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While Green Party of Connecticut candidate Calvin Nicholson did not win, he did prove that Greens can bring out new voters. Nicholson was a candidate for Registrar of Voters in New Haven. He was hoping to win second place or better. Under Connecticut law, both the Democratic Party and Republican Party are guaranteed a Registrar seat in each town. However, if a third-party candidate comes in second, all three candidates would become Registrars. When the race was over, the Democrat and Republican candidates’ totals were stagnant, with almost no change from 2000 to 2004. Meanwhile, Nicholson received votes from 2,618 new voters.
Nancy Burton, a lawyer who ran for the first time as a Green for the
State House, is another candidate who won on a different level than highest vote
getter. Burton says, “My first campaign for public office began a short
two months ago. I consider capturing one out of every five votes for a
progressive third party, never before on the ballot, in such a short time, as an
exceptional achievement. My campaign brought into focus the menace of nuclear
power and what can be done to rid the state government of pervasive corruption.”
Mike DeRosa, running for State Senator, got 2,050 votes in the First District Connecticut State Senate contest (south Hartford and Wethersfield). DeRosa got 859 votes in Wethersfield and 1,191 votes in Hartford. This represents a 410 vote increase over his 2000 run for the same senatorial seat (a 25 percent increase).
Ralph Ferrucci ran for Congress in the Third District against Incumbent Democrat Rosa DeLauro in a lopsided race with little news coverage. Despite Ferrucci sometimes being left out of some stories, pictures and voter guides, his campaign did better than the last Green candidate (Charles Pillsbury, 2002) in towns with larger working class populations: Ansonia, Derby, East Haven, Naugatuck, Prospect, Seymour, Shelton, Stratford and Waterbury.
CTGP ran many local candidates in the 2004 general election: Joyce Chen ran for State House of Representatives. David Bedell ran for Registrar of Voters as a write-in candidate. And John Amarilios, Colin Bennett, and David Albano (write-in) all ran for State Senate.
Contact the CTGP at www.ctgreens.org.
The Green Party of Delaware (GPDE) came through the 2004 elections with improved prospects, despite a smaller than expected showing at the polls in November.
The entire party was engaged in three local races in New Castle County--two for county council and one for city council in Wilmington, the small state’s largest city.
The more significant of the county council contests was in a newly defined district that stretches between Wilmington and the university town of Newark. J. Roy Cannon, state Green Party leader and officer of his homeowner’s association, was pitted against two opponents: a Democratic Party insider who is a bricklayers’ union business agent and a Republican business consultant. As a result of the energy and organizing surrounding the Cannon campaign, a new local is already forming.
In Wilmington, John Atkeison ran for an at-large seat on the city council. This seat is reserved for someone ‘’not of the majority party,’’ which means a non-Democrat in Wilmington. The chair of the Democratic Party—an incumbent councilmember—publicly intervened and endorsed a Republican for the seat: his handpicked candidate won.
Despite the loss, the Green Party formed new coalitions, including loose ties with the independent mayoral candidate who ran on the Republican line. In addition, the Atkeison campaign received 1,424 votes, the highest Green total in the state. This strong showing reinforces the view that urban and black working class people respond to a Green platform. The Green Party is now an acknowledged political force across the entire city.
Contact the GPDE at www.gpde.org.
District of Columbia
The D.C. Statehood Green Party (DCSGP) had twelve candidates on the ballot on November 2, and scored six victories. All six wins were for positions on the Advisory Neighborhood Council. This council has over 200 members who have no budget or real power, but who can have influence on neighborhood level land-use and planning decisions. In addition, holding these offices is a good way for candidates to develop experience and visibility. Victories for these races usually involve receiving between 100 and 300 votes, though some candidates were actually unopposed.
The top vote-getter for the DCSGP was Adam Eidinger, candidate for DC Representative who earned just under 13 percent (22,754 votes). The position of D.C. Representative will be D.C.’s member of the House of Representatives when D.C. becomes a state, and D.C.’s lobbyist for statehood until then.
DCGP also had three candidates for city council. Laurent Ross ran for an at-large race and received 7.6 percent. Jay Marx in Ward 2 received 7.8 percent. Michele-Tingling Clemmons ran in Ward 7 and received 4.5 percent. Tingling-Clemmons outpolled the Republican in this overwhelmingly Democratic city.
DCSGP needed 7000 votes in any race to maintain its ballot line, and both Eidinger and Ross surpassed that threshold. Additionally, DCSGP endorsed Mai Abdul Rahman for School Board, who earned 7.4 percent.
DCSGP has been active in many D.C. issues recently. DCSGP opposes tax support for a new baseball stadium. DCSGP has also campaigned on the issue of water quality, since it was discovered that lead levels are in some places 1000 times above the legal limit. Other issues include tax fairness, in a city where so many wealthy lobbyists live in Virginia, and addressing the closure a few years ago of the only public hospital.
Contact the DCSGP at www.dcstatehoodgreen.org.
Florida Greens awoke on November 3 to an overwhelming victory: Kim O’Connor
won her race in Tallahassee for Ochlockonee River Soil and Water Conservation
Supervisor District #3, with 56,244 votes or 64 percent of the vote. O’Connor
was the Florida Cobb/LaMarche Coordinator. She did an amazing job of balancing
the running of a winning campaign with spreading the Green message statewide
through the Cobb campaign.
Henry Lawrence ran an admirable race as Bay County’s first Green Candidate. Although Lawrence did not win the countywide seat he ran for, he is considering throwing his hat in the ring again and running for an upcoming city race. His efforts campaigning have greatly increased interest in the Greens and an awareness of bicycle advocacy in the Bay County area.
David Cobb also received 3,836 votes in the state of Florida. During his campaign he made a stop in the Panhandle to support Lawrence’s campaign. Cobb also participated in the third party alternate debate which took place in Coral Gables.
The Green Party of Florida (GPF) is gearing up to participate in a petition drive and educational campaign for a statewide initiative to place IRV on the ballot in Florida. GPF hopes to help achieve ballot access for this item for the 2006 or 2008 ballot.
Over the last year, many Florida Greens have actively worked toward election reform. GPF sent a lobbying delegation, headed by Kevin Aplin and Martine Zundmanis, to Tallahassee to work with legislators towards a voter verifiable paper trail. This delegation was so well received, they were asked back to appear before the committee again. Many Florida Greens have also been involved in election protection efforts and are still continuing to review the events of the 2004 general election.
Contact the GPF at www.floridagreens.org.
For Idaho Green Party (IGP) members in the Boise area, the race to watch was Kevin Bayhouse for Ada County Highway District (ACHD) Commissioner.
Kevin entered the race three hours before the filing deadline when word got out that the incumbent would not be seeking reelection. His future campaign manager, Gwen Sanchirico, knowing Kevin to be the perfect candidate for the position, called him at work and persuaded him to run.
Bayhouse is spokesperson of the Ada County Green Party and secretary of the IGP. He’s a bicycle commuter (as well as a former drag-racer) and is very knowledgeable in regional transit issues and local government. He is also a board member of Valley Ride’s Community Resource Board, a participant in ACHD’s Bicycle Advisory Committee, and an active member of Idaho Smart Growth.
Kevin Bayhouse was the only ACHD candidate with a website. In Idaho, most major party, local candidates don’t bother to reach out to voters with online information. On www.votebayhouse.org, Kevin delineated his positions and plans as commissioner for improved air quality, greater transit options, and fair impact fees (charging developers for a share of infrastructure costs associated with their projects). The website was the first to implement the IGP’s suggestion to candidates to post all special interest group questionnaires on their websites.
The Bayhouse campaign also featured the biggest and most artistic road signs—handmade by a team of volunteers and featuring the unicycle logo, which created a bit of a buzz locally.
IGP broke a longstanding barrier when the state’s largest newspaper, the Idaho Statesman, endorsed Bayhouse for the ACHD commissioner race. After years of struggling with the establishment newspaper to demand fair and equal coverage, one of our candidates had his hard work and grasp of the issues pay off when he won an endorsement over a Chamber of Commerce and business PAC favorite.
In a tough race with four contenders and seven names on the ballot, and a first-time candidate spending less than $300, Kevin received 2308 votes, for 11.46 percent of the total.
Of the seven candidates on the printed ballot, three had withdrawn from the race after the ballots had been printed. In previous races, such candidates have been crossed off the ballots by hand to reflect last-minute changes, but not this time. Votes for self-disqualified voters amounted to 25 percent--enough to make the last-place candidate win if those votes had gone to him.
IGP plans to lodge a formal complaint about this failure of process along with condemning the late and inaccurate release of write-in votes for David Cobb and Ralph Nader.
In other party-building news, a new local chapter has formed recently in Idaho. The Canyon County Green Party met and adopted new by-laws in October 2004. The chapter has a mailing list of about 100 area residents, as well as its own website at canyon.idahogreenparty.org, which includes content in Spanish and English.
Contact the IGP at www.idahogreenparty.org.
IGP’s future focus is on building our statewide Green Party infrastructure through issues work and promotional/educational efforts. Members of our locals are very active in a broad range of issues at the local and state levels: water quality, police oversight, protection of our Constitutionally guaranteed liberties, environmental sustainability, alternative transportation projects and more. Through the work of our individual members, we are getting various mentions of the Green Party in the media.
Our only ballot line candidate, Maureen Barlock, running for Center Township Board (Marion County), got 1.9 percent of the vote total in a four-way race.
Our main electoral focus from now until 2006 is preparing for the next
Secretary of State race, upon which our hopes of ballot access lie. A candidate
for this race has already stated his intention to run in ’06 for this office.
It will be the biggest electoral challenge IGP has yet faced.
The Green Party of Louisiana (GPL) kicked its campaign season off to a good start with a Board of Education campaign in September of 2004. The GPL candidate for Orleans Parish School Board District 3, Sandra Hester, received 18 percent of the vote, the highest percentage ever for a Green Party endorsed candidate in Louisiana.
In November, as soon as the presidential election ended, Greens in Louisiana ramped up efforts to support union organizer and local candidate Adam Wilson for State Senate (www.ElectGreens.com). Running a party-building campaign to keep the Green Party moving forward in Louisiana, Wilson’s platform is to cover contraceptives in private health plans (Contraceptive Equity), raising the minimum wage to a living wage, and restoring the cuts to the Louisiana public hospital system (Charity Hospital).
As of this writing, GPL is only 11 registrations away from being eligible to file for major party status. And, this number doesn’t even take into account recent registrations. Greens were very active in registering Greens during October, especially during David Cobb’s visits. The GPL is confident that they will surpass the 1,000 registrant threshold this winter.
Contact the GPL at www.lagreens.org.
There is lots of good news out of Maine this year in the legislative races. The
number-one story is the reelection of Representative John Eder in District 118.
Eder’s district was gerrymandered by the Democrat-controlled legislature
specifically to try to unseat Eder. Thanks to Eder’s strong campaign and his
ability to address the issues that are important to his constituency, he handily
beat his incumbent, Democrat, opponent.
This election year, the Maryland Green Party (MGP) ran more candidates than it has ever run before. A total of 16 Green candidates ran in races spanning the ballot from U.S. Senate to Baltimore City Council, earning a combined total of over 121,000 votes.
In Baltimore City, candidates received approximately 12 percent of the citywide vote, while many of the congressional candidates received approximately 3 percent. Senate candidate Maria Allwine received over 1.5 percent, which represents about four times the number of registered Greens in the state.
About 1000 new voters changed their registration to Green between August and October, bringing the total to 7,506 registered Greens in Maryland. The 15 percent growth rate marks an even greater upturn, in a party that is rapidly growing. The MGP has experienced continued growth since receiving official state recognition in 2000.
The record-breaking election was the product of the MGP’s 2003 ballot access court victory, which removed the unconstitutional barriers faced by minor parties when placing candidates on ballots.
The legal victory and electoral strides are the result of about eight years of steady labor by hundreds of Greens to create locals across the state. They are the product of creating a decentralized and democratic statewide structure with efficient channels of communication, statewide assemblies, meetings, mailings, publicity and, of course, a few pioneering candidacies.
Contact the MGP at www.mdgreens.org.
One countywide candidate, Art Myatt, got over 90,000 votes as the only challenger to L. Brooks Patterson for the post of Oakland County Executive. This was the Greens’ highest vote count in the state in 2004, and second only to Susan Fawcett in 2002 as the highest ever for someone running as a Green in Michigan.
Just behind Myatt in Green votes were the party’s 2004 candidates for the four statewide education boards—Peter Ponzetti III for the State Board of Education, Nathaniel Damren for U-M regent, Ben Burgis for MSU trustee, and Margaret Guttshall for WSU governor.
These candidates received four to five times the 17,033 votes needed to requalify the Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) for the 2006 ballot. Even with the extreme pressure suppressing vote counts for David Cobb and Patricia LaMarche at the top of the ticket, statewide Green candidates averaged more votes this year than in 2002.
Greens not running in the whole state picked up over 200,000 local votes across Michigan. And non-Greens endorsed by local groups received another 100,00--80,000 of them for newly elected Washtenaw County Clerk Lawrence Kestenbaum.
One of the two Green incumbents up for re-election won. Jim Moreno was the top vote-getter among five candidates for two seats on the Mount Pleasant City Commission. Moreno, who won passage of a resolution urging the state to provide health care for all as a right guaranteed in the Michigan Constitution, will serve another three-year term.
Charlevoix County Drain Commissioner Joanne Bier Beemon suffered attacks by the Republican-dominated county commission and the land development lobby, and lost her bid for re-election. Beemon and her running mates, prosecutor candidate Ellis Boal and Charlevoix Township Trustee candidate Joseph King, played leading roles in a popular campaign to block Wal-Mart from coming into the township.
Greens were also active in other campaigns, welcoming passage of a local issue in Ferndale to begin using Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for election of the city’s mayor and council once compatible voting systems are found--and defeat of Detroit Proposal E, which would have weakened the upcoming return of locally elected control over the city’s public schools.
However, Greens had also taken a strong stand against statewide Proposal
04-2, and were disappointed by the passage of the initiative enshrining
discrimination against same-sex marriage (and other forms of personal
partnership) in the Michigan Constitution.
With only one Green candidate on the ballot for a local office, and David Cobb/Pat LaMarche, the Nevada Green Party (NVGP) most likely did not receive enough votes to maintain ballot access, although the exact numbers are still unknown.
The party was not informed that the candidate list must precede the candidates’ filing. The NVGP plan, which it thought to be strategic, was to file the list on deadline, thus making it impossible for the Democrats to slip in a last-minute candidate where the Greens may have been uncontested beside a Republican candidate. The candidates filed throughout the week before the party filed our candidate list, and one by one the candidates were turned away. Paul Juntunen, candidate for a district assembly seat, was the only candidate to make it on the ballot, due to this unknown rule.
Juntunen received the endorsement of the local alternative newspaper, the Reno News and Review. In addition, the NVGP was visited twice by David Cobb, and was able to get him speaking time in front of college and high school students both times. These appearances received a lot of coverage on public access television and NPR.
The NVGP has learned a lot and hopes to have a more successful year in 2005.
Contact the NVGP at www.nevadagreenparty.org.
The 2004 elections were a big challenge and a potential source of conflict for the Green Party of New York State (GPoNYS), as well as for the party and the nation as a whole. Our state sent 40 delegates to the National Convention in Milwaukee to participate in the presidential nominations. With most of the delegation giving their support to Nader/Camejo, it was clear that (GPoNYS) had to find a creative way of mobilizing party members for a Cobb/LaMarche petition drive in addition to uniting activists who would be working on different campaigns.
David McReynolds, GPoNYS’s candidate for U.S. Senate, was one campaign enthusiastically supported by many Greens. Party activists in the Cobb/LaMarche and Nader/Camejo campaigns gathered signatures and distributed literature for McReynolds. McReynolds’ campaign gave all New Yorkers a chance to vote against the war and the PATRIOT Act, and for peace and social justice. With over 32,000 votes, McReynolds came in fourth after the three major ballot status party candidates.
GPoNYS also had several local candidates who offered voters a real alternative to the major party, machine politicians. First-time candidates Mark Borino (4.8 percent) and Rebecca White (4.6 percent) ran coordinated State Assembly and State Senate campaigns in North Brooklyn. Their innovative campaigning, from “politics in the pub” to “pasties for peace burlesque” caught the attention of young voters in their district. Borino and White both publicized the Cobb/LaMarche presidential write-in campaign by including it on their campaign literature.
Evergreen Chou (1.7 percent), an experienced Green Party candidate and activist in Queens, ran for State Assembly (District 22). This race drew media attention all the way to China, partly because it was the first of its kind with all Asian American candidates. David Atias ran for Commissioner of Schools in Rochester and received 2,149 votes.
Howie Hawkins, a longtime Green Party activist and candidate, ran for U.S. Congress on the Peace and Justice line. Hawkins received 9.3 percent of the vote. GPoNYS endorsed both Howie Hawkins and Nader/Camejo campaigns on the independent, Peace and Justice line.
Several local candidates were denied ballot access, in part due to arcane state election laws. Dale Gibbons and Susan Metz ran very deliberate and successful write-in campaigns. Kimberly Wilder continued her campaign for State Senate as a write-in, after the Suffolk County Board of Elections wrongfully threw her off the ballot.
GPoNYS is laying the groundwork now for an important goal—regaining our
ballot status in the 2006 governor election. GPoNYS State Committee members are
energized by the increase in enrollment—now close to 41,000 enrollees. Shortly
after the 2004 general election, an appeals court affirmed the decision to allow
the GPoNYS to hold on to its enrollees, even though automatic ballot status had
been lost in the last governor’s race.
Contact GPoNYS at www.gpnys.org.
Ohio struggles with presidential race
Ohio often serves as a bellwether for the national mood, this year fulfilling that role as a premier battleground state in the contest between the major party candidates for president. The closeness of the Ohio vote Nov. 2 denied the winner an election-night victory speech. The Green Party of Ohio (GPO), similarly, seems to reflect the ebbs and flows of the national trends affecting the Green Party as a whole.
Green Party old-timers will recall the bitter divisions caused by the ASGP/GPUSA split in 1996. Ralph Nader himself seemed of two minds about the effort that year: He was willing to be put forward as a candidate, but refused to campaign. That rancor split Green efforts to get Nader on the Ohio ballot in 1996. The Green Party of Ohio got more than enough signatures to pass the 5,000 hurdle, but the validity rate was too low, and the number of valid signatures fell short by a few hundred.
In 2000, GPO doubled the number of signatures from 1996, and easily got Nader
on the ballot. But in 2004 the party was split yet again. Some of the strongest
Green Party leaders in Ohio focused entirely on the Nader campaign, while the
formal structure of GPO backed David Cobb.
A key lesson from Ohio’s experience with Green Party presidential contests is that we cannot expect to get on the ballot if we split our effort. Thanks to the efforts of Ohio’s Cobb/LaMarche campaign co-ordinator, Gwen Marshall of Cincinnati, Cobb was recognized as a formal write-in candidate. The vote count was extremely low (unlikely to be more than one or two hundred), yet having this official status as a candidate is what gave Cobb the standing to challenge the Ohio vote with a recount.
GPO also had three candidates running for Ohio State House of Representatives: Chris Glassburn, District 16, received 2.98 percent of the votes; Logan Martinez, District 39, received 4.27 percent; and Rick Otten, District 19, received 5.84 percent.
Despite our divisions and lack of electoral wins, membership rolls continue to grow and the Green Party of Ohio looks forward to future electoral contests.
Contact the GPO at www.ohiogreens.org.
Oregon: The Pacific Green Party looks at the bright side
The fog of gloom settling over the political scene is bringing new recruits to the Pacific Green Party of Oregon (PGP). Volunteers have signed onto the PGP website in record numbers since November 3! Election activities have re-energized PGP members and inspired budding new chapters. Teresa Keane, accompanied by her campaign manager, Jeff Cropp, took her U.S. Senate campaign on the road to help build PGP chapters throughout the state, and they reported enthusiastic receptions and positive press coverage everywhere they went.
A new Campus Green chapter at Portland State University is sponsoring a Progressive Film Festival, and activists are organizing in several areas east of the Cascades. PGP members are taking the lead in local and national issues such as campaign finance reform (Money is Not Democracy!) and the fight to convert a Portland-area power company owned by Enron to public ownership. Greens spearheaded a successful statewide drive to resist certain provisions of the infamous PATRIOT Act, and in conservative Southern Oregon Green activists have organized a Global Warming Coalition dedicated to addressing this critical issue. Southern Oregon PGP members were recognized as “key players” in the fall elections, and their endorsements of measures and candidates hit front pages of the local papers.
The Pacific Green Party is working hard to fulfill the old bumper-sticker plea: “Keep Oregon Green.”
Contact the PGP at www.pacificgreens.org.
The Pennsylvania Greens admit, it was a tough year! The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) scored no strategic victories this year, but had a good record of tactical successes that will propel the party into the future.
This election year began with a very successful, and well attended, convention in Reading. This convention was soon followed by the first GPPA Presidential Caucus ever held. Energetic statewide tours were led for Cobb/LaMarche, and for the three state row office candidates. These major races, along with a record number of candidates for Congress and General Assembly, gathered sufficient petition signatures to assure 2004 Pennsylvania ballot access for 19 Green candidates.
These 19 candidates pooled their campaign efforts, resulting in strong showings that got out the Green Message. When the votes were tallied, Attorney General candidate Marakay Rogers received enough votes to ensure GPPA “minor party” status for the next two years.
After Election Day, the candidates and the state committee have conducted “lessons learned” sessions, to capitalize on this bonanza of practical experience in grassroots democracy. The state and local committees have reorganized to be ready to apply these lessons to future elections. Plans are being made to run many top quality, first-time candidates for the 2005 municipal elections. These campaigns, as well as winning local offices, will train more Green candidates, and campaign staffers, for the 2006 races for governor, Lt. governor, senator, and congressional and General Assembly seats.
Contact the GPPA at www.pagreenparty.org.
In 2003 the Green Party of Rhode Island foresaw this election year becoming the Perfect Storm. Ralph Nader’s candidacy, combined with the Democrats’ failed Anybody But Bush effort, made for a difficult year to muster energy in the presidential campaign, in spite of having a Green candidate who understood this milieu. GPRI weathered the storm, and is actually rather pleased with their statewide election results, especially the two-way races of two experienced candidates.
Larry Kerns ran a medium intensity campaign for State Representative in District 37, with five volunteers. He spent less than $1000, and increased his base from 15 to 21 percent. Jeffrey Toste ran a high intensity campaign for State Senate in District 5, with 50 volunteers, and raised his percentage of the vote from 23 to 29 percent. Their efforts made real progress in teaching R.I. Greens how to manage campaigns, as well as bringing in new volunteers.
Despite all the trouble caused by the presidential race, local support held up well. Individual R.I. Greens are held in high regard by the enviromnental, peace, and justice communities. The RIGP is about to lose its ballot status, since the presidential candidate did not receive the needed 5 percent of the vote. Loss of ballot and registration status is only a minor impediment to organizing in Rhode Island. The same number of signatures is required to get candiates on the ballot, with, or without, ballot status.
This year’s presidential campaign was low key, with only the presidential primary debate, and one campaign event each, for David Cobb and Pat LaMarche. The upbeat approach of the national slate helped draw new voters to the state party. GPRI continues to develop campaign expertise, has a growing core group, ran some great races this year and is energized and ready to prepare for 2006.
Contact the GPRI at www.greens.org/ri.
Vermont Runs Candidates for the First Time
The Vermont Green Party, for the first time as a recognized state party and an accredited affiliate of the Green Party of the Unites States, ran candidates for local and statewide in November 2004. The party made a solid showing given its status as a brand-new party on the state ballot and considering its very limited financial resources. The most successful candidate was Greg Delanty who got 37.8% of the vote for Chittenden County High Baliff, representing more than 18,00 votes. Delanty ran against an incumbent Democrat-Republican "fusion" candidate, showing that, when given the alternative to vote Green, voters are not wary of bucking the two-party system. Chittenden County is the largest county in the state, representing more than 25% of the total population. It is home to Burlington, South Burlington, and Colchester, Vermont's three largest municipalities. James Marc Leas, who ran for attorney general, got 3% of the statewide vote, and came in fourth out of six candidates. Jimmy ran on a very strong anti-war, anti-USA PATRIOT Act position.
Ben Clarke, city councilor in Winooski, ran for State Senate in Chittenden County and received nearly 10,000 votes, proving the strength of the Green Party in Burlington, long known as the bastion of progressive politics in Vermont. The six winners of the State Senate race were five Democrats and one Republican. The Vermont Green Party also ran a candidate for the U.S. Senate, and ran three candidates for local Justice of the Peace offices in two communities.
"Running our first candidates was a very good experience for us. We gained a lot of exposure in the televised debates, learned a lot, and will be able to mount more and better campaigns in 2006 and 2008," said George Plumb, VGP Executive Director.
"Building another political party is very challenging, considering that the Progressive Party of Vermont is a 'major' party in this state and holds six legislative seats, and where citizens think of Vermont's congressional delegation as perhaps the most progressive in the nation," said Craig Chevrier, VGP Chair. "But we are working hard to help people realize that Vermont needs a progressive alternative that is also affiliated with a strong national third party and is based on the Four Pillars of environmentalism, peace, social justice, and grassroots democracy-values Vermonters have always held dear."
Vermont has two elected Greens at local levels of government: Clarke in Winooski; and Rob Williams, school board member in Waitsfield. Contact the VGP at www.vermontgreens.org.
Note: this report did not appear in the print version of Green Pages, due to an oversight by the editors. The board extends its sincere apologies to Vermont.
Greens agree with many others in Washington that systemic change is necessary to move the country in a progressive direction. Greens have discussed election reform--including instant-runoff voting (IRV), publicly financed campaigns, open debates--as well as taking back our airwaves, abolishing the personhood of corporations and other efforts of interest to us all.
In four counties in Washington, nonpartisan groups are already forming to work together on progressive issues. The Green Party of Washington State (GPoWS) and its affiliated locals are playing key roles in this effort, which is expected to develop into a statewide—or even nationwide—network. The election has energized people in peace and justice groups, political parties (even some RiNOs--Republicans in Name Only), and the majority here who are independent voters.
The current push is to collect 200,000 signatures by the end of this year on an initiative to the legislature for statewide IRV. It’s an uphill effort, but also a way to mobilize progressives, and an important use of our combined strength. GPoWS is working with many groups and individual activists to get 5,000 people to gather 40 signatures each.
GPoWS ran 11 state candidates, and elected only one nonpartisan freeholder. Despite the best efforts of Washington Greens to block it, an initiative for a Louisiana-style primary passed. (A similar initiative was defeated in California with help from the Greens there.) Green support did help to pass an initiative to clean up radioactive waste, and Greens helped to defeat both a referendum on charter schools and an initiative to expand nontribal gambling.
Contact the GPoWS at www.wagreens.org.
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