Green Party Logo

The Green Party of Virginia

Green Party Logo
ABOUT US
Current Campaigns
Platform
Press Releases
Contacts / Links
E-mail Listservs
Meeting Minutes
Electoral Archives
Newsletters
Bylaws
Consensus Process
Become a Member
Donate
News Archive


COMMITTEES
Interim
Activism
Candidate Exploration
Local Organizing
Finance
Information Technology
Platform
Structural Reform
Steering


GREEN LOCALS
Arlington
Blue Ridge
Central Virginia
Fredericksburg
Loudoun
New River Valley
Northern Virginia
Richmond
Rockbridge
Virginia Beach


THE TEN KEY VALUES
Ecological Wisdom
Social Justice
Grassroots Democracy
Nonviolence
Decentralization
Community Based Economics
Feminism
Respect for Diversity
Personal & Global Responsibility
Future Focus & Sustainability


Number 28 The Green Party of Virginia Newsletter Winter 2001/2002

Contents
Corporate Patriotism Ralph Nader
Electoral News
FEC Recognizes Green Party GPUS
Loudoun Greens Win First Election Ann Robinson
Jim Lowenstern's Campaign for the State Legislature Larry Yates
An Open Letter to the Greens of Virginia Dr. D.C. Amarasinghe
State and Federal Electoral Reform Tom Yager
City Council Wins in CN & MN Mike Feinstein
Local Reports
Rockbridge Greens Celebrate Ten Years Eric Sheffield
Richmond Greens Dana Woods
Loudon Greens Chris Simmons
Arlington Courthouse Greens Kirit Mookerjee
Fredericksburg Greens Chris Fink
NOVA/Alexandria Greens Ron Garcia-Fogarty
New River Valley Greens Danielle Marie LoGiudice
Central Virginia Greens Jana Cutlip
Growing the Green Party
Support Green Party Work Don Durham
The Green Party's Opportunities from the Nader Campaign Tom Yager
vagreenparty.org News Susan Dridi
From The Editor Jana Cutlip
Activism
Democracy Rising David Gaines
Eleven Reasons Not to Buy the Bush-Cheney "War on Terrorism" Larry Yates
Making Trash and Jamming Free Speech For Fun And Profit Chris Maxwell
Green Writings
Book Review: Shoveling Fuel for a Runaway Train Jana Cutlip
Poem Larry Yates
International News
Australia Ben Oquist
Canada Green Party of Ontario
New Zealand Jeanette Fitzsimons, MP & Rod Donald, MP
Greens Officers and Activists Visit Europe, Afghanistan, Pakistan unattributed

Read this Newsletter in PDF Format


Newsletters GPVA

Corporate Patriotism

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 are distracted.

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 since 1986.

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 minority neighborhoods.

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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Electoral News

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 landscape." 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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 program.

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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.

Dear Greens,

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 appeal.

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 evening news.

Additionally, I did an interview with Petersburg Newspaper that appeared in the local paper.

Sincerely yours,

D.C.Amarasinghe, M.D. • 6204 N. Military Hwy. Norfolk VA 23518
E-mail dcam@infi.net • Web: http://www.pilot.infi.net/~dcam/
Tel: 757-855-1900 • Fax: 757-855-2272


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 Greens.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 City Council

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 elected Green.

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.

More Candidates

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 in 1999.

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Local Reports

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 Sheffield.

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 ten years.

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, community-owned drive-in.

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Richmond Greens

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 area.

By Dana Woods


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Loudoun Greens

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Fredericksburg Greens

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 cfphd@earthlink.net. The Fredericksburg Green Party's homepage is on the web at http://www.fredericksburg.vagreenparty.org.

By Chris Fink


Contents Newsletters GPVA

NOVA/Alexandria Greens

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 projects:

  1. A citywide canvassing research project, which aims to determine political opportunities and important issues in the city of Alexandria.
  2. Coordinate with Arlington Greens on the anti-death penalty campaign that they are developing with local grassroots groups.
  3. Continue to work on affordable housing issues.
  4. Elect local Greens to City board and other local offices to influence decision-making.
  5. 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 alexandriagreenparty@radiodelray.com.

By Ron Garcia-Fogarty


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 values.

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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, 3.17%.

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 in February.

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 Valley Greens.

Other counties and cities with high percentages of Nader voters included Harrisonburg, with 6.44%, Williamsburg, with 5.05% and Nelson County, with 4.44%.

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 Courthouse Greens.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

vagreenparty.org News

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:

  • 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 the GPVA.
  • Created new e-mail listservs for communication among the members of the GPVA.
If you haven't done so already, please visit http://www.vagreenparty.org/ - we welcome your suggestions!

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 postings.

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 listname-request@vagreenparty.org, 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 webmaster@vagreenparty.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 to webmaster@vagreenparty.org.

By Susan Dridi


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Activism

Democracy Rising

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 intent:

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 done.

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 the corporations.

Join Democracy Rising at www.democracyrising.org and help let Ralph Nader tell the world that "people have the power"!

By David Gaines


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 info@campusgreens.org or 773.394.9720.

By Katherine Fisher and Matt Hancock, Campus Greens National Steering Committee Co-Chairs


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 from war.

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 for it.

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 peaceful.

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 Plan).

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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 station.

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 dial.

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 air altogether.

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.

Contact Lookup:

Senators and Members Of Congress:
Senate Operator: 202-224-3121
House Operator: 202-225-3121
FCC Commissioners:
Phone: 888-CALL-FCC (225-5322)
Fax: 202-418-0232

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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Green Writings

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 debunked.

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 state classes.

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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

A Poem

torn suddenly
vital fibers exposed

what is torn?
name it
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
love

the tenderness
at the site
is the cruel disruption
of the threads of family,
community, and humankind

that is
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


Contents Newsletters GPVA

International News

Australia

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 house.

"The poll also bodes well for the Greens in Tasmania where an election is expected in February," Senator Brown said.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

Canada

"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 debt).

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."


Contents Newsletters GPVA

New Zealand

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 to legislation.

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 country.

"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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA

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 efforts."

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.


Contents Newsletters GPVA


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.


 


Thanks to:
The Green Internet Society
for hosting this site!


Send your comments & suggestions to the Webweaver.

The Green Party of Virginia
Latest Update: May 27, 2010