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ECONOMY

Putting Michigan Back to Work

 

• The immediate placement of all major corporations under social ownership and worker control under the principles of economic democracy.

 

• A massive state public works program to rebuild our cities and communities, administered and controlled by elected assemblies of working people.

 

• Immediate reopening of all closed and closing factories under workers’ control, retooled (if necessary) to produce staple items for human need.

 

• State cultural works projects to develop and bring cultural activities into working communities.

 

• Creation of a Workers’ Superfund to pay a worker’s full wages and benefits, as well as necessary educational and/or retraining costs, for workers who lose their job due to

environmental transition, downsizing, corporate restructuring or capital flight.

 

• Cut the work week with no loss of net pay or benefits to spread available work around in accordance with the aim of producing for use and public need, rather than for the maximization of private profit.

 

• A 100-percent capital flight tax on corporations and capitalists who attempt to leave the state.

 

Rebuilding our Communities

 

• Creation of a neighborhood reconstruction program, to build quality, community based housing, controlled and administered by democratically elected assemblies of construction workers and future residents.

 

• Confiscation without compensation of rental houses and apartment complexes from commercial landlords found guilty of repeated and persistent code violations.

 

• Rent control for all existing rental units, and the right of tenants to organize into unions and conduct rent strikes and strikes over conditions.

 

• Support for the formation of housing cooperatives and nonprofit land trusts.

 

• Creation of a housing rehabilitation service, democratically controlled by construction workers and residents, to aid homeowners and renters in renovations and maintenance, and seasonal weatherizing.

 

• Repeal Act 226 of 1988, which prohibits Michigan counties, cities, villages, and townships from establishing local rent control ordinances

 

Safe and Efficient Access to Travel

 

• Government-subsidized programs to expand foot and bicycle paths. Creation of pedestrian ways that exclude vehicles from downtown areas of cities and towns, accessible only by mass transit.

 

• Creation of fully funded high-speed rail transportation systems between the major cities in Michigan, with fares set low enough to be a viable alternative to the use of the automobile.

 

• Subsidies for socialized mass transit so that fares are affordable to all.

 

• Indefinite moratorium on the expansion of the interstate highway system.

 

• Establishment of a democratically controlled Highway Redevelopment Commission to explore ways to transform the state’s roadway infrastructure into a non-invasive, environmentally

friendly system.

 

• Replacement of all diesel-powered buses by electric- and CNG-powered coaches.

 

• Establishment of state-owned auto insurance, with rates on a sliding scale based on income, administered by an elected state Insurance Commission.

 

• Replacement of salt for snow removal on roads with an ecologically sound chemical substitute that does not deteriorate the roads, so as to preserve our state’s resources and reduce the need to rebuild roads.

 

• Establishment of a state agency for road repair rather than contracting the job out to “non-profit” corporations that serve as the fronts for the for profit corporations, often owned by the same individuals that the job is then subcontracted to.

 

• Increase the quality of new road repairs so as not to require constant repair, which increases fuel consumption, causes accidents, creates tension, and over all decreases the quality of life for commuters.

 

Lifting the Tax Burden Off of Working People

 

• An amendment to Michigan’s Constitution to replace the state’s flat-rate income tax with a steeply graduated income tax structure, with people making less than 80 percent of the average wage of a skilled worker paying no income taxes.

 

• Elimination of all subsidies, tax breaks and credits that benefit corporations and individual capitalists (also known as “corporate welfare”).

 

• Tax benefits for renters equal to those for homeowners.

 

• A 100-percent homestead exemption on property tax for homes valued under $53,353.

 

• A 100-percent tax on the profits of war goods and weapons manufacturers.

 

Protecting the Right to Work with Dignity

 

• A minimum wage of $16/hour for wage earners and a minimum yearly salary of $33,292 for salaried workers, indexed to the cost of living, and a cumulative maximum wage no greater than 10-times the minimum.

 

• An uninterrupted weekly break, of no less than 64 hours, for all workers, with exception for flex-time.

 

• A minimum of three weeks paid vacation, and a minimum 24 days of personal time off, for all workers.

 

• Abolition of mandatory overtime. Employees working voluntary overtime must receive double pay.

 

• Increased unemployment compensation at a living wage and indexed to the cost of living.

 

• Establishment of a guaranteed annual income at a living wage for those outside the work force.

 

• Price controls and freezes on all staple food items and essential services, established by democratically elected assemblies of producers and consumers.

 

• Support for the right of any number of interested workers in a workplace to form a union and bargain with their employer, with no limits on the subjects upon which employees and unions may bargain with employers.

 

• Automatic union recognition based on card check and neutrality.

 

• Democratic control by the membership of all labor unions, independent of employer and government domination and influence.

 

• Support for the right of all workers, particularly workers in service industries, enlisted personnel in the Armed Forces (excluding non-commissioned officers) the unorganized, under organized and unemployed to organize labor unions, associations and cooperative societies.

 

• Support for militant, united labor action including secondary strikes, sympathy strikes and secondary boycotts, factory committees, and ultimately the expropriation of the work place.

 

• Support of the right of first-time and part-time workers to full benefits.

 

• Repeal of all repressive “slave labor” legislation such as the 1994 Public Act 112 amendments to the Michigan Public Employment Relations Act

 

• Support for the right of workers to organize workplace committees and assemblies, to hold shop meetings on company premises, elect their supervisors, and administer health and safety programs.

 

• Support for the right of workers, consumers and communities to information on plant safety, hazardous wastes, toxic substances, and the quality of goods and services.

 

• Support for the right of workers to strike over health and safety issues.

 

• Support for the right of all workers to organize irrespective of job titles and responsibilities, citizenship status, method of payment or sector of the economy where employed.

 

Ending Debt Slavery in Rural Areas

 

• Formation of cooperatives to represent small and family farmers in negotiating contracts with canneries and grocery/produce distributors.

 

• Technological and resource incentives to small and family farmers that agree to form a cooperative.

 

• The right of farm workers to organize into unions to gain better wages and benefits, quality housing and working conditions, and for negotiating contracts.

 

• Placement of corporate-run “factory farms” into public ownership, administered and restructured by democratically elected farm workers’ assemblies.

 

• A parity system that guarantees farmers a full return on the cost of production.

 

• Repudiation of all current farm debts. Creation of grants, no-interest loans, micro-credits and technical help to farmers, including help to shift farm production from non-essentials to staple foods and fibers.

 

• Family farmers whose land was taken in foreclosures should be given their land and equipment back, or be given comparable land and equipment somewhere else if they wish it. They should also have the option of monetary compensation for their loss instead.

 

• The right of farmers and farm workers to organize unions for good wages, housing, and working conditions (including the right to be protected from pesticides).

 

• Labeling of genetically modified foods, and the banning of genetically modified seeds designed to be sterile.

 

• Democratic control of agricultural research and the complete testing of agricultural products.

 

• Full disclosure in the labeling on agricultural products, including listing the country of origin.

 

• Full funding for research geared toward the elimination of pesticide use.

HUMAN RIGHTS

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights


• Full equality for all, regardless of race, color or creed, nationality or national origin, gender, sexuality or sexual identity, age, ability, political affiliation, religion, or citizenship status.

• State anti-discrimination legislation covering the above categories, with fully empowered enforcement mechanisms in the hands of elected assemblies of working people.

• Affirmative action programs, including concretely measurable targets and timetables, democratically approved by elected diversity oversight committees in housing, education, employment and state services.

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — People of Color

• Recognition of the right of oppressed nationalities to autonomy, community control and self-determination, up to and including separation.

• Formal apology and reparations from the State of Michigan for its role in the maintenance and continuation of the slave trade, and the genocide of Native American nations, with the reparations programs administered by the oppressed communities themselves.

• Full representation and/or sovereignty for Native American communities and nations in the state and federal government as autonomous entities.

• Opposition to attempts to adopt an official language for Michigan or the United States.

• Passage of legislation making racial profiling a crime severely punishable by law.

• The right of immigrants to housing, education, health care, jobs, and civil, legal and political rights.

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — Women


• Equal pay for equal work or work of comparative worth.

• Establishment of 24-hour childcare and medical facilities, crisis lines and shelters for victims and survivors of rape, domestic violence and child abuse, and community-based education and response teams to combat violence against women and children.

• Establishment of 24-hour community kitchens and domestic cleaning teams.

• Banning all involuntary sterilizations, with doctors who perform them subject to prosecution.

• Decriminalization of prostitution, to remove it from criminal control. Prostitutes to be provided with special health care and other services to reduce the dangers they confront.

• For organizational structures based on feminist practice: rotating leadership, gender balance, gender based caucuses and systems for insuring full and open participation in discussion and decision-making.

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — Lesbians, Gay Men, Bisexuals, Transgendered, Queer, and Intersex (LGBTQI)

• Repeal of all anti-LGBTQ legislation, including anti-sodomy and “criminal deviant” laws.

• Recognition of equal protection under the law for same-sex couples through a constitutional amendment affirming their right to obtain a marriage license and certificate from the State of Michigan, and their right to adopt and raise children.

• Support policies and procedures to address and prevent student violence and to ban discrimination against GLBTQ people throughout the educational system.

• A state ban on all forms of job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation and gender identity in both the public and the private sector.

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — Disabled

• Restoration and enhancement of enforcement provisions of the Americans with Disabilities Act.

• Establishment of a network of support for people with physical, mental and developmental disabilities, including home assistance, recreation centers, guaranteed income, voting access and quality control in residential facilities.

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — Elderly

• No compulsory retirement. Right of retirement at age 55 — age 50 for workers in hazardous or extremely labor-intensive industries.

• Increase in home service and hospice care for older people so that they can remain independent in the community.

• Formation of publicly funded and democratically controlled senior centers to provide positive opportunities for community involvement.

• Vigorous enforcement of health and care standards for nursing homes.

• Election of advocates and ombudsmen by assemblies of seniors and caregivers to insure the protection of residents’ rights in nursing homes, and a stimulating environment in group and nursing home situations.

 

Social Equality and Democratic Rights — Youth

• Opposition to measures that increase responsibilities and penalties on youth ostensibly to curb crime.

• Stipends and grants for children to aid in the economic satisfaction of every child’s basic rights and needs.

• The right of all parents to share in the child-rearing process.

• Adoption and foster care reform, including child protections from abuse and abandonment, and the stripping of parental rights from abusive parents.

• The right of young people to a job, proper training and/or full benefits after finishing their education.

• The right of young people to enter into personal relations with their peers without fear of repression from the state.

• End age-based curfew laws.

 

Breaking the System of Legal Injustice

• Free, quality legal and court services with skilled and experienced attorneys of choice.

• Full prosecution of the criminal activities of politicians, corporate managers and other privileged individuals rather than the over-enforcement of minor infractions by working people.

• Expansion of community release programs and other alternatives to prisons, and a moratorium on new prison construction.

• Immediate closure of all “Supermax” prisons. Abolition of “prisons for profit”.

• Abolition of prison labor for profit, forced labor (“chain gangs”) and the use of prison labor to perform state services.

• The right of prisoners to organize unions and cooperative societies to negotiate for better living conditions.

• Abolition of the inhumane practice of cavity searches and adoption of a zero tolerance policy towards sexual assault within prisons.

• Establishment of academic programs and schools to aid prisoners with literacy, attaining higher education and understanding the law and society.

• Support services for prisoners and their families to reduce ostracism, maintain family ties, and provide for non-degrading visitation policies.

• Abolition of multi-prisoner cells.

• Establishment of completely independent and democratically elected police control and oversight councils, with full power to fire police and to arrest, detain, and indict police officers who brutalize or abuse people or who commit any violation of laws or civil rights and liberties.

• Recognition of the right of working-class and oppressed communities and communities of color to defend themselves by any means necessary against reactionary violence, police harassment and brutality.

• Community response services for crime victims.

• Decriminalization of victimless crimes, including drug possession and substance abuse, and legalization of marijuana and hemp.

• Sliding scale of fines based on income.

• Commutation and pardoning of all political prisoners.

• Legislation to make the recitation of the rights of the accused (the “Miranda warning”) by police mandatory.

• Immediate dismissal of all prosecution cases where the rights of the accused have been violated.

• Oppose the institution of the death penalty in Michigan.

 

Protecting the Health of Humanity

• For a socialized single-payer health care system, with standard and alternative medical coverage, and vision and dental care, for all.

• For a health care system that emphasizes preventive care, respects patients’ privacy, gives special attention to the needs of the physically and mentally disabled, and conducts treatment and research unimpaired by sexism, racism or homophobia/heterosexism.

• Free and safe access to reproductive services, including birth control and medical termination of pregnancy (abortion), on demand.

• Fully paid maternity leave three months before and six months after giving birth; the partner or guardian couple to be provided with six months’ leave.

• Full funding for research into developing vaccines and treatment for HIV and AIDS.

• Full funding for research into medical benefits that can be derived from the study of the human genome.

• Immediate lifting of the restrictions upon government funding for human embryonic stem-cell research.

• Full funding for treatment and management of addiction to controlled substances, and the development of synthetic alternatives that aid in eliminating physical addiction, not merely replace one addictive substance with another.

• Full funding for community mental health services available on a voluntary basis, with patients’ rights respected.

 

A 21st-Century Public Educational System

• Free, quality and universal public education, from pre-kindergarten through post-graduate studies, including open admissions with the abolition of tuition and fees at all public universities.

• Recognition of full unionization rights for graduate teaching assistants.

• Abolition of legislation that allows public funds to be diverted into private schools. Abolition of school voucher programs and charter schools.

• Funding for massive teacher recruitment and retention program, administered by the teachers’ unions.

• Mandatory reduction of class sizes to no larger than 15 students per teacher.

• Broadband Internet access in all schools, libraries and other educational facilities, free and accessible to all students, parents and members of the community.

• Repudiation of the provisions of the “No Child Left Behind” Act and the Michigan Educational Assessment Program, including teacher testing and merit pay.

• Multicultural, class-conscious curricula that allows for alternative methods of learning and development.

• Non-moralistic sex and health education beginning in the fourth grade.

• Removal of all corporate advertising and presence in public schools.

• Mandatory updating of all school textbooks and other learning-related materials every three years.

• Inclusion of vocational and fine arts courses in the mandatory curriculum.

• An end to military research at public universities and the abolition of all ROTC and JROTC programs.

• Student, parent, and teacher control of curriculum formation, and in the hiring and dismissal procedures of school personnel, through the formation of local school/community committees.

• Student, teacher, and faculty representation on school boards, and for those boards to be fully accountable to students, parents, teachers, and school workers.

 

DEMOCRACY

 

Election Reform

• Abolition of restrictive rules for obtaining and retaining ballot status as a political party.

• Automatic granting of “Political Party” status for any organization that holds a State Convention and elects a State Central Committee.

• Abolition of the two-tier system that favors the Republicans and Democrats by abolishing signature-gathering requirements.

• Abolition of the partisan Board of Elections and Board of Canvassers, and its replacement with a non-partisan State Electoral Council.

• Repeal of all laws restricting participation by labor unions in the political process.

• Equal public financing of all registered candidates and abolition of the use of personal funds in elections.

• Mandatory, verifiable paper trail of all votes to allow for recounts and verification.

• Automatic voter registration upon reaching voting age, based upon the most recent of address provided on a drivers’ license application, state ID application or state tax return, whenever possible.

• Implementation of Instant Runoff Voting in all state, county and municipal elections. Implementation of proportional representation in all legislative bodies.

• Lowering of the voting age to 14 for State office elections.

• Extension of the right of Michigan citizens incarcerated in jails and prisons within the state to vote.

• Higher donation limits for minor parties.

• Election day as a state holiday.

 

Community Control

Abolition of the right of the state government to stage “takeovers” of municipalities; school districts; community institutions; power and water facilities; public transportation; etc. Remove the power of state government to nullify union contracts or place or supplant elected governmental bodies with ‘Financial Manager’ dictatorships, and removal of all currently appointed “Emergency Financial Managers” from power. Immediate and permanent repeal of the “Local Government and School District Fiscal Responsibility Act,” (Act 4 of 2011) along with its concurrently passed counterpart legislation (Acts 5-10 of 2011) without any resulting return to its originally enacted predecessor (Act 72 of 1990).

• Establishment of community control of municipal services, based on elected assemblies of those employees working the facilities and liaison bodies from the community.

 

Democratic Economy and Society

• All financial institutions, including credit unions, mutual insurance cooperatives, and cooperative state banks, to be publicly owned and operated by democratically controlled assemblies of financial service workers.

• Debt “owed” to the big banks by levels of government be either cancelled outright or drastically reduced at far lower interest rates. It is time for debt enslavement to be ended as an excuse for cutting domestic spending on social needs.

• Abolition of all ATM, check cashing and bank fees.

• No business secrets hidden from the workers. The books and data banks of every company must be open to the inspection of specialists appointed by and responsible to the workers.

• Abolition of state secrecy. Public access to all state files, cabinet papers, diplomatic agreements, etc., with respect to personal privacy.

• Mandatory full disclosure of corporate plans to close and relocate plants and compensation for workers and communities affected by plant closings.

• Mandatory full disclosure of budgets and assets for all declared failing and bankrupt corporations.

• End to all forms of censorship, both legislative and institutional.

• Separation of church and state, and separation of church and school. Full freedom for religious and atheist beliefs.

• An end to all state-sponsored religious propaganda and acts of worship. Religion taught in public schools only as a subject of academic study.

 

Community Assemblies


• Sanctioning of fully empowered neighborhood councils and assemblies to administer areas and communities within cities.

 

ENVIRONMENT

 

Preserving Natural Resources

• Public ownership and democratic control of all our natural resources in order to conserve resources, preserve our wilderness areas, and restore environmental quality.

• Placement of all financial responsibility for cleaning up toxic wastes on the corporations which are responsible for them.

• Requirements for manufacturers to contribute to research and development of new technologies for cleaning up and preventing future toxic wastes.

• Banning of the placement of local municipal landfills, toxic waste disposal sites or incinerators in working-class communities and communities of color.

• Legal action against any Michigan-based corporation that violates environmental laws in the operation of facilities overseas.

• No clear-cutting in commercial forestry. Banning of commercial cutting in old-growth forests.

• An environmentally sound timber policy that takes into account the historical ecology of the region.

• Endangered species protection that focuses on habitat-centered protection for plants and animals.

 

Water Pollution

• Massive cleanup of all Michigan lakes and waterways.

• Ban on all oil and natural gas exploration and pumping in the Great Lakes.

• Ban on the use of water from the Great Lakes for bottling and sale.

• Strict adherence to the federal Clean Water Act.

• Strict controls on runoff and effluent by industry and agriculture.

• Programs to reduce and eliminate mercury contamination in water.

• Statewide program to clean up and restore our state’s beaches and shorelines.

 

Air Pollution

• “Polluter pay” laws to stop corporations from exceeding pollution levels.

• Mandatory DEQ monitoring of air pollution levels in urban areas.

• Dismantling of all trash incinerators in the state.

• Statewide moratorium on all logging and other programs that cause deforestation.

• Legislation to preserve old growth forests and create new forest areas.

• Acceptance and compliance with the Kyoto Protocols.

 

Alternative Energy

• For alternative energy systems that are not harmful to the environment or living things.

• Public ownership and control of energy plants, organized in a production-for-use system, and administered by elected workplace and community assemblies, assuring the most careful use of natural resources.

• Establishment of wind, geothermal, biomass and hydroelectric power plants to end Michigan’s dependence on fossil fuels.

• Immediate closure and decommissioning of all nuclear power plants, and an indefinite moratorium on all nuclear plant construction.

• Mandatory vitrification of all spent nuclear fuel, control rods and other waste.

• Ban on all imports of nuclear materials, whether they are vitrified or not.

• Sliding scale of utility rates which favor low-income people and ensure that everyone has access to utility services.

 

Consumption Waste

• Ban on all imports of consumption waste.

• Moratorium on the construction of new waste dumps and landfills.

• Retrofitting of all current dumps and landfills with technology that aids in breaking down waste.

• Increasing conservation efforts by individuals, businesses and communities.

• “Premium pricing” for virgin raw materials.

• Expansion of weekly curbside recycling programs.

• Expansion of the “Bottle Bill” to include all glass, plastic, metal and coated paper containers.

• Democratically-elected, community-based environmental oversight committees.

 

Urban Sprawl

• Immediate moratorium on all new construction and an injunction on all current construction contributing to urban sprawl.

• Credits and incentives to individuals and construction teams to build new dwellings and facilities in urban areas.

 

Biodiversity

• Creation of and support for programs aimed at preserving wildlife preserves and natural wetlands.

• Expansion of state wildlife areas, under democratic control of elected DNR representatives.

• Support for the development of programs aimed at studying the effects of naturally-occurring chemical compounds.

 

Respecting all Living Things

• Free spaying and neutering of domesticated animals and pets to prevent overpopulation.

• Mandated humane treatment of all animals employed to entertain humans, enforced by a Bureau of Animal Rights Enforcement, attached to the DNR.

• Abolition of the fur trade.

• Support for greater inclusion in and enforcement of the federal Endangered Species Act.

• Banning of animal experimentation for product development, and support for products that are not tested on animals.

• Opposition to the practices of overcrowding, drugging, and otherwise cruelly treating animals on large and factory farms.

 

Hunting and Fishing

• Condemnation in the strongest terms of hunting and fishing for no purposes other than to slaughter.

• Sliding scale of limits and seasons to preserve threatened species and control overpopulation.

• Cleaning and dressing stations for the safe and sanitary butchering of wild game.

• Taxidermy services to aid hunters and fishermen.

 

 

Authorized by John Longhurst (candidate committee).

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