PROPOSED DECLARATION OF THE GENERAL ASSEMBLY OF OCCUPATION SANTA CRUZ
We, the General Assembly of Occupation Santa Cruz, constituting all who have joined together in Santa Cruz, whether in person or virtually, to be part of our movement to reclaim, through non-violent means, American democracy from the corporatists, militarists, and theocrats, declare the following to be our operating principles and goals:
I. Government by democratically elected representatives who are wholly independent of the influence of concentrated wealth is essential to a free and prosperous society. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to: A) Abolishing the wholly fictitious concept of “corporate personhood” from American jurisprudence and proscribing the use of any corporate funds in politics. B) Setting and maintaining reasonable limits on the amount of money that any individual may contribute to any candidate in any election cycle. C) Public financing of elections such that all creditable candidates compete on a reasonably level playing field.
II. Labor is superior to capital. Accordingly, all workers must be paid a living wage and guaranteed a safe and humane working environment. Workers must also be free to organize and to bargain collectively without fear of reprisal. To prevent corporate chieftains from evading American laws protecting workers and the environment and from outsourcing work overseas, all so-called free trade agreements must be abrograted and tariffs instituted.
III. The few who have been fortunate enough to amass great wealth in America have done so only by virtue of the contributions of the many. Moreover, both concentrated and hereditary wealth are inimical to a healthy functioning democracy. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to the re-institution of truly progressive income and estate taxes.
IV. We are indeed our brother’s and sister’s keeper. Accordingly, from birth until death, every American must be guaranteed affordable food, housing, clothing, and universal single-payer health coverage.
V. An educated informed electorate is essential to a vibrant democracy and prosperous economy. Accordingly, every person from childhood through young adulthood must be guaranteed a free education at fully funded public schools staffed by highly compensated well-qualified teachers.
VI. All life is dependent on a healthy environment. But our air, waters, lands, and climate are stressed to the breaking point due to our dependence on carbon-based energy. All tax breaks to carbon-based energy companies must immediately be ended. Likewise, destructive practices including: mountain top removal and strip mining for coal, deep water oil drilling, and fracking must be made illegal. Instead, we are committed to moving immediately to clean green energy sources such as: solar, wind, geothermal, etc. In addition, our remaining fresh water supplies must be protected.
VII. We are entitled to a safe and secure supply of tasty and nutritious food. Accordingly, we commit ourselves to organically grown produce and humanely treated livestock produced at local farms. Tax advantages to agribusinesses and the cozy relationship they maintain with federal and state regulators must end.
VIII. War is evil. Accordingly, the wars of aggression launched by the Bush Cheney administration and continued by the Obama administration must be ended. Our troops must be brought home and the “peace dividend” used to reintegrate service people fully into American society.
IX. A tiny number of enormous commercial and investment banks have hijacked our economy. Accordingly, we are committed to re-instituting the “Glass-Steagall” Act and abolishing interstate commercial banking. Trading in derivatives must be strictly regulated and bankers who violate their fiduciary responsibilities must be prosecuted and in serious cases imprisoned. Our laws must protect the integrity of local and regional banks and federal credit unions to ensure viable competition with bigger banks.
X. Due to the concentration of media in very few hands, many Americans only read, see, and hear a wholly dishonest message. To ensure that many more voices are heard, restrictions on media ownership and the “fairness doctrine” must be re-instituted and net neutrality enforced.
XI. Sexual freedom and marriage equality are fundamental to human happiness. Accordingly, all laws proscribing sexual activities between consenting adults shall be deemed unconstitutional and the right of any two single adults to marry each other shall be guaranteed.
The foregoing represent the principles and goals of Occupy Santa Cruz. We are committed to implementing them through direct democratic action, such as ballot measures, and through representative democracy by 1) voting for candidates who adopt this Declaration explicitly or implicitly and 2) putting forth candidates in general elections who are members of the General Assembly.