Platform Committee

The Platform Committee helps to:

  • Develop issue statements, policy recommendations, and a robust state party platform
  • Develop campaign planks and talking points
  • Keep the party's positions up-to-date
  • Endorse political positions, policies, campaigns, and actions advanced by other organizations

Get Involved

Please contact the Green-Rainbow Party at (413) 650-6542 or [email protected] to get involved.

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  • Isabel Espinal
    followed this page 2013-01-26 12:43:41 -0500
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2013-01-26 12:15:34 -0500
    We check the forecast before traveling – Will we need an umbrella? When one makes plans, it’s good to have an idea of the situation that plan will probably deal with. Mass. Governor Patrick’s 2013 budget and transportation plans are built on some assumptions of how the future will be. There are projections of how much we will drive our cars, how much we will work, earn and spend, etc. To plan, we make assumptions about fuel prices and use, about employment, wages and interest rates, and about weather. If these are stated, we can discuss how these projections were created, how they match what we know of today’s world and how it’s changing. A ten year transportation plan expecting yesteryear’s fuel prices would be like sunglasses for a rainstorm. “The Way Forward:” must have an expectation in mind of what the future will be like, but it’s unstated in these plans. What’s the forecast?
    Usually we assume things will continue as they have been. But our future will not be like our past, because of what’s going on in the rest of the world, where increasing numbers of people are earning and spending increasing amounts of money, and using increasing amounts of resources, emitting increasing amounts of carbon into air, increasingly altering the climate we rely on for our agriculture and food supply.
    Our future in Massachusetts, the one we’ll be traveling in, will either have rapidly weirding weather or rapidly rising fossil fuel prices, and probably both.
    How would we respond to European-level transport fuel prices? Would we drive as much, or would we move closer to work, or work from home?
    How will higher fuel prices affect the transport choices we make? Will we choose public transport instead of our cars, and to what extent?
    These are difficult questions, but ignoring them won’t help us plan well. It would be tragic if we fixed roads with borrowed money, only to find that we can not afford to use them as planned, because we can not afford to drive private cars as much as we do now. What we spend on new roads could be spent on new buses, or on new business’s equipment.

    Together, we, the people of Massachusetts, have made our home state a nice place. Hence most people moving or living here really want to buy land here. ‘Location, location, location’ they say, controls real estate value. That location is in relation to the rest of us, and in relation to the communities we’ve built together. It is that location that gives most market value to land, and it is that location which our communities made valuable in the first place. Returning a portion of the market value we have created through our communities to maintain our communities makes sense. A state tax on land purchases would return a portion of the value we created when we built these fine communities.
    We tax retail sales at the state level, yet we haven’t taxed real estate sales statewide. It’s only fair that we tax purchases of the rich as well as purchases of the poor, if we are to tax purchases at all. The proposed 4.5 percent sales tax, applied to real estate sales, would generate about $1.5 billion, so state revenues would increase about 1/30th.

    Outer space, where we can not breath, is closer to us on earth than Dorchester is to Medford. With only about 7.5 miles of air above us, and about 400 ppm of CO2 now in our air, there is no longer airspace above earth for all the carbon in the fuels we could burn. We need to encourage each other to burn less, so as to maintain the climate, the agricultural systems and thus the food we all rely on. Those before us, to eliminate labor, substituted energy resources, which was brilliant in a world empty of people and full of resources, but now we’re running out of resources and have plenty of labor. It now makes more sense to use more plentiful labor and less rare resources, which will yield less pollution and more jobs.
    Nothing says ‘Slow down’ like taxes. A carbon tax will encourage all of us to develop the methods and the equipment all the world will need tomorrow, for our food system to continue to yield our meals. So a state carbon tax can prepare our state to supply the world tomorrow with exports of goods and services. Carbon taxes inspire this needed change in technology to proceed faster, preserving resources, jobs and the environment. In Massachusetts, we each release about 14 tons of carbon dioxide per person per year. If taxed at $30/ton, as in British Colombia now, state carbon tax revenues would be raised by about $2.6 billion/year, or about a twentieth of existing state revenues.

    These two new taxes would add about $4.1 billion to state revenues, about as much as higher ed. state revenues. These revenues would be relatively easy to collect. There are but a few sources of carbon entering Massachusetts; coal, natural gas, motor fuel etc. And real estate transfers are clear through county deed records.

    As Massachusetts transitions to a more carbon-efficient future, access to public transit will be increasingly valued. One of the leading ways public transit is valued is through increases in real estate value due to nearby public transit acccess. This value increase is not due to the actions of the individual owner, but to the community’s actions, is fair to tax, and taxing this neighborhood increase in value can pay for all or some of the cost of extending public transit into new neighborhoods.
    To do this, laws forming special tax districts surrounding newly transit-served neighborhoods would pass, so land value increases occurring as new public transit arrives would be taxed.
  • Joyce Palmer-Fortune
    commented 2013-01-21 21:07:26 -0500
    Thanks to the platform committee for their hard work on this agenda, and whoever posted the recently approved text. Joyce
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2012-11-15 02:09:39 -0500
    From: gary hicks
    Date: Tue, Jan 30, 2007 at 3:40 PM
    Subject: [Platform] Fwd: the “gil obler” platform 2002
    To: GRP Platform , statecom


    THIS DOCUMENT is the attempt to fuse the best of the current mass. green party platform with the rainbow coalition party agenda. it’s the final draft and was done by gil obler, a member of the 8-person team that shepherded the mass. green party and the rainbow coalition party [during the merger process].

    This document, along with the rainbow coalition party’s agenda, was adopted by the state convention of 2002, the year in which the two parties agreed to the present name change as part of the arrangements for unity. like the agenda, it was referred to the party’s platform committee for the purposes of re-writing the party’s platform containing these elements. gary hicks Join the Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts

    Social Justice and Equal Opportunity:  Defend Human Rights, Racial Justice, and Equality
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Strengthen civil rights, affirmative action, and anti-discrimination legislation and programs to end sexism, racism, and heterosexism
     *         Develop policies to combat institutionalized racism
     *         Work for equality in the workplace, the home, and society
     *         Work to protect reproductive rights; end violence against and harassment of women
     *         Support full housing, employment, marriage, child custody, benefits, and anti-discrimination rights for all people regardless of sexual orientation
     *         Ensure that immigrants have full and equal civil, legal, educational, and political rights
     *         Work to eliminate hate crimes
     *         Ensure freedom of Information: free computer/internet access through libraries and community centers, strengthen product-labeling requirements
     *         Guarantee right to freely publish and use encryption
     *         Legalize marijuana, decriminalize all drugs, ensure universal access to drug abuse treatment, support education and community-based efforts to prevent drug abuse
     *         Support self-determination, self-government, and the full treaty rights of indigenous peoples

     Meet the Basic Human Needs of All People
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Ensure that quality food, childcare, healthcare, and education are available for every member of society
     *         Enact single-payer health care system to insure universal affordable and available access to quality health care, preventative medicine, drug benefits, mental health and dental coverage
     *         Pass and enforce laws, policies and programs that make affordable housing a reality for all residents of Massachusetts
     *         Promote and encourage an early investment in our children; ensure that pre-school education is available to all children
     *         Reform education: end high-stakes testing as a graduation requirement, increased funding of schools by a broad-based progressive tax, reduce class size, hire more teachers and paraprofessionals, increase remedial training, individualization, and mainstreaming, oppose privatization of and corporate intrusions into school curriculum and environment
     *         Ensure that the State Education Commission is composed of teachers, parents, and educators with a track record of working with teachers and parents

    Promote Grassroots Democracy: Take Money and Racism Out of Politics
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Support full funding of the clean elections laws
     *         Promote public financing of elections and the elimination of big money political campaigns
     *         Promote and pass laws to help non-traditional parties get on the ballot; promote instant runoff voting and proportional representation voting laws
     *         Oppose political parties and politicians who polarize the American people
     *         End the demonization of Communities of Color and the poor; and their use as scapegoats to avoid solving our nation’s real economic and social problems
     *         Promote policies and programs that support people’s basic right to a real say in government
     *         Require a “None of the Above” option on all ballots for all elections
     *         Increase participatory democracy: empower citizen assemblies, democratize state legislature rules, reduce executive power in government, extend free speech and petition rights into all common areas of shopping malls, reduce candidate and ballot signature requirements
     *         Increase economic democracy: public funding for worker cooperatives; increase community control of banking, insurance, energy, transportation, media, and land usage; periodic review and renewal requirements for corporate charters with public interest and corporate behavior being grounds for non-renewal and dissolution

     Integrate Art and Culture into Daily Life
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Nourish the mind, soul, and body by supporting the arts in schools and in the community
     *         Promote a spiritual dialogue on the value of the arts
     *         Work to foster people’s creative energies

     Limit Military Spending and Eliminate Corporate Welfare
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Advocate for reduced military spending
     *         Work to dismantle all nuclear, biological, and chemical weapons
     *         Strengthen enforcement of laws against corporate crime
     *         Eliminate subsidies and tax breaks that benefit America’s wealthiest corporations and households at the expense of working people
     *         Transform this country’s militaristic approach to foreign policy and to eliminate policies and bodies that promote the exploitation of the work force such as NAFTA and the WTO

     Ecological Sustainability: Protect the Environment
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Pass laws and provide funds aimed at protecting our natural environment from toxic waste and excessive demands, and preserving it for future generations
     *         Phase-out petrochemical fertilizers, pesticides, and herbicides; ban bovine growth hormone in milk production; ban sale of irradiated food
     *         Enact public subsidy and promotion of organic, small scale, family farming and land preservation; elimination of subsidies for large corporate agribusiness
     *         Shutdown of all Massachusetts nuclear power plants
     *         Mandate renewable energy and conservation requirements for all new construction projects
     *         Phase-in requirements for use of non-polluting vehicles by state government agencies
     *         End garbage incineration and mixed-waste composting; support a solid waste program based on waste reduction, material reuse, and a goal of total recycling
     *         Require emission control warranties with the power of state-mandated recall and manufacturer-supplied free-repairs of all faulty vehicle emissions systems
     *         Enact 300 foot minimum shoreline setbacks for all new construction projects
     *         Ban on all logging and development in old-growth forest; ban on laying fiber-optics or constructing highways through wilderness and parklands
     *         Enact direct election of the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) Commissioner
     *         Ban the dumping of cancer-causing chemicals in the water supply; increase lead-poisoning prevention targeting children and communities of color; create a comprehensive toxic use reduction program for all Massachusetts waste generators and industrial waste dumps
     *         Increase wildlife protection and ethical treatment of animal requirements
     *         Phased increase in the gasoline tax with the money targeted to increased financial support and local control of public transportation
     *         Create an integrated system of bike paths and lanes throughout Massachusetts
     *         End environmental racism: ban Boston practice of running oldest and highest-polluting buses in neighborhoods with lower incomes and/or larger populations of color; ban the statewide practice of building high-polluting facilities and factories near communities of color and lower-income

     Reform the Criminal Justice System
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Give priority to expenditures for prevention
     *         Create restorative justice: emphasize rehabilitation and personal development, particularly during incarceration, parole, and probation
     *         Enact a state constitutional amendment to permanently abolish the death penalty
     *         Treat drug abuse as a health problem, not a criminal problem
     *         Insist on fair and humane treatment of all people within the criminal justice system, regardless of race, class, or gender
     *         Ensure and provide a living-wage job and counseling availability with community oversight for all persons released from prison
     *         Mandate strong effective staffed elected civilian police review boards with powers of subpoena and administrative sanction and a direct role in police policy formulation
     *         Ensure and promote community policing policies and laws
     *         Ensure that police academy graduation is followed by 18 months of community service prior to assignment to active duty
     *         Enact effective gun control: waiting periods, background checks, assault weapons ban
     *         Increase jury rights to question witnesses directly
     *         Increase the public subsidy of competent legal counsel for low-income defendants

     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Promote nonviolent methods of effecting positive change in our society including helping to provide and promote non-violent civil disobedience workshops for community organizers
     *         Work to demilitarize our society and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, while recognizing the need for self-defense and the defense of others, especially the poor and disenfranchised.

     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Support a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system that is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic and less bureaucratic system.

     Create Community Based Economics:   Protect Worker’s Rights and End Poverty Now
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Pass and enforce laws that prohibit permanent replacement workers
     *         Protect the right of workers to organize
     *         Establish guaranteed living wage employment for all
     *         Institute a 30-hour work week so that people can provide for and have adequate time to nurture their families and communities
     *         Restrict plant closings by providing government guaranteed loans that allow workers to purchase and modernize plants
     *         Guarantee a minimum income above the poverty line
     *         Enact a minimum living wage indexed to inflation and a maximum wage 10x the minimum
     *         Ensure full employment through a 30-hour week, increased vacation, limitations on forced overtime, public works, and public job banks
     *         Democratize control of worker pension funds
     *         Create a worker superfund to provide income, education, and retraining of displaced workers
     *         Support public and private funding of quality, free daycare for all infants and children

     Respect for Diversity
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Promote the development of respectful relationships that value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity
     *         Support for the right for cultural self-determination while requiring respect for basic human rights of all citizens
     *         Ensure humane treatment, opportunity, and basic rights for all immigrants, legal and illegal.
     *         Enact an end to peacetime standing armies and covert agencies
     *         Promote an end to US military intervention that ignores the wishes of those who locally support human rights and democracy and support multinational corporations

     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Replace the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting which respect differences of opinion and gender
     *         Support equal rights for women in the workplace, home, and society; support equal pay requirements; support pay for work traditionally unrewarded and done by women such as child care, homemaking, and care of elderly or disabled relatives.

     Personal and Global Responsibility
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony
     *         Seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet
     *         Enact a ban on goods made by workers paid poverty wages or by child or imprisoned labor; support for workers worldwide to organize into labor unions
     *         Enact restrictions and tariffs on goods imported from countries which have dictators or poor human rights records or environmental protections

     Future Focus and Sustainability
     We invite you to join us to:
     *         Create tax incentives and other economic mechanisms that counter-balance 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.
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2012-10-07 15:48:11 -0400
    Please read carefully and correct for errors before posting,  We are living in the year 2012, not 2014. While attention to such errors may be unwarranted in our mutual resistance to injustice, they easily damage our reputation for ecologically sound decision making.  

    I urge the reading of an article on Brown vs School Board, examining situation 50 rears later which I will post to GRP discuss. It explains the hazards of protesting racial injustice.  As against an agenda for ridding ourselves of racism, of course. Perhaps there is in all this a strong argument for putting Ecological Wisdom at the head of our 10 Key Values, the position it originally held.  This is especially true when corporations have begun to make use of systems theory (the primary formalization of ecological sciences) in their decisions. 

    Political lag in the application of ecological knowledge becomes increasingly dangerous in today’s world order.  No one will convince the corporation managers that using human knowledge for purely human purposes will generate mass killing of humans by humans on a currently unimaginable scale in the Athropocene era.  Of the Ten Key values, Future Focus — seemingly redundant, but one flash of the genius of Charlene Spretnak, the hardly known woman came up with this formulation as a result of discussions that began in the 1980s — can be applied retrospectively. A half-century, easily encompassed in the life of many individuals, is not too great a time span for envisioning political consequences of decisions.  Privately owned and public corporations committed to ‘creative destruction’ rather than ecological conservation must be denied control, not only of the government of the Commonwealth, but of also of public opinion and the communities that rely on interpersonal freedom. How do we, of the Green-Rainbow Party do it?

    Here lies the pathos of resistance and opposition: the refusal to answer; the refusal to assume responsibility for our futures democratically, leaving government to others.

    Elie Yarden
    Platform Committee
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2012-10-07 09:00:11 -0400
    Originally by Mike Heichman, posted by Brian Cady

    Our Commonwealth, country and planet are facing a multiple set of crises. The crises are environmental, economic, social, political and psychological/spiritual. The crises are all connected. We live under a toxic and insane system.

    Our environment continues to be poisoned. The system is overly dependent on sources of energy that are poisonous to life on our planet. What happened in Fukishima, Japan was not an accident, but, just like the other nuclear disasters, part of an insane energy policy that had and will continue to have predictable consequences. Our overreliance on fossil fuels is the major cause why our planet is burning! Before our eyes, climate change is becoming environmental chaos. There is no question that another disaster is coming; the only real questions are when, where and how bad. We are heading towards catastrophic consequences, and despite our knowledge of how we could create a better future; the Insane Toxic System is unable to move us in the direction of producing healthy and renewable energy sources.

    Most of us have not recovered from the recent and on-going World Wide Depression. While many rich people have recovered nicely from their recession, the economy is unable to take care of the basic human needs of billions around the world and millions within our borders. Instead of having faith that life will get better, many of us believe, for excellent reasons, that the next economic disaster is visible on the horizon.

    The President has continued Bush’s wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and has continued to spread terror to other lands. Instead of having faith that peace will soon come, we wonder where and when more of our bombs will be dropped on our neighbors.

    While the wars abroad continue, the wars at home intensify. The ravages of poverty damage our communities. More than any other nation, our neighbors are jailed and many of them will be deeply scared for a lifetime by the Prison Industrial Complex. No matter what administration is in power, we see the continued attack on our civil rights and our civil liberties.

    Our political system is incapable of successfully addressing these massive problems.
    The Toxic System is the cause of all of these fundamental problems and is unable to offer solutions that will benefit most of the people. In the US, the two major corporate parties are loyal servants to This Insanity, and are equally incapable of offering positive solutions.

    The most damaging crisis is the one that is that has affected our spirit. Most of our neighbors, who are suffering and live in fear, believe that there is nothing that they can do to change the System that is killing them.

    The Green-Rainbow Party is now 12 years old. In 2002, our two parent parties (MA Green Party and Rainbow Coalition Party) decided that we had a great deal in common and decided to merge and combine our strengths and forces. Our party has been part of the evolutionary struggle of nations, groups and people who have joined together to struggle against oppression and injustice and to work for a more just and loving world.

    We have and will continue to be part of the resistance movement. The draft document moves us forward. We must decide who we are and what our vision is to create the world that we want our children and their children to live, be productive and to be happy.

    The document below is a draft. We encourage you to give us your honest feedback. You are invited to join us as we dream and create a better world.
  • Brian Cady
    commented 2012-09-22 19:52:45 -0400
    Green-Rainbow Friends,

    In past months, the Platform Committee has been trying to prepare what we have been calling a “fundamental” platform—a few pages conveying how the Green-Rainbow approach works to accomplish what the parties of the duopoly cannot. It’s not comprehensive like the Green Party US Platform, with a statement on every issue. It’s not an electoral platform—usually prepared by candidates for their own constituencies. We hope that a document like this will serve the Party by being readable, interesting for current and prospective members and candidates, and suggest areas for party activity. What can we do to effect change, to make things work for the future?

    This fundamental platform project can’t be completed without your suggestions on content and presentation. If possible, we hope it will be ready to offer for ratification at the State Convention in November. This will be the 10th annual convention since the Green-Rainbow Party was formed. We’ve not had a platform for 10 years.

    The version being developed is on a wiki on David Gerry’s server:

    Please check out the “Fundamental Platform” page. Brian Cady, the wiki administrator, can give you access for edits and comments if you message him. If you prefer not to use the wiki, please send suggestions to: Joanna Herlihy(617-864-0506).

    Please forward this letter to your local Green-Rainbow group and discuss your ideas on platform at your next meeting

    The fundamental platform is only the beginning of needed platform work. To encourage attention to specific current issues, this wiki contains some other pages, too. Please add your ideas to the page called “Temporal Platform”, identifying yourself.
    So many issues should be followed. We must work out ways to combine our efforts. Please consider participating in this work.

    Thanks so much,

    Brian Cady
    Joanna Herlihy
    GRP Platform Committee co-chairs
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2012-04-21 13:37:40 -0400
    At this time, the Platform Committee is hard at work on developing a draft Platform for submission to the Green-Rainbow Party locals, State Committee, and the GRP Convention. Researchers, writers, and people familiar with Green history & ecological politics are especially welcome.
    Elie Yarden
  • Isabel Espinal
    published this page in Working Committees 2012-04-21 09:17:11 -0400