Green Party of Florida Platform

Table of Contents (Scroll down to see full platform)

A Call to Action

Platform Preamble

KEY VALUES

  1.   GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

2.   SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

  1.   ECOLOGICAL WISDOM

  2.   NON-VIOLENCE

  3.   DECENTRALIZATION

  4.   COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

  5.   FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY

  6.   RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY

  7.   PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY

  8. FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY

 

 

QUALITY OF LIFE

I.      GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

A.      POLITICAL REFORM

B.      CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

C.      TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

D.      INITIATIVES / REFERENDA / RECALL

E.       MEDIA REFORM

II.      SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

A.      GENDER EQUALITY

B.       REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

C.       HEALTH CARE / INSURANCE

D.      AFFORDABLE HOUSING

E.       HOMELESSNESS

F.       CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

G.      CHILD CARE

H.      PUBLIC EDUCATION

I.       SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS

J.       HUMAN RIGHTS / CIVIL LIBERTIES

K.      DISABILITY RIGHTS

L.       LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS (LGBT)

M.      NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS

N.      CRIMINAL JUSTICE/LAW ENFORCEMENT

O.      DEATH PENALTY

P.       DRUG POLICY

Q.      RESTRUCTURING THE ECONOMY/SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS.

R.      CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

S.      EMPLOYMENT

T.       LIVING WAGE

U.      UNIONS

V.      WORKPLACE SAFETY

W.     ECONOMIC MEASUREMENT

X.      ECONOMIC CONVERSION OF THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

Y.     TAXATION AND SPENDING POLICIES

Z.     GOVERNMENT SPENDING

AA.   NONVIOLENCE

 

 

III.   ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

A.     ENERGY PRODUCTION, USE, AND CONSERVATION

B.    WATER USE AND CONSERVATION

C.     PROTECTION OF THE OCEANS

D.     PROTECTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE

E.     FORESTRY PRACTICES AND BIODIVERSITY

F.      LAND USE AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

G.     ORGANIC FARMING / ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

H.     BIOCIDES

I.      ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

J.     ANIMAL FARMING

K.   TRANSPORTATION

L.    WASTE PREVENTION, RECYCLING AND DISPOSAL

M.   RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION

N.   TOXIC WASTE

IV.   FEDERAL ISSUES

A.    DEBT IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

B.    DISARMAMENT AND PEACE POLICIES

C.    FOREIGN POLICY

D.    MILITARISM AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE

E.     BANKING AND FINANCE

F.     IMMIGRATION / EMIGRATION

G.    INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

H.     SOCIAL SECURITY

I.     POPULATION GROWTH

J.    SPIRITUALITY

GREEN PARTY OF FLORIDA PLATFORM

Adopted on December 6, 2003

A Call to Action

This GREEN PLATFORM is an evolving document, a living work-in-progress which expresses our commitment to creating meaningful and enduring change in the political process. Our first priority is to promote value-based governance, which requires a fundamental shift away from our current cultural system of exploitation, excessive consumption and unregulated competition.

We believe government’s role is to act in the public interest, in the broadest sense, and as a whole. Therefore, we’re proposing a vision for the common good, which places a public interest standard at the forefront of civil governance and public policy decision-making. We believe in empowering citizens and communities to build an alternative, independent politics, which will ultimately lead to a responsible, accountable, democratic government. Ours is a comprehensive plan, because as Greens, we see the social, political, economic and environmental facets of our lives as inseparable, just as we as human beings are inseparable from the WEB OF LIFE.

And so, in this Platform, we make our case to change the way our local, state and national governments operate; to improve the quality of our everyday lives; and to create a just and sustainable future where life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness are not just words on a page.

Platform Preamble

As the new century, and the new millennium, dawn, we look back with somber reflection at who and what America has become, both as a people and as a nation. Realizing our actions today will be looked upon by future generations, we ask how, with foresight and wisdom, we can renew the best of our own past, while calling for the spirit of transformation and participation we’ll need to manifest our aspirations.

We therefore submit our bold vision of the future, a PLATFORM upon which we stand. This Platform:

Embodies an ethic of KEY VALUES leading to a POLITICS OF ACTION;

Offers a HOPEFUL, CHALLENGING PLAN for a PROSPERING, SUSTAINABLE AND JUST ECONOMY; and

Makes a call to CREATE and CONSERVE a rich, DIVERSE environment characterized by a sense of COMMUNITY.

Our political strategy is diverse and adaptable, and arises within a framework of solid core values:

DEMOCRACY, practiced most effectively at the grassroots level and in local communities;

SOCIAL JUSTICE and EQUAL OPPORTUNITY, emphasizing personal and social responsibility, accountability and non-violence; and

ENVIRONMENTAL AND ECONOMIC SUSTAINABILITY, balancing the interests of market-driven business with that of the public interest as a whole, now and for future generations.

Looking to the future with hope and optimism, we believe we can truly change the world – that together we can make a positive, lasting difference in the quality of our lives, both as members of the human community, and as a species within the larger ecosystem of Earth. Our shared beliefs bring us together across our state, throughout our nation and around our globe, and collectively, we

realize that it is for us to choose how we will be remembered. It is for us to choose the future we are creating today.

The Green Party of Florida upholds Key Values shared by the Green Party of the United States and Green Parties around the world. These Key Values are the foundation of our Platform.

KEY VALUES

1.      GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives and not be subject to the will of another. Therefore, we will work to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We will also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.

2.      SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

3.      ECOLOGICAL WISDOM

Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

4.      NON-VIOLENCE

It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.

5.      DECENTRALIZATION

Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. Therefore, we support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system that is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.

6.      COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE

We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a “living wage” which reflects the real value of a person’s work. Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers’ rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our “quality of life.” We support independently owned and operated companies that are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.

7.      FEMINISM AND GENDER EQUITY

We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity between the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.

8.      RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY

We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.

9.      PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY

We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.

10.    FUTURE FOCUS AND SUSTAINABILITY

Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or “unmaking” all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.

QUALITY OF LIFE

Our deepest aspiration is not merely to survive, but to share healthy, safe, peaceful lives with our neighbors here, and around the world. We encourage everyone to see the dignity and intrinsic worth in all life, and to take the time to understand and appreciate themselves, their communities and the complex and elegant beauty of our Mother Earth.

I.        GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY

A.      POLITICAL REFORM

The Green Party of Florida proposes a comprehensive political reform agenda calling for meaningful reform, accountability and responsive government. We therefore call for:

1.    The implementation of Instant Runoff Voting at every level of government.

2.    The replacement of the “winner-take-all” system with one of proportional representation.

3.    A binding “None-of -the-Above” category to be on the ballot in all primary and general elections, to allow voters to express their dissatisfaction with the available candidates for public office.

4.    The establishment of non-partisan citizen debate commissions, and reasonable, fair and inclusive standards for candidate participation in all debates.

5.    Eligible voters to be allowed to register at any government agency.

6.    Requiring paper ballot verification in all elections.

7.    The strengthening and enforcement of civil and criminal penalties for public officials who subvert or fail to uphold election and voting laws.

8.    The restoration of voting rights for ex-felons.

9.    A national holiday for federal elections.

10.  The abolition of fees for ballot access.

11.  Reasonable, but not overly burdensome ballot access petition requirements.

12.  Citizen control of the redistricting process.

B.      CAMPAIGN FINANCE REFORM

Current campaign practices make a mockery of the democratic process. They benefit the wealthy individuals and groups who are in essence able to buy political representation, while the citizenry is further disenfranchised. We believe the content of political debate, legislation and public policy decisions should be determined on its merit, not the quid pro quo of political barter and money.

Therefore, the Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Enacting and enforcing more stringent spending limit and public financing laws to reduce the corrupting influence of money in our political system.

2.    Prohibiting state parties from using “soft money” for any activity pertaining to elections.

3.    Prohibiting elected officials from transferring money from their own campaign funds to those of candidates currently running for office.

C.      TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT

In order to establish the legitimacy of government, the Green Party of Florida seeks to:

1.    Broaden the public’s access to governmental information.

2.    Require all governmental activities to be subject to strict procedural safeguards with regard to public notice and participation.

3.    Promote and expand the Florida Sunshine Law and the federal Freedom of Information Act.

4.    Protect “whistle blowers” who report covert or illegal government activities.

D.      INITIATIVES / REFERENDA / RECALL

The Green Party of Florida believes that the initiative, referendum and recall processes should be essential parts of Florida politics and are, on balance, useful means for furthering grassroots democracy. Petitionary referenda are important instruments to keep elected officials alert and sensitive to the needs of citizens. As within the initiative and referendum processes, the mechanism of recall furthers the goals of grassroots democracy by giving citizens the opportunity to remove an elected official in mid term.

The Green Party of Florida therefore advocates:

1.    Instituting state, local and regional initiative/referendum/recall processes.

2.    Requiring at least 50% of all signatures for initiatives, referenda and recalls to be gathered by unpaid volunteers.

3.    Opposing referenda which curtail civil and human rights; they are not majority-rule issues.

E.      MEDIA REFORM

Free speech and a free press are Constitutionally and politically guaranteed rights. Democracy requires a wide variety of opinions and information, which is not currently provided by corporate controlled media outlets. The Green Party of Florida calls for the establishment of citizen initiated and controlled radio and television stations. These citizen-managed media networks would be paid for by requiring corporations to pay for the right to use our publicly owned air waves. Mechanisms must be established to prevent political manipulation and exploitation of this essential and valuable resource, so that all citizens are adequately informed.

Accordingly, the Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Returning ownership and control of the electromagnetic spectrum to the public.

2.    Market-priced leasing of any for-profit use of the electromagnetic spectrum.

3.    Promoting reasonable restriction on media consolidation, using a public interest standard.

4.    Full public funding of the National Public Broadcasting System to provide in-depth coverage of issues and the widest possible range of viewpoints.

5.    Community ownership of broadcast outlets and public oversight of licensing.

6.    Free and equal airtime for political candidates on radio and television networks.

7.    The taxing of electronic advertising sales to fund democratic media outlets.

8.    The prohibition of commercial advertising in public places, such as schools, parks and governmental buildings.

II.       SOCIAL JUSTICE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY

A.      GENDER EQUALITY

Fundamental to creating a fair and equal democratic society is the implementation of policies and the promotion of cultural norms which honor both halves of humanity. Women deserve to be treated and respected as equals in society. However, longstanding patriarchal traditions that are oppressive, exploitative, or discriminatory against women have resulted in their second-class status. Sustained action in many areas, guided by a strong feminist perspective, is needed to overcome this problem.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Improved health care resources for women. Health research, prevention and medical services must increase emphasis on women’s health problems and women as patients; insurance programs must cover, at no additional cost, women’s health issues including breast and cervical cancer, AIDS, elective surgery, pregnancy, and coverage for disabled homemakers.

2.    Legislation that requires comparable pay for comparable work, expanded childcare in the workplace, and the prevention of job discrimination or harassment based on gender.

3.    The adoption of a constitutional standard of equality for women, as exemplified in the Equal Rights Amendment.

4.    The development of curriculum materials, pedagogical methods and faculty training programs which promote non-sexist attitudes and practices for educators and students. We support programs for holding the educational system accountable, such as enforcement of Title IX, the Sex Equity in Education Act.

5.    Aid to Families with Dependent Children should be protected and strengthened, and the legal definition of families expanded to include non-traditional domestic arrangements. Support women and men who choose to make their career in homemaking.

6.    Affirmative action for women candidates for appointed offices. When women candidates are qualified, they should be appointed at every branch and at every level of government until gender balance is achieved; the Green Party of Florida will actively recruit, promote, and train women candidates for election and appointment.

7.    Evidentiary rules which prohibit the admissibility of reputation or opinion evidence of past sexual behavior of an alleged victim, as well as those which bar the admissibility of a victim’s clothing to show the offense was incited.

8.    Increased support and funding for safe houses and other family violence prevention programs and services for victims of domestic or sexual violence.

9.    Education and training for judges, and other court and law enforcement personnel who handle cases of violence against women.

10.  Inclusion of the battered women’s syndrome as a mitigating factor in murder trials.

B.      REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS

The right of a woman to control her own body is inalienable. The decision whether or not to bring a pregnancy to full term is the woman’s alone to make. Accordingly, it is essential that the option of a safe, legal abortion remain available to all women.

Abortion is not a desirable form of birth control; it is a final recourse. Prevention of pregnancy is the better option. Our goal is a society in which abortion, while available to all, becomes less necessary.

The Green Party of Florida calls for the:

1.    Availability of safe, legal abortions without waiting periods, with public funding for those unable to afford them.

2.    Opposition to laws which require women of any age to notify or obtain the consent of anyone before obtaining an abortion.

3.    Opposition to forced sterilization or mandatory use of birth control of any kind.

4.    Widespread availability of RU 486.

5.    Promotion of personal responsibility by both men and women in their reproductive capacities.

6.    Full public funding of sex education, public health programs and family planning services and procedures.

7.    Setting of national standards to make adoption easier and more affordable.

C.      HEALTH CARE / INSURANCE

All people have the right to appropriate health care, both preventive care and medical treatment. The American health care system is in deep crisis. Millions of Americans have inadequate health insurance or none at all, many of them doing without basic health services. We need a universal health care system funded by public revenue. Such a system, with equal access for all, could be provided for less than we now pay for our present inadequate system.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Public funding of a universal health care system.

2.    Promotion of holistic, alternative and preventive health care, with increased public funding for research in non-allopathic health care options.

3.    Availability of mental health care in the form of individual, family and group counseling, and other non-medical-model therapies.

4.    Granting patients the right to refuse treatment without penalty.

5.    Ending mandatory vaccination programs.

6.    Opposition of the class structure of health care that leads to excluding poor patients from medically indicated but expensive treatments.

7.    Availability to all patients of information concerning prescribed drugs and treatments.

8.    Expanded funding of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV), AIDS related complex (ARC), and acquired immunodeficiency syndrome (AIDS) research and treatment programs, while protecting the confidentiality of all those diagnosed with AIDS or HIV, and banning all mandatory testing.

9.    Focusing on youth for AIDS and sexually transmitted disease education and prevention, including condom availability in schools.

10.  Universal and immediate access to substance abuse/addiction treatment.

11.  State supported programs to promote midwifery and home birth as safe and nurturing options.

D.      AFFORDABLE HOUSING

Adequate housing is a basic human right to which all people should be entitled, regardless of their economic status.

In order to assist in making homes affordable to all, the Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    The establishment of publicly funded, non-profit housing banks to provide residential home mortgage and construction loans at low interest rates.

2.    The non-profit financing of co-housing, cooperatives, ecological villages and all innovative housing which is low-cost and uses land and resources sustainably and efficiently.

3.    Urban planning which fosters diverse, integrated neighborhoods, rather than de facto housing discrimination.

4.    The regulation of real estate speculation to increase the availability of low-income and single-occupancy housing.

5.    Promoting statewide initiatives to fund locally planned and administered affordable housing programs.

6.    Providing safe and sanitary housing to migrant and other agricultural workers.

E.      HOMELESSNESS

Homeless people have a right to full acknowledgment of their human dignity and a voice in those decisions that affect them. The present level of involuntary homelessness is evidence of the severe shortcomings of our society. Today, homeless people are hounded, threatened, and often unable to access services they need. Though affordable housing will alleviate many of the problems of homelessness, homeless people also have needs beyond housing.

To address these needs, the Green Party of Florida calls for the:

1.    Full participation of homeless people in decisions about long and short-term solutions to their situations.

2.    Decentralization of homeless shelters.

3.    Increasing of public funding and services.

4.    Repeal of laws that seek to criminalize any facet of homelessness or the giving of aid to the homeless.

5.    Reform of anti-sleeping laws to prohibit punitive treatment of homeless people and facilitate their adequate sheltering.

6.    Strict enforcement of all laws designed to provide for homeless people, such as those requiring the opening of National Guard armories to them during inclement weather.

7.    Increased funding and accessibility of mental health and substance abuse rehabilitation services as well as educational and medical services.

8.    Allocation of community garden space for homeless people.

9.    Increased provision and accessibility of public restrooms.

10.  Provision of voucher systems and alternative economic programs to enable homeless people to begin meeting their own needs.

F.      CHILDREN’S RIGHTS

All children have the right to a life that allows them to achieve their full human potential. Children suffer some of the greatest deprivations in the world today, and they will be left with the legacy we choose for them.

The Green Party of Florida supports every child’s right to:

1.    Appropriate food, shelter, and comprehensive health care.

2.    Protection from abuse, neglect, environmental hazards, and exploitation.

3.    Develop in a safe environment through the provision of high quality education and childcare.

G.     CHILD CARE

Parenting and homemaking are essential to a healthy society and deserve to be honored and supported. These essential parts of our society are presently not monetarily valued or included in the Gross Domestic Product, our economic measuring system. As a result, care giving is accorded low societal status, with little or no remuneration, and excluded from our economic structure entirely.

The Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    One-year guaranteed parental leave from work, with rights to return.

2.    Subsidizing community and school-based childcare facilities for people with lower incomes.

3.    Job sharing options to allow for part-time work.

4.    Publicly supported parenting education.

5.    Expanding the opportunities of non-traditional families to adopt children.

6.    Financial incentives for those individuals who adopt hard to place children.

H.     PUBLIC EDUCATION

Public education is the foundation for building an informed and knowledgeable citizenry, which is essential to a healthy, sustainable future. We believe that educational opportunity is key to success, both individually and as a community. Our quality of life is intrinsically connected to education, and we are committed to the philosophy of life-long learning.

Accordingly the Green Party of Florida seeks to:

1.    Foster schools that model non-hierarchical, peaceful, ecological communities.

2.    Promote a philosophy of academic freedom and cultural pluralism to provide a solid foundation for our public institutions.

3.    Reduce bureaucratic hierarchy, cost, inefficiency, and depersonalization by empowering neighborhood school zones that would foster local innovation through increased teacher, parent and student participation in all levels of decision-making.

4.    Encourage smaller, public, neighborhood schools.

5.    Increase the education budget allocations, allowing for more teachers, counselors, supplies and facilities.

6.    Provide publicly funded, universally available education from pre-school through graduate levels, including vocational training.

7.    Establish and maintain equitable per-student expenditures throughout Florida.

8.    Create equitable pay scales for teachers and administrators.

9.    Base teacher certification on subject matter knowledge and teaching skills, rather than just a standard education degree.

10.  Promote the teaching and practicing of ecological, nonviolent, and democratic values in schools, while fostering respect for diversity.

11.  Support the teaching of practical skills for active participation in the democratic process.

12.  Implement a program to offer voter registration to eligible high school students.

13.  Encourage holistic education, including mental, physical, social and emotional growth.

14.  Incorporate nurturing skills into the standard K-16 curriculum.

15.  End milk subsidy credits to schools and require them to offer vegetarian and vegan options in all school cafeterias.

16.  Eliminate junk food and genetically modified food from public schools.

17.  Eliminate all commercial advertising in the public school system, including on busses.

18.  Ban corporal punishment.

I.        SUPPORT FOR THE ARTS

Though by name we identify ourselves with nature, Greens are strong supporters of culture. We believe that a community living in harmony with nature and itself, freed from the injustices and violence that disfigure our present society, will produce a rich and dynamic culture, vibrant with artistic expression.

Great artists will always distinguish themselves, and they deserve our recognition. However, our goal should be to encourage and foster the natural creativity and artistic talent within each of us. In the United States we are blessed with a diverse population, and hence with the potential for artistic creation which is equally diverse.

The Green Party of Florida therefore calls for:

1.    Recognition of the transformative power of art in society, including its therapeutic value.

2.    Art education and expression in schools which focuses on the relationship of creativity and social responsibility.

3.    Increased opportunities for members of the community to practice the arts.

4.    Opposition to censorship of the arts.

J.       HUMAN RIGHTS / CIVIL LIBERTIES

All people are entitled to local and global justice in which the rights and freedoms set forth in this platform can be fully realized. The Green Party of Florida recognizes the negative impact of all prejudice and discrimination, whether based on color, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, income, disability, language, religious preference, physical appearance, or ethnic or national origin.

The Green Party of Florida advocates for:

1.    The vigorous protection of the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.

2.    The vigorous defense of the right of personal privacy of all individuals.

3.    The participation of all people in the decision-making processes which affect their lives.

4.    An end to all forms of profiling.

5.    Equal economic and educational opportunity.

6.    The satisfaction of basic human needs such as adequate nutrition, health care, housing, employment, education, and respect.

7.    A constitutional amendment guaranteeing protection from discrimination based on color, age, race, gender, sexual orientation, disability, income, language, religious preference, physical appearance, and ethnic or national origin.

8.    The restoration of civil rights for ex-felons.

9.    Work and educational environments free of discrimination.

10.  The support and funding of programs to promote workplace and educational institutions which are fully representative of the diverse population.

11.  Programs to identify and prevent sexual and racial harassment.

12.  An end to government surveillance and harassment of social change groups and individuals.

13.  The establishment of community-based civil rights task forces.

K.      DISABILITY RIGHTS

Excluding people from society and the workplace denies their potential and robs the community of valuable members. Disabled citizens have the right to live independently in their communities. People with disabilities are their own best advocates in efforts to secure their rights in the social and economic mainstream of life.

The Green Party of Florida therefore calls for:

1.    Funding of In-Home Support Services to enable disabled people to hire personal care attendants and/or canine assistants.

2.    The change of any regulations that deter employment opportunities and/or appropriate medical care for disabled people.

3.    Research in technologies that improve the quality of life of persons with disabilities, and government subsidies of such research when necessary.

4.    Support for a disabilities advisory committee in each community to allow disabled people to advocate on their own behalf.

L.       LESBIAN, GAY, BISEXUAL AND TRANSGENDER RIGHTS (LGBT)

The Green Party of Florida regards heterosexism (discrimination based on the belief that the only legitimate form of sexual expression is between a man and a woman) as a violation of human rights and dignity. We affirm the beneficial contributions of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people.

The Green Party of Florida seeks to:

1.            Eliminate discrimination against people who do not fit into stereotypical gender identities.

2.    Amend all anti-discrimination and harassment laws to include sexual orientation and gender identity protection.

3.    Legalize same gender marriages.

4.    Allow LGBT individuals equal opportunity to adopt children.

5.    Promote a constitutional amendment outlawing all sexual orientation and gender identity discrimination.

6.    Include sensitivity training in the teacher certification process, and develop LGBT studies at all levels of the educational system.

7.    Implement and fund school programs to train teachers on appropriate intervention in sexual orientation and gender identity harassment cases, and which create a reporting mechanism for such cases.

8.    Promote youth centers, counseling and positive images of LGBT youth.

9.    Advocate this population’s positive visibility in the arts, television, radio, film and print.

M.    NATIVE AMERICAN RIGHTS

We recognize the rights of all indigenous peoples worldwide, and support self-government on all tribal lands. Like many indigenous peoples worldwide, Native Americans have been the victims of racism, colonialism and genocide, and their culture continues to this day to be mischaracterized and under-represented in governance. Adding injury to injury, Native Americans are now facing the modern threats posed by oil exploration, mining and toxic poisoning on their sacred land.

The Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Native American sovereignty rights.

2.    Native American claims to ancestral sites, remains and artifacts, as well as tribal control of the practice of tribal religions.

3.    Native American claims to compensation due them as a result of mismanaged Bureau of Indian Affairs trust programs.

4.    Treaty rights for subsistence-level hunting and fishing.

5.    Opposition to the misuse of the criminal justice system and excessive force to deny Native Americans their rights.

6.    Giving Native American culture equal weight with other cultures in our educational and socializing processes.

N.     CRIMINAL JUSTICE/LAW ENFORCEMENT

First and foremost, our criminal justice system should respect and protect the fundamental rights of all individuals guaranteed by the United States and Florida Constitutions. An effective justice system protects and maintains the whole community, yet our present criminal justice system fails to meet the real needs of the vast majority of our population. The punitive and shortsighted orientation of this system conceals the basic fact that much crime is caused by gross economic inequalities. Criminal justice is intimately connected to social justice. A society which does not adequately feed, clothe, house, educate, nurture, and inspire its citizens, especially its children, will be a society constantly threatened by violent crime.

The Green Party of Florida will promote:

1.    Restorative justice, as a healing process for victim, perpetrator and community. Rehabilitation, not retribution, should be the object of the criminal justice system. Arrest and incarceration should be the last resort, not the first option. Prisons should be training grounds for the creation of just citizens, not schools for crime.

2.    A philosophy that addresses the causes of most crime, ensuring that each person receives adequate health care, education, nutrition, psychological nurturing, etc.

3.    Proactive educational and employment programs to provide an alternative to the economic enticements of criminal activity.

4.    Policies which seek meaningful input from local communities when identifying and addressing crime in their areas.

5.    The creation and funding of civilian police review boards that have the power of subpoena.

6.    Police should be thoroughly trained in conflict resolution and mediation.

7.    The establishment and full funding of community mediation and conflict resolution programs.

8.    Decriminalization of victimless crimes.

9.    An end to the violation of civil liberties under the guise of a “war” on drugs or terror.

10.  A requirement that courts inform juries of their constitutional right to make decisions according to their perception of the full requirements of justice, rather than the technicalities of extant law.

11.  Elimination of sexism and racism in our court system through diversity programs for court and law enforcement personnel.

12.  Increased recognition and support for the rights and needs of the victims of crime, including services for survivors of rape and domestic violence.

13.  Comparable budgets for public defenders, legal aid programs and state prosecutors.

14.  Restoring the right of the accused to jury trials and public defenders in all criminal cases.

15.  Automatic dismissal of misdemeanor cases if the state fails to file a bill of information within 45 days of an arrest.

16.  Continuing education focused on criminal justice and constitutional rights for all law enforcement personnel in Florida.

17.  The strengthening of whistleblower protection for law enforcement personnel.

18.  The investigation and vigorous prosecution of law enforcement personnel who commit perjury.

19.  Returning to judges rather than prosecutors the decision making authority as to whether a juvenile should be tried as an adult.

O.     DEATH PENALTY

The Green Party of Florida advocates nonviolence at all levels of society, including within the criminal justice system.

The philosophy behind state-sponsored execution is one of retribution, not justice, and the application of the death penalty has been disproportionate toward ethnic minorities and the poor. The execution of criminals has not proved to be an effective deterrent to crime, and does not address the underlying causes of crime, which include the lack of economic opportunity and education, drug abuse and prohibition, and child abuse, among others. We recognize the need to protect society from violent criminals, but executions are neither a humane nor effective means of achieving this goal.

The Green Party of Florida would therefore promote:

1.    A philosophy of incarceration rather than execution, with assurance that dangerous criminals will not be released as long as they pose a threat to society or specific individuals.

P.      DRUG POLICY

Public debate of drug issues has often been inaccurate and misleading. The term “drugs” has frequently been used synonymously with illegal drugs. In fact, many substances, including sugar, caffeine, alcohol, tobacco and prescription drugs can become addictive. Greens advocate an honest and open discussion of the use of drugs and the nature of addiction in our society.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Policy makers to recognize the difference between use and abuse of substances.

2.    A recognition that substance abuse is widespread and affects people in all layers of society.

3.    A recognition that substance abuse, including alcoholism, should be treated as a disease or psychological disorder, rather than a crime.

4.    Schools to provide factual, unbiased information about substance use and abuse.

5.    A shift in focus from interdiction and incarceration to more rational policies based on harm reduction, which focuses on the social causes of drug abuse, such as poverty, unemployment, hopelessness and alienation.

6.    The recognition and elimination of discrimination in enforcement, prosecution and sentencing of drug offenders.

7.    Repealing mandatory minimum sentencing for nonviolent drug offenders.

8.    The funds that are presently budgeted for the drug war to be redirected to education, prevention and treatment, including innovative approaches like drug courts and diversion programs.

9.    Immediate treatment if requested by substance abusers.

10.  The restoration of the legal rights to use peyote and other substances in religious ceremonies.

11.  An end to all tax deductions and subsidies for the tobacco and alcohol industries.

12.  A public dialogue on the most feasible plan for the decriminalization and regulation of drugs.

13.  The decriminalization of marijuana, and immediate, safe access to medicinal marijuana for patients.

Q.     RESTRUCTURING THE ECONOMY/SUPPORT FOR SMALL BUSINESS

Our current centralized approach to economic and monetary policy serves the few, rather than the whole community.

Profits from large national and multinational corporations go to owners and investors who often live apart from the communities where the goods and services are produced. Too often our communities are reduced to being an expendable source of labor and resources, and a repository for waste. One must also question the wisdom of overly centralized production and the accompanying distribution systems. Many products of low- and medium-scale technologies can be produced in small, local factories.

We support locally-owned business. The majority of new jobs are created by small businesses, yet their failure rate remains inordinately high because they are hampered by overly complex and costly regulations, and they receive limited assistance from governments. In contrast, the efforts of states and municipalities to attract large businesses are characterized by tax breaks, compromised land-use planning, and dubious enforcement of environmental codes. We seek to nurture the vitality and ecological sustainability of our local economies.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    A revamping of the tax, fee and regulatory burdens on small business. We advocate fiscal policies that encourage the development of smaller-scale, and locally-owned businesses that are ecologically sound. Incentives should be created for companies to hire employees at a living wage.

2.    The establishment of more local, nonprofit development corporations, and the giving of grants to    community based enterprises. Large businesses whose ownership lies outside the region, or whose profits transfer outside the region, should be required to invest in these development corporations, which would monitor the impact of business on the community and promote their community’s economic and ecological health. This should also include the support of neighborhood nonprofit development corporations which would further community-based economics.

3.    The creation of jobs in poor neighborhoods via “enterprise zones,” coupled with profit-sharing structures as a minimum; ideally, they would be employee-owned.

4.    Further development of land trusts and intentional communities.

5.    The encouragement of a non-monetary economy through the use of local scrip, and tax-free bartering and work exchange.

6.    The significant redirection of public funds away from military spending and toward local and bioregional investment in ecologically, socially, and economically sustainable projects.

R.      CORPORATE RESPONSIBILITY

The Green Party of Florida believes corporations should be held to a stringent public interest standard in all facets of their operations, whether they are located here in the US or abroad.

We therefore would promote legislation to:

1.    Require democracy in the workplace.

2.    Change our foreign trade policies to end the trend of job exportation to countries whose workers and resources are easily exploited by weak labor and environmental laws.

3.    Subject overseas manufacturers who sell their products in Florida to all US and state environmental, labor and health and safety laws.

4.    Encourage corporations to adopt rigorous environmental standards, such as the Valdez Principles.

5.    Enforce charter revocation when a corporation fails to conduct its business according to its charter, or in a way that harms the public interest.

6.    Eliminate the legal fiction of corporate personhood.

7.    Strengthen the enforcement of anti-trust laws.

S.      EMPLOYMENT

Every person who desires work is entitled to meaningful employment with just compensation and ample leisure time. However, our current economic system relies on a pool of unemployed workers that keeps wages low, and remains heavily dependent on the military-industrial complex.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    The conversion to an ecologically sustainable civilian economy, with public support for the retraining of displaced workers.

2.    Local job training programs, a shortened, flexible workweek and job sharing.

3.    Comparable pay for comparable work.

4.    A 35-hour workweek, with full benefits and a four-week paid vacation for all full-time employees.

5.    A living wage and fair working conditions for all migrant and other agricultural workers.

T.      LIVING WAGE

The Green Party of Florida supports living wage laws because they allow families to prosper, promote dignity in the workplace, and will even result in a reduction of government services as real salaries increase. We reject any attempts by the state or national governments to restrict the rights of communities to enact such ordinances.

U.     UNIONS

Employees have the right to organize and operate democratically governed unions. Too often, companies are permitted to harass, intimidate or otherwise thwart employee efforts to organize.

The Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Plant closure warning laws and other measures to discourage strike breaking, deunionization and the exporting of jobs to countries without labor protection.

2.    Legislation which would empower workers and/or communities to assume ownership of plants which are slated for closure by corporations.

3.    The repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act and all Florida right-to-work laws.

V.      WORKPLACE SAFETY

All workers have the right to a safe, humane working environment. We need rigorous enforcement and citizen oversight of Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) laws and administration.

The Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Phasing-out toxic substances in the workplace in favor of non-toxic alternatives.

2.    Safe agricultural practices that do not endanger farm workers.

3.    Worker safety programs at both the state and federal levels, and a worker’s right to be notified of all workplace hazards.

4.    Protection of “whistle blowers” from job termination and harassment.

W.    ECONOMIC MEASUREMENT

The corporate-market system elevates profit over people and the environment. This focus is exemplified by the Gross Domestic Product (GDP) being utilized as a primary measure of our economic status. This system responds positively to productive output with no accounting for the “externalized” costs of that production, which are borne by the environment, the local community and society as a whole. In such a system, a large oil spill and resultant cleanup would actually boost the GDP, in total disregard of the very real costs to the environment and the local inhabitants (e.g. the Valdez, Alaska incident).

The Green Party of Florida will work toward:

1.    Establishing an economic measuring system which calculates the costs of our productive output to the environment and to society.

2.    Requiring an independent analysis of environmentally detrimental effects of business and governmental activities, which shall be made public.

X.      ECONOMIC CONVERSION OF THE MILITARY INDUSTRIAL COMPLEX

We must begin the process of converting current militarily dependent industries to ecologically sustainable civilian and commercial production. Comprehensive planning is required to minimize short-term unemployment and maximize the long-term benefits of increased employment.

The militarization of the economy has drawn our scientific and engineering talent away from socially useful production. Weapons manufacturing is capital and materials intensive, resulting in a low ratio of jobs created per dollars invested.

The Green Party of Florida supports an economic conversion plan that includes:

1.    Strategies which are democratically planned and administered at the local and regional levels.

2.    Reallocation of resources and capabilities available within existing production facilities to provide goods and services needed by society.

3.    The restoration of redundant military bases to a wilderness condition or their conversion to socially and ecologically sound uses.

Y.      TAXATION AND SPENDING POLICIES

TAX POLICY

The primary function of taxes is to collect revenue to pay for public services. A secondary function of tax policy is to discourage undesirable behavior and encourage desirable behavior. Fundamentally, tax policy should be simple, progressive and fair, and sufficient to provide for the needs of Florida citizens.

The Green Party of Florida proposes significant changes to improve the quality of life, promote a vibrant economy, encourage ecologically sound economic activities, and make the burden of taxation fairer.

To begin correcting these defects in the current tax system, the Green Party of Florida proposes the:

1.    Imposition of pollution taxes and full-cost pricing. In a fair tax system, the full cost to the public of a particular economic activity should be paid by those who benefit from the activity; presently, the costs of pollution and other effects of industry are paid by the public through the health care and social service systems.

2.    Imposition of consumer taxes on environmentally harmful and luxury items.

Z.      GOVERNMENT SPENDING

The Greens advocate providing for the general welfare and education of the populace through efficient and effective service delivery. A thorough analysis of the Florida state budget from a Green perspective is essential. How money is raised and where it’s being spent are issues of concern to everyone.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Cost effectiveness studies of the major departments in state and local governments.

2.    Strategic social investment to avoid future costs. For example, investing in quality education and social development will make much of the future spending for prisons and welfare unnecessary. For example, providing family planning services now will avoid many of the economic and emotional hardships associated with unwanted children later.

3.    Local, state and federal budgets to be determined with input from citizen organizations. Preliminary budget drafts should be made readily available to the public in time to allow discussion and feedback.

4.    Local, state and federal government to actively solicit citizens and citizen groups to participate in the budgeting process

5.    Eliminating the privatization of traditional and essential government services.

AA.   NONVIOLENCE

Green principles oppose violence in all manifestations: assaults against individuals, families, nations and the environment. Green politics challenges direct and structural violence of all kinds. Threats, intimidation and fear may be as destructive as physical violence in barring people from land, food, meaningful work, a healthy environment, justice and education.

The Green Party of Florida proposes:

1.    Teaching nonviolence and collaborative conflict resolution at all levels of schooling.

2.    Requiring police agencies to implement training and establish procedures for mediation and negotiation, to minimize the occurrence of forceful confrontation.

3.    Encouraging non-military solutions to international conflicts.

III.      ENVIRONMENTAL SUSTAINABILITY

A.      ENERGY PRODUCTION, USE, AND CONSERVATION

Conservation should be an essential element of any energy policy. We need ecologically sound, economically viable forms of energy generation. Current energy strategies rely on fossil fuels and nuclear generators, which pollute the air, create greenhouse gases, encourage dependence on foreign suppliers, and produce radioactive waste that will remain a potential hazard for thousands of years.

The Green Party of Florida calls for the:

1.    Development of a public policy that requires energy conservation and efficiency, and conversion to safe, domestic renewable energy sources for all of our needs.

2.    Public support for the research and development of safe renewable energy sources, including passive and active solar, biomass, ocean, wind, small hydro and hydrogen/water.

3.    Re-establishment of tax incentives for alternative energy and conservation methods used in new construction, and for the retrofitting of existing structures.

4.    Elimination of subsidies, tax benefits, and research funding to corporations and utilities for non-renewable energy sources.

5.    Alteration of our buildings and technologies to reduce energy demand.

6.    Implementation of high energy efficiency standards for lighting and home appliances, and incentives to encourage even more efficient products.

7.    Enactment of statewide legislation to promote public ownership and democratic control of our energy systems.

B.      WATER USE AND CONSERVATION

Conservation – the reduce, reuse, recycle ethic – must be an essential element in any water policy. The principle of bioregionalism, or living with the means of a region’s natural resources, is also a crucial element in any water policy.

Frequent droughts have underlined the need for new thinking to ensure sufficient water supplies for essential needs. Government policies which subsidize water use leaves agribusiness no incentive to conserve. Water tables in many parts of the nation, including Florida, are dropping, and they are also being polluted by chemical farming practices and industrial run-off, as well as incinerator and power plant waste.

The Green Party of Florida calls for the:

1.    Prohibition of the privatization of water.

2.    Creation of a public policy which requires individuals and industry to use water efficiently. Sample mandates could include: the use of water efficient appliances in construction, the modification of existing appliances to be more water efficient; maximizing the use of gray-water systems and drought-tolerant landscaping, full use of reclaimed water with solar aquaculture water treatment and drip irrigation systems; the investigation of reclamation to potable levels; and household or community rainwater collection.

3.    Elimination of metals, solvents and other toxins in sewer water by toxics use reduction and pretreatment of industrial waste to enable more complete reclamation and reuse of sludge.

4.    Elimination of storm drain pollution through: education about and enforcement of bans against toxic dumping; treatment to allow for reclamation; and environmentally sensitive engineering.

5.    Elimination of water subsidies.

6.    Allotment of agricultural water to be based on acreage, and bioregional and crop factors.

7.    Cessation of water pollution by farming, incineration and industry.

8.    Cessation of polluted runoff from sugar cane production, paying special attention to its impact on the Everglades.

9.    Involvement of citizens in monitoring water tables, determining and regulating draw, and overseeing the enforcement of restrictions.

10.  Preservation and restoration of all of Florida’s natural waterways, particularly the Everglades.

11.  Banning of concrete channelization of streambeds.

12.  Elimination of deep well injection as a method of waste water disposal.

13.  Requirements for xeriscaping and retention of native vegetation in new construction; and for previous construction, significant tax credits for retrofitting landscape.

C.      PROTECTION OF THE OCEANS

Our oceans are essential to life on Earth. Yet, undersea mining and indiscriminate harvesting techniques lead to the devastation of marine species. Ocean vessels also contaminate the sea through leaks, the use of unsustainable technology and by the dumping of refuse. Further, the oceans are threatened with contamination from ships transporting plutonium, and by ocean testing of nuclear weapons and undersea toxic dumpsites, the contents of which remain secret.

The Green Party of Florida seeks to:

1.    Ban drilling off the Florida coast.

2.    Protect marine life by banning the import of fish and seafood from countries that use drift nets or harm dolphins with encirclement nets.

3.    Protect sea life by allowing only the importation of sustainably harvested shrimp from boats with turtle exclusion devices and low by-catch levels.

4.    Establish and enforce stringent environmental standards for all watercraft.

5.    Ban ocean transportation of nuclear and toxic waste.

6.    Eliminate all ocean dumping.

7.    Fund research and mapping of ocean toxic dump sites and the recovery and land-based treatment of this waste, where feasible.

8.    Implement more stringent protection of coral reefs, including a ban on coral imports, and where necessary to protect dying reefs, the removal of breakwaters.

9.    Restore dunes, beaches and coastal wetlands, using sustainable methods.

10.  Expand manatee safety zones.

11.  Develop and enforce a comprehensive marine mammal protection program.

12.  Adopt fish harvesting regulations that protect indigenous species and maintain resource sustainability.

D.      PROTECTION OF THE ATMOSPHERE

The Earth’s atmosphere is essential for maintaining the ecological health of the Earth, and it must be protected and restored. Global warming is a scientific fact, and the ozone layer of the Earth’s atmosphere is being depleted by chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs) and other ozone-destroying chemicals (ODCs). Our fossil fuel-dependent lifestyle results in the release of huge quantities of carbon dioxide and other gases into the atmosphere, which significantly contributes to the greenhouse effect. Methane gases released from cattle production contribute significantly as well. Consequently, we are experiencing measurable increases in the Earth’s average temperature, and fragile ecological systems cannot adapt quickly enough to survive these changes. Finally, the absence of adequate regulation and enforcement allows air pollution from incinerators and industrial sources to pose further serious public health risks.

The Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    Setting meaningful, enforceable goals to prevent pollution emissions, with incentives and penalties attached to industry performance.

2.    Rejecting nuclear power as an acceptable alternative to fossil energy.

3.    Developing, through legislation, stricter clean air and fuel efficiency standards, vehicle and fleet conversions, and pollution free vehicles.

4.    Banning the production and use of ozone-destroying chemicals.

5.    Accelerating the reclamation of existing CFC sources, with subsidized A/C unit repair for the economically    disadvantaged.

6.    Banning incineration as a method of ODC disposal.

7.    Accelerating of production and marketing of alternative (non-CFC) refrigerants.

8.    Encouraging our elected representatives to take the lead in supporting international agreements to reduce CO2 and other greenhouse gas emissions through conservation and conversion from fossil fuels to safe, renewable energy sources.

9.    Creating reforestation programs and promoting the enhanced protection of existing forests.

10.  Establishing an environmental trust fund funded through public revenues and pollution fees, to assist in toxics use reduction and clean up, pollution prevention and reforestation programs.

11.  The construction of monitoring stations to inform the public of ultraviolet radiation levels.

12.  Phasing out waste incineration and ceasing new incinerator construction.

E.      FORESTRY PRACTICES AND BIODIVERSITY

Forests once covered most of Florida. They moderate Earth’s climate, provide habitats for myriad species of wildlife, and generate many useful products. Forests are indispensable to Earth and its inhabitants and must be protected. The governments of many rainforest countries are selling their rainforest land to cattle growers for the production of cheap beef, which is exported mainly to developed countries such as the US. Rainforest land unsuitable for sustained agriculture is also given to subsistence farmers, while prime agricultural acreage is hoarded for speculation and used for export crops. Domestic forests fare no better. In today’s global market economy, organized by multinational corporations, the irresponsible use and destruction of this valuable and irreplaceable resource will yield catastrophic results. Greens recognize the critical importance of biodiversity and forest sustainability.

The Green Party of Florida advocates the:

1.    Overhaul of the US Forest Service to mandate ecologically sustainable forest management, including the maintenance or restoration of wildlife habitats, fresh water sources, fisheries, scenery, recreational facilities and biodiversity. We must take responsibility for the effect local actions have on the global ecology.

2.    Redirection of all US Forest Service timber and road construction subsidies to forest restoration and economic assistance for timber communities.

3.    Strengthening of the National Forest Management Act and Endangered Species Act to include ecosystems as well as species.

4.    Reviewing, reforming and restructuring of federal and Florida land-use agency policy to guarantee sustainability.

5.    Full legal protection for ancient forests.

6.    Banning of clearcutting and monoculture tree farms.

7.    Creation of incentives and subsidies for bioregionally based mills which maximize employment opportunities (i.e., value-added processing), demonstrate sustainability, and remain under workers’ control.

8.    Prohibition of the export of raw logs and other minimally processed forest products (i.e., pulp, chips, carts, slabs, etc.) which denude our forests and cost American jobs.

9.    Banning of tropical rain forest timber imports, except where production is verified as ecologically and socially responsible.

10.  Elimination of biocides in forest management.

11.  Creation of wildlife corridors connecting public and private forests and parks.

12.  Promotion of the growth and use of hemp and kenaf as a plentiful and renewable resource for fiber, paper, and energy production.

13.  Ending importation of rain forest beef, and promoting of rights of indigenous rain forest peoples to the ecological uses of their rainforests, such as rubber extraction, nut harvesting and the gathering of medicinal herbs and shade-grown coffee.

14.  Forgiving debts of developing countries, when appropriate, in tandem with programs for the conservation of their rain forest land.

15.  Creation of an ecological forest products label (similar to organic) to provide market incentives for a transition to ecological forestry.

16.  US Ratification of the global Convention of Biological Diversity.

F.      LAND USE AND URBAN DEVELOPMENT

Wilderness and undeveloped and agricultural lands are necessary for the ecological sustainability of the Earth, and must be preserved. Over the past several decades, Florida has encountered historic growth and impact because of sprawling development. Development must be planned to minimize impact on our biosystem. Because the Earth is a finite system, it cannot tolerate unrestrained growth. Our growth-oriented economy leads to widespread environmental destruction as areas are developed beyond their natural carrying capacities. A sustainable, bioregional approach to maintaining and improving our human habitat is necessary.

The GPF strongly supports the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) principles, and would work to enact legislation to implement them.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Stringent enforcement of growth management laws.

2.    Increased public involvement in local land use decision making and planning processes.

3.    Permanent funding for Preservation 2000, with a prohibition that it not be used to fulfill other, separate environmental responsibilities.

4.    Adoption of community gardens, open spaces, parklands, wildlife corridors, greenbelts and the overall goal of biodiversity and ecosystem maintenance as components of any development plan.

5.    The banning of phosphate mining and all strip mining.

6.    Increasing urban/suburban population density in those locations able to sustain development, and preserving undeveloped areas for wilderness and sustainable agriculture.

7.    Any population density increases to be preceded by appropriate infrastructure, paid for by developers.

8.    Renovation and use of existing buildings in preference to new construction.

9.    Preservation of historic and cultural landmarks and buildings.

10.  Recycling and reusing the materials from demolished buildings.

11.  Building codes that recognize the special cases of older homes, many of which do not always require repairs to meet modern standards.

12.  Acre-for-acre habitat mitigation for wetlands and uplands.

13.  Good faith preservation of mature trees and restoration of tree canopies.

14.  Development that utilizes solar and other alternative energy options, and promotes reuse of treated wastewater wherever possible.

15.  Development patterns that emphasize pedestrian, bicycle and mass transit accessibility between residences, schools, employment, services and recreation.

16.  Tax incentives for keeping land undeveloped.

G.     ORGANIC FARMING / ECOLOGICALLY SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE

Ecological wisdom requires agriculture to meet basic human needs for food and other products while conserving water, soil and energy. Current large-scale agribusiness relies heavily on economic subsidies, the use of chemical biocides and fertilizers, and the extracting of water resources to grow monoculture crops and raise grain-fed animals in factory farms. It has resulted in the loss of half of the nation’s topsoil, the widespread pollution of ground water supplies and waterways, the poisoning of farm workers, a massive waste of water and energy, and a decrease in the quality of food available to consumers. The predominant system of agriculture in our country is not sustainable.

The Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    Public funding and tax incentives for conversion to sustainable, organic farming methods.

2.    Promoting small-scale family farms, polyculture, permaculture, biodynamic and bioregional food supplies rather than large-scale agribusiness, monoculture, and the transportation of food over long distances to market.

3.    Encouraging local and cooperative marketing of produce by providing venues and advertising.

4.    Supporting educational programs about the benefits of ecologically sustainable agriculture.

5.    Funding research at Florida’s colleges and universities that focuses on organic farming and integrated pest management, rather than chemical biocides and fertilizers. Requiring agricultural colleges to teach organic farming and sustainable agriculture as the preferred methods of farming.

6.    Replanting stands of trees as windbreaks to curb topsoil loss and prevent future dustbowls.

7.    Promoting the use of hemp for multiple uses in industry and agriculture.

8.    Adding pollution fees to fertilizers and biocides. Revenue thus collected should be used to prevent and clean up the pollution from their use.

9.    Banning the export of chemicals which are illegal in the US, and improvement of standards by which the EPA determines the safety of chemicals allowed on the market. We must also end the importation of products treated with chemicals that are banned in the US.

10.  Prohibiting the patenting of all life forms.

11.  Banning genetic engineering and genetically modified organisms in agriculture and animal husbandry.

12.  Protecting agricultural land from development by restricting changes in use.

13.  Fostering urban community gardens and fruit/nut tree planting.

14.  Banning food irradiation.

15.  Clear labeling of any product which contains irradiated material or genetically modified organisms.

16.  Halting the use of incinerator remains and sewage sludge in fertilizer.

17.  Promoting organic preservation of foodstuffs, with stricter control of the use of artificial additives.

18.  Applying antitrust laws to “Big Ag,” as production and distribution should not be owned by the same concern.

H.     BIOCIDES

Biocides poison the soil, crops and water, disrupt natural controls of insect and plant communities, and endanger farm workers, local people and wildlife. Biocides used for lawns and gardens endanger ground water supplies and waterways, which they enter through storm water run-off. Aerial spraying of biocides is particularly dangerous, resulting in wider distribution of harmful chemicals than intended.

Biocide use is a failed policy perpetuated by industry and agribusiness which values profit over human health and environmental concerns. The more biocides are used, the more resistant target organisms become.

The Green Party of Florida calls for the:

1.    Rapid phasing-out of biocides as a way to control pests, and the substitution of organic and sustainable methods.

2.    Immediate cessation of all chemical biocide spraying, aerial or otherwise.

3.    End to chemical herbicide spraying by the state and national departments of forestry, and other government agencies.

4.    Establishment of neighborhood audit groups to monitor biocide use.

5.    Ending of state and federal preemption of stronger local ordinances.

6.    Education and advocacy for non-toxic, sustainable pest and weed control alternatives.

7.    Recognition and support for the concerns of chemically sensitive people.

8.    Ending of the exportation of biocides that are banned in the US.

I.       ETHICAL TREATMENT OF ANIMALS

Greens uphold an ethic that embraces all life, not only the value of biological diversity and the integrity of all species, but also the value of individual lives and the interests of individual animals.

For too long our society has accepted at face value the claims that animal experimentation is necessary. Within the cosmetic industry this is clearly false, and compelling evidence exists that it is also false within the medical establishment. A substantial body of evidence shows not only that effective alternative testing methods exist, but also that a different overall philosophy might ultimately be far more effective and safer in promoting human health and welfare.

The Green Party of Florida therefore advocates:

1.    The elimination of animal experimentation. Researchers should be required to show that a proposed animal experiment is absolutely necessary to advance an area of vital health concern.

2.    Government funding for projects to develop and promote non-animal technologies where they do not yet exist.

3.    Redirecting the National Institute of Health funds that are currently being used for animal experiments into direct health care, preventive medicine and biomedical research using non-animal tests and procedures.

4.    Immediately outlawing the use of animals for product testing, tobacco and alcohol testing, psychological testing, classroom demonstration and dissection, and in weapons development or other military programs.

5.    Creating mechanisms for public scrutiny of all animal research until a ban is enacted.

6.    Prohibiting commercial fur ranching and trapping, as well as the importation or sale of goods produced from wild animals.

7.    Ending the importation of wild and domestic animals for sale as pets.

8.    An immediate end to the abuse of animals, and better enforcement of existing laws.

9.    The subsidization of spay and neuter clinics by state and municipal governments, to address the ever-worsening pet overpopulation problem, which results in the killing of millions of animals every year.

10.  Stopping the building of new roads and other construction that fragments wildlife habitats.

11.  Increased funding for highway underpasses for wildlife.

12.  Promoting the replacement of zoos and aquaria with free-range wildlife preserves.

13.  Requiring thorough wildlife impact assessments prior to major zoning and construction.

14.  Strictly enforcing gillnetting restrictions, requiring the use of Turtle Exclusion Devices, and continuing the bans on drift-netting (a devastating practice that indiscriminately kills marine mammals and other unintended species).

J.       ANIMAL FARMING

The current use of animals in industrial agribusiness is unacceptable on ethical, environmental and health grounds. More than half the water consumed for all purposes, and 80% of all grain raised in the US, is consumed by livestock. Animal farming is a major contributor to water pollution and global warming because of the vast amounts of animal waste and methane released into the environment.

Factory farming of meat, dairy, and poultry is cruel, wasteful, and unhealthy and causes unacceptable levels of pollution. The intensive confinement systems of livestock production causes severe physical and psychological suffering for the animals, who are kept in overcrowded, unnatural and unsanitary conditions. These conditions promote disease, so the animals require antibiotics, in addition to being given hormones to induce rapid growth. Consumption of large amounts of animal products in the American diet is the cause of much cancer, heart disease, and other degenerative illness in our society.

The Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    Rapidly phasing out factory farming, as other countries are doing.

2.    Increasing the inspection of animal farms and slaughterhouses to ensure compliance with humane standards, and health and safety regulations.

3.    Banning the exportation and importation of live farm animals for overseas slaughter.

4.    Improving regulation of the domestic transportation and slaughter of animals to ensure more humane treatment.

5.    Transferring animal welfare legislation enforcement responsibility from the Department of Agriculture to an agency created for the purpose of protecting animals.

6.    Prohibiting routine feeding of antibiotics, growth hormones, and non-foodstuffs to livestock.

7.    Eliminating all government subsidies, including water, to the meat, poultry, and dairy industries.

8.    Freezing new permits for livestock grazing on public lands, and terminating existing permits as soon as possible.

9.    Creating a program of public education to encourage reductions in consumption of animal foods, including information on vegetarian and vegan diets, and making vegetarian and vegan meals available at all public institutions, including primary and secondary schools.

K.      TRANSPORTATION

We need ecologically sound forms of transportation that minimize pollution and maximize energy efficiency, safety and public accessibility. The widespread use of fossil-fueled, low-occupancy vehicles is inefficient, costly, and environmentally destructive.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Consumer-affordable and accessible mass-transit subsidized with revenues from pollution taxes on non-efficient vehicles and gasoline.

2.    The further development of ecologically sound rail technology and other forms of travel as an alternative to the present reliance on air travel.

3.    The development of solar, electric and/or non-fossil-fuel powered vehicles.

4.    The facilitation of bicycle and pedestrian use of all roads through policies which protect and enhance human-powered transportation; these include road design, restrictions on motor vehicle use and special lanes.

5.    Mixed-use zoning in local communities to allow people to live within walking or biking distance of work, services and recreation.

6.    Requiring auto insurers to offer pay as you drive (PAYD) options, so that those who use alternative transportation do not subsidize others merely by owning a car.

7.    An increase in Corporate Average Fuel Economy (CAFE) standards to 60 mpg for cars and 45 mpg for light trucks by the year 2010, and the abolition of presidential overrides on annual increases.

8.    Gas-guzzler taxes on all new vehicles that get fewer miles per gallon (MPGs) than the CAFE.

9.    The promotion of car-pooling through creation of high-occupancy vehicle “diamond” lanes on freeways and interstates, and the maintenance of variable toll and parking fees based upon the number of passengers per vehicle.

10.  Substantially increased tax on gasoline to reflect its true cost; these revenues could then be applied toward mass transit and alternative transportation development.

11.  Light and heavy rail freighting to supplant present reliance on trucking.

12.  Disincentives for private auto use such as the elimination of free parking and other transportation demand management strategies for those areas, other than residential, which are well-served by public transit.

13.  The elimination of subsidies for airlines and airports.

L.       WASTE PREVENTION, RECYCLING AND DISPOSAL

Materials in nature are produced and consumed in a sustainable system of continual recycling. As a matter of public policy, we need to adopt the “reduce, reuse and recycle” ethic as our model of resource use.

The market-induced addiction of consumerism does not reflect the real needs of people, and is responsible for much of our wastefulness. Over-consumption and useless packaging are squandering resources, while incinerators generate deadly pollution and landfills rapidly reach capacity.

The Green Party of Florida advocates for:

1.    Market incentives for minimally-packaged, recycled goods. Such goods should be given priority in all government purchases.

2.    Container deposit legislation.

3.    Reusable, recyclable, non-toxic and biodegradable packaging.

4.    Minimum packaging requirements and the imposition of fines for noncompliance.

5.    The removal of obstacles to the sale of items in bulk, while at the same time ensuring public health and safety are not compromised.

6.    Container standardization to make their reuse and recycling easier.

7.    The rapid phase-out of composites and other materials which cannot be recycled.

8.    Increased education about the benefits of waste prevention and recycling.

9.    The prohibition of both municipal waste incineration and the use of incinerator ash in construction materials and consumer products. Incineration produces hazardous waste and must not be considered adequate to meet state recycling standards.

10.  The establishment of pollution taxes which account for the real social and environmental costs of the manufacture and disposal of products.

11.  The development of composting and recycling programs for homes and communities.

12.  Garbage pick-up fees to be based on volume.

13.  Closed-loop reuse and recycling programs for businesses and government, requiring manufacturers to recycle and reuse their own non-biodegradable products.

14.  Encouraging manufacturers to build recyclability into their products.

15.  Establishing an eco-label to inform consumers of the origin and ecological impact of products.

M.    RADIOACTIVE CONTAMINATION

Radioactive contamination is a threat to all life. While it is generally recognized that there are unavoidable background levels of radiation endemic to the Cosmos, this is no excuse for further releases into our planetary environment. Every increase in the level of radiation, no matter how small, leads to additional damage to living organisms.

The mining, processing, use and disposal of radioactive materials present enormous dangers to the biosphere. Some radioactive contamination will remain lethal for thousands of years. Moreover, the inevitable decommissioning of nuclear power plants and perpetual monitoring of their radioactive wastes will prove an ever-increasing burden to taxpayers and utility ratepayers.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    A complete and rapid phase-out of the use of nuclear power, including the immediate shutdown of the Crystal River, Turkey Point and St. Lucie reactors, as well as all experimental and training reactors.

2.    Opposition to the National Energy Strategy that calls for the production of 200 “new generation” nuclear reactors, the first of which is slated for Polk County, Florida.

3.    Negotiations with the Cuban government to decommission the Cuban nuclear power plant, which poses a direct threat to Florida.

4.    A requirement that all nuclear waste generators be liable for the containment and cleanup of radioactive wastes, including a mandate that General Electric clean up the US Department of Energy nuclear weapons factory site in Pinellas County.

5.    The establishment of stronger criminal penalties for causing radioactive contamination.

6.    An end to the international shipping of radioactive materials, and a ban on the exportation of nuclear waste to developing countries for “disposal.”

7.    An immediate end to uranium mining.

8.    A comprehensive inventory of all existing radioactive waste sites, and the clean up of all contaminated areas, including mill-tailing sites.

9.    An immediate end to nuclear weapons production and proliferation, and the dismantling of existing nuclear weapons, with plans for safe storage of contaminated materials.

10.  Support of the global Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.

11.  Source reduction and recycling of radioactive medical materials.

12.  A comprehensive study of storage-to-decay alternatives for radioactive medical waste.

13.  Opposition to the construction of radioactive medical waste dumps.

14.  Opposition to the deregulation of radioactive waste, which allows it to be dumped in community landfills or utilized in consumer products.

15.  The discontinuation of the industry-driven classification system of “below regulatory concern,” “low-level” (which contains everything but the reactor core) and “high-level.” In its place, we must implement a rigorous system that defines as high level “any waste remaining hazardous for over 100 years.”

16.  The prohibition of all technology which produces high-level radioactive waste.

17.  Continuously monitored, aboveground, dry-cask, and where possible, on-site storage of nuclear waste.

18.  The banning of radioactive waste incineration.

19.  The development of methods for long-term stewardship of nuclear materials.

20.  Prohibiting the launch of any nuclear power device or radioactive material into space, because it would pose an unacceptable risk to Florida and the global biosphere.

21.  Banning food irradiation, including the Vindicator plant in Mulberry, Florida.

N.     TOXIC WASTE

Toxic waste poisons the ecosystem, rendering it unhealthy and often uninhabitable. We must adopt attitudes and practices that respect the rights of present and future generations to a healthy environment. Once toxic materials are manufactured and released into the environment, it is difficult, and sometimes impossible, to contain or neutralize them. We should apply the standard of “dangerous until proven safe,” with the burden of proof on producers

rather than consumers. EPA standards are inadequate, poorly enforced, and allow for the transfer of known toxins to other countries. The ongoing identification of Superfund sites and funding for their cleanup are also severely inadequate.

The Green Party of Florida therefore calls for the:

1.    Development of alternatives to toxic substances to eliminate the need for their production and use.

2.    Implementation of legislation to contain, recycle, reuse and/or neutralize toxics, preferably at their point of use, rather than the more expensive and destructive practice of releasing them into the environment and attempting to separate and recover them later. These requirements should apply to households as well as industry.

3.    The establishment and stringent enforcement of federal and state standards with all corporate influence eliminated.

4.    A requirement that any company hired to do toxic clean-up or processing must first demonstrate that they have not already profited from the original production or supply of those substances. Companies that have previously profited must be required to perform clean-up services at cost.

5.    Cleaning up of toxic waste on military sites in Florida, at least 50% of which should be borne by the supplier companies.

6.    Development of a community-based system to identify and organize “neighborhoods at risk” from toxic contamination.

7.    The implementation of rigorous toxics use reduction programs, including the phasing out existing toxic waste incinerators and the banning of new incinerator construction.

8.    The prohibition of the use of toxic wastes, including incinerator ash, as components of construction materials, e.g., for roadbeds and artificial reefs.

9.    Implementing local waste management and disposal programs, and banning the export of toxic wastes to other countries.

IV.     FEDERAL ISSUES

A.      DEBT IN THE DEVELOPING WORLD

Foreign economic assistance should promote economic self-sufficiency, ecological sustainability and the democratic management of development. In most cases, the principal of external debt of low-income countries (LICs) has already been repaid. Forcing continued interest payments not only threatens international economic stability, but also places undue pressure on debtor nations to commercialize their natural resources, and negates improvements in living standards. The creation of this debt is, to a large extent, a reflection of the capitalistic philosophy of unregulated wealth accumulation through exploitation of labor and resources. The effects of these predatory means are compounded in LICs by the exportation of profits to foreign creditors. The human effect of this capital flight is to increase poverty to unprecedented levels.

The Green Party of Florida supports:

1.    Allowing LICs to buy back their own debt at discounted rates, and to participate in the management of swap-financed projects.

2.    Linking foreign aid, debt forgiveness and loans to demilitarization, land reforms, conservation, democracy and human rights protection.

3.    Participation of non-governmental organizations (NGOs) in debt-for-development and debt-for-nature swaps.

4.    Debt write-off when they are unpayable. A debt ceiling should be negotiated between the LIC and the creditors.

B.      DISARMAMENT AND PEACE POLICIES

Green values speak to the sanctity of all life and the peaceful resolution of conflict. We proceed from the basic assumption that all life is interconnected: what we do to others, we do to ourselves. Nonviolent means are always preferable to violent ones. Disarmament is not just the end result of these values, it is an important step in attaining them. Even before the dissolution of the Soviet Union, our level of armament grossly exceeded any reasonable estimate of the requirements for national defense. If used, the destructive magnitude of these weapons guarantees an unimaginably horrific toll in human life and environmental damage that would plague generations to come. When the Commonwealth of Independent States (CIS) was born, the archetype superpower enemy died and with it the rationalization for weapons of mass destruction. The diversion of economic resources to the military industry has contributed to the decline in social, economic, and environmental programs and the provision of public goods. In turn, the exportation of weapons and foreign loans for weapons purchases effectively promote armed conflicts for profit. This practice also encourages foreign countries to militarize their economies, with the same detrimental effects we have experienced in the United States.

Therefore, the Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    The acknowledgement of the rights to self-determination of all peoples, with stringent policies of nonintervention, except in cases of military aggression or genocide.

2.    A realistic assessment of local, regional and national defense needs and possibilities.

3.    The immediate cessation of research, testing and deployment of space-based weapons, and weapons of mass destruction.

4.    The promotion of civilian-based, alternative and nonviolent defense means.

5.    A halt to the international exchange of nuclear and other military technologies and materials.

6.    Retraining for weapons industry workers, and conversion of military industries to ecologically-sound and socially useful purposes.

7.    Meaningful progress toward disarmament, including unilateral reduction in current stockpiles of armaments; bilateral and multilateral agreements for the elimination of all offensive weapons; continuation of talks with the individual members of the CIS to account for and eliminate their weapons inventory.

8.    The ratification of the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty, and the enforcement and strengthening of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty.

9.    The creation of a nonviolent, multilevel international peacekeeping force.

10.  The right of communities and states to establish legally binding nuclear-free zones.

11.  Readily available, truthful information about Department of Defense and Department of Energy weapons spending, including accountability for the ultra-secretive “black budget.”

12.  An independent investigation of the Pentagon’s missing $25 trillion.

13.  The demilitarization of space.

C.      FOREIGN POLICY

The Greens are committed to a world in which the competitive and warring nation-state system is eventually replaced by a cooperative, peaceful and democratic world confederation. National security must be reformulated to include the economic, social and environmental health of all nations. In the interim, our foreign policy should promote world order and justice based on the ecologically sustainable development of all nations with a more equitable global distribution of wealth. Yet, historically and currently the intent of US foreign policy is to provide security for overseas American business interests and military bases, generally at the expense of the host country and the well being of its citizens.

Consistent with the Green values of participatory democracy and global responsibility, The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    The democratization of world trade organizations, such as the World Trade Organization, International Monetary Fund and World Bank.

2.    Opposition to undemocratic and unfair trade agreements and legislation, such as the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade, North American Free Trade Agreement and Free Trade Area of the Americas.

3.    The extension of US jurisdiction over American corporations to ensure their foreign business practices do not jeopardize indigenous workers, damage their environment or intrude upon their government’s operation.

4.    The closing of all foreign military bases as soon as is practical, and the clean-up of remaining toxic waste.

5.    The re-evaluation of US foreign aid practices, with an emphasis on appropriate technologies, ecologically sustainable projects, cultural sensitivity and aid which reflects the grassroots decisions of people in recipient countries.

6.    Encouraging local trade agreements, “sister city” arrangements and cultural exchange programs.

7.    The immediate normalization of diplomatic and trade relations with Cuba.

8.    Active promotion of cultural, academic, religious and commercial exchanges between Florida and Cuba, including sister city relationships and other projects which build friendship and understanding between the people and communities of Florida and Cuba.

9.    Repeal of all legislation that interferes with peaceful, respectful and friendly relations between the United States and Cuba, such as the Cuban Adjustment Act and the Helms-Burton Act.

D.      MILITARISM AND INVOLUNTARY SERVITUDE

Militarism drains both economic and human efforts that could otherwise be directed to positive endeavors. People have a basic right to decide when and how they will contribute to their society. The Constitution’s Thirteenth Amendment states that “Neither slavery nor involuntary servitude…shall exist within the United States…” Yet today, young men are still required by law to register for conscription by the Selective Service. Young men and women are enticed into the armed forces as an escape from a dearth of economic opportunities, often finding themselves obligated to fight wars they believe are morally objectionable or otherwise do not support.

Time after time, the U.S. government has supported military rather than diplomatic solutions to conflicts, and in many cases, it has acted illegally by failing to properly consider claims for conscientious objector (CO) status.

As we eliminate militarism, the Green Party of Florida urges:

1.    The creation of a voluntary civilian service modeled on the Civilian Conservation Corps to undertake clean-up, conservation and urban-renewal projects.

2.    Respect for the right of conscientious objection for all citizens, in and outside of the military. This includes the right to selective conscientious objection, about which recruiters must be obligated to inform potential recruits.

3.    The granting of amnesty and restitution to personnel whose rights have been violated by the military in processing CO claims.

4.    Requiring equal time for alternative presentations in any school where military recruiters have access to students.

5.    The denial of military recruiters’ access to names of graduating seniors.

6.    The adoption of a requirement that subjects military recruitment materials to the same “truth in advertising” codes as those imposed on civilian organizations.

E.      BANKING AND FINANCE

The Greens’ key value of  “future focus” has application in banking and finance. Savings for homes, education, and retirement are acts of financial future focus. The citizens of this country have a right to expect fiscal responsibility from their government and financial security of their savings.

In order to have financial institutions act more responsibly toward communities, the Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    The promotion and protection of non-profit credit unions.

2.    Encouraging financial institutions to issue loans to community-based businesses, including non-profit redevelopment corporations. Banks and S&Ls should be required to release an annual statement to the public disclosing the number and amount of such loans.

3.    Regulations which prohibit the same company from providing insurance, investment and/or banking services, and the stringent application of anti-trust laws.

F.      IMMIGRATION / EMIGRATION

Every individual should be able to live in a country where the UN Declaration on Human Rights is upheld. US immigration laws currently prioritize US strategic and political advantage above human rights.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    An end to US support of repressive governments.

2.    An increase in assistance to other countries to encourage sustainable, self-sufficient economies as a means to curb emigration.

3.    An end to immigration quotas, INS and police abuses, and discrimination against aliens in this country.

4.    The offering of bilingual education as well as increased numbers of ESL and adult literacy programs.

5.    An end to political orientation as an entry criterion for immigrants or visitors to the US.

6.    A lifting of the ban on HIV-positive persons wishing to enter this country.

7.    An end to denial of visas for lesbian/gay people.

8.    The US to abide by the internationally recognized standards that prohibit the repatriation of political refugees.

G.     INTELLIGENCE AGENCIES

The sole legitimate function of the intelligence community is to provide accurate, up-to-date information so that the citizens can make informed foreign policy decisions. Rather than simply providing information, however, US intelligence agencies undertake unilateral, covert, and often illegal actions that subvert and destabilize grass-roots movements, and even recognized democratically elected governments.

The Green Party of Florida advocates:

1.    Holding the CIA and all other such agencies, and their employees, accountable for their illegal actions.

2.    Greater independent oversight of all intelligence gathering agencies.

3.    That intelligence agencies respect constitutional and human rights in all their activities.

H.     SOCIAL SECURITY

Since its inception in 1936, the Social Security System has been an important asset to elderly citizens, and with the “graying” of America, it has become even more so.

In the last two decades, Social Security funds should have been placed in a separate trust fund, but never were. It now seems likely that the middle and lower income workers who have paid disproportionately more of their wages into the system will not receive their due upon retirement.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Social Security funds to be immediately separated into a true trust fund of socially and environmentally screened investments.

2.    Social Security funds to be operated independently for the benefit of those people they are intended to help.

3.    The abolishment of the social security number as a de facto national identity card. No governmental agency or private enterprise would be permitted to require a social security number for anything other than social security administration.

I.       POPULATION GROWTH

Human reproductive choices must ensure a healthy planet. An ever-growing human population will have a catastrophic effect on the environment. At the current rates of consumption of natural resources, Florida, as well as the rest of the world, will soon achieve a level of population that is beyond its sustainable carrying capacity. The ultimate solution to our environmental woes must include methods to achieve sustainable population levels.

Only through lowering the birthrate can we achieve nature’s requirement of a balance between population and sustainable natural resources.

Economic exploitation and the oppression of women are probably the most important barriers to solving the problem of overpopulation. Social and economic injustice resulting in personal degradation and the inequitable distribution of resources are intimately connected with most aspects of the current human predicament, including rapid population growth, the depletion of non-renewable resources, deterioration of the environment and increasing international tensions.

The Green Party of Florida calls for:

1.    Planning and environmental agencies worldwide to address the impact of growing population levels and find ways to reduce that growth within their areas of influence.

2.    Expanded scientific research to develop safer, more effective and cheaper birth control devices for both men and women.

3.    Assistance to developing countries which are attempting to limit their population through non-coercive means.

4.    Universal access to family planning information, counseling and health care, as well as free birth control, including RU 486.

5.    Improved education and literacy programs.

6.    Improved living standards and employment opportunities for low income groups and developing countries.

7.    A change in men’s attitudes to accept responsibility for contraception.

J.       SPIRITUALITY

People who do not live at peace with themselves and with the Earth seldom live at peace with others. Today, the United States endures a spiritual malaise. Greed, consumerism, exploitation and oppression dominate the lives of many members of society. We live in communities fractured by racism, sexism, and classism as well as religious dogmatism. Sadly, religion often becomes a means not to unite with fellow women and men, but rather just another justification for separation. Greens believe that physical, emotional, and spiritual health should be fostered holistically. For Greens, spirituality is a way of being in the world that acknowledges and celebrates our connectedness to each other, to ourselves and to all life.

The Florida Greens advocate:

1.    Recognition of the need in our society for spiritual healing to restore harmony and balance within our relationships to each other and to the Earth.

2.    More tolerant and open attitudes toward the spiritual practices of all peoples.

3.    True separation of “church” and “state” as the necessary means to secure the right for citizens to actualize their spirituality as they see fit.