2020 Platform Discussion

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Platform Topics

Need to integrate these from the Boston meeting

  • Housing first
    • everyone has a place to live, providing stability and improving state of mind
    • not solely focusing on people who are homeless, but recognizing the increasing cost of housing
  • Education reform (but not the neoliberal kind)
    • Fix the infrastructure of our schools
    • Use technology (only where needed?)
    • Centering on student empowerment and help for students to succeed at what they are good at and support them where they have challenges
  • Criminal justice
    • reducing policing and incarceration
    • Increasing harm reduction policies.
    • Less punishment, more restorative justice

Quality Health care for all including dental and mental health care (expanded medicare for all)

  • Implement community based mental health and wellness programs for those who need it
  • We are already paying for everyone
  • Merge VA into Medicare for All
  • Cuts administrative costs and profits of the private system
  • Retrain administrative workers if needed
  • Negotiate drug and other medical prices
  • Impose consistent prices
  • Using compulsive licensing of patents for drugs
  • Ending evergreen patents
  • Having better funding for drug research that shifts reward system to target health problems not profits
  • Better research into the effectiveness of drugs


  • Putting Students First
  • Innovation in funding that reduces per student disparities in funding. Raising the bottom
  • Encouraging critical thinking
  • Maximizing the tools available to teachers
  • Empowering teachers

Criminal Justice

  • Decriminalizing victimless crimes
  • Focus on restoration, rehabilitation & education not punishment
  • End Civil asset forfeiture
  • Fair principles and wages for prison labor
  • No disenfranchisement of prisoners. No taxation without representation
  • Adequately fund pubic defenders
  • Community policing & end arrest/citation quotas
  • No private prisons
  • Train police in conflict resolution, make them peace officers not police officers
  • Make police files public automatically
  • No privacy for police while on the job
  • End cops being above the law
  • Do not break the law to enforce the law

No eminent domain for private profit

Workers Rights

  • Pro-union, card check not vote
  • OSHA on every work site including government. Keep safe for all involved.

Public Transportation

  • Fund MBTA and other public bus systems so they can expand quality, reliability and service
  • Maintain roads so they are safe
  • End tolls & surveillance on the Pike, Tobin bridge and Boston tunnels

Government Funding and Taxation

  • Use systems thinking and true accounting

Housing & Homelessness

  • We have an affordability problem
  • More cost effective to provide housing for people who are homeless
  • Incentivize keeping housing owned by people in the community, not for use as a speculative investment
    • Transaction tax paid by non-occupants?
  • Improve renters rights: better recourse
    • Fund outreach to renters and owners about their rights and obligations


  • End the drug war: Decriminalize ala Portugal. Focus on addiction as a public health issue.
  • Fund Needle exchange programs and programs to help people to deal with addiction
  • Treat addiction as a disease not a crime
  • Continue to support the legalization of cannabis and its use for those it helps
  • End drug testing for government programs

National Security

  • End TSA: No more security theater
  • End the wars

Data Privacy: Protecting the privacy of the individual, not the state.

  • Discard information once you are done processing it.
  • What of GDPR should be here? Not right to be forgotten.
  • Stop gathering of license plate/surveillance data or expire after X weeks. Do not share with private entities.
  • Retain public data locally.
  • Body/police surveillance camera data must be available by the accused at a minimum


  • People first; end corporate subsidies
  • Measure the people’s economy, not the stockmarket
  • Honest accounting that measures the true benefits and costs of the commonwealth
    • Use these metrics to make better judgements about government policy
  • Government policy should promote competition not monopoly

Right of Repair/You own what you purchased

  • Software/media you paid for and download cannot be revoked
  • Cannot deny someone legal process using software.
  • Lock you out of your house/reposes your car w/o legal decision
  • Should not be a felony to modify or examine the software/hardware you purchased
  • Companies should not be able to take back stuff you already paid for
  • Copyrighted works should eventually become part of the public commons (No Mickey Mouse Law)


  • All data paid for by the public should be on-line and machine readable/searchable (with personal privacy exceptions)
    • That includes all branches of government
    • No scanned documents without OCR
  • Reduce the time for agencies to respond to requests to 10 days
  • Consolidate oversight and enforcement of FOIA into one separate agency
    • Under gov appointed by gov/elected by the people? (look at OCPF?)
    • Change from legal process to automatic fines for when out of compliance of the law
    • Use fines pay for bringing agencies into compliance technologically
      • This saves tax payers money, simplifies the process
    • Agency would have regulatory power and can set guidelines/rules (technologies/vendors that have worked)
    • Agency can review rules/tech of other agencies and call them out accountable for non-compliance


  • Make Massachusetts be a sanctuary state
  • Abolish ICE
  • Establish a path to citizenship for all immigrants
  • No taxation without representation; limited voting rights
  • Should be a judicial process for deportation with true due process
  • Honor agreements regarding asylum seekers and treat them with dignity and due process
  • Streamline process to move from one student to worker visa status
  • Immunity (amnesty?) for immigrants reporting crime

https://masspirates.org/wiki/March_10th,_2019_Boston_Regional_Meeting https://masspirates.org/wiki/September_29th,_2018_Party_Conference

Platform Order

What would we implement in our first 100 days of achieving power?

  • Citizen surveys of police and school systems and municipal government (13 and older)
  • End solitary confinement
  • Fair pay for fair work (even prisoners)
  • Open government additions
    • Removing exemptions of the open meeting law for all three branches of government
    • Actual enforcement of open meeting law and FOIA
    • All data paid for by the public should be on-line and machine readable/searchable (with personal privacy exceptions) That includes all branches of government
    • No scanned documents without OCR
    • All bills have to be voted on in committee
    • All votes have to list who the individual votes
    • Reduce the power of house speaker/senate president
    • Remove legislative loopholes (no votes in out of session periods). Spell out limits on emergency sessions.
    • Require bills only include content relevant to the original purpose of the bill
    • Expand whistleblower protections (suggested after the meeting)
  • Full decriminalization of private consensual activities and implement effective harm reduction strategies.
  • Change the law to use IRV/RCV
  • Fully fund the MBTA and all public transit systems
  • Pass net neutrality bill
  • Have a mock budget with taxes and spending
    • Include money for energy conservation fund
    • Solar credit?
  • Close the fusion centers
  • Stop any support for ICE and other related agencies. Prohibit county sheriffs from helping ICE
  • Try to increase competition in oligopolies esp. media
  • Promote training for creating cooperative operations and tomorrow’s leaders (e for all?)

What would we implement in our first year of achieving power?

  • Restorative justice approach for minors
  • Implementing changes based on survey results
  • Within the first year exonerate and wipe records of all private consensual crimes
  • Basic right education
  • Fund the development of public transit in Mass.
  • Development of high speed broadband in Mass.
  • License requirement
    • law students have to teach kids their rights
    • psychology students to help homeless
  • Education
    • Expand financial decision making/responsibilities education
    • Teaching labor rights and struggles
    • Bring back home economics and food preparation
  • Require state (MEMA) and municipalities do a climate change/storm risk assessment
    • Must include food security, housing, transportation

What would we implement longer term?

  • Decentralize federal/state government to county/regions and municipalities
    • Reconstitute county governments to make them elected and able to solve regional problems
  • Removal of laws that no longer apply especially if they are harmful to individual rights
  • Expand the ballot initiative and direct democracy. Institute a people’s veto