By Roger Copple
At nonviolent protest gatherings in major cities at the same time, these 27 demands can be made of members of Congress. Activists can ask their members of Congress if they support these new laws and amendments. If they say no, they will be voted out of office, as mass support for this package of ideal demands gains momentum.
When the Occupy and Peace movements restart and unite around these specific demands—our local communities, our nation, and the world can be remade and renewed. But we must maximize democracy domestically and promote peace and happiness internationally—all at the same time. We can turn our common dreams into common demands. This is how a very bad Congress can become very good.
____ 1. Dismantle all nuclear weapons and nuclear energy power plants, simultaneously and voluntarily, the world over as soon as possible.
____ 2. Bring home all U.S. troops and close down the government’s 700-1000 military bases around the world. Even with such a drawdown, our nation would retain more than enough capacity to defend its own borders. The money previously spent on the military would be used to create jobs and rebuild our nation’s infrastructure: “[A]nd they shall turn their swords into ploughshares.” (Isaiah 2:4). Military ships, submarines, and planes can be used for low-budget travel and tourism.
____ 3. Establish Single Payer Health Insurance with the federal government as the single payer.
____ 4. Remove the influence of private financial contributions and of lobbyists on members of Congress in the traditional way. The Library of Congress will create a website that will become an online forum and clearinghouse for the advocacy of all public policy. All positions and arguments will be publicized. Everyone will know who is lobbying for what and why. Publicly provide the same finances to the political campaigns of the seven largest, national political parties, and give all seven parties equal public exposure.
____ 5. Elect the U.S. House of Representatives through a system of Proportional Representation, and abolish the U.S. Senate: Why should California and Wyoming have the same number of senators when California’s population is about 70 times greater? The seven largest, national political parties will be empowered in a single-chambered, national legislature. Under proportional representation, the National Green Party may get 15 percent of the vote, for example, in the 435-membered House of Representatives, and Indiana’s population currently allows it to have ten members in the House of Representatives. But it may be that of the seven national political parties, the Indiana Republican Party will get to select five of Indiana’s ten representatives in the House of Representatives because Indiana is a conservative state.
____ 6. Abolish the Electoral College System for electing a president. A president must win by a majority of individual votes (not just a plurality of votes) using the method of Instant Runoff Voting, in which each voter will rank slated candidates from most favorite to least favorite. And it may take two or more rounds of voting to eliminate the candidate with the least amount of votes, until eventually one of the remaining candidates captures at least 51 percent of the vote.
____ 7. Allow Congress–not the president–to select Supreme Court judges who will serve for 4 year terms. Judges may serve multiple terms.
____ 8. Implement a decentralized, non-hierarchical, or grassroots, approach to public schools: The neighbors who live within the boundaries of each public elementary, middle, and high school will democratically establish their own school philosophy and curriculum, using public funds. There will no longer be federal, state, county, or township control of neighborhood schools. This should improve neighborhood togetherness, as neighbors ideally become tribal, in a new and modern way.
____ 9. Abolish the Federal Reserve and allow the Treasury Department to oversee a publicly owned banking system like the Bank of North Dakota.
____ 10. Strive to establish a democratic world government that provides equal pay for equal work, with no one earning more than three times the wages of the lowest paid worker. This will eliminate the extremes of poverty and wealth and provide adequate food, housing, and jobs for all citizens of the world. A system of workplace democracy will be instituted. The world map can be divided into 500 rectangular-shaped, legislative districts of equal population. The World Legislative Council could then make executive and judicial branch appointments.
____ 11. Implement a Progressive income tax up to 94 percent for any income amounts over $100,000 with a simplified tax code.
____ 12. Abolish compulsory education—learning is a choice.
____ 13. Phase out fossil fuels through government incentives.
____ 14. Provide free post high school, public education for students whose parent(s) have an annual income of less than $100,000.
____ 15. Reduce taxes for small businesses; increase taxes on large corporations.
____ 16. Provide more restrictions on the ownership of firearms–with comprehensive registration, background checks, and national standardization.
____ 17. Legalize commercial hemp, medical marijuana, and the private use of marijuana for adults, on a national level. If marijuana is safer, why are we driving people to drink?
____ 18. Call for a new, independent investigation of 9/11 with subpoena powers, especially in regards to Building 7, which was not even hit by a plane, but fell at the speed of gravity into its own footprints at 5 pm on that tragic day. And Building 7 was not even mentioned in the initial Official 9/11 Commission Report, an investigation that was not done until 2 years later and then by government insiders, with an extremely limited budget.
____ 19. Provide incentives for local and organic food production and alternative health practices. Require that all genetically modified foods be labeled.
____ 20. Allow citizens of the 50 states to restructure their state governments from the bottom-up, not the top-down: from the neighborhood block club, to the precinct, township, county, and state levels. Each level of legislative government can make executive and judicial branch appointments. Representatives at a state level, for example, can be voted out of office completely at all levels by the voters in the precinct, township, or county that the state representative emerged from. Representatives at each level would vote among themselves to send a representative to the next level above it. State constitutions can be rewritten using a democratic process.
____ 21. Increase abortion rights and the rights for lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgendered individuals.
____ 22. Empower the seven largest, national political parties, using a system of proportional representation to elect 100 individuals to meet at a Constitutional Convention to rewrite the U.S. Constitution, in which the delegates will work for three entire months to get a 51 percent or higher approval of any proposed, new constitution. (In other writings, this author has laid out a 23-month timeline for this process to occur).
____ 23. Establish workplace democracy in companies that have seven or more employees.
____ 24. Allow Americans to visit Cuba if they choose.
____25. Support the National Emergency Employment Defense Act (N.E.E.D. Act HR 2990), introduced by Dennis Kucinich, which could produce U.S. Notes, specifically for infrastructure, Social Security, and universal health care, and it would make the Federal Reserve a department under the Treasury. Reducing the debt crisis with debt-free United States Notes was actually done under President Lincoln with the original “Greenbacks” to defeat the South during the Civil War, when the New York City Banks wanted 24-36 percent interest. Currently the Federal Reserve has pumped $16 trillion into the central banking system, as many people wonder, “Where is my bailout?” (As of August 2013, this bill, unfortunately, has died in committee.)
____26. Stop the drone strikes, the Guantanamo torture prison, the abuse of the Patriot Acts and NDAA, needless NSA spying, and excessive security checks at airports.
____27. Make buses and trains more affordable and available to reduce the number of cars and trucks on roads and highways.