LEVEL ONE – Short Summaries

Clicking more will bring you to LEVEL TWO on that issue.

ABORTION: No one likes abortion and we should do what we can to prevent it. We need proactive, publicly funded family planning. I support a woman's right to choose. The government has no right sticking its nose into a woman's womb. More.

CIVIL RIGHTS: The erosion of civil rights, especially for the poor, is largely attributable to the War on Drugs. More.

DEATH PENALTY: Revenge and retribution have no place in civilized society. Innocent people are sometimes executed. As cruel and unusual punishment, it is unconstitutional. The U.S. is the only western democracy that continues this barbaric practice and it would save Florida $50 million to end it. More

DEVELOPMENT: I have had a long career in home, landscape, and urban design, and I have been both a builder and developer. We should have development that is good for everyone and builds community. Developers should have a streamlined development process that has clearly delineated and sustainable planning and zoning policies. For more see Anatomy of a Pedestrian Village.

DIRTY POLITICS: Gossip shepherds the herd. Politicians know this, so they use it to herd the voters away from their own shortcomings. Knowing the game, I refuse to play it. This is how we fix dirty politics: 1. Direct voting, 2. Campaign Finance Reform, 3. Instant Runoff Voting, and 4. Proportional Representation. More.

DRUG PROHIBITION: “Prohibition...goes beyond the bounds of reason in that it attempts to control a man's appetite by legislation and makes a crime out of things that are not crimes...a prohibition law strikes a blow at the very principles upon which our government was founded.” I agree with Abraham Lincoln. More.

ECONOMICS: We should run our state like any prudent investor – put money into reserve in fat years and use those reserves in the lean years. That way, we can still follow Keynesian economics without going into debt. More.

EDUCATION: Our primary and secondary schools generally assume that children in each grade are to be taught the same. One size does not fit all. If we handed all fourth–graders size 6 shoes, almost no one would have a good fit. In the past, it was not practical to have a different approach with every child. This problem will be solved with personalized, interactive, online teaching. This should be combined with small neighborhood schools in order to build socializing skills and help solidify communities. More.

ENERGY: The Sunshine State should pursue energy sources in line with its motto. More.

ENVIRONMENT: The Golden Rule of Sustainability: “Do unto current and future generations as you would have them do unto you.” More.

FAMILY PLANNING: Less is more, in this case. Adding 200,000 more people every day to the planet is unsustainable. More.

FCAT: The Florida Comprehensive Assessment Test is a standardized test used in primary and secondary schools. Funding depends on a school's overall score on the FCAT. This takes funding away from the schools that need it the most, and it puts tremendous pressure on teachers to teach students how to pass the test. Testing serves a purpose in order to assess how well children are learning, but funding should not be connected with it.

FLORIDA HOMETOWN DEMOCRACY: I support citizen's efforts to approve changes in the comprehensive plan for their town or county. All comprehensive plans should make New Pedestrianism – the smartest kind of “Smart Growth” – the preferred type of development. Sprawl and automobile–oriented growth should give way to higher density, pedestrian and nature-oriented communities that allow separate–but–equal transportation networks for people and cars. How would this look? Go here. To go even deeper click here.

FUTURE: We should be very concerned about the future, because we are going to spend the rest of our lives there. More.

GAY RIGHTS: I support equal rights, including marriage, for gays. I reject intolerance based on gender or sexual orientation. More.

GUNS: When I first went into Cracktown to face drug dealers and begin rebuilding the neighborhood, I had a meeting with the local police. One cop told me I should get a gun. I took his advice and got myself three guns... More.

HEALTH CARE: Floridians spend $7,500 per person per year on health care. Europeans spend half that, cover everyone, get better care, and live longer. Our private health care system is broken and tinkering will not fix it. More.

HOMELESSNESS: Americans seem to think that those with mental illness and substance abuse issues should either be living on the street or be thrown into prison. There is an effective, compassionate, lower–cost middle way between these two extremes. More.

IMMIGRATION: Florida and the U.S. have population growth rates that exceed any major industrialized country on the planet. Immigration is an overpopulation problem more than anything else. Human overpopulation is a grave threat to us and other species. More.

LAW & ORDER: The U.S. does a poor job of managing civil society. It has the highest rate of violent crime, the highest rate of incarceration, and the highest rate of expenditure in trying to keep the peace. Compounding this, there is widespread, popular contempt for the law – especially among the poor – because of the proactive enforcement of victimless crimes. Of all the states, Florida is among the worst in all these categories. There are well–researched, simple, and effective steps to changing this situation. Unfortunately our leaders have ignored effective solutions while making the problems worse through cynical or naïve policy–making. More.

NATIONALISM: Nationalism cripples the ability to do the things necessary to have a country worth caring about. As such, it is a threat to our liberty and should be guarded against. Patriotism, or love of one's country, should not turn into “my country right or wrong.” More.

OVERPOPULATION: “People would rather commit suicide then do arithmetic.” – Mathematician and philosopher Bertrand Russell. More.

PROSTITUTION: The government should stay out of the bedroom of consenting adults, but sex workers should have health and business–related regulations, and pay taxes, like the rest of us. More.

PRISONS: One of Florida's biggest industries is prison building. Florida's incarceration rate is 8 times that of Canada, but our violent crime rate is higher. Florida's leaders think more prisons are the answer. As a community organizer in Volusia County, I have been actively working to divert the non–violent mentally ill and substance abusers to supervised housing and treatment that would cost society a fraction as much. About half of all prisoners would qualify. More.

RELIGION: I believe in the constitutional separation of church and state. More.

SOCIALISM FOR DEMOCRATS: Education, Social Security, health–care, minimum wage, Smart Growth, the Environmental Protection Agency, and subsidies to alternative energy.

SOCIALISM FOR REPUBLICANS: The Military Industrial Complex, the Prison Industrial Complex, The War on Drugs, sprawl, and subsidies to the fossil fuel industries.

TAXATION and the MIDDLE CLASS: We have had the same level of taxes for decades throughout various administrations, so it is probably about right. The debate should be about the allocation of those taxes. I favor policies that provide greater benefit to 95% of the population to help the middle class recover the prominence it had in the 1950s. I favor a version of Medicare for all while also taking steps to reduce overall health care costs. This would tend to raise taxes on the top 5%, but it would greatly benefit the rest of us. More.

TRANSPORTATION: Florida's current automobile–oriented transportation network produces 230,000 casualties a year, including 3,257 deaths. This is the equivalent of a 9/11 disaster happening in our state every single year. We think this is normal. We could end the demolition derby within 10–15 years, and Florida could be a leader in the technology that could accomplish it. More.

UNIONS: I am pro–union. More.

URBAN PLANNING: In 1999, I founded a more ecology and pedestrian–oriented branch of New Urbanism called New Pedestrianism that addresses all the major urban planning issues. Following New Pedestrianism zoning for all new developments and redevelopments would slowly begin to make our cities worth living in. More.

VOTING REFORM: Voting reform is not just about accurate vote counting, which is important, but almost beside the point. We will not have effective governance or proportional representation until we have comprehensive voting reform that brings Florida and the U.S. into the modern age. This issue is invisible to 99.9% of the population because the powers–that–be are comfortable keeping out new ideas and preserving the status quo. We would all – including all the members of the two parties – benefit from these reforms. More.

WATER ISSUES: I favor using conservation measures, recycling, storm-water retention, environmental protection, and growth limits to maintain sustainable water management practices for the health and welfare of all. Raising consumption levels beyond the existing allocations will cause an exponential increase in water prices for consumers. This is unacceptable.

WHY I AM INDEPENDENT: The two-party system is dysfunctional. Because the two dominant parties are based on money and power, and they prefer to lose rather than have fair elections, or equitable policies, party leaders will not initiate the changes we need.

Click here to go to LEVEL THREE - links to in–depth information on the web on these issues.

E-mail: campaign@MichaelEArth.org