Platform of the Green Party of Mississippi
June 2004, Revised May 2012
II. Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
III. Environmental Sustainability
We, the members of the Green Party of
Mississippi, affirm as our first principle that government may only
exist as an instrument whereby the People may govern themselves.
Governments may exist only with the consent of the People which the
People may withdraw or withhold at any time. The purpose of government
is to secure and preserve to the People as individuals the inherent
rights of all individual human beings. These rights include, in the
words of Thomas Jefferson, "life, liberty, and the pursuit of
happiness." We affirm our intention to work for the respect and
acknowledgement of individual human rights by all people and
governments consistent with the values and principles set forth in
this Platform. We affirm that we do this work as one small part of the
greater work of all Greens and their progressive allies towards the
establishment and/or maintenance of free and democratic government in
all our respective states throughout the world.
Corporate Intrusion into the Political Process
The greatest threat to what is left of our democracy after
many years of assaults on the sovereignty of the American people is
the ability of special interests to purchase the loyalty of those who
are nominally the people's elected representatives. This purchase is
accomplished through a corrupt system of campaign finance and
corporate lobbying based on soft money contributions, political action
committees, and post-public service rewards. We are unalterably
opposed to this system and, in the name of the freedom and democracy
for which this nation is supposed to stand, will do everything in our
power to bring about its destruction.
We propose comprehensive campaign finance reform. including
caps on spending and contributions at the national and state levels,
and/or full public financing of elections to remove undue influence in
political campaigns. We will work to ban or greatly limit political
action committees and restrict soft money contributions. We also
support significant lobbying regulation, including strict rules that
disclose the extent of political lobbying via gifts and contributions,
broad based reforms of government operations, congressional
reorganization, and ethics laws at every level of government.
We support instant runoff voting. Instant runoff voting is
already in use in several other countries and some municipalities in
the U.S.. It allows voters to rank their choices first, second, third,
etc. and operates like a series of runoff elections, but without the
expense of holding an actual runoff election. If a voter's first
choice doesn't win, the vote transfers to the second choice, and so
on. Instant runoff voting allows voters to vote their conscience
without "wasting" their vote on a candidate not likely to win, or
being forced into choosing between the "lesser of two evils.
We favor the passage of a "clean money" law such as that of
Arizona whereby any candidate who gathers 200 checks from individuals
of $5 each becomes eligible for more than $25,000 in public money. The
cost of the program would be paid by a $5 state income tax check-off,
a dollar for dollar tax credit of up to $50 for direct contributions
to the system, and a 10% surcharge on civil and criminal fines.
The intrusion of corporations into American political life must
be stopped. Corporations are artificial persons not endowed with the
same rights to free speech, freedom of religion, and other
constitutional rights as natural persons. We therefore favor an
amendment to the Constitution of the State of Mississippi that
recognizes these rights to accrue only to "natural persons."
Municipal political parties should be allowed to organize
without the existence of state or county parties.
County political parties should be allowed to organize without
the existence of a state party.
We favor the passage of a fusion law similar to that of the
state of New York allowing different political parties to nominate the
same candidate for state, county, and municipal political offices.
Individuals should be allowed to be members of a state
political party without being members of a county or municipal party.
We oppose at-large elections as diluting the voting strength of
No Mississippi elected official should be compensated by law at
more than twice the individual median income for Mississippians. If
our elected officials want salary increases they should be required to
earn them by raising the standard of living of the people they
We support sunshine laws that open up the political system to
access by all citizens. We call for vigorous enforcement of existing
open meeting and open records laws in Mississippi.
We call for election days to be designated state holidays and
for other measures calculated to inform, educate, and motivate voters.
Among these measures should be state-organized voter registration
outreach to all high school seniors.
The state law denying felons their voting rights even after
they have served their sentences and completed their paroles is unjust
to ex-convicts who are sincerely attempting to rehabilitate themselves
and unconstitutional under the Eighth, Fourteenth, and Fifteenth
Amendments to the U.S. Constitution. We believe that it should be
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Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
The ultimate purpose of education, although it should include
job training, is to help children become scholars and citizens taught
to question, reason, and discern, not employees and consumers taught
to produce, consume, and obey. This is the guiding principle behind
all Green Party of Mississippi education policies.
We believe in ridding public schools of all institutionalized
commercial messages and marketing tactics targeted at students.
We support school funding equalization so that schools in poor
districts receive as much per-student funding as schools in wealthy
We support action by the state designed to improve performance
by rural and under funded school districts. Such programs would include
incentives to students to enter the teaching profession and incentives
to teachers to work in disadvantaged districts. Counties in which all
or some public schools fail to reach an adequate level of academic
achievement should be encouraged to consolidate.
End tracking and train teachers to deal with multiple levels of
achievement in the same classroom.
We support programs to train teachers through an apprenticeship
system which includes hands-on classroom experience under the
supervision of experienced teachers.
We support classroom programs whereby the more advanced
students in a class tutor the less advanced.
Birth control information and sexually-transmitted diseases
(STD)-prevention information should be disseminated through a program
of sex education. We support realistic, practical instruction, not
limited to "abstinence only" programs. Mississippi's infamous teen
pregnancy rate, usually the highest in the nation, and the spread of
STD's, especially AIDS and HIV are public health issues that must be
addressed rationally and scientifically.
We oppose school vouchers, for-profit, and religious charter
We support the repeal of the law requiring the Ten Commandments
to be posted in all Mississippi public school classrooms. All copies
of the Ten Commandments now in Mississippi classrooms should be
returned to their donors.
We call for the public election of local school
All employers should be encouraged to provide a certain amount
of paid time off, upon request and on a regular basis, for parents and
guardians to take an active role in their children's education.
All children should have access to a choice of fully funded
academic and vocational post-secondary educational services. Stipends
should provide living expenses and all books, fees, and tuition should
be publicly funded.
We favor bilingual education. Children whose first language is
not English need instructional programs that retain and improve
command of their native language while building English proficiency.
We favor enhanced foreign language and cultural instruction in
primary and secondary schools as a way to prepare students to live in
a global society.
To raise the quality of higher education in Mississippi, we
favor the hiring of larger numbers of full time, tenure track
university faculty and thus, decreased dependence on adjunct,
part-time faculty and teaching assistants; the reduction of the
standard instructor teaching load in the Community College system to
the national average, four courses per term; regional and national
candidate searches to fill faculty slots in the Community College
system; and the raising of university faculty salaries to the
Southeastern average as a tool for faculty recruitment and retention.
We support the right of faculty and staff at all state
educational institutions to form unions and enter into collective
bargaining agreements with school boards and the Community College and
Institutions of Higher Learning Boards.
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We believe that the state of Mississippi should support
publicly owned county and regional hospitals as a step towards
We support state-financed malpractice insurance to enable
doctors and nurses to practice in the state of Mississippi without
unreasonable expenses and without fear of unfair malpractice claims.
We support state-financed healthcare provider education at
in-or-out-of-state accredited programs to be reimbursed by practice in
the underserved rural areas of Mississippi after graduation.
The state of Mississippi should not interfere with reproductive
freedom. Abortion should be covered by state healthcare funding.
We support initiatives to address the epidemic of AIDS and HIV
disease, including education, availability of condoms, and access to
healthcare for HIV-infected individuals.
Economic Justice/Social Safety Net
We support an immediate increase of the legal hourly wage to at
least $2.00 over the federal minimum wage in all municipalities and
counties in the state of Mississippi and in all state funded hourly
wage positions. Corporations receiving state, county, and municipal
contracts should be required to pay their employees a living wage.
We support state funding of living wage jobs in community and
We oppose the use of the state of Mississippi's eminent domain
powers to acquire land or other property for the use of corporations
or other for-profit entities. The power of eminent domain must be used
for the public good and not for the enrichment of private interests.
We favor financial and technical incentives for the creation of
worker or consumer cooperatives or democratic public enterprises.
We favor financial and technical incentives for the creation of
publicly owned community banks or consumer credit unions.
We favor the elimination of sales taxes on food, utilities for
residential consumption, pharmaceuticals and other basic necessities.
We favor an increase to 8% of the oil severance tax.
We support an increase in the tobacco tax.
We propose that the Mississippi State Legislature fully match
the federal child care block grant so that Mississippi can avail
itself of all federal funds available for this purpose.
We believe that corporations and wealthy property owners should
be taxed to provide restricted funds for vocational, academic, and
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Mississippi right-to-work laws must be repealed. We support the
right of employees to form unions and engage in collective bargaining.
We support the enactment of "labor peace laws" requiring
employers to allow union organizers access to their premises and
employees for organizing purposes without interference or reprisals
against employees or organizers.
We support the passage of a law requiring employers to provide
a written statement of cause before they may fire an employee.
We support the passage of a law prohibiting camera surveillance
of employees and surveillance of employee Email traffic.
Temporary employment agencies and other contractors should be
regulated, and fair treatment, pay, and security should be guaranteed
for their employees.
A State Labor Commission should be created to oversee union
elections for workers not covered by the NLRA (as amended) and not
allowed NLRB elections. This definition would include state and
municipal employees and farm labor. It could also include employees of
some medium-sized businesses with 10 or more employees.
We contend that workers have a basic human right to a safe and
healthful workplace. Thus, workplace health and safety regulations
must be enforced rigorously; workplaces should be open to state safety
inspection without advance notice; health and safety whistleblowers
must be protected from discharge and harassment; accidents or death on
the job should be subject to investigation and possible criminal
Abolish private prisons. Allowing private individuals to profit
by subjecting their fellow citizens to involuntary servitude is
suggestive of slavery.
We favor rehabilitation of prisoners. To that end, we support
access to education and job training for prisoners.
We support halfway houses, fines, restitution, and community
service as alternatives to the continued expansion of the
We call for the repeal of Mississippi's "three strikes" law.
This law has crowded our prisons with nonviolent offenders and
devoured revenue that could be spent on education or the protection of
We oppose damage caps for lawsuits. We favor the repeal of all
laws imposing them. Individuals and businesses that commit illegal
acts must be brought to account.
We condemn the doctrine of sovereign immunity and favor
legislation making it illegal for state officials and agencies to
invoke it. If private individuals are to be answerable for their
crimes in courts of law then public officials must be also. No
government has the right to expect its citizens to obey its laws if it
does not obey them itself.
We support vigorous enforcement of laws against cruelty to
animals, especially the anti-dog fighting and anti-cockfighting laws.
We support independent civilian review of complaints of police
We support the legalization of industrial hemp.
We oppose mandatory drug testing by employers except in
situations involving the operation of vehicles and equipment where
there is a danger to human life. We favor the passage of laws making
such testing illegal in the state of Mississippi.
We support the abolition of the death penalty in the state of
We condemn the USA Patriot Act and the Homeland Security Act as
steps towards the creation of a police state. We call on all state,
county, and municipal law enforcement organizations to refuse to
cooperate with the Federal government in the enforcement of all
unconstitutional provisions of this legislation. We also call for all
county and municipal governing bodies to pass resolutions condemning
the Patriot Act as unconstitutional and dangerous to democracy.
We call for the establishment of a state commission to
investigate the feasibility of decriminalizing, taxing, and regulating
private possession and use of marijuana.
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Civil and Equal Rights
We support the formation of a State Commission on Civil Rights
to examine and recommend action on past and present injustices and
inequities among Mississippians.
We support comparable worth legislation to equalize the pay of
women and minorities with that of white males.
We support the formation of a State Commission on Reparations
to study the question of reparations for slavery.
We support legislation guaranteeing gays and bisexuals the same
access to civil marriage as heterosexuals. Laws denying them such
access are unjust and unconstitutional under the equal protection
clause of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.
We call for immediate passage of legislation banning job
discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender.
We support legislation prohibiting discrimination in housing,
hiring, or health care based on HIV status or AIDS diagnosis.
We call for a change in the state child support laws to make
unearned income part of the basis of the calculation of court-ordered
No one should be denied the right to adopt or hold custody of
children on the basis of gender, race, religion, ethnic origin, age,
national origin, disability, or sexual orientation.
The right of the individual to freedom of speech is inherent in
his or her existence as a human being and should in no way be abridged
by the state of Mississippi. This principle includes state government
employees and teachers and students in public schools.
The airwaves are a valuable public property. We thus support
the cultivation of "community radio." We believe that the FCC should
allow for a new service of small, locally-owned FM stations.
We also call for the creation and funding of genuine public
access TV channels by all the cable providers in the state and for the
creation of modest production facilities in at least one network TV
station in each major media market in the state to facilitate citizen
access. To fund such access, we call for a state surcharge to be paid
by all corporate broadcast entities and cable or satellite TV
providers in the state. This surcharge would be proportional to the
power and reach of their signals, or, in the case of cable or
satellite TV providers, the number of households enrolled. These
monies would be made available to applicants for public access airtime
to be used for the discussion of public issues and paid to the
originating broadcast facility to cover the expense of production and
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We support the self-determination of the Choctaw and any other
Native American tribe indigenous to Mississippi and resident in the
state before 1900.
We support legislation allowing the state of Mississippi to
grant official recognition to Mississippi Native American tribes.
We recognize the sovereignty of Native American tribal
State laws allowing employers to import employees from foreign
countries and pay them less than minimum wage by hiring them as
temporary workers are a form of peonage. We favor and call for their
We support passage of equitable landlord-tenant laws in all
counties and municipalities.
We support legislation and public policies that encourage
establishment of consumer co-ops, micro loan funds, and local
We support direct democracy through town meetings. We favor the
passage of municipal ordinances requiring public officials to hold
such meetings. Such meetings should be empowered to pass and/or repeal
municipal ordinances, as well as to monitor, instruct, and recall
representatives elected to municipal, state, and federal office.
Banking for People
We support a law capping interest rates on all loans including
credit cards in the state of Mississippi at 1% over the Prime lending
We support a law against rollovers whereby a late payment
causes the interest rate on a loan to double. Rollovers are a form of
extortion and all lenders who engage in this practice should be
imprisoned for no less than five years and be required to make
restitution to their victims.
We support the promotion of credit unions as an alternative to
the legalized swindling practiced by easy credit lenders. Every
Mississippian, regardless of employer or place of residence, should
have access to a credit union.
We support a cap on fees for cashing checks at 0.1% of the
value of the check, but no more than $5.
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We oppose the deregulation of utilities. Public utilities are
too important to our citizens and businesses to allow prices to become
subject to the vagaries of the marketplace.
We call for the development of a state energy policy including
taxes and/or fines on energy waste and credits for alternative and
sustainable energy use such as solar, wind, hydrogen, and biomass. In
addition to corporate tax credits for viable alternative energy
creation or conservation projects, we also call for such credits for
individuals or contractors who design into or add onto personal homes
active energy producing/saving devices.
We encourage state agencies to incorporate energy-saving and
alternative power generation technologies as feasible in all
Nuclear Energy Policy
We oppose nuclear energy and call for a decommissioning and
phase-out of current nuclear plants.
The Green Party of Mississippi opposes the transportation of
nuclear waste through Mississippi to Yucca Mountain or any other
We support a law requiring the owners of Grand Gulf Nuclear
Plant to allow independent, public-access radiation monitoring.
We oppose construction or expansion of any nuclear plants in
We support local ordinances and state laws requiring businesses
applying for zoning permits to disclose any toxic substances which may
be used or produced at the site.
We favor comprehensive and systematic recycling programs for
state and local governments.
We call for a "bottle bill" to place a deposit (5 cents) on all
non-returnable glass, plastic, and metal packages of beer and soft
drinks. The intended effect of the deposit is to reduce litter along
our highways and other roads and to encourage recycling.
We call for the reduction of the public sector waste stream and
especially for the development of viable recycling programs for all
waste paper generated by state offices and by the state university and
public school systems.
We call for measures by which organic trash collected by
municipal and county waste management-lawn clippings, leaf and pine
straw, dead fall and trimmed tree branches-would be composted and the
resulting mulch and compost made available to farmers, home gardeners,
and the state.
We support incentives to enable local communities to build bike
paths and sidewalks in order to reduce auto-based transportation.
We also call for the creation of carpool lanes and other
incentives to carpooling in metro areas throughout Mississippi.
We call for state tax credits-either savings on vehicle tag
costs or income tax deductions or both-to be granted to those
consumers who buy "hybrid" gas electric vehicles or other
alternative-fuel vehicles that meet rigid fuel economy and exhaust
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We support the use of tax-exempt bonds to allow publicly owned
utilities to finance conservation, energy efficiency, and renewable
We support publicly financed mass transit in Mississippi's
We advocate the use of existing highway corridors when new
highways are constructed. Rather than exercising eminent domain to
acquire land for highway construction, Highway Department planners
should first examine the feasibility of widening existing roadways.
We favor state legislation on the California model requiring
stricter clean air and fuel efficiency standards.
We favor state legislation underwriting low interest loans for
the replacement of high-pollution older vehicles which have been
licensed in Mississippi for at least the preceding five years with
low-pollution vehicles, to be available to each owner of such an older
We support the full funding and expansion of our state parks
We propose to overhaul Forestry Commission rules with the aim
of protecting all our remaining old-growth forests, The revised rules
will prohibit clear cutting on public land and promote sustainable
forestry practices on both public and private lands.
We support a review of all state land-use policies.
We call for stricter public scrutiny and control over wetlands
reduction, flood control and river-redirection projects.
We call for a moratorium on the cutting of mature deciduous
trees on all public lands and call for the creation of incentives to
protect and preserve these native species on private lands throughout
We will implement an immediate ban on the building of logging
roads in state forests at taxpayer expense. These roads cost more to
build than they bring in revenue and contribute to soil erosion and
silting of streams.
End any state subsidies that encourage the export of raw logs
and other minimally processed forest products (pulp, chips, carts,
slabs, etc.) to out-of-state mills. Instead, provide incentives to
local mills and in so doing create jobs for the people of Mississippi.
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We support the promotion of water conservation by the state of
We oppose the privatization of municipal water services.
We acknowledge Native American rights regarding water and urge
that courts and state water engineers do the same.
We support the creation of green belts around our urban areas
to rein in sprawl and promote development of the inner city.
We support organic farming methods and endorse the efforts of
Mississippi's organic farmers to organize statewide to promote them.
We support cooperative farming and oppose agribusiness. We
support farmers markets and on-site and u-pick-em operations.
We propose to abolish all state subsidies and tax breaks for
agribusiness while maintaining them for small farmers and cooperative
farmers. We support incentives to promote small-scale family farms,
biological diversity in crop cultivation, and regional approaches to
food supplies rather than the transportation of food over long
distances to markets.
We wish to create incentives to increase diversity in forest
plantings to promote wildlife habitat, the diversity of our
ecosystems, and the natural beauty of our rural lands.
We propose to institute the teaching of organic and sustainable
farming, including permaculture methods, in Mississippi's agricultural
colleges. State universities should be given a mandate to perform
research into organic farming methods and integrated pest management
as a way to replace chemical biocides and fertilizers.
We propose incentives to promote the use of integrated pest
management and the phasing out of biocides.
We propose a ban on genetic engineering and the release of
genetically engineered organisms in the state of Mississippi. This ban
includes "terminator gene" plants that produce sterile seeds.
Farmers have the right to save viable seed they have grown.
This right contributes to sustainable farming. Contracts that prohibit
farmers from saving seeds from their harvest for planting the
following season should be made illegal.
We support pollution fees for the use of non-organic
fertilizers, the resulting revenue to pay for environmental
We support rapid completion and implementation of state
regulations defining "organic food," including both produce and
We support the use of work projects, goats, and other
sustainable methods to control undergrowth rather than spraying
herbicides, especially near communities.
We support a state program, including incentives and research
at the state's agricultural schools, to promote the growing of
industrial hemp, kenaf, and other non-tree sources of raw material for
the manufacture of paper.