Platform

Article I – Democracy

1.1 Electoral Reform

A. Allow recall elections at every level of government.

B. Award Electoral College votes on a proportional basis, until such a time that the Electoral College is abolished and replaced with a national popular vote.

C. Ban corporate donations to candidates and finance public elections and campaigns, with limits on self-financing of campaigns.

D. Ban voter ID laws and support universal and inalienable voting rights.

E. Enable non-citizen, permanent residents to vote in municipal elections.

F. Recognize the importance of political education.

G. Enact ranked choice voting to decide elections for executive offices and a form of proportional representation to decide elections for legislative bodies.

H. Establish an independent, nonpartisan election commission for fair debates.

I.  Allow fair participation in debates for all candidates with ballot access.

J. Mandate free and equal broadcast time on all television and radio stations.

K. Reasonably ease ballot access laws for minor political parties.

L. Require all state-level candidates to release their recent tax returns to the public.

M. Require the State of Rhode Island to have a voter holiday for all elections. (Possible inclusion of mail-in ballot measure on the level of what we’ve seen during the pandemic.)

N. Allow citizens to petition the Board of Canvassers to propose referendums in Rhode Island.

O. Have the Board of Elections automatically register all people who are eligible to vote and mail ballots to all registered voters prior to elections.

P. Set the salary of members of the RI House of Representatives and the RI Senate to the median salary of Rhode Island (currently $67,000/year as of 2021), as the current salaries of elected representatives in the RI State House is lower than most working class salaries and therefore discourages working class participation in state government.

1.2 Foreign Policy

A. End perpetual war, the military-industrial complex, and the surveillance state.

B. Oppose state funding of military contractor companies and organizations in Rhode Island.

C. Oppose legislation that penalizes supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement.

D. Oppose the crime of drone warfare and call for peaceful settlement of disputes without the use of force by promoting peace and rejecting imperialism.

E. Protect journalists and whistleblowers who expose war crimes and human rights violations.

F. Resist Washington’s financial, economic and trade sanctions that harm developing and non-aligned countries.

G. Stop Washington from arming, funding, bombing, deploying troops, or engaging in proxy wars around the globe.

H. Support relations with other countries based on mutual respect and benefit.

I. Oppose U.S. interference in foreign elections and governments.

J. Bring an immediate end to current acts of regime change around the world.

Article II – Social Justice

2.1 Equality

A. We affirm the right of all individuals to freely choose intimate partners, regardless of their sex, gender identity, or sexual orientation. The Ocean State Green party recognizes the equal rights of all persons whether they identify as straight, gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, queer, transgender, etc. to housing, jobs, marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in all areas of life including equal tax treatment. We support a ban on conversion therapy nationwide. We support legislation to outlaw discrimination based on gender identity or expression.

B. We commit to reparations to Black people, Indigenous people, and People of Color of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity, and the stark disparities which haunt the present. We understand that until significant steps are taken to reverse the ongoing abuses to end the criminalization of the Black and Brown communities, to eradicate poverty, to invest in education, healthcare, and the restoration and protection of human rights, that it will be impossible to repair the continuing damage wrought by the ideology of white supremacy which still permeates the institutions of our nation.  We support the dissolution of the Brown University endowment which was funded by the triangle trade in order to pay reparations for the crimes of genocide and chattel bond slavery.

C. We recognize that trans women are women, trans men are men, and we respect everyone’s right to identify as they please.  

D. We must expand and protect each woman’s right to fully participate in society, free from sexual harassment, job discrimination, and wage discrimination. Much more must be done to ensure equality in wages and employment.  Free childcare and paid family leave must be provided for parents.

E. We must protect individuals’ rights to make their own decisions on their reproductive health. The right for an individual to control their bodies is non-negotiable. It is essential that access to birth control, family planning resources, and safe, legal abortion remains available. We oppose the taxation of menstrual products.

F. We must support persons with disabilities by protecting their rights, including the right to vote, by providing access to healthcare (including community and home care), and by enforcing the Americans with Disabilities Act. We must fully fund residential, community-based services to meet the needs of people with disabilities, and fund public sector service coordinators (social workers) to include individuals with disabilities living with their families or living on their own in the community. We support the use of interdisciplinary clinical services teams of public-sector workers to support developmentally disabled people. We believe that the predatory practice of paying people with disabilities below minimum wage should end.

2.2 Housing

A. Construct and maintain sufficient public housing to ensure an end to homelessness.  

B. Ensure that residents of affordable housing are treated humanely and with equity compared to other residents of Rhode Island.

C. Place a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.

D. Prohibit compulsory work service for residents of public housing.

E. Provide job training for those who are unhoused as well as other support services for those with health problems, including drug addiction and mental, emotional, or behavioral disorders.

F. Abolish the use of eminent domain to take over land for use by private corporations.  Use eminent domain to provide public housing in buildings which are not in use, such as landlord’s properties which are intentionally kept vacant.

G. Require that new construction maximize the use of energy efficiency by prioritizing renewable energy such as wind, solar, and geothermal which is provided by a state program.

H. Replace the shelter system with apartments for unhoused people that provide privacy and a safe, healthy environment. The system should provide those who need social or emotional services as needed.

I. Establish rent control for residents within Rhode Island to avoid gentrification of neighborhoods.

2.3 Education

A. End high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools. Eliminate the standardized testing model. Transition to a student-growth, social-emotional, and knowledge-centered model of teaching.

B. Fully fund public schools with an equitable state aid formula which prioritizes school funding through state income tax.

C. Fully fund full day, and developmentally appropriate Universal Pre-K.

D. Fully fund all state colleges and universities, and provide free higher education to all. Implement a policy of open admissions for high school graduates.

E. Include student and parent democratic decision-making in curriculum, administration, and conflict resolution within each school.

F. Increase funding for counselors and school psychologists in secondary schools.

G. Increase the number of permanent, tenure track faculty at state higher educational institutions through new hires until they are the majority of instructors in state higher education.

H. Ensure that graduate students who instruct classes have a tuition waiver, be part of the bargaining unit with tenured professors, and receive a fair wage.

H. Improve sex education by instituting compulsory relationship education for primary and secondary schools which centers on consent, is LGBTQ+ inclusive, and promotes respect, acceptance, and diversity.

I. Oppose charter schools and oppose the use of school vouchers for private and/or religious schools.

J. Extend the moratorium on charter schools which actively undermine public education.

K. Require that staff in schools throughout the state attend professional development sessions that inform them about individual racism, institutional and systemic racism, and historical racism.  Professional development should be run by teachers in tandem with the union to provide curriculum which address the school-to-prison pipeline and is strictly prison abolitionist.

L. Require that educational curricula be multi-cultural and not be limited to the Euro-centric education that dominates now.

M. Require second language classes be taught beginning no later than the 2nd grade, and supported through High School.

N. Reduce class sizes and caseloads.

O. Require pay for college athletes.

P. Stop the school to prison pipeline. Prohibit the assignment of police officers to schools. Prohibit policies such as automatic suspensions. Support restorative justice programs in public schools, which are effective in teaching non-violent, constructive methods for conflict resolution.  The professional developments on restorative justice should be run by teachers in tandem with the union.

Q. Have teacher education programs include a racial justice component, and the PRAXIS, a teacher certification test, should also include this component within the test.

R. Enact free school lunches across the state. Wipe all previous school lunch debts.

S. Provide all students with a cap and gown upon graduation, so that students will not be prevented from walking during graduation due to the inability to afford a cap and gown.

2.4 Healthcare

A. Establish a single-payer healthcare program covering all residents in the state regardless of immigration status. Transform private healthcare facilities into public healthcare facilities.

B. Require healthcare coverage to include essential physical, dental, psychiatric, vision and reproductive care, with all services fully-funded.

C. End discriminatory practices against people based on their immigration status, race, and gender.

D. Protect state-run healthcare facilities for the indigent and increase funding towards them so that those with an economic need can have access to state-run health resources.

2.5 Drug Addiction and Treatment

A. Fund evidence-based treatment.

B. Implement overdose prevention programs, including the use of overdose reversal medication such as naloxone.

C. Permit supervised injection facilities to provide sterile injection equipment, access to medical care, and treatment referrals.

D. Utilize methods other than the DARE program or any other program that only promotes total abstinence from drugs since research has shown that teaching methods to reduce harm related to drug abuse is more effective in curbing drug addiction.

E. Support legalization of psychoactive drugs for their use in treating medical conditions and in scientific research.

F. Treat drug addiction as a public health issue and provide rehabilitation covered by the state to those with substance use disorder. Remove laws which prohibit public intoxication as they only act as ways to criminalize and stigmatize drug and alcohol use.

G. Protect the “Good Samaritan” drug overdose immunity law.  Any cases which involved the use of the “Good Samaritan” drug overdose immunity law will be issued an automatic pardon.

H. Outlaw drug testing in Rhode Island, and ensure that people on SSI and SSDI will not be deprived of their benefits because of prior or current drug use.

2.6 Cannabis

A. Expunge the criminal records of people with prior cannabis convictions, without their having to go through a bureaucratic process.

B. Legalize recreational cannabis.

C. Permit licensed businesses where cannabis smoking is allowed on premises, as are found in cities throughout the world.

D. Prioritize licenses for local growers, specifically residents of Rhode Island, and people previously incarcerated for cannabis-related crimes, the latter of which shall be given grants to operate cannabis businesses as part of reparations for their unfair incarceration.

E. Prohibit exclusion from living in public housing based on cannabis use.

F. Reinvest tax revenue from legalization in communities that have been adversely impacted by the war on drugs.

G. Require labeling to indicate organic or non-organic cultivation.

H. Stop removal of children from parents/guardians for testing positive for THC.

2.7 Criminal Justice and Prison Reform

A. Allow free access to reading materials to incarcerated people.

B. Amend the criminal code to include the crime of “social murder,” i.e. murder explicitly committed against the most vulnerable in society by putting them in such a position that they inevitably meet a too early and unnatural death. Victims of social murder include those who die by pollution, homelessness, starvation, etc.

C. Allow the formerly incarcerated a second chance by prohibiting housing applications from asking applicants about their criminal record or denying them because of their record.

D. Decriminalize drug use and possession.

E. Decriminalize sex work.

F. Demilitarize and gradually disarm state and local police and focus instead on de-escalation tactics. Redistribute the duties of police to other actors, including medical professionals, social workers, and other community-based alternatives including: Civil dispute resolution programs, drug treatment centers, and free health clinics.

G. Eliminate the criminalization of homelessness, poverty, race, sexual orientation, gender identity(meaning misogynistic and transphobic executions of the law), neurodivergence and ability, and other forms of oppression.  Fully fund education equitably across the state.

H. End civil asset forfeiture.

I. End cash bail.

J. End state funding to police departments and courts which fail to address racial biases.

K. Focus on decarceration and excarceration by investing in restorative, transformative, and rehabilitative justice programs.

L. Fully fund programs which allow formerly incarcerated and the incarcerated to increase their vocational job skills, interpersonal skills, and educational literacy. Fully fund educational opportunities such as college courses, GED courses, and trade courses for formerly incarcerated and the incarcerated.

M. Institute community control over the police and the prison system in Rhode Island.

N. Provide at least minimum wage to prison laborers.  Allow prisoners to refuse work.

O. Call for ending the use of goods made in prisons by the public sector agencies.

P.  Allow for the incarcerated to have access to quality healthcare and equitable access to medication. Including vaccination, cancer treatment, antibiotics, mental healthcare supports, methadone treatment etc.

Q. End solitary confinement.

R. End qualified immunity.

2.8 Immigration

A. End all interventions, both direct and indirect, that seek to disrupt and interfere in foreign elections or governments (otherwise known as “regime change”) and lead to displacement and refugee crises.

B. End the practice of family separation.

C. Make the State of Rhode Island a sanctuary state.

D. Oppose the building of a wall on both the northern and southern borders to prevent migration.

E. Recognize the right of migration, including by seasonal workers, and those seeking asylum.

F. Allow undocumented immigrants to obtain state identication cards and driver’s licenses.

G. Eliminate all structural xenophobia within social safety programs, such as medicare, stimulus programs, SNAP, unemployment, etc.

H. Close the Wyatt Detention Center, and end their role in immigrant detention.

I. End all state and local cooperation with I.C.E.

J. Allow immigrant residents to vote in municipal and state elections.

K. Allow for a more accessible pathway to citizenship, with a shorter waiting period for applications. Make citizenship tests available in multiple languages. 

Article III: Environmental Justice

3.1 Green New Deal – Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables

A. Ban the transport of hydrofracked gas within Rhode Island. 

B. Oppose a transition to natural gas in lieu of renewables. 

C. Establish a Green New Deal to convert Rhode Island to 100% clean, renewable energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.

D. Establish a Dept. of Climate Emergency which will provide relief to victims of climate change and climate disasters.

E. Expand wind power, and invest in hydro-electric power, weatherization, energy efficiency, geothermal, solar, among other renewable energy sources.

F. Oppose all new fossil fuel infrastructure. Prohibit any more oil or natural gas pipelines or plants from being built. Phase-out existing fossil fuels. Close down all fuel storage facilities in South Providence.

G. Avoiding using conflict area materials in the construction of renewable energy projects, as well resources that directly harm indigineous populations.

3.2 Energy Democracy

A. Facilitate the conversion of investor-owned utilities to become publicly-owned and democratically run operations that meet the energy needs of each local municipality.

3.3 Just Transition and Environmental Justice

A. Prioritize education and job transitions to the renewable energy industry for National Grid workers and affiliated professions. Provide aid to fossil fuel workers who have been displaced from their position due to the transition.

B. Ensure that low and moderate income people, and communities harmed by dirty fuels’ pollution impacts are able to have a voice and vote in the renewable energy future. Prioritize hiring of people from these communities. 

C. Provide reparations for those whose livelihood and health has been affected by the fossil fuel industry. This includes environmental racism, environmental disaster, and workplace related illnesses.

3.4 Divestment

A. Ban state, county and local governments from granting subsidies and tax waivers to fossil fuel corporations in their many manifestations (pipelines, compressor stations, metering stations, etc.) under the pretext of job creation.

B. Divest Rhode Island’s pension funds from all fossil fuels.

3.5 Mass Transit Planning

A. Award businesses and residents a tax credit to incentivize the use of public transit and biking,

based on the costs saved from road repair, decreased air pollution, and greenhouse gas pollution.

B. Democratize the RIPTA board of directors.

C. Develop a statewide mass transit plan that in the long run makes mass transit more economical to use than private vehicles. Expand the ferry system across Rhode Island. Reactivate the trolley lines.

D. Electrify transportation using clean renewable electricity to power electrified trucks and cars on roads.

E. Transition to emissions-free buses.

F. Increase access to transit options for the differently abled.

G. Ensure mass transit planning does not lead to gentrification.

H. Halt the closure of Kennedy Plaza.

I. Keep public transportation open 24/7. 

3.6 Food Systems and Waste Management

A. Ensure a food system that provides an adequate income to farmers, fishers, food entrepreneurs, and food workers, along with safe and fair working conditions.

B. Move Rhode Island to becoming a zero-solid waste state by 2030, with state funding provided for all municipalities to comply.

C. Provide universal access to ample, affordable, local, healthful, sustainably produced, and culturally meaningful food to eliminate food deserts.

D. Require labeling of genetically modified food (seed and plants) products. Guarantee access to non-GMO seeds and plant products for farms.

E. Require that products be labeled if they used known-carcinogenic pesticides and start to transition towards using repellant rather than pesticides.

3.7 Agriculture

A. Provide government subsidies only to local farmers who practice sustainable agriculture.

B. Support a Rhode Island farm worker bill of rights that protects the labor rights of farmworkers

regardless of their immigration status.

C. Support community gardens through protective zoning. Support urban agriculture such as planting trees and establish green spaces within urban areas. Support agricultural education.

D. Support industrial hemp.

E. Support regenerative agriculture to restore organic material to the soil.

3.8 Animal Rights

A. End the mutilation of companion animals for human aesthetics or convenience, such as tail docking or de-clawing.

B. Expand no-kill shelters that take in animals who have been neglected, abused, or abandoned. Transition existing to no-kill shelters (no-kill shelters do not place a time limit on when an animal must be adopted before they’re euthanized).

C. Create state-subsidized neutering and spaying services.

D. Governments should provide financial assistance to local shelters and rescues.

E. Phase out animal testing for consumer products with the exemption of medical products and institute immediate labeling of animal testing or animal byproducts in existing products.

F. Phase out the use of animals in entertainment by transfer to or development of appropriate sanctuaries. This includes animals held in captivity in circuses and zoos for entertainment (unless the zoo also functions as a sanctuary or rehabilitation center).

G. Support a rapid phase out of confined animal feeding operations.

H. Prohibit the possession and sale of exotic animals such as alligators, tigers, primates, anacondas, koalas, etc.

I. Prohibit possession and sale of items acquired through poaching.

Article IV – Economic Justice

4.1 Economic Development

A. Create a public internet utility, owned by the citizens of Rhode Island.

B. Establish commercial rent control for small businesses.

C. Support the use of new forms of copyright licenses in Rhode Island to promote the development of the commons or public domain.

D. Subsidize utility costs for residents of Rhode Island. Enact PIPP (Percentage Income Payment Plan). Disallow utility shut offs all year.

E. Ban multi-level marketing companies.

F. Foster the growth of worker-owned cooperatives instead of small businesses.

4.2 Wages

A. Allow local governments to establish a higher minimum wage for all workers.

B. Increase and enforce a statewide living wage, with no reduction in worker hours, and adjusted annually for inflation.

C. Set tipped workers to state minimum wage.

D. Strengthen Rhode Island state laws against wage theft.

4.3 Labor and Worker Organizing

A. Abolish unpaid internships throughout all industries, including nonprofit organizations.

B. Recognize that all people who are able to work are entitled to a stable job at a living wage.

C. Enact a 32 hour work week which comes with a wage increase for hourly workers.

D. Ensure that all workers receive equal pay for the same job regardless of race, creed, gender identity, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, age, or disability.

E. Ban the enactment of “right-to-work” laws.

F. Guarantee the right of every Rhode Island worker, in both the private and public sector, to form a union, organize, bargain, go on strike, elect immediate supervisors, and take other peaceful job actions.

G. Guarantee the right of all workers to engage in collective action and self-representation regardless of union status.

H. Mandate full benefits for all workers, regardless of part-time or full-time status.

I. Prohibit the exclusion of domestic workers and farm workers from receiving overtime pay.

J. Recognize unions based on cards signed.

K. Recognize that work performed outside the monetary system, such as child and elder care, homemaking, voluntary community service, continuing education, civic participation, and the arts, has inherent social and economic value and is essential to a healthy, sustainable economy and peaceful communities through tax breaks for the household, scholarship opportunities, and paid leaves of absences for family care and emergencies. Recognize the worth of a human being regardless of their ability to do work.

L. Support democratic control of all unions by their membership, free of employer domination.

M. Support the right of workers to hold shop meetings on company premises and to administer health and safety programs via shop councils. Employers should not be present during the meeting.

N. Ban the act of employers calling unemployment to remove the benefits of a person for rejecting a job.

O. Divest pension funds from hedge funds. Demand an immediate investigation into money lost from hedge fund investment.

P. Initiate the creation of an open enrollment defined-benefit public pension system that allows any Rhode Island worker in the private sector to build retirement savings held by the state.

Q. Disclose the underfunded liability of pensions owned by the Diocese of Providence and remediate grievances of pensioners using eminent domain laws.

4.4 Economic Democracy

A. Promote economic democracy through direct worker control over the means of production.

B. Promote trade that doesn’t rely on the exploitation of workers or the global south. Push a cooperative model which works ethically with suppliers of goods or existing traditional businesses which engage in practices which do not exploit suppliers or workers meaning both are paid for the worth of work and not based on a profit motive.

C. Strengthen microloans, grants and technical assistance for cooperatives, a jobs program to place unemployed people into cooperatives, and employee buyouts to convert existing businesses into cooperatives.

D. Provide a basic income that is above the poverty line to all adult residents of the state through progressive taxation. The cost of living in Rhode Island (rent, groceries, utilities) should be prevented from inflating through rent control, utility control, etc.

4.5 Progressive Taxation and Fiscal Policy

A. Eliminate corporate tax breaks, unregulated tax credits, and subsidies. Revisit existing tax credit recipients. Put higher requirements on corporate tax credit deals.

B. Require a 50% charge on all individual and organizational funds sent to offshore tax shelters, retroactive to transactions starting Jan 1, 1990. Impose stiff penalties for non compliance. Ban all future offshoring of wealth to tax shelters. Proof must be provided that an organization, individual, or an individual’s immediate family resides within the country in which they store their assets.

C. Introduce a progressive income tax system with zero tax on annual income below $25,000 and a 100% tax on annual income above $1,000,000.

4.6 Public Banking

A. Expand the Rhode Island Infrastructure Bank to provide consumer banking services. The state bank would partner with local community banks and credit unions in financing new business activity. It would also refinance the mortgages of homes facing foreclosure on a reduced-principal, fixed-rate, long-term affordable basis. It should also expand support for worker and consumer cooperatives. Cooperatives are how we can own our jobs because they are locally owned, democratically controlled, and have no incentives to move jobs and capital out of state.