Platform

General Introduction

The Green Party is committed to value-based politics, as expressed in our ten key values.  Actions based upon these values are directed at the root causes of problems, not their systems, and promote system change.  These values aim to strengthen the democratic power of people; promote social, racial and economic justice; and heal the environment through direct action directed at the root causes of problems.   The Green Party of New York State endorses the Green New Deal, as embodied in platform of the Green Party of the US. The state party platform supplements the national platform to reflect additional state concerns.

1. Ecological Sustainability

Introduction:   The human community is an element of the earth and all human endeavors are situated within the dynamics of the biosphere.  Sustainable institutions, enterprises, and energy sources must support ecological health.  The Green Party honors and seeks to follow the teachings of the Haudenosaunee who implore us to consider the impact of our decisions on the well being of the next seven generations in our deliberations of policy and practice in all areas of live, and in particularly, with respect to the environment.  Toward this goal, NY should establish a goal of being carbon neutral by 2030.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies: 

  • Establish a Green New Deal Energy Plan For NY of $600 billion in investments over 17 years, yielding 4.5 million construction jobs and 58,000 permanent jobs to convert New York State’s all-purpose energy system to 100% carbon-neutral energy. This would create $314 billion ($18.5 billion per year) in wages and salaries during the 17-year building phase and $5 billion per year for ongoing operations and maintenance.
  • No hydrofracking for natural gas. We support a rapid transition away from natural gas through the implementation of changes including weatherization, efficiency, geothermal (ground-source heat pumps), passive solar, solar thermal, and sustainable biofuels with the sequestration of carbon residues (e.g., biochar) in soils.
  • Implement the rapid phase-out of nuclear power for environmental as well as economic reasons and the replacement of that power with clean renewable sources so that nuclear power has no future in New York State.
  • Impose an immediate and safe termination of the nuclear reactors at Indian Point Energy Center in Buchanan, NY, with no further operations licenses or extensions granted to ownEntergy Corporation.
  • Electrify transportation using clean renewable electricity to power electrified trucks and cars on roads and a radical increase in the more energy-efficient transport of people and freight through electrified freight rails, intra-urban mass transit, inter-urban rails and a more advanced high-speed rail for longer inter-urban travel as an alternative to carbon-intensive air travel.
  • Solar energy (and other renewables, where feasible) installations should be required for all state, county, and local properties, excluding nature preserves and parks. All renewable energy projects must source from local, state, or U.S. manufacturers when possible, and must avoid conflict area materials.
  • Make energy efficiency a central goal with specific targets and timelines, as efficiency is the least costly, fastest way to reduce carbon emissions and energy costs.
  • Source reduction of waste and toxic products. Ban known toxic chemicals in consumer products.
  • Ban the importation of all solid and liquid wastes from fossil fuel or other industrial extraction process, excluding potable water, or goods intended for emergency response purpose.
  • Protect biodiversity, including species and genetic diversity
  • Remove waste sites, incinerators, polluting industries, generators, transportation hubs and highways from oppressed communities
  • Turn waste streams into revenue streams. True sustainability is not possible unless we treat all wastes as potential resources. Local wastewater treatment facilities should be first priority, moving them to anaerobic digestion-methane capture facilities.
  • Impose a moratorium on the transport of crude oil by rail through New York cities and towns and by ship on New York waterways until essential safety improvements are in place and spill response and firefighting capabilities are demonstrated to be adequate to cope with “worst case scenario” spills and fires.
  • Require unlimited liability for all rail lines which carry hazardous chemicals or fossil fuels through New York state. Ban any company from doing such transport if they have been involved in a rail accident involving fossil fuels of hazardous chemicals. A ban on all new of all fossil fuel and hazrdous chemical import/export and Processing/ refining /storage facilities in New York; phase out existing facilities by 2025. Immediately remove such facilities if located within a 1/4 mile of any water body, and within 3 years if located with in a 1/2 of a residentially zoned area. Ban the transport of fossil fuel and hazardous chemicals by barge or transport ship in New York’s waterways.
  • Direct the DEC to conduct a full environmental review of Global Companies’ pending application to expand its oil terminal operations in Albany and its application to expand its operations in New Windsor, and immediately reassess all previous permit modifications regarding crude oil moving through the Port of Albany
  • Assess local spill response capacities and invite county and local officials from communities at risk from crude oil shipping to join the state agency review at the outset
  • Investigate and require companies currently operating in New York that are storing, handling and transporting petroleum products, including crude oil, to provide proof of financial ability to respond to clean up efforts and claims resulting from such a spill in order to continue to lawfully operate in New York (currently required in California and Alaska).
  • Ban the exportation of potable water from New York to other states for the purpose of fossil fuel extraction.
  • Move New York to becoming a zero-solid waste state by 2030, with state funding provided for all municipalities to comply.
  • Commit to a zero-discharge (or near zero) goal of industrial and agricultural pollution in our water ways, and watersheds that flow into water bodies shared with other states and countries.
  • Require full liability be assumed by all companies operating in New York, despite bankruptcy or merger, for all waterway and land clean up projects proposed.
  • Allow citizens to bring suit for violations of New York’s environmental conservation laws.

2. Cannabis and Hemp

Introduction:  We call for the immediate legalization of the growth, sale and possession of cannabis and hemp under NY State law, and for legal opposition to Federal prosecutions for the same. Prohibition and the resulting “drug war” have unjustly incarcerated countless individuals and scarred communities, often along racial and class lines, while draining resources from society. In addition to criminalizing personal drug use, cannabis prohibition deprives society of the industrial benefits of hemp at a time when we must make use of every ecologically responsible resource to provide materials and energy in the face of looming environmental crises.
The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Allow for the establishment of cannabis dispensaries for recreational and medicinal use.
  • Support home and community grown cannabis, which will not be taxed.
  • Eliminate legal obstructions to the agricultural cultivation and processing of hemp for its many useful forms, especially where hemp use might mitigate deforestation and bring greater ecological stability.

3. Civil Rights and Equal Rights

The foundation of any democratic society is the guarantee that each member of society has equal rights. This topic is covered in the national platform.  We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity; that support the self-definition and self-determination of all people; and that consciously confront the barriers of racism, sexism, homophobia, class oppression, ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together. We support affirmative action to remedy discrimination, to protect constitutional rights and to provide equal opportunity under the law. All individuals have a right to be free and protected from violence.

Women’s rights must be protected and expanded to guarantee each woman’s right as a full participant in society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination or interference in the intensely personal choice about whether to have a child. Women’s right to control their bodies is non-negotiable. Much more must be done to ensure equality in wages and employment; to end the feminization of poverty; and, to recognize that much of work society assigns primarily to women is presently unpaid.

We commit to full reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity and the stark disparities which haunt the present evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality and the practice of mass incarceration. We understand that until significant steps are taken to reverse the ongoing abuses; to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown communities, to eradicate pov­erty, to invest in education, healthcare and the restoration and protection of human rights, that it will be impossible to repair the continuing damage wrought by the ideology of white supremacy which permeates the governing institutions of our nation.

The Green Party affirms the rights of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Green Party recognizes the equal rights of persons who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, transsexual, queer, or transgender to housing, jobs, marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in all areas of life including equal tax treatment. We support legislation such as the Gender Expression Non-Discrimination Act to outlaw discrimination gender identity or expression; GENDA also expands the state’s hate crimes law to explicitly include crimes against transgender people. We support increased funding to assist queer homeless youth.

4. Animal Rights

 Introduction:  The Green Party of New York State believes:

  • Phase out animal testing for consumer products and institute immediate labeling of animal testing or animal byproducts in existing products
  • Utilize alternatives to animal testing for medical research whenever possible and move funding toward prevention and health care that eliminates the need for testing invasive procedures and drugs on animals
  • Support a rapid phase out of confined animal feeding operations (CAFOs) not only because of their adverse impact on the environment, but also on food safety (e.g. disease epidemics), public health, and animal protection.
  • Eliminate the subsidies that mask the true costs –environmental, physical and moral– of animal-intensive diets, while providing resources to enforce animal safety standards on farms.

5. Divest Public Funds from Fossil Fuels

  • Immediately cease from permitting any of New York City’s and New York State’s pension funds from making any new investments in fossil fuel companies and completely divest from them within 5 years.
  • Require SUNY and CUNY to divest from the top 200 fossil fuel companies in the university’s college portfolios 
  • Ban local, county and state governments from granting subsidies and tax waivers to fossil fuel corporations in their many manifestations (pipelines, compressor stations, metering stations, etc.) under the pretext of job creation

6. Education

 Introduction: The purpose of education is to produce critically thinking, civically engaged responsible adults committed to building and maintaining a just sustainable, democracy. All children in New York State deserve a quality public education, pre-K – Grade 14, that fosters critical thought and creativity. Learning is a lifelong and life-affirming process and all people, regardless of age, should have equal access to education.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Quality Education For All

  • Fully fund public schools with an equitable state aid formula.
  • Eliminate the Gap Elimination Adjustment and the state-mandated local tax cap.
  • 100% Foundation Aid for public schools.
  • Fully funded, full day, and developmentally appropriate Universal Pre-K and Kindergarten with certified and unionized educators.
  • Opt out of high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools.
  • Opt out of Common Core and Race To The Top.
  • Opt into common standards, curricula, and diagnostic tests written by professional teachers in the schools, not by outside corporate contractors.
  • Opt into teacher and school evaluation based on collaboration.
  • Opt into affirmative action to reduce school segregation by race and class, such as regional inter-district transfer programs.
  • State legislation to reduce class sizes and case loads.
  • Free Tuition at CUNY, SUNY, and Community Colleges.

7. Food Systems and Nutrition

Introduction: Food is a necessity and a fundamental human right. All people have a right to adequate, safe, nutritional and high quality food; and those who grow it have a right to a fair return for their labor. Food show be grown in a sustainable manner with adequate environmental and health protections.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Ensure a food system that provides an adequate income to farmers, food entrepreneurs and food workers along with safe and fair working conditions.
  • Achieve an end to hunger through entities that provide universal access to ample, affordable, local, healthful, sustainably produced, and culturally meaningful food.
  • Provide support to communities suffering high incidences of food insecurity and diet-related disease.
  • Provide for inclusive, democratic community participation in food system policy at all levels of government.
  • Create a resilient regional food system that will better withstand the effects of climate change and other emergencies.
  • Institute an organic approach to food that opposes the use of chemicals in our food system.
  • Limit government to only be provided to family farmers that practice sustainable farming, not agribusiness.
  • Increase funding for preservation of farmland.
  • Encourage legislation that assists new farmers and ranchers, that promotes widespread ownership to small and medium-sized farms and ranches, and that revitalizes and repopulates rural communities and promotes sustainable development and stewardship. We support new farming and growing opportunities and urge the inclusion of non-traditional crops and foods in farm programs.
  • Decentralize agriculture lands, production, and distribution.
  • Establish public support for producer and consumer cooperatives, community kitchens, Community Supported Agriculture, urban agriculture, and community farms and gardens.
  • Applying the Precautionary Principle to genetically modified organisms (GMOs), we support a moratorium until safety can be demonstrated by independent (non-corporate funded), long-term tests for food safety, genetic drift, resistance, soil health, effects on non-target organisms, and cumulative interactions. We support eliminating patent rights for genetic material, life forms, gene-splicing techniques, and biochemicals derived from them. We support the labeling of GMO foods.
  • Implement farm gate pricing: the prices paid to farmers for the produce from their farms should cover the full costs of production, including living wages for the farmers themselves and everyone who works on the farm, benefits including health coverage, retirement and workers comp for farmer and workers, and funds to enable additional training and investment to cover maintenance and improvement of the farm. Contracts between farmers and their buyers should be negotiated, fair and equitable. Adopt the NYS Farm work bill of rights.
  • Require mandatory “Picked Premature” labeling of all fruits and vegetables, showing both location of origin and point in the growing season when harvested.
  • Government should buy local food, that do not contain GMOs, starting with school meals

7. Fracking for Natural Gas

Introduction: Hydrofracking means injecting toxic-laden fresh water and sand at extremely high pressure into rock layers to shatter the stone and release natural gas. Each frack injects 2 to 9 million gallons of water with 20,000 to 90,000 gallons of toxic chemicals. Natural gas is not “clean” energy but rather another polluting, non-renewable fossil fuel that releases greenhouse gases into the atmosphere. Hydrofracking will almost certainly destroy more jobs than it creates.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

The Green Party supports a ban on the hydrofracking of natural gas in New York State.

The Green Party supports criminalization of hydraulic fracturing as outlined in New York Public Law 1 of the state’s Penal Code.

8. Grassroots Democracy and Election Reform

Introduction:   The Green Party of New York State believes that everyone should have the right and opportunity to participate in the political and economic decisions that affect their lives.   We need to end the ability of wealth and special interests to dominate our government and elections.   The  Green Party of New York State asserts that all elected and appointed state and city officials are subject to the same laws that are placed on all residents.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Permit initiative and referendum processes in New York State, and its political subdivisions, in which citizens can initiate and vote on proposed laws.
  • Citizen Assemblies. Participation in every stage of the process should be open to all constituents and the role of money mitigated to the full extent possible, through the use of citizen assemblies. Every jurisdiction should have a well organized, fully transparent, and citizen moderated online citizens’ forum for the collaborative drafting, and communal deliberation of proposals, to allow for easy participation in all stages of the lawmaking.
  • Establish face‑to‑face citizen assemblies in each neighborhood and  town as the legislative power in society, with legislative authority in their own communities and legislative control from below over the larger jurisdictions (municipal, county, state) with which they are associated. They should be guaranteed sufficient funding to citizen assemblies to insure that they can hire the staff and experts needed to play an autonomous role in  the decision‑making process.
  • Empower citizen assemblies to give binding instructions to their  representatives and the use of immediate recall to enable voters to remove elected officials who no longer are representing the will and interests of the local residents.
  • Support full public financing of campaigns. Publicly financed candidates should receive sufficient funds to reach all the voters of their district with their message. Candidates should accept spending limits and give up private contributions once they have qualified for public funding. To qualify for public campaign financing, candidates should demonstrate a threshold level of public support, by collecting a reasonable number of $5 contributions during a pre-qualifying period.
  • Enact proportional representation for legislative bodies. Seats are allocated to political parties based on the percentage of votes received. Our winner‑take‑all electoral system is fundamentally anti‑democratic.
  • End the system of allowing the two main parties to run elections and control the election process.
  • Enact instant runoff voting for the election of single-member offices (Governor, Lieutenant-Governor,Attorney General, Comptroller, U.S. Senators, District State Legislative Representatives). With instant runoff voting (IRV), also called preference voting, the voters rank candidates in order of preference. ;
  • Limit funding of municipal and state candidate campaigns who apply for public funds to small individual contributions and eliminate “bundled” contributions from PAC’s.
  • Put a limit on how much any candidate can spend on his/her campaign.
  • Require public radio and TV stations to give free access to all registered candidates regardless of party.
  • Enable non-citizens to vote in local elections.

9. Healthcare

Introduction:  All people have the right to health care, not health insurance, through a single payer, Medicare-for-all system that prioritizes wellness over illness.  The latest mandate, market-driven health care reform package will continue to restrict access while cost continue to skyrocket.  After full implementation of the New York State of Health, 1.7 New Yorkers will still be without any health insurance and many others will be forced too spend funds they don’t have to pay for health insurance that will prove to be inadequate.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Establish a publicly funded single payer health insurance program covering all residents in the state
  • Rebalance the state Medicaid program to provide long term care in the community where people wish to receive it.  
  • Use the funds saved through the Medicaid Global Cap to reduce health disparities and to address the social determinants of health such as safe housing, healthful food and opportunities for education and employment.

10. Housing

Introduction:  The Green Party of New York State believes all people have the right to quality, affordable ownership and rental housing in  neighborhoods of their choice.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

Public Housing

  • Construct and maintain sufficient public housing to ensure an end to homelessness.
  • Provide public funding of housing to non-profit builders only..
  • Replace debt financing with public capital grants, to reduce the costs of public housing construction
  • Build all new public city housing to LEED Gold Standard or above.
  • Eliminate compulsory work service for residents of public housing.
  • Require that all public authority housing boards are elected directly by the voters in the area covered by that authority.

Rent Regulated Housing

  • Make the state’s rent control laws permanent and extended to every municipality with less than a 5% vacancy rate.
  • End unfair evictions.
  • Eliminate Vacancy Decontrol, which leaves new tenants of vacant housing without any rent or eviction protections.
  • Strengthen rent protections for Market Rate Tenants, including prevention of sudden rent increases.
  • Provide rent stabilization coverage for all Mitchell-Lama and project-based Section 8 buildings that leave or have left government supervision.
  • Declare a moratorium on buyouts and give tenants right of first refusal to purchase rent-regulated apartments, at prices set by an appraisal board.
  • Close so-called “Preferential Rent” and “Owner-Use” loopholes for rent-stabilized apartments.
  • Establish a rent cap for persons living with HIV or AIDS, so that they pay no more than 30 percent of their disability income towards rent.
  • Suspend the Maximum Base Rent system that requires rent-controlled tenants in New York City to pay 7.5 rent increases annually, and to pay for fuel and labor pass-alongs.
  • Make rent increases for Major Capital Improvements temporary surcharges, so that once tenants have paid them off, the rent increase disappears.
  • Reform New York City and suburban rent boards.
  • Repeal the Urstadt Law, to restore Home Rule to New York City on rent regulation.
  • Assist small landlords to upgrade their property with below-market value loans and technical assistance.
  • Require that seniors and persons with disabilities who are tenants do not pay more than 30% of their net income in rent.

Rent Subsidies

  • The Greens support the establishment of a rent subsidy program to assist householdswith income below 150% of the poverty level, and which require rental subsidies in order to obtain or maintain standards of health and safety.

Homeless

  • Support housing for the homeless individuals, including providing the opportunity to renovate abandoned buildings to be used for housing.

New Rental Housing

  • Stop inclusionary housing and zoning that subsidize private developers who put up luxury high rise buildings that include a few “affordable” units.
  • Develop affordable low rise rental housing for low, moderate, and median income individuals and families, including housing for the working class individuals/families.

Homeownership

  • Put a moratorium on home foreclosures and require lending institutions to renegotiate mortgages for those unable to afford their present mortgages.

Rural Rental Assistance Program

  • Provide funding to the Rural Rental Assistance Program (RRAP) at levels sufficient to provide direct rental subsidies to all eligible low-income elderly,disabled, and non-elderly large families residing in multi-family housing.

Mobile Home Cooperative Fund

  • Establish a Mobile Home Cooperative Fund should be established to provide loans to support cooperative ownership of mobile home parks.

Supportive Housing Programs

  • Provide state
  • funding at levels sufficient for the development of supportive housing for special needs and low-income tenants.

Community Land Trusts

  • Establish community land trusts to eliminate speculation and profit-taking on the ownership of land.

11. Immigrant Rights

The Green Party stands firmly for social justice for all those living in this country regardless of their immigration status. Our positions on this issue is laid out in the national platform.

In New York State, the Green Party also supports the Dream Act; restoring the rights of immigrants to vote in local elections; and, providing driver’s licenses for all individuals.

12. Indigenous Nations

The Greens support New Yorkʼs recognition of Native American nationsʼ right to self-determination and self-government. Treaties with sovereign nations should berespected and honored in fact and appearance. The Greens recognize the sovereigntyof New Yorkʼs native nations.

The Greens advocate:

•     Negotiated solutions with New Yorkʼs indigenous nations as preferable to court-imposed solutions;

•     Stopping New York Stateʼs imposition of sales taxes on sovereign Nation land;

•     The right of indigenous people to participate in and celebrate their own culture.

13. Jobs and Economic Development

Introduction:  All people who are able are entitled to a stable job at a living wage.   The Green Party must work to build a new economy in which workers and consumers exercise democratic control (and ownership) over economic decisions leading to a broader income distribution.

  • Work performed outside the monetary system, such as child and elder care, homemaking, voluntary community service, continuing education, civic participation, and the arts, has inherent social and economic value and is essential to a healthy, sustainable economy and peaceful communities.
  • Introduce a Green New Deal New York State that shifts resources to invest in public jobs creation, including the construction of  affordable housing units and other capital projects, retrofitting of existing buildings to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiency, infrastructure to mitigate and prevent flooding of residences and vital utilities, and parks improvements. The program also could expand and improve the quality of public services in areas such as health care, child care, education, recreation, elder care, and cultural enrichment.
  • Do not require welfare recipients to accept jobs that pay wages below a living wage drives wages down and exploits workers for private profit at public expense; workfare as being a form of indentured servitude is rejected.
  • Offer employment to all people who are able to work at a living wage
  • Provide public assistance participants with adequate basic employment supports, such as child care, education, transportation and job training. Welfare benefits should be raised to a living standard above the poverty level.
  • All persons receive equal pay for the same job regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or disability
  • To combat Wage Theft, the New York State Department of Labor must increase the number of investigators assigned to wage theft cases.
  •  Strengthen New York State Laws against wage theft so that victims of “wage theft” will be able to secure payment from their employers of unpaid wages for work already performed.  Creates a “wage lien,” which would provide a lien remedy for all employees. and allow victims of wage theft to attach employers’ assets during the pendency of a court action, in addition, hold personally liable the largest owners of companies for wage theft.
  • Restore at least $100 million in funding to the job creation related TANF Initiatives: Career Pathways, Transitional Jobs, the Green Jobs Corps and the Wage Subsidy program.
  • Amend the laws governing the state’s economic development tax breaks to establish accountability related to job creation, including number of jobs and wages. Economic development programs should prioritize a set of performance metrics that can be used to evaluate and monitor the success of spending in relation to key goals, including local job creation and carbon emissions benchmarks. Communities must be able to easily monitor and assess the performance of their investments.
  •  Enact policies that target government subsidized job openings to low-income households. For example, “corporate subsidies” and public contracts should be tied to the hiring of public assistance participants and other low-income New Yorkers to fill entry-level positions.
  • Increase statewide county-by-county Equal Employment Opportunity hiring targets.
  • Ensure that a minimum of 15% of labor hours and job training hours connected with the Green Jobs, Green NY program are targeted to welfare recipients and other low-income people.
  • Reduce the value of the initial Investment Tax Credit (ITC) while increasing the number of additional years (currently set at two) in which ITC beneficiaries can qualify for an Employment Incentive Credit by maintaining or increasing employment in New York. This will reduce (and, in some cases, eliminate) the benefits available to businesses that reduce employment while increasing the benefits to businesses that maintain  or increase their levels of employment in New York State over time.
  • Develop and implement a mass transit-related economic development strategy.
  • Establish commercial rent control for small businesses.
  • Enact a state minimum wage of $15 an hour, indexed to inflation.
  • Allow local governments to establish higher minimum wage for all workers.
  • End the tax subsidy for hiring teenagers at the minimum wage.
  • Provide tip workers with the same minimum wage as all workers, with no tip credit.
  • Expand minimum wage protection to tipped workers.
  • Increase funding for the Department of Labor so that effective enforcement of minimum wages laws can be executed.
  • Repeal Taft-Hartley and the Taylor Law, and all anti-union laws that restrict the rights of workers to organize and go on strike

 14. Mass Transit

 Introduction:

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Funding for local transit systems throughout the state should be increased to reduce carbon / greenhouse emissions and to assist low and moderate income individuals in accessing jobs and services.
  • Fully fund the $29 billion 2015-2019 MTA capital program, which helps maintain the good repair of the system by underwriting the purchase of rolling stock, modernizing stations, rail yards and depots, and maintaining vital infrax
  • End the fiscally irresponsible reliance on debt by restoring the state’s contribution to the MTA capital program to 20 percent of the program’s cost. Since 1992, the state has not contributed any funds directly toward the MTA’s capital program. Before that time, state contributions made up a significant percentage of the MTA’s capital program. In 1992, state lawmakers slashed state funding for the MTA’s capital program.
  • Create sustainable sources of transit revenue funded by everyone who benefits from transit, including riders, drivers and businesses. Congestion pricing, bridge tolls and other variable charging plans that would provide critical revenue for the MTA (and avert future service cuts and unreasonable fare hikes) would benefit New York City’s middle class, the majority of whom rely on mass transit to commute to their jobs in Manhattan. Businesses and residents should be awarded a tax credit to incentivize biking and the use of public transit, based on the cost saved from road repair, decrease in air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution.
  • The local boards overseeing transit system should have designated voting members representing transit users.
  • Lead New York’s congressional delegation to secure higher levels of federal funding that would help expand public transit service access to underserved areas. Federal funding covers 80 percent to 90 percent of new highway projects but only 60 percent of public transit projects. Federal contributions are often much lower in practice. Nationally, federal investment sufficient to bring the country’s public transit systems to a state of good repair would create 2.5 million jobs over six years, including more than 16,000 jobs in the manufacturing sector alone in New York State.
  • A re-prioritization of transportation planning and funding from highways to railroads for transportation and shipping. New York State must rebuild the dense and intricate network of inter-city railroad and municipal trolleys and light rail it had 100 years ago;
  • The phasing out of diesel buses in urban areas and the control and reduction of emissions from diesel trucks;
  • A zero-increase policy for paved areas.
  • Allow local governments to use State road and bridge money for bike and pedestrian paths;
  • Encourage the choice of human powered transportation, by constructing pedestrian malls,greenways and walking paths, establishing bicycle lanes on most streets and roads, and by making some streets and roads bicycle only;
  • Improve pedestrian facilities in urban areas by reclaiming paved open space and street space;
  • Improve bicycle parking by creating secure bicycle storage and parking facilities in our cities, at all transit stations;
  • Emphasize affordable mass transit systems; which could be partly subsidized with revenues from taxes on non-efficient vehicles and on gasoline. Mass-transit should be more economical to use than private vehicles;
  • Develop light rail options along highway corridors, in congested urban settings, linking suburban centers and transit hubs;
  • Improve air quality and transit by electrifying buses and taxis, extending train service throughout the state and making mass transit accessible to the disabled by installing elevators in all stations. Increasing access to transit options for the disabled, including taxis.

 15. Progressive Taxation and Fiscal Policy

Introduction: The Green Party strives for economic democracy through progressive taxation and fiscal policy.  This includes a progressive income tax requiring the wealthy to pay their fair share.  Restoring the more progressive state tax and revenue sharing policies of the 1970s would yield over $30 billion in additional revenue while giving the majority of New Yorkers tax cuts. This includes stopping the rebate of the stock transfer tax and  eliminating the $7 billion a year in corporate tax breaks and subsidies. The Green Party supports restoring state revenue sharing with local communities to its previous 8% level.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Require a 50% charge on all individual and organizational funds sent to offshore tax shelters, retroactive to transactions starting Jan 1, 1990. Penalty is mandatory 10 year imprisonment for all involved individuals, CEO,COO, CFO, lawyers, fiscal personnel, and all members of boards of directors.
  • Place a 50% tax on charitable donations and religious contributions to out-of-state organizations and use this revenue to fund social and health care services to the state’s rural poor.
  • Support for a graduated supplemental income, or negative income tax, that would maintain all individual adult incomes above the poverty level, regardless of employment or marital status.

16. Public Banks

 Introduction: Unfair and abusive monetary and lending practices by the banking system are a major cause of the economic problems in New York State. Many small business and community initiatives are unable to raise the capital needed to finance their work and/or forced to pay usurious rates.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • New York should create a state-owned bank to target investment into the new technologies and businesses of a sustainable green economy. Public investment is the fastest way to jump-start private job creation.
  • The state bank would be capitalized by the deposits of state tax revenues, a portion of state pension funds, and private individuals, businesses, and pension funds that want to invest in the future of New York. This capital would then be invested in productive ventures in New York State that benefit the people.
  • The state bank will keep the interest collected for the benefit of the people.
  • The state bank would partner with local community banks and credit unions in financing new business activity. It would also refinance the mortgages of homes facing foreclosure on a reduced-principal, fixed-rate, long-term affordable basis. It should also have a technical assistance arm to develop worker and consumer cooperatives. Cooperatives are how we can own our own jobs because they locally owned, democratically controlled, and have no incentives to move jobs and capital out of state.

17. Public Power

Introduction:

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies.

  • Facilitating the conversion of investor-owned utility companies to publicly-owned and democratically run operation that meets the energy needs of each local municipality, including cooperative.
  • Democratize fossil-fuel producing industries so profits can be used to ramp up funding for renewable energy sources, conservation initiatives and worker retraining as these industries are phased out.

18. Public Safety and Criminal Justice

Introduction:   The best path to public safety involves a strategic approach to grow educated, civically engaged residents living in strong neighborhoods and healthy communities where residents work with law enforcement to assess problems and craft responses to those problems.  All individuals, regardless of age, ethnicity, race, skin color, gender, ability status, gender preference, and economic status must be equal in the eyes of the law.

The Green Party of New York State supports the following policies:

  • Repeal the Rockefeller Drug Laws and release all individuals currently serving time for nonviolent drug offenses.
  • Transition out (release) prisoners  convicted only of a victimless crime such as minor drug offenses and develop a system to assist with this transition, including providing many jobs.
  • Find alternatives to prison settings for persons with mental illnesses convicted of crimes who are not a danger to themselves or others.
  • End the practice of colleges such as SUNY using criminal history to screen applicants during the admission process.
  • Expand alternatives to incarceration of nonviolent offenders, such as probation or work release for paying fines, victim restitution, and community service.
  • State funding of county Public Defenders Offices to insure no defendant is denied competent legal counsel for lack of money. Cities should have the same rights as towns to draw juries of their peers from their municipal jurisdictions instead of the surrounding county.
  • Support Humane Alternatives to Long-Term (HALT) Solitary Confinement Act (A08588 / S06466). It would virtually eliminate a practice that is both dangerous and torturous, while protecting the safety of incarcerated individuals and corrections officers.
  • Reject life without parole sentences: They fail to recognize the human capacity to change and fully appreciate the value of each human life;
  • Prioritize and provide resources for the prosecution of financial crime (aka “white-collar crime”), as the source of much more damage to society and individual lives than so-called “street crime”.
  • Immediately terminate “stop-and-frisk” police practices

19. Prison Education

  • Provide access to education at all levels to incarcerated people in all of New York State’s prisons.

20. Public Welfare/Human Rights

Introduction: The Green Party of New York State puts people before profit and asserts their right to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness:

  • All NY residents have the right to food, housing, medical care, jobs that pay a living wage, education and support in times of hardship.
  • Provide the equivalent of a living wage income and adequate benefits to those who are not able to work.
  • New York State must honor and fulfill all treaty obligations that entitle native peoples to land, water, food, hunting rights, fishing rights, health care, housing, education and other vital necessities. Full reparations to indigenous peoples for historical injustices.
  • The Green Party supports the right of those with disabilities, including the right to voting, access to health care, enforcement of the ADA, support for community and home care, and to an adequate income.

21. Adoptee Rights

Due to current laws millions of adults that were adopted as children are now being denied access to vital records regarding their births. This is a basic human right that the Green Party should be committed to help in abolishing the secrets and lies that surround many adoptions around the world by creating necessary transparency between adoptees, their mothers and adoptive parents. Reform items include the following:

  • Agencies and lawyers that handle adoptions should be required to maintain annual communications between mothers that have surrendered their children for adoption
    and the adoptive parents to ensure the personal health and safety of the adoptee is being respected.
  • Immediate  and direct access to all identifying birth, hospital, foster care and adoption
    agency records and files concerning the adult adoptee (including the original adoption plans and any contracts that pertain to the adoptee or in which they are mentioned) to assist with researching their genealogy, medical history and the truth regarding the circumstances surrounding their adoptions and, if applicable, their time in foster care.
  • States that prevent access to original birth certificates from adoptees need to establish a fund to provide financial assistance for counseling, registration fees and private investigators that adoptees and their mothers may need to use in order to reunite with each other.
  • Strict financial penalties need to be enforced when birth/adoption records have been lost or destroyed while under the care of agencies, hospitals, lawyers, etc. that have assumed the responsibility of storing these vital records.