, and move to amend the U.S. Constitution to establish that:

1. Money is not speech; and

2. Human beings, not corporations, are entitled to constitutional rights.

10.) 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.

11.) Indefinite Military Detention

The Green Party condemns indefinite military detention and advocates that section of the National Defense Authorization Act be repealed.

12.) 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.

13.) 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. 

B. Economics

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. Greens seek an ecology-based economy where each economic exchange inherently restores the water, air, soil and habitats to health and sustainability.

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. Children should also have a right to play and should be supported to fully develop their gifts, talents and interests.

2.) Workers Superfund

Greens support the establishment of a fund to provide additional education and/or retraining, and interim income to workers displaced by bankruptcies, shutdowns, technology shifts, environmental reforms, and other situations. Funding should also be made availableto assist worker cooperatives 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 calls 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. To that end we also recommend the introduction of local currencies that would help stimulate the local economy.

6.) Sustainability

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. External costs need to be internalized when doing business.

7.) Self-Sufficiency

We oppose the 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. We favor local self-sufficiency versus 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, that protect democratic freedoms, and that provide for dispute resolution processes that are open to citizens. The Green Party demands the revocation of all trade agreements that do not meet these requirements.

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 that 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.

10.) Technology

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 to 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 earning the Social Security payroll tax cap that limits earnings subject to taxation ($117,000 in 2014). 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 the concept of the Public Benefit Corporation that offers a statutory option for a corporation to pursue general or specific public benefits among their primary objectives, besides generating profits.

18.) Livable Income

All people have the right to sufficient means that afford them a dignified life where all basic human needs are met.

18a. Greens support living wages that take into account all cost-of living factors. Currently, the best measure is the Consumer Price Index (CPI), as provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (U.S. Department of Labor). Wages need to re-adjusted periodically, and at least annually.

18b. In addition, we support legislation that would guarantee a Universal Basic Income for everyone, based on cost-of-living factors, that covers basic needs and that affords a dignified life for all.

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.

23.) Just-Cause Employment

We support legislation that would change Minnesota from an At-Will Employment state to one with Just-Cause Employment Laws.

24.) Implement the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI) as Minnesota’s primary measurement of economic well-being.

C. Energy

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 nonpolluting 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 appropriate for-profit utilities at a fair price and create energy utilities.

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.) Transition to Renewable Energy

We support the phasing out of ecologically harmful sources of energy, such as non-renewable fossil fuels. Transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050, with at least 80% achieved by 2030, using wind, solar, ocean, small-scale hydro, and geothermal power. Renewable energy is technically and economically feasible. The barriers to a renewable energy economy come from economic, political, and social interests, and are not technical.

5.) Building Codes

Greens support amending building codes to require earth-friendly, state-of-art insulation,weatherproofing, glazing and alternative energy sources on new residential, commercial and government construction. 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.) Fossil Fuel Depletion

8a. Greens acknowledge the reality of fossil fuel depletion and the increasingly aggressive and environmentally damaging means of fossil fuel extraction, such as fracking.

8ai. At current and rising consumption rates, all fossil fuels cannot last many more decades or generations and will be eventually depleted.

8b. In addition, ongoing fossil fuel extraction, transport, and burning not only depletes this type of energy, but also causes and accelerates climate change.

8c. Greens call for local, regional and statewide measures to deal with the declining availability of oil and natural gas.

8ci. Greens encourage “re-localization” efforts to produce as much local food and local energy as possible.

8cii. In addition to the transition to alternative energy sources, Greens encourage reducing fossil fuel energy use (energy conservation), while increasing the practices of permaculture, local & organic agriculture, intentional communities and community dialogue.

8d. The Greens call for an immediate end to all investments in fossil fuel extraction companies.

D. Agriculture

1.) Sustainable Agriculture

1a. Greens promote a shift away from intensive agricultural systems that depend heavily on irrigation, synthetic fertilizers, herbicides, pesticides and other products and methods of industrial agriculture.

1b. Greens support sustainable organic farming practices such as crop rotation, organic fertilizers, biological pest control, the use and further development of plant species, landraces and other adapted local crop varieties.

1c. Greens support full labeling of food with details of pesticide and/or herbicide treatments and their country of origin (state & county in USA).

1d. We encourage the development and support of smaller, community or privately owned farms that provide a variety of agricultural products. 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.

1f. Greens support local and sustainable food practices, encouraged by tax incentives.

1g. We prefer those food distribution systems, where revenue goes predominantly to 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. Hemp cultivation should be legalized; hemp product development and refinement should be promoted through government resources.

1k. Greens advocate growing crops in Minnesota for local consumption, and reducing the amount of food that is shipped here from other bio-regions and from abroad.

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 reviews 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 food 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. 

3.) Biotechnology

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 of food and products that are genetically modified or contain genetically modified organisms, and for a five-year moratorium on their use and further product development.

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. We support 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, critical environmental areas on the urban fringe and other natural resources.

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, one that makes development decisions predictable, fair and open so that land use plans can be embraced by both the public and private sectors.

1f. We support the development of Environmental Outlook documents to support environmentally responsible, long range political & economic decision making. The documents would be used for international, national, regional, state, county, city, watershed, township and other municipal planning activities. They would be updated annually and be based on the best & latest information available from our technical and social scientists. Projections for conditions for 10, 25, 50 and 100 years into the future would be included. Prototype documents, and completed & commented documents would be available via ECONET to all levels of the global community. Tailoring of the prototypes would enable specific versions to address local priorities.

2.) Forestry

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.

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. We also support increasing the acreage of State Parks to establish contiguous corridors for 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 farmland. 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 provide wildlife habitat.

2f. We call for restricting off-road vehicle and snowmobile use on public lands, except for hunting and gathering (no “recreational” use.)

3.) Mining

3a. Greens advocate for a drastic reduction in the use of mining for oil, natural gas, and non-ferrous metals, and oppose all new projects that support expansion of extreme energy extraction or transport, such as tar sands mining, mountain top removal and hazardous pipelines. Instead, we support investment in renewable energy, conservation, and holistic product design.

3b. Greens oppose the mining of tar sands and frat sands. We stand for a ban on hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of oil and natural gas as well as a ban on the disposal of wastes created by the fracking industry. We also call for a ban of bulk transportation of oil sands and oil shale products in Minnesota and instead call for an immediate and significant transition to clean a renewable energy economy not dependent on fossil fuel. Furthermore, we support a ban on the extraction and transport of frac sands -- an industry that has serious negative consequences for the communities and residents of southeastern Minnesota.

3c. As long as there is no ban of bulk transportation, Greens support legislation that requires stronger spill response preparedness for both rail and pipeline transport of oil sands and oil shale products, and that ensures that “frac sand” transport does not endanger public health.

3d. No copper-nickel-precious metals mines (a.k.a. sulfide mining) shall be permitted as they threaten Minnesota’s water resources and natural heritage.

3e. Greens demand that all companies that use Minnesota’s natural resources to have funds escrowed to cover all potential clean-up costs.

F. Waste Management

Greens support a waste management philosophy that prioritizes in the following order, reduction, reusing and recycling. 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.

1.) Reduce

Greens recognize that we must reclaim the virtue of frugality, replacing overconsumption and its resulting waste, which came to be predominant during the industrial age. The first priority of any waste management plan must be waste minimization. Only reduction at the source in manufacturing and packaging will solve our growing waste problem.

2.) Reuse

Our second priority in waste management is maximum reuse of materials. Although we support current recycling efforts, we realize that labor and energy are required to recycle. We must adopt standardized reusable containers, mechanical parts, and other goods wherever possible.

3.) Recycle

Our third waste management priority is recycling. We support the expansion and increased efficiency of all current recycling efforts, and encourage recyclable product design. We also encourage the composting of all organic compostable waste materials.

4.) Residue

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 waste management 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.

5) Plastic Bags

The Green Party of Minnesota calls for a ban on single-use plastic bags in an effort to further protect the planet and all its inhabitants.

G. Air and Water

1.) Air

1a. Greens have a goal of eliminating the use and the emissions from all air polluting substances. We advocate to stringently tighten national air pollutant health and emission standards, expanding the number of substances monitored and regulated, to increase testing, and to establish stiffer penalties for violators and better-funded remedial programs. 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 chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and hydrochlorofluorocarbons (HCFCs) used as refrigerants or insulation. Service and salvage operations that deal with air conditioning units should be required to recover all CFCs and HCFCs. We also call for the phasing out of other ozone-damaging chemicals including dichloromethane and other chlorine gases.

1d. We support the original HR 2919 (Indoor Air Act of 1993) and other legislation that address the problem of indoor air quality in order to decrease the presence of harmful chemicals in our workplaces and homes.

1e. We support legislation that addresses the use of “Good Neighbor Agreements” where industries and neighborhood groups can 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 convert its vehicle fleet to a hybrid or electric low- or zero emission vehicle fleet to reduce emissions and to preserve energy.

1g. Greens support initiatives to install state of the art mercury control technologies for air emissions and ash waste storage on all existing coal fired power plants. We urge the state of Minnesota to establish enforceable mercury reduction to virtual elimination by 2020.

1h. The Green Party of Minnesota opposes the incineration of scrap tires due to health, economic and environmental impacts. Greens support enacting legislation that tire-derived fuel be subject to waste combustor regulations and 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 greenhouse gas emissions.

1j. We call for legally binding commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050 over 1990 levels. We also call for wealthy nations to financially assist poorer countries struggling with the effects of climate change.

2.) Water – Long Term Planning

2a. Greens support the development of national, regional, and local groundwater protection policies requiring the long-term management of all aquifers and the elimination of all groundwater pollution. These protection policies would include:

  1. regular and extensive quality testing of aquifers,

  2. regulation of groundwater pumping to avoid depletion of aquifers and to avoid leaching of salts and dissolved solids,

  3. banning deep well injection of hazardous waste,

  4. wetlands conservation to assure adequate surface area for groundwater recharge,

  5. programs to clean up and to prevent harmful dumping and landfill sites that have a potential for groundwater contamination and to avoid future contaminating dumping, and

  6. development of bioregional strategies for cleaning toxified aquifers.

  7. a no-loss policy for remaining wetlands in Minnesota, plus restoration of existing impaired wetlands to assure adequate surface area for groundwater recharge.

     

2b. We support protection policies for long-term management and pollution prevention of all water sources and shores in Minnesota.

2c. 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.

2d. The MN legislature should give municipalities, park districts and watershed districts the power to ban certain classes of pesticides (including but not limited to diazinon, 2,4-D, and MCPP) from golf courses, private lawns and parklands in their areas.

3.) Water – Practices

3a. Greens demand an immediate halt to the destruction of wetlands and support measures to restore previous wetlands.

3b. 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 licenses. 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.

3c. Greens support agricultural practices, which use water efficiently and avoid polluting, such as low runoff tillage methods, drip irrigation, use of compost, organic growing methods and recycling of organic wastes.

3d. We support legislation, financial incentives, and educational programs that encourage conservation and reuse of water, low-use water systems, and reduced use patterns in all residential and commercial buildings.

3e. Greens believe that residential and commercial water pricing in both rural and urban areas ought to be based on the fair cost for water usage which includes all expenses involved in water acquisition: transportation, storage, quality maintenance and restoration.

3f. Present and future water supply projects should be funded on the “user-pays” principle rather than by taxpayer subsidy.

4.) BWCA

We oppose the use of motorized watercraft or land vehicles in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area.

H. Transportation

1.) Public Transportation

We support the further development 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, community-scaled society.

3.) Alternatives for Transportation

Transportation alternatives should minimize fossil fuel use, be economically efficient, have a small ecological footprint, be accessible to all, and be sustainable. 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. Greens support tax incentives for purchase of fuel-efficient, carbon-neutral and/or alternative energy vehicles, and disincentives for vehicles that are not fuel-efficient.

5.) Bicycles

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, including algal bio-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 their 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 alternative forms of medicine.

2.) Alternative Health Care

We support access/choice, through the national or state 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, including casinos. All employees should be able to work in a smoke free environment.

6.) Medical Cannabis

Greens support the legal use of medical cannabis by all persons of legal age, if they believe cannabis can contribute to their health. Patients should have access to medical cannabis with their physicians’ recommendation. Greens support a system of state regulated nonprofit dispensaries to dispense cannabis.

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.

J. Families

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 to a living wage for all workers, temporary and permanent so that all Minnesotans who work full time are able to support themselves and their families. The federal minimum wage for all workers should be set to at least $15 per hour, indexed to inflation.

1c. We support maintaining a state board, with broad parent and professional representation, 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 and to develop resources to meet those needs, provide technical assistance with service implementation, and educate consumers and providers.

2.) Elderly

2a. The Greens promote public funding of community-based support services for elders to avoid unnecessary nursing home placement and to encourage the highest degree of independence, dignity and choice. We also support high-quality training and just compensation for their caregivers.

2b. We encourage the formation of programs which support the wisdom, expertise and energy of elders in service to the community.

2c. Housing options for elders should include both multi-generational and peer based settings.

2d. We support the option of worker retirement phase-in over a period of several years to ease the work-to-retirement transition to allow time for economic and personal adjustment, and to give time to develop new social connections and for people find a new place in the community.

2e. We oppose the commercialization of private life. We oppose unsolicited commercial advertising and marketing.

3.) Youth

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, parenting and family enrichment skills.

3e. We support government funding for programs so that basic human needs for food, shelter, child care, health care, job training, and education, are met.

3f. We oppose all 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 struggling juveniles and their families, including alternative therapies, such as wilderness therapy.

3h. We support full funding of crisis nurseries and respite care to help prevent abuse by providing safe housing for children whose parents are temporarily unable to care for them.

3i. The Greens support expanding the state mandate requiring breakfast be served in schools, where more than 30% of the students receive free and reduced lunches.

3j. We support school programs that provide more organic and fresh produce with limited packaging and with food prepared on site.

3k. To prevent deterioration of current licensing standards, Greens support legislation that ensures that only qualified, consistent, fairly paid and culturally responsive caregivers provide child care. We also support an increase in licensing staff and promote annual visits and support for care providers.

3l. Childhood immunizations should be made available for all families that desire them; by offering immunizations through early childhood programs, by educating parents and doctors about the possible benefits and risks of immunizations, and by keeping better track of children’s immunizations.

3m. 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. Screening and therapeutic services should be available to homes and centers serving special needs children and special needs programs should be linked with Early Childhood Family Education, Early Childhood Screening and Early Childhood Special Education programs.

3n. Child care should be available for every school-aged child of working parents. School-age and other child care programs should be included in the criteria for family services collaborative grants.

4.) Domestic Partners

4a. Greens recognize domestic partnerships between unmarried same-sex and different-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 marriage for gays, lesbians, bisexuals and transgendered persons by applying the same standards, requirements, privileges, and responsibilities as applied to different-sexed couples.

K. Housing

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 non-profit housing groups like Habitat for Humanity should be encouraged.

4.) Affordable Housing

4a. We support accessible, low income housing integrated into all communities.

4b. We demand priority be given to comprehensive statewide plans, funding and actions to eliminate homelessness in Minnesota 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 made available to provide families with counseling services, grants and loans, to help them stay in their homes during periods of financial hardship.

8.) Lead Poisoning Prevention

We support funding to prevent lead poisoning for such projects as the lead poisoning prevention “swab teams”, especially in high risk urban neighborhoods.

9.) Standards for Building 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 reduce or eliminate toxicity. These standards should apply to workplaces, residences, manufactured homes, and recreational vehicles.

10.) Eminent Domain

10a. We support legislation that deals fairly with land- and property owners that are affected by eminent domain laws, especially as they relate to utilities, such as the “Buy the Farm” provision.

10b. We support the use of eminent domain to bail out under-water homeowners by buying up and then re-selling their homes back to homeowners at market values.

11.) Zoning

We support the right of counties and townships to go beyond state standards for land use and local development and to enact zoning ordinances in order to protect the health and well-being of their communities. 

L. State Spending

1.) Expenditures

All expenditures should be met with measurable, demonstrated results that are rigorously and impartially evaluated.

2.) Nongovernment Collaborations

Greens advocate that more public responsibilities should be met through collaborative efforts with non-governmental communities, like families, neighborhood groups, ethnic organizations and churches, in which people already have established relationships of mutual obligation, and that they be viewed as already having in place appropriate, effective and accountable mechanisms for meeting public responsibilities.

3.) Property Tax Relief

Greens oppose current property tax relief programs that subsidize people who are already advantaged and do not need public assistance.

4.) Progressive Taxes

We support a shift from sales taxes and local property taxes to fair, progressive income taxes based on one’s ability to pay. 

5.) Development Funding

When government provides funding to support business growth and development, specific requirements must be met, such as paying living wages, engaging in pollution prevention activities, and enforcing human and civil rights standards.

6.) Sports Stadiums

We strongly oppose 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.

M. Education

1.) Funding

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, thus making 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 supports parenting, improves the quality of early childhood 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. In addition, we support alternativeprocesses of evaluating academic, social and personal growth.

2d. We call for a de-emphasis on standardized tests at all levels of education.

2e. Recognizing that conventional classroom practices can discriminate against segments of the student population, we support practices that encourage equal access to education for all students. We support practice that fully respects students.

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 a significant voice in determining curricula and disciplinary procedures according to their ability to assume such responsibilities. Families and students need to be able to choose from a wide array of approaches.

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. 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.

2k. State educational standards must have the flexibility to allow for individual communities and classrooms to tailor curricula to fit their unique needs.

2l. We call for a comprehensive sex education curriculum that offers information on sexual health and safety, contraception, abstinence, and the diversity of sexual orientations & gender identities. We oppose publicly funded abstinence-only programs. Students deserve an education that empowers them to plan pregnancies and take care of their health.

2m. We support providing access to our schools for representatives of nonviolent action organizations (i.e. Peace Corps, Americorps), especially to public high schools, where armed services recruiters are allowed.

2n. We oppose all forms of bullying and discrimination.

2o. Teacher turnover rates should be brought to low levels in all schools.

2p.The Green Party opposes the corporate school reform agenda, including elimination of teacher tenure and seniority rights, privatization of the public school system, de-funding of schools in high-need areas, and a curriculum focusing on standardized testing.

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 should be rehabbed and new schools should be built to meet community needs. Schools could be centers for community activities, by providing space for libraries, and music, art and sports programs. This approach would also create local jobs, and would allow for more classrooms and smaller classes.

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 by all means necessary, all public school students should be provided with 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. An individual’s state aid should follow that student to the campus and program he or she selects.

4c. We believe the state should extend free public education to include public post high school 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. Effective public programs should be available to all citizens who wish to learn to read and write.

4g. We promote literacy programs, job training and other educational opportunities for prisoners, which would contribute to the reduction of repeat offending .

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 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 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 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, 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, with the goal to eventually abolish animal-based models.

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 be clearly labeled.

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

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 the current corporate agri-business model 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 activities 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 harm and abuse 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 in selecting a corporation for investment purposes.

6.) Wildlife and Habitat

Recreational hunting and fishing does not primarily exist to provide food, and government programs sometimes favor recreational hunting and fishing over natural predator prey relationships as means of controlling populations. In addition, 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 encourage biodiversity and provide nonhuman animals the opportunity to live a natural and healthy life, in which natural predator-prey relationships are favored ahead of hunting by humans.

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.

6i. We specifically oppose the recreational hunting, trapping and snaring of wolves in Minnesota and support provisions in the original Minnesota Wolf Management Roundtable.

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 agricultural system.

8b. Nutritional information in schools must consist of scientifically-accurate materials from independent sources. Nutrition classes in schools should include information on vegetarian and vegan options.

8c. Government-funded organizations that provide meal programs, such as schools, prisons, hospitals and the military, should always provide for meatless and vegan options.

8d. All food meant for human consumption which contains animal ingredients should be clearly labeled.

O. Crime and Justice

The Greens believe the most effective way of dealing with crime is its prevention by tackling the root causes that generate criminal behavior. This starts with meeting all physical, social and emotional needs of children, and making sure that all young adults find a 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.

1.) Crime and Punishment

1a. Imprisonment keeps people who have committed crimes away from society, at least for a while. But imprisonment is ineffective for rehabilitation, and does not allow a convict 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 institute equal provisions to justice for white-collar crimes, including environmental violations. 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 to 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 to assist its victims and survivors.

1i. We demand an end to sex trafficking and demand culturally appropriate services for survivors.

2.) Prisons

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 in the prison system, and to provide educational and vocational opportunities for 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.

3.) Drugs

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 ending the “war on drugs”. We call for more innovative approaches to healing communities in which there is a high frequency of drug abuse and redirecting funds presently budgeted for the “war on drugs” toward expanded research, education, counseling, and treatment.

3b. Drug abuse. Drug abuse of all kinds should be treated as a disease, rather than a criminal offense. We call for amending the Controlled Substances Act to reflect that drug use in itself is not a crime. We support the decriminalization of personal possession and use of drugs.

3c. We advocate for the legalization of cannabis possession, sale, and cultivation. Regulation of its production, sale and use, similar to the way we regulate alcohol and tobacco.

3d. We call for striking from record all prior convictions for cannabis possession sale, or cultivation.

3e. We call for amnesty and release from confinement without any further parole or probation, those who have been incarcerated solely for the use, sale, or cultivation of cannabis and use of other drugs

3f. We call for implementation of a step-by-step program to decriminalize all drug use for those 18 and older in the United States. Drug abuse should be treated as a public health issue.

3g. Drug education for youth should be provided, based on current scientific understanding. Education regarding prescription drugs should be included.

4.) Civil Liberties

We oppose legislation, which limits or abridges constitutionally guaranteed rights and liberties.

4a. We call for the ban of drones from the airspace over the state of Minnesota that would threaten civil liberties.

P. Population

1.) Overpopulation

We recognize that population growth along with increasing demands for resources 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.

3.) Overconsumption

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 richer countries use much more of the world’s non-renewable resources, consume far more energy, and thus produce much more waste than poorer countries.

4.) Family Planning

We support the dissemination of information on the full range of contraception options, including natural family planning. We also support the easy availability of contraceptives to all sexually active females and males. We endorse all 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 the Green movement.

3.) Censorship

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, who are underrepresented in the institutionalized and mainstream art world.

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.

1.) Decentralization

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 a binding Initiative and Referendum process. Decisions of a local government body may not be overturned by a more centralized 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 to elected officials at 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 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 Super PACs.

5.) IRV and Proportional Representation

5a. The number of representatives to all assemblies, such as state and national legislatures, should be based on the party’s percentage of the total votes cast (proportional representation). 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. 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 finance system, 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. Greens support the restoration of voting rights to Minnesotans convicted of a felony, and on probation or parole.

6d. Abolish the Electoral College and provide for the direct national election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting.

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 (by the governor), 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 citizens whom 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.

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 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 the immediate worldwide elimination of all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons, including the termination of all production and research connected with them.

3b. Greens support immediate worldwide elimination of all weapons that continue to 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.

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 level. 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 much expanded role, and be much 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.


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