State Platform of the Wisconsin Green Party
(Revised 11/11/2006, 4/17/2007, 5/23/2007, and 11/9/2013)
Preamble We hold these truths to be self-evident: that we must treat each other with love, respect and fairness, and that we must protect the earth for future generations. The crises of our times demand a fundamental shift in human values and culture, and in our social, economic and political institutions. The way we live today is based on using things up: our air, our water, our natural resources, and our people. We need a new way of doing things that is sustainable, that will allow our people and our environment to flourish now and in the future. We can't keep spending today what we – and our children and their children – will need tomorrow. The Wisconsin Greens offer a new vision for change, for a sustainable future. We recognize that one of great obstacles to that change is the fact that government no longer responds to the needs of citizens. Only by building grassroots democracy can we be sure that changes will be real, not just appearances or promises. Since neither the Democratic Party nor the Republican Party has shown a real commitment to running government in the public interest, The Wisconsin Greens believe another political party is needed: one that people can believe in; one that they can trust. Our vision is of a sustainable society in harmony with the environment, one that meets all people's needs for security, self-respect, freedom, creativity, and community. We recognize that personal, cultural, social, economic, political, and ecological problems are interconnected. We reject the current simplistic solutions to these problems. New, creative solutions are needed which allow us to live well and happily without destroying our environment or our society. We are confronted with the challenge of letting go of old ways and creating a new vision and a new way of life.
Ecological Wisdom The Wisconsin Green Party believes that Ecological Wisdom has a direct effect on quality of life. Only by practicing sound stewardship and ecological responsibility can we stop the degradation of the life-giving relationships that exist between humankind and the earth. The "public trust doctrine," which holds that public land, water, minerals, forests, and other natural resources are held in trust for the public and used for the common good, must be enforced. The precautionary principle must be applied to public policy decisions, especially those concerning the approval of drugs, pesticides, and genetically modified organisms to protect the public from practices of uncertain consequence.
1.The state government should provide subsidies to make the change from petrochemical-based to organic farming methods economically feasible for small-scale farmers.
2.The state should develop the necessary infrastructure to support the regionalization of food production and distribution systems, such as urban farms, farmers markets, community supported agriculture, and regional food processing facilities.
3.Wisconsin should establish a system of subsidies and tax incentives to protect family farms as an indispensable component of a healthy and sustainable agricultural economy.
4. A state land banking system of prime farmland to prevent diversion to non-farm use through first-option state acquisitionof the land should be created.
5. The state will create and maintain a citizen accessible central database of the products used, concentration applied, chemical contents, health effects, and company responsible, for any private or commercial pesticide application.
6. Pesticides will not be used on or in public property, except as a last resort, after the failure of organic alternatives has been demonstrated. Tax incentives will reward the use of organic pest control methods.
7. Communities in the state will have the right to pass stronger controls on pesticides than those specified in state and federal regulations.
Forest, Wetlands, and Water
8. The Department of Natural Resources will maintain forests, wetlands, and all other ecological communities in a manner which will protect biodiversity and will allow future generations to benefit.
9. We support a general moratorium on the draining of wetlands, on road building in public forests.
10. DNR water quality rules will be stiffened to require absolute non-degradation of existing water bodies.
11. Enact rigorous environmental safeguards to protect communities and prevent contamination of our air, land, and water from mining pollution, including arsenic, asbestos, mercury, silica, and other known toxins.
12. The Public Service Commission should not grant licenses to new nuclear facilities or the renewal of licenses for existing facilities.
13. We support higher average miles per gallon requirements and stricter emission control requirements on new vehicles, as well as "gas guzzler" taxes and renewable fuel and "gas sipper" rebates on new car purchases.
14. As a response to oil production having reached its peak, we support building and promoting mass transit infrastructure for light rail, high-speed rail, commuter rail, as well as intra and intercommunity bicycling and walking trails.
15. Community owned utilities and decentralized, neighborhood networks will receive financial aid for the purchase and installation of renewable energy technology such as wind, solar and biomass. The Public Service Commission will require that the electric grid be reconfigured to accept power from widely distributed, diverse sources.
16. We will work towards statewide energy independence, and will promote, encourage, and fund energy research that brings Wisconsin closer to a self-sustaining energy system.
17. Under Green Party leadership, the state of Wisconsin will independently implement the terms of the Kyoto Protocol on global warming.
18. Green Party leaders will enact policies that significantly reduce the release of gases that deplete the ozone layer, contribute to global warming and cause acid rain.
19. The Greens will apply the principles of reduce, reuse and recycle to policies in order to reduce waste streams, reduce demands on natural resources and reduce the generation of pollutants.
20. Regional high level nuclear waste dumps will not be located in Wisconsin.
21. Tipping fees at Wisconsin landfills will be increase for commercial haulers. Commercial haulers will be required to bill their commercial customers on a per weight basis.
22. High-level radioactive and highly toxic waste storage will be only for waste generated in Wisconsin.
23. The history and environmental record of recycling or waste disposal firms will be used as major criteria in considering awarding contracts for municipal services.
24. We will require the DNR and State Attorney General to be more vigorous in prosecuting corporate offenses and will hold individuals accountable when appropriate. Corporations that engage in gross violations will have their corporate charter revoked.
Social and Economic Justice While the Wisconsin Green party understands and applauds the initiative and ambition shown by people who seek financial security or self-improvement, we believe that it is the role of government to ensure that the financial security and social status of one group does not come via the exploitation and marginalization of another group. Additionally, common methods of measuring the economy view production for its own sake as a positive and low unemployment, a condition that favors the majority, is viewed as a threat to economic health. Clearly, new economic paradigms are needed that regard measurements for quality of life and the environment and the full employment of the population as a positive. Lastly, the Wisconsin Green Party asserts that it is the duty of government to earn the allegiance of its citizens by protecting the public from threats “economic and physical,” as well as “foreign and domestic”.
25. Increase the state minimum wage to a living wage of $15 per hour, adjusted annually to inflation.
26. Charter a publicly-owned Bank of Wisconsin to hold public funds, provide affordable credit to local governments and private businesses, invest in needed infrastructure, and avoid the risks and profit-taking associated with holding public funds in private banks.
27. Laws regarding Articles of Incorporation will be revised to make executives and board members more accountable for the effects of their decision-making.
28. Under a Green Party government the right of people to form unions, bargain collectively, and strike will be upheld. We oppose "union-busting" tactics. The State should assist management in working more closely and cooperatively with unions.
29. Green Party plans for economic development will focus on jobs that are based in the community and that have a vested interest in the community where their employees live - especially small businesses.
30. The Wisconsin Greens support family leave legislation, paid sick and vacation time, job sharing, and the involvement of workers in decision-making, management, and scheduling.
31. Green elected officials will emphasize and promote regional trade emphasizing stronger ties with our Canadian neighbors who share the Great Lakes basin. State trade missions should promote “fair trade” over “free trade” with specific countries that are moving toward more equitable, sustainable economies.
32. The Green Party will repeal laws that prevent teachers from striking or laws that interfere with collective bargaining such a Qualified Economic Offer or QEO.
33. The Wisconsin Greens oppose the use of 'high stakes' standardized tests as the primary determinant for grade advancement, graduation or teacher pay.
34. The state should redraw district boundaries to promote decentralization of schools and an appropriate scale for school districts. The transportation of students over great distances is already a burden on the budgets in many rural districts.
35. For parents to have a meaningful impact on school board policies, district boundaries should be redrawn taking into account the ratio of electors to school board and reduced to defined, equitable limits.
36. Green Party education policy will foster an understanding of the history of our conflicts and treaties with Wisconsin's tribes and a respect for native cultures.
37. Wisconsin Greens support fully-funded public education, and so oppose the voucher system of public funding for private schools.
Health Care System
38. The Green Party will implement a universal, single-payer system that will be funded through state taxes. The system will be designed to allow citizens to select health care providers and treatment.
39. The state shall promote the revitalization of public health care clinics and school nurses to provide necessary health services and counseling, preventative care, and instruction in hygiene, nutrition, contraception and wellness.
40. The state shall promote the chartering of non-profit and not-for-profit hospitals.
41. The state shall establish work rules that abolish mandatory overtime for nurses and other paraprofessionals in hospitals.
42. We will fund the University of Wisconsin system to develop new programs to provide paraprofessionals required to expand the public health service.
43. Drug abuse of all kinds should be treated as a disease, rather than a criminal offense.
44. We defend a woman’s right to make reproduction choices affecting their own body. Birth control prescriptions should be covered by all health care plans and/or subsidized by the state.
Rights of Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender Individuals
45. Wisconsin Greens will defend the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender or sexual orientation.
46. Wisconsin Greens support the right of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people to be treated equally with all other people, in all areas of life, including in housing, employment, civil marriage, benefits, and child custody.
Grassroots Democracy Democracy and self-governance are dependent on the public being fully informed and all political parties having access to the ballot and public debate and discourse. Additionally, since the voter is consenting to being governed, the full will of the voter must be expressed and reflected in election results. To this end the Wisconsin Green Party will work to implement policies that result in the public being fully informed about issues and policies that tear down the barriers between the voters and the government that represents them.
47. Wisconsin Greens will institute a progressive method of taxation that shifts the tax burden away from those that can least afford it. We will eliminate the income tax for households making less than $20,000.00 a year and reduce the income tax for households making between $20,000.00 and $30,000.00 a year.
48. A portion of funds from an increase in the motor fuel tax will go for development of alternative transportation such as mass transit and bicycle trails.
49. We will eliminate tax loopholes for corporations and the wealthy, including the state capital gains deduction and the exemption of manufacturing machinery and equipment from property tax.
50. Independent businesses that are locally owned and not affiliated with any out-of-state entity will be taxed at a lower rate than franchises that export local dollars out of the community.
51. The Greens oppose state caps on local property tax levies.
52. Enact Instant Runoff Voting (also known as Ranked Choice Voting) for executive offices such as mayor, governor, and other single-seat elections, to ensure the full expression of voter will and to eliminate the cost of primaries in non-partisan local elections.
53. Enact Proportional Representation for legislative offices on the municipal, county, and state levels.
54. Ballot access laws will assure access thresholds that are set low enough to reflect emerging shifts in local voter will.
55. Create an independent, non-partisan redistricting commission to draw districts for the Wisconsin Assembly and Senate, as well as U.S. House districts.
56. Voters will not be denied access to the views of any political party or candidates. We will insist on the full inclusion of all political parties in all public debates regardless of candidate will.
57. The Wisconsin Green Party opposes term limits, as they are restrictions on the will of the people.
Nonviolence The problem of violence in society is complex and multifaceted and must be addressed on different fronts. For this reason we regard economic justice, education and programs that create opportunity to have as much potential at decreasing the incidence of crime and violence as traditional punitive measures. Greens emphasize that the solutions to violence, poverty, alienation, anger and political inequality are the key to solving the dilemma of crime and punishment.
Crime & Punishment
58. Legalize and regulate the cultivation, sale, possession, and use of marijuana.
59. The Green Party will continue to oppose the death penalty in Wisconsin.
60. Crimes against people and communities must be punished through restitution and/or jail time. Alternative sentencing must be emphasized as much as possible for victimless crimes and nonviolent offenders. Ex-offenders need to come out into a healthy community that both supports them and holds them accountable.
61. We oppose the privatization of the prison system.
62. Our justice system must attach equal importance to justice for white-collar criminals, including environmental violators of our common property. Corporate executives should be held personally responsible for the consequences of their corporate actions.
63. Community members must be involved directly in crime control in their own communities through citizen police boards and neighborhood watch programs.