From: Jesse Gordon, jesse@MassChange.org, (617) 320-6989

 

Proposal: Outreach to Green Party members based on convergence of the Greens’ “Ten Key Values” with the Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform.

 

Goal: To enroll Massachusetts citizens with Green values in the Massachusetts Democratic Party, and to provide evidence that we take Green values seriously and want their vote.

 

This document: The Democratic Party catering to the Green Party’s values is not radical from a policy perspective – the platform already includes every one of the Ten Key Values. Listed below is a direct side-by-side comparison of the Ten Key Values and existing clauses in the 2000 platform. The Ten Key Values are numbered as they appear in Green documents worldwide. The MassDems’ Platform items are numbered with part number and section number (in the form III:3 for Part III, section 3) from the official 2000 document.

 

Green Party “Ten Key Values”
(from MassGreens.org web site)

2000 Massachusetts Democratic Party Platform
(from MassDems.org web site)

1. Grassroots Democracy

Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect their lives; no one should 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.

 

We believe that to ensure equal representation and to restore public faith in our democracy, we must act to curtail the influence of special interest money on our political process.... We endorse such proposals as enhance the workability of the System and the likelihood of candidate participation, and which are consistent with voter intent. (IX:1)

 

We strongly support efforts... that ease potential barriers to registration and voting and encourage maximum public participation. We call on the Commonwealth to make usability by persons with disabilities, senior citizens, and others a criterion in the purchase of new voting equipment. (IX:3)

2. 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 have agricultural practices that replenish the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.

 

We seek policies that encourage smart and sustainable land uses... We support thoughtful approaches to development that promote economic prosperity while limiting environmental impacts. (VIII:4) 

 

 

We advocate specific targets for the reduction in emissions of carbon dioxide and other climate change gases... We support the aggressive implementation of the state’s utility deregulation law alternative energy fund provisions and other state and federal renewable energy incentives. (VIII:3)

3. 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 & heterosexism,

 

ageism and

 

disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

 

We believe environmental justice must be a fundamental component of state and federal environmental policy. (VIII:2)

 

We oppose efforts that would ban the provision of any benefits to gay and lesbian families that are now granted exclusively to married couples.(I:8)

 

Commitments to... older Americans are core values of our Party. (I:6)

 

We reaffirm our support... to prevent discrimination on the basis of disability (I:7)

4. Nonviolence

It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to our current patterns of violence at all levels, from the family and the streets, to nations and the world. We will work to demilitarize our society 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 nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.

 

We favor continued multi-lateral reductions to existing weapons stockpiles, and maximum possible efforts to halt the proliferation of nuclear, chemical, biological or other weapons of mass destruction. (XI:3)

 

 

 

We champion American leadership for peace and the non-violent resolution of conflict, the advancement of human rights and the cause of religious and intellectual freedoms, the eradication of unjust discrimination in all forms, and the promotion of economic arrangements that maximize opportunity for all. (XI:1)

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.

 

Our state and local communities [should] provide the support and assistance needed for students and schools to achieve these [educational & institutional] objectives. (II:3)

 

 

 

We assert the responsibility of each of us to support and participate in volunteer organizations, community service programs, and initiatives designed to promote community improvement. We acknowledge and commend the work of grassroots citizen groups who have been responsible for so many advances in so many just and important causes of concern. (I:12)

6. Community Based Economics

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 which are socially responsible,

 

as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that spread out resources and control to more people through democratic participation.

 

We support initiatives that promote healthy growth, stimulate opportunity, heighten our competitiveness in the global marketplace, and aid in the continuing transition to a knowledge-based economy. We know that our Commonwealth depends on the energy and skill of our private sector to create jobs and prosperity. (IV:1)

 

We support the creation and maintenance of full-time jobs that provide a living wage and benefits. (X:2)

 

 

We fully support the principle, guaranteed under federal and state law, that employees are entitled to a free choice to form a union without interference.... We believe the expansion of collective bargaining assures workplace democracy and is the best remedy to the crucial problem of wage inequality that has meant that too many families are not sharing in economic bounty. (X:1)

 

We support tax incentives for business when accompanied by commitments to good corporate citizenship.... (IV:3)

 

We favor policies that support the growth and health of small businesses, and which are responsive to their unique needs and concerns. (IV:4) 

7. Feminism

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 which 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.

 

We reaffirm our support for The Equal Rights Amendment... and the principle enshrined within it. We support legislation to end unjust gender discrimination in insurance terms and rates. We advocate policies to end gender-based discrimination and disparities in the workplace, and to improve pension security for women. We call for equal emphasis on women’s health concerns in health research and safety testing, and for insurance coverage of contraception.(I:5)

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 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 and the preservation of biodiversity.

 

We celebrate the diversity of our Commonwealth and country, and we oppose discrimination in any form it takes. We are proud to stand as the Party of, and the Party for, all people, without regard to race, gender, religion, language, national origin, age, disability, sexual orientation, economic circumstance or other characteristics. We have been, and will be, the Party that is the defender of individual rights, while remaining the strong champion for the common good. (I:2)

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.

 

We advocate policies to foster the growth of democratic institutions, elective government, and freedom of thought and expression around the world. We recognize the need for heightened American attention with respect to the concerns and interests of whole regions of the globe. (XI:2)

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 counter-balance 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.

 

Our overall goal is not merely to survive, but to share lives that are truly worth living. We believe the quality of our individual lives is enriched by the quality of all of our lives. We encourage everyone to see the dignity and intrinsic worth in all of life, and to take the time to understand and appreciate themselves, their community and the magnificent beauty of this world.

 

We support continued efforts to prevent pollution in the first place as the best means of limiting toxic and solid waste. We advocate an approach in which the state’s wastes will be stored, treated, and disposed of in ways that prevent harm to people and the environment. (VIII:5) 

 

 

We believe in the protection and preservation of our environment. We support rules and incentives for safeguarding natural resources and acquisitions of land, water and recreational resources. (VIII:1)

 

 

 

We give the highest priority to ensuring the health and safety of children, elders, and immune-compromised people who are most in need of protection from environmental harms. (VIII:2)

 

 

If you are interested in recruiting for the Democratic Party within the Massachusetts Green Party, being familiar with the Ten Key Values will give you substantial credibility with most Green sympathizers (perhaps not with the Green leadership – but with the Green rank-and-file). Pointing out how the Mass Dems have long addressed every one of the Ten Key Values may even win some converts.

 

The Greens received over 170,000 votes (6.5%) in Massachusetts in the 2000 presidential election – while they got only 76,000 (3%) in the 2002 gubernatorial election. Most Greens are independent voters who we can often persuade to vote for Democrats.

 

“10KV and IRV” -- Compiled by Jesse Gordon, jesse@MassChange.org, (617) 320-6989