Getting to Know People of Color Across the Country Active in the Green Party
an interview with Pete Van Jr.

Why have you joined the Green Party?

As a politician, author, community leader,educator, business partner, spiritual leader, coach and activist, I said It was time to take a leadership role in the political landscape of this country. People want leadership in government, not party safeness or aloofness. I decided twelve years ago to step up. The Green party platform and my values align at every level and they address the concerns I hear people talking about today.

The Green Party Platform deals with more than ecological concerns, though they are critically important. They have a long-term view on all aspects of life as well as a passion around diversity, equal rights, peace, individual and global responsibility, local business development and decentralization of government to be closer to the people.

What do you think are the pressing issues of the country?

Most importantly we need leadership with a long-term view. We should locate the wisdom of the generations before us and learn from those leaders who have already led this nation.

The economic system needs to be quickly repaired.Congress must begin this repair by: addressing how economics impact energy, clean up ethics on Wall Street, and have more accountability with our trades with China.

We must re-think, de-think, and un-think our definition of what is illegal and the human worth of an immigrant. We must locally promote an ideology that has the ability tolove people and use things, instead of using people and loving things.

There needs to be a high priority on new strategies for educating the whole person. Stressing the core competencies of global repair as well as economy.

Funding needs to be allocated to allow low-income, working adults to qualify for medical insurance. We must also make health care more affordable for small businesses and their workers, and free health care for seniors and infants.

For global warming, there must be funding for traditional and non-traditional scientists to conduct research looking at the controversy around the effects of these changes on our natural systems and our lifestyles.

We must become more diplomatic while we are fighting a war with other humans. The real war is the one we are raging against the environment. We are losing it. The environment does not respond to threats or bombs or missiles. It responds to common sense and thoughtful use of resources.

What do you think should be the focus of the Green Party?

The Green Party must focus on the right thing its values. Therefore we must break up the love affair that America has with racism, sexism, class exploitation, bureaucratic domination, war and all other forms of social domination, and efforts for total mind control. We must focus on becoming a sustainable society, in order to harmonize society with nature, which will lead to a natural progression, harmonizing humans with humans.

What can Greens do to enhance diversity within the party and in general?

We must provide a global voice on what are the best practices for diversity. Then create a diversity management team. We must partner with other national programs aimed at increasing diversity in a third party platform.

We must recognize and consult expert consultants to advance equality based on sexual orientation and gender identity, ensuring gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgendered Americans can be included in the democratic process.

The Green Party must mobilize grassroots action in diverse communities to lobby congress and invest strategically to elect a fair-minded congress.

We must design a comprehensive training and education program preparing Green Party members for leading, managing, and nurturing other Greens in an inclusive political party environment.

The Green Party should create a ten, fifteen, and twenty-year strategic plan for the development of the first U.S. eco-city. The Green party of the U.S.should purchase a substantial piece of real estate and create a Green city. I have a vision of an eco-city focused on the right thingpeople. Imbued with a synergistic value of doing no harm, people would serve the beautiful planet we have been entrusted to sustain for its raw material, natural resources, driving the process with renewable energy sources.

We must nurture,recognize, respect and love again Mother earth, our survival is depending on it. She cannot hold up under the poor health, distress, misuse, abuse and lack of love from her children any longer.

About Pete Van Jr.

Pete Van, Jr. was born in Arizona but grew up in Kansas City, Kansas. He has a Bachelors of Arts in Theology rom Mid-America Nazarene University. Van is divorced and has two daughters who are his continuing inspiration. In 1992, one week after the Los Angeles riots, he moved his family to Long Beach, California to work in a faith-based community that emphasized racial reconciliation. In 1996 Van became the Discipleship Pastor at the Shepherd of the Hills Church, Porter Ranch, California. In 2000, Van earned his Masters Degree in Educational Technology from Sonoma State University. He is also a jazz singer and author.

He became politically active as a board member of Sunburst Project, a national nonprofit for families affected by HIV-AIDS. Van ran as a Green in 2007 for a seat in the House of Representatives Allegan County 88th District. He now devotes much of his time towards long term plans for the Green Party and will continue to run for political office.

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