The People’s Platform
We must start with the end in mind and keep our eyes on the prize
Most of politics in the United States is (to quote Shakespeare) a lot of “sound and fury signifying nothing” (or signifying very little). In the end what really matters is what legislation gets passed and how it changes public policy.
Our goal is to pass electoral reforms that will make our state governments more genuinely democratic and to pass legislation that addresses critical problems that have gone unaddressed because of partisan gridlock in Washington, D. C. and in state governments. Polls show broad support across party lines for a broad range of proposals. We want to take full advantage of opportunities for concerned citizens to work together to implement these reforms and pass such legislation.
Our primary focus is on two proposals: Renewable Energy Projects to help states move to clean, renewable energy as rapidly as possible, creating good-paying union jobs in the process. And proportional representation in state legislatures, which will make them more genuinely democratic, giving voters more candidates and poltical parties from which to choose.
Our “People’s Platform” features other proposals that we believe are especially important. While we are open to suggestions for other proposals to be included in our coordinated campaigns, we are committed to working on the proposals that make up our “People’s Platform.” Additional information regarding these reforms and issues can be found in pages under this tab. Our proposals fall into two major categories:
Legislation needed to address critical problems:
Renewable Energy Projects to provide good paying jobs as we build the infrastructure of the future, moving to clean, renewable sources of energy.
A public option for health care in the form of health care cooperatives administered by state government. These cooperatives would be revenue-neutral. No tax dollars would be raised or spent. Members would pay premiums (or dues) based on a percentage of their income, making membership affordable and saving the expense of having private, for-profit health insurance companies act as gate-keepers for health care. Members would be free to seek necessary and preventative care from any health care provider.
A $15 minimum wage and/or the right of local governments to set a minimum wage higher than the state or federal minimum wage.
Employee free choice acts make it easier to form or join a union. Workers wishing to join simply sign a membership card. When a majority of the workers in a given work place have signed, the union is recognized as the official collective bargaining agent for those workers.
Medicaid expansion. Six of the fourteen states that have not yet expanded Medicaid benefits to all of their citizens have the ability to do so using the initiative.
Legislation making our elections and our government more genuinely democratic:
Proportional Representation in state legislatures (and eventually in Congress). Winner-take-all elections with single-member districts tend to lead to a duopoly (a system where two major parties dominate elections). Proportional representation puts an end to gerrymandering, reduces the influence of money in elections, and shifts the focus of elections to party platforms and the issues addressed therein.
Ranked-choice voting for executive offices (governor, lieutenant-governor, etc.) also works to give voters more that two candidates or political parties from which to choose. Voters can support minor party or independent candidates without worrying about wasting their vote or indirectly helping a major party candidate they strongly oppose.
A public financing option for candidates will level the playing field and make it easier for candidates to raise the money they need to run viable campaigns.
The National Popular Vote Interstate Compact would insure that the winner of the nationwide popular vote would be elected to the presidency. It would not take effect until enacted by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes—that is, enough to elect a President (270 of 538).
Constitutional amendments to protect legislation passed through the initiative. Stage legislatures frequently repeal ballot proposals passed by voters. The best way to prevent this from happening is by requiring any repeal of a voter approved proposal or any changes made to such proposals to also be approved by voters.
More details regarding some of these issues can be found in the tabs under this page.