By Ralph Nader, November 9, 2001
U. S. corporations aren't even subtle
about it. Waving a flag and carrying a big shovel, corporate interests
are scooping up government benefits and taxpayer money in an unprecedented
fashion while the public is preoccupied with the September 11 attacks
and the war in Afghanistan.
Shamelessly, the Bush Administration and Congress have taken advantage
of the patriotic outpouring to fulfill the wish lists of their most
generous corporate campaign donors. Not only is the Treasury being
raided, but regulations protecting everything from personal privacy
to environmental safeguards are under attack by well-heeled lobbyists
who want to stampede Congress to act while the media and citizens
Only a handful in the Congress--members like Senator Russell Feingold
of Wisconsin and Representatives Peter DeFazio of Oregon and Barbara
Lee of California--have shown the courage to question the giveaways
and the quick wipeout of civil liberties and other citizen protections.
In most cases, such as the $15 billion airline bailout and corporate
tax breaks, legislation has been pushed to the forefront with little
or no hearings and only fleeting consideration on the floor of the
Senate and the House of Representatives.
One of the boldest grabs for cash has been by corporations seeking
to eliminate the Alternative Minimum Tax (AMT), which was enacted
during the Reagan Administration to prevent profitable corporations
from escaping all tax liability through various loopholes. Not only
do the corporations want relief from the current year's AMT taxes,
but they are seeking a retroactive refund of all AMT taxes paid
This giveaway, as passed by the House of Representatives, would
make corporations eligible for $25 billion in tax refunds. Just
14 corporations would receive $6.3 billion of the refund. IBm gets
$1.4 billion; General Motors, $833 million; General Electric $671
million; Daimler-Chrysler $600 million; Chevron-Texaco $572 million.
The 14 biggest beneficiaries of the minimum tax repeal gave $14,769,785
in "soft money" to the national committees of the Democratic and
Republican parties in recent years.
Soon to join the bailout parade is the nation's insurance industry,
which is lobbying the Congress to have the federal government pick
up the tab for future losses like those stemming from the attack
on the World Trade Center. Proposals are on the table for taxpayers
to either pick up losses above certain levels or to provide loans
or loan guarantees for reinsurance.
The insurance companies want federal bailouts, but they continue
to insist on regulation only by underfunded, poorly staffed state
insurance departments, most of which are dominated by the industry.
Any bailout or loan program involving the insurance companies must
include provisions which ensure that insurance companies cannot
refuse to write policies and make investments in low, moderate and
Allegations about insurance company "redlining" or discrimination
against citizens in these areas have been prevalent for many years.
It would be a terrible injustice for citizens to be forced to pay
taxes to help bail out insurance companies that discriminate against
them. Congress needs to address this issue before it even considers
public assistance for the industry.
People-concerns have been missing in all the bailouts. When the
airline companies walked off with $15 billion plus in bailout money,
the thousands of laid-off employees--airline attendants, maintenance
crews, baggage handlers and ticket counter employees--received not
a dime. Attempts to include health benefits and other help for these
employees were shouted down on the floor of the House of Representatives.
Last month, more than 400,000 employees lost their jobs nationwide
and the national unemployment rate rose to 5.4 percent, the highest
level since 1996. The Bureau of Labor Statistics said roughly a
fourth of the lost jobs were the direct result of the terrorist
attacks of September 11. Bailouts, benefits or other aid for these
victims of the attacks? No, that's reserved just for the corporations
under the policies of the Bush Administration and the present Congress.
Yet it is the workers in the low-wage jobs--like those in restaurants,
hotels, retailing and transportation--who are bearing the brunt
of the layoffs in the aftermath of the attacks on the World Trade
Center, according to a report from the New York State Department
of Labor. Almost 25,000 people told the department that they lost
their jobs because of the trade center disaster. An analysis by
the department of the first 22,000 of the claims found that 16 per-cent
worked at bars, 14 percent worked at hotels, 5 percent worked in
air transportation and 21 percent in a category termed "business
services." Only 4 per-cent worked at Wall Street brokerage firms.
While more workers lose jobs, the Administration is pushing for
authority to expand the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA)
under new "fast-track" authority. The Department of Commerce concedes
that at least 360,000 jobs have been lost under NAFTA, and private
research groups estimate the total may be twice that number. Now,
with unemployment rising to alarming levels, the Administration
decides to cave to pro-NAFTa corporate demands which will only make
the labor picture worse. No bailout for laid off workers, just a
hard crack across the knees.
As Bill Moyers, the author and national journalist, commented:
"They (the corporations) are counting on your patriotism to distract
you from their plunder. They're counting on you to stand at attention
with your hand over your heart, pledging allegiance to the flag,
while they pick your pocket."
The present crisis cries out for shared sacrifice--not the opportunism
so blatantly displayed by the nation's corporate interests. President
Bush and the Congress must summon the courage to resist the self-serving
demands--the kind of courage and shared sacrifice that guided the
brave rescue workers on September 11.
For More Information: www.citizenworks.org
Reprinted with permission of the author.
FEC Recognizes Green Party
The Federal Election Commission (FEC) issued a unanimous opinion on November
8, 2001 recognizing the Green Party of the United States as the National Committee
of the Green Party. The decision, in response to a request to the FEC from
the Green Party in August, follows the Green Party's ground-breaking 2000 campaigns,
including the national campaigns of Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke for President
and Vice President.
"The decision of the FEC adds to the enormous momentum the Green Party now
enjoys," said Dean Myerson, Green Party Political Coordinator. "We are running
more candidates, electing more candidates, gaining more members and sup-port."
During the party's annual meeting in Santa Barbara, California last July, Green
delegates voted to establish a national party and to apply to the FEC for national
committee status. Delegates also approved growth plans that include opening
an office in Washington, D.C. and hiring a team of field organizers for the
mid-term election season.
"National Committee status is a tremendous accomplishment for the young party,
one that acknowledges its place as the leading and fastest growing political
alter-native in the United States," added David Cobb, General Counsel for the
Green Party of the United States. "It will help increase the numbers of voters
who recognize us as the party of change, a serious contender on the political
National Committee status will permit the Green Party to accept contributions
up to $20,000 per year from individuals, but internal Green Party rules cap
such donations at $10,000 per year. The party and its candidates also refuse
contributions from corporations.
"The Green Party is the only political party to oppose the big money that
is corrupting politics in America," said Steve Schmidt, chair of the party's
Platform Committee. "We're the only party that chooses to regulate itself more
strictly than the federal government."
Reprinted with permission of the Green Party of the United States
Loudoun Greens Win First Election
Chris Simmons is a quietly persuasive guy, and it was impossible to dismiss
the logic of his faith that the Greens could impact a local election if we
started with the "training ground" of the Soil and Water Conservation District
board -- a natural for ecology-committed Greens. We were later surprised to
find seven people running for the three slots (usual-ly this is a three-for-three
race). But we continued on...fliers, journalists, and e-mail. Chris and his
special-force volunteers were terrific at formulating the key issues and at
the polls, and we even had a "rapid-response" team of one, Margaret, who gave
me a critical white paper at a critical moment, enabling us to get the support
of an e-mail list-master of some influence! The win is considered some-thing
of an upset in the County and has certainly got people curious about the Greens:)
Through both agricultural and urban pro-grams, the SWCD promotes the control
and prevention of soil erosion, the prevention of flood water and sediment
damages, and the effective conservation, development, utilization and disposal
of water. The District provides on-site assistance to landowners with problems
such as drainage, pond management, erosion and siltation, flooding, pasture
management, plant material recommendations, and other natural resource concerns.
One of this District's most popular programs is the spring tree seedling sale.
A variety of tree seedlings are available to individuals or groups. The seedlings
can be used to stabilize eroding areas and/or enhance wildlife habitats. The
proceeds from the sale are used to fund the District's environmental education
I officially take office January 1, but already I have attended two SWCD
board meetings, an all-day strategy session, a lunch meeting with Supervisor
Harris' assistant, an evening meeting with the volunteer Stream Monitoring
Program, and a tree-planting event at Franklin Park. I will be making my strongest
efforts in the Education/ Public Relations/ Outreach areas and welcome all
help and suggestions.
Thank you all once again for believing we can make a difference.
By Ann Robinson
Jim Lowenstern's Campaign for the State Legislature
Alexandria Green Jim Lowenstern ran a hard-fought race for the 46th District
seat in the Virginia General Assembly. Jim has been active in the Greens in
the Northern Virginia area for many years, and has also represented Virginia
at national Green meetings. This was his first race for elect-ed office. Jim
received the Green Party of Virginia nomination at the quarterly state meeting
in August at Pocahontas State Park. Due to a suit by the Libertarian Party,
the Green Party was allowed to have party designation appear on the bal-lot.
Jim was the first candidate in Virginia besides Ralph Nader to have the G of
the Green Party after his name.
Jim was out in the community going door to door, and also participated in
several debates, including one sponsored by the Wakefield Civic Association
and another by a campus group, Youth Votes. Jim had a strong contingent of
supporters at the polls on Election Day, including members of the Alexandria
Greens and the Arlington Courthouse Greens. Jim also held a series of campaign
events that combined fundraising with political education, featuring Arlington
Green Larry Yates doing organizing training, DC Statehood Green Steve Shafarman
making a presentation on his writings, including the book "Healing Politics," and
Dr. Thomas West, author of a book on the quintessentially American economic
theorist Henry George, who was almost elected Mayor of New York on a third
party ticket over a century ago.
A focal issue in Jim's campaign was mass transit, especially the need for
rail along the main road corridors. Jim received about 2.7% of the total vote.
Larry Yates is a member of the Arlington Courthouse Greens.
An Open Letter to the Greens of Virginia
At the May 5, 2001 meeting of the Green Party of Virginia in Leesburg,
Dr. D.C. Amarasinghe sought and obtained the Green Party nomination for the
US House of Representatives in the 4th District.
Jana asked me to write something about my run for Congress for the Green
newspaper. This is what I have to say.
I want to let all of you know about my attempt to run for the Congress of
the United States in the Fourth District of Virginia as the Green Party candidate.
This was the special election in the 4th District to fill the seat that became
vacant as a result of the death of Representative Norman Sissisky (D).
The election was held on the 19th of June, 2001. Because this was a special
election, there was not much time to prepare. Also , since I did not live in
the 4th District, I did not think I could run in a district in which I did
not live. But I was told by some of our green friends that I could run and
they encouraged me to run.
I confirmed with the state Board of Elections that I did not need to live
in the District in order to run for the seat, and so I decided to run. As a
candidate for Congress, I need-ed 1000 signatures from registered voters living
in the 4th District.
I managed to collect 1665 signatures from voters in the district and we submitted
them a few minutes before the deadline. However, I was informed by the VA Board
of Elections that I only had 813 valid signatures. The others were either not
registered voters or they did not live in the district, or the election officials
could not verify or read the address given.
I was give a few days to correct or verify the addresses in order to make
up the required total of 1000 signatures. In order to do this, I had to get
an affidavit from each person who signed that it was, indeed, their signature.
I felt that this was unreasonable and also intrusive and unfair.
The following Friday, a meeting of the Election Board was held which I was
allowed to attend. Jeremy Good and I attended this meeting. At that meeting,
it was decided that I would not be on the ballot. I asked if the voters could
abbreviate my signature, but this was denied. I also asked for an extension
of time to correct any errors in the addresses, etc. which was denied, too.
I discussed the issue with Ed Davis, an attorney. We elected to go to court
to get an injunction on the basis of a violation of the constitutional rights
of the non registered voters.
Unfortunately, Mr. Davis was in California at the time and I could not get
any help from other organizations like ACLU, Virginia Democracy Coalition,
Horizon Institute for Policy Solutions, etc. Although they were sympathetic
to my case, they could not help due to various reasons.
I went to federal court in Norfolk. Judge Friedman appeared to be very biased
and his first question was how I could even run in a district that I did not
live in. He spent a lot of time on this issue. Then he said that that was not
the issue in question and ruled that the requirement of 1000 signatures was
not unreasonable and there were no grounds for an injunction and denied my
In spite of these setbacks, I did make some headway in getting our message
across. i was on WNIS Radio in Norfolk for one hour with Tony Mcreeny, and
that interview went very well. On air I talked about the need for Universal
Health Care, light rail transportation, cleaning up the environment, the hazards
of pollution, and the rapid rise in the respiratory illness like asthma. I
spoke against drilling for oil in ANWR, and about the plight of those who now
have to drink water with high levels of Arsenic.
I also got half an hour TV spot with Capitol News with Barbara Berlin in
Richmond. All the issues I discussed with WNIS were also discussed on TV with
Capitol News. The people at this TV station are very nice and some of them
are Greens. I believe it was Mark Newton who gave me the tip to contact this
TV station. I want to thank him for that favor. I did not see it aired in Norfolk,
but I would like to know if any of you saw it elsewhere.
I also made an attempt to participate in the first debate in Petersburg at
the Richard Bland college. I walked up to the stage and asked the permission
of both candidates, Randy Forbes and Louise Lucas. I told the moderator that
I am the Green Party candidate and since I will be discussing some issues that
are neglected by the other two candidates, I should be allowed to participate.
Unfortunately, the moderator asked me to leave, and since I had no choice,
I backed off. I gave my fliers to the panel who encouraged and supported my
efforts after reading it following the debate. Part of this was shown on TV
Additionally, I did an interview with Petersburg Newspaper that appeared
in the local paper.
D.C.Amarasinghe, M.D. • 6204 N. Military Hwy. Norfolk VA 23518
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org • Web: http://www.pilot.infi.net/~dcam/
Tel: 757-855-1900 • Fax: 757-855-2272
State and Federal Electoral Reform
Electoral reform may not be in the headlines these days, but it is being discussed
in state legislatures, including Virginia's. On June 14th, the Joint Subcommittee
on Virginia's Election Process and Voting Technologies held a hearing in Richmond.
Members of the Green, Libertarian, Democratic, and Republican Parties, as well
as Common Cause, the State Board of Elections, and the League of Women Voters,
attended the meeting.
The Subcommittee broke into groups to discuss numerous electoral issues,
including voter intent, recounts, and contests, and election fraud; administrative
structure; voter registration; election procedures and absentee voting; and
voting equipment and technology. The group on voting equipment looked at voter
education, and how types of voting equipment and ballot rejection rates varied
from county to county.
At this time, only 5 states have uniform voting equipment (Alaska, Delaware,
Hawaii, Oklahoma, and Rhode Island). Florida recently passed legislation requiring
optical scan machines, and Georgia required direct recording electronic (DRE)
machines. Virginia mandated that counties with optical scan machines have new
and uniform equipment. The equipment will be programmed to give voters a second
chance to correct overvotes (voting for too many candidates in the same race)
made in error.
About 36% of Virginians vote on mechanical lever machines, 24% vote on optical
scan, 20% on punch cards, slightly under 20% on DRE, and the rest on paper
ballots. There was no consensus reached by the group on the best type of voting
equipment. While DRE and lever machines have lower rejection rates and make
overvoting impossible, they do not leave paper trails for recounts in the way
that optical scan and punch card ballots do. There was greater agreement on
the need to provide funds for voter education.
The Subcommittee held further meetings on October 12th and November 29th
and made several recommendations, including state funding to ensure accessibility
to the polls for all voters.
Other states have proposed sweeping changes to their voting systems such
as cumulative voting and instant runoff voting (IRV). Illinois is discussing
the possibility of returning to the system of cumulative voting that it formerly
used to elect its state legislature. Alabama has introduced legislation to
implement cumulative voting at the local level.
Legislation to implement instant runoff voting has been introduced in state
legislatures in California, Hawaii, Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey,
New Mexico, Oregon, Vermont, and Washington. In 2002, Alaska will hold a ballot
initiative on IRV unless the legislature passes the bill first.
On November 6th, Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. introduced three electoral reform
bills at the federal level. HR 3232 supports IRv in Presidential Elections,
H.J.RES. 72 establishes a Constitutional right to vote, and H.CON.RES. 263
opens the Presidential debates to candidates beyond the two major parties.
Rep. Cynthia McKinney has re-introduced the Voters' Choice Act (HR 1189),
which would repeal a 1967 law mandating single-member congressional districts.
It would allow states to implement proportional representation methods of election
for the U.S. House of Representatives.
Tom Yager is co-clerk of the GPVA and a member of the Arlington Courthouse
City Council Wins in CN & MN
The electoral success story of 2001 for the Green Party is its rapid growth
on the local level. A record 56 Greens won municipal and county races in 2001,
up 37% from the previous high of 41 in 2000. At the same time, the number of
Greens holding elected office rose 55% to 124, up from 80 just a year ago.
Topping the November election results were double victories in Minneapolis,
Mn and New Haven, CT, where Greens won two City Council seats in each city.
In Minneapolis, Natalie Johnson Lee was elected in Ward 5, defeating the
Democratic incumbent city council president. Dean Zimmerman - an outgoing Parks & Recreation
Commissioner - was elected in Ward 6, also beating a Democrat in a head-to-head
race. A third Green, Cam Gordon, fell just 108 votes short out of 5,000 cast
of winning a third seat. Meanwhile a fourth Green, Annie Young was re-elected
to her fourth term on the Minneapolis Parks & Recreation Board.
Natalie Johnson Lee was one of two Greens elected to the Minneapolis, Mn
In New Haven, John Halle was re-elected to the Board of Alderman in Ward
9 after winning a July special election earlier this year. He is joined by
newcomer Joyce Chen, who was victorious in Ward 2. a third Green, Bruce Crowder,
lost in Ward 8 by only 15 votes. Before the Greens, no third party had won
a New Haven election in the last 65 years. In both Minneapolis and New Haven,
Greens won by defeating Democrats head-to-head in partisan races, successfully
challenging the "one-party Democratic machine" that dominates both cities'
local politics. Just as significantly, Greens succeeded in both cities by winning
in districts with large African-American populations that have tradition-ally
voted Democratic, but now are beginning to vote Green.
Rather than a "backlash" against the Greens predicted by sore-loser Democrats
and other skeptics after the 2000 Nader campaign predicted after the 2000 presidential
campaign - what is happening in municipalities across the nation is that Greens
are becoming the "second party."
As part of this trend, there are now ten cities that either currently or previously
have had at least two Greens on the City Council - Fayetteville, AR; Arcata,
Point Arena, Santa Monica, & Sebastopol, CA; New Haven, CT; Minneapolis, MN;
Santa Fe, NM; Salem, OR and Madison, WI. Minneapolis also becomes the second
largest U.S. city (population 383,000) to elect a Green to its city council
and the largest to have elected more than one, passing Madison, WI (pop. 210,000),
which has three. San Francisco (pop. 775,000) is the largest city with a single
Increased Diversity in Candidates
One of the critical challenges facing the Green Party is to expand its racial
and ethnic base. Originally cast by some in the late 1980s and early 1990s
as a rural, Anglo middle-class environmental party, Greens are now showing
an increasing presence in the nation's urban areas, and are presenting an increasingly
diverse face in its candidates.
In 2001, this was most apparent in the number of African-American city council
and mayoral candidates, particularly in the Northeast and Upper Midwest. Two
were elected in high-profile city council races -Johnson Lee in Minneapolis
and civil rights activist Elizabeth Horton-Sheff in Hartford, CT, who was reelected
to her second-term on the City Council. Johnson Lee ran on a shoestring budget
against a well-financed opponent, but won in a heavily poor African-American
ward in North Minneapolis by campaigning on issues long-neglected there - affordable
housing, child care, and living wage jobs. In neighboring Ward 6, also heavily
African-American, fellow Green Brother Shane Price put up a strong challenge
against another incumbent, receiving 36%. His efforts further painted the Greens
as the party of the urban poor in Minneapolis. Similar issues drove Horton-Sheff
's re-election campaign in Hartford.
Elizabeth Horton Sheff was re-elected to the Hartford, CT City Council and
selected Council Majority leader soon thereafter
She pointed with pride to her record on these issues in office, and her grassroots
campaign increased her vote total by 50% from her last run two years previously.
In office, Horton-Sheff strengthened the city's Civilian Police Review Board,
established an Urban Health Educator in a city which has a 41% rate of asthma
in children and prevented the siting of a medical waste plant in the city,
all while promoting development that serves Hartford's neighborhoods instead
of big downtown developers. Since re-election, Horton-Sheff has staged a mini-coup
by becoming Majority Leader of the nine-member council, exploiting a split
among the council's six Democrats - quite a feat for the only Green officeholder
in a significant city (population 122,000) like Hartford.
Several other African-American Green candidates also made big impacts in
2001, further signaling that the African-American community has more options
than just the Democrats and Republicans. Jerry Coleman became the first ever
African-American gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey. Jennifer Daniels was
the first-ever African-American mayoral candidate in Syracuse, New York. In
Harrisburg, PA mayoral candidate Diane White received 20% of the vote, championing
the city's low-income minority neighborhoods and providing the only opposition
to the five-term incumbent mayor who ran on both the Democratic and Republican
Party ballot lines. And earlier this year, Donna Warren became the first Green
candidate in South Central Los Angeles, making the failed Drug War and opposition
to the three strikes law key issues in a special Congressional election there.
But perhaps even more indicative of the growing strength of Greens among
African-Americans was the city council victory of Asian-American Joyce Chen
in a primarily African-American New Haven, CT neighborhood, defeating an African-American
female Democratic incumbent.
Greens are Strong with Youth
The number of young Green candidates also grew in 2001, and six Greens between
the ages 20 and 27 were elected to municipal office. Heather Urkuski won for
Auditor in Centre Township, Berks County, PA on her 20th birthday, becoming
the youngest U.S. Green ever elected.
Aaron C. Tedjeske, also 20, was elected to the Windber, PA Borough Council.
The youngest Greens previously elected in the U.S. were university students
Dan Herber, 21,to the LaCrosse, WI City Council (1993) and Echnaton Vedder,
21, to the Dane County, WI Board of Supervisors (1998).
Two more student Greens were elected in 2001 - 22 year-old Todd Jarrell of
the University of Wisconsin Madison and 26 year-old Matt Filipiak at sister
college Uw Stevens Point. In California, 26 year-old Jose Octavio Rivas was
elected to the School Board in the city of Lennox, neighboring South Central
Los Angeles, the first Latino Green to be elected in Southern California. In
Washington State, 21 year old Young Han became the youngest Green seeking a
seat in a state legislature, receiving 1.8% of the vote for State Assembly.
Sarah Marsh, a 25 year old recent graduate of University of Arkansas, Fayetteville,
became the first Arkansas Green to run for state or federal office, receiving
1.9% for U.S. Congress in a November 20th special election. And in Boise, ID,
the state's first two Green candidates ever for any office were 24 year old
Jason Shaw for City Council and 27 year old Jeremy Maxand for Mayor.
Among all Green candidates, Green sup-port has been particularly strong with
voters under 30, and Green Party registration is highest among that same group.
Reaping the benefits of a vigorous 2000 presidential campaign, the Green
Party enjoyed increased publicity, credibility, candidate quality and organizational
strength in 2001. This manifested itself in the vast increase in candidates
and victories - 278 candidates in 25 states ran in 2001, almost tripling the
previous high for an odd-numbered year of 95 candidates (in 15 states) set
Although the majority of races in 2001 took place in small towns and moderately
populated counties, Greens competed in more large metropolitan centers than
ever before - running for city council in Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York
and Seattle, and for District Attorney in Philadelphia.
The strongest concentration of Green candidates came in the Northeastern
states of New York, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Maine and Massachusetts.
Over 180 candidates came from these states, about 2/3 of the national total
for the year, including about 3/4 of those candidates who ran in the fall elections.
Greens also ran for office for the first time ever in Idaho and Montana,
signaling the growth of the Green Party in more parts of the country overall.
Leading the way with a record 108 candidates was the Green Party of New York
state, eclipsing the previous single-state high of 62 by the Green Party of
California in 2000. Twenty of them ran within New York City alone, primarily
contesting the many city council seats that became open as a result of the
city's new term limit law. The second-highest number of candidates came from
Pennsylvania with 30. The large number of candidates from both states tells
a similar story, set against different political backdrops. In New York, there
is a Democratic majority among the electorate and one house of the state legislature,
while in Pennsylvania, the Republicans are in control. The Greens are growing
well in each environment, suggesting that the Green Party has its own independent
base, and is not a reaction simply against one or another of the major parties.
A Record Number of Victories
The 56 victories in 2001 were not only an all-time high for U.S. Greens,
and were four times higher than the last odd-numbered election year in 1999.
As part of this phenomenal growth, 22 victories were for city/town/borough
council, 11 for school or college boards and 6 for water and/or soil boards.
Greens won city council seats for the first time in Massachusetts and Michigan.
More and more victories overall are also coming in larger cities - nine city
council victories came in cities of 90,000 or more, with Mark Ruzzin (Boulder,
CO) and Todd Jarrell and Brenda Konkel (Madison, WI in spring 2001 elections)
joining the Greens elected in Hartford, Minneapolis and New Haven.
Pennsylvania Greens won the most races overall in 2001 - 13 - including a
small town mayor and three town council seat, as well as several uncontested
administrative positions. California had the next highest number of victories
(7), then Massachusetts and Wisconsin (5), and Colorado (4).
As a result of its strong performance, the Green Party of Pennsylvania now
has 14 Green officeholders overall, third in the U.S. following California
(39) and Wisconsin (16). Colorado, Massachusetts and Oregon have eight each.
California has the most city council members (19) followed by Colorado (6).
Wisconsin has the most county supervisors (9), followed by California, Colorado
and Hawaii with one.
With the re-election of Halle and Horton Sheff in Connecticut, 42 out of
the 50 Green incumbent city/town council members and county supervisors have
won re-election since 1992 (84%).
By Mike Feinstein, Green Party of California
Rockbridge Celebrates Ten Years
The Rockbridge Greens celebrated the tenth anniversary of the group's founding
with a special pot-luck party at the Blue Heron Cafe in Lexington. The event,
which took place Wednesday, November 14th at 6pm, was attended by many of the
groups members, a number of whom had been present at the founding meeting ten
years ago. The mainly social gathering featured live music by Steve Parent
and Adrian Marks, and a brief business meeting to elect the group's 2002 steering
committee and officers.
Founded in 1991, the Rockbridge Greens now have more than 130 members and
are one of the largest Green locals in Virginia, according to treasurer Eric
According to a spokesperson, "What makes the Greens unique is that they combine
the direct action and education efforts of single issue citizen groups with
the broad agenda and running candidates for office of political parties." In
Rockbridge this has translated into a wide range of activities over the last
The Rockbridge Greens have sponsored educational forums on topics as diverse
as low-debt housing, sustainable logging, organic agriculture, initiative and
referendum, the unsustainable growth economy, and controlling urban growth.
Greens have organized or participated in campaigns to have an elected school
board in the county, oppose a commercial airport, keep the circuit courthouse
downtown, and maintain the Moores Creek reservoir.
In 1997, the Greens organized a community- finance effort that raised $56,000
in low-interest, direct community loans for the opening of the Blue Heron Cafe.
The community-finance project received national attention and in 1999, the
Healthy Foods Market Coop replicated the project when, with assistance from
Greens, they raised a similar amount to finance their expansion.
In 1999, several Rockbridge Greens, along with other members of the community,
were instrumental in founding Hull's Angels, the community group created to
save Hull's Drive-In Theatre. The theatre is now America's first non-profit,
Since 1993, the Rockbridge Greens have run fifteen candidates for local office,
four of whom were elected.
Several Greens have also held appointed offices in the local governments.
In 2000, Rockbridge Greens participated in the petitioning effort to place
Ralph Nader on the ballot for president, marking the first successful attempt
to place a Green on the ballot for statewide office in Virginia.
At the meeting on the 14th, the Rockbridge Greens looked back at the lessons
learned in their first decade, and began to chart a course for the next ten
years. For information on future meetings or the Rockbridge Greens, call Eric
Sheffield at 261-4306 or Catherine Bodnar at 463-6768.
By Eric Sheffield
The Richmond Greens plan to run and/or endorse progressive candidates for
Richmond City Council. We want to see the City of Richmond given back to the
residents of the City, out of the hands of the bad management and monied interests
that we believe currently characterize and control our city government.
Presently, we are trying to focus attention on ways to utilize tax and other
economic incentives to promote conservation and use of alternative energy sources
in buildings in Richmond and the surrounding counties.
Much of Richmond Greens' recent efforts have been on an individual basis,
with some of us focusing on issues of local government, some of us doing public
access cable programming, and others putting our energies into state-level
party organization and reform. We are all attempting to better educate ourselves
about issues of concern, including noise pollution, women's reproductive freedom,
the current crisis of terrorism, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan, dubious U.S.
policy in Asia and the Middle East, and recent legislation which dangerously
encroaches upon American's civil liberties.
Richmond Greens welcomes new members. Please visit our web-site at http://www.vagreenparty.org/richmond/ and
subscribe to our discussion or announcement list-serve for announcements of
monthly general meetings, committee meetings and other events in the Richmond
By Dana Woods
In late November, the Loudoun Greens presented a $100 award at the annual
History/Social Science Fair hosted by the Loudoun County Public Schools and
Loudoun Education Foundation. The local joined the Fair to encourage, recognize,
and reward scholarly and in depth research and exhibits by high school students
using the 10 Key Values as a criteria. The Fair was a wonderful event, and
the initiative by the Loudoun Greens put them in the company of Shenandoah
University, The League of Women Voters, the University of Maryland, the Loudoun
Museum, Rand McNally Corp., Motorola, and 23 other distinguished community
donors. This resulted in the local's name being included in the program, as
well as an on-stage forum for newly-elected Soil, Water, Conservation District
Director Ann Robinson to mention the Ten Key Values and to read in full the
Value featured in the winning exhibit: Personal and Global Responsibility.
In addition to the cash award, the winning student was invited to the December
meeting of the Loudoun Greens local as the guest of honor.
By Chris Simmons
Arlington Courthouse Greens
The Arlington Courthouse Greens were formed in the Fall of 2000 as a group
meeting in support of the Nader presidential campaign. In February 2001 at
Norfolk, they were accepted as a recognized local by the Greens of Virginia.
The Arlington Courthouse Greens have continued to meet weekly for the past
year and have supported numerous local events including the Nader MCI super
rally, a Live from Death Row featuring inmate Kenny Collins at Howard University,
and the J20 march/rally in opposition to the Bush inauguration. Members of
the local have been prominent in state party affairs including as co-clerk,
webmaster, and active participants in the structural reform committee.
The group has also been active in the organization of the Northern Virginia
Jobs With Justice Coalition. Members participated in various successful actions
including the July 19, 2001 picket of the Holiday Inn in Alexandria in solidarity
with hotel workers struggling to improve their working conditions and the Sept.
22, 2001 "speak-out" organized by child day care workers of Alexandria attempting
to win health care coverage from the city.
The Arlington Courthouse Greens are currently working with the Alexandria
Greens, the Tenant and Workers Support Committee of Alexandria, and the Northern
Virginia Jobs With Justice Coalition on plans for "In the Darkness of the Hour:
Beyond Despair and Violence", a workshop and "call to action" for those committed
to justice and peace in Alexandria and Arlington county. It is our hope that
this event, tentatively scheduled for Jan 2002, will serve to bring progressive
individuals and groups together to work on meaningful actions to counter the
post Sept. 11 atmosphere of fear, revenge, and repression.
By Kirit Mookerjee
Hoping to shake things up in the North-Central region is the newly-formed
Fredericksburg Green Party, which also serves Stafford and Spotsylvania counties.
According to coordinator Dr. Chris Fink (who moved to the area recently from
Florida, where he served as coordinator of the Tallahassee Green Party), the
new local is currently concentrating on administrative setup and membership
building, but will soon begin mounting campaigns, some in conjunction with
the Mary Washington College Greens, on local sprawl and development issues. "We
want to pick a few well-defined goals at first, ones for which we can expect
good public support. This will gain us exposure and the confidence to pursue
progressively thornier problems."
The group's state affiliation status will be voted upon at the December meeting
in Charlottesville. For more information, contact Chris at 540-374-1330, or online
at email@example.com. The Fredericksburg
Green Party's homepage is on the web at http://www.fredericksburg.vagreenparty.org.
By Chris Fink
The Alexandria Greens have been working as a local in development since July
of 2001. We have been meeting on a monthly basis, focusing on affordable housing
issues, single-payer health insurance, transportation issues and Jim Lowenstern's
campaign for House of Delegates.
Jim Lowenstern ran a grassroots campaign in a three-way race, and was able
to garner a total of 385 votes, or 2.7% of the total. He mobilized about a
dozen volunteers on Election Day and was invited to various candidate forums
(including the American-Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, the Ethnic Coalition
of Northern Virginia, an event at Northern Virginia Community College, and
two debates at the Beatley Library).
Jim raised awareness about expanded Metro rail service, single-payer health
insurance, and environmental issues in his district. The campaign also raised
the visibility of the Green Party, since local television and the Washington
Post covered Jim's campaign, and volunteers helped Jim get the word out by
canvassing and leafleting at local supermarkets.
We are now coordinating our local plans for 2001, including the following
- A citywide canvassing research project, which aims to determine political
opportunities and important issues in the city of Alexandria.
- Coordinate with Arlington Greens on the anti-death penalty campaign that
they are developing with local grassroots groups.
- Continue to work on affordable housing issues.
- Elect local Greens to City board and other local offices to influence decision-making.
- Begin to work on local ballot measures, including instant runoff voting
and proportional representation.
We are looking forward to 2002, and to continue working for grassroots democracy
and social, economic and environ-mental justice. People interested in joining
us or finding more information about our local can call Ron Garcia at 703-836-1975
or e-mail Chris at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Ron Garcia-Fogarty
New River Valley Greens
The New River Valley (NRV) Greens are currently taking Virginia Polytechnic
and State University to task for their outdated coal power plant, which does
not meet Clean Air Act standards. In May of 2001,Virginia Tech applied for
a permit to double their energy output from this plant. This has spurred the
NRV Greens to undertake a public relations campaign to spread awareness on
this air quality issue. Since Virginia Tech claims not to have enough money
to bring their plant up to standards, the NRV Greens are running "bake sales" to
raise the estimated $1,000,000 needed to retrofit the plant. At these bake
sales, Montgomery County air quality information, along with Green Party literature,
is distributed to passers-by. At the end of the bake sale campaign, a check
for the proceeds will be ceremoniously given to the Virginia Tech administration.
We are sure that our contribution will be "warmly received" and plan to hold
a press conference to alert the Montgomery County community to Virginia Tech's
apparent financial difficulties. We hope that with enough community support
we can get Virginia Tech to reprioritize their funding allocations.
As another campaign, the NRV Greens are working on student voter registration
in Blacksburg. Harnessing the vote of the large college student population
in this community would enable Green candidates a fighting chance for locally
held offices. One of the hurdles currently in our path is a local power structure
intent on self-preservation and thus not exactly keen to locally register college
students. We have had to contend with local elec- tion boards giving out incorrect
voter registration information in their attempts to disenfranchise voters.
With increasing student and local involvement in our organization, we hope
to be successful with both of these endeavors.
By Danielle Marie LoGiudice
Central Virginia Greens
Central Virginia Green members have been working independently on a variety
of issues. Members have started Charlottesville Clean Water to bring the issue
if the risks of water fluoridation to the attention of the public. Members
have been active with the anti-globalization effort, traveling to Quebec and
New York for the protests against the corporatization of the planet. Other
members have been active in protests against the war. Additionally, Roger Clarke
of the Central Va. Greens organized a November, 2001 public forum at the University
of Virginia to illuminate the struggle of the tribes of eastern Virginia against
the injustice of the proposed King William Reservoir. Leaders from the two
most crucially impacted Native American Indian tribes, the Mattaponi and the
Pamunkey, spoke eloquently, and were bolstered by the strong presence and solidarity
of leaders of the Chickahominy and Upper Mattaponi tribes. "Early 2002 is crunch-time
on this seminal social justice issue," said Roger, "and Greens in Virginia
must be ready to go to the wall to defend these venerable cultures against
powerful developers' greed." Roger further reported that great solidarity was
in evidence between the tribes' own resistance and the support and organizing
of the environmental non-profit community of activists. "They continue vigorously
to support the tribes' leadership against the reservoir, and to help the tribes
organize across the state -gaining great support among college and university
students at UVA, VCU, VT, W&M, ODU, MWC, and elsewhere. The Virginia Chapter
of the Sierra Club, the Shenandoah Ecosystems Defense Group, the Alliance to
Save the Mattaponi, the Southern Environmental Law Center, and the Native American
Student Union at UVa are all to be congratulated on their ongoing efforts.
Greens and progressives must contact them now,"
stressed Roger, "to join in this essential, seminal effort to preserve justice
- social and environmental - in Virginia. Volunteer to help our ‘First
Americans,' Virginia's tribes, fight the reservoir, by visiting SaveTheMattaponi.org.
Contribute what you can - any amount is important," said Roger. Make checks to
The Mattaponi Heritage Foundation, 1467 Mattaponi Reservation Circle, West Point,
VA, 23181." (Your tax-deductible contribution to the MHF, a 501 (c) (3) non-profit
organization, goes to support the Mattaponi People in their fight for justice
and the defeat of the King William Reservoir. The Central Virginia Greens meet
the 1st and 3rd Tuesday of each month at the Main Branch of the Jefferson Madison
Library on Market Street at 7pm.
By Jana Cutlip
Growing the Green Party
Support Green Party Work
Greens in Virginia, and beyond, have long stood on the plank of campaign finance
reform as a way to stem the undue influence of money in establishment politics.
This stance has long been a criticism directed at political opponents. However,
as our active grass roots networks produce more serious efforts to organize
new locals and conduct electoral campaigns our own Green fiscal matters become
increasingly important. Organizing and emerging as a political force for change
means that Greens need now to begin to assemble and use monetary resources.
No longer can we allow a healthy skepticism about money in politics to preclude
our proper and wise use of necessary resources in accordance with our Green
Against all odds, and spending much less money than the dominant party candidates
they run against, Greens have enjoyed phenomenal success in campaigns for office.
Doing more with less had certainly been virtue of Green politics. But, even
the most frugal organizations need funds to make it possible to carry their
message to a wider audience and to cover the inevitable costs incurred as a
statewide organization emerges. Therefore, the Green Party of Virginia affirmed
at its last quarterly meeting, in December of 2001, the need to undertake more
serious fundraising efforts.
Until now voluntary payment of dues has been the primary source of funds
for the GPVA. Soon a letter will be going out to Green Party of Virginia members
as a friendly reminder of how important it is to the state party for members
to be faithful in paying their dues. Please consider this request seriously
when it arrives in your mailbox. Greens across Virginia have already contributed
blood, sweat, and tears to further the work of their locals and the state party.
Now we must ask additionally for everyone to dig deep and support this work
financially. If we, as active members, do not put our money where our collective
mouths are, how can we expect others to join us in our work? a more sound financial
footing will increase our effectiveness and allow us to further proclaim our
political values. To be credible, we must be fiscally responsible.
Funds are needed for three core purposes: to advocate for Green Party platform
issues statewide, to assist with organizing more Green party locals across
the commonwealth, and to provide better support for existing locals.
A key element in accomplishing all of these purposes is providing adequately
for effective, stable and consistent communications.
Most of the new members of the Green Party of Virginia have become active
in the party after being inspired by news of Green Party successes. Therefore,
GPVa investment in effective grassroots-building communication tools for Greens
in every locality in the state will undoubtedly grow more loyal Greens and
lead to more electoral success.
In other states, communication and organizing strategies have included hiring
full- or part-time staff to consistently present and efficiently distribute
Green news and thought, and to help organize and assist new locals. Opinions
may differ on the degree to which paid staff is necessary here and now but,
all will agree that current budget constraints render the question of employing
statewide staff for the Green Party of Virginia moot.
GPVA recently created a vital working committee to identify and initiate
the fundraising tasks of the party. Over the next few months this committee
will strengthen its efforts to raise substantial funds for the GPVA by writing
a solid and achievable plan for that work, to be presented at the upcoming
statewide GPVA Quarterly Meeting. Moreover, the Structural Reform Committee
of the GPVA is preparing and refining a proposal for the current fundraising
work group to be firmly established as a standing committee of the state party.
We must begin now to expand our effectiveness by expanding our resources
if we are to develop into a strong mature political voice in Virginia. Pitch
in. It's a good cause.
Don Durham is a member of the Richmond Greens
The Green Party's Opportunities from the Nader Campaign
Last year, Ralph Nader was the Green Party's first presidential candidate
to qualify for the ballot in Virginia. He was also the first alternative party
presidential candidate to qualify for the ballot in Virginia without using
paid petition gatherers. Nader and his running mate Winona LaDuke received
59,398 votes in Virginia, which was 2.17% of the state's total popular vote.
The strong support of the Central Virginia Greens helped Nader and LaDuke
to achieve their best results in the City of Charlottesville, where they won
9.04% of the popular vote. On a precinct level, the best results came from
the Alumni Hall Precinct, with 13.8% of the vote; the Clark Precinct, with
11.2%; and the Jefferson Park Precinct, with 10%.
Nader and LaDuke also ran strong in nearby Albemarle County, winning 5.54%
of the vote. The best results at the precinct level were in the Batesville
Precinct, where the Greens won 9.9%; the University Hall Precinct, with 8.7%;
and the Porters Precinct, with 7.3%.
Campaigning by the Rockbridge Greens helped the Green Presidential ticket
to win 4.81% of the vote in Lexington, and in the surrounding county of Williamsburg,
With the support of the New River Valley Greens, Nader and LaDuke won 4.5%
of the vote in Montgomery County. Their strongest showing was in Precinct G-1,
with 8.8% of the vote; Precincts A-2 and G-2, with 8.2%; and Precinct A-3,
with 7.2%. The Green ticket also won 3.87% of the vote in Radford, and 4.25%
of the vote in Floyd County.
In Arlington County, the Green ticket won 4.73% of the vote, including 7.6%
in the Ashton Heights Precinct and 6.7% in the Lyon Park Precinct. The Arlington
Courthouse Greens campaigned for Nader and LaDuke and affiliated with the GPVA
The NOVA Greens and RAIL NOW! Greens also supported the Green Presidential
campaign in Northern Virginia, helping Nader and LaDuke to win 5.1 % of the
vote in Falls Church and 3.68% in Fairfax City. The Green ticket also won 3.79%
of the vote in Alexandria, including 6.3% in the George Washington School Precinct
and 5.3% in the Mt. Vernon Recreation Center Precinct.
In Richmond, Nader and LaDuke won 3.68% of the vote. Richmond Greens member
Dana Woods helped the Green candidates to get 22.4% of the vote in Precinct
505, which was the best precinct- level result in Virginia. The Richmond Greens
also achieved impressive results in Precinct 206, with 15% of the vote; Precinct
502, with 11.2%; Precinct 204, with 10.7%; and Precinct 113, with 9.7%.
Campaigning by the Mary Washington College Greens and other Greens in Fredericksburg
won 4.88% of the vote for the Green candidates. In Rappahannock County, the
Rappahannock Greens' support helped Nader and LaDuke to win 4.58% of the vote.
In Roanoke, the Blue Ridge Greens campaigned for Nader and LaDuke; the best
results were in the Highland 2 Precinct, where the Green candidates won 7.8%
of the vote. The best results of the Tidewater Greens' campaign in Norfolk
were in the St. Andrews Precinct, where Nader and LaDuke won 6.3% of the vote.
Nader and LaDuke won 3.28% of the vote in Waynesboro with the support of the
Other counties and cities with high percentages of Nader voters included
Harrisonburg, with 6.44%, Williamsburg, with 5.05% and Nelson County, with
Knowledge of this information provides the GPVA with several opportunities
for future organization:
1. The results help the GPVA to identify places to start new locals. The
Arlington Courthouse Greens, the Richmond Greens, and the Mary Washington College
Greens are locals that grew out of the Nader campaign. Other counties and independent
cities with relatively high percentages of Nader voters would be good places
to try to start new locals. The GPVA voted to affiliate the Fredericksburg
Greens at the December 15th state party meeting. Williamsburg may also be a
good place to start a local.
2. The results help existing locals to identify places where they might increase
their membership; precincts with high percentages of Nader voters could be
fertile ground for recruiting new members and candidates for local and state
offices. The success of the Richmond Greens in precincts with large populations
of minorities is particularly encouraging.
3. The results help both the GPVA and the locals identify potential Green
voters in future elections at the local, state, and national level.
Tom Yager is co-clerk of the Green Party of Virginia and a member of Arlington
The Web Committee was formally approved by consensus as a standing committee
of the GPVA at the February 2001 quarterly business meeting of the GPVA and
has been on a roll ever since. This working group is responsible for the state
website, official e-mail lists, the membership database and other ongoing GPVA
information technology projects.
Here are the highlights of the group's accomplishments:
If you haven't done so already, please visit http://www.vagreenparty.org/ -
we welcome your suggestions!
- Procured a new domain name for the website.
- Procured hosting services from the Green Internet Society.
- Updated the old pages with a new look and added new content.
- Created forwarding e-mail accounts for officials and representatives of
the GPVA, making it easier for our membership and interested parties to con-tact
- Created new e-mail listservs for communication among the members of the
We hope that you will check out the new e-mail listservs as well. We have
separated the lists into distinct topic areas, so that members will only receive
e-mail that truly interests them. Here is a description of each:
The business list - gpva-business - is for e-mail discussion of party business
only. It is limited to members of the GPVA. Upcoming meeting agenda items,
candidate nominations and reaction to the GPVA committee reports are appropriate
discussion topics here. We encourage all GPVA members who have an interest
in building the party to participate in this list with concise and to the point
The activism list - gpva-activism - is for e-mail discussion of current events,
upcoming actions, and Green philosophy. What a great way to publicize your
local's latest project!
The external list - gpva-ext - is for e-mail discussion of items forwarded
by our representatives to Green bodies out-side the GPVA. This discussion can
get pretty lengthy, but your input is important.
Finally, we have created an announcements only list - gpva-announce - for
members of the GPVA. This will be low volume - about four to six announcements
of state meetings or other important events per year. All members who have
e-mail are entreated to join this list.
To sign up for any of the lists, send an email to email@example.com,
where listname is the name of the list you want to subscribe to. The body
of the message should only say: subscribe (and nothing more). If you use hotmail,
turn off rich text format (from the tools menu) in order for this to work.
If you have any problems subscribing, send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The web committee has many upcoming projects, including a discussion board
on the state website. The committee is open to any member of the GPVA who is
interested - technical expertise is not required. To sign up, send an e-mail
By Susan Dridi
From the Editor
During the 2000 election cycle, Ralph Nader said it would take 1 million people
donating 100 dollars and one hundred hours per year in order to transform our
society. Consider this is a kind request for you to do just that.
Become involved. Join the local in your area and participate. If there isn't
a local near you, contact us and we'll help you form one.
Educate yourself. With the mainstream media being controlled by fewer and
fewer large corporations, it becomes increasingly important to educate yourself,
to seek out alternative sources for information. Ralph Cole has been recording
progressive speakers for ten years. Order videotapes from Ralph@justicevision.org
for $5. Read Michael Moore at michaelmoore.com for fresh insights. Read Ralph
Nader's commentaries at essential.org. Educate yourself. America needs you
to get involved.
Begin to participate. Join a local, join a committee, join a listserv, write
an article for this newspaper. Give your time. If you can't give your time,
give your money. We'd like both, but we'll take either.
If you believe in grassroots democracy, social justice, ecology, and nonviolence,
you are like millions of people around the world. The planet is dying and the
oligarchy is moving towards total control, you need to get involved. The future
is up to you.
By Jana Cutlip
The burning question: "what has Ralph Nader been doing since the election?"
The simple answer: the same thing he was doing before the election - organizing
and speaking out!
Unlike some presidential candidates, Ralph hasn't grown a beard and gone
into hiding.....he's been crossing the country tirelessly this year, encouraging
new Green Party locals, raising funds and bringing the renowned Nader brand
of fiery progressivism to inspired audiences from San Francisco to Boston.
Ralph has continued his string of remark-able super rallies into 2001 by
way of his newest citizen activist group - Democracy Rising. With the slogan "People
Have The Power," and under the day-to-day guidance of Jason Kafoury (son of
Greg Kafoury, the mastermind behind the super rally concept), Democracy Rising
is keeping the Nader message alive around the country.
Democracy Rising is an opportunity for all people to get involved in direct
civic action and continue the spirit of the Green Party 2000 campaign into
non-electoral activities that benefit their communities. Eventually, Democracy
Rising will provide a wealth of information on how people can bypass bureaucracy
and corporate influence and directly accomplish things for their communities.
According to the DR web site, "Democracy Rising is a new organization founded
by Ralph Nader as a means to educate and empower citizens throughout the country.
As part of that effort, we are sponsoring Ralph Nader's "People Have the Power" tour
in Cleveland, OH; San Francisco, CA; Phoenix, AZ; and Portland, OR." By the
time you read this, Ralph will have held rallies in Boston, MA and Toledo,
OH as well.
The Ten Points of Democracy Rising go further in explaining the organization's
ONE - Enact Legislation that mandates publicly financed elections and broadly
reforms the electoral process.
TWO - Enact living wage laws, strength-en worker health and safety, and repeal
Taft-Hartley and other barriers to collective bargaining and workers' rights.
THREE - Issue environmental protection standards that dramatically reduce
toxins in the environment, and to promote renewable sources of energy.
FOUR - Provide full Medicare coverage for EVERYONE in this country backed
by programs for prevention of disease and trauma.
FIVE - Launch a mission to abolish poverty as other western democracies have
SIX - Design and implement a national security policy to counter the silent,
mass violence of global disease, and to stop the waste of defense money.
SEVEN - Re-negotiate NAFTA and GATT to be truly democratic.
EIGHT - Eliminate the criminal ‘injustice' system that viciously discriminates
against the poor and people of color in this nation.
NINE - Defend and strengthen the civil justice system so that wrongfully
injured people can have their full day in court; apply the criminal laws against
corporate crime... it's time for a crackdown in the "suites!"
TEN - End the massive corporate welfare schemes that dramatically misallocate
funds that should go towards education and health care. Enforce the corporate
charters, as prescribed by state law, to regain sovereignty of the people over
Join Democracy Rising at www.democracyrising.org and
help let Ralph Nader tell the world that "people have the power"!
By David Gaines
Green and Growing: Progressive Student Activism on Campus Since Nader 2000
This summer, Campus Greens exploded onto the national scene with their Founding
Convention and Rally for Radical Change. From August 9-12, nearly 500 campus
activists converged on Chicago for the convention; and that weekend, over 3,000
people attended the rally. Speakers and performers at the rally included Ralph
Nader, Winona LaDuke, Cornel West, Patti Smith and Ani DiFranco. At the convention,
hundreds of activists attended skills and issues workshops, and delegates from
nearly 100 chapters hammered out the organization's by-laws and elected the
national Steering Committee.
The convention left Campus Greens members energized and poised to hit the
ground running when they returned to campus in September. At the national,
regional and local level, Campus Greens has done just that. Shortly after the
convention, the Steering Committee hired a Development Director, Briel Johnson,
to work closely with the new National Director, Carolyn Danckaert. In the months
since the convention, the number of chapters has grown to over 125. This dramatic
surge of activity makes Campus Greens one of the fastest growing progressive
student organizations in the country.
On a national level, the organization responded swiftly to the September
11 tragedy, issuing a statement days after the attacks, and helping to build
the new National Youth and Student Peace Coalition. Campus Greens has also
participated in this semester's most significant regional mobilizations: namely
the School of the Americas protest and the September 29 peace demonstrations
in Washington, D.C. And, we are currently preparing to launch a national campaign
this spring focused on corporate influence in the educational system with an
emphasis on the influence of the military-industrial complex on schools.
It's on the local level, however, that the most significant work is being
done. This is where, what the organization calls, the "radical democracy movement" is
being propelled forward: students have run campaigns to "take over their student
governments" by electing slates of progressive candidates; they have been running
fair trade campaigns targeting the purchasing policies of their campus bookstores
and cafeterias; they have begun to challenge the investment portfolios of their
universities, demanding divestment from corporations with poor labor and environmental
records; and, in the wake of September 11, they have begun to challenge their
universities' ties to the military-industrial complex.
Over the next several months, Campus Greens will be holding regional organizing
trainings to strengthen the network of Campus Greens activists and to help
them hone their organizing skills. During the spring semester, Campus Greens
will be running an internship program at its national office in Chicago (and
we still have a few intern positions available!). This summer, select activists
from all over the country will attend an intensive Campus Greens' organizing
training camp. What began for so many thousands of students as a nine week
stint into electoral politics with the Nader/LaDuke campaign, has rapidly become
a national institution, working daily to involve students and young people
in progressive politics as activists, organizers, and candidates- giving youth
the tools with which to turn their ideals into reality.
To learn more about Campus Greens, please visit our website at http://www.campusgreens.org or
contact us directly at email@example.com or 773.394.9720.
By Katherine Fisher and Matt Hancock, Campus Greens National Steering Committee
Eleven Reasons Not to Buy the Bush-Cheney "War on Terrorism"
I am asking everyone who reads this to do something difficult -- to admit
that at some time in your life, maybe only briefly, you have been persuaded
by the guys who run our national security to support something that you later
figured out was wrong. Maybe it was the Vietnam War, maybe it was the Gulf
War, maybe it was our Central America policy.
You can be fooled, and there are people in high office in Washington who
are willing to fool you, and people in the mass media whose first loyalty is
to continuing to be an insider. You knew that before September 11, and it's
still true. Face the fact that it may be happening again.
Eleven Reasons Not to Buy What You Hear From the Media and the White House
1) War with Afghanistan is not a straightforward path to justice. Afghanistan
is a big country, whose terrain and culture between them have defeated every
empire that has attacked them. And that was before the country was covered
with land mines that kill 88 of the people who already live there every year.
Bin Laden has been there long enough to know a lot of good hiding places, and
to set a lot of traps. As I write, in early December, it looks like we have "won." But
the Soviets did much the same thing when they invaded, quickly conquering all
the cities. It will be years before the situation is sorted out in Afghanistan.
Meanwhile, thousands of Afghanis, and some US citizens, will die preventable
and unjust deaths.
2) War with Afghanistan won't necessarily deal with Bin Laden. Bin Laden
is not tied down to Afghanistan. He can go to Indonesia or Mauritania or Chechnya
and find support. He could go to Turkey or Brazil or Mexico if he is willing
to hide and still has a few million. In fact, he may already have done any
one of those things -- Bush says Bin Laden is still in Afghanistan, but he
obviously does not know exactly where he is, or he would have "smoked him out." Bin
Laden's loyalty is to his ideology, not to a country.
3) Killing Bin Laden will end his network. Bin Laden didn't personally fly
into the Towers and the Pentagon. There are other people out there who are
willing to do these things -- probably hundreds of thousands of them, maybe
millions. And there are other people besides Bin Laden to recruit them. Every
civilian we bomb in Afghanistan will multiply the numbers of both. What matters
is changing the conditions that create them, not trying to knock off individuals.
This will sound ugly, but it makes the point. If the Taliban kill 10 U.S. Marines,
will there be less or more Marines?
4) Retaliation doesn't work and isn't practical. I and every citizen of the
United States are going to see our security decreased, not increased, because
of this action in Afghanistan. Revenge leads to revenge, in an uncontrollable
spiral. We have options between going to war and turning the other cheek. Most
of the world would be delight- ed to join us in an aggressive anti-terrorist
program that included outlawing the trade in small arms, ending nuclear proliferation
and biological warfare research, making all international financial transactions
transparent, setting up an international court to try those committing mass
murder for political reasons, and establishing interfaith norms for controlling
political violence. These may sound idealistic, but they are as do-able as
ending the slave trade, once an implausible goal.
Continuing an international feud, especially with an enemy who has so much
less to lose than we do, is simply irrational -- except for those who gain
5) War creates enormous opportunities for crime. The anthrax attacks appear
to be an example of this -- a domestic terrorism that is taking advantage of
the fear created by international terrorism. Threats against women's health
facilities, U.S. residents of Arab, Muslim and South Asian descent, and dissident
university faculty and media have all been stepped up. Con-men of various kinds
have flourished, from those claiming to be raising money for victims to those
that claim a corporate tax break helps restore the economy -- to those who
plan to sell us invasive technologies as a solution to "security."
The popular notion that we have all pulled together may be true for the majority
of U.S. citizens -- but for a substantial minority, a fuzzy state of war and
a time of social chaos is a great time to express their anti-social impulses.
6) We are risking our nation's character -- again. War always puts our Bill
of Rights at risk. Even the "good" wars -- the ones that crushed slavery and
fascism -- curtailed our rights. Being an American patriot should mean that
any one of us willing to die, so long as the ideal of the United States of
America survives. Right now, our government's approach is to ditch the Fourth
Amendment, and maybe the First and Fifth, supposedly to save our lives. Just
as I have risked jail and injury for the sake of freedom and peace, I am willing
to risk death by terrorism to ensure that "government of the people, by the
people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth." i will not tear
up the Bill of Rights to save my scared ass, even if I do live within walking
distance of the Pentagon.
7) We are creating a set of opportunistic alliances with dictators -- exactly
how we got in this mess. In 1989, the Richmond Times Dispatch published a letter
in which i wrote that military support for fundamentalist Afghani forces would
backfire on the U.S. While Uzbekistan is scary, the immediate major nightmare
is Pakistan, whose General has to show he's still a real Muslim, even though
he just gave up the Taliban to the U.S. He may do that in Kashmir. This could
easily lead to the first war between two nuclear powers -- India and Pakistan
(And of course our new friends the Northern Alliance are best known for being
the folks that made the Taliban look good to Afghanis -- not a good prospect
for stable democratic government).
8) We are not vigorously pursuing the real source of terrorism. Saudi money
is a far more important element in what led to 9/11 than the training camps
or the Taliban. Osama Bin Laden didn't pick up his millions selling lamb kabob
in the Kabul market. The terrorists who committed the murders of 9/11 were
by and large relatively prosperous Saudis or Egyptians, by and large funded
by Saudi money, often that of their families, but also that of many sympathizers,
some of them probably in or close to the ruling family. Saudi money comes from
the gas pump in Europe and the U.S. and is almost inextricable from oil company
money. As long as Saudi money props up a government not that different from
the Taliban, there will be more terrorists.
Go to any major city in any country in the world, poke around enough, and
you will find a group of people that hates the U.S. and would really like to
attack us. Some have good reason to hate us, while others are just spiteful.
We can't change the fact that we are hated, but we can change the fact that
some people who hate us are effective and well-funded. To do that, we have
to fundamentally change our relations with the Saudis and with the oil companies.
9) The war on terrorism is ill-defined and open-ended. Bush and gang are
talking up a "war on terrorism" that has literally no end -- like the drug
war. It will create its own enemies and battlefields, and its own blacklists
and witch hunts for the foreseeable future. One writer has compared the situation
to that in Orwell's 1984, where there is always a war though the enemy changes.
Even if what they were doing in Afghanistan was going to accomplish something,
it would be important to resist it as a foot in the door for another generation
of internalized repression like the Cold War.
10) Bush's leadership is fundamentally com-promised. The problem isn't that
he is conservative, or even that he might be a crook. Winston Churchill was
a reactionary, but he was key to saving Britain. But Bush and his father and
their gang are undeniably complicit in training the Taliban and Bin Laden,
and in financing them and being financed by them. The Taliban made several
offers to turn over Bin Laden or to discuss his turnover, each of which Bush
has dismissed for no convincing reason. During the war in Vietnam, when the
Vietnamese made an offer, Nixon or Johnson at least pretended to consider it.
Bush isn't even pretending, and has said he will not negotiate, period. Why
not? Bush is acting like he is afraid of catching the guy alive. If that is
the case, we are being led by someone who does not have the flexibility to
do whatever needs to be done.
When the British went into World War II, the first thing they did was throw
out the compromised government that had gotten them into the situation. Why
can't we even discuss doing the same thing?
11) It's still about oil. Oil profits drive Us policy in the Middle East.
There is no other remotely credible reason for us to prop up regimes like the
Saudis and the Kuwaitis, which are hostile to every American principle. And
now the former Soviet Republics, and even Pakistan, are likely sources of oil
and natural gas. We are looking at creating more oil fortunes in nations that
are just as hostile to us, and at again picking our allies based on the price
of gasoline. There is no reason for this, and there certainly is no moral justification
To get out of the cycle of making oil-driven alliances, we must gain energy
independence, with solar and wind and water power. We have the know-how to
do it, we must do it, and that should be the focus of our "war on terrorism" --
a "war" to put a solar col-lector on every roof. That would work, because it
would dry up the sources that make Bin Laden possible -- both the hatred of
the "crusader" troops in the Middle East, and the oil funds.
What should we do?
1) Call together the United Nations, and ask for an international court to
try people who kill large numbers of civilians for political ends. Ask for
Muslim and other countries to get Bin Laden by whatever means they can, preferably
2) Announce that we are going back to our original foreign policy, described
by George Washington in his Farewell Address -- in which we have no allies
or alliances, trade with everyone, and focus on trade and not war as our means
of global interaction (Read the Address -- it's not isolationist, and it is
the final suggestion of our founding Chief Executive).
3) Throw out Bush and Cheney and Powell, and replace them with a multiparty
government of national unity led by Speaker Hastert, which will implement #2
and will also determine how we can rebuild countries like Vietnam and Guatemala
that we have devastated (Nothing was ever better for Us business than the Marshall
4) Build a national economy that is based on renewable energy and on fair
trade with all nations and that does not arm or attack any other nation.
These are not realistic solutions as we understand realism in this country
right now. But we are a country in a state of shock, governed by a man who
was perfectly willing to come to power through an illegitimate and racist judicial
coup. We are under the spell of a massive media machine that is hand in glove
with the government. All this will be clear to future generations. Shake loose
the propaganda and see it now.
Larry Yates is a member of the Arlington Courthouse Greens.
Making Trash and Jamming Free Speech For Fun And Profit
How much would it cost you to replace every radio -- walkman, clock radio,
car radio, home stereo and boom box? Don't forget that the new radios will
be hundred$ of dollar$. Are the landfills looking forward to receiving 500
million radios in America alone? Is the EPA ready to watch out for the potential
pollution caused by manufacturing to replace those 500m radios?! Even worse,
are you ready to lose your favorite radio station, maybe the ONLY one that
carries your music, culture, environmental, consumer and local news, or commentary
that challenge the dominant paradigm?
There's a new plan for the control of America's "Free Press". It requires
radio stations to broaden their bandwidth on the radio dial. It would cover
over and jam your favorite radio station's signal if it's next to a huge local
This effort to double the bandwidth size and cutting in half the number of
frequencies available for radio stations is called by industry the great digital
radio revolution. Others call it a terrible disaster.
For example, folks living in Williamsburg, Virginia can now hear both WHRV
89.5 (one of the few eclectic NPR affiliates) AND WAUQ 89.7Fm (Central Virginia's
8th ‘family-values Christian' radio station owned by the American Family
Association [AFA]) in Charles City Virginia. Because these two stations are
immediately next to each other on the dial, when they both double their width,
people living in-between (Williamsburg) or rural folks outside of both areas
will LOSE BOTH STATIONS. Richmond could lose 18 out of 32 radio stations! In
order to hear any of the remaining stations that survive this forced conversion,
listeners will pay hundreds of dollars PER Digital RADIO to hear them because
they will all sound like fax machines.
Over one in five Americans find that the only radio station that speaks to
our souls is inevitably the weakest and/or most distant radio station on the
Technology Investor magazine noted that the new Satellite Direct Audio Radio
Service [SDARS] (XM Inc. and Sirius Inc.) are going to be successful because "30%
of all the music genres purchased in music stores are rarely heard on the regular
radio dial." SDARS offers over 100 channels of largely commercial free music,
news and talk channels beamed directly from orbit to your car for $10/month.
Back on the ground, historically over 20% of Americans rely on tiny noncommercial
religious, college, and community radio stations to find that programming that
resonates with their values. Unfortunately, MANY OF THOSE STATIONS ARE LIKELY
TO BE GONE IN 5 YEARS.
America's larger broadcasters and radio manufacturers have created a coalition
to pressure the Federal Communication Commission (FCC) to in turn FORCE broadcasters
to cease "analog" transmissions that your current radio can decode. This coalition
is creating pressure to push conversion to a new "fax for your radio" kind
of system called "IBOC-DAB".
I call it "fax for your radio" because just as you talk in ‘analog'
communications mode to your friend, your modem or fax machine must talk (in ‘digital')
to another modem or fax machine in that hideous screech. Similarly, IBOC-DAB
(stands for "In-Band, On-Channel, Digital Audio Broadcasting) receivers must
be able to interpret the "screech" of Digital Audio Broadcasting.
The Europeans and Canadians began their push to establish Digital Audio Broadcasting
(DAB) back in 1992. Ironically, they used the American model from the 1950's
by creating a third separate DAB band. In the 1950s, when Fm was established,
we wisely did not try to push one or two FM stations onto the AM dial and thereby
destroy 7 or 10 Am stations, instead we created a separate FM band. FM provided
a huge increase in sound quality (and in stereo!) and thus was successful.
Unfortunately, the new DAB signals only provide a microscopic decrease in noise
and tend to choke and "warble" like a digital cell phone or like Internet audio
does, and so European and Canadian DAB was a market FLOP.
So the American manufacturers and large broadcasters that want to "go digital"
had to figure out how to FORCE us to make the conversion. They came up with
a brilliant idea -- they would COMPEl all broadcasters to convert to digital
*on the existing* AM and FM bands. This idea is especially brilliant for
the monopolists because they need a "transition time" of a few years to transmit
their spreadsheet-programmed pabulum programming in both ‘analog' and
in ‘digital'. To do that they claim they must double the amount of
space they use on the AM and FM dial. This is advantageous for monopolists
because their double-wide signal destroys the smaller and more distant independent
signals that they have competed with for that remaining 20% of audience.
Even better, by forcing the conversion, many smaller stations such as all-volunteer
WDCe 90.1FM college radio for University of Richmond will not likely afford
the $30,000 to $120,000 conversion costs and will probably just go off the
When conversion is complete, the big broadcasters plan to keep the new now
double-wide all-digital signal and sell subscription delivery of digital down-loads
from the internet, wireless broad-band internet. In fact, Sony Inc. states
in the official FCC record that they only need 30 of the requested 430 (yes,
four hundred and thirty) kilohertz of space on the dial in order to duplicate
the audio feed in digital form. They plan make their money off subscriptions
to that extra 400kHz of bandwidth ("auxiliary channels") and not by creating
programming that attracts you to listen to the station. They can simply play
any hideous schlock to appease the FCC that they are ‘serving the public'
and the ratings that are show they are ACTUALLY serving the public will be
utterly beside the point. You literally will no longer count on the corporate
financial spreadsheets that inform their decisions on programming.
To find out more about this potential environmental and free speech disaster
(including congressional testimony), visit: http://www.DigitalDisaster.Org
To stop this disaster; Call your Congress-Critters, and FCC Commissioners:
1) Tell them to require that anyone interested in transmitting in Digital
Audio Broadcasting format must move to another whole band. Just as FM was established
on a separate band from AM, so should DAB. NO JAMMINg OUR STATIONS!
2) Tell them that the European version of DAB (Digital Audio Broadcasting)
[called "Eureka 147"] was a market-place failure because they asked people
to pay hundreds of dollars for new radios carrying the same old tired programming.
We don't want independent American radio stations destroyed to force us into
buying new radios just to hear the nearly monopolized radio stations and bad
programming that would remain, We WANT CHOICE AND COMPETITION.
Senators and Members Of Congress:
Senate Operator: 202-224-3121
House Operator: 202-225-3121
Phone: 888-CALL-FCC (225-5322)
Comments are due NOW at the FCC ... while those submitted after the dead-line
of March 21st are still valid politically, they don't have "legal standing.
Chris Maxwell is a member of the Richmond Greens.
Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders,
and a Plan to Stop Them All
In Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train: Errant Economists, Shameful Spenders,
and a Plan to Stop Them All (University of California Press, 2000), Brian
Czech drafted a blueprint for the "steady state revolution." The goal of
the steady state revolution is ecological and economic sustainability, which
entails replacing the national goal of economic growth with the national
goal of a steady state economy. The steady state economy is indicated by
equilibrating, sustainable gross national product, and some view it as the
macroeconomic manifestation of the Green Party platform.
According to Czech the steady state revolution consists of two major stages.
First, the theory of economic growth touted by mainstream or "neoclassical"
economists is replaced by a theory of economic growth founded upon ecological
principles. In particular, the notion that economic growth has no limits is
The neoclassical notion of unlimited growth is based on the substitutability
of resources and increasing productive efficiency. These phenomena indeed occur,
but not in perpetuity. Limits to economic growth are clearly revealed by the
biological and physical sciences. Meanwhile, empirical evidence such as proliferating
species endangerment, aquifer depletion, and atmospheric disruption are red
flags of impending limits.
The new field of ecological economics has the potential to overcome neoclassical
economics because it is consistent with the natural sciences and with the common
sense of students and citizens. Ecological economics contains the academic
underpinnings of a Green political economy. In the academic component of the
steady state revolution, the ecological wisdom of the steady state economy
overwhelms the ecological ignorance of neoclassical economics. Tomorrow's economists
will therefore inform policy makers accordingly.
The social component of the steady state revolution occurs as the historical
emulation of conspicuous consumers is replaced with an equally powerful castigation
of such consumers. Czech defines three classes of consumers: the steady state
class, the amorphic class, and the liquidating class. As the steady state class
learns that each spent dollar represents the liquidation of natural resources
- resources needed by the grandkids - steady staters (including Greens) will
recognize the sociopathic recklessness of the liquidating class. Because liquidators
consume as they do largely for the sake of self-esteem, castigation by the
majoritarian steady state class will result in behavioral modification; the
liquidators will consume less and will therefore enter the amorphic and steady
Eventually, when a stable, sustainable level of human economy is reached
(as indicated by a cessation of species endangerment, for example) the castigation
may cease in the midst of a new, much greener society. The new society is one
in which conservation, not conspicuous consumption, is emulated. Czech thinks
that the steady state revolution is possible in a capitalist democracy, but
with the emphasis on democracy thus the link to the Green party.
Perhaps Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train will become a rallying point for
the Green Party as it develops a specific economic philosophy that truly distinguishes
it from Republicratic parties.
A link to Shoveling Fuel may be found at www.steadystate.org.
Reviewed by Jana Cutlip
vital fibers exposed
what is torn?
name what tugs
at the deepest hurt
and you know where to focus the healing
dollars only sheathe flesh
an outer smoothness superimposed
petroenergy provides a vehicle
but for what, going where?
food does truly nourish
can't live without it, true
but food alone isn't living
all of these are only
at the service of
let's face it
at the site
is the cruel disruption
of the threads of family,
community, and humankind
where to focus the healing
name what tugs
at the deepest hurt
and you know where to focus the healing
or leave it unnamed
leave it unhealed
the next time
the tearing begins deeper
By Larry Yates
Greens Hit New Poll High of 8%
By Ben Oquist
December 5, 2001
The Greens have hit a new poll high of 8% in today's Morgan poll following
a record 7% in last week's Australian Newspoll.
"This is an encouraging increase on top of our record November 10 result
where we doubled our ‘98 vote," Greens Senator Bob Brown said.
"On these figures we would have 4 to 5 Senate seats.
"The Greens are the new dynamic progressive force in Australian politics.
We are set to increase our representation further in the coming South Australian
state election where we have a strong chance of winning a seat in the upper
"The poll also bodes well for the Greens in Tasmania where an election is
expected in February," Senator Brown said.
"Proportional Representation Eliminates Strategic Voting"
Green Party of Ontario
Toronto - December 3, 2001. The Green Party congratulates Dalton McGuinty
and the Ontario Liberal Party for their electoral reform referendum proposal.
Greens believe Ontario should adopt proportional representation so that no
future government is able to govern without the support of the majority of
Ontario's voters. Not since 1943 has Ontario had a government elected by the
majority of votes cast.
"The saddest symptom of our present system is strategic voting," says Green
Party of Ontario leader Frank de Jong. "Voters are forced to compensate for
the failings of the electoral system by voting for a party they don't believe
in. What could be more tragic?"
Ontario's antiquated first-past-the-post electoral system creates artificial
majorities. After receiving only 45% in both the 1995 and 1999 elections, the
Harris Conservatives fraudulently claimed the mandate to introduce the socially
and ecologically regressive Common Sense Revolution (While Greens supported
the CSR goal of eliminating the fiscal deficit, we proposed alternatives to
accomplishing this that would not have deepened Ontario's social and environmental
According to Doug Woodard, GPo spokesperson on Electoral Reform, "The present
electoral system marginalizes small parties with geographically dispersed support,
and prevents them from breaking through into electoral respectability. The
major parties don't even have an incentive to "steal" from their platforms."
Greens Grow Up
Jeanette Fitzsimons, MP & Rod Donald, MP, Green Party Co-Leaders
December 6, 2001
"The Green Party has achieved much in its first two years in Parliament," Co-leader,
Jeanette Fitzsimons said today, "but what we do in the next year will establish
us firmly and permanently as the third force in Parliament.
"We celebrate the second anniversary of our entry into Parliament on December
7, with two years of success behind us and a year of opportunity ahead.
"Our presence in Parliament has given us the opportunity to better work for
those who now feel left out of politics, disgusted by the extremism of the
right and alienated by the cynical centrism of the Government," she said.
"We are getting lots of messages of support from voters who see us as a party
of principle, rather than a party of expediency,"
said Co-leader, Rod Donald.
"The party has never been better placed to face the challenge of an election
year. Membership has more than doubled since 1999, as our message reaches out
to embrace a wider and wider constituency."
Mr Donald pointed to a number of high points over the last two years, including
the passage of two bills initiated by the Greens, the adoption of two Green
budget packages, a number of select committee inquiries and a range of amendments
Party members and supporters around the country are celebrating "Green Day"
with a number of events, including a get together Saturday night at the "Green
Capital" – tiny Pokororo Hall in the Motueka River valley.
On election night, 1999, the Greens won the Pokororo polling booth with 41%
of the vote, the highest percentage of Green Party votes cast anywhere in the
"Green Day" functions are being held around New Zealand but the Pokororo
party will take pride of place, with a major speech by Rod Donald, followed
by an evening of celebration.
Greens Officers and Activists Visit Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan
Meeting with European Green officials to coordinate efforts on global warming,
defending the rights of children, the War in Afghanistan, and democratic globalization
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- Officers of the Green Party of the United States have
just returned from meetings in Europe with legislators and other officials
who are members of various European Green Parties. Meanwhile, Green activist
Medea Benjamin, founder of the non-profit organization Global Exchange and
2000 Green Party candidate for U.S. Senator from California, and three other
women from Global Exchange recently returned from a fact-finding trip to Afghanistan
and Pakistan. On Thursday, December 6, they released a report describing their
findings and offering recommendations to the Bush Administration about how
to alleviate the suffering of Afghanistan's civilian population ("Reconstructing
Afghanistan: Statement by Global Exchange Women's Delegation to the Region"). http://www.globalexchange.org/sep-tember11/gx120501.html.
"The U.S. bombing has created a whole new class of refugees, most of whom
are not receiving any kind of aid," said Ms. Benjamin. "The U.S. therefore
has an tremendous responsibility to ensure that the refugees we have created
do not die from lack of food. We need U.N. peace-keepers in Afghanistan now
to get food to people. The U.S. must today end its resistance to an international
peacekeeping force. It is unconscionable for the U.S. to frustrate humanitarian
The contingent from Global Exchange has been working closely with the Revolutionary
Association of the Women of Afghanistan (RAWA), Afghan Womens Mission, Afghan
Womens Council, and Afghan Womens Network, all of which have demanded that
women be included in the plans for reconstructing Afghanistan and in the Bonn
talks on establishing a new Afghan government.
Annie Goeke, chair of the International Committee of the Green Party of the
United States, Tom Sevigny, a member of the party's national Steering Committee,
and Green Party Political Coordinator Dean Myerson met last week with Belgian
Green Party Minister Jean Marc Nollet, a United Nations representative, to
discuss Children's Rights and a campaign to protest the U.S.'s refusal to sign
on to the Child Rights International Treaty. They also discussed strategies
to address global warming and control carbon dioxide (greenhouse gas) emissions
with Olivier Deleuze, chair of the European Parliament.
"Green Parties on both sides of the Atlantic have continued to develop and
meetings during this visit promise to move our cooperation to a new level of
practical coordination to build the Green Party globally and get real results
on Green issues," commented Myerson.
"We emphasized to European Greens that they are in a position to embarrass
U.S. government officials for their inaction or bad policies, and that our
own experience in the U.S. political system can help them do so, thus getting
more results on many issues of common concern. This is the next step for the
Earth's only global political party to combine the leverage of European Greens
in governmental positions with our new-found growth and impact to affect U.S.
policies in a way not expected by the elites in the U.S."
Goeke, Sevigny, and Myerson spoke at a public forum attended by officials
from the European Federation of Green Parties (EFGP) in the Maison des Femmes,
discussing the U.S. Green Party's goals and clarifying the party's position
on the War in Afghanistan: disagreement with the German Greens' decision under
the leadership of Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer to support the U.S.'s unilaterally
conducted military strikes; calling for an international court to try the criminals
behind the September 11 attacks in accord with international law; demand for
representation from Afghan women's organizations in the Bonn talks.
They later met Arnold Cassola, Secretary General for EFGP, and officials
from the European Parliament Green Group and from the Heinrich Boell Foundation,
which supports and coordinates the Green movement in Germany. Greens in Europe
and the U.S. plan to participate in the 2nd World Social Forum (WSF) in Porto
Alegre, Brazil, from January 31 to February 5, 2002. About 100,000 people attended
the first WSF in 2001, an initiative of international NGOs that presented a
democratic alternative to the Globalization Forum in Davos, Switzerland.
Tom Sevigny represented the U.S. Green Party in Budapest at the European
Federation of Green Parties Council meeting on international security; Annie
Goeke attended the World Citizen's Assembly conference in Lille.
Editor: Jana Cutlip Layout: Jennifer McMaster Printing: xhigh graphics
Contributing Writers to this Issue:
Susan Dridi, Don Durham, Mike Feinstein, Katherine Fischer, David Gaines, Matt Hancock, Chris Maxwell, Ralph Nader, Ann Robinson, Tom Yager, Larry Yates
Distributors needed for this paper. Please contact the Co-Chairs or call 540-456-8555.