Platform

MOUNTAIN PARTY PLATFORM

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Preamble

The Mountain Party aims to strengthen the democratic power of people and promote
social, racial, economic, and environmental justice through direct action targeted at the
root causes of these problems. The Mountain Party of West Virginia endorses the
Green New Deal, as embodied in the platform of the Green Party of the United States.

We aim to increase public participation at every level of government and to ensure that
our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We also
work to create new types of political organizations which expand participatory
democracy by directly including citizens in the decision-making process.

We strive to consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large,
barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and homophobia, ageism and
disability, all of which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

We must live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and planet so
that future generations will benefit–not suffer from–the practices of our generation. To
this end, we must practice agriculture which improves the quality of the soil, air and
water. We must move toward an energy efficient economy and live in ways that respect
the integrity and sustainability of natural systems.

We are working to demilitarize, and to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without
being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for
self-defense and the defense of others. We promote negotiation and cooperation with
those with whom we disagree. We will guide our actions toward lasting personal,
community, and global peace.

Article I – Democracy

1.1 Citizen Engagement

A. Allow initiative and referendum processes in West Virginia.
B. Allow public employees to run for office.
C. Participation in every stage of the process should be open to all constituents
through the use of citizen assemblies. Every jurisdiction should have a
well-organized, fully transparent, and citizen moderated online citizens’ forum for
the collaborative drafting, and communal deliberation of proposals, to allow for
easy participation in all stages of lawmaking.
D. Establish face to face citizen assemblies in each neighborhood and town as the
legislative power in society, with legislative authority in their own communities
and legislative control from below over the larger jurisdictions (municipal, county,
state) with which they are associated. Citizen assemblies should be guaranteed
sufficient funding to ensure that they can hire the staff and experts needed to
play an autonomous role in the decision-making process.
E. Empower citizen assemblies to give binding instructions to their representatives
and the use of legitimate recall to enable voters to remove elected officials who
no longer are representing the will and interests of the local residents.
F. Enact participatory budgeting statewide.
G. Support home rule for municipalities.

1.2 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. Enact Ranked Choice Voting and Proportional Representation.
G. Establish an independent, nonpartisan election commission for fair debates.
H. Establish proportional representation with multi-seat districts in the House of
Delegates.
I. Support automatic and same-day registration.
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 all employers to allow workers paid time off to vote.

1.3 Foreign Policy

A. End perpetual war, the military-industrial complex, and the surveillance state.
B. Oppose legislation that penalizes supporters of the Boycott, Divestment, and
Sanctions (BDS) movement.
C. Oppose the crime of drone warfare and call for peaceful settlement of disputes
without the use of force by promoting peace and rejecting imperialism.
D. Protect journalists and whistleblowers who expose war crimes and human rights
violations.
E. Resist Washington’s financial, economic and trade sanctions that harm
developing and non-aligned countries.
F. Stop Washington from arming, funding, bombing, deploying troops, or engaging
in proxy wars around the globe.
G. Support relations with other countries based on mutual respect and benefit.

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 Mountain 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. 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.
C. 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, to end the
feminization of poverty, and to redress the reality that much of the work that
society assigns primarily to women is presently unpaid.
D. 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.
E. 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.

2.2 Housing

A. Abolish the use of eminent domain to take over land for use by private
corporations.
B. Construct and maintain sufficient public housing to ensure an end to
homelessness.
C. Establish a Mobile Home Cooperative Fund to provide loans to support
cooperative ownership of mobile home parks.
D. Place a moratorium on home foreclosures and evictions.
E. Prohibit compulsory work service for residents of public housing.
F. Provide job training for homeless people as well as other support services for
those with health problems, including drug addiction and mental, emotional, or
behavioral disorders.
G. Require that new construction maximize the use of energy efficiency and
renewable energy options such as solar.
H. Replace the shelter system with apartments for homeless people that provide
privacy and a safe, healthy environment.

2.3 Education

A. End high-stakes testing for students, teachers, and schools. Eliminate the
standardized testing model. Transition to a student-, growth-, and
knowledge-centered model of teaching.
B. Fully fund public schools with an equitable state aid formula.
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 democratic decision-making in curriculum, administration, and
conflict resolution within each school.
F. Increase funding for counselors in high 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. Improve sex education by instituting compulsory relationship education for
primary 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. 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.
K. Require that educational curricula be multi-cultural and not be limited to the
Euro-centric education that dominates now.
L. Require second language classes be taught beginning no later than the 2nd
grade, and supported through High School.
M. Reduce class sizes and caseloads.
N. Require pay for college athletes.
O. 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.

2.4 Healthcare

A. Establish a single-payer health insurance program covering all residents in the
state and pay a living wage to all care providers.
B. Require coverage to include essential physical, dental, mental, vision, and
reproductive care, with all services fully-funded.

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. Promote the principle of harm reduction to reduce the harms associated with
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 compassionate
alternatives to arrest and incarceration.
G. Enact a “Good Samaritan” drug overdose immunity law

2.6 Cannabis

A. Expunge the criminal records of people with prior non-violent 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 West Virginia, 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 and used to adequately fund testing.
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. “Ban the Box” — allow ex-offenders a second chance by prohibiting job
applications from asking applicants about their criminal 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, free health
clinics, and democratic and recallable community defense programs.
G. Eliminate the root causes of crime by ending homelessness, poverty, racial
discrimination, homophobia, transphobia, ableism, ageism, sexism, and other
forms of oppression and fully funding 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 ex-offenders to increase their vocational job
skills, interpersonal skills, and educational literacy.
M. Institute democratic control over public resources to empower
community-centered institutions.
N. Provide at least minimum wage to prison laborers.

2.8 Immigration

A. End regime-change policies that cause displacement and refugee crises.
B. End the practice of detaining immigrants for minor offenses, and end the practice
of family separation.
C. Oppose the building of a wall on both the northern and southern borders to
prevent migration.
D. Recognize the right of migration, including by seasonal workers, and those
seeking asylum.

Article III: Environmental Justice

3.1 Green New Deal – Transition from Fossil Fuels to Renewables

A. Ban hydrofracking of natural gas and mountaintop removal of coal in West
Virginia.
B. Establish a Green New Deal to convert West Virginia to 100% clean, renewable
energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. This would create 70,000+
permanent jobs during the building phase and for ongoing operations and
maintenance.
C. Expand and upgrade the Department of Civil Defense and the Office of
Resiliency to provide for necessary relief in times of crisis and to take action in
response to threats from climate change.
D. Invest in wind power, weatherization, energy efficiency, geothermal, solar,
among other renewable energy sources.
E. Oppose all new fossil fuel infrastructure. Prohibit any more oil or natural gas
pipelines or plants from being built. Phase-out existing fossil fuels.
F. Oppose the Appalachian Storage Hub Project.
G. Source all renewable energy projects from local, state, or U.S. manufacturers
when possible, and must avoid conflict area materials.

3.2 Energy Democracy

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

3.3 Just Transition and Environmental Justice

A. Ensure that displaced workers are guaranteed five years’ wages and benefits
until they can find comparable work.
B. Ensure that low and moderate income people, and communities harmed by dirty
fuels’ pollution impacts are able to participate in the renewable energy future.
C. Guarantee tax revenues to local governments that lose revenues due to fossil
fuel plant shutdowns.

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 West Virginia’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. Designate voting members representing transit users to local boards overseeing
transit systems.
C. Develop a statewide mass transit plan that in the long run makes mass transit
more economical to use than private vehicles.
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 disabled.

3.6 Food Systems and Waste Management

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

3.7 Agriculture

A. Provide government subsidies only to family farmers who practice organic
agriculture.
B. Support a West Virginia farm worker bill of rights that protects the labor rights of
farmworkers regardless of their immigration status.
C. Support community gardens, urban agriculture, and agricultural education.
D. Support industrial hemp.
E. Support regenerative agriculture to restore organic material to the soil, including
carbon sequestration.

3.8 Animal Rights

A. Ban greyhound racing.
B. Ban the sale of out of service or retired horses to slaughter, requiring mandatory
retirement to a sanctuary or reputable equine rescue facility.
C. End the mutilation of companion animals for human aesthetics or convenience,
such as tail docking or de-clawing.
D. Expanded regulations and increased penalties for abandonment, neglect and
abuse of animals.
E. Governments should provide financial assistance to local shelters and rescues.
F. Phase out animal testing for consumer products and institute immediate labeling
of animal testing or animal byproducts in existing products.
G. 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.
H. Reform regulations to the thoroughbred horse racing industry to include
protection of nurse-mare foals.
I. Support a rapid phase out of confined animal feeding operations.

Article IV – Economic Justice

4.1 Economic Development

A. Ban multi-level marketing companies that target low-income earners.
B. Create a public broadband utility, owned by the citizens of West Virginia.
C. Develop and implement a mass transit-related economic development strategy.
D. Establish commercial rent control for small businesses.
E. Introduce a Green New Deal in West Virginia (See Ecological Sustainability).
F. Support the use of new forms of copyright licenses in West Virginia to promote
the development of the commons or public domain.
G. Subsidize utility costs for residents of West Virginia.

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. Increase wages for tipped workers.
D. Restore Federal Prevailing Wage Programs to all public projects.
E. Strengthen West Virginia State laws against wage theft.

4.3 Labor and Worker Organizing

A. Abolish unpaid internships throughout all industries, including nonprofit
organizations.
B. All people who are able to work are entitled to a stable job at a living wage.
C. All people should receive equal pay for the same job regardless of race, creed,
gender, sexual orientation, ethnicity, national origin, or disability.
D. Ban “right-to-work” laws.
E. Guarantee the right of every West Virginia worker, both private and public sector,
to form a union, organize, bargain, go on strike, elect immediate supervisors, and
the right to take peaceful job actions.
F. Guarantee the right of all workers to engage in collective action and
self-representation regardless of union status.
G. Mandate full benefits for all workers, regardless of part-time or full-time status.
H. Prohibit exclusion of both domestic and farm workers from receiving overtime
pay.
I. Recognize unions based on cards signed.
J. Recognize 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.
K. Support democratic control of all unions by their membership, free of employer
domination.
L. Support the right of workers to hold shop meetings on company premises and to
administer health and safety programs via shop councils.

4.4 Economic Democracy

A. Promote economic democracy through direct worker control over the means of
production.
B. Promote fair trade.
C. Provide 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 to all adult residents of the state either through a
pollution credit system or a sovereign wealth fund (i.e., a state-owned investment
fund like the Alaska Permanent Fund).

4.5 Progressive Taxation and Fiscal Policy

A. Eliminate corporate tax breaks and subsidies.
B. Encourage a land value tax. Taxing land value alone instead of “property” value
reduces speculation in real estate and absentee landlordism.
C. Repeal the annual fee for electric and hybrid vehicles.
D. 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.

4.6 Public Banks

A. Create a state-owned bank to target investment into the new technologies and
businesses of a sustainable green economy.
B. 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 have a technical assistance arm to develop 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.