Let’s build a truly democratic government for the people.

Get money out of politics. All of it. We should have a public financing system with a limited campaign window.

End gerrymandering.

Implement Ranked Choice Voting.

End the filibuster.

Enact Proportional Representation.

Abolish the electoral college and elect the president by popular vote.

Term limits for members of Congress.

Provide for fair ballot access and regulations.

Full ex-felon voting re-enfranchisement.

Strict financial controls for members of Congress and their staff, including no Wall Street transactions and disinvestment from any stocks, funds, or industries related to the oversight and appropriation committees on which members of Congress serve.

Statehood for Washington, DC

Right to determination for the more than 3 million people living in  US territories (American Samoa, Guam, Northern Mariana Islands, Puerto Rico and US Virgin Islands).

I heard a good phrase the other day with regards to our nation’s current climate change efforts: “We are putting down speed bumps when we should be making a U-turn.”

We should have begun transitioning from fossil fuels decades ago. We are undeniably seeing the inaction of both big business political parties, as instructed by their fossil fuel donors. We must immediately begin a once-in-a-century transformational effort totaling trillions of dollars to avert catastrophe for coming generations (and indeed, many of us will live to see the consequences).

The Green Party of the US has had a plan for this for quite a while now. The Green Party’s no compromise Green New Deal (which some Democrats have appropriated and amended, mainly to ensure corporations profit from the climate crisis they have created) not only will prevent the worst from occurring, and it will get much worse, but the Green New Deal will make our economy stronger, while ensuring jobs for workers*

We need a massive global reconstruction plan, a Green Reconstruction Plan, that will end the wars on people and the planet. We must focus this reconstruction in restoring growth to those areas devastated by economic neglect, the fossil fuel industry and a lack of development. In doing so, we must pursue just and fair economic relations with the poorer nations of the Global South, recognizing and amending the centuries of exploitation.

*Any worker involved in the fossil fuel industry will receive a just transition to include guaranteed salary, re-training, job placement, etc.

Before the pandemic, we already had a healthcare crisis in the US. The pandemic has clearly magnified this crisis for all to see, with hundreds of thousands of deaths from Covid and other causes linked to lack of access to healthcare.

We need a comprehensive locally-focused national health system that takes care of all of our people through every stage of life. There is no place for profit in healthcare. Healthcare is a basic human right – no compromise will be acceptable.

I will work tirelessly to provide complete healthcare to all Americans through a single-payer system that requires no payment, ever, for point of service. I know too many Americans who have no healthcare or are being pulled under by extraordinary healthcare costs. While we pay more than anyone else in the developed world, we have faced a declining life expectancy for several years and we receive some of the worst health outcomes. It is beyond comprehension that we have allowed this to happen, and we must now work to take control of Congress, get money out of politics, build independent parties and provide for our people.

We have spent more than $14 Trillion on wars and the military since 2001. Half of that has gone to contractors. Meanwhile, both Democrats and Republicans tell us we don’t have enough money to fight climate change, deliver healthcare, and provide for universal higher education, among other things.

These tragic wars have not made us safer. They have caused enormous suffering to tens of millions of people across the globe. That number includes hundreds of thousands* of American families whose sons and daughters went to war and who never came home or came home permanently wounded with either visible or invisible injuries. Where is the justice and accountability for this?

We live under the constant threat of nuclear annihilation due to the current arms race with Russia and China, resulting from successive Republican and Democrat administrations building new nuclear weapons. This is madness. We have been amazingly fortunate to have avoided nuclear war for this long, perhaps by luck or by God’s Grace, but such fortune cannot last.

From Western Africa to Pakistan, officially secret US wars are waging in more than a dozen countries. These wars are growing terror groups, causing people to join insurgent militias, causing massive and cruel harm to civilians, and, eventually, will bring blowback on the US.

How much longer will we go along with this madness of war where we risk the lives of our sons and daughters and murder those overseas, all the while neglecting our citizens at home?

*The VA estimates over 500,000 veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan have been inflicted with traumatic brain injury and an equal number with PTSD and moral injury.

All my life, I have witnessed the War on Drugs cause suffering and hardship for individuals, families, and communities throughout the US. We are now at a place where the colossal failure of the War on Drugs is causing 100,000 overdose deaths a year. Not to mention that this war makes the US the largest prison nation in the world – we have less than 5% of the world’s population but close to 25% of the world’s prisoners.

How does any of this make sense? Among other needed criminal and justice reforms, ending the war on drugs should be the priority. We need to legalize all forms of narcotics to end the prohibition that drives crime, put an end to corporate prisons, and treat addiction and substance abuse as the public health crisis it is.

Over the last 40 years, the richest Americans have seen their pay grow ten times that of the average worker. By 2020, America’s CEOs were paid 351 times that of the typical worker. Since 1978, CEO pay has soared over 1,300%.

Meanwhile, healthcare, housing, and education costs have skyrocketed. These costs have led to suppressed futures and lives saddled with debt. Right now, workers are struggling to keep up with housing costs rising 10-20% a year. The government has made the rich filthy rich. It is time to make the economy serve the working class.

We must dramatically raise the minimum wage – but not just raise it and leave it unchanged for years or decades. In many parts of North Carolina $15 or even $20 an hour are simply not enough. Minimum wage must also be tied to the cost of housing of the zip code of employment. Politicians from both Wall Street parties and the corporate-owned media both promote propaganda and lies that pit worker against worker, the healthy against the sick. The fact is that the vast majority of US residents are only a few paychecks away or a health crisis away from financial disaster. We know it. We feel the pressure every day. A fair and livable minimum wage will ensure all workers can afford to care for their families while keeping wages in line with the reality of costs in different parts of the country.

We must pursue public banking and debt forgiveness. Debt forgiveness, medical and education in particular, along with the opportunities public banking can provide, will be a massive investment and spark for our economy and nation.

We need to commit to housing as a right, understand houses as homes and not investments, and enshrine a renter’s bill of rights.

I am aware of the difficulties small businesses are under. I am outraged at how large corporations have profited from the pandemic and received the lion’s share of government bailouts while government policies harmed small businesses. Too much of the cost, with so little reward, is carried by the individual workers and small businesses. We must make corporations and banks pay their fair share and provide emergency relief aimed at small businesses affected by the pandemic.

Employee ownership and unionization must be incentivized and must be a clear and well-resourced goal for our federal policies.

If we can make sure every American has health care, the freedom to pursue higher education at no cost, and the chance to have ownership of their labor, we can make this nation into an economic powerhouse through the next century*

*Pending consequential action on climate change.

I will fight for a national minimum of four weeks paid sick leave for workers, as well as four months of paid family leave. This is in line with the majority of wealthy countries in Europe and Asia. Workers should not be forced to make decisions that affect their health, and the health and safety of others, in order to keep their housing and provide for their loved ones. Untold thousands of lives would have been saved both before and during this pandemic if workers had these basic humane guarantees.

I come to this campaign with a heavy emphasis on civil liberties. The federal government and corporations have seriously violated civil liberties since 9/11 and continue to seek to erode those liberties. State governments are likewise pursuing laws and policies that restrict the rights of Americans.

I will work to end the unconstitutional government surveillance programs and indefinite detention programs.* I will support every woman’s right to an abortion and commit to protecting that right through federal law. I will fight to ensure Trans people have the same rights as all Americans while safeguarding the progress the LGBTQ+ community has made in the last decades. In all things I do, I will remember the injustice, discrimination and inequality suffered by women, black people, indigenous people, and people of color. Anyone who doubts such oppression exists and is systemic either is willfully ignorant or has not learned from the experiences of others.

Our democracy not only needs to be protected but strengthened, expanded and made more inclusive. We need to make voting easier and fairer, and combat all forms of voter suppression. Not only do all Americans have the right to vote, but they have the right to assemble, assert their rights and to speak publicly, openly and freely. 

We have in the US a vast majority of politicians who do not adhere to principles, while the two corporate parties seem to comply only to the principle of obeying their Wall Street and Big Business donors. In this election, you have the choice to vote for a candidate who follows principles and a political philosophy that puts people and lives over property, money and government/corporate control.

*This includes closing the prison at Guantanamo Bay.

Overseas, at the border, and in our communities, violence-based responses are often the default “solutions” for many of our federal, state, and local governments. The American people’s loss of control of government policy at all levels is a crucial reason why so many of our brothers and sisters here and abroad experience brutal violence as a direct result of government policies.

At the federal level, restoring control of our government to the people means Congress taking responsibility for the wars overseas, including the secret wars ravaging Africa, as well as for the inhumane and obscene border detention and deportation policies of both Democratic and Republican administrations. For decades now, session after session of Congress has pathetically and cowardly deferred to executive authority as millions overseas have suffered under illegal, counterproductive, and immoral American occupations, military actions, and sanctions. At the border, tens of thousands are held in humiliating, painful, and sometimes fatal detention, separated from their families,* and often deported, without due process, back to the circumstances from which they fled. In a repeating and circular process, those conditions are too often the result of the executively determined foreign policy decisions mentioned above.

In many of our communities, particularly indigenous people, people of color and lower incomes, police violence is endemic. Tough on crime policing does not work; it only leads to a police state. When a broken window is made a felony, or when a protest for civil rights is equated to the rioting of a mob, we are setting a standard that places the value of property above the value of the potential of human life. And when we arm our police with military weaponry and train them in military tactics, we should expect that they will begin to see the populace as a military foe and every provocation as an act of war. 

Control of police forces–including hiring, firing, disciplinary action, and policing focus and planning–must be in the hands of the communities whom the police serve. However, disciplinary action must not be limited solely to individual police officers who violate their duties and the public trust; instead, officials at all levels must be held accountable for the actions of their police forces.** Communities must be directly in control of their local budgets, ensuring the community’s needs are met and not the parochial desires of government institutions and special interests. Finally, local police forces must come from the communities they serve and meet high standards for recruitment (and be compensated justly – police, like all civil servants and all workers, should be able to afford to live where they work). Police need to be prioritized as public safety or peace officers and not the growing paramilitary forces we see in NC and the US. To that end, we must eliminate the use of military-grade weapons and equipment transferred to police departments by the infamous 1033 program. 

We witness overseas, at the border, and in our towns the violence of our governments as policy. Those policy decisions are not only killing and harming millions but are also part of a worsening cycle of violence that causes societal dysfunctions, destroys trust in government, and robs our futures. We must end violence-based solutions as the default policies for government at all levels

*As of this writing, the Biden administration is detaining at least 1,000 migrant and refugee children and has separated them from their families at the border.

**We occasionally see individual police officers punished, but we never see town councils, mayors, county commissioners, district attorneys, and other officials held liable for the policies they create, implement and sustain. Ending qualified immunity for police officers is necessary, but holding those making the policies accountable is even more critical.