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Number 17 The Green Party of Virginia Newsletter Summer 1997

Contents
Statement by Green Party Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader
Want to Write in a Vote? Sorry, Not in Virginia Bill Sizemore
Presidential Write-In Ban Repealed Eric Sheffield
NOVA Greens Seize Airwaves Staff
Greens Back Student Organizing Drive David Laibstain
Can We Leave the Children One River John Balkwill
From the Editor Elise Sheffield
The Criminalization of Adolescence David Laibstain
Letter: Give Me Liberty Paul Gagnon
What's Feminism? Sheila Lamb
Women, Animals, Nature and other primers in Eco-Feminism Sherry Stanley
Welcome New Members / Thanks Contributors Staff
SUMMER GATHERING! Staff
Calling All Candidates Staff
Green Locals: What's Up  

Newsletters GPVA

Statement by Green Presidential Candidate Ralph Nader

I would like to thank Winona LaDuke, Green Party Vice Presidential candidate and all the hard-working volunteers who contributed their time and energy to Green Party efforts nationwide. The goal of our national campaign was not to win an election, but to stimulate debate about the future of our democracy and about the need to develop alternatives to the existing two-party duopoly. Unfortunately, the two major parties neglected the subjects of democratic empowerment, pervasive corporate crime, bloated corporate welfare, genuine campaign finance reform, energy independence, universal health insurance, 23 percent child poverty, weakened civil liberties, collective bargaining and job safety laws for workers, the size of the military budget, housing, the corporate merger wave, GATT and NAFTA, and the non-enforcement of consumer, environmental and natural resource laws. The Greens called attention to these issues and because of their efforts the political dialogue was enriched.

One of the most important elements of this citizen-driven, self- reliant, initiative was to demonstrate that money does not have to shape politics. This run has highlighted how much can be done with "green hours" and without greenbacks. Equally important, the Greens have drawn many young people into the electoral process that were turned off by the lackluster agendas of the major parties.

As the hoopla about this electoral cycle ends, and most campaigns are winding down, the Greens are beginning the process of building a more substantial alternative to the tweedledee- tweedledum options that voters endure each election season.

The Greens have much to be proud of this fall. They themselves have broadened and deepened their roots in communities throughout this country. Nationwide we received about 1 percent of the presidential vote, even though we were only on the ballot in 21 states and the District of Columbia. In Oregon, we had our best showing and received 4 percent of the presidential vote. The Green Party numbers, while much smaller than those received by the Democratic, Republican and Reform Party are good first national steps by this emerging young party toward strengthening our democracy and will form a substantial foundation for future Green campaigns.

Washington, D.C. -- November 7, 1996


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Want to Write in a Vote? Sorry, Not in Virginia

by Bill Sizemore

This article is from the Virginia Pilot (Norfolk, VA) - copyright 1996 Landmark Communications, Inc. - It was written before the write-in ban was repealed as described by Eric Sheffield's article in this newsletter.

This article is from The Virginian-Pilot (Norfolk, VA) November 5, 1996, Tuesday, FINAL EDITION - Bill Sizemore is a staff writer on this paper

Experts tell us we're in an era of popular disillusionment with the political process. If they're right, many Americans out there are pondering the presidential choices that face them in the voting booth today and feeling turned off by the lot of them. Say you just can't stomach the idea of voting for Bill Clinton, Bob Dole or Ross Perot. What to do?

Your options are pretty limited, especially in Virginia. Three other presidential candidates are listed on the Virginia ballot, but they aren't exactly household names: Harry Browne, John Hagelin, Howard Phillips. Probably the best-known "other" candidate for president this year is Ralph Nader, the consumer advocate running on the environmentalist Green Party ticket. His name appears on the ballot in 21 states and the District of Columbia, but not in Virginia. "So," the disillusioned voter might ask, "can I write him in?"

The answer, in Virginia, is no. You can't write in Nader - or anyone else, for that matter. Virginia is one of eight states where write-ins aren't allowed in presidential balloting. Blame it on the Electoral College, that quaint relic of the 18th century that still governs presidential voting today. Here's how Bruce Meadows, secretary of the State Board of Elections, explained it Monday, "The thinking behind it is that since you are voting for a slate of electors rather than a candidate, it's impossible to write in the 13 electors in that write-in spot if there was one available."

So how do the 42 states that allow write-ins manage it? Most of them "have some provision that a slate of electors must be presented to their state board of elections for a write-in vote to count," Meadows said. "That way, the votes for Donald Duck and things of that nature are not counted." The way the Greens see it, Virginia's prohibition on write-ins is a sign of antipathy toward political pluralism. "They just don't want third parties involved in the game," said Eric Sheffield, co-clerk of the Green Party of Virginia.

The Greens took the state to court last month in an attempt to overturn the policy, arguing that it violates Article II, Section 3 of the state Constitution, which says in part: "In elections other than primary elections, provision shall be made whereby votes may be cast for persons other than the listed candidates or nominees."

But Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin Hughes dismissed the case, agreeing with the state's argument that the state Constitution is overridden by the U.S. Constitution, which gives state legislatures power over the selection of presidential electors. "State legislatures could theoretically say if you stand on your head for 24 hours, you could be a presidential elector," said James Hopper, the senior assistant attorney general who argued the state's case.

Hughes' quashing of the Greens' challenge has drawn the ire of voting rights advocates. "It's the most outrageous decision in the country this year in the area of voters' rights," said Richard Winger, editor of Ballot Access News, a San Francisco-based newsletter. "It's in your state constitution that the right to cast a write-in vote in a general election is guaranteed, and yet the State Board of Elections won't permit it for president."

The Greens say they will appeal the decision on behalf of future write-in candidates, even though it's too late for their man Nader.

Accompanying the Virginia Pilot article was a color photo with the following caption:

Ralph Nader appears on ballots in 21 states and the District of Columbia, but not in Virginia. And voters can't write him in.

(Copyright 1996 Landmark Communications, Inc.)


Newsletters GPVA

Presidential Write-In Ban Repealed

by Eric Sheffield

In a stunning reversal, just four years after codifying Virginia's long-standing ban on write-ins for president, the 1997 General Assembly has voted unanimously to repeal the ban.

Beginning with the next presidential election Virginians will join citizens in 42 other states who have the option to write-in for president.

The write-in ban repeal is the Green Party of Virginia's most visible legislative victory to date. The campaign began when it became clear that the petition drive to place Ralph Nader on the ballot would fall short. A decision was made to sue the Commonwealth of Virginia for the right to write-in, as guaranteed by the Virginia Constitution. The Blacksburg law firm of Kratman, Pethybridge, and Swindell was engaged to file the suit.

The GPVA was successful in having the lawsuit heard before the election. However, Richmond Circuit Judge Melvin Hughes ruled against the suit, basing his judgment on the argument that the state's Constitution is itself unconstitutional according to the U.S. Constitution. This was a tremendous blow as it meant that even if the case was appealed, the results would come too late to write-in Nader in 1996.

At the winter meeting of the Greens of Virginia, in Blacksburg, there was much debate as to whether to continue the battle in court. Most agreed that the cause was worthwhile but our finances were stretched thin despite substantial donations of time on the part of our attorney Matt Pethybridge. In the end it was decided to proceed with the appeal if another $400 could be raised.

As they had earlier in the year, Greens in Virginia and across the country, came through with donations to keep the campaign alive. The GPVA appealed the case to the Supreme Court of Virginia.

Before the case could be heard, Sen. John Edwards of Roanoke, introduced a bill in the General Assembly to repeal the write-in ban. Edwards was apparently responding to angry constituents (Greens perhaps?) who had been unable to write-in and felt their constitutional rights had been denied. Despite a hundred years of precedent, Edwards' bill sailed through the General Assembly with nary a word of opposition and was signed into law by the Governor.

Even if Greens in Virginia never need to take advantage of this new law, they can be proud of their part in taking this small step toward democracy. As noted in Ballot Access News "This Virginia action is the first improvement in write-in law in any state since 1992..."

Many thanks to all those Greens who made financial contributions and especially to Matt Pethybridge and his firm.

-- Eric Sheffield is co-clerk of the Greens of Virgina


Newsletters GPVA

NOVA Greens Seize Airwaves

As Seen on TV!

The Northern Virginia Greens have taken the first step towards creating a Green Public Access TV program. Originally, about five years ago, NOVA Greens Mike Looney, Dale MacMillan, and Muriel Grim investigated the concept of producing a Green-valued cable access TV program. They were very enthusiastic about the training and potential for a show but decided that a large goup of dedicated volunteers was necessary to produce a regular show and production at that time was not feasible.

Northern Virginia Greens have taken the first step towards creating a Green Public Access TV program.

About a year ago, Mike Looney suggested that perhaps a show could be created if it consisted of 22- to 25-minute films preceeded and followed by graphics and text information about the Greens. Jim Lowenstern then began to train and volunteer at Fairfax County Public Access Channel 10. Jim Lowenstern has already been a camera person for a cable access show in Fairfax, The Psychic Show, featuring R. Neville Johnston.

For any locale there is a cable TV company that installs and wires cable TV. By law that cable company must supply the local community with the opportunity to put its own TV programs on the cable system. That is cable public access TV.

For any locale there is a cable TV company that installs and wires cable TV. By law that cable company must supply the local community with the opportunity to put its own TV programs on the cable system.

In Fairfax County, the public access station offers training courses for becoming a producer, a requirement for broadcasting a program. The cost would be about $150 for county residents and higher for non-residents. Most shows have a director-engineer, and two assistants who handle typing credits and sound quality. In addition, in the studio are up to 3 camera people. They or other people have to do lighting and setting up the stage. If films were shown instead of a live show fewer people would be needed. When there are more Fairfax volunteers and a show is aired it will be advantageous to have other Virginia Green locals investigate public access TV. Interested Greens locals could and hopefully will find out what it would take to produce a green show in their cable access area. Once the shows do air, cable systems can air shows from each other's areas. So, in theory, a show produced in Fairfax, would be shown at a later date in other parts of the state.

Sharing films and shows would reduce the cost and effort for each of the locals involved. This appears to be an excellent way to promote Green values and introduce The Greens of Virginia to a new audience.


Newsletters GPVA

Greens Back Student Organizing Drive

by David Laibstain

The following proposal by high school student David Laibstain was adopted at the winter quarterly meeting of the Greens of Virginia, at the University of Richmond. For more information, contact David at 6072 River Crescent, Norfolk, VA 23505, (757) 451-0041.

Whereas it is of the gravest importance that the Green Party of Virginia recruit new members among the students of this state, and

Whereas other organizations within "the movement" have had immense success recruiting among an increasingly liberal student pool, and

Whereas The GPVA has not to this point inspired an overwhelming amount of support from students, therefore be it

Resolved that the GPVA formally begin a campaign to recruit and involve students as active and vital members of the GPVA, according to the following methods and goals.

Methods

1. The GPVA should start an organization called "Student Greens of Virginia" (SGVA).

2. The SGVA would provide information and organizational materials to all interested students, encouraging them to open chapters (which, once chartered would act as fully recognized local groups) at their schools or becoming part of the SGVA network. (Similar to the GOV network)

3. Members of the SGVA and school chapters would act as members of a fully recognized student caucus within the GPVA.

4. The SGVA would be clerked by two co-clerks, to be selected by the SGVA, and assisted by regional contacts.

Goals

1. The SGVA should have at least a hundred members by the end of the 1998 school year, and at least three local groups.

2. The SGVA should have had at least three full caucus meetings by this date.

3. The SGVA should have a firmly est-ablished network of regional con-tacts who regularly attend, support, and report on the activities in their region.

4. The SGVA should have participated in or planned at least one lobby day, and been involved in at least ten other legislative efforts.

5. The SGVA should have a student contact working with every GPVA member running for public office in order to coordinate student efforts in campaigning.


Newsletters GPVA

Beyond Corporate Media

by John Balkwill

Can We Leave the Children One River?

By feeding English savages who arrived on the Virginia Peninsula 400 years ago, the Algonquin made their biggest mistake. Concentrating on plundering the New World, the English hadn't prepared for hunger and resorted to cannibalism, digging up graves of fellow colonists to gnaw at the rotting flesh--even murdering relatives for food.

Edmund Morgan's American Slavery, American Freedom tells us what followed after British bellies were full: "Since the Indians were better woodsmen than the English and virtually impossible to track down, the method was to feign peaceful intentions, let them settle down and plant their corn wherever they chose, and then, just before harvest, fall upon them, killing as many as possible and burning the corn...."

The Chief of the 32-tribe Powhatan Confederation is reported to have pleaded with Captain John Smith: "Why will you take by force what you may have quietly by love? Why will you destroy us who supply you with food?" Perhaps the English couldn't hear the request over the din of screaming children as they burned villages to clear land for "development."

At any rate, this eventually led to an Old Dominion of the developers, by the developers and for the developers, from which campaign financing bribery has spawned a pernicious law called the Dillon rule. The Dillon rule prevents a breakout of democracy from occurring in even Virginia's smallest hamlet, while funneling the people's taxes into schemes of wealthy developers.

Because of the Dillon rule, when development takes place in Virginia, the local community is forced to pay for associated roads, sewer lines, impact on schools, impact on public safety, etc. Subsidized thusly, developers have only to abscond with profits and slither off to pave over the next patch of paradise, laughing at stupid taxpayers who absorb the cost for sacrificing the last greenspace to the root of all evil (in other states, developers are charged impact fees).

Most ranking officials of your local government have probably taken campaign financing bribes from developers. These officials won't tell you the truth about the Dillon rule for fear that you will be on to the scam. They only parrot developer propaganda that "we have to keep building to increase the tax base." What they won't tell you is that, to increase the tax base by $1 thousand through development sometimes costs taxpayers $1 million from the economic impact of building on their community, so it may take a thousand years to break even.

Corporate media of Virginia, both electronic and print, have a number of conflicts of interest involving developers, so they'll not tell you about the scam, either. They rely on advertising revenue from developers. Directors on corporate media boards have investments in development. Developers sometimes own media. These influences result in the hiring of producers and publishers sympathetic to developer interests. Aware of these conflicts, news directors, editors and reporters keep quiet about developer corruption to protect their jobs.

Damning a River

Which is why most Virginians have not heard about a corrupt proposal to build a dam and reservoir in King William County. This project would daily divert up to 75-million gallons of water from the Mattaponi River, one of Virginia's most pristine.

The reservoir project is proposed in order to increase the fresh water supply to the Virginia Peninsula so that the developer mafia may continue to build there and bilk taxpayers with their Dillon rule. The Peninsula already has a population of over 300,000 and is overcrowded as developers pave over the last greenspace. Corporate media have hidden from Peninsula citizens that they will be paying dearly for this project so that developers will be in a better position to "Dillon rule" them for even more as their quality of life deteriorates from the crowding.

King William is a poor county with a small population, so has little power to defend itself from developers who have greased the palms of the governor and state legislature with campaign financing largess, together with numerous corrupting influences upon the county's own board of supervisors.

Opposition to the King William reservoir embraces nine of our Ten Key Values. Here's a position to show where Greens are different from the two corporate parties that conspire in any developer welfare scam dangled before them as they grovel for campaign bribes.

Opposition to the King William reservoir embraces nine of our Ten Key Values.

Opposition leader Tyla Matteson, chair of Virginia's Sierra Club, told me the reservoir project would destroy hundreds of acres of wetlands and increase the salinity of the Mattaponi River, thereby further threatening flora and fauna now on the endangered species list. Thousands of watermen have already lost jobs as wetland filters for the Chesapeake Bay disappear.

Although proponents allege that wetlands will be "replaced," they don't plan to wait the millions of years it takes to form deep layers of peat and other natural filters that make up genuine wetlands. Proponents use phony, outdated salinity models to pretend that the project will not threaten wildlife. Already outspending opponents by a thousand-to-one, they have hired a PR firm for $280,000 to fool the public with propaganda. The corporate monopoly Peninsula Daily Press supported the project even when it was opposed by the EPA and Virginia DEQ, taking an advocacy stand without consulting the opposition.

In the name of the Commonwealth of Virginia, King Charles II promised Powhatan confederation "Indians" that they would be consulted about encroachments within three miles of their territory. Although the Mattaponi River runs beside the land of the Mattaponi tribe, they were not consulted about the reservoir project. Howard Zinn points out that every treaty with every tribe has been broken, so what's happening here is routine, Mattaponi land having been stolen for centuries. As Greens replace corrupt officials in power, we will insist that the word of the Commonwealth becomes an honorable thing.

Mattaponi Chief Webster Custalow (Little Eagle) told me that he is opposed to this project that will threaten the fishing industry upon which his tribe depends. His son Carl (Lone Eagle) has assured me that he will never stop opposing the reservoir that will submerge over a hundred, thousands-of-years-old Native American archaeological sites identified, but as yet unexplored.

I told Shirley Custalow (Little Dove, daughter of Chief Little Eagle), that if I could go back to the early seventeenth century, I would warn her Algonquin ancestors not to feed the English. "Our people had to feed them," she replied, "it is in our culture" with a look of horror at my suggestion. The Mattaponi tribe are mostly Christian today, but their ancient Algonquin religion allowed that developers could risk the vengeance of Nokomis, the Earth Grandmother, for attempting to strangle her river spirit.

It is for us to encourage a Green spirit to counter forces of hatred, greed and delusion. As we get our message around corporate media to them, the public will respond. If we minimize the importance of winning elections and stick to our principles, we will accomplish more for society than we would by taking control of government in the near term, which would probably require us to compromise for campaign financing bribes as do those now in power. By patiently building The Party one citizen by one, opposition forces will in time dwindle to a grain of grit in our ocean of soothing. We can begin to form that future by preserving for tomorrow's children the rare treasure of an unspoiled river, so that the public sees Greens standing with right against might.

To find out about democratic opposition, contact The Alliance to Save the Mattaponi River, 3808 Roadsview Ave., Hampton 23669. The Alliance has a thousand supporters and is spreading as fast as Virginians find out what's happening beyond corporate media.

Columnist John Balkwill is a Tidewater Green. No stranger to controversy, John welcomes your response to his column. Please send your thoughts to Editor, Greens of Virginia, Rt. 1, Box 380-A, Buena Vista, VA 24416 email: eric@rockbridge.net.


Newsletters GPVA

From the Editor

by Elise Sheffield

Dear Readers,

Welcome to our Summer issue, formerly known as the Winter/Spring issue before editor's time and the GOV finances got stretched too thin. Many thanks for your recent dues and contributions; they sure do help.

Deadline for the Fall issue is August 1. Please send essays, features, book reviews, drawings, and graphics to Elise Sheffield (editor), Rt 1, Box 380A, Buena Vista, VA 24416 (email: eric@rockbridge.net)

Thank you to the following for their contri-butions this issue: Sherry Stanley, David Laibstain, Eric Sheffield, Paul Gagnon, Muriel Grim, Sheila Lamb, John Balkwill, Stephen Jones, and the Green Party of Rhode Island.

P.S. FEEL THE POWER-- Guest edit and/or layout an issue of our newsletter! Interested? Call Elise.


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Criminalization of Adolescence

by Dave Laibstain

Since the late Sixties, this nation has lain politically dormant on one of the most crucial issues in our society, youth rights and the criminilization of adolescence. Increasingly, today's young people are scape-goated, harassed, and denied their civil liberties. Increasingly, today's young people are scape-goated, harassed, and denied their civil liberties.

Today's youth do not enjoy the right to trial by jury. In fact, one Hampton Roads city has instituted a system whereby a tribunal of civic leaders persecute and punish certain youth offenders, who cannot appeal that decision.

Nor are high school students guaranteed rights of property or privacy, or protection from unwarranted search and seizure. In a fit of modern McCarthyism the US government's war on drugs has violated that basis of civil liberties and created a dangerous precedent that has been expanded by many school systems. For instance, random locker and body searches, performed without a warrant, using both dogs and policemen are the norm at public schools. Similarly the illegal confiscation of property and frequent violations of personal space are typical events at public schools.

Recently, however, this precedent has been exploited to begin the practice of random drug testing in public schools. Despite the blatant unconstitutionality of this process, it was provisionally approved by the Supreme Court last year in a ruling which basically said, "although this is unconstitutional, it is for the welfare of our children and therefore more important." Fortunately, two bills in the Virginia legislature that were to implement such drug testing programs (both sponsored by Senator Wagner) were stricken in subcommittee.

In similar decisions throughout the Seventies and Eighties, most importantly the Hazelwood decision of 1988, the Supreme Court has also hacked away at the rights of youth to possess freedoms of speech and press. Hazelwood and other such decisions effectively illegalized underground newspapers at public schools, requiring that they be distributed only after being approved by the administration, and then only at certain times and places to be determined by the administration of that school. In several cases, students have been prosecuted for possessing multiple copies of such a newspaper or, more recently, carrying a computer disk with a nonschool-sanctioned newspaper on it. Some decisions were carried out in the name of preserving the privacy of teachers and school officials; other laws were codified in order to halt the "invasion of the drug culture." All defy America's guarantee of rights.

The V-Chip, ratings systems, web-nannies, and the "parents' rights" amendment being considered in the Virginia legislature this year all deal with the wide-spread misconception that it is acceptable for society, as well as parents, to brainwash their children by filtering and censoring everything they see and hear.

In other areas, students' freedom of movement has been grossly curtailed. Imagine the outrage that would arrive if all citizens were required to gain the legal permission of an authority figure before leaving their home state. Of if they were required to carry a note giving them specific permission to be in a specific place after a curfew. Of course, when these programs are implemented against non-voting youths, they become acceptable societal practices.

The Green Party has a grave responsibility and great opportunity in the fight against the criminilization of adolescence. We are a party which believes unabashedly in equal rights for all citizens, perhaps the only party that so believes. And so to us falls the duty of fighting for the basic human rights and dignity of America's youth.

As for opportunity, the cycle which brought us the Sixties is coming again. A student from Norfolk is suing his school for illegally searching him, and the notion of "in loco parentis," swept out of colleges thirty years ago, is going to be forced from the high schools in a tidal wave that is building everyday. The standard of the Green Party should, and must, ride that crest.

--David Laibstain, member of the newly formed Student Greens of Virginia attends high school in the Norfolk area.


Newsletters GPVA

Give Me Liberty

Dear Editor,

Peter Robinson's article "Whatever happened to Liberty," boldly tackles a crucial subject for Greens because it goes to the heart of the Ten Key Values. I came to the Greens with a left-libertarian tradition that includes the ideas of Murray Bookchin, the social anarchists, and Henry George. From them, I have come to realize that our current system, state capitalism is not synonymous with freedom or necessarily a free market; and that liberty and social justice are part of the same tapestry. State capitalism is about maintaining the privileges of an elite, maintaining a military-industrial complex, and defending large concentrations of wealth and power. All of this is inimicable to the Ten Key Values and liberty.

Liberty must be understood as equal freedoms among all citizens. This applies to individual freedoms as guaranteed in the Bill of Rights but also, the freedom of people to form mutual aid associations, affinity groups, families, and intentional communities. Without liberty as a part of the Ten Key Values, the danger of imposing monolithic and coercive societies looms ominously.

Most Greens would agree with the principle espoused by Henry George that the earth is a common heritage shared equally with all persons. George was wise enough to realize that people will take better care of the land they live and work on, than to entrust the land to absentee land owners, corporations, and government bureaucrats. He proposed individual and small group ownership combined with community collection of ground rent as a means of giving all an equal share of the earth's bounty. Limitations and fines could be levied on violations of personal rights and environmental damages. Liberty and social justice would be served well. Free, decentralized, and democratic municipalities have existed. There is no reason to separate these qualities out in what could be a most beautiful tapestry.

Sincerely,

Paul Gagnon
Franconia, VA


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What's Feminism?

by Sheila Lamb

Several times, I have attempted to write "What is Feminism" in response to the question by many Greens, particularly on - line. I feel I gave a reasonable definition on line, as did many other Green women and men.Yet questions still persist and I am concerned about why the term needs so much explaining.

Greens have expressed the desire to change "Feminism" to "Equality" or "post-patriarchy." Why not? they ask...Isn't that what feminism means anyways? Partially...yes, feminism incorporates those words and more.

To change the word (and we all know Greens are notorious for wordsmithing) changes the complete experience of feminism. FEMINISM IS A HISTORICAL AND CONTINUING EXPERIENCE. A full experience cannot be summed up neatly into one definition. Yes, feminism does mean equality, it does mean non-heirarchy, it does envision a Post - patriarchal society. (If we're going to squabble about definitions, what does THAT mean - why not "neo-matriarchy"? How about, as not to offend anyone, "Neo - Archy" Or better yet, "No - archial " society).

Wordsmithing the seventh key value to only one of its many terms devalues its full meaning. Think of it this way: Can you define yourself in one word that everyone agrees with? Can you explain the full experiences of who you are in one sentence? No, you have a Name, as your label of sorts, and qualities to describe you. For example, if someone asks, "Tell me about Joe," would you say "he's funny, " and leave it at that? Most likely, you would list other qualities of Joe or retell a funny story about him.

Trying to "define" feminism is the same way. It is not just a single sentence definition. Feminism is a MOVEMENT that has been active for hundreds of years in some form. It is a now a movement made up of women and men, pushing for equality for women.

Historically, women have been oppressed, more than men. It's not to say men, particularly minorities and gay men, have not been oppressed. We have all been forced to deal with a partiarchial system. However, women have (literally) borne the brunt of this patriarchy.

In the past, women have had to struggle for basic rights such as education and the right to vote. The more modern feminist movement tackles a myraid of issues such as domestic violence, sexual harassment, abortion, pay equality and education (still). Today, many many are supportive and a part of this movement.

A critique among Greens is that "Feminism" as a word leaves men out. We (women) repeatedly (tiredly) say, this is not true - we want men to be included in the fight for equal rights and respect. The term "feminism" is simply named after the movement; it is women who began it and are the major participants and obviously, most affected by it.

The seventh key value should not be changed because it is not "politically correct" or the belief that newcomers are scared away by such a strong term (!!) That is totally caving in and giving a hand up to the systems of patriarchy and hierarchy that Greens (supposedly) do not believe in! Others have suggested adding a few explaining terms after feminism in the key values. Example: Feminism/Gender equality/nonheirarchy. I do not disagree with that possiblity.

To change the term "Feminism" in our Ten Key Values would not give the full experience of the movement justice. To keep the word means that we, as Greens, support the feminist movement for what it has been historically and what it continues to be. We support women and equality among genders and strive for non-heirarchal and non-threatening society.

By the way, could someone please define "The Greens?"--Sheila Lamb, NOVA


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Women, Animals, Nature and Other Primers in Eco-Feminism

by Sherry Stanley

Dear Greens,

My mailbox has not been stuffed with additions to the Green bibliography I have promised to compile. In fact, I have had only one contribution from a Virginia Green. What great Green books are all of you keeping a secret? I think I will save the contribution I did receive and stick to this newsletter theme of feminism.

From Mike Feinstein, newly elected member of the Santa Monica, California city council, I received a lengthy Green bibliography. Here are his recommendations for feminist reading. Or to be more specific, eco-feminism/post-patriarchy.

  • Biehl, Janet. Rethinking Ecofeminist Politics, Boston: South End, 1991.
  • Diamond, Irene and Orenstein, Gloria Feman, eds. Reweaving the World: The Emergence of Eco-feminism. San Francisco: Sierra Club Books, 1990.
  • Eisler, Riane. The Chalice and The Blade: Our History, Our Future. San Francisco: Harper & Row, 1987.
  • Gaard, Greta, ed., Ecofeminism: Women, Animals, Nature. Philadelphia: Temple University, 1993.
  • Marcus, Genevieve & Smith, Robert. Equal Time: Maintaining a Balance In Today's Intimate Relationships. New York: Frederick Fell Publishers, Inc., 1982.
  • Mies, Maria and Shiva, Vandana. Ecofeminism. London: Zed Books, 1993.
  • Plumwood, Val. Feminism and the Mastery of Nature. London: Routledge, 1993.
  • Plant, Judith. Healing the Wounds: The Promise of Ecofeminism. Philadelphia: New Society Publishers, 1989.
  • Warren, Karen J., ed. Ecological Feminism. London: Routledge, 1994.
I have started a Green library of sorts. At this point it is small, but maybe we could work out a way of starting a Green lending library.

Also, I would like to ask that we all donate, whenever we can, our favorite Green or Green-type book to our local public libraries. I was surprised to find two really good starter books in the Staunton Public Library, including a book by Rudolf Bahro. And I donated a copy of Jim Mason's An Unnatural Order, which is essential for understanding what he calls dominionism, loosely translated as where patriarchy gets its authority.

We need to support our libraries in any way we can. I have noticed that the atmosphere in a library reveals the true spirit of its community. I have recently returned to this area after a long absence, but I still feel at home in the library.

--Sherry Stanley, co-clerk of the Greens of Virginia, turns the pages of many a book at her cozy home in Verona. Send suggestions to her at 8 River Ridge Road in Verona, VA 24482.


Newsletters GPVA

Welcome and Thank You

Welcome New Members

Blue Mt. Greens: Wendy Jane Hyatt

Charlottesville Greens: William George Tetzeli, Calloway Beidler, David Swanson

Greens of Virgina: Daniel Easley & Jill Schwartzman, Cordelia Plunkett, Lynn Larson, James Planck, Scott Shields, Stephen Kent Jones, Wes Hare, Michael & Colleen Johns, Richard Williams

New River Valley Greens: Edward Van Eenoo Jr., Ann Childers

NOVA Greens: James D. Jones, Carol & Rob Bruce, Scott McGraw, Stephen Hartstack, Amy Adler, Jeff Yarborough, Laura Michele Harmon, Craig Schaar, Roger Hopper, Margaret Rood, Jude Nagurney, Patrick Quinn

Rockbridge Greens: Dean & Maxine Foster, David & Robyn Hill, Ulysse Desportes

Student Greens of Virginia: Michael Key, David Laibstain, Erin Smiley, Martha Goode, Roger Kiefer, Chaz Reynolds, Jenny Bryan, Meredith Summs, Sarah Williams, Kathleen Swanson, Mia Noffsinger, Mary Booton, Lauren Goldrich, Elisabeth Ellis, Ileana Drinovan

Tidewater Greens: Laura Wikle

Thank You Recent Contributors

Blue Mt. Greens: Diana Abbott, Eileen Stephens, Tomas Rahal

Charlottesville Greens: Colloway Beidler, Chris Gensic, Lin & Tucker Respess

Greens of Virginia: Henry Williams, Tim Morton, Cordelia Plunkett, Brad Blanton, David Ellison, Mary Campbell, O.W. & Jane Riegel, Sherry Stanley, Calloway Beidler, Peter Robinson, Muriel Grim, James Jones, Nell Bolen, Paul DeMaio, Ann Childers, Mel Leasure, Stephen Kent Jones, Joan Mangum, Robert Lisle, Sally Robertson, Chris Gensic, Betsy & Chip Tucker, Linda Martin, Lin & Tucker Respess, Bruce Busching, Don Faulkner, Wes Hare, Scott McGraw, Laura Wikle, Anthony O'Connell, Mark Yatrofsky, Herb Goldstein, Bruce Weiner, Dale Medearis, John Gallini, Tomas Rahal, Ed & Georgia Pearson, Amy Southwick, Dale McMillen, Clay Cavedo, Michael & Colleen Johns, Brian Anderson

NOVA Greens: Amy Adler, Roger Hopper, Margaret Rood, Stephen Hartstack, Sally Robertson, Mike Looney, Linda Martin, David Eisen, Jude Nagurney, Allan Matthews, Scott McGraw, Ed Jahn, John Mayeux, Muriel Grim, Bruce Weiner, Amy Southwick, Paul Gagnon, Brian Anderson

Rockbridge Greens: Dean & Maxine Foster, Nell Bolen, Marai Wise, Stephanie Porras, Laura Neale & Chris Wise, Arvid Christiansen, Alan Brownstein, Adrienne Hall-Bodie, Joan Mangum, Linda Hall, Terry & Lenna Ojure, Sherry Stanley, Elisabeth & David Daystar, Peggy & Glen Leasure, Julie Meaders, Donna Sheffield, Herb Goldstein & Rita Jane Leasure, Susan Micklem, Collette & Michael Barry-Rec, Ernest Dickerman, Colin Davis, Lois & Ben Brown, Henry Williams, Daniel Metraux, Nancy Anderson, Ulysse Desportes

Tidewater Greens: Tim Morton, Laura Wikle, Mark Yatrofsky, Al Markowitz


Newsletters GPVA

Greens of Virginia: Summer Gathering

When: July 11 - 13

Where: Common Ground (an intentional community), in rural Rockbridge County (western Virginia).

What: Fun, fellowship, food, free camping, hot and cold swimming ponds, maybe a sweat lodge, indoor accomodations available, in-depth discussions and debates, peace and tranquility, and a business meeting.

Why: Why not?

For more information, call Eli Fishpaw and Kathy Fox at (540) 463-7001.


Newsletters GPVA

Calling All Candidates

This year all 100 seats in the Virginia House of Delegates are up for election. On April 19 the Green Party of Virginia nominated candidates to challenge twelve of those seats. At press time, nominations had been accepted by :

  • Charlie Jordan 9th
  • Eli Fishpaw 18th
  • Daniel Metraux 24th
  • Sherry Stanley 25th
  • Ron Kahlow 36th
  • Jim West 58th
It only takes 125 signatures to put a candidate on the ballot. The deadline is June 10. If you know of any hot prospects (or warm ones) call Eric Sheffield 540-261-4306 or Sherry Stanley 540-248-7721.

Newsletters GPVA

Green Locals: What's Up

Blue Mountain Greens are looking into the idea for an on-going discussion group that could meet once a month at the Prism Coffee House in Charlottesville.

Charlottesville Greens are focusing on city council elections, lobbying, and grass roots action.

Northern Virginia Greens are trying to get a half-hour public access TV show to introduce Greens and show Green-type films. They are concentrating on attending other meetings and gatherings, such as the Virginians Against Handgun Violence, as Greens, and been deliberating whether they should also continue to meet on a regular basis.

NEW LOCAL!
Richmond Greens Get Organized

Richmond Greens held a pre-formation meeting at the beginning of March. Stephen Jones hosted a small and short meeting to introduce two other people to the concepts, values, and structure of the Green movement and Green Party of Virginia. They accepted the challenge of bringing two more people each to a next meeting, as did Stephen.

According to Stephen, the group was interested in the following tasks:

Pursuing a new human relations ordinance for the City of Richmond. Greens will meet with each member of City Council and obtain one thousand signatures for a petition to enact an inclusive and usable ordinance into law. Three members of Richmond City Council have already had meetings with members of Richmond lesbian and gay / civil rights community, but until now, no organization has championed this effort. April Brown, an African-American lesbian, will coordinate this effort.

Tanya Custalow, whose father is a Mattaponi, is leading the group's efforts to work with the Tribe to determine if we can help. Tanya indicates that this is good timing since fishing season is coming, and the issue of culture and popular survival will come to the fore. The group would like to make a road trip before the end of May 1997. They will look for ways to work with Tidewater Greens on this issue. They will have a float and a table at the Richmond Lesbian and Gay Pride Parade and Festival this fall. The group also discussed but did not come to a resolution about providing candidates for the Richmond City School Board for the elections of 1998. It will take increased knowledge on their parts about (a) current issues and possible solutions re: schools; (b) ideas from the Richmond Education Association, PTAs, and other interested parties; and (c) running for office in Richmond.

Stephen anticipates a "Founding Meeting" of the Richmond Greens in the weeks to come.

Richmond Greens recently held a pre-formation meeting, with the intent to start-up an active local.

Rockbridge Greens have just elected a new steering committee and at their last meeting stuffed and addressed fundraiser letters for the GOV. They are putting together a directory of locally owned businesses and have made the decision to create an electronic version only at this time, with plans to get it in print some time in the future. They have lots of active members, including Elise Sheffield, who edits the newsletter, and Nell Bolen, who maintains the web site. The Rockbridge Greens meet every second Tuesday of the month, 7pm - 9pm, in Lexington. Call 540-261-4306 for location.

Tidewater Greens have grown since the Nader campaign. They have started a discussion group in collaboration with other organizations centered around Howard Zinn's A History of the People of the United States.


Newsletters GPVA

 


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Latest Update: June 29, 2010