|Wednesday May 22, 2013||About | Archives | Contact Us | Editorial Policy | Photos | Submissions|
Committee, Caucus and State Reports
On June 17, 2004, The National Women's Caucus (NWC) filed for accreditation
with the Green Party of the United States (GP-US). With 152 members from 28
states, the application exceeds the requirement of 100 members from 15 states.
The application is expected to move out of all of the relevant committees by the
beginning of September. It will then go to the GP-US Coordinating Committee for
"The NWC is well on the way to accreditation," said Kayly Newcomer
(Pa.), delegate to the Diversity Committee and candidate for NWC co-chair and
spokesperson. "We had many more members than necessary when we applied, and
we picked up even more verified members during Forward! 2004 in Milwaukee,
proving that the work of a national women's caucus is both needed and wanted
within the Green Party."
The NWC Third Annual Meeting, Forward 2004! Women in Green Politics, held in
Milwaukee June 24 with Medea Benjamin as the featured speaker, drew nearly 200
people, including most of the presidential candidates, many Greens from the
international delegation and national media.
Benjamin's speech can been seen and heard at http://www.newsparkproductions.org/benjamin.wmv.
Rural Greens meet to create GP-US caucus
Is there a need for a caucus within the national Green Party devoted to rural issues?
Members of the newly formed Rural Caucus Organizing Committee answer with a definite affirmative.
The idea for a rural caucus began in an impromptu Green talking circle on rural issues at the national convention of the Green Party of the United States in Milwaukee this June.
The talking circle was an effort to inject a rural perspective that seemed to be missing at the convention.
People from 15 states shared their concerns about what is happening in rural America, including the continued decline of small farms, genetic engineering of foods, lack of opportunities for the young, escalating costs of land, gentrification of rural areas, lack of a voice in the political arena, urban sprawl, over-harvesting of forests and degradation and pollution of air, water and soil.
It was decided that the best way to gain a greater voice within the national Green Party for rural people and rural issues would be to organize a Rural Caucus.
Efforts to gain accreditation as a caucus are underway. A listserve has been set up and a tentative mission statement drafted by the Rural Caucus Organizing Committee.
The statement reads: "The Rural Caucus of the Green Party of the United States advocates for rural perspectives within the party, promotes the growth of the Green Party in rural areas and supports the efforts of its members to build a sustainable society."
New members to the organizing committee are welcome. To gain accreditation, the caucus will need at least 100 members from at least 15 states.
Those interested may join the listserv by sending a blank e-mail to ruralgreen-subscribe@ yahoogroups.com.
Anyone wanting more information may contact starrivers@ sdhotmail.com, creelinda@ sdddddhotmail.com or porterjm17@ yahoo.com.
Disabled Greens meet, establish caucus agenda
The Disability Caucus has been moving steadily toward qualification for accreditation since its founding one year ago and is in the process of writing bylaws and deciding upon election procedures. The convention gave the caucus a much-needed membership boost. Currently its membership sits at 70 people from 21 states. This does not count the 23 "adjunct" members who do not qualify for voting membership but who play a valued role within the caucus.
The caucus had its first live meeting June 25th, during the national
convention. More than a dozen Caucus members attended and got to know each other
in a circle. Many different disabilities were represented at the gathering,
including mental health and invisible disabilities.
The final discussion was regarding ways to make future national conventions more friendly and responsive to those with special needs, such as chairs along the hallways so people don't have to stand up all the time they are not at a formal meeting or event and some advance planning to provide for "emergency meeting" spaces and rooms, because what may be a small inconvenience for some people can be totally debilitating to others, thus cheating them out of the chance to participate.
Most caucus communication happens on its Internet mailing list, with provisions for members unable to access the Internet. On Aug. 4, the Caucus had its first real-time meeting, aside from the one at the convention, using Internet chat software. Those meetings will repeat the first Wednesday of every month with monthly phone conferences being organized as well.
The Disability Caucus's goals include projects such as writing guidelines for disabled access at Green Party events and within Green Party groups, increasing participation by members with disabilities within the entire Green Party structure and working on better access for all people with disabilities to their elected representatives and to government programs.
Anyone who wants more information about the Disability Caucus can visit the website at http://immuneweb.org/dg/, e-mail Cyndi at cyndi@ tikvah.com, phone Heidi at 617-666-7816 (Eastern time) or TTY Sharon at (413) 625-9820 (Eastern time).
Visiting journalists, leaders critique U.S. Green politics
In two separate meetings sponsored by the World Affairs Council in Seattle, visitors from several countries met with local Greens to discuss third party politics in the U.S. The first group included journalists and representatives of the German parliament. Given the success of the Green Party in Germany, some conservatives in the group viewed the U.S. party as idealistic and not yet tempered by the hard realities of actually governing. They challenged U.S. Greens to learn how to make alliances and compromises in order to advance their agenda. In return, U.S. Greens challenged the Germans to understand the limits of the planet and to promote sustainable use of the earth's resources.
A representative from Ghana asked why the U.S. delegation at the meeting was all white, reminding them of the need to increase outreach efforts to communities of color.
A journalist from New Zealand was not convinced that American Greens' difficulty in breaking into the mainstream media was simply due to corporate control of the largest media outlets. She challenged them to learn how to better play the game of politics and media in order to get their message out.
Committee looks for Election Day victories
The Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC) has received a record number of applications to the Matching Funds and Resources Programs. The committee extended the deadline for the second round of submissions to Aug. 1. Those who submitted in the first round of this year were automatically moved to the second round if they had been approved for resources and were still actively campaigning. This brought the number of campaigns being considered for resources to 43.
The committee is currently tracking 316 candidates in autumn elections. There are 389 for the year as of the time of publication. At eight months into the year, Greens have won 28 elections so far for a winning percentage of 44 percent. Maryland and Michigan are running more candidates than ever, with Michigan now second in the country.
Greens are running the strongest Congressional races in the history of the party with notable candidates including, but not limited to, Bob Kinsey in Colorado, Pat Gray and Patrick Driscoll in California and Efia Nwangaza in South Carolina. The committee has been holding conference calls for Congressional candidates and their campaign managers and has set up two Congressional listservs.
California is running the most Congressional races this year; they currently have 12 active campaigns.
The CCC hopes to see gains in the number of state legislative seats held by Greens in the U.S. John Eder is up for re-election in Maine, where 23 state legislative candidates are running. Other notable Green legislative candidates across the country include Tom Hutchings in California, Jill Stein and Rich Zitola in Massachusetts and Joyce Chen in Connecticut.
At the request of the Media Committee, the CCC produced a "Races to Look Out For" list. The committee will update it as the election progresses. If a campaign sends out a press release or gets into the news, it can let the CCC know by sending the release, clippings or Web links to firstname.lastname@example.org.
New products with Green logo go on sale
The Merchandising Committee of the Green Party of the United States (GP-US) has just been re-formed in the last few months and is now very active. It held a logo contest in April and chose an official logo to be used by the GP-US. There are currently four products available from the committee: t-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers and coffee. The committee plans to add one item per month to its line of products in the hopes of making the Green Party both more visible and more financially secure.
Currently, the committee sells products at events and through a mail-in form on the GP-US Web site. Soon it will be even easier to buy Green merchandise; in the next few months, customers will be able to buy products directly online with a shopping cart. In the next few weeks, locals, state parties and Green candidates will be able to purchase all GP-US merchandise at low bulk rates.
The committee is currently looking for more members who can attend weekly call-in meetings on Wednesday evenings and do two to three hours of work per week. The group adopts a "get-it-done and getit- done-right" attitude, with the motto, "Have fun and make money for the Greens!" Those with experience in selling or marketing merchandise and/or working with vendors are especially encouraged to participate. Anyone interested can contact Kara Mullen at 202-319-7191.
Green Party presidential candidate David Cobb visited Little Rock Saturday, July 31, on the final stop of a two-week campaign tour designed to bolster ballot access petitioning efforts by Green Party activists in several states.
Cobb's presence at the River Market drew the attention of curious onlookers as he was interviewed by a reporter from the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette.
As the photographer snapped pictures, Green Party of Arkansas (GPA) organizers worked the crowd, passing out literature, answering questions and gathering more signatures.
At lunch, Cobb met with ten Arkansas Greens to discuss his campaign and the
GPA's grassroots organizing goals.
One young Green in attendance spoke about his desire to run for city council in his north-central Arkansas home. He came away from the meeting with increased confidence and resolve.
Two others, from the Little Rock area, are considering reviving a Pulaski County local.
An environmental science teacher who participated in the discussions
announced his intention to sponsor a "Young Greens" club at his high
He stated with confidence to the assembled media that the Cobb/LaMarche
ticket would appear on the ballot in Arkansas.
"I am often reminded that we don't live in a democracy; we live in a republic, where the many vote for a few to guide us toward a better future," Jon Howard said at a fundraiser for his campaign for Boise School Board on Aug. 6. "Plato called those few the 'philosopher kings'; Lenin called them the 'vangaurd of the elite.' In America, through our watereddown textbooks and factorylike school systems, we are told that these few are of the common people. But as we look around we can plainly see this isn't the truth. We are led by an isolated monied elite."
The fundraiser featured vegan sushi and music by Kris Doty and Allyson Wuenschel (both on the Idaho Greentracks CD produced by the Idaho Green Party). Guests could buy a water balloon for $5 and throw it at the candidate, which proved very popular.
Howard is a teacher's assistant for special education and is running with the support and endorsement of the Idaho Green Party. There are two atlarge seats up for election on Sep. 7 and seven people running, including the incumbents.
Howard's main campaign issues are the No Child Left Behind (NCLB) Act, militarism, corporatization and nutrition. If elected, Howard will push to get junk food out of the schools as a first step in fighting the obesity epidemic, disbanding the federal food program, buying food locally and cooking it at school to support area farmers and provide healthy, nutritious meals. Idaho has one of the worst child poverty rates in the nation, and for many children, school lunch is their only meal of the day.
As mandated by NCLB, schools provide military recruiters with student
information unless they opt out. To protect student privacy, Howard believes
only the students who want recruiters to contact them should opt in and place
themselves on the military telemarketing list. Howard has witnessed several
instances of recruiters walking into classrooms unannounced, expecting total
cooperation, a practice he hopes to change.
Howard's treasurer, Hannah Young, is a Boise High School senior, and his campaign manager, Benjamin Groves, is a recent Boise High School graduate.
Matt Denney, the youngest delegate to the GP-US (who turned 17 Aug. 7), was named Idaho Coordinator for David Cobb's presidential campaign.
During visits to Boise and Coeur d'Alene, Cobb inspired local Greens with his speeches, organizing strategies and conversations. Denney intends to build on that foundation to garner a record number of votes for Cobb's write-in campaign while gaining valuable experience working on a presidential race.
The Illinois Green Party continues to make inroads in the state political landscape. In November 2004, more candidates will appear on a Green ballot line in Illinois than in all previous years combined. Three Greens are running for state representative: community activist Julie Samuels (District 8, Oak Park), who was endorsed for the same post by the Chicago Tribune in 2002; party organizer Phil Huckelberry (District 88, Bloomington-Normal); and attorney Richard Whitney (District 115, Carbondale). This is the second time around for Samuels and Whitney, both of whom are in three-way races. Huckelberry has only a Republican opponent in his district.
Several Greens will be on the ballot in county contests. Pat Cox is running for State's Attorney in downstate Union County. Don Crawford is running for county board in downstate Fayette County. Ken Urban, Susan Rodgers, and Zach Miller beat back legal challenges to their nominating petitions and are running for county board positions in Champaign County (home of the University of Illinois).
"Our candidates were challenged by the Democrats, and we beat them," said Jennifer Walling, convener for the Prairie Greens of East Central Illinois. "We feel that we can keep that winning momentum through Election Day and that we will have an elected Green in Illinois after November 2."
Dale Strough has filed to run for State's Attorney in Iroquois County (75 miles south of Chicago). Although ruled off the ballot by the local election board, Strough has filed suit, arguing that an Illinois "full slate" statute is unconstitutional.
Prior to 2004, only seven candidates had run on a Green ballot line in Illinois, including the Nader/LaDuke ticket in 2000. Illinois Greens were unable to collect 25,000 signatures in 90 days, so the Cobb/LaMarche ticket and U.S. Senate candidate Scott K. Summers will not appear on the ballot in Illinois.
Although their statewide slate was ruled off the ballot, Illinois Greens are very optimistic about their prospects for the local contests. "We have great candidates running in winnable races," said Rick Lindquist, Huckelberry's campaign manager. "This is an exciting year for the Illinois Green Party."
The Green Party of Rhode Island (GPRI) started the election cycle by
petitioning in blizzards to put David Cobb and Kent Mesplay on the ballot for
the state presidential primary on Mar. 2, and the energy from the primary
continued right up to the national convention.
Jeff Toste received the endorsement of Clean Water Action and is likely to pick up several more mainstream endorsements in his race for a state senate seat. Stephen Lamarre running for mayor of Warwick, Joe Broderick running for city council in Cranston, and Larry Kern of Westerly and Brian Reynolds of Warren running for state representative round out the slate.
The GPRI continues to expand its capacity and become more involved in
community endeavors. Long-time activist Tony Affigne has stepped down as a
delegate to the national Coordinating Committee and been replaced by Cynthia
Rose. The final event of the year will be the 8th annual Buy Nothing Day Winter
Coat Exchange the day after Thanksgiving. Last year, the party collected and
gave away more than 1,000 coats.
Supporters of Initiative 318, which would install instant-runoff elections in Washington state, will be trying to gather enough signatures by December to present the measure to the state Legislature. Both the Green Party of Seattle and the Green Party of Washington State have endorsed I-318, and party members are currently pitching in to gather signatures.
I-318 is one of two initiatives that would affect the state's primary election. The other initiative, I-872, filed by the Washington State Grange, would offer an election in which the two candidates receiving the most votes would advance from the primary regardless of political affiliation. In most races, voters will be faced with a choice between two Republicans or two Democrats. Minor-party and independent candidates would reach the general election extremely rarely.
Instant-runoff voting, however, would eliminate the need for a primary election because all the candidates would be on the ballot at once. It would save about $13 million and present the most choices during the election with the highest turnout, according to Rob Richie, executive director of the Center for Voting and Democracy, a nonprofit organization outside of Washington, D.C.
If backers gather the 199,000 signatures needed to qualify the measure, it would go to the Legislature, which would have an opportunity to take action before submitting the proposal to a public ballot next year.
"What we're trying to do is engage the Legislature and give them a chance to participate in the process as well," said Jerry Cronk, a Seattle attorney and Green Party member who was the main author of the initiative.
Cronk and others lobbied lawmakers during the past few years to consider enacting an instant-runoff election. The measure was introduced but died in each of the past few years, he said. Cronk and Richie said instant-runoff voting is gaining momentum, with at least two dozen states considering such legislation. In addition, San Francisco has become the first U.S. city to adopt instant-runoff voting for its municipal elections this year. The system also is used in Ireland and Australia.
I-318 is endorsed by the state's Green, Libertarian and Progressive parties,
in addition to other groups such as the U.S. Public Interest Group and
Washington State Public Interest Research Group.
|top of page|
All content © Green Pages | Site design by Greg Everett
Green Pages is the newspaper of the Green Party of the United States.