"We are all responsible for ensuring that our government truly supports life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Justice in the administration of government, now and in the future, will achieve greater prosperity for all, enhanced security, and a more peaceful, sustainable world." The Justice Party 2013
The Justice Party
The Justice Party will strive to bring about a peaceful nation that respects the inherent dignity of all people, is in harmony with nature, provides equal opportunity for all its people, and obeys and enforces domestic and international law. The Justice Party is committed to eliminate the systemic corruption in government caused by the undue influence of concentrated sources of wealth (both corporate and individual), which has led to many serious ills in our society, including widespread poverty, infant and maternal mortality, expensive and inaccessible healthcare, record incarceration rates, and environmental destruction.
The Justice Party is concerned far less about party affiliations than it is with the need to join together to rid our government of the corruption, inclination toward empire-building, and amassing of imperial presidential powers, all of which have resulted in immense injustice—economically, socially, and environmentally—throughout our nation and our world.
We recognize the damage political parties and partisanship have wrought, as feared by some of our most esteemed Founders. We have no interest in becoming yet another political party whose members become more loyal to the party than they are to freedom, sustainability, and true justice.
The Justice Party is committed to building an effective, broad-based movement—through the electoral process and through educating, organizing, and mobilizing people at the grassroots level—to restore our government to one that serves the public interest rather than narrow private interests. We commit ourselves to the values expressed in our nation's founding documents: the equality of rights and freedoms for all people; the principled application of the rule of law; limited and well-defined powers of federal and state governments; and the dedication of a diverse yet unified community to "establish justice, ensure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity." Preamble to the United States Constitution.
The members of the Justice Party are from all backgrounds, races, ethnicities, faiths or no faith, ages, genders, sexual orientations, occupations, philosophies, and political ideologies, working together to end systemic government corruption and achieve greatly enhanced sustainability of our democracy and our world. The Justice Party was formed to bring the people of our country together to restore the best of what government can be so that it will be truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.
The Vision of the Justice Party is:
A peaceful nation and world where social, economic, and environmental justice prevails:
Social Justice: Every person's civil and human rights are protected. Everyone has the opportunity to obtain an excellent education from early childhood through college or trade school. Affordable and high-quality healthcare is available for everyone. Government is not controlled by wealthy corporations and individuals, but is truly of the people, by the people, and for the people.
Economic Justice: All people are provided opportunities for prosperity. Poverty is eliminated. The "middle class" is thriving. Economic protections are provided so that all members of society are secure and treated fairly.
Environmental Justice: The earth's inhabitants are safe from catastrophic, human-caused climate disruption. Nature is protected and preserved through sustainable practices. Our air, water, and land (and food supply) are clean and healthy.
The Mission of the Justice Party is to raise awareness, inspire, organize, and mobilize people of broad diversity in collaborative movement-building and achieving electoral success in order to realize our Vision of a peaceful nation and world where social, economic, and environmental justice prevail.
The Justice Party's Platform
July 9, 2013
The purpose of this Platform is to define in more detail many of the issues on which the Justice Party will focus as we perform our Mission in pursuit of our Vision. As the Party grows, as we accomplish some of our highest priority objectives, and as circumstances change, additional issues will be added to the Platform. The fact that an issue is not contained in the Platform does not mean the Justice Party does not believe it is important; rather, it means only that it is not among the highest priority issues we seek to address immediately. In addition, we recognize that Justice Party members may differ as to issues that should be included in the Platform and the prioritization of issues. We expect that in many cases issues that are not described in the Platform will be addressed by the Justice Party on an ad hoc basis as events and opportunities demand or allow.
The corrupting influence of money is systemic in our government, and severely undermines social, economic, and environmental justice. Therefore, we state separately and initially the following:
Our society and our democracy are pervasively undermined by the corrupting influence of money in our political system. We now have a government in which public policy and laws are bought and sold. Too often wealthy interests are calling the shots in government at terrible expense to the public as a whole. If we can end the corrupting influence of money, many of our nation's greatest problems can be resolved. Therefore, we vigorously advocate taking all steps necessary to achieve an end to the corrupting influence of money, including, if necessary, a constitutional amendment to achieve (a) the denial of constitutional "personhood" to corporations, (b) campaign contribution limits and full disclosure regarding all contributions, (c) free and equal access for candidates on publicly-owned airwaves, and (d) less restrictive ballot access laws.
We also support major lobbying reform, including (a) prohibitions against conflicts of interest, such as those inherent in the present revolving door between lawmakers and regulated industries, and (b) public support of lobby organizations representing the public interest in order to balance present, lop-sided corporate advocacy to bring about a government that represents the public interest.
I. Social Justice
- Educate our Youth. To remain competitive in the global marketplace, men, women, and children must be educated and trained for the jobs of today and tomorrow. An educated society is more productive, peaceful, and prepared for the future. We must:
- Make a college or trade school education available to every American free of charge or at a cost that is affordable to the average American family, with generous educational support to families below the average income level;
- Support the public primary and secondary school system so that the teacher/student ratio does not exceed 1:20, current technology can be utilized by teachers and students, and the curriculum can be updated on a consistent basis to ensure that our students are learning the skills needed to be successful in the future through their own passions, capacities and creativity; and
- Develop and implement enriched pre-school programs that provide all children the tools to learn and a desire to continue learning.
- Make Healthcare Available to All. Since the mid-20th century, our healthcare system has made tremendous medical advancements, particularly regarding acute, critical care. But, unfortunately for the vast majority of Americans, it has also become an exceedingly expensive disease-management system. Our rates of infant mortality, maternal mortality, obesity, heart disease, lung disease, and diabetes, for example, are worse than those of almost all other developed nations. Rather than addressing the root causes of our physical conditions, our healthcare system largely focuses on symptoms, primarily through the use of expensive pharmaceutical products. The Justice Party supports the following measures:
- Create a single payer, improved Medicare-for-all healthcare system;
- Educate Americans on, and inspire Americans to lead, healthy lifestyles (e.g., eating healthy foods, exercising regularly, obtaining the proper amount of sleep, and reducing and managing stress);
- Provide incentives for people to engage in healthy lifestyles and provide incentives to businesses to promote healthy lifestyle options or requirements for their employees;
- Reduce the healthcare system's dependence on the pharmaceutical industry by incorporating elements of efficacious alternative medicine into our system and by using natural remedies when demonstrated to be effective; and
- Prevent the monopolization of food supplies by any corporation, prohibit genetically modified foods unless demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence to be safe and beneficial to the public, and require more extensive labeling on food products (including whether the foods contain GMOs).
- Restore our Commitment to Civil and Human Rights. In the last 40 years, particularly since 9/11, our government has violated civil and human rights in the United States and elsewhere, primarily under the guise of the "war on terror." At the same time, there has been a vast expansion of the powers of the executive branch (and violations of federal and international law by the executive branch), with a corresponding and alarming secrecy, while Congress and the courts have provided very few checks on the abuses of power. We must reverse that trend and renew our commitment to the rule of law and to civil and human rights by taking the following measures:
- End the practice of warrantless surveillance of U.S. citizens and require a particularized showing of reasonable cause before warrants for surveillance can be issued;
- End the authorization of indefinite detention without due process and take whatever measures are necessary to ensure that such authorization never occurs again;
- End drone killings unless specifically authorized by Congress under the War Power Clause;
- End the militarization of domestic police and disband any federal military units with domestic policing powers;
- Amend the War Powers Act to make it clear that Congress must make the initial determination as to whether military force will be used, except to repel sudden attacks or rebellion, and provide for criminal penalties for any violation of that Act;
- Affirm the commitment of the United States to refrain from ever again engaging in a war of aggression as that crime has been prohibited by the Kellogg-Briand Treaty, the United Nations Charter, and the Nuremberg Principles;
- Enforce all treaties ratified by the Senate and provide a clearly defined process for the abrogation of treaties;
- Protect whistleblowers who disclose to the American people wrongdoing by agents or contractors of the United States government;
- End the punishment of those who peacefully demonstrate in proximity to people protected by the Secret Service;
- Prosecute those agents or contractors of the U.S. government who have violated federal laws;
- Implement alternatives to incarceration whenever feasible and safe to the community, including the utilization of restorative justice practices; personal, family, and community healing; and imaginative approaches such as the arts. Combine shorter prison terms (for all but the most serious crimes) with full transformative/rehabilitative/re-entry programs. Educate and train formerly incarcerated individuals and gang members in urban peace efforts. End the privatization of prisons and prison operations;
- Treat substance use and abuse as a public health and education challenge and remove it from the criminal justice system, except for violations of laws relating to taxation and regulation, as is presently done with respect to cigarettes and alcohol; and
- Ensure that all Americans have the right to (i) marriage equality (and are educated to overcome homophobia), and (ii) reproductive freedom and (iii) have greater access to family planning education and services.
- Strive for the Internet in Every Household. A democracy functions best when its citizens are educated, informed, and engaged. All three of those objectives can be facilitated greatly by simply expanding Internet coverage so that no household is without a computer or without access to the Internet, and by ensuring that no legislation is enacted that limits free access to the Internet, the speed of the Internet, or the ability of companies and communities to enhance the development of the Internet.
II. Economic Justice
- Create a More Level Playing Field. Mammoth corporations wield tremendous power both in the marketplace and in our government. We must ensure that the corporate community abides by the law, is held to standards of accountability and fair play, and does not use its tremendous power to the disadvantage of employees, consumers, and the environment. In addition, we must ensure that individual corporations are not permitted to get so large that their failure jeopardizes the overall economy. To create a more level playing field, the following steps should be taken:
- Restore (i) the Glass-Steagall Act prohibitions against common ownership of commercial banks, investment banks, and insurance companies, and (ii) the protections against abuses by financial institutions that were eliminated by the Commodity Futures Modernization Act of 2000;
- Place the Federal Reserve under the control of the Treasury Department, with accountability to Congress and the public;
- Educate the public about our economy, monetary policy and systems, and the role of government;
- Require much greater transparency regarding consumer products, including food; and
- Encourage the establishment of public banks (owned by the people of a state or community) which focus on economic development of the state or community and whose charters promote the public interest.
- Reduce Income Inequality. By reversing the alarming trend of income inequality, we will regenerate a thriving middle class which, in turn, will create a more productive work force, a more vibrant economy, and a more prosperous society. To reduce income inequality and regenerate a broad, thriving middle class, our income tax system must be more progressive, we must educate our young people so they are prepared for the jobs of the future, we must institute job training and retraining programs so that workers can participate in new industries, we must strengthen the bargaining power of employees, and we must substantially increase the minimum wage with on-going increases tied to the cost of living.
- Strengthen the Social Safety Net. Any society is judged on the basis of how it treats its weakest members. For those most in need, we must provide a safety net that will ensure basic needs are met. That safety net must include, among other thing, Social Security (with no cap on income for purposes of payroll taxes), Medicare, and Medicaid.
- Develop a Sustainable Green Economy. The fastest growing sector during the recent economic crisis has been clean, sustainable energy. China is producing more wind turbines and solar panels than the rest of the world combined. There are many skilled and unskilled jobs in the renewable energy industry, in both large corporations and small businesses. The renewable energy industry can accomplish dual objectives simultaneously: it can become a major growth engine of the U.S. economy and it can help protect our environment. To facilitate the development of an expansive green industry in the U.S., among other steps we must:
- Provide reasonable government financial support to clean energy companies, which may take the form of tax credits, jobs credits, research and development credits, grants, below market rate loans, and loan guarantees; and
- Eliminate the government subsidies provided to the fossil fuel industry.
III. Environmental Justice
- Effectively Combat Human-Caused Climate Instability. The energy usage of our country and our world have increased—and, in light of the transition of much of the world from undeveloped or developing to developed, will continue to increase—at alarming rates. Our country, with only 5% of the world's population, utilizes 25% of the world's energy. We must substantially reduce our energy consumption and our overall environmental impact, and we must make a rapid transition from energy derived from fossil fuels to energy that is clean, safe, and renewable. There are many steps we must take to address the devastating effects of the climate crisis, including the development of a green economy, and:
- Require energy companies and others that utilize fossil fuels to transition to clean, renewable energy as rapidly as possible;
- Recognize the real costs of gasoline use, including environmental and health costs, and impose a substantial additional tax on gasoline, the revenues from which will be used to subsidize mass transit systems and utilization of clean, renewable sources of energy;
- Require automobile manufacturers to quickly and dramatically increase the miles per gallon of all vehicles;
- Reduce our reliance on automobiles by developing much more robust mass transit systems;
- End tar sands and oil shale development in the U.S. and impose substantial taxes on oil from other countries produced from tar sands or oil shale; and
- Prohibit the practice of hydraulic fracking in natural gas exploration unless and until it can be demonstrated by clear and convincing evidence that such practice will not pose any short- or long-term material safety, health, or environmental problems.
- Protect Our Air, Water, and Food Supply. We cannot sustain ourselves without clean air and water and an uncontaminated food supply. We can reverse the seriously negative trends that threaten the survival of later generations on this planet. Among many other actions, we must:
- Prohibit the emission of pollutants into our air, water, and land and, where impossible to end such pollution, impose substantial taxes on such emissions;
- Regulate the acquisition and distribution of water by private entities, much like power utilities are regulated;
- Limit the use of herbicides and pesticides and provide incentives for growing and consuming organic and locally grown foods;
- Eliminate the various subsidies to the agriculture industry, particularly those that relate to corn, sugar, and other products; and
- Reduce the use of genetically modified organisms ("GMOs") in our food supply (using Europe as a model), label all products that do use GMOs, and substantially limit the reach of the corporate sector, with virtual monopolies for agricultural seeds, into the business of family-owned and other small farms.
- Protect Open Spaces. We have a vast and beautiful country, and we have a rich heritage of utilizing and enjoying our outdoors. We must make sure that we are responsible stewards of our wilderness and open spaces, including forests, national and state monuments and parks, and wilderness areas, so that later generations will experience the same beauty and have the same right to use and enjoy them. To do that, we must take the following measures:
- Severely restrict development, including mining, energy extraction, and residential development on public lands; and
- Protect our lands and waterways against deterioration.