Every four years Green Party members are asked to review and update the Green Platform. Greens are invited to submit amendments to the Platform Committee (Platcom) whose job it is to integrate the amendments into the 2004 Platform and produce the draft of the 2008 Green Platform.
Amendments have been received from October 2006 to April 1, 2008. During that time, editors were asked to take on the job of compiling, replacing and re-ordering where necessary, to produce a smooth, coherent, consistent draft. The editors are engaged in that task now. The Platform has four Chapters: Democracy, Social Justice, Sustainable Ecology and Sustainable Economy.
The draft is mostly a shortened version of the 2004 Platform. The principles and polices have not changed. Certain subjects have been expanded or revised, such as sections on Immigration, Pop ulation, Energy, Waste Management, Global Warming, Taxes and Corporations.
Editors of the four Chapters of the Draft Platform are:
I J. Ellingston (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jane Zara (email@example.com)
II John Ely (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jack Ailey (email@example.com)
III Mike Ewall (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Wes Rolley (email@example.com)
IV Erik Douglas (firstname.lastname@example.org) and Jon Olsen (email@example.com).
Once the draft is ready, Mike Ewall, PlatCom secretary puts it on a website for everyone to review and comment up until July 5. The hope and expectation is that any serious objections to the text will be presented and resolved before the meeting in Chicago, on July 11. To reach the Platcom go to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Green-Rainbow Party (GRP) in Massachusetts saw an 81% increase in turn-out in its February 5 presidential primary compared to 2004, and is currently assembling a delegation to the National Convention in Chicago. The percentage breakdown of the vote was, in descending order: Ralph Nader (39.9%), Cynthia McKinney (25.4%), unidentified write-ins (14.6%), no preference (10.4%), Kat Swift (3.2%), Jared Ball (2.3%), Kent Mesplay (2.1%), and Elaine Brown (2.0%). Jesse Johnson was not included on the Massa chu setts ballot.
It is at the local level, however, where Party members feel they can make the most difference. Last year, the Rainbow Coalition Caucus of the GRP helped form a coalition against the escalating foreclosure crisis in Massachusetts. Taking the lead on networking direct action and more sweeping legislative strategies, the Mass Alliance Against Predatory Lending (MAAPL) formalized its existence this March, filing three pieces of legislation during a well-received press conference.
The Green-Rainbow Party is also developing a local ballot initiative drive, readying various ballot questions for local members and chapters to take to their communities. One of the questions being discussed is an emergency adoption of a single-payer healthcare system to replace the already-troubled bipartisan healthcare reform that went into effect in 2007.
Another ballot initiative question, called A Secure Green Future, would shift state subsidies of greenhouse gas emitting industries towards community-based green jobs programs in conservation, renewables, and sustainable agriculture. Other questions being considered include a just response to the foreclosure crisis, progressive taxation, and ranked-choice voting.
The GRP has also formed a fossil fuels subcommittee to work out a program to address the developing crises of global warming, peak oil, food security, etc.
Since January of 2008, District 1 Greens have been coordinating a new Coalition for the Environment and Earth Day (CEED) with local groups, organizations, agencies, and businesses. “Earth Day, Every Day” was held Sunday, April 20, at the City’s Antelope Park. More than 70 Exhibitors displayed educational, artistic, and interactive work. Children’s activities focused on the world of nature; local musicians performed, and under pressure from CEED, the Mayor’s remarks announced two new environmental initiatives for local government.
CEED was spearheaded by Greens, but the diversity of groups involved demonstrates that public concern is far ahead of political action. No event had been planned by the City to celebrate the 38th anniversary of Earth Day.
Omaha Greens were instrumental in planning the “Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space Annual Organizing Conference and Protest at StratCom: The Most Dangerous Place on the Face of the Earth,” April 11-13, 2008. As the United States Strategic Com mand is located in Omaha, it would be command central for a nuclear war. Since 9/11, it’s expanded mission is the “War on Terror,” and U.S. domination of space. This “New StratCom” is responsible for overseeing Global “First Strikes,” the National Security Agency’s “warrantless wiretaps,” and Ballistic Missile Defense. Speakers and participants gathered in Omaha from around the world, but no mainstream media covered the international event.
Regular Peace Vigils are held in all three congressional districts. Greater Nebraska Greens are resisting an expanded coal-fired plant in Hastings. Greens statewide are preparing for the 2008 Convention, June 7, in Omaha at the PS Collective.
Green Party candidates filing for 2008 elections in partisan races are Steve Larrick, U.S. Senate; and for Douglas County Board, District 1: Scott Hoffman; District 3: Tom Foster, and Derek Glaser; District 5: Susan Koneck. LaVerne Thraen filed for the Non-Partisan OPPD Board of Directors, and Doug Paterson is on the ballot for Omaha Public Service Commission.
In March 2008 the Green Party of Utah Desert Greens approved the formation of the Local of Moab (MLGP) as well as by-laws and list of coordinators. The MLGP coordinators are Harold Shepherd, John Weisheit and Bob Lippman. To date, the MLGP has had several coordinator meetings and meetings with other entities.
March 11, Harold Shep herd met with the Native American activists who are trying to bring attention to environmental issues through the cross country, “Longest Walk”. During this meeting Harold discussed with walk leaders plans by Transition Power Development, LLC to construct two nuclear power plants in Green River and other Utah uranium mining and milling issues.
MLGP Coordinators have met with other community activists to discuss development of a coalition that will address environmental and social issues related to energy development in south east Utah. This coalition will compile data on locations of existing oil and gas well parcel permits and leases, and lobby congress to extend funding limitation barring the federal government from issuing commercial leases on federal lands, before meaningful analysis of oil shale projects is completed.
The MLGP is also working with Grand County to develop a Hazardous Waste Ordinance and with the City of Moab and Grand County on a municipal watershed protection ordinance, both of which will include language regarding oil and gas development.
Finally, the MLGP is working with other conservationists: to protest water rights permits for the proposed nuclear power plants and a uranium mill in Green River; Grand County Water Board to develop legislation to protecting instream flows in rivers and streams rather than leasing water for energy production; and the Grand County Water Board and City of Moab on a proposal to limit federal funding for oil shale development in Utah and researching current legal issues related to conflicts between development and water availability in the Moab area.
New York Greens have more than a few reasons to be proud. On March 18 David Doonan, co-chair of the tri-county Greens (Southern Adirondacks Region
4), was elected Mayor of the Village of Greenwich in a landslide victory with Doonan garnering 74% of the vote. In the Village of Schuylerville, Green Party member Roger Sherman ran unopposed to fill a vacated trustee position.
Many NY Greens participated in and organized peace marches and vigils all across the state denoting the passing of five years since “Shock and Awe” signaled the beginning of the illegal U.S. occupation of Iraq.
Former Green mayor of New Paltz, Jason West, graced the front page of the state section of the New York Times. West is best known for marrying same sex couples in New Paltz. The article states: “He recently enjoyed some measure of vindication when a state appellate court ruled that same-sex marriages performed out of state must be recognized in New York State. “It’s a tremendous victory,” said Mr. West, who is heterosexual. ‘I think it’s only a matter of time before we have equal rights for same-sex couples.”
The Green Party of New York State (GPNYS) offered condolences to the family of Sean Bell, when the police officers who killed him where exonerated. GPNYS also made a public statement rejecting the judge’s decision in the killing of Bell, an unarmed black man who was killed on the eve of his wedding.
fight for single payer health care is still being waged in New York State. Greens are working with health care activists (Physicians for a National Health Plan and Health Care Now) and unions to try and elevate voter awareness of single-payer bill at the national level (HR 676). As an incremental step, Greens are also working with state legislators to craft legislation broadening the availability of current state-run plans.
GPNYS does not have ballot status and fell just short of regaining it in the 2006 interim elections. Thus the party reached out to enrolled Greens to give them a voice concerning the party’s presidential primary by sending a paper ballot to every enrolled Green. A successful fund drive was held to facilitate the mailing.
At its state convention on April 27, the Mountain Party again nominated Jesse Johnson as its candidate for governor in this fall’s election. Johnson ran four years ago and garnered 3% of the vote, one of the highest percentages of votes for a third-party candidate in the country. Two candidates have filed for the WV House of Delegates, Robin Mills for the 51st and John Wel borne for the 30th districts. Also running are James “Andy” Waddell for the 11th Senate District and Klaus Heitmann for the Berkeley County Commission.
“We conducted a cordial and successful convention,” said MP Chair, Bob Henry Baber. “We are proud to offer both local and national alternatives to the broken two party system. We are also pleased to be the only party in West Virginia that opposes Moun tain top Removal, and that supports an impressive array of progressive stances on issues such as healthcare, worker’s rights, environmental issues, and human rights. If you’re fed up with the status quo, the Mountain/Green Party offers real alternatives for real people— people such as you!”
Officers elected for two-year terms were: Chair, Bob Henry Baber, Vice-Chair, Bill Price; Secretary, Karen Grubb; Treasurer, Frank Young; and Deputy Com misioners, Lesia Null, Greg Carroll, and Eric McLaughlin. Karen Grubb and Jesse Johnson, with Frank Young and Eric McLaughlin as alternates, were re-appointed as delegates to the National Committee. The Mountain Party approved the appointment of Jesse Johnson to the International Committee and Bill Price to the Diversity Committee.
In 2005 the North Carolina Green Party joined the Libertarian Party in a lawsuit against the State of North Carolina challenging the state’s ballot access laws as unconstitutional. The case was heard in superior court in early May. After three days of convincing testimony including an appearance by Richard Winger as an expert witness, the judge found against the plaintiffs. The case will be appealed.