Values Statement

  1.  Power to the People: It is with the consent and will of the people from which governments derive their authority and leaders are empowered.  People-led organizations and institutions rooted in the principles of democracy and justice are the source from which powerful movements for social/political/economic change arise. Solutions are found from the experiences and struggles of the people on the frontlines of the severe crises facing our nation. The power to change our country and create a society where human need is paramount to property and profit rests with the people.
  1. Anti-Oppression Supporting Equality and Diversity: Marginalized peoples and oppressed communities are our essential and immediate allies in the work ahead. Women and people of color must be substantial in numbers — within the membership and particularly in leadership — of our independent socio-political network. Opposition and dismantling of racism, sexism, and other systems of oppression must be a priority for all people. It is especially important for white people working in their communities to understand, confront and help others to understand their privilege and reject the culture of white supremacy. Men, particularly cisgender and heterosexual, have a special responsibility to understand, confront, and help others to understand the nature of patriarchy and heteronormativity to cultivate safe spaces for open expression of gender and sexual orientation in order to provide a positive environment for participation and empowerment by those of all abilities, sizes and ages.
  1.  Equal Rights for All Human Beings: We support self-determination and treaty rights for the indigenous First Nations within the borders of the United States and for all peoples colonized by European powers. We believe enfranchisement, reparations, and affirmative action for women, people of color, and other victims of historic injustice and oppression sanctioned by the rule of law are necessary and essential to correct the disproportionate allocation of resources. We oppose the scapegoating and repression directed against immigrants, particularly immigrants of color. We are opposed to all forms of discrimination based on gender, race, color, ethnicity, age, class, religious beliefs or non-belief, sexual orientation and gender identity, disabilities, health status (including HIV), national origin or citizenship. We support full reproductive freedom for women and oppose all forms of violence, particularly against women and children, including domestic violence, rape, incest and sexual harassment.
  1.  Equal Justice for All: We oppose the deep-seated racism, sexism and classism that permeate our criminal justice system. We call for a reformative program to re-structure and re-train law enforcement agencies and personnel currently steeped in a culture of racism, sexism, corruption and brutality. We support the development of a humane, restorative justice system focused genuinely towards rehabilitation of those who have engaged in anti-social activity, that punishes based on behavior rather than race/gender/gender identity/class, and which depends on alternatives to incarceration except for those who pose a clear and imminent danger to society unless incarcerated. We oppose the racist and class-biased death penalty as cruel and unusual punishment. Drug addiction and mental illness should be treated as issues of public health, not criminal justice. We oppose the use of forced prison labor for private profit. We support the development of a legal system whose participants–judges, lawyers, court personnel, police, penal staff, jurors–reflect the class, race and gender composition of the affected community and individuals.
  1. Coalition and Movement Building Rooted in Solidarity Organizing: Only through the talents, experience and wisdom of all persons is mutual governance and a system rooted in justice possible. A powerful movement for change will emerge when everyday people aligned with grassroots activists, leaders and organizations operating from community, workplace and school power bases comes together in a unified, national, and massive independent political movement, or an alliance of political parties. Accepting leadership from and supporting the causes of those on the front lines of struggle against the impacts of systemic oppression and corporate tyranny helps us to develop relationships with our essential and immediate allies.
  2. Economic Democracy & Workers’ Rights: We support the development and just transition away from economic policies of profit-maximization and private consolidation to a new economy rooted in solidarity and democratically-operated by the people in their communities and workplaces. We support workers’ rights to organize, to collective bargaining, to strike without the threat of reprisals or replacement, to safe and healthy working conditions, to equal pay for equal work, and to receive a living wage, pension and benefits. We are committed to building a just and sustainable society in which the excessive and obscene concentration of corporate power and personal wealth is overcome by the achievement of basic economic rights for all: secure jobs paying living wages; decent, affordable housing; adequate food, water and clothing; universal health care; quality education; a safe, clean environment; an equitable, progressive tax system which taxes unearned wealth; sustainable food production based upon family farms and farm cooperatives; and protection from economic insecurity caused by disability, old age, sickness, accident or unemployment.
    7.  Political Democracy: A democratic economy assumes a democratic political system. The current electoral system is not democratic and has been privatized by the wealthiest citizens who fund political campaigns. These winner-take-all electoral rules deny racial and political minorities fair representation and equitable share of power. We support fundamental political reforms aimed at finally realizing the full democratic promise of our country, including (but not limited to): universal right to vote; easy access to voting; publicly-financed elections with full ballot access; equal access to media for all candidates; voting rights for immigrants and convicted felons; preferential ballots (ranking candidates in order of preference) for single-candidate races; and proportional representation in electing local, state, and federal legislatures.
    8.  Peace and Anti-Imperialism: We oppose the policies of militarism and the culture of violence which permeates our society. We call for major cuts in the military budget and the conversion of weapons-producing industries to socially-needed production. We oppose military intervention in sovereign nations, colonialism and neo-colonialism, economic coercion, and political interference in the sovereign affairs of any foreign nation, including the indigenous First Nations within our own national borders.
    9.  Sustainable Environment: An ecologically-sustainable society requires replacing the economic policies prioritizing profit-maximization and endless “growth/productivity” compelled by multinational corporations with a democratic economy enabling people to gear production to human needs prioritizing sustainability and conservation for future generations. We support the creation of an ecological economy where everyone’s basic material needs are met through the sustainable use of non-toxic and renewable energy and materials. We oppose corporate attempts to shift the liability for environmental damage onto taxpayers; polluters must pay for the restoration of environmental damage. In place of the failed policy of regulating pollution releases, we call for pollution prevention, including a rapid phase-out of chlorinated compounds, trash incinerators, nuclear power plants, and synthetic pesticides and fertilizers. We call for: a massive “Jobs for the Environment” program of public investment in the replacement of toxic technologies with ecological alternatives, including renewable energy, energy efficiency, sustainable organic agriculture, mass transit, biodegradable materials, solid waste reduction, recycling and clean composting, and eco-industrial parks for zero-emissions manufacturing.
    10.  Political and Economic Independence: It is essential to free ourselves and remain independent from partisan politics or the quid pro quo expected by corporate or wealthy funders in order to build a movement to achieve and sustain an authentic government of, by, and for the people. We promote independent candidates and parties who subscribe to the above principles and who are outside of the Democratic and Republican parties, which are dominated by the corporate ruling class and part of the problem, not the solution. We also support independent working class solidarity and action across international borders to counter the power of multinational corporations dominating our domestic and global economies.
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