I’d like to take this opportunity to write about the current ballot measure, Tucson’s Proposition 101.
You might not know that we are currently in an election cycle for propositions, as this one is rather unusual in both its timing and its brevity.
However, there have been may flyers circulating letting everyone know that they should vote “yes” on Tucson’s Prop 101. If you’re not in Tucson, you may not have noticed. If you’re in Tucson, you must have been flooded with these “YES” messages, and you may want an unbiased perspective.
I’m not that one.
I would like people to vote “NO” on Prop 101 and I can tell you why to vote “NO” on or before this coming Tuesday, the 16th of May.
What Prop 101 Does
In general, though, I think all sides agree to this:
Prop 101 takes money from everyone who buys anything in the Tucson City Limits, by way of an increase in the sales tax of .5% (the total sales tax will jump from 8.1% to 8.6%) for a minimum of five years.
Also, the excess money which is gathered from the sales tax increase will be applied to purchasing more hardware for the city police, and then fire departments, and then the remainder will be used to resurface a few roadways.
Everyone agrees that any monies gathered will not be used to fund higher salaries for TPD officers or fire personnel, nor will it go to fund pensions, nor raises in salaries of those who are currently on the TPD and fire forces. It will not go to hiring more community police “beat walking” officers, and no money will be allocated to having better TPD training for new and existing officers.
The money will go to more militarization, think war toys, for TPD, primarily. Tucson should not be taxing the poor to be at war with its citizens.
This means that this piece of legislation is bad for people, bad for police and fire, pad for the poor and middle classes, and bad for tourists and travelers.
Claims Being Made
The backers of Prop 101 claim that this city-authored ballot proposition is primarily for roads: for their repair and resurfacing, although this is in no way true or correct.
What is actually written in the bill is that only 40% of the taxes collected will be used for roads: 24% of the total taxes for major arterials and 16% for residential streets.
What is worse is that there basically *is* no residential plan. What passes for a plan to resurface residential streets is far to broad and overreaching, not at all specific, and far too ambitious.
Moreover, the RTA is already doing residential resurfacing through the end of the year, which will improve the conditions in the neighborhoods which most need the repairs.
Furthermore, Prop 101 backers continually cite a citizens oversight committee, which they say will dictate where repairs are being made, but this committee is never established in the actual text of the law. That’s right, there is no provision to create an oversight committee, and City Council will have to meet and establish one, or perhaps not, in which case, no such committee would ever exist.
Given that this tax could be permanent, but would certainly last for five or more years, it is my guess that the City of Tucson is just raising taxes under the guise of street improvements, but may just be using this method to line its own coffers.
The bulk of the money collected with this new additional tax on all city residents and visitors will actually be used for police. That’s right, TPD would get the lion’s share of this money, and it is not being used for purposes which would benefit the city as a whole. Some of this 60% also would presumably go for Tucson Fire, although the numbers are not even close to those given to TPD.
I do not agree that it is just honky-dory to give 60% of this new tax to further more Police Militarization of TPD.
There will be absolutely no money for the officers themselves. This means that hard-working officers would get zero pay raises, no more money for pensions, and Tucson would have no more foot patrols, or any more money for community policing, which we so desperately need.
This is all just a classic “throw money at it” move without any positive effect to speak of.
In addition, Ward 4 would get most of the new sales tax money allocated for TPD.
Now I, Michael Oatman, am running for City Council in Ward 6, but Ward 6 gets absolutely nothing for TPD, and only gets $700K for one fire station. This is along side all other wards, which get at least $24 million; WTF?!?!
This Proposition is just straight up BAD for Ward 6, and in no way could I vote other than NO on Prop 101.
This Proposition would raise money by the implementation of an additional one percent sales tax. Now in general, and in this case specifically, a sales tax is a flat tax, which applies to everyone who purchases any taxable thing within the Tucson City Limits.
There are taxes which are progressive, like the federal income tax (unless el Trumpo changes that), which do not adversely affect those with lower and no or fixed incomes, and disproportionately tax the rich, who can already afford it.
There are also taxes which are regressive, like sales taxes, which tax everyone at the same rate. This is inherently worse for middle and low income folks since the amount of tax charged to people who cannot afford it removes money from those people who need all the money they can get just to survive.
This is why a flat, or sales, tax is unfair. Suppose you taxed someone with two million dollars a 50% tax rate (we wish, right?). They’d still be a millionaire. But if you taxed someone with only one dollar a 50% tax rate, that person would no longer even be able to take the SunTran bus.
People need a Universal Base Income in order not just to survive, but to thrive. It is simply cruel to tax that.
For this reason, regressive taxes like a sales tax are inherently unfair to poor and middle income people, unless of course the law is written so that part of the money collected under the unfair sales tax goes to support those people with low and middle incomes.
This proposition includes no such provision. With this sales tax increase, Tucson City is telling everyone that they do not give a crap about poor people or the middle class, which is pretty much everybody in Tucson. What a great idea, NOT!
By passing this proposition, Tucson is making poor people pay for ever-increasing TPD militarization, which should not be happening in the first place!
An Election So Soon?
Now actually, I am a fan of short voting cycles, say, when it comes to electing the President: I think we do not need to drag it out for two or more years. But the election cycle has to be *at least* a month at the very minimum for it *not* to be some sort of “sneaky election”. In reality, this election cycle spans all of just three weeks! This is a total sham which is being rammed through in no time, because if people had more time to vote, they would, and they would certainly vote NO! on Prop 101.
As a matter of fact, this election cycle was so sudden and brief, that in the election pamphlet itself, sent to voters by mail, there was simply no time for anyone to write an article supporting a “NO” vote or position on Prop 101. Talk about sneaky.
The Democrats who support this chicanery are out of touch, and for that matter, so is the Tucson Weekly, as is obviously the Arizona Daily Star, who all somehow support a yes vote, despite the detriment to their consituents.
It is my conviction that the people of Tucson in general, and particularly those residing in Ward VI, can do far better for ourselves than by what is proposed in Tucson Proposition 101. Please always vote, and certainly Vote NO! on Tuesday, May 16th!
SO PLEASE GO VOTE! And Please Vote NO on Prop 101!
Thank you for all that you do,
Green Party of Pima County
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 4, 2017
The Green Party of Pima County joins a growing coalition to call for a “NO VOTE” on Proposition 101.
“The City of Tucson is asking voters to consider a half-cent sales tax increase over the next five years. The funds collected over the five-year period would be split with $100 million being used to restore, repair, and resurface City streets, and $150 million would be spent on vehicles, equipment, and facilities for the Tucson Police Department and Tucson Fire Department.”
The Green Party of Pima County, the Tucson Bus Riders Union, LUPE Tucson, Tucson SURJ, Black Lives Matter Tucson, Jewish Voice for Peace, and the Arizona Palestine Solidarity Alliance unite in calling for a “NO” vote on Proposition 101.
This growing coalition of organizations agree that we need city funding to go towards a sustainable future and a community that is socially just to all.
Unfortunately, Proposition 101 is neither. Instead of clean, affordable mass transit, Prop 101 will focus on supporting the decaying fossil fuel economy that is contributing to pollution, disease, and the global climate crisis.
In addition, instead of providing funding to make Tucson more secure for its people by providing a municipal I.D., local health services, schools, parks, youth jobs, recreational activities, and affordable public transportation, Prop 101 focuses on increased funding for a police department that repeatedly violates people’s constitutional rights. Prop 101 would fund a 27 million dollar new Southside police sub station and 4.6 million dollar new Southeast annex, yet this information is notably absent from most of the promotional materials for this proposition.
“Using a sales tax to increase funding for the police is an unfair burden on poor people and communities of color to pay for something that targets and surveils them. More policing means higher incarceration rates for poor people and communities of color, contributing to things like the school to prison pipeline”, says Edward Cott from LUPE Tucson.
Tucson requires bold and visionary solutions if we are to leave a livable world to the next generation and beyond and Prop 101 falls short by a long shot.
My name, Michael Oatman, will be on the 29 August 2017 Green Party primary ballot (provided my nomination petition signatures are turned in during May). Since I’m running unopposed in the Green Party, that will advance me into the 7 November 2017 General Election for Tucson City Council Ward VI, or six, or 6 if you prefer.
I’m running against Steve Kozachik, who used to be a Republican, and another Republican. But Ward 6 is filled with Progressive Democrats and Greens.
I think the choice is simple: “Ward Six, Vote Green! Vote Oatman in 2017!”
Michael Oatman is announcing that he is currently an official candidate for Ward Six of the Tucson City Council in 2017.
He will be representing the Green Party of Pima County in the 29 August 2017 Primary Election and in the 7 November 2017 General Election.
He will be attempting to unseat the current City Council member, Steve Kozachik, a former Republican-turned-Democrat.
Oatman has been registered nearly always with the Green Party or as an independent voter for over a decade. He has participated in the 2008 Arizona Presidential Preference Election as a Democrat and again in 2012 and 2016 under the Green Party. He placed third in 2012 Arizona Green Party voting, and won outright in Apache County. In 2012, he also placed tied for first with fellow Green Party candidate Richard Grayson in voting amongst candidates who participated in the Tucson Weekly’s Project White House contest.
Says Oatman, “The people in Ward Six are rather progressive,and want a new direction for the City Council. I feel that I can represent them in Council far more to their interests than either of the two Republicans currently running. Oh yeah, that’s right, Steve’s a Democrat”.
Oatman, a Tucsonan since 1999, is a local television show host, businessman and entrepreneur, and lives in Ward Six, just south of Columbus and Glenn in central Tucson.
This is his first run for a seat on the Tucson City Council.
Michael Oatman is currently accepting invitations for interviews from all news and media outlets. Please contact Mr. Oatman using any of the contact methods provided in the header of this release. Thank You for Your Interest!
The media is telling everyone that “Head for the Red Right Arrow on the Hills” Clinton has a delegate count which is, and I would like to emphasize this, **HALFWAY** to a point at which HDRC has, and again, to emphasize, **HALF ** the delegates, of the total in which any Dem needs to win the Nom.
I’m hopeful that everyone reading knows how to multiply fractions and/or percentages.
For, if you are halfway to “getting half” (i.e.: “halfway”), you could represent the wins of HDRC as “one half of one half”, which by multiplication (0.5 x 0.5 = 0.25, or 1/2 x 1/2 = 1/4) gives you 25% of all delegates. This obviously means that there are still 75% of delegates out for grabs. Not Superdelegates, but just the ones where you win them when people vote.
For everyone reading this, you should probably look at my Voting Rights Bill Of Rights, because that should happen immediately. Also, VOTE!!!!!
Oh, wait, yeah…….. FUCKING VOTE!!!!! I mean, you may get a ticket for indecency if you do that in the booth; I would recommend a nearby hotel; keep passing the currency. BUT VOTE!
The turnout in Nevada was 11.5K in 2016 as opposed to 105K in 2008. Bernie won 3/4 of those counties, but Hillary won Clark and Nye. Hillary got the majority of the delegates.
I believe that very many people want Bernie Sanders to be POTUS, but if we cannot get our collective asses out of our Google Cardboard 3-D what-the-fucks, then, we will, and will deserve to be, bound by the fruits of our collective inaction. And I really hope that will not end up being my least favorite DJ, TRUMP (please see http://CLUBTRUMP.COM/)!
In short, Bernie can win the remaining 75% of the delegates, and I say IF AND ONLY IF, we finally and all of us please do SHOW UP TO VOTE!
Come On!!! Really!!?!!
Luvvins and I Voted Early on 26 February 2016 For Bernie!
Michael Oatman is announcing that his current 2016 Presidential Run is now suspended.
He will be seeking the office again in 2020.
His interim plans are to seek the office of Tucson Ward 6 City Council Member, unseating Steve Kozachik.
Please see this website for further information. Meanwhile, please consider voting for Bernie Sanders.
The 260 or so Arizona Presidential Preference Election Nomination Ballot Signatures have been appropriately disposed. Please Watch The Video to find out how. This video has been compressed to fit in the hosting service used. For the original MP4 @ 1080p 720×640, please send inquiries to FEC@MichaelOatman.info.
Following several United States Supreme Court rulings regarding limits on monies in elections, it has become clear that we the People in the United States would be served better should some particularly sweeping election law reforms be instituted. To that end, I have developed a dozen election law reforms that could be enacted by legislatures in the States and in the US Congress, and by Amendments to the Federal and States’ Constitutions, which I now present to you here.
Any Citizen Can Vote (No One Convicted of Voting Fraud May Vote)
Currently US citizens who are convicted of a felony may have their voting rights removed as a condition of their sentence. The only reason any US citizen should be prohibited from voting is if they are convicted of a crime involving multiple or fraudulent voting, or tampering or otherwise interfering with a local, State or Federal election, and that prohibition should last for the duration of that person’s sentence, including parole or probation, should also extend to prohibit that person from working, serving or observing in a polling place or election tabulation center, and should prohibit that person from assisting another US citizen in filling out a voter registration form. All US citizens who are currently being denied their voting rights for non-election-related crimes should have their voting rights immediately reinstated. All US citizens should be eligible to vote for all respective local, municipal, regional, territorial, State, and Federal offices, and every US citizen should be eligible to vote for US President. No voting prohibitions should be made for US citizens either born or residing in the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, Guam, American Samoa, US Virgin Islands, or any other territory or protectorate or otherwise, which is administered and/or under the jurisdiction of the Federal United States or any State.
Automatic Voter Registration
Any US citizen who is 18 years of age or older should be automatically enrolled to vote, with “No Party Preference” selected for party affiliation unless otherwise selected by that citizen. Any US citizen who is 17 years of age or older, at any time, may fill out a form to “opt out” and therefore become disenrolled to vote and from any party affiliation. Automatic forms use the last known address of the voter to decide which precinct and district in which the voter is enrolled, and any enrolled voter may visit or request by mail from their local elections agency a voter registration form to update their information. Local election agencies should make voter registration forms freely and widely available, including at motor vehicle departments, post offices, libraries, universities, courts, and any other public agencies as is possible. Allow for same-day registration and registration updates at all polling places, particularly when a voter has moved or has no current address, with the voter registration form serving as an affidavit of veracity of the voter.
Extend Voting Period (And Allow Voting by Mail)
Polling places should be open for at least one week, for at least 12 hours per day, if not more, up to one month, ending on Election Day. Voters should be encouraged by all elections agencies to vote by US Postal Service mail, as many States currently allow. Local elections agencies’ offices should serve as regional polling places for voters who cannot locate their precinct polling place(s).
Use Ranked Choice Voting (Require Majorities)
To help prevent “spoiler” candidates like Ross Perot and Ralph Nader from unduly influencing elections, institute ranked choice voting, where the voter selects a “first choice” candidate, a “second choice” candidate, a “third choice” candidate, and so on throughout the list or ending where the voter decides, should the voter decide not to rank all candidates on the ballot for each office up for election. This will work for both single-seat and multiple-seat offices, where a voter, if they wish, may select up to the number of seats in the office per each ranked choice, out of those who are running for each office, in the case of multiple-seat offices, but may not multiply select any one candidate to receive multiple different rankings, nor may multiply select more than one candidate to receive the same place number ranking (or in the case of multiple-seat offices, not more than the number of seats available for that office per the same place number ranking). Should a mismarked ballot occur, and the voter’s intention cannot be understood, that individual voter’s vote will not count only for the election(s) to the office where the mismarking(s) occurred. In the event no one (or multiple, in the case of multiple-seat offices) candidate receives a majority of the vote, require an instant runoff of the top two (or two times the number of seats available, in the case of multiple-seat offices) candidates within three weeks of either Primary or General Election Day, with the exception of States’ Presidential Elections, whose electors by State result to the respective parties’ National Conventions will be apportioned directly according to the votes tallied, and should not be “winner take all”. In the case of multiple-seat offices, any candidate who receives a majority of the possible vote shall be elected, even if other candidates require an instant runoff, and the number of candidates to be included in the instant runoff will be two times the difference between the number of candidates who received a majority for that office and the number of seats for that office.
No Electronic Voting Machines (Allow Open Source, Contractor-free, Publicly Owned Counting Machines)
Require all voters to mark paper ballots, with indelible ink, preferably in scan-tron form, to allow for easy machine counting, and to allow for hand-recounting where necessary. All counting machines should be publicly owned by the elections agencies and should never be outsourced to third-party contractors. All software controlling all counting machines should be standardized and should use open-source software, with the software code publicly available on the elections agencies’ websites, or in print if requested. All ballot forms should come with easily understandable instructions on how to mark the ballot form in order to vote so that the voters’ intentions are correctly understood.
Use Election Monitoring (Use United Nations If No Better, More Neutral Party Is Present)
Allow all parties’ representatives, all interested media, and any other interested US citizens to freely and publicly monitor all elections results counting procedures. In the event of recounts or in any cases where requested, allow additional neutral parties, where available, to perform elections counting monitoring, and if no neutral parties are available, allow for elections counting monitoring to be performed by the United Nations representatives. Under no circumstances should elections counting be performed behind locked doors and out of view of any interested public of any sort, and doing so should constitute a felony, where all persons involved should be tried and sentenced to a permanent removal of voting rights, at minimum.
End The Electoral College
It will require a US Constitutional Amendment to replace the Electoral College with a direct system of elections for US President for the US General Election, using ranked choice voting, with an instant runoff three weeks later between the top two candidates if no majority is reached. This will require the introduction of such an Amendment by US Congress and passage of this Amendment by at least 34 States. This current method of electing a President Of The United States is outdated, unique, not useful, and is often in contravention to the wishes of majority of the voters. The current use of parties’ electors in nominating a US Presidential ticket in those respective parties’ National Conventions following States’ US Presidential Elections may be preserved, although in an apportioned basis only (this would end “winner take all” US Presidential Primaries, and would also serve to assist in shortening the election cycle).
US House and State Assemblies’ districts should be redrawn by independent non- or multi-partisan redistricting commissions from each State to follow first County or Municipal boundaries where possible, and otherwise be as square as possible while retaining equal numbers of eligible voters per district, following every US decadal census. Ideally, one single straight longitudinal or latitudinal line should be used to square off one district when numbers of eligible voters within a municipality are uneven between districts. It will be the responsibility of the redistricting commissions to first ensure an equal number of eligible voters per district, to within 0.01% of the eligible voters in the district (or 200 eligible voters, whichever is greater), and second to maintain properly drawn boundaries of every district. It is conceivable that this method of redistricting could be done using a computer algorithm, where the purpose of the redistricting commission would then be to check the work of the computer algorithm. Redistricting commissions should not take the party affiliations of eligible voters into consideration when redrawing districts, and should not attempt to force the creation of “competitive districts”, nor should redistricting commissions try to force the opposite “uncompetitive districts”.
No Paid Lobbyists (Individuals Lobbying for Personal Causes Is Fine)
There is a multi-billion dollar per year industry thriving on K Street in DC which gets paid to lobby US Congresspeople for votes in exchange for election campaign contributions. None of this should exist. Any person lobbying their representative member(s) of the US Congress or their State Legislature, may not be paid to do so by any entity whatsoever, and should be lobbying for (or against) an issue or multiple issues which affect that person individually and directly. Any registered voter wishing to lobby their member(s) of the US Congress or their State Legislature should receive a reasonable amount of unpaid time off from their employment for this purpose. This will free up members of Congress and State Legislatures to meet with those people whom they are representing, and otherwise to do the work they were sent to Washington DC to do. No person should lobby a member of Congress who is not either their elected US House representative from the district in which the person is registered to vote, or one or both of their elected US Senators. No person should lobby a member of a State Legislature who is not either their elected State House representative from the State and district in which the person is registered to vote, or one or more of their elected State Senators of the State in which the person is registered to vote.
Reduce The Campaign Cycle To Six Months Or Less
No other nation has a National Campaign Cycle which lasts at least two, and up to four, years, and all of this for one four-year term of office. The problem exists even more so for those US House members wishing to retain their seats; they spend the majority of their time seeking election campaign contributions for the next election cycle upon the minute after taking their oath of office. As a result, we are beset with a distracted legislature and first-term executive office holders. We should prohibit any straw polls, primary and States’ elections, debates and electioneering otherwise from occurring prior to at most six and preferably four months from the General Election, with all States’ and Primary Elections occurring two to three months prior to the General Election, and with parties’ National Conventions occurring immediately after the Primary Election. This will free up our elected representatives to do the work they were sent to Washington DC to do.
Equal Money For All Seeking Each Office (No Outside Money In Elections)
Require that no personal, corporate or PAC monies be spent for elections of individual candidates for any office, local, State or Federal, and require that no candidate shall accept any money or gifts as donations from any entity or person whatsoever, regardless of the appearance of a quid pro quo nature of the money or gift. Personal, corporate and / or PAC monies may be spent on initiatives or other ballot measures where no individual is seeking to be elected to any public office. All persons wishing to hold public office would be required to gather a certain number of signatures from a portion of eligible voters in the region or district to which that person is seeking to hold public office, and while that person may pay others to collect signatures on that person’s behalf, no fees should be charged otherwise to the person seeking office for the privilege to do so. An Elections Fund should be established by each region or district, State and Federally as well, which pays equally to every person who is seeking public office monies to cover expenses only relating to that person’s campaign for public office. Encourage taxpayers to contribute, as tax-exempt, to the Elections Fund on all annual tax forms, as the only method of incomes for the Election Fund should be such donations. Prohibit television and radio stations from charging for campaign advertisements and establish some limit as to the amount of time any one such station may devote, equally to all candidates running for each particular public office, for such campaign advertisements; the cost to the station incurred by the airing of such advertisements may be deducted as a tax write-off for the business which operates that station. The internet should not be subject to content, timing or money regulations which are imposed upon television and radio delivery methods. Allow free US Postal Service mailing of elections materials by candidates. During a Primary Election, for each party represented by a candidate running for a public office may elect one candidate for the General Election, who will then be the only candidate eligible to receive monies from the Elections Fund. All Primary Election candidates who have met the signature requirement will receive Elections Fund monies in equal proportions up to the time of the Primary Election. This may require a US Constitutional Amendment to achieve, so as not to conflict with the First Amendment, although legislation may suffice, where the restriction is based on harm reduction, akin to the prohibition of falsely yelling “fire” in a crowded theatre.
Place All Parties In General Debates (and Have Equal / Proportional Primary Party Debates)
Should there be a number of candidates seeking any singular public office which is greater than the number of seats for that particular public office, at least one debate should occur between all candidates, regardless of party affiliation, seeking that office prior to the General Election and following the Primary Election. Should there be a number of candidates within a political party seeking any singular public office which is greater than the number of seats for that particular public office, at least one debate should occur between all candidates within that party seeking that office prior to the Primary Election. Should more than one political party need to conduct at least one debate prior to the primary election, all other political parties which also need to conduct at least one similarly timed debate should have an equal number of debates for each party. All debates for any particular office should be aired on an appropriate television station (or radio station where no television station is available) whose coverage extends to a geographical extent which matches or exceeds the geographical area over which the office presides. There should be no cost to the candidates or to the political parties for the privilege of conducting and airing such debates; the cost to the station incurred by the airing of such debates may be deducted as a tax write-off for the business which operates that station. Should no television or radio station elect or be available to broadcast any required debate, an internet-based broadcast of the debate shall suffice, on a website owned by the local or regional elections agency (or the Federal Government in the case of Federal elections).
With all non-citizen interests removed from elections in the United States, it is my hope that the public good will be best served, that the public apathy regarding elections which has been so obvious lately will disappear, and those candidates with the best ideas on how to serve the public good will prevail and be elected to the offices which they seek to hold.
“I invite you to help us all, while we all join to change the world.”
Michael Oatman For President of
These United States of America!
Here are some concepts which I am proud to make part of my 2016 Presidential Campaign Platform. I will be expanding these and other topics as the Campaign progresses, so please check back often for updates. So please sit back, read and enjoy, and imagine the bright shining beacon on the hill that our great nation could be when we actually accomplish all of these things.
End Gerrymandering – US House and State Assemblies’ districts should be independently redrawn to follow County or Municipal boundaries where possible, and otherwise be as square as possible while retaining equal numbers of eligible voters per district, following every US decadal census. We may need a US Constitutional Amendment to withstand a SCOTUS challenge, but federal legislation should suffice.
Build Out Green Infrastructure – Similar to the WPA and other 1930s agencies, we need to nationally create Sustainable Green Jobs by: rebuilding the electric grid to smart grid standards with built-in load balancing and storage, and incorporating all three national grid systems; rebuilding the federal and state highway systems to 20-year and bridges to 100-year lifetimes; replacing all nuclear plants with LFTR / Molten Salt Core Reactors; retrofitting commercial buildings with solar and light- and water-saving measures; using all coal stack outputs to create algal oil, and otherwise sequestering all major industrial carbon outputs; using the land in the Nellis / DOE Site to provide a massive area for solar panels whose energy would be added to the grid; developing wind, tidal and wave energy sources wherever possible; providing home solar and battery power for all residential owners interested; building out Gigabit Ethernet in all metropolitan areas, and incentivizing the broadband and telecom industries to provide the same service for all rural residents and businesses nationwide; plugging or eliminating methane leaks in fracking and other oil wells, and working to eliminate coal burning, mining, fracking and oil drilling altogether; recycling to an extent that we can nationally “close the loop” on all waste streams; and performing any other projects in the public interest as they should arise.
Return To Fair Trade – End NAFTA / CAFTA / WTO / GATT / TPP and all other free trade agreements and replace them with tariffs and Fair Trade policies which actually help workers in the US, and in developing countries; strengthen Unions in the US and internationally, while ending corruption in trade organizations; increase Primary and Secondary Public School Teacher Pay to three times the poverty level at lowest; and enforce commodity pricing structures to end price gouging for energy commodities like gasoline, heating oil and electric service.
Restrict Globalist Corporations – Require that all businesses engaging in sales to any US citizen from the US: be based in the US and pay taxes commensurate to the earnings of that business for its practices in the US; hire its final production workers from the pool of workers in the US; and where US hiring is unfeasible, pay a living wage to international workers and ensure Union standard working conditions in all international supply facilities.
Legalize And Tax Marijuana – Remove Cannabis, Hemp and all related plants and products from the DEA Drug Schedules (not on Schedule I nor II nor III nor IV nor V); promote the growth of Hemp and the manufacture, sale and export of Hemp-based products; create and enforce a federal taxation system for the growth, trade, manufacture and sale of cannabis and cannabis-based products; require the FDA to oversee safety of all inhalable and edible cannabis and cannabis-based products; and promote the use of cannabis and cannabis-based products over products based on either nicotine or alcohol.
End Homelessness – Require all homes which are on the market for more than one year be federally purchased at assessed value for use by those who are chronically homeless, at a zero starting rent to the new resident(s); encourage the building of housing to accommodate all resident groupings in the US; fit the homes as best as possible to match the needs of those who are in need (match homeless families to homes with an appropriate number of bedrooms and a yard; match homeless urban singles to apartments in city centers, etc.); allow for mental health counseling and evaluation for those in need or in want; seek to fit mentally and physically capable residents with appropriate Green Infrastructure Jobs; charge no more than 25% of residents’ incomes per unit as rent; allow lease terms for as long as the residents’ needs be present or until resident chooses to relocate; and assist in relocation where possible.
Reduce The Military Industrial Complex – Reduce the number of Aircraft Carrier Fleets from 11 to six; reduce dependence on private military contractors; require stringent standards relating to performance, carbon footprint, efficiency and ROI/cost for all private military contractors; and require that all branches of the US Armed Forces be carbon-neutral by 2020.
The following are portions of Bernie Sanders’ campaign platform with which I fully agree:
Income and wealth inequality: In the United States today we have the most unequal wealth and income distribution of any major country on earth — worse than at any time since the 1920s. This is an economy that must be changed in fundamental ways.
Jobs and income: In my view, we need a massive federal jobs program which puts millions of our people back to work. We must end our disastrous trade policies. We need to raise the minimum wage to a living wage. And we have to fight for pay equity for women.
Campaign finance reform: As a result of the Citizens United Supreme Court decision, American democracy is being undermined by the ability of the Koch brothers and other billionaire families. These wealthy contributors can literally buy politicians and elections by spending hundreds of millions of dollars in support of the candidates of their choice. We need to overturn Citizens United and move toward public funding of elections so that all candidates can run for office without being beholden to the wealthy and powerful.
Climate change: Climate change is real, caused by human activity and already devastating our nation and planet. The United States must lead the world in combating climate change and transforming our energy system away from fossil fuels and toward energy efficiency and sustainability.
College affordability: Every person in this country who has the desire and ability should be able to get all the education they need regardless of the income of their family. This is not a radical idea. In Germany, Scandinavia and many other countries, higher education is either free or very inexpensive. We must do the same.
Health care: Shamefully, the United States remains the only major country on earth that does not guarantee health care to all people. The United States must move toward a Medicare-for-all single-payer system. Health care is a right, not a privilege.
Poverty: The United States has more people living in poverty than at almost any time in the modern history of our country. I believe that in a democratic, civilized society none of our people should be hungry or living in desperation. We need to expand Social Security, not cut it. We need to increase funding for nutrition programs, not cut them.
Tax reform: We need real tax reform which makes the rich and profitable corporations begin to pay their fair share of taxes. We need a tax system which is fair and progressive. Children should not go hungry in this country while profitable corporations and the wealthy avoid their tax responsibilities by stashing their money in the Cayman Islands.