This page presents our "key values" and what we advocate for Johnson County, Iowa, and the world.
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.
There are ten "key values" that underlie our political positions.
- grassroots democracy
- social justice and equal opportunity
- ecological wisdom
- community-based economics and economic justice
- feminism and gender equity
- respect for diversity
- personal and global responsibility
- future focus and sustainability: quality of life
1. Grassroots Democracy
Every human being deserves a say in the decisions that affect his or her life, and freedom from being 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 which expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.
2. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
All persons should have the rights and opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. Ecological Wisdom
Human societies must operate with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy-efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize, and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace. For more on this issue, see peace.
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 which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens.
6. Community-based Economics and Economic Justice
We recognize it is essential to create a vibrant and sustainable economic system, one that can create jobs and provide a decent standard of living for all people while maintaining a healthy ecological balance. A successful economic system will offer meaningful work with dignity, while paying a "living wage" which reflects the real value of a person's work.
Local communities must look to economic development that assures protection of the environment and workers' rights; broad citizen participation in planning; and enhancement of our "quality of life." We support independently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that distribute resources and control to more people through democratic participation.
7. Feminism and Gender Equity
We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as equity beween the sexes, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We should remember that the process that determines our decisions and actions is just as important as achieving the outcome we want.
8. Respect for Diversity
We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across these lines. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally excluded from leadership roles. We acknowledge and encourage respect for other life forms than our own and the preservation of biodiversity.
9. Personal and Global Responsibility
We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. Future Focus and Sustainability
Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or "unmaking" all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
Grant Wood, "Spring Turning," 1936
What We Advocate, Locally and Globally
Johnson Green Party, statement Fall 2002
For Johnson County
- more substantial funding for the city’s homeless shelter, affordable housing, senior center, and other city services which serve low-and middle-income residents;
- more serious review-board oversight for police department activities; more spending on counselling and drug rehabilitation and less for policing of underage drinking and possession of recreational drugs;
- full benefits for city workers, and rejection of outsourcing as a device to avoid such payments;
- rejection of plans to construct an unneeded county jail, whose inmates will arguably be disproportionately non-white, in favor of reduced sentences, counselling and probation for most first time non-violent crimes;
- full funding of social services for rural, disabled and elderly residents;
FAIR TAXATION AND OPEN GOVERNMENT:
- funding for all levels of public schools; an end to ‘creative’ city financing which funds expensive road-projects and tax-concessions at the expense of the library and schools;
- rejection of proposals to build the ill-conceived and expensive “Iowa Child” cum-artificial rainforest and convention center in Coralville;
- restriction of the use of “TIF’s” to avoid normal scrutiny of taxpayer costs for new projects;
- equal water rates for all; the elimination of discounted rates for high-end commercial users;
- adequate salaries to permit people without independent incomes to serve on a more accountable city council; broadcasting of council ‘work-sessions’ to broaden public access to the levers of decision-making;
"THE BEAUTY OF LIFE"; PRESERVATION OF THE ENVIRONMENT:
- the end to an ideology of “development for development’s (and profit’s) sake,” whatever the harm to parks, neighborhoods, safety, beauty of surroundings or existing businesses;
- end to high tax concessions and disguised subsidies for building of multistory buildings and other forms of unsightly “development” (a major current example is the construction now planned for the current parking lot next to the public library);
- an end to bit-by-bit attrition of the town’s parks and open spaces for profit (such as the recent deal to build private houses on the much-beloved open space at the crest of Hickory Hill); active involvement in the preservation and acquisition of park and open areas;
- a end to highway projects that bisect and damage established neighborhoods (a prime example is the First Avenue extension); careful planning which also sets strict limits on the award of building permits;
- seven-day-a-week bus service; use of small, less polluting buses; systematic construction of bike lanes on major city arteries, and of pedestrian/bike/animal highway overpasses;
- use of non-lethal methods to control animal populations;
- limitation of road building to preserve countryside, in accordance with principles set out by groups such as “1000 Friends of Iowa”;
- municipal ownership of gas and electric utilities to implement cost reduction and make more extensive use of renewable energy sources.
Grant Wood, "Stone City," 1930
- ballot access for minority parties, right to participate in political debates for minority parties, instant runoff voting and same day registration;
EDUCATION AND HEALTH CARE:
- full funding for education at every level: primary, secondary, institutions for the handicapped, community colleges and public universities;
- lower tuition and extension of financial aid for students to include more work study and low-interest loans;
- single payer health insurance and health care for all Iowans;
- enforcement of affirmative action in hiring to ensure equal treatment of applicants by race, gender or age;
- the right to choice in abortion;
- legislation to define and ensure safe staffing levels for health care facilities;
SOCIAL WELFARE AND EQUAL OPPORTUNITY:
- state recognition of civil unions between same-sex partners;
- continued rejection of the death penalty;
- repeal of Iowa's English-only law
- a living wage; right to union representation and repeal of "right to work" laws that abridge it; denial of assistance to for-profit companies that fail to provide health care to their employees;
- preservation of civil liberties and the right to counsel for all residents, including non-U. S. citizens;
- full funding of social services for the disabled;
- introduction of labels for textile items that are “sweatshop free,” and requirement that state agencies and schools purchase only such items;
- strict control of the licensing, selling and possession of handguns;
- decriminalization of marijuana and increased expenditure on drug treatment programs;
- restoration of the voting rights of former prisoners;
- end of reliance on gambling revenues to support state programs;
PRESERVATION AND ENHANCEMENT OF THE ENVIRONMENT:
- active state support for organic agriculture, small and midsize local farms and for incentives for sustainable agricultural practices;
- local communities’ rights to restrict or ban hoglots and other large livestock factories;
- low-interest loans for small businesses in rural and depopulated areas;
- extension of the present bottle bill to containers not currently covered;
- humane conditions for livestock, and freedom of animals to graze and exercise;
- encouragement of and adequate funding of public transportation;
- laws to require and enforce higher standards of pollution control in air and water;
- bans on the use of any genetically modified organisms without independent testing and accountability;
- establishment and extension of parklands, conservation areas, and other green spaces.
The Green Party Platform is a searching examination of ways to improve each aspect of life. It contains well-thought out proposals arranged under the headings,
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
- Environmental Sustainability; and
- Economic Sustainability.
To view the platform, please visit www.gp.org
William Morris, "Willow," 1874
Here are a few sample statements on political reform, health care, foreign policy, civil and equal rights, energy policy and agriculture.
POLITICAL REFORM and PARTICIPATION:
We propose comprehensive campaign finance reform at the national and state level, including caps on spending and contributions, and partial public funding to remove undue influence in political campaigns.
We advocate maintaining and enhancing federal guarantees in the areas of civil rights protections, environmental safeguards, and social "safety net" entitlements.
We will act to broaden voter participation and ballot access, urging universal voter registration and an election day holiday.
The Green Party supports universal health care, including universal access, freedom of health care choice, cost savings through annual budgets and streamlined administration, and comprehensive benefits.
We support a focus on rural health services and wider implementation of hospice care.
We advocate continued support of medical research into the quality, effectiveness and appropriateness of medical care.
We call for adequate social and health services for those who have special needs--the mentally ill, the disabled, and the terminally ill.
We believe an all-out campaign must be waged against AIDS and HIV, and will press for the implementation of the recommendations of the National Commission on AIDS.
Geens suport sustainable development and social and economic justice across the globe. Reduced militarism and diminished reliance on arms policies is the key to progress toward collective security.
We endorse ending support for repressive regimes; we believe the US and all nations should abide by World Court decisions; we support the right of Habeas Corpus for any person, anywhere, whose imprisonment violates fundamental norms of international law.
It is our belief that the massive debt owed by the Third World is causing immense misery and environmental destruction. Foreign aid must be addressed in the context of retiring this debt rather than forcing, via the International Monetary Fund (IMF) and World Bank, "structural adjustments" on the economies of the underdeveloped world.
We support peace in the Mideast based on respect for civil liberties and human rights.
We must look to domestic and international regulation to protect the global ecology, utilizing the United Nations and related agencies and regional associations to advance our mutual interests.
CIVIL AND EQUAL RIGHTS:
We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity; that support the self-definition and self-determination of 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 to define and solve our common problems.
We support the rights of gay, lesbian, and bisexual people in housing, jobs, civil marrriage and benefits, and child custody.
We support affirmative action to remedy discrimination, to protect constitutional rights and to provide equal opportunity under the law.
We support effective enforcement of the "Voting Rights Act," including language access to voting.
We support the full enforcement of the "Americans with Disabilties Act."
ENERGY POLICY and RENEWABLE ENERGY:
Investing in energy efficiency and renewable energy is the key to sustainability. We call for the development of state energy policies that include taxes and/or fines on energy "waste," and the funding of energy research, including credits for alternative and sustainable energy use such as solar, wind, hydrogen and biomass.
Incentives/disincentives should be put in place to move utilities toward establishing solar power stations to augment and eventually supplant fossil-fuel generated electricity.
It is essential in the long-term that alternative energy systems be put in place to produce goods that are durable, repairable, reusable, recyclable, and energy-efficient, using both non-toxic materials and nonpolluting production methods.
AGRICULTURE and RURAL DEVELOPMENT:
We call for the establishment of an ecologically based sustainable agricultural system which moves as rapidly as possible towards regional/bioregional self reliance.
We support research, within the public and private arenas, including educational institutions, for sustainable, organic, and ecologically balanced agriculture.
Price-fixing and anti-competitive actions of the corporate agricultural giants must be confronted aggressively.
We support cooperative ventures to broaden markets of local producers.
However, the Green Party platform is concerned with many other topics, including
- "Tax Justice/Fairness,"
- "Management-Labor Relations,"
- "Criminal Justice,"
- "Free Speech,"
- "Native Americans,"
- "National Service,"
- "Nuclear Issues,"
- "Waste Management,"
- "Fossil Fuels,"
- "Transportation Policy,"
- "Clean Air/Greenhouse Effect/Ozone Depletion,"
- "Land Use,"
- "Biological Diversity,"
- "Banking for People,"
- "Insurance Reform,"
- "Pension Reform,"
- "Anti-Trust Enforcement,"
- "Advanced Technology and Defense Conversion,"
- and "The National Debt."
We encourage you to read and consider seriously the platform in its entirety, at www.gp.org.
For the Green Party Platform, see www.gp.org/index.php/what-we-believe/our-platfrom.html