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Backbone Campaign Platform

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Backbone Campaign Platform Powered By Docstoc
					Backbone Campaign Platform
July 4, 2004

I. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................ 2

II. Democracy .................................................................................................................................................................. 2
    A. Elections ................................................................................................................................................................... 2
    B. Corporate Power and Personhood .......................................................................................................................... 3
    C. Civil Liberties............................................................................................................................................................ 3
    D. Civil Rights ............................................................................................................................................................... 3
    E. Criminal Justice ........................................................................................................................................................ 4
    F. Media ......................................................................................................................................................................... 5
    G. Education, Culture and Science .............................................................................................................................. 5
    H. Reproductive Rights ................................................................................................................................................ 6
    I. Immigration .............................................................................................................................................................. 7

III. Economic Justice ..................................................................................................................................................... 7
    A. Taxes ......................................................................................................................................................................... 7
    B. Health Care .............................................................................................................................................................. 8
    C. Hunger and Poverty ................................................................................................................................................. 8
    D. Housing .................................................................................................................................................................... 9
    E. Social Security .......................................................................................................................................................... 9
    F. Labor Rights ............................................................................................................................................................. 9
    G. Military Personnel and Veterans .......................................................................................................................... 10

IV. International Relations ....................................................................................................................................... 10
    A. National Security ................................................................................................................................................... 10
    B. Disarmament.......................................................................................................................................................... 11
    C. Military Spending ................................................................................................................................................... 11
    D. Human Rights and International Law ................................................................................................................. 12
    E. Foreign Aid ............................................................................................................................................................. 13

V. Ecology and Sustainability .................................................................................................................................... 14
    A. Globalization .......................................................................................................................................................... 14
    B. Community Revitalization .................................................................................................................................... 14
    C. Global Warming..................................................................................................................................................... 15
    D. Energy..................................................................................................................................................................... 15
    E. Water Accessibility ................................................................................................................................................ 17
    F. Pollution .................................................................................................................................................................. 17
    G. Conservation .......................................................................................................................................................... 18
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I. Introduction
With this platform, we declare our commitment to common cause and our desire for clear
commitments from our elected officials. This platform is founded in a shared vision of a
sustainable and just economy with respect for the environment, human rights, and a culture
of peace. It is grounded in the values of the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights, the
Universal Declaration of Human Rights, and the Earth Charter. Our platform is a bold,
uncompromised position on the most fundamental questions of our democracy.

This is a living document, the contents of which will evolve. We hope the spirit of common
cause will guide us toward establishing a foundation built from our ability to agree, rather
than our penchant for argument.

II. Democracy
Our country has lost standing among nations regarding democracy and human rights, both
at home and abroad. To regain our stature among the nations of the world will require our
national leaders, who have sworn to uphold the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights, to
demonstrate in all of their actions their commitment to protect our civil rights and liberties.
We support institutions, policies, and forms of political organization that encourage
democratic participation at the local, regional, and national levels, in order to rededicate
ourselves to the goal of political, economic, social, and cultural democracy.


   A. Elections
   Fifty-one percent of eligible voters participated in the last presidential election.
   Increasing cynicism and apathy are infecting our citizenry and undermining the viability
   of our democracy. The Democratic Party must examine its failures and reframe its
   agenda in order to inspire and mobilize the disenfranchised and disaffected. To
   reestablish confidence in our electoral process, we call for:

       1.    The declaration of Election Day as a national holiday.
       2.    Instant voter registration.
       3.    The revision of the Electoral College to reflect the popular vote.
       4.    Publicly owned and managed open source code for voting machines.
       5.    Ensuring that all voting machines are secure from outside tampering, and are
             publicly owned and managed.
       6.    Supporting Senate Bill 1980, which requires any voting system used in federal
             election to produce a voter-verified paper ballot.
       7.    Instant Runoff Voting.
       8.    Providing free television and radio time for candidates.
       9.    Guaranteed media access for candidates.
       10.   Public financing of campaigns.



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B. Corporate Power and Personhood
Our democratic ideals and freedoms are being undermined as decisions fundamental to
the future direction of our society are made more and more often with an eye toward the
bottom line, rather than the welfare of people and the planet. Corporations are created
by State governments through the chartering process. As such, corporations must be
subordinate, public entities that cannot usurp the authority which the sovereign people
have delegated to the three branches of government.

   1. The rights of citizens are reserved for human beings.
   2. Corporations lack the authority to deny people's inalienable rights, including their
      right to a republican form of government, and public officials lack the authority to
      empower corporations to deny those rights.
   3. We reject the concept of "Corporate Personhood," and support legislation and
      litigation to challenge this linchpin obstacle to a functional democracy.
   4. To ensure the sovereignty of the citizenry and the maintenance of the balance of
      powers, corporations, due to their lack of accountability to either international
      treaties or Congress, must be barred from creating private armies, and our
      government must be prohibited from soliciting their services in a military
      capacity.
   5. Civil service jobs should not be outsourced to the private sector.




C. Civil Liberties
We are gravely concerned about the Bush administration's disregard for the Constitution
and Bill of Rights. We call for the repeal of the so-called "USA PATRIOT ACT I,"
including the Security Enhancing Act. We further call for the passage of the "Benjamin
Franklin, True Patriot Act" and enforcement and expansion of the Freedom of
Information Act. The following must be implemented:

   1.   Access to counsel, writ of habeas corpus, and due process.
   2.   No further use of "Free Speech Zones," used to curtail and marginalize dissent.
   3.   No further use of "No fly lists," and other forms of intimidation.
   4.   Termination of FBI infiltration of church, libraries, and political organizations.
   5.   No further use of indefinite detentions without charges.
   6.   No further use of Military Tribunals.
   7.   No further use of "Enemy Combatant" status.
   8.   No more infringements upon attorney-client privilege.



D. Civil Rights
America must provide equal opportunity to all, and strongly affirm the separation of
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Church and State as a cornerstone of our democracy. This requires protection against
discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity, gender, religion, physical ability, sexual
orientation, and gender identification. We call on the Democratic Party to:

   1. Strongly support Affirmative Action as a way of helping to ensure that all
      individuals in our society have an equal opportunity to succeed.
   2. Guarantee women's agency for their own bodies by repealing the "Unborn Victims
      of Violence Act," and the partial-birth abortion bill, and providing for universal
      access to safe, legal abortion, birth control, and sex education.
   3. Amend the Americans with Disability Act to ensure the coverage that was
      intended, prior to restrictive rulings.
   4. Fully fund the Individuals with Disabilities Education Act.
   5. Legislate Equal Pay for Equal Work.
   6. Prohibit public funding of faith-based charities and schools.
   7. Repeal state and federal "Defense of Marriage" Acts.
   8. Provide "civil unions" for all, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.
      Until the establishment of civil union as the convention for state recognition of all
      couples, and to the extent that the possession of a "marriage" or a marriage license
      is synonymous with advantage, no couple should be denied access to license for
      marriage or recognition of their marital status, regardless of sexual orientation or
      gender identification. We firmly oppose any Constitutional Amendment denying
      the right of same-sex marriage.




E. Criminal Justice
We recognize that the best way to prevent crime is to provide an adequate safety net for
our nation's poor. To ensure that "justice" is returned to our criminal justice system, we
must transform it from purely punitive to one based upon a set of restorative principles.
It must be "justice for all," equally applied regardless of gender or race, for white-collar as
well as blue-collar crimes. To these ends we must:

   1. Abolish the death penalty.
   2. End the so-called War on Drugs. (Treat addiction, educate for public health, and
      regulate intoxicants.)
   3. Bring an end to mandatory and determinate sentencing, with the immediate
      removal of nonviolent crimes from "strikes lists."
   4. Support community policing and Civilian Oversight Boards.
   5. Stop racial profiling.
   6. Support the Brady Bill, the Assault Weapons Ban, and close the Gun Show
      Loophole.
   7. Focus on crime prevention, rehabilitation of offenders, and drug, alcohol, and
      mental health treatment.



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   8. Provide a wide array of transition services to returning ex-offenders, including job
       training, housing, health care, and on-going drug and mental health treatment, in
       order to reduce recidivism.
   9. Create partnerships between corrections departments and communities to ensure
       safety.
   10. Call on governments to automatically restore full, unconditional voting rights to
       ex-offenders.




F. Media
It is the responsibility of Congress to require public access to a diverse range of media
voices and messages, in order to participate fully in our communities' shared social,
cultural, and political life. We support the protection of content diversity and press
freedom through:

   1. Strengthening media ownership regulations, and creating incentives to encourage
      local and minority ownership.
   2. Increased public funding for public broadcasting, and the establishment of public
      trusts to support independent production of documentary films and
      noncommercial news programming.
   3. Promoting the broadest possible diversity of media ownership and opposing
      concentration and conglomeration as a centermost principle in licensing all
      modes of broadcast and public media operations.
   4. Legislating protection from tracking of intimidating dissent or criticism of
      government figures or policies.
   5. Reinstituting the fairness doctrine.



G. Education, Culture and Science
The health of our society and democracy are relative to the vitality of our educational,
cultural, intellectual, and scientific national dialogue. We should:

   1. Repeal the "No Child Left Behind Act."
   2. Fund Headstart and pass the Universal Pre-Kindergarten Act, which provides
      funding to states to establish universal pre-kindergarten programs that build on
      existing federal and state pre-kindergarten initiatives.
   3. Ensure high-quality universal education for all from preschool through college as
      a critical component of a thriving democracy. Substantially increase financial aid
      to students and federal support to community colleges, technical schools,
      apprenticeship programs, and colleges.
   4. Adjust college loans for graduates who choose public service careers.
   5. Support arts and culture through grants for after-school youth programs.


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   6. Increase public support of cultural development, which is a vital component of
      democracy. Funding without political censorship should support the National
      Endowment for the Arts and the National Endowment for the Humanities.
   7. Remove religious and political doctrine from influence over federally funded
      scientific research.
   8. Remove military and corporate advantage as a primary goal of federally funded
      scientific research. Military funded research should be restricted to military
      applications, and the proportion of funds for civilian research should be increased
      so that scientific research that is basic or has as its primary purpose to benefit
      civilian applications will receive funds independent of the Departments of
      Defense or Homeland Security.
   9. Oppose charter schools that take away funding from public schools to give to
      private ventures.


H. Reproductive Rights
To insure the health and well being of all women and families regardless of income or
race, we must commit resources to:

   1. Prevent unintended pregnancies by promoting responsible sex education, family
      planning, and healthy childbearing.
   2. Secure the access to abortion, and reproductive health.
   3. Reaffirm our commitment to the Supreme Court's decision in Roe vs. Wade.




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   I. Immigration
   To ensure that the United States immigration policy reflects the highest standards of
   human rights while protecting national security, we require that it be reviewed against
   the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and revised according to its principles. In
   particular, it should reflect Articles 13, 14, and 15, which protect the rights of people to
   travel, protect those seeking asylum from persecution, and prohibit the arbitrary denial
   of citizenship. Furthermore:

      1. We oppose President Bush's "Guest Worker" plan, which would formalize the
         status of most undocumented immigrants as a permanent underclass, and as
         economic pawns deprived of any meaningful voice in the decisions and processes
         that determine their destiny.
      2. We support providing a safe and sure path to permanent legal status, and
         ultimately citizenship, for all of the 8 12 million undocumented immigrants who
         reside in the U.S., which must include full respect for their civil, political,
         economic, and social rights, both within and beyond the workplace.
      3. We support the USA Family Act, which offers a clear path to immigrants toward
         legal resident status and gives work permits to those illegal immigrants and their
         families living in the country since the year 2000.
      4. Persons who have been culturally naturalized should be granted the option of
         becoming a citizen and not be forcibly deported.

III. Economic Justice
It is essential that we as a nation marshal our will, creativity, and national treasure to
address the systematic causes of poverty and underdevelopment, and the growing gap
between the rich and poor. We affirm that all people have the right to a standard of living
adequate for their health and well being, and the right to security in the event of
unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age, or other lack of livelihood. These
principles are enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, to which our
country was a primary author and signatory, thereby compelling our active promotion.


   A. Taxes
   We believe that the federal budget should reflect the values of equality and justice, peace
   and security, and health and welfare of present and future generations. Instead, we have
   a budget that will burden our children and grandchildren with enormous debt, a
   weakened infrastructure, and unprecedented military spending. We propose a budget
   that prioritizes domestic and international programs that address human needs, the
   environment, and the common good. To that end we must:

      1. Support progressive tax policies which create fairness for the middle class and
         require the wealthy to pay their proportionate share. The Bush tax cuts for the
         wealthy must be repealed.
      2. Increase the earned income tax credits for the poor.
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   3. End corporate welfare, close corporate tax loopholes, and eliminate offshore tax
      shelters.
   4. Increase the number of IRS auditors focused on corporations.
   5. Reduce the federal debt while adequately funding non-military government
      services.




B. Health Care
Health care is a fundamental human right and should be guaranteed through a federally
funded, single-payer, comprehensive national health care system. Current health care
expenditures, if consolidated and redirected into a single-payer federal system, would
create adequate funding to provide health care for every American and stimulate job
growth by removing an onerous requirements on small businesses. This system must
include:

   1. Promotion of mental as well as physical health, complementary alternative
      medical as well as traditional medical and dental care.
   2. Federal funds to all states for public health preventive services and drug and
      alcohol treatment.
   3. Increased funding to AIDS Assistance Programs, both nationally and
      internationally, that are mandated to provide the most effective treatment to the
      greatest number.
   4. The requirement that pharmaceutical companies benefiting from federal research
      dollars be contractually required to provide affordable drugs for the public good.
   5. Repeal of the Medicare Modernization Act of 2003.




C. Hunger and Poverty
Given the choice between more prisons, more police, and an overly burdened judiciary
versus a viable social safety net, we believe that our compassion and our responsibility
compels us to care for those least able to take care of themselves, and to decriminalize
poverty. We must therefore:

   1. Increase funding for education and training programs.
   2. Increase funding for child care.
   3. Increase funding for low income housing.
   4. Support a parent or guardian who chooses to stay at home in the early years of
      their children's lives.
   5. Support fairness in lending practices.
   6. Support HR 40, calling for an official investigation of the ongoing social and
      economic impacts of slavery on African Americans, to explore potential redress.



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D. Housing
All Americans deserve adequate healthy, quality housing. Toward that end we must pass
the National Housing Trust Fund Act and:

   1. Create 1.5 million new housing units over the next decade for low-income renters
      and owners.
   2. Produce new, affordable, and environmentally sustainable housing that is small
      and simple.
   3. Preserve existing federally assisted housing.
   4. Rehabilitate existing private-market affordable housing.




E. Social Security
To ensure that we meet our social responsibility towards our elderly so that they may live
in security and dignity:

   1. Forbid Congress from stealing from or privatizing the Social Security Trust Fund.
   2. Expand the Social Security System into a full national pension system which
      would eliminate the need for private, government, or union pensions.
   3. Remove the tax cap on income.
   4. Simplify and accelerate access to disability benefits.




F. Labor Rights
We are committed to insuring the dignity of working men and women, strengthening
our economy by renewed emphasis on full employment with living wage jobs, and
vigorously enforcing current labor laws, in particular, the National Labor Relations Act
and OSHA. To that end we must:

   1. Create growth policies founded on environmental sustainability and keeping jobs
      local whenever possible.
   2. Protect workers' rights to organize, free from fear and intimidation.
   3. Ensure that all workers have safe and secure workplaces, with hazard reduction a
      primary goal; we endorse the Employee Choice Act of 2003.
   4. Repeal the Taft-Hartley Act.
   5. Strictly enforce child labor laws and anti-discrimination laws, and protect
      immigrants, in particular, from coerced labor.
   6. Increase the federal minimum wage to a living wage, so that food stamps and
      other government services stop being indirect subsidies to low-wage paying
      employers.

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      7. Prevent rollbacks in workers' benefits, including taking funds from the Railroad
         Retirement Trust fund by amending the Staggers Rail Act of 1978.
      8. Promote labor rights internationally through public education and mobilization,
         research, litigation, legislation, and collaboration with labor, government, and
         business groups.
      9. Focus on the needs of farm workers by legislating worker health and safety and
         minimum standards housing, providing continuity of health care as workers
         migrate, and furnishing bilingual education for migrant children.


   G. Military Personnel and Veterans
   The Democratic Party affirms its commitment to the security, health, and well-being of
   the men and women in the armed forces, both during and after service. We therefore
   support the following policy steps:

      1. Reverse the $204 million cut from Impact Aid, a program that supports the
         education of service members' children.
      2. Repeal the 2004 Congressional $25 billion budget cuts to veteran's health care and
         benefit programs.
      3. Perform baseline testing of soldiers and follow-up testing for depleted uranium
         exposure, and provide treatment and compensation to those whose health have
         been compromised by these weapons.
      4. Make available treatment for Post Traumatic Stress to service men and women
         severely impacted emotionally.
      5. Fully fund soldier reintegration programs to better prepare our troops for civilian
         life after combat.
      6. Increase funding and oversight of VA hospitals to ensure quality healthcare to our
         service men and women.
      7. Streamline process in acquiring all veterans' benefits.


IV. International Relations
We must reexamine the presumptions and prejudices that have dominated our world view
and skewed our relations with other countries. Our greatest opportunity to confront the
threat of terrorism is to abandon the blinders of American Exceptionalism and rejoin the
community of nations. We recommit ourselves to strengthening the United Nations and
supporting its democratization. Pursuing empire to subjugate the planet for the short-term
benefit of transnational corporations, at the expense of our children's real security, is a
misuse of our nation's strength. We must address mounting threats posed by violent
resentment and social upheaval in response to occupying forces, wealth and opportunity
disparity, cultural genocide, and ecological degradation.


   A. National Security
   The security of the United States exists only in relation to the security of our fellow
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nations. We must recognize and address the stress that global disparities in wealth, and
American exceptionalism, place on our own security. We therefore support the following
national security postures:

   1.    Uphold international law, leading by example.
   2.    Abandon the doctrine of preemption.
   3.    Participate in multilateral efforts to prevent and resolve violent conflict.
   4.    Work to democratize the UN.
   5.    Establish a cabinet-level Department of Peace to establish non-violence as an
         organizing principle in both domestic and international affairs.
   6.    Stop supporting repressive regimes that violate human rights including such
         countries as Saudi Arabia, Israel, Egypt, and Colombia.
   7.    Enhanced inspection regimes and regional security arrangements.
   8.    Reduce dependence on foreign oil, and promote long-term energy security
         through greater investment in sustainable and renewable alternatives.
   9.    Normalize relations with Cuba.
   10.   Combat global warming to reduce the threat of civil instability caused by
         ecological crises.




B. Disarmament
The U.S. must lead an effort to stem violence and terrorism by example. We therefore
support these disarmament steps to discourage proliferation and to create lasting
security.

   1. Sign and enforce the Comprehensive Test Ban Treaty.
   2. Work towards disarmament and the elimination of nuclear weapons and chemical
       and biological stockpiles.
   3. Sign the Child Soldier Treaty and the Land Mines Treaty, and commit ourselves to
       no longer use depleted uranium weaponry.
   4. Work to eliminate our dependence on the military and the manufacture of
       weapons for providing employment.
   5. Reduce, by example, the proliferation of nuclear and other weapons.
   6. Stop conventional arms trade.
   7. Rejoin treaty regimes such as the ABM treaty.
   8. Abandon plans to build a so-called missile shield.
   9. Prohibit the introduction of weapons into outer space.
   10. Abide by the principles of the Nuclear Non-proliferation Treaty and stop
       development of new nuclear weapons.

C. Military Spending
The problems with the Military-Industrial-Congressional complex transcend party
affiliation and date back to WWII. The distribution of military contracts to literally
hundreds of Congressional Districts around the country provide a disincentive for setting
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appropriate strategic goals, discernment of security priorities, and the enforcement of
fiscal oversight. Instead, artificial inflation, budget overruns, and the procurement of
obsolete weapons systems drain the public coffers and impede the ability of the
government to provide for the public good.

We will never be able to synthesize a coherent defense strategy until we reform finance
and accounting information at the Pentagon. Two recent audits concluded that current
Department of Defense accounting practices cannot track a relationship between money
given to the Department and the products and services coming out of the Department.
These audits further conclude that the Defense Department's accounting systems do not
satisfy the statutory requirements of the Chief Financial Officers Act of 1990 and violate
the letter and subvert the intent of the Accountability and Appropriations Clauses of the
Constitution, which assign the power of the purse to Congress.

   1. Fund the "War on Terrorism" with supplemental appropriations.
   2. Freeze the Pentagon core budget until Congress and the Pentagon can abide by
      the Constitution and demonstrate accountability for taxpayer money spent.


   References:
   This plank was developed under the consultation of veteran and retired Pentagon
   analyst Franklin "Chuck" Spinney, who was featured on PBS' NOW with Bill Moyers,
   on 8-1-03.
   The Backbone Campaign would like to thank Mr. Spinney for his patient and
   generous help.


   Mr. Spinney's Testimony before Congress June 4, 2002
   http://www.d-n-i.net/fcs/spinney_testimony_060402.htm




D. Human Rights and International Law
To ensure and rekindle respect of democratic principles worldwide, the United States
must first demonstrate cooperative participation with the United Nations and renounce
the pattern of pressuring and manipulating UN member countries to our will. We define
terrorism as targeting civilians for political purposes. We call for more diligent
endorsement and enforcement of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, support of
and joining the International Criminal Court, and an active commitment to putting teeth
into treaties that further human and species-wide preservation.

   1. End the Occupation of Iraq, for the sake of the people whose unnamed and
      uncounted victims are murdered every day.


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   2. Demonstrate our own commitment to human rights and international law by
      pressing formal charges against and applying due process toward, or immediately
      releasing, the prisoners in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.
   3. Focus on the plight of women in Afghanistan, Iraq, and around the world.
      Women around the world are not safe from violence, isolation, and lack of human
      rights.
   4. Stop the support of Israel's occupation and terrorism of the Palestinian
      Territories, for the sake of the people who were promised a roadmap to peace and
      have been given in its place a wall, which steals thousands of acres of land and
      requires them to live in humiliation and poverty.
   5. Hold Palestinian terrorist organizations accountable for their actions and demand
      due process for those perpetrating terrorism.
   6. Create multinational pressure to stop the oppression and violation of the people
      of Chechnya, Burma, Kashmir, Sudan, Somalia, and all countries whose sufferings
      are ignored by any voice of international law.
   7. Sign the UN International Bill of Children's Rights.




E. Foreign Aid
As a tool for good will, our foreign aid must reflect a commitment to the world's poor. By
decreasing the gap between ourselves and the rest of the world while promoting true
democratic values, we call for all foreign aid to be contingent upon certification of the
recipient country's adherence to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

   1. Emphasize the need for human rights certification from the three countries which
      receive the most U.S. aid: Israel, Egypt, and Colombia.
   2. Focus foreign assistance on human and environmental needs, rather than
      military.
   3. Support the integration of peace building and conflict prevention into
      development programs.
   4. Increase the percentage of our budget that goes to proven, effective development
      programs that directly improve the lives of the world's poorest, reaching 0.7% of
      GNP target as promised in the Millennium Development goals.
   5. Abandon practices that exploit underdeveloped countries for our own market
      advantage.
   6. Fulfill our financial obligations to international relief organizations such as the
      United Nations World Food Program and the World Health Organization.
   7. Provide debt relief to all developing nations so they can move toward self-
      sufficiency and democracy.
   8. Demonstrate more than verbal resolve to fight the spread of AIDS/HIV by
      meeting our commitment to the Global Fund to fight TB, AIDS, and Malaria.
   9. We support global access to family planning resources in order to create a
      sustainable population


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V. Ecology and Sustainability
A healthy environment is essential to our future and that of our planet. The survival of
humans and other organisms depends on: addressing the threat of global warming,
transitioning to sustainable energy policies, and preserving clean air, clean water, safe food,
and other natural resources. The critical ecological choices we face must be informed by
reliable scientific knowledge, and the choices we make must be adequately funded.


   A. Globalization
   We reject the secret negotiation of international trade agreements, dominated by
   transnational corporate attorneys and lobbying groups, or by the economic muscle of
   "developed" countries. Instead, we support truly democratic, transparent, participatory,
   and grassroots processes of development agreements, such as those modeled by the
   Hemispheric Social Alliance, arising from the Peoples' Summits. These agreements must
   be based upon the following principles:

       1. Trade and investment should not be ends in themselves, but rather the
          instruments for achieving just and sustainable development.
       2. Citizens must have the right participate in the formulation, implementation, and
          evaluation of transnational social and economic policies that affect them.
       3. The central goals of these policies should be to promote economic sovereignty,
          social welfare, and reduced inequality at all levels.
       4. A common framework for all such policies should be the protection of human
          rights; environmental protection; gender, labor, and immigrant rights; publicly
          financed education, health care, and other services; local and regional food
          security; the right to strengthen domestic markets to meet domestic needs; and
          the intellectual property rights of indigenous knowledge and protection of
          traditional farming communities.
       5. Dispute resolution and enforcement mechanisms should focus on reducing
          inequalities and be based on fair and democratic processes.

   In accordance with these principles, we support the efforts of grassroots democratic
   movements to shut down international lending institutions, such as the World Bank and
   IMF, that promote corporate profits, and to create alternative grassroots-controlled
   lending institutions to promote global justice. We also support grassroots campaigns,
   such as those initiated by Global Exchange, that promote fair trade movements as an
   important solution to the sweatshop crisis. Finally, the United States should take a
   leadership role in international campaigns to root out the growing slave trade.



   B. Community Revitalization
   To ensure the long-term health of both our rural and urban communities, we must

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commit ourselves to stemming the tide of degeneration of both infrastructure and
culture.

   1. Rural Revitalization
         o Redirect farming subsidies to family farms.
         o Eliminate all subsidies to corporate farming.
         o Implement incentive programs to develop point-of-use food production.
         o Repeal the Right to Farm Act.
         o Increase funding toward rural education systems.
         o Adopt regulations to protect small-town businesses from predatory
             corporations like Wal-Mart.
         o Establish education and support structures for organic and sustainable
             farming practices.
         o Invest in rural cultural development.
   2. Urban Revitalization
         o Adopt city planning regulations that limit urban sprawl.
         o Invest in mass transit projects.
         o Equalize education funding to combat inferior schools.
         o Develop arts and cultural programs to attract greater commerce.
         o Implement recycling programs in every city.
         o Increase investment in city parks and green space.
         o Pass the Wild Sky Wilderness Act.




C. Global Warming
Signing the Kyoto Accords must be a first step toward demonstrating to the world the
commitment of the United States to reducing global warming in international
partnership. Beyond this, we must:

   1. Strengthen the Clean Air Act to curb power plant emissions, including carbon
      dioxide, which is the major contributor to global warming.
   2. Use modern technologies and stronger laws to reduce automobile emissions.
   3. Avoid loopholes in the implementation of the protocol, such as the trading of
      "credits."



D. Energy
We support the adoption and implementation of the plan developed by New Apollo
Alliance as one of multiple means for addressing both the energy and job crises. Their
plan is designed to create 3.3 million new jobs and achieve energy independence within
ten years. It includes these elements:



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1. Promote Advanced Technology and Hybrid Cars: Begin today to provide
    incentives for converting domestic assembly lines to manufacture highly efficient
    cars and transitioning the fleet to American-made advanced technology vehicles,
    thus increasing consumer choice and strengthening the U.S. auto industry.
2. Invest in More Efficient Factories: Make innovative use of the tax code and
    economic development systems to promote more efficient and profitable
    manufacturing while saving energy through environmental retrofits, improved
    boiler operations, and industrial cogeneration of electricity, thus retaining jobs by
    investing in plants and workers.
3. Encourage High Performance Building: Increase investment in construction of
    "green buildings" and energy-efficient homes and offices through innovative
    financing and incentives, improved building operations, and updated codes and
    standards, thereby helping working families, businesses, and government realize
    substantial cost savings.
4. Increase Use of Energy-Efficient Appliances: Drive a new generation of highly
    efficient manufactured goods into widespread use, without driving jobs overseas,
    by linking higher energy standards to consumer and manufacturing incentives
    that increase demand for new durable goods and increase investment in U.S.
    factories.
5. Modernize Electrical Infrastructure: Deploy the best available technology, like
    scrubbers, to existing plants, thereby protecting jobs and the environment.
    Research new technology to capture and sequester carbon and improve
    transmission for distributed renewable generation.
6. Expand Renewable Energy Development: Diversify energy sources by promoting
    existing technologies in solar, biomass, and wind, while setting ambitious but
    achievable goals for increasing renewable generation and promoting state and
    local policy innovations that link clean energy and jobs.
7. Improve Transportation Options: Increase mobility, job access, and
    transportation choice by investing in effective multimodal networks including
    bicycle, local bus and rail transit, regional high-speed rail, and magnetic levitation
    rail projects.
8. Reinvest in Smart Urban Growth: Revitalize urban centers to promote strong
    cities and good jobs, by rebuilding and upgrading local infrastructure including
    road maintenance, bridge repair, and water and waste water systems, by
    expanding redevelopment of idled urban "Brownfield" lands, and by improving
    metropolitan planning and governance.
9. Plan for a Hydrogen Future: Invest in long-term research and development of
    hydrogen fuel cell technology, and deploy the infrastructure to support hydrogen
    powered cars and distributed electricity generation using stationary fuel cells, to
    create jobs in the industries of the future.
10. Preserve Regulatory Protections: Encourage balanced growth and investment
    through regulation that ensures energy diversity and system reliability, that
    protects workers and the environment, that rewards consumers, and that
    establishes a fair framework for emerging technologies.


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References:
Please see the Apollo Alliance's Ten Point Plan, at:
http://www.apolloalliance.org/strategy_center/a_bold_energy_and_jobs_policy/ten_poin
t_plan.cfm


E. Water Accessibility
In the coming years it will become increasingly vital to ensure protection of the earth's
water supply, following these principles:

   1. Access to an adequate supply of drinking water of a quality that meets or exceeds
      the standards established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for the
      protection of human health should be as thoroughly guaranteed for the
      inhabitants of all other countries as it is for citizens of the United States.
   2. Safe drinking water should not be provided for humans at the expense of the
      ecosystems from which it is obtained.
   3. All water should be considered to be forever in the public domain.
   4. It is the duty of each nation to provide accessible, affordable drinking water to its
      peoples.
   5. There should be public ownership of drinking water systems, subject to municipal
      control.
   6. Wealthy nations shall provide poor nations with the means to obtain water for
      survival.
   7. Water privatization shall not be a condition of debt restructuring, loan renewal,
      or loan forgiveness.
   8. Governments shall use their powers to prevent private aggregation of water rights.




F. Pollution
Environmental pollution has gone from nuisance to threat. We must invest in the
transition to a sustainable economy. That requires:

   1. Full federal funding and cleanup of all nuclear waste repositories, using the latest
      technologies to prevent further harm to the environment and to workers, and full
      funding to meet the health care needs of all workers and down-winders affected
      by nuclear toxic contamination.
   2. Investment in renewable energy, to make these alternatives cost competitive.
   3. Enforcement of laws against toxic waste dumping, requiring polluters to pay to
      clean the waste that they create.
   4. Reversal of current policy on introducing new chemicals to the environment, so
      that they are proven nontoxic prior to release into the environment.
   5. Reduction of the use of herbicides and pesticides for the protection of the
      environment, farmers, and farm workers.


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   6. Creation of taxes and other incentives to favor sustainable businesses that
       conserve energy and/or utilize technologies that prevent pollution. The Superfund
       tax should be reinstated to continue the cleanup of hazardous waste sites at the
       expense of polluters instead of the general public.
   7. The reinstatement and vigorous enforcement of environmental protections
       reversed or weakened by the Bush administration, including the Clean Air, Clean
       Water, and Endangered Species Acts.
   8. A moratorium on any new incinerators that burn municipal solid waste, sewage,
       non-biological medical waste, and toxic waste, and a rapid shutdown of existing
       incinerators that do so.
   9. No exportation of toxic, hazardous, or radioactive waste, or exportation of
       chemicals prohibited in the United States.
   10. Fair and equitable policies related to the disposal sites for toxic waste.
       Environmental justice demands that poor communities, minority, and
       underrepresented communities not bear an unfair burden when it comes to
       disposal of toxic wastes.




G. Conservation
We must have planning and incentives to preserve and protect our wilderness, protect
vital rain forests and wetlands, preserve agricultural lands, and curb suburban sprawl. In
addition, we must promote:

   1. Individual and governmental efforts to reduce residential and business waste and
      promote the reuse and recycling of materials, with continued development of
      recycled-material markets that meet strict environmental and worker health
      standards.
   2. Manufacturer deposits on computers and television sets, together with a safe
      recycling program by such manufacturers to remove toxic materials from our
      landfills and from third world countries that lack the technology and resources to
      safely recycle them.
   3. Protection of environmentally sensitive areas like wetlands and wilderness by
      emphasizing the protection of entire watersheds and ecosystems.




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