Strengthening Communities

Our communities are both the engines of economic life and the places where our families and neighbors enjoy our lives together. Too many of our communities have been undermined by transit gridlock from poorly planned growth, pollution choking our air and endangering our water supplies, and unchecked violent and corporate crime that undermines our security.

To make our communities more liveable, Progressive States is committed to creating Clean Jobs and Smart Growth policies, including:
  • Expanded Bus And Rail Transit with higher density housing and commercial development near transit hubs.
  • Reclaiming "Brownfields" � lots and neighborhoods abandoned due to pollution -- as an attractive option for new commercial and residential development.
  • Greenbelts and incentives for landowners to protect their property for recreational use to Preserve Open Spaces and even expand their use by our communities.
  • Construction of Green Buildings that use better design and energy-efficient appliances to reduce energy use.
  • Tax credits, tighter environmental regulations and modernizing the electrical infrastructure can all help promote new Energy Alternatives, such as low-emission vehicles, solar panels, wind farms, use of biomass fuels and cleaner-burning technologies for traditional energy sources.

We need a better, more Comprehensive Public Health system that can identify and cure health threats before they spread. This includes better preventive health care and investments in research to assure that no biological threat can ever reach epidemic levels.

PLAN is dedicated to improving a Criminal Justice System that imprisons a higher percentage of the population than any other industrialized country-- with too many of them innocent of the crime for which they were convicted -- yet fails to stem one of developed world's highest rates of violent crime and corporate criminal behavior:
  • We need a more Effective Criminal Justice System that includes the community in policing efforts, creates alternative courts and punishment for drug users and those suffering mental illness, and eliminates racial bias in the courts.
  • Rehabilitation and Reentry programs should be better designed to prevent released prisoners from relapsing into crime.
  • We need to recognize and Punish the White Collar Criminal Class that is one of the greatest threats to the financial future of families through their corporate fraud and malfeasance.
  • And we need to be more proactive in Addressing the Causes of Crime, including preventing the child abuse that too often leads to new cycles of violence in the next generation, providing early drug treatment for addicts to stop users from becoming real criminals, and decreasing the unemployment and economic desperation that, while no excuse for crime, clearly leads to increases in criminal activity.
Along with strengthening our criminal justice system to fight terrorism, we should Secure Vulnerable Facilities against that and any other threats, while building the infrastructure that strengthens our economic might as well. One of our strengths as a nation has always been our Diverse Communities and their continuing rejuvenation by new immigrants. We need to protect this diversity through strong anti-discrimination laws and new policies to encourage the maximum integration by new immigrants into our society.