Social & Economic Justice

Richmond CA, led by Green mayor, invokes seizure laws to save homes

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on August 1st, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p gayle mclaughlinThe New York Times recently published an article about Richmond, CA’s use of eminent domain to stop foreclosures. Gayle McLaughlin, the mayor of Richmond, is a Green Party member.

The power of eminent domain has traditionally worked against homeowners, who can be forced to sell their property to make way for a new highway or shopping mall. But now the working-class city of Richmond, Calif., hopes to use the same legal tool to help people stay right where they are.

Scarcely touched by the nation’s housing recovery and tired of waiting for federal help,Richmond is about to become the first city in the nation to try eminent domain as a way to stop foreclosures. read more »

Green Party protests Zimmerman acquittal and justice system ‘stacked against people of color and the poor’

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on July 17th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC Green Party leaders called the acquittal of George Zimmerman in the killing of Trayvon Martin a miscarriage of justice and part of a pattern of evidence that the U.S. justice system is stacked against people of color and the poor.

“Underlying the acquittal and many of the arguments defending it is a racist assumption: that George Zimmerman had a right to defend his own life, but Trayvon Martin did not. We support the NAACP’s call for the Justice Department to file civil rights charges against Zimmerman, based on his violation of Trayvon Martin’s most fundamental rightthe right to life,” said Darryl! L.C. Moch, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. (NAACP petition: https://donate.naacp.org/page/s/doj-civil-rights-petition / ColorOfChange.org letter: http://act.colorofchange.org/signup/zimmerman_acquittal) read more »

Green Shadow Cabinet Independence Day Resolution: Revolt against the TPP and global corporate rule

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on July 8th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green shadow cabinetFrom the Green Shadow Cabinet:

On this 4th of July, are you resolved to live in a free and democratic society, independent of global corporate rule? Will you act to shut down the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) and other efforts by the owners and managers of global corporations to replace We the People with We the Corporations?

If you want to know why the members of the Green Shadow Cabinet are united in our opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership, all you need to do is read the thirteen statements our officers have issued over the past month, listed below, detailing the impact of the TPP on small and community businesses, on your daily life, on human rights, on trade policy, on the poorest among us, on war and peace, on workers rights, on food and agriculture, on the power of corporations, on the rule of law, on public health and safety, on access to housing, on access to health care, and you can read our statement on the need for resistance to the TPP.

Read these statements. Understand that the TPP is a global corporate coup. And resolve to join us in taking action to stop the TPP.

The Green Shadow Cabinet is a supporter of Flush the TPP, a campaign to stop the Trans-Pacific Partnership. This new campaign is based on past successful efforts to stop so-called “free trade” agreements that put corporate power ahead of people and the planet. This summer, this campaign is planning “TPP Tuesdays” – weekly actions on Tuesdays that will educate people about this secretly negotiated agreement. These actions will build into major protests beginning in September. You can sign up and get involved here.  We urge you to do so. read more »

Green Shadow Cabinet joins critical struggle to defeat Trans-Pacific Partnership

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on June 17th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

From the Green Shadow Cabinet:

green shadow cabinetThe Green Shadow Cabinet stands united in opposition to the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), and is committed to defeating this Obama administration effort to enrich and empower global corporations at the expense of people and planet.

For three years, the Obama administration has engaged in 16 rounds of secret negotiations to develop the TPP. Those negotiations have included hundreds of representatives of global corporations. The TPP negotiations have excluded representatives of the vast majority of the American people. It is a fact that the TPP is global economic policy for the 1%, at the expense of the 99%.

Today, all five branches and 81 members of the Green Shadow Cabinet begin to act in concert to not only defeat the TPP, but to show America that another government with another global economic agenda is possible. There is an alternative to the corrupt political establishment that produces economic terrors like the TPP. Our Cabinet is proof of that alternative. read more »

Bruce Levine: The Green Shadow Cabinet and a Mental Health Declaration of Independence

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on June 14th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

Bruce Levine, the Green Shadow Cabinet’s Assistant Secretary of Health for Clinical Mental Health, recently wrote an  article for the Huffington Post entitled “The Green Shadow Cabinet and a Mental Health Declaration of Independence”. Here’s an excerpt:

The Green Shadow Cabinet, launched in spring 2013, is led by 2012 Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein. Its purpose is to provide an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional U.S. government — and to demonstrate what a government of, by, and for the people (rather than of, by, and for giant corporations) looks like. As the Green Shadow Cabinet’s Assistant Secretary of Health for Clinical Mental Health, my first action is to propose a Mental Health Declaration of Independence from Big Pharma. I invite a public reaction to this declaration, which is both abolitionist and restorational: read more »

Operation Green Jobs – Cheri Honkala to march on US Chamber of Commerce

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on May 10th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

2012 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, together with Shut the Chamber and organizer Carl Gibson, will march with long-term unemployed Americans from Philadelphia to Washington DC from May 18-24 to demand investment in green jobs. From Shut the Chamber:

What are the most dire issues we face? If you’re like most Americans, you’d probably say the climate crisis and the jobs crisis. So why is Washington so obsessed with budget cuts and fossil fuels? Don’t ask members of Congress who have been purchased by corporate lobbyists, ask the ones with the receipts: The U.S. Chamber of Commerce. We’re leading a march of the long-term unemployed from Philadelphia, PA to Washington, DC directly to the Chamber’s front door.

Even while the US Chamber of Commerce has the word “JOBS” hung on the front of their building, they’ve been working overtime to lobby for job-killing austerity policies that punish the poor to cushion the rich. They’ve been spending millions to bring about the approval of the catastrophic Keystone XL pipeline while remaining silent on green energy programs that would save the climate and create jobs. So from May 18th to May 24th, a group of Americans who have been the hardest hit by the recession will march on the US Chamber of Commerce, holding them accountable for buying off Congress. read more »

May Day statement from Green Shadow Cabinet Immigration Secretary Gloria Meneses Sandoval

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on May 1st, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

Statement of Gloria Meneses Sandoval, Secretary of Immigration, for the Green Shadow Cabinet on May Day, 2013:

Gloria Meneses SandovalMay 1, 2013

The Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013 (S. 744), is an 844 page document presented by the so-called “Gang of 8” – consisting of four Democrats and four Republican Senators. The actual name of this bill should be the Border Militarization, National ID, Corporate and Prison Subsidy, and Family Separation Act. In place of full citizenship, this Act attempts to stabilize and maintain the second-class status of non-citizen immigrants.

The immigrant communities have long been waiting for real reform and took their cause to the streets in the 2006 May Day Marches that took place throughout the United States. The immigrant population focused on the 2008 and 2012 elections with the, “Yesterday we marched, today we vote” slogan, and a Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) was introduced by President Obama in August of 2012, netting him 73% of the Latino vote, as well as significant numbers of Asian, African-American, and Caucasian voters.  And while DACA became a short-term work option for some Dreamers – those whose families can afford an average $500 to $1,000 for each family member that qualifies – it resulted in no adjustment of permanent status. In DACA’s first year, the Obama administration deported 400,000 immigrants, nearly as many as have applied for the DACA program itself.

This International Workers Day, as marchers across the United States again demand full and equal rights for immigrant workers, including the right to unionize, we agree and call for a moratorium on all detentions and deportations, an end to the separation of families, the renegotiation of NAFTA and CAFTA and other international policies that have produced an unparalleled international migration, and for citizenship, not second-class status, for all working people in this country. It is time to ensure, protect, and prioritize the human rights and needs of all migrants and all people living in the United States and beyond. Inclusion, not exclusion!

Green Party urges passage of Wall Street transaction tax

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on April 25th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

green party earthflowerFrom the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States is calling for passage of legislation to impose a “Wall Street transaction tax,” which will stabilize the stock market, discourage reckless ‘casino’ trading, and generate revenue.

Green Shadow Cabinet: http://www.greenshadowcabinet.us

Rep. Keith Ellison’s (D-Minn.) has introduced such a bill, titled the “Inclusive Prosperity Act” (http://ellison.house.gov/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=907&catid=86).

As Ralph Nader noted in his endorsement of the bill, “A small financial transaction tax of 0.5 percent or less – depending upon the financial instrument being taxed – could produce hundreds of billions of dollars annually, perhaps as much as $350 billion. This revenue could be generated from a tax that would be minuscule – half a penny or less on each dollar of the transaction value.” (https://www.facebook.com/ralphnader/posts/559074687456801) read more »

Jill Stein: Obama budget throws American people under the bus, gives the rich a free ride

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on April 12th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

Jill_Stein_432Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2012 presidential candidate today condemned the recently released Obama 2014 budget proposal, issuing the following statement:

“Despite his campaign promises to protect Social Security and make the economy fair, Obama’s budget throws the American people under the bus. And it gives the economic elite a free ride on that same bus that’s running us over.

Specifically, this budget swaps the painful $1.2 trillion in sequester cuts for a different, but equally painful, new package of cuts worth the same amount. As part of these new cuts, the President is leading the charge to roll back Medicare and Social Security – the “Grand Bargain” with ruthless corporate Republicans that Obama has promoted for years. There is nothing grand about dismantling the crown jewels of the New Deal and the Great Society. read more »

Hawkins Blasts Cuomo for Lousy Minimum Wage Deal

Posted in Local Party News, National Greens, Social & Economic Justice, State Party News on March 20th, 2013 by Doonan – Comments Off

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate who finished third in the 2010 win a ballot line for his party, blasted the minimum wage deal that Governor Cuomo has put together.

“I pointed out when I ran that Cuomo was no friend of working people and he has certainly proved that since taking office. This deal keeps the minimum wage as a sub-poverty wage. Cuomo has agreed to exclude tip workers while providing hundreds of millions of dollar in tax giveaways to the fast-food and low-wage industries. For Cuomo, state fiscal problems are caused by basic public services used by children, seniors, students and workers, not the corporate welfare subsides and tax cuts on high incomes that both major parties have been lavishing on the 1% for more three decades now,” stated Hawkins.

read full story

Green Party calls for liveable wages, not just a new minimum wage

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on March 12th, 2013 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders today called for a liveable wage for working Americans, in contrast to President Obama’s proposal in his 2013 State of the Union address for a $9 minimum wage to be enacted by 2015.

“Instead of a minimum wage, working people need a wage they can live on. Anyone who works 40 hours a week should be able to afford a home, provide for others, and save money for the future. People who work hard deserve to enjoy economic security and prosperity,” said Mark Dunlea, a member of the Green Party of New York Executive Committee and long-time director of a statewide anti-hunger organization in New York.

“The $9 minimum wage is an inadequate improvement, not enough to lift many people who work hard at full-time and multiple jobs out of poverty and debt. Two generations ago, wage-earners could provide for a family of four on the minimum wage. Today, it’s difficult to provide for one person on the minimum wage, even on President Obama’s $9 minimum, which falls far short of the 1968 federal minimum of $10.50, adjusted for inflation. While worker productivity has increased, wages keep sinking,” said Mr. Dunlea. read more »

Former Green Party VP Candidate Pat LaMarche interviews Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio

Posted in General, Interview, Social & Economic Justice on February 16th, 2013 by Doonan – 3 Comments

I met with Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio this week. (You can read the full transcript of our conversation on my Facebook page.) I was excited to meet with him for many reasons. I was hoping against hope that he could clear up something about the role the criminal justice system plays in the lives of the poor. But all that aside, I thought he might answer some questions that were planted in my brain earlier on our Babes of Wrath EPIC Journey: why in the world kids in Arizona get charged a per diem for their incarceration.

Short answer? He didn’t know. No, it’s not that he didn’t know why, he just didn’t know they were charged at all. The kids are charged in Coconino County, Arizona — but it appears not in Maricopa County. It must be subjective. After all, Sheriff Arpaio decides what the kids in his jails have, including a chain gang. When we spoke, the Sheriff was boasting about his equal opportunity chain gangs. He brought up that he had male and female chain gangs because he didn’t want to be sexist. That’s when I brought up his child chain gangs. He was a little dismayed that I even knew about them, seeing as nobody has ever really protested his putting children to hard labor. When I asked if he still had them he said, “Well yeah. I thought I’d take a lot of heat, [but] nobody seemed to care.”

Read the full story at New Clear Vision.

Obama, GOP pushing U.S. in wrong direction in “Fiscal Cliff”

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on December 19th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 7 Comments

From Jill Stein & Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s 2012 Presidential ticket:

Ending the Great Recession, not the deficit, is nation’s top priority

2012 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein said today that the so-called Fiscal Cliff Talks “need to focus on putting Americans back to work while creating a sustainable economy,” and that the U.S. can do that and end the deficit by:

  • Restoring progressive taxes on wealthy Americans and corporations, comparable to rates in the Eisenhower and Nixon eras.
  • Cutting the waste and excess in the military budget.
  • Curtailing rising health care costs by transitioning to a Medicare for All insurance system.
  • Investing in a “Green New Deal” that would create the foundation for sustainable prosperity for the 21st Century.

Stein criticized Obama’s latest proposals as, “throwing ordinary Americans under the bus while continuing to reward the economic elite.” These proposals cut the cost of living adjustments for Social Security, seek $400 billion in unspecified cuts to Medicare and other health care programs, extend the Bush tax cuts for households making as much as $400,000, and fast track changes to the corporate tax code.”

“The bipartisan policies of recent decades made the rich a lot richer, pushed millions into poverty and insecurity, and created a 16 trillion dollar national debt. Now both establishment parties are using the national debt as a concocted excuse to cut critical services including Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid, unemployment insurance and food stamps.  While their proposals differ around the margins, both Democrats and Republicans are promoting austerity budgets that are highly likely to deepen and extend the Great Recession. We need a prosperity budget not an austerity budget. By redirecting trillions of dollars being wasted on the bloated military, Wall Street bail outs, health insurance profiteering, and tax breaks for the wealthy, we have more than enough money to fund our real urgent needs – job creation, infrastructure investments, reducing mortgage and student debt, health care as a human right, and aggressive action against climate change,” said Dr. Stein.

Cheri Honkala, the Green’s 2012 vice-presidential candidate, added “Obama’s token tax hikes of a few percent on high incomes won’t raise significant revenue and are being used as a phony progressive cover to sell the public on Wall Street’s program of cutting social insurance and public services so the super-rich won’t have to pay their taxes. The Fix the Debt crowd are willing to use their small hit on personal income taxes in order to get big cuts on their corporate tax rates, including a ‘territorial tax system’ that enables them to repatriate profits from abroad at no or very low tax rates.”

The proposal made by Jill Stein is consistent with a deficit plan that came from the Occupy Movement, The 99%’s Deficit Proposal: How to create jobs, reduce the wealth divide and control spending. “When people outside of the bipartisan consensus look at the problems the country faces, they see real and immediate solutions. It’s the establishment politicians, corrupted by billions in campaign contributions, that don’t get it.”

Stein went on, “Case in point – the military budget, which consumes more than half of  discretionary dollars, can be cut significantly by replacing private contractors, closing many of the more than 1,100 foreign military bases, and eliminating massive waste, including weapons systems that even the Pentagon says it does not need.

“The solution to the increasing costs of health care for programs like Medicare and Medicaid is not to raise Medicare age limits or reduce health benefits but to bring all Americans into an improved Medicare for All. Medicare for all would eliminate the$570 billion wasted annually on health insurance companies and control rising health care costs,” added Stein.

According to Stein, an array of progressive tax proposals should be implemented including: taxing capital gains at the same rates as wages, ending off-shore tax havens, and enacting a  ½% financial transaction tax that could raise over $800 billion in a decade.

Stein also called for a carbon tax on fossil fuel companies to pay for hundreds of billions of dollars every year in military expenditures, health injuries and environmental damage. Billions could also be saved enacting a windfall profits tax and ending tax subsidies for fossil fuels and nukes.

“We reject the austerity policies being foisted on us by both parties, which will hurt everyone, especially working people and the poor. It’s time to stand up for real solutions that will fix the deficit by creating an economy that works for everyday people,” added Honkala.

Cheri Honkala on “Rust Belt to Green Belt” Campaign Tour

Posted in Presidential Campaign, Social & Economic Justice on October 21st, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 3 Comments

Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s Vice Presidential candidate, is in the midst of a campaign swing through the heart of America, the “Rust Belt” from Appalachia to stops this week in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Detroit.

From the Stein/Honkala Campaign:

Green Party Vice Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala has begun a tour of the Rust Belt during which she has seen first-hand the effects of the failed economic policies advanced by the two corporately owned parties. This tour has highlighted the plight of impoverished communities in the Upper Great Lakes and Appalachia.

Honkala began the tour in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia and witnessed the horrors of mountaintop removal mining. The environmentally unsound and shortsighted energy policies of both the Republicans and Democrats have left this area dependent on the harvest of coal. The local population now faces abject poverty, contaminated water sources, and the continued degradation of one of the U.S.’s most ecologically significant natural areas.

According to Honkala, “What the Great Lakes and Appalachia need is the Green New Deal. Dr. Jill Stein and I offer commonsense, time-tested solutions to the ongoing cycle of pollution and poverty in the central Appalachian mountains. We would redirect research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal energy. We will invest in research in sustainable, non-toxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, as well as organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry. We offer a transition away from dirty coal and an escape from poisoned air and water as well as the destruction of these mountains.”

Honkala then continued to Louisville, Kentucky, Columbus, Ohio, where she witnessed the dismantling of public housing and met with displaced families and community leaders. “People in Kentucky and Ohio are suffering. The austerity programs offered by President Obama and Governor Romney offer no relief. We must end the demolition of public housing which serves to only raise homelessness rates. My number one priority, if elected, is ending homelessness in the U.S. by ending foreclosures, and placing families in abandoned housing units and creating employment by fixing them up. There are more abandoned homes than there are homeless people in this country. We just have to put the two together.”

Honkala then traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and met with leaders on the World Court of Women East which will take place in Philadelphia in October of 2013. This Court will address poverty in the U.S. using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The Republicans and Democrats both violate the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by continuing to allow homelessness and poverty in one of the world’s richest nations. A Green presidency will end homelessness, end unemployment, and provide a living wage for all workers, which would bring the U.S. into compliance with international human rights norms.”

The Rust Belt tour continues with stops in Milwaukee on October 24, the Twin Cities October 25-27, and Detroit October 28-29. Honkala will continue to advocate for the Green New Deal which will allow these ailing economies an escape from the continued downward trend offered by President Obama and Governor Romney.

Jill Stein Supports Same Sex Marriage

Posted in Presidential Campaign, Social & Economic Justice on October 11th, 2012 by Ronald Hardy – 6 Comments

From the Jill Stein Campaign:

Green presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala paused in their campaigning today to acknowledge National Coming Out Day, an internationally-recognized celebration honoring those who publicly acknowledge their sexual orientation or gender identity.

“Today we celebrate the diversity of our people and our commitment to stand in solidarity with people of all sexual orientations and gender identities who have added so much to the life of our nation,” said Dr. Stein. “We encourage everyone to stand with the members of our LGBTQ community as they ask for the fairness and respect that they deserve, but which is not yet fully granted.”

Dr. Stein and Ms. Honkala said that President Obama’s endorsement of same-sex marriage was a positive step forward, but sharply disagreed with his statement that legalization should be left to individual states.

“Human rights are universal. We support national recognition of same-sex marriage rights, without which true equality does not exist. There is no more basic right than the right to choose whom we love and whom we call family, without the state declaring that one kind of family is more legitimate than another,” said Cheri Honkala. read more »