New Hampshire Progressive Organizing Project

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Principles and Issues

(under construction - more here later)

The following is the platform of the Vermont Progressive Party, reproduced here by permission.  It is quite comprehensive, and although New Hampshire has significant differences from our good green neighbor Vermont, the principles and issues covered are generally relevant to our conditions and ideals.  We think it is a fine place to start; now let us know what you think!


Vermont Progressive Party
Platform
2008-2009

(as adopted and amended May 16, 2009)

 PREAMBLE

The Vermont Progressive Party offers this platform to preserve and sustain democracy, guarantee inalienable rights, and promote the general welfare of the citizens of the State of Vermont.

 OUR PEOPLE 

A.  HEALTHCARE

Progressives believe health care is a human right, and support single-payer health care, birth to death, free of private corporate interests (insurance companies), provided through a non-profit, publicly-financed system.

We will work to:

        Implement full-spectrum single-payer health care, including preventive and mental health care.

        Establish community health centers to deliver medical and mental health care services.

 

B.  EDUCATION

Progressives believe public education is the essential and most representative institution in our communities.

We will work to:

        Promote a public education system, Pre-K-12, which provides equal opportunities for all our children.

        Replace the residential education property tax with a progressive income tax.

        Increase State of Vermontís share of special education funding.

        Reduce post-secondary tuition costs for Vermonters.

        Repeal the Federal No Child Left Behind act with its excessive emphasis on standardized testing.

        Oppose voucher programs, which undercut public education.

 

C.  CRIMINAL JUSTICE

Progressives are committed to public safety.  We will work to:

        Invest in prevention and anti-violence programs.

        Discontinue the failed ďwar on drugs.Ē

        Fund drug and alcohol rehabilitation programs.

        Limit incarceration to offenders who pose a threat to public safety.

        Create effective penalties against DUI drivers to ensure public safety.

        Work to provide in-state placements and treatment (rather than out-of-state) 

 

D.  CIVIL RIGHTS

Progressives will preserve Vermontís national leadership as a champion of civil rights, in the tradition of Vermontís history as the first state to outlaw slavery.  Progressives believe our right to personal privacy, as guaranteed in the U.S. Constitution, is unconditional.  We will work to:

        Support marriage equity for same-sex couples.

        Ensure womenís rights to control their bodies and their choices.

        Establish a Zero-Tolerance standard state-wide toward all forms of discrimination and harassment (i.e. sexual) in schools and workplaces.

        Protect the confidentiality of commercial transactions and medical information.

        Restrict the ability of the State, cities and towns to eavesdrop on private citizens.

 


OUR COMMUNITIES

 

E.  ECONOMY

Progressives believe that a vibrant and sustainable economy is one that recognizes preeminence of ďquality of lifeĒ concept & insists on a decent standard of living for all Vermonters.  We will work to:

        Establish and guarantee that the minimum wage must be a livable wage.

        Substantially strengthen the rights of workers to unionize and require all state contracts are awarded only to businesses with responsible employers which pay a livable wage.

        Insist Vermont will contract only with responsible employers, including local small businesses and local entrepreneurs, hiring local employees.

        Promote cooperative, worker-owned, and publicly-owned enterprises as democratic alternatives to huge profit-driven multi-national corporations.

        Calculate any economic impact resulting from the degradation of Vermontís natural resources when evaluating the stateís economic development.

 

F.  ENVIRONMENT

Progressives believe that Vermontís natural environment is the foundation of our health, quality of life and economy and commits to insuring that Vermontís economic growth will not degrade Vermontís natural resources.  We will work to:

        Protect our water, air and biodiversity through strict enforcement of existing regulations and financial incentives for responsible stewardship.

        Strengthen effective land-use planning policies (e.g. Act 250, Current Use Program), which supports town centers, farming, forestry and conservation.

        Promote responsible use of Vermontís natural resources by supporting composting, expanding recycling, reducing hazardous waste, and restoring polluted sites to environmental health.

        Combat global warming by supporting and developing alternative energy resources and practice, mass transit statewide and energy efficiency programs.

        Decommission Vermont Yankee safely, with funds entirely provided by the plant owner (i.e. Entergy). 

 

G.  AGRICULTURE

Progressives know that agriculture, especially family farms, including timber, are essential to Vermontís economy and cultural heritage.  We will work to:

        Support fair trade prices for Vermontís farmers and producers.

        Invest in agricultural infrastructure with priority given to locally-owned, farmer-controlled enterprises such as vegetable, meat and dairy processing plants.

        Support farm and community based enterprises with policies which open new markets, including direct sales to consumers.

        Support farmersí transition to organic and sustainable practices.

 

H.  HOUSING

Progressives believe a safe, affordable place to live is the birthright of every Vermonter.  We will work to:

        End homelessness while supporting legal, medical, financial assistance to the homeless.

        Ensure changes to building regulations resulting in construction of affordable housing.

        Guarantee sufficient funding for Section 8 rental housing to end occupancy waiting periods.

        Protect the rights of renters

 

I.  PUBLIC PARTICIPATION

Progressives believe that progress in the face of multi-billion dollar corporate interests requires serious participation by people in our communities, workplaces and schools between elections. We will work to:

        Organize events in our communities and at the State House to bring out the voices of the people.

        Support town meeting initiatives on vital issues.

        Build coalitions with community, religious, business, union, and student organizations to support legislative initiatives.

 

OUR INSTITUTIONS

J.  MILITARY
Progressives believe that though a well-trained military is necessary for national defense, military expenditures must be weighed in the context of domestic priorities.  We will work to:

        End the occupation of Iraq and the on-going military commitment in Afghanistan/Pakistan. 

        Support all proceedings to hold accountable any violators of the U.S. Constitution, international laws and/or treaties. 

        Restrict Vermont National Guard troops from assignment to war zones.

        Prohibit the use of torture.

        Oppose pre-emptive war.

        Support non-military initiatives and policies to resolve international conflict.

        Ensure Vermontís veterans receive medical, emotional and financial support according to their service-related disability.

 

K.  ENERGY

Progressives believe Vermont can develop safe, secure and stable energy sources.  We will work to:

        Decommission  Yankee Nuclear plant in Vernon, fully funded by its owner, i.e. Entergy

        Promote investments and job development in energy conservation and weatherization programs.

        Promote the creation of safe, renewable and locally-owned power generation using solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, bio-mass, and on-farm sources.

 

L.  TRANSPORTATION

Progressives believe Vermontís transportation system is key to developing a vibrant state-wide economy and quality of life.  We will work to:

        Place a moratorium on all new major highway construction until the repair backlog (including bridges) is fulfilled.

        Increase development and access to public transportation such as buses, light rail, van service, alternate means of travel and Amtrak.

        Restore freight rail systems to decrease volume of heavy trucks on our vulnerable roads.

        Introduce transportation and land-use planning to promote livable, walkable access to and within communities.


M.  TAXES

Progressives believe fair taxes are progressive taxes.  We believe taxes are essential to funding our social and economic needs and should be based on oneís ability to pay.  We will work to:

        Apply taxes to investment income at the same rate as workersí wages by eliminating Vermontís Capital Gains Tax Exemption.

        Reduce and remove residential property tax as the funding base for education.

        Prevent tax shifts which increase local property taxes.

 

N.  GOVERNMENT REFORM

Progressives believe government should work for the people, stripped of wasteful bureaucracies.  Progressives will insist on fair, accountable and representative elections.  We will work to:

        Prohibit the use of all proprietary-code voting, paperless-trail voting machines

        Ensure government accountability to taxpayers for taxpayer dollars.

        Institute Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for State and Local elections.

        Institute public funding of election campaigns.

        End unlimited donor contributions to and by political parties.



Vermont Progressive Party

PO Box 281 ~ 146 Main Street #6
Montpelier VT 05601

802-229-0800 ~ info@progressiveparty.org
 www.progressiveparty.org

 

 

 

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