We are excited to finally publish this local policy platform for the Greater Huntsville Area. We believe this document can serve as a blueprint for building just, democratic, and sustainable community throughout the Tennessee Valley. We are publishing the platform now to help shape 2018 local elections, but we intend to update the platform as needed with input from community members and allied local organizations going forward. So if you have progressive policy ideas not included here, we would love to hear from you.
The People’s Platform
A political platform for the Greater Huntsville Area and for 2018 local elections.
Economic Justice & Opportunity
- Attach labor standards and workers’ rights provisions to development projects.
- Establish an hourly minimum wage of at least $10.10 for all workers performing work on or in connection with local government contracts.
- Ban predatory lending practices.
- Create a City of Huntsville Labor and Human Rights Office to parallel the existing Business Relations Office.
- Stop local government business with big banks that have committed felonies and defrauded customers.
- Shift local government financial business from big banks to local credit unions.
- Use business licensing & permitting processes to improve worker standards.
- Promote the growth of local worker cooperatives.
- Establish a community land trust to maintain affordable housing and economic diversity.
- Resist state government preemption of local economic justice initiatives.
Community Policing & Criminal Justice Reform
- Decriminalize marijuana possession and use; dismiss prior marijuana convictions.
- End civil asset forfeiture.
- Remove all financial and performance incentives for making arrests and piling on charges.
- Keep children out of the adult criminal justice system.
- Eliminate fines, fees, and court costs for juveniles and poor adults.
- Focus law enforcement on crimes that have victims.
- End the school-to-prison pipeline; improve transparency, guidance, and training of school police officers.
- Increase citizen oversight and review of law enforcement.
- Ensure transparent process for releasing police body-camera footage to the public.
- Make high-quality, age-appropriate early childhood education available for all children.
- Reverse privatization and fully and equitably fund public schools.
- Provide educators with the pay, resources, and support they deserve.
- Transparency and accountability for education officials and policy-makers; empower educators and ensure democratic input of all stakeholders.
- Recognize and address socio-economic barriers with more robust wrap-around services, including more counselors, mental health services, social workers, and parent/community partnerships.
- Well-rounded, culturally responsive curriculum; authentic assessments, not standardized testing.
Environmental Stewardship & Sustainable Development
- Improve and expand bus systems to provide clean, convenient, and equitable public transit.
- Improve and expand pedestrian and bicycle paths.
- Aggressively reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
- Establish a local environment & sustainability commission.
- Scale up renewable energy sources for the community and for families.
- Expand urban gardening & composting through new programs; remove ordinances and rules restricting these practices.
- Adopt green building standards for new construction.
- Increase participation in local recycling programs.
- Preserve and increase urban tree cover.
Vibrant Local Democracy
- Establish automatic voter registration by registering all eligible citizens who interact with government departments and offices (except individuals who decline).
- Pass anti-corruption ordinances to stop political bribery and end secret money in local elections.
- Restore full citizenship and voting rights for formerly incarcerated citizens.
- Empower citizens to launch ballot initiatives.
- Increase transparency and citizen input for economic development projects.
- Create a participatory budgeting process for city/county budget.
- Remove inherently racist Confederate monuments from public property, and rename public schools and roads named for Confederate leaders.