The 99 Percent Declaration
WHEREAS THE FIRST AMENDMENT TO THE UNITED STATES CONSTITUTION PROVIDES:
Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.
BE IT RESOLVED THAT:
WE, THE NINETY-NINE PERCENT OF THE PEOPLE of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA, in order to form a more perfect Union, by, for and of the PEOPLE, shall elect and convene a NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY beginning on July 4, 2012 in the City Of Philadelphia.
I. Election of Delegates:
The People, consisting of all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18, regardless of party affiliation and voter registration status, shall elect Two Delegates, one male and one female, by direct vote, from each of the existing 435 Congressional Districts to represent the People at the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in Philadelphia convening on July 4, 2012. The office of Delegate shall be open to all United States citizens who have reached the age of 18. Executive Committees, elected by local General Assemblies from all over the United States, shall organize, coordinate and fund this national election by direct democratic voting. The Executive Committees shall operate similarly to the original Committees of Correspondence during the first American Revolution.
II. Meeting of the National General Assembly and Deliberation:
At the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, the 870 Delegates shall set forth, consider and vote upon a PETITION OF GRIEVANCES to be submitted to all members of Congress, The Supreme Court and President and each of the political candidates running in the nationwide Congressional and Presidential election in November 2012.
III. Proposed Petition for the Redress of Grievances:
This PETITION OF GRIEVANCES shall be non-partisan and address the critical issues now confronting the People of the United States and will be deliberated and voted upon by the 870 Delegates in consultation with the 99%.
The final version of the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES voted upon by the Delegates of the National General Assembly MAY or MAY NOT include the following issues:
1. Implementing an immediate ban on all private contributions of money and gifts, to all politicians in federal office, from Individuals, Corporations, Political Action Committees, Super Political Action Committees, Lobbyists, Unions and all other private sources of money to be replaced by the fair and equal public financing of all federal political campaigns. We REJECT the concept that money is equal to free speech because if that were so, then only the wealthiest would have a voice. These actions must be taken because it has become clear that politicians in the United States cannot regulate themselves and have become the exclusive representatives of corporations, unions and the very wealthy who spend vast sums of money on political campaigns to influence the candidates’ decisions and ensure their reelection year after year.
2. The immediate reversal, even if it requires a Constitutional Amendment, of the outrageous and anti-democratic holding in the “Citizens United” case by the Supreme Court, which equates the payment of money by corporations and unions to politicians with free speech. Bribery is not protected speech.
3. Prohibiting all public officials and their immediate family members, whether elected or appointed from EVER being employed by any corporation they regulate while in office and/or holding any stock or shares in any corporation they regulate while in office until a full 5 years after their term is completed.
4. A complete lifetime ban on accepting all gifts, services, money, directly or indirectly, to any elected or appointed officials or their immediate family members, from any person, corporation, union or other entity that the public official was charged to regulate while in office.
5. A complete reformation of the United States Tax Code to require ALL citizens to pay a fair share of a progressive, graduated income tax by eliminating loopholes, unfair tax breaks, exemptions and deductions, subsidies (e.g. oil, gas and farm) and ending all other methods of evading taxes. The current system of taxation favors the wealthiest Americans, many of who pay fewer taxes to the United States Treasury than citizens who earn much less and pay a much higher percentage of income in taxes to the United States Treasury.
6. Medicare for all American citizens adjusted by a means test (i.e. citizens who can afford it will opt-out of Medicare and pay their own health insurance or opt-in and pay a means tested Medicare premium). The Medicaid program, fraught with corruption and fraud, will be eliminated except for the purpose of providing emergency room care to indigent non-citizens who will not be covered by Medicare-for-all.
7. New comprehensive regulations to give the Environmental Protection Agency the power to shut down corporations, businesses or another entity that intentionally damages the environment and/or criminally prosecute individuals who intentionally damage the environment. Immediate adoption of the most recent international protocols to cap carbon emissions and new goals to transition away from fossil fuels to reusable or carbon neutral sources of power as soon as possible.
8. Adoption of an immediate plan to reduce the national debt to a sustainable percentage of GDP by 2020. Reduction of the national debt to be achieved by BOTH a cut in spending to corporations engaged in perpetual war for profit, the “healthcare” industry, the pharmaceutical industry and all other sectors that use the federal budget as their income stream AND a truly progressive income tax code that does not allow the wealthy and corporations to evade taxes through excessive deductions, subsidies and loopholes.
9. Passage of a comprehensive job and job-training bill to employ our citizens in jobs that are available with specialized training and by putting People to work tomorrow by repairing America’s crumbling infrastructure. Establishment of an online international job exchange to match employers with skilled workers or employers willing to train workers in 21st century skills.
10. Student loan debt relief. Our young People and students are more than $830 billion in debt from education loans alone. Payment and interest on these debts should be deferred for periods of unemployment and the principal reduced using a corporate tax surcharge.
11. Immediate passage of the Dream Act and comprehensive immigration and border security reform including offering visas, lawful permanent resident status and citizenship to the world’s brightest People to come and work in our industries and schools.
12. Recalling all military personnel at all non-essential bases and refocusing national defense goals to address threats posed by the geopolitics of the 21st century, terrorism and limiting the large scale deployment of military forces to instances where Congressional approval has been granted to counter the Military Industrial Complex’s goal of perpetual war for profit.
13. Mandating new educational goals to train the American public to perform jobs in a 21st Century economy, particularly in the areas of technology and green energy, taking into consideration the redundancy caused by technology and the inexpensive cost of labor in China, India and other countries and paying our teachers a salary that is competitive with the private sector.
14. Subject to the elimination of corporate tax loopholes and exploited exemptions and deductions stated above, offering tax incentives to businesses to reconstruct the manufacturing capacity of the United States and reinstitution of the Works Progress Administration and Civilian Conservation Corps and other emergency governmental agencies required to create new public works projects to provide jobs to the 46 million People living in poverty, the 9.1% unemployed and 10% underemployed.
15. Implementing immediate legislation to encourage China and our other trading partners to end currency manipulation or impose a consumption tax on goods that those countries export to the United States calculated by comparing the fair market value of the currency to the manipulated valuation.
16. Immediate reenactment of the Glass-Steagall Act and increased regulation of Wall Street and the financial industry by the SEC, FINRA and the other financial regulators, and the commencement of a Justice Department criminal investigations into the Securities and Banking industries practices that led to the collapse of markets, $700 billion bail-out, and financial firm failures in 2007-2008.
17. Adoption of President Clinton’s plan to end the mortgage crisis and instead of the Federal Reserve continuing to lower interest rates for loans to banks who are refusing to loan to small businesses and consumers, the Federal Reserve shall buy all underwater or foreclosed mortgages and refinance the these debt at 1% or less to be managed by the newly established Consumer Protection Agency (and foreclosure task force described below) because 1% or less is the interest rate the Federal Reserve loans to the banks directly who hoard the cash rather than loan it to the People and small businesses.
18. An immediate one year freeze on all foreclosures to be reviewed by an independent foreclosure task force appointed by Congress and the Executive Branch to determine, on a case by case basis, whether foreclosure proceedings should continue based on the circumstances of each homeowner.
19. Subject to the above ban on money and gifts in politics, additional campaign finance reform requiring free air time and public campaign finances to all candidates who obtain sufficient petition signatures and/or votes to participate in the primaries and/or electoral process, shortening the campaign season and allow voting on weekends and holidays. Voting must be accessible to all citizens for democracy to work.
20. An immediate withdrawal of all troops from Iraq and Afghanistan and a substantial increase in the amount of funding needed for veteran job placement and the treatment of the physical and emotional injuries sustained by veterans in these wars. Our veterans are committing suicide at an unprecedented rate and we must help now.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that IF the PETITION OF GRIEVANCES approved by the 870 Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY in consultation with the PEOPLE, is not acted upon by Congress, the President, and Supreme Court, to the satisfaction of the Delegates of the NATIONAL GENERAL ASSEMBLY, said Delegates shall organize a THIRD, COMPLETELY NON-PARTISAN, INDEPENDENT POLITICAL PARTY to run candidates for every available Congressional seat in the mid-term election of 2014 and again in 2016 until all vestiges of the existing corrupt corporatocracy have been removed by the ballot box.