Showing how it’s done at the 2008 Nominating Convention and Annual Meeting

By Ruth Weill, Annual National Meeting Committee Coordinator

The convention and annual meeting promise to be a great time being held in the exciting downtown theater district of Chicago, Illinois from July 10-13. In addition to Green Party presidential nominations, there are many inspiring activities and it is also a great opportunity for Greens to come together to share ideas and plans.

A main part of the convention will be the nomination on Saturday of one of these fine presidential candidates:  Jessie Johnson (jessie08.org), Cynthia McKinney (www.runcynthiarun.org), Kent Mesplay (www.mesplay.org) and Kat Swift (www.voteswift.org). 

But the weekend has much more to offer with amazing speakers such as Malik Rahim, former Black Panther and Green Party candidate who has been a long-time community activist on various social justice issues. Rahim also co-founded Common Ground Relief (commongroundrelief.org), an organization that provides short-term relief to victims of hurricane disasters in the Gulf region. Also speaking at the convention is our own Steering Committee member Cliff Thornton Jr., an activist who has won awards for his efforts on drug policy reform (www.efficacy-online.org). 

Another speaker is Kathy Kelly, a familiar name to many Greens. In 1996 Kelly co-founded Voices in the Wilderness, an organization trying to end sanctions on Iraq. Having visited Iraq and much of the Middle East many times, she has transformed the organization into Voices for Creative Non-Violence (www.vcnv.org). 

Attendees at the convention will have many opportunities for learning, as the workshop selection will be top notch, with expert activists from across the country discussing an array of issues. Workshop topics will include foreign policy related to the Middle East and Iran, immigrant and LGBTQ rights, and campaigning on a shoestring budget.  

Don’t forget Green nightlife.  A wonderful international reception is planned for Thursday evening to welcome fellow Greens from across the seven continents.  In 2004 there were over 40 international guests representing at least 15 countries. Friday evening plans include hearing from our candidates, and Saturday evening will be more of a social party. The city of Chicago has a lot to offer as well, from live music, theater, and outdoor gardens to walks along Lake Michigan.  

The main location of the convention is the Palmer House Hilton Hotel, a beautiful historic landmark built in 1871 (www.hiltonfamilychicago.com). The hotel is right around the corner from the location of the nominating convention, the Chicago Symphony Center (www.cso.org), which is  another historic landmark built in 1904.   

The meeting committee along with the Illinois Green Party is excited to host a world-class event, and The Green Party of the United States Presidential Nominating Convention and Annual Meeting promises to be an unforgettable event. We hope to see you in Chicago this July.  

Please visit http://www.greenparty2008.org to register and for all information regarding the convention.

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