Our Own Agenda: 10 Policies For a Better America

Large majorities of Americans agree on some of the most important issues of the day, from health care to foreign policy.

Illustration by filo/Getty Images


Repair and rebuild neglected bridges, railroads, schools, and other infrastructure, designing for climate change and a post-petroleum world.

Extend unemployment insurance benefits.

Provide tax relief to middle- and low-income families, and reinstate fair taxes on high-wealth individuals and corporate profits.

Adopt the Employee Free Choice Act to increase opportunities to unionize.


Make the minimum wage a “living wage” adequate to keep working families out of poverty.

Provide everyone vacation and family leave.

Provide gay and lesbian couples with the legal protections afforded to straight couples.

Make bankruptcy and foreclosure laws protect families first, not predatory lenders.


Fully restore habeas corpus for all people in U.S. custody.

Protect our right to privacy and freedom from warrantless search and seizure.

Keep the internet free of corporate and government censorship and obstruction. Protect “net neutrality.”

Restore the balance of power between the executive, legislative, and judicial branches of government.

Energy & Climate

Take a leadership role in reducing our own greenhouse gas emissions.

Maximize the conservation and efficient use of existing energy supplies.

Launch and fund ambitious research & development programs, offer tax credits, invest in public works projects, and focus government procurement to jump- start renewable energy deployment.

Invest in public transit and intercity rail.

Tax carbon; use revenues for renewables and to help ratepayers.

Health Care

Offer all Americans the option of joining a single-payer national health insurance program, paid for with tax dollars.

Break the drug companies’ monopoly and lower drug prices by allowing Americans to buy prescription drugs abroad.

Foreign Relations

Lead a global effort to abolish nuclear weapons.

Rule out unilateral attacks, deploying weapons in space, and torture.

Phase out U.S. role as global police, and instead work through the U.N. and other international agencies to develop and enforce international law.

Work with other countries to improve global health and environment.

Iraq & Iran

Develop a timetable for a withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq.

Build no long-term military bases in Iraq. Leave control of Iraq’s oil in the hands of Iraqis.

Fund an international effort to help restore the economy and infrastructure of Iraq.

Abolish future uses of private mercenaries.

Enter into negotiations with Iran about nuclear issues and regional stability. End threats of attack and attempts to destabilize the Iranian government.


Provide public financing for elections campaigns.

Bring back the Fairness Doctrine and get broadcasters to open the people’s airwaves to free campaign information.

Require voter-verified paper ballots that are audited and can be recounted.

End partisan districting and voter-roll purges.

Fully implement the Voting Rights Act and enforce existing laws against vote suppression.

Restore voting rights to ex-felons who have served their sentences.

Criminal Justice

Drop punitive sentences for drug possession and other nonviolent offenses in favor of substance-abuse treatment, fines, community service, and restitution.

Offer training and counseling to prepare inmates for a crime-free life after release.

Channel youth into schools and jobs, not jail.


Implement trade policies that strengthen, not undermine, rural economies south of the border, reducing the poverty and displacement that spur migration. Start by ditching NAFTA.

Increase minimum wage and worker protection for all, documented and undocumented.

Provide a pathway to legal status and citizenship for immigrants already here.

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