Covid-19 Pandemic Response
Immediately enroll everyone in the U.S. without health insurance in Medicare, including immigrants. Provide widespread Covid-19 testing and treatment without cost. Coordinate the production of essential medical supplies and hospital capacity. For the duration of the crisis:
- institute an emergency universal basic income;
- suspend rent, mortgage payments, evictions, foreclosures, and utility shutoffs;
- help small businesses by offering no-interest loans, covering payroll costs, and other measures as needed;
- use the Federal Reserve to give state and local governments the financial ability to get through the crisis;
- bring military forces home to serve as humanitarian forces to control the pandemic;
- provide support to farmers and farm workers;
- make essential workers eligible for free childcare;
- lift restrictions on food stamps and expand benefits;
- House people experiencing homelessness in hotels and begin construction of long-term supportive housing;
- release from incarceration people awaiting trial, those convicted of drug-related, low-level or nonviolent offenses, and people whose age or health puts them at high risk.
Demilitarized Green New Deal
Global heating threatens the survival of human civilization and life on Earth. We need a Demilitarized Green New Deal now to tackle the existential threat of climate crisis and move our money from the war machine into creating millions of good, green, union jobs across the United States.
The Demilitarized Green New Deal will:
- Make massive investments in green energy, transportation, industry, agriculture, and infrastructure
- Set science-based targets for reducing the emissions that fuel global heating
- Incentivize on- and offshore wind farming, localized solar farming, and other emerging green energy techniques such as tidal power; and investment in smart grid technology
- Invest in public transportation, including light rail, high-speed interstate rail, ferry, and green buses to reduce car-based travel
- Invest in public utilities, including purchasing controlling interest in currently private utilities to bring them under local democratic control
- Ban the use of fracking and other destructive fossil fuel extraction techniques like tar sand mining, offshore drilling, mountaintop removal, and coal mining; end construction of new fossil fuel infrastructure like pipelines and storage facilities; and begin the immediate phase-out of fossil fuel extraction and use
- Incentivize the use of efficient heating and cooling sources, such as heat pumps and geothermal technology
- Expand local, state, and federal land preservation efforts, through parks, wildlife preserves, and other conservation efforts
- Invest in battery research and other energy storage techniques
- Invest in climate-focused educational resources that can be worked into k-12 curriculum
- Invest in regenerative agriculture, to fix our poisonous agribusiness model and return sustainability to our food production
- Invest in climate research at our state universities, look into methodologies like carbon mineralization, new fibers and materials that are not petroleum-based, and sustainable installation manufacture
- Invest in public housing to make city living affordable, incentivize local commerce and reductions in travel for basic necessities like groceries and social services, and establish pedestrian-friendly and bike-friendly communities
The Demilitarized Green New Deal will create millions of good, green, sustainable union jobs that cannot be outsourced. We need a Demilitarized Green New Deal to prevent climate meltdown from destroying the ecosystem that all economic activity depends on, and we can fund these necessary investments through reduction of the military budget and increase in taxes on large corporations and extremely high earners. The Demilitarized Green New Deal will guarantee a just transition, converting military and fossil fuel-dependent jobs to secure, sustainable jobs that are good for workers, communities and the planet.
Jobs as a Right
Create living-wage jobs for everyone who needs work through the Demilitarized Green New Deal and other programs to revitalize our communities. Support workers' rights to form unions, achieve workplace democracy, and keep a fair share of the wealth they create.
Medicare for All - Health Care as a Right
Establish an improved "Medicare For All" single-payer public health insurance program to provide everyone with quality health care, at huge savings. Improved Medicare for All will cover all U.S. residents in every community for all needed care, eliminate out-of-pocket costs, fully fund public health programs, and allow for a unified response to national health crises.
Even before the pandemic, a study published in medical journal The Lancet found that a single-payer system would save over 68,000 lives per year. Medicare for All would not only cover far more people and produce better health outcomes; it would actually save money compared to current U.S. health care spending, with savings of 13% or more than $450 billion per year.
The giant pharmaceutical and health insurance lobbies spend over half a billion dollars every year to maintain the status quo. We need to put our health care spending into health care, not in the pockets of corporate lobbyists and CEOs.
Education as a Right
Guarantee tuition-free, world-class public education from pre-school through university. End high-stakes testing and public school privatization. Abolish student debt to free a generation of Americans from debt servitude.
A Just Economy
Set a $15/hour federal minimum wage. Support development of worker and community cooperatives and small businesses. Make Wall Street, big corporations, and the rich pay their fair share of taxes. Create democratically-run public banks and utilities. Replace corporate trade agreements with fair trade agreements.
Paid Family and Medical Leave
Guarantee workers 21 days minimum family and medical leave per year, plus a social insurance program to cover extended sick days, family leave, and disability should more than 21 days be necessary.
Free Child Care and Pre-K for All
Guarantee every child free high-quality child care from infancy through age three. Guarantee every child free access to a high quality pre-kindergarten education starting at age three.
Housing and Homelessness
Enact emergency legislation to relieve the obligation of rent and mortgage payments for all renters, homeowners, and owners of small multi-unit dwellings for the duration of the pandemic. Protect people experiencing homelessness from the pandemic by immediately housing them in hotels, and begin immediate construction of public housing and supportive long-term housing to end homelessness in the United States.
Protect Mother Earth
Turn the tide on climate crisis and ecological destruction with the Green New Deal. Lead on a global climate treaty. End destructive energy extraction: fracking, tar sands, offshore drilling, oil trains, mountaintop removal, and uranium mines. Protect our public lands, water supplies, biological diversity, agriculture, fisheries, parks and pollinators.
Racial Justice Now
End police brutality: Defund police and invest in our communities. Create accountability for police brutality by ending “qualified immunity” and changing the standard for police misconduct from willfulness to recklessness. Charge the Department of Justice with rooting out white supremacist elements from our police forces and prosecuting excessive uses of force. Enact national legislation against hiring police officers who have been fired for excessive force or discrimination. Ensure that communities control their police rather than police controlling our communities, by establishing elected police review boards and full time investigators to look into all cases of death in police custody. Demilitarize the police and end programs that funnel military equipment to the police. End the practice of having Israel train US police forces in military occupation-style tactics.
End mass incarceration: Fund and convene a commission designed to radically reduce the number of people incarcerated in the United States, which leads the world in mass incarceration. Release everyone serving time for drug-related, low-level or nonviolent offenses and expunge their criminal records. Release from incarceration people awaiting trial and those whose age or health puts them at risk.
Reparations: Open a national discussion on reparations with a Truth, Reconciliation, and Reparations Commission to understand and eliminate the legacy of slavery, xenophobia and Indigenous genocide that lives on as systemic racism.
Freedom and Equality
Expand women's rights, Protect LGBTQIA+ people from discrimination. Defend indigenous rights and lands. Create a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants. Protect the free Internet. Legalize marijuana/hemp and treat substance abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal problem.
Create full access to contraceptive and reproductive care as part of a universal healthcare system. Expand women's access to "morning after" contraception. Oppose attacks on family planning, contraception, and abortion services.
Common Sense Gun Control
Enact strong gun control measures that respect the Second Amendment protection for arms for state-level militias - not individual ownership of assault weapons. Implement background checks for all gun sales. Reduce weapons in circulation with a buyback program similar to Australia's response to the tragedy of a mass shooting. Renew and strengthen the assault weapons ban. Treat gun violence as a public health emergency and end prohibitions on using federal funding for science-based solutions to gun violence. Follow the lead of countries such as Australia, the United Kingdom and Finland that strengthened gun control laws after mass killings and succeeded in dramatically reducing the rate of gun violence.
Justice for All
Restore our Constitutional rights, terminate unconstitutional surveillance and unwarranted spying, end persecution of whistleblowers and repeal indefinite detention without charge or trial. Abolish the death penalty.
Peace and Human Rights
Establish a foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law, and human rights. End the wars and drone attacks that are killing countless civilians and making the world less safe. Cut military spending by at least 50% and close the 700+ foreign military bases that are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire. Stop U.S. support and arms sales to human rights abusers. Lead on global nuclear disarmament.
Lift economic sanctions to ensure the free flow of humanitarian aid and supplies around the globe. In particular, sanctions against Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, and Syria must be lifted. Using sanctions to destroy entire countries’ economies and medical systems during a pandemic is biological warfare, a crime against humanity.
Empower the People - Real Democracy
-Overturn Citizens United and abolish corporate personhood, because money is not free speech, and corporations are not people. Tightly regulate corporate spending to influence our elections, as well as spending by campaigns, parties, and other interest groups, including for online ads.
-Enact tougher ethics laws for Congress: prohibit elected officials and their staffs from accepting any gift from lobbyists. Require independent investigation of ethics complaints against members of Congress. Bar members of Congress and their top staffers from working as lobbyists for five years after they leave office.
-Enact ranked-choice voting for all elections, to empower voters, ensure winners have majority support, prevent “vote-splitting” among candidates with similar positions, and encourage more civil and issue-focused elections with more voices and more choices.
-Support the Fair Representation Act to make Congress more representative and responsive. Enact proportional representation for all legislative bodies, via ranked-choice voting and multi-member districts. Proportional representation is used successfully around the world to ensure that all voters get the representation they want.
-Mitigate gerrymandering with independent non-partisan redistricting, and eliminate it fully with proportional representation.
-Protect voters’ rights through federal legislation to fight voter suppression and a Constitutional amendment guaranteeing the right to vote.
-Enact public campaign financing for all elections, similar to Maine’s successful Clean Elections law.
-Provide free public airtime and open debates for all ballot-qualified candidates on television and radio.
-Enact universal automatic voter registration, make early voting universally accessible, and make Election Day a holiday.
-Mandate elections use publicly-owned, open-source voting equipment with voter-verifiable hand-marked paper ballots, as well as accommodations for voters who aren’t able to use hand-marked paper ballots. Require risk-limiting audits to ensure election integrity.
-With the understanding that term limits are of limited use without deeper changes to the root causes of political dysfunction, support term limits for all elected offices, as well as rule changes so that seniority and length of time in office have no effect on committee appointments or other advantages.
-Replace the toothless, dysfunctional Federal Election Commission with a vigorous independent watchdog empowered to enforce federal campaign finance laws.
No CMP Corridor/NECEC
Stand with Mainers against the CMP Corridor. NECEC is a bad deal for Maine. We can’t let corporate profits override Mainers’ deep connection with our land. Cutting through 53 miles of Maine woods for corporate profits is no way to address the climate crisis or protect the resources our economy depends on, especially tourism. Keep corporate hands off our Maine woods!
Protect the US Postal Service
Protect the U.S. Postal Service as an essential lifeline for millions of people around the nation with legislation to provide more flexibility for retirement funding for postal workers, and create a contingency fund that would allow the otherwise self-sufficient USPS to have rainy day funds for emergencies such as the Covid-19 pandemic.
Regulate the collection and use of personal data tightly. In the Digital Age, participating in society inevitably means using devices and visiting websites that can create huge volumes of personal data without our knowledge. The U.S. government should extend its own rules for use and collection of personal data, the Privacy Act of 1974, to the private sector. We should always be informed when our data is collected alongside the justifications for that collection, we should always have the ability to see what data an organization has collected about us, and we should always have the right to request that data be deleted. Facial recognition technology should not be deployed in public, whether by the government or by private organizations. In private settings, such as social media sites and in private establishments, everyone should always have the right to object to the use of facial recognition technology, and no person’s face should be stored in a facial recognition database without their express consent.
Protect and Expand Social Security
Protect Social Security from any attempts to cut benefits. Lift the ceiling on Social Security taxes for high-income earners. End the Windfall Elimination Provision. Finance increased Social Security benefits through progressive income and wealth taxes on the highest earners, instead of regressive payroll taxes on low-income workers.
Protect and expand the Social Security Disability Insurance and Supplemental Security Income programs. Ensure the rights of people with disabilities to get community-based mental health services. Provide robust federal funding to schools for the additional costs of serving students with disabilities. End subminimum wage for workers with disabilities. Advance the full inclusion of people with disabilities, and ensure every aspect of our public resources is ADA compliant and that the civil rights of people with disabilities are protected and expanded.
End the Drug War and Opioid Epidemic
Treat drug and substance abuse as a public health problem, not a criminal matter. Stop incarcerating people for possession and personal use of drugs. Provide health counseling and treatment on demand to any drug user who needs help. Enact harm reduction measures such as expanded access to overdose reversal medications, needle exchanges, and supervised consumption sites. Stop big pharmaceutical companies from overcharging for prescription drugs and pushing drug use beyond what is medically necessary, and hold CEOs accountable for illegal advertising, marketing, or distribution of opioids.
Revitalize Rural Maine
Invest in our infrastructure - bring broadband to rural communities and rebuild our roads and our bridges. Massively expand rail transport for moving goods and for public transportation to give Mainers good alternatives to driving and provide transportation to employment. Enact policies that invest in local, independent farms rather than large agribusiness corporations. Empower rural communities to address climate change by making investments in clean, renewable energy.