Constance Gadell Newton
We the People of Ohio are a resilient, hard-working, compassionate people who today face serious threats to our democracy, our quality of life, and our future prospects. Today, we are confronted with social, economic, and environmental crises that affect us in our daily lives and are creating conditions that we would not choose for ourselves or our children. Current indicators of declining infrastructure, food insecurity, runaway healthcare costs, stagnant wages, and unequal access to quality education are symptomatic of a failed leadership and systemic unraveling at the highest levels of government.
Clearly, the institutional status quo and reliance upon “top down” measures, ideologies, or empty promises will not serve us going forward. To chart a course towards a better future for all Ohioans, we need new leadership and a policy agenda that builds upon the many innovative citizen-led initiatives that are already underway in communities all across the State. The Constance for Ohio Campaign Platform confronts our State’s most pressing challenges head-on with a view towards the long term resiliency and prosperity of our people. It presents a cohesive, solution-oriented agenda that builds upon innovations that work, that is informed by real-world facts, and that reflects insights gained through experience by citizen-activists and stakeholders with diverse backgrounds, interests, and perspectives.
At a time when Ohioans have ample reason to question the integrity of the two-party political establishment that panders to big money interests while employing divisive partisan dogma, the Constance for Ohio Platform is intended to stand out as an expression of enduring, shared values. These Green Party values serve as a unifying moral compass and serve as a solid foundation for coalition building among diverse people of good will. They enable us to find common ground and navigate through our most complex challenges while keeping faith with the best of who we are as Ohioans.
We value inclusive and participatory democracy, We value social and economic justice, We value responsible environmental stewardship, and We value peace and non-violent change At this important moment in our State’s history, we must summon the courage to question the polarizing rhetoric and deficit-based thinking that for too long has impeded progress towards a better future for Ohio. Because we know that when we celebrate our differences in a spirit of mutual respect and appreciation, we draw into sharper focus all which unites us within our common humanity. This very community spirit distinguishes our identity as Ohioans; a State where pride of place and civic-mindedness prevail, a State where people cherish the gifts of freedom and are willing to assume the sacred responsibilities that such freedom entails.
We need leadership that honors and reflects the best of who we are! Grassroots Democracy Uphold Participatory Democracy and the fundamental rights granted in the Ohio and US Constitutions. Revamp Our State’s Electoral Process. End Partisan Gerrymandering and Voter Suppression. Fight corruption and end pay to play politics with strict new campaign finance laws. Increase transparency of public agencies and accountability of all public officials. Safeguard Local Home Rule and support grassroots Community Bill of Rights initiatives. Uphold home rule prerogatives of municipalities and local taxing districts.
Economy, Taxation and Public Investment Overhaul Ohio’s tax policies to end corporate welfare and provide comprehensive relief to working people, including a refundable childcare credit for working families. Ensure adequate tax dollars to provide equitable and stable local funding. Establish public banks that serve depositors and small businesses, not shareholders and CEOs. Build economically vibrant, secure and resilient communities from the bottom up. End the use of anonymous shell corporations to conceal financial scams. Swiftly repeal the “Right to Work” laws and strengthen employment laws for non-union workers.
Strengthen current Labor Unions and assist workers in forming new Labor Unions. Upgrade our transportation, watershed management, clean energy and green infrastructure while employing and training thousands of Ohioans. Invest in Ohio’s public transportation systems, using State and local bond issues and multiple alternative funding sources that allow for capturing of revenues generated through community economic development and reduced traffic congestion in areas benefiting from public transportation system improvements.
Establish incentives to create a world leading industrial hemp industry to significantly expand employment across both rural and urban populations. Labor and Employment Create a policy climate favorable to the success of small businesses, cooperatives, community investment funds, and other socially beneficial business enterprises. Increase our Minimum Wage to a Living Wage and tie it directly to current cost of living, including inflation. Empower community land trusts to stop the “firesale” of our public lands. Ensure all people’s right to access the basic necessities of life. Create new pathways to employment and home ownership using surplus housing stock. Incentivize employers to hire local and strictly limit outsourcing of locally available services and materials used in the production process. Enact mandatory paid maternity and paternity leave . Promote wage equality by requiring transparency of pay rates and compensation in the work place. Promote entrepreneurialism and self-determination for individuals and communities. Attract employers and promote small businesses and self-employment by providing basic benefits such as universal health care and free public pre-school. Healthcare and Social Services Institute Single-payer healthcare for Ohio and give all Ohioans basic, quality healthcare as a right, including comprehensive reproductive healthcare and sexual health care for women, and people of all genders.
Safeguard women’s reproductive rights and right to privacy, and oppose any legislation that would infringe upon these rights, including pending legislation that would require doctors to investigate a woman’s reasons for terminating a pregnancy. Implement a Guaranteed Basic Income (GBI) and overhaul Ohio’s social programs to develop human potentials and sustainable livelihoods instead of perpetual poverty. Provide equitable access to safe, clean and adequate housing and public transportation to those in need. Expand school and community-based nutritional programs for families. Provide additional support for single parents. Education Provide Public preK-12 school funding that is equitable and sufficient to secure a quality education as a basic right of all Ohioans while eliminating the unconstitutional property tax-based school funding formula.
Revise state-wide academic standards to establish competency-based instructional and assessment approaches to ensure successful attainment of learning outcomes. Support teacher professional development and improved school performance through a peer-based system of review and teacher mentoring that eliminates the incentive to “teach to the test”. Establish and work towards a goal of tuition-free secondary education for all Ohioans. Phase in student debt relief, including a program to offset property tax payments with a refundable tax credit applied to reduce student loan indebtedness of Ohio’s post-secondary graduates. Provide relief and support to teachers by adequately funding Ohio's classrooms. End the school to prison pipeline.
Allow schools to turn down money provided for school resource officers, and provide alternative programming to bring more community engagement and family engagement into the schools. Provide early intervention and alternatives to incarceration or juvenile court involvement of students. Provide meaningful counseling onsite at school campuses. Promote gifted and talented programs in schools, particularly in under-performing school systems. Bring back arts and music education and extra-curricular activities in our schools. Provide a well-rounded education for Ohio's students. Environmental Wisdom & Energy Adjust the state’s renewable portfolio standards, energy pricing structures and publicly funded research to drive a rapid transition to a clean energy future Establish a Superfund for Workers, providing financial and educational assistance to workers and their families displaced by the transition to renewable industries.
Ban the use of injection wells for the purpose of disposing of brine waste generated by hydraulic fracturing (fracking). Stop misuse of State leasing and eminent domain authorities for private fossil fuel extraction and other non-community based theft of Ohio’s lands, public or private. Strengthen and enforce Ohio’s water and air quality standards to incentivize best practices that substantially reduce public and environmental health risks stemming from cumulative, long term pollution sources, according to the precautionary principle. Enact a comprehensive, state-wide zero-waste manufacturing and sales policy to rapidly transition to sustainably usable, repairable, reusable and recyclable consumer products and packaging, including a state-wide ban on single use, non-biodegradable consumer product packaging.
Change the focus of the Ohio Department of natural Resources from exploitation and “management” of our natural resources to Conservation. Invest in a state-wide climate resilience initiative using evidence-based ecological design principles and techniques to restore well-functioning terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, sequester carbon, reduce heat island effect, enhance biodiversity, and reduce potential losses to life and property due to catastrophic weather events. Implement a comprehensive phosphorous reduction program throughout the Lake Erie Basin, and prioritize implementation of policies and programs developed via the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other partnership-based efforts, to eliminate the threat of large-scale algae blooms and other threats to Lake Erie environmental quality.
Food and Agriculture Adopt sustainable food and farming policies that alleviate food insecurity, reduce food waste, improve public health, restore farm ecosystems, and create living wage jobs both on and off the farm. Engage with agribusiness and community stakeholders to expand markets for locally-sourced and fairly-priced agricultural products while incentivizing farmland protection and intergenerational land tenure to alleviate the socio-economic conditions that contribute to sprawl. Tackle the root causes of food insecurity and food waste by removing legal and economic barriers to broad-scale adoption of innovations in sustainable agriculture that improve health and productivity of soil, plants, and livestock. Justice and Nonviolence Advance common-sense solutions to gun violence that has caused too many senseless deaths in Ohio and elsewhere, while protecting the 2nd Amendment Rights of Ohioans.
Oppose the dangerous Stand Your Ground laws which are correlated with an increase in gun violence and increased vigilantism. Enforce background checks for all gun sales, as well as compulsory training and permitting for owners and users of assault weapons. Restrict gun ownership as a protective measure where background checks reveal domestic violence restraining orders or convictions, aggravated menacing or similar offenses involving violence or the threat of violence. Provide for conceal-carry permitting, subject to the rights of citizens to establish limited gun free zones, and offer a gun diversion program for first time, non-violent offenders which includes instruction on gun safety and information on the legal requirements for possessing a firearm in Ohio.
Vigorously oppose Conceal-Carry Reciprocity, which would impose a dangerous race to the bottom among States by setting national uniform standards based on the weakest existing laws regarding conceal and carry. Use a universal healthcare system in Ohio to provide mental health and addiction services. Treat drug addiction as a health condition, not a criminal issue. Guarantee equal protection under law and the basic right of LGBTQ+ people to be free express from discrimination, by government, employers, schools, and places of business. Require accommodations for persons of all genders in public facilities.
Discontinue the use of private prisons in Ohio, and instruct the Correction Institute Inspection Committee to guide implementation of a plan to eliminate prison overpopulation and improve safety and health standards without adding new capacity. Allocate 10% of the Rainy Day Fund and savings from ending mass incarceration of non-violent drug offenders to significantly increase state funding for comprehensive opioid prevention and treatment. Decriminalize the child support law. Discontinue driver's rights suspensions for non-payment of child support. Discontinue felony prosecution for non-payment.
Use a civil collections process including property and tax refund liens to enforce child support obligations. Change child support calculation to reflect actual ability to pay. Protect the citizens and residents of Ohio by insuring that police are trained in non-violent de-escalation tactics and hostage negotiation with the goal of prevention of loss of life, Ensure that police are screened and treated for PTSD related to their current or past service in the police force or armed services. If officers are too fearful and jumpy to act appropriately in tense situations, then they need to be taken off the force or give up their guns. Hire police from within the local communities they serve and institute programs for community policing, including training in ways to non-violently and effectively dealing with mentally ill individuals who have called for assistance in a mental health crisis.
Cannabis Decriminalization, Legalization, and Industrial Hemp Decriminalize, legalize, regulate and tax the production, trade and use of marijuana for medical and adult recreational use, and industrial hemp, while insuring the economic benefits of the emerging cannabis industry stay in Ohio with equitable access for small and medium size firms. Expunge all criminal records related to nonviolent drug possession offenses and use taxes gained by legal marijuana sales to fund substance abuse prevention, including youth development, and wrap-around addiction treatment services. Divert a portion of the tax revenue gained by legal marijuana sales to the communities most affected by the war on drugs to help rebuild schools and expand economic mobility and reintegration into society. Preserve the home rule prerogatives of local governments and districts to regulate the production, sale and use of cannabis products according to the democratic will of their constituents.