Greens Promote the Green New Deal for Maryland During the 2014 General Assembly Session

During the 2014 General Assembly session, the Maryland Green Party is promoting the Green New Deal for Maryland, based on the Green New Deal program adopted by Green candidates nation-wide in 2010, and most recently promoted by Jill Stein, the Green Party's 2012 Presidential nominee.

The 2014 Green New Deal for Maryland is based on four pillars.

Part 1: The Economic Bill of Rights

We cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus the Green New Deal begins with the following Economic Bill of Rights for everyone: 

All workers must have the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace, to fair trade, and to organize a union at work without fear of firing or reprisal. We support increasing the minimum wage.

The right to quality health care will be achieved through a single-payer "Medicare-For-All" program.

The right to a tuition-free, quality, public education system from pre-school through college is vital. We support phasing out all student tuition and fees for in-state students in the University System of Maryland.

We believe in the right to decent, affordable housing - including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions. A state bank with local branches could take over distressed mortgages and restructure them to affordable levels.

All people must have the right to accessible and affordable utilities - heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation - through democratically-run, publicly-owned or cooperatively-owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit.

All taxpayers have the right to fair taxation distributed in proportion to ability to pay. We support re-introducing the millionaire's surtax and passing combined reporting legislation to ensure that corporations pay taxes to Maryland on all income earned in the state. 

Part 2: A Green Transition

The Green Transition program will convert the old, unsustainable economy into new economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable, and socially responsible. 

Hydraulic fracturing ("fracking") must be banned in Maryland. 

We support promoting offshore wind energy. Studies show that it could meet 70% of the state's annual energy demand. The Maryland Offshore Wind Energy Act was a small first step and must be aggressively followed up with more investment in wind energy projects. 

We support establishing feed-in tariffs that reimburse anyone who produces renewable energy. 

We support creating incentives for establishing neighborhood and community energy cooperatives to reduce the costs and spreads the benefits of renewable energy. 

Funds should be directed toward a comprehensive effort to retrofit all buildings for energy efficiency.

We support strict labeling requirements for genetically-modified foods and the promotion of sustainable, organic farming as the foundation for an economic revival in rural parts of Maryland.

Part 3: Real Financial Reform

The takeover of our economy by "too-big-to-fail" banks and well-connected financiers has destabilized both our democracy and economy. Under the Green New Deal for Maryland we will start building  a financial system that is open, honest, and stable and that serves the the real economy rather than the phony economy of high finance.

We support the establishment of state and municipal public-owned banks that function as not-for-profit utilities.

We support the establishment of a state-owned bank to serve as the depository for all state tax collections and fees.

We support fostering credit unions and community-owned cooperative banks to serve as community development financial institutions that support local businesses, affordable housing, green-collar jobs, and other community development projects.

We support investing the state's pension funds in socially responsible funds, with a portion targeted toward in-state development projects, particularly small-scale, local businesses that are frequently ignored by multi-national banks. 

Part 4: Democracy That Protects the Rights of All

As we are replacing the old economy with a new one we need a new politics to restore the promise of American democracy.

Ballot access for independent and minor party candidates is critical for introducing new ideas into the political system. Requirements for establishing and maintaining new political parties should be made more reasonable.

We support publicly financing all Maryland elections.

We support the implementation of instant runoff voting and proportional representation in multi-member districts.

It is vital to prohibit all business entities - including corporations, general or limited partnerships, limited liability corporations, or real estate investment trusts - from contributing to campaign finance entities.

We support the decriminalization of marijuana use and the re-evaluation of other drug laws to eliminate racial bias in their implementation. 

We support withdraw from joint federal/state immigration enforcement programs that break up families and create fear and distrust between law enforcement and immigrants.