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Wh o A r e t h e

Like Greens throughout the world, we are working to create

a new politics a politics that is based on ecology, the
control of growth, a moral economy, social justice, and a
truly grassroots democracy.
In Burlington, we are working to create a new movement
that is not just another party for electing politicians to ofce
but one that involves ordinary people on an everyday basis
in the political process in community and neighborhood
organizations. We hope to develop a truly popular
movement to address the causes of our social and ecological
problems, not merely to deal with their symptoms on a
patchwork basis.
E l e c t o r a l P l a t f o r m
For over ten years, members of the
Burlington Greens have been actively
involved in a wide variety of environmental
c a u s e s .
They were in the forefront of the fight against the Alden luxury -
condo waterfront plan between 1984 and 1986.
They actively opposed the construction of a "world-class marina"
that would have destroyed fragile, rapidly disappearing Lake
Champlain wetlands,
They ran a city-wide campaign for mayoral and aldermanic positions
in 1989.
They have advocated for energy-efficient conservation and renewable
energy resource development.
They have fought against nuclear power in Vermont and worked to
decommission the Vermont Yankee nuclear reactor.
They have promoted alternative sources of energy and energy-
efcient housing.
They have fought against gentrification and luxury development of
the waterfront.
With the Vermont Greens, they helped initiate a series of citizens'
conferences on growth and development.
They have worked against Hydro-Quebec and revealed its potential
for environmental and human destruction.
They have continually worked on behalf of the homeless and the
underprivileged in Burlington.
They have organized educational forums on issues of international,
regional and local concern.
They have been a steady, critical voice against reckless development
and environmental damage.
guided by ecological principles and social justice, we will see the
deterioration of our environment on an appalling scale and the further
destruction of everything that makes the Burlington area a livable
place for ourselves and our children.
We believe that the feminization of poverty must be ended with
decisive cooperative action. Women must be given decent and
comparable pay for their work. Free childcare should be provided for
any parent who desires it. The problems of the homeless must be
addressed by the community creatively with an eye toward giving the
homeless control over their housing. Services for the elderly must be
expanded. Gentrication must be ended. Older neighborhoods must be
upgraded structurally in the interests of the citizens who live in them
today not in the interests of privileged people who hope to invade
them tomorrow.
The Burlington Greens do not think that these basic ecological and
human goals and many others that we hope to present to the public
in position papers are unrealistic or impossible to achieve. Some
can be realized immediately; others will doubtiess take some time. But
we think they are minimum goals toward which all socially
concerned, democratically oriented citizens should work. We think
these goals can be achieved only through a movement that is anti-
authoritarian and popular, one that seeks to create a grassroots
democracy. We seek to change our entire image of "progress" as
mindless growth into an ecological vision of progress that will
ultimately foster a new harmony between people and between
humanity and nature.
Help us create a new politics and a new movement!
Steve Sheehy
Alderman, Ward 1
Be a Bo o k c h i n
Alderwoman, Ward 6
The Problem: Ecology is the greatest single problem that faces our
time. As the popular media have pointed out, the Earth itself is now
endangered. The planet is literally dying. The ecological crisis raises
searing problems that can no longer be ignored; nor is lip-service
enough. There are highly specic local aspects of the ecological crisis
that must be addressed through committed action at the local level. Of
these, "growth" is now the most pressing.
Burlington is growing uncontrollably with no regard for people's
needs and with no respect for a balance between ourselves and our
natural environment. We are faced with increased pollution, unsightly
building projects, trafc congestion, the expansion of genetic
engineering research at UVM, and the destruction of our wetlands and
the unique ecology of Lake Champlain. We are faced with the
prospect of more and larger highways, the complete loss of open land
in our city, and growing waste disposal problems. Chittenden County's
cancer mortality rate is higher than that of Vermont as a whole, which
in turn is higher than that of the United States as a whole. Big-city
stresses are invading every aspect of our lives.
The Alternative: The Burlington Greens call for a moratorium on
growth. It is essential that citizens be given the time to discuss the
problems facing Burlington in open assemblies and to democratically
decide how our community can develop along ecological, humanistic,
and rational lines.
We call for the election of an Environmental Commission and the
formation of a Citizens' Environmental Advisory Board composed of
representatives of environmental organizations, specialists who have
no business or industrial ties, concemed citizens, city planners, and
architects. The Board would assist the Environmental Commission in
developing ecological guidelines for future growth in Burlington and
would provide citizens with an annual report on the status of the
environment in our city and its surroundings.
We call for serious efforts to develop alternative energy sources
like solar, wind, and methane power. The recycling and reduction of
wastes should be a priority, as should the creation of a regional plan to
share our local energy resources in a cooperative and democratic
manner with neighboring communities.
We believe that the future of Burlington should
be guided by ecological and human needs, not by
special interests and "developers" who are proting
at the expense of the community.
The Problem: We live in a competitive grow-or-die
economy that knows no moral or ecological limits.
The market economy by its very nature must
"expand" and "expand" until it tears down the
planet. Not only is this insane form of "growth"
destroying the natural environment; it is also
destroying the human community.
Although our local economy is "growing" at an
help administer our city. We believe that all major city commissions
should be elected by the people, their terms limited to one year, and
their numbers increased to countervail the centralization of power in
the mayor's ofce and City Hall, We call for charter revisions that will
foster public self-govemance in the Vermont tradition. Considerable
time should be set aside at Aldermanic meetings for open discussion
by citizens on a variety of issues, and childcare should be provided
free of charge for all parents wishing to participate. Citizens should
also have the right to recall alderpeople who fail to live up to their
mandates and their commitments to the city's wards.
We believe that Burlington should vigorously and unrelentingly
lead the way to achieve home rule in Vermont so that towns and cities
can govern their affairs as freely as possible without interference from
the state in Montpelier. Burlington should also lead the way to
establish democratic county-wide confederations with neighboring
communities to deal with regional concerns like transportation,
growth, and other economic and environmental problems.
The Problem: We are witnessing the emergence of a new underclass
of poor people, particularly women, who are suffering appalling
poverty in the midst of incredible afuence. Sizable groups of people
work at low-paying jobs. The elderly are neglected and warehoused,
as are the homeless and those who cannot acquire decent housing. Gay
and lesbian people are discriminated against and often attacked
because of their sexual orientation. People of color have been isolated
and marginalized in Burlington. Social injustice has become a major
factor in the everyday life of our community.
The Alternative: We believe Burlington should become "the most
livable city" for all of its citizens. We call for the "Greening of
Burlington!" Green for us means ecology - and ecology means a
harmonious, participatory community between human beings and
other forms of life. But this in turn means that we must live in a
harmonious, participatory human community. Without a community
unparalleled rate, it is not providing such basic needs as decent
housing and a livable income for many citizens. A growing class of
underprivileged people is confronted with special problems that are
worsening steadily. The self-seeking, competitive relationships
spawned by the market economy are replacing cooperative, moral
relationships between people.
The Alternative: We need to bring not only an ecological but a social
ecological perspective to bear on the problems confronting our city.
We should not pit ecological issues against social issues, "trading off'
the natural environment for the dubious "benets" of "growth." The
Burlington Greens believe that decent housing, a livable income, and
good working conditions are rights, not privileges. In the same way,
we also believe that people have a natural right to live in a healthy,
sound environment. We believe that practical steps can be initiated by
our community to give some reality to these rights. We call for:
a community-controlled municipal bank that will provide financial
resources and low-interest loans for the purchase and repair of
homes and for the initiation of innovative, ecological housing
projects for low-income groups;
publicly approved bond issues and changes in local tax structures
to provide as much housing for the needy and elderly as is
necessar y;
a direct network between farmers and consumers to foster local
municipal acquisition of open land to be held in public trust for
recreation, gardening, and parks;
municipally controlled cooperatives to develop and implement
alternative technologies and to produce quality goods in accord
with Vermont's reputation for craftsmanship.
These are only stepping stones to what we hope will be a municipally
controlled economy managed by the citizenry in free assemblies and
guided by moral as well as ecological concerns.
I I I .
The Problem: The ecological and social problems that face
Burlington and the greater Burlington area are not being taken
seriously because the people are being deprived of what little
power they have as a result of a highly centralized City Hall
J and govemmental bureaucracy. Under the guise of "popular"
/ leadership, a new breed of technocratic "managers" has
reduced us from active citizens to passive taxpayers. Our
Vermont heritage of a participatory democracy is being
A subverted by technicians who are contemptuous of
popular rule.
The Alternative: We need a new politics in our
city, not just another "administration." We call
for authentic neighborhood assemblies with
ever-expanding decision-making powers to
establish social and ecological policy and to