Baltimore Greens urge continued protest and electoral strategy in response to police violence

Posted in Social & Economic Justice on April 27th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Be the first to comment

From the Baltimore Green Party:

p baltimore freddie gray protestThe Baltimore Green Party stands in solidarity with those protesting the police killing of Freddie Gray. The party hopes that protests will remain peaceful and achieve their goal of shining a national spotlight on the need for police conduct reforms and justice for the family of Mr. Gray.

While members of the Baltimore Green Party are participating in local protests, the party continues its strategy for long-term electoral reform by working to challenge city and state officials who fail to protect the citizens of the City of Baltimore.

According to an investigation by The Baltimore Sun, nearly $6 million in city funds have been paid in the last five years to settle over 100 lawsuits alleging police brutality and other misconduct by Baltimore police officers. The Green Party’s electoral strategy seeks to elect city officials who will prevent – not hide – police brutality. read more »

UK Greens release viral “boy band” video spoofing other parties

Posted in International Greens on April 9th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – 2 Comments

p uk coalition green party adThe Green Party of England and Wales has released a party political broadcast satirizing their four main rivals by portraying the leaders of Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and the UK Independence Party singing in harmony as a boy band named “coalition”. The video has gotten over 300,000 views on Youtube in its first day.

Watch the video here:

Jill Stein interviewed on HuffPost Live

Posted in Presidential Campaign on April 7th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Be the first to comment

p Jill SteinDr. Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party presidential candidate and 2016 hopeful, was interviewed about her plans for 2016 by Alyona Minkovski on HuffPost Live.

Watch the interview here:

Watch the UK 7-way party leaders debate with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett

Posted in International Greens on April 2nd, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Be the first to comment

p Natalie BennettOn Thursday April 2nd, leaders of the United Kingdom’s largest political parties took part in a 7-way debate, including David Cameron of the Conservative Party, Ed Miliband of the Labour Party, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, Natalie Bennett of the Green Party and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru.

Watch the debate here:

Minneapolis Green City Councilor Cam Gordon working to lessen impact of police racial profiling

Posted in Local Party News, Social & Economic Justice on March 31st, 2015 by rossmlevin – Be the first to comment

Photo credit: Tony Webster

As reported by the Daily Minnesotan, Cam Gordon, the Green City Councilor representing District 2 in Minneapolis, has introduced a bill to repeal “lurking” and “spitting” as arrestable crimes.  Gordon is also working to obtain data from the city’s police force on the racial dynamics of policing in Minneapolis.

The Ward 2 Councilman wants to stop arrests for lower-level offenses like lurking or spitting.

In an effort to combat racial profiling by law enforcement officials, two Minneapolis City Council members are asking the city to repeal certain low-level offenses that impact minorities at higher rates.

At a City Council meeting Friday, Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon announced that he plans to repeal ordinances that made lurking and spitting on sidewalks illegal. Changes would go into effect after next month’s full council meeting if the measure is approved.

Gordon said the need to counter racial profiling in the city is immense, and higher numbers of arrests in certain minority groups can contribute to economic inequality.

“Once you get something on your arrest record, you can end up having a much harder time getting housing and finding work,” he said.

Green Party of New York State calls for end to ‘LLC loophole’ allowing $150,000 political donations

Posted in Grassroots Democracy, Press Release on March 31st, 2015 by rossmlevin – Be the first to comment

Image from chambercoalition.org/greenparty.html

From the Green Party of New York State:

Albany – The New York State Green Party said today that the Commissioners of the New York State Board of Elections should move immediately to close the infamous “LLC Loophole” that allows limited liability corporations to skirt corporate campaign finance laws and donate $150,000 a year to candidates. The Green Party pointed out that the Board of Elections can choose to reclassify LLCs as corporations for campaign finance purposes without approval from the Legislature or Governor Cuomo, putting a $5000 cap on donations. Green Party representatives said that while this would be an important reform, only full public campaign financing at all levels will eliminate New York State’s pay-to-play politics.

“The people of New York State are sick and tired of the constant corruption scandals in state government, and overwhelmingly support major campaign finance reform to remove the influence of money in politics. It is simply obscene that due to a BOE ruling from 1996, LLCs are treated as individual donors and not corporations, and donors can set up as many as they wish to flout campaign finance laws again and again. Last year LLCs gave $20 million to state and local political races, including $800,000 to Andrew Cuomo from LLCs started by the developer Leonard Litwin and his real estate company Glenwood Management, the same Leonard Litwin named in the ongoing Sheldon Silver corruption investigation, said party co-chair Michael O’Neil.”

“What is most absurd is that this simple campaign finance reform could be done with the stroke of a pen if three State Board of Elections Commissioners agreed, with no need for backroom three – or is it four – men-in-a-room negotiations. The fact that they haven’t done so in nearly twenty years, even after the Federal Elections Commission did so in 1999 – shows the need not just for full public campaign finance reform but also changes at the Board of Elections. Serious ethics reform in Albany starts with low-hanging fruit like closing the LLC loophole and ends with fully publicly financed elections and a BOE that isn’t beholden to corporate party interests, said party co-chair Gloria Mattera.”

Dennis Trainor, Jr. of Acronym TV hired as Jill Stein for President communications director

Posted in National Greens on March 25th, 2015 by rossmlevin – Be the first to comment

Dennis Trainor, Jr. interviewing Dr. Jill Stein on Acronym TV, which aired on Free Speech TV and online

Yesterday Dennis Trainor, Jr. sent out the following email to subscribers of Acronym TV:

Friends:

Acronym TV, which had been on hiatus, is officially shutting down production.

I have been offered, and have proudly accepted, the job of Communications Director for Jill Stein for President.

More on that in a moment.

First I need to say thank you- it has been an amazing ride and none of it would have been possible without the amazing crowd-sourcing of support you have showered upon me.

It is not many people who are lucky enough to find a supportive audience for their work – and for these past many years, I have been blown away by the support you have shown me.

In addition to all those who donated and shared the work on social media, I need to extend a very special thank you to Margaret Flowers and Kevin Zeese. As prime movers behind Popular Resistance, Margaret and Kevin were able to extend partial underwriting to Acronym TV for all of 2013 and much of 2014.

It was Margaret and Kevin who trusted me to serve as one of the core organizers in the pre-Occupy movement lead up to the occupation of Freedom Plaza. Their trust in me- a guy with a camera that they did not know from Adam- & just wanted to make some videos for the movement –opened the door for many opportunities and experiences that are among some of my proudest moments as a human being.

As I shut the door on Acronym TV- I can say I’m proud of where I was able to take the project and humbled that you helped me do it.

Acronym TV and it’s previous iterations have generated well over 35 million views on YouTube, held down a regular 30-minute slot on Cable TV (Thank you Free Speech TV) and produced two documentaries – American Autumn and Legalize Democracy – to wide acclaim.

Pretty cool, considering it all started with a viral video a few years ago as the part ranting/ part performance art stylings of the The Hermit with Davis Fleetwood (anyone remember that?) – made in my basement with a $200 camera, a few $15 clip lights, and a nom de plume.

More recently, as production values increased, expenses far outpaced income. I lost more money than I care to count in trying to keep Acronym TV producing content out of a full service TV studio last year.

I paid myself, and the expenses of producing Acronym TV, through a generous loan extended by a longtime supporter – and through donations from people like you.

In spite of the debt, I have no regrets- only gratitude.

So what is next for me?

After spending the first few months of this year working on freelance projects and trying to strike a deal that would allow me to continue producing Acronym TV at the same high standards we set in 2014 – an unexpected thing happened: I was offered, and have proudly accepted, the job of Communications Director for Jill Stein for President.

In closing down this chapter of my career, I enter into a wild new adventure that presents the opportunity to do meaningful work around ideas that I am passionate about.

Jill won me over with her commitment to make the campaign about bringing the struggles of front-line communities into the front lines of Presidential debate.

It will be my job to help craft and deliver that message, and I hope to have your support while doing so.

Keep standing for something.

With great appreciation and thanks,

DTjr
March 2015

Michigan Greens Call for Decommissioning 60-Year-Old Pipeline in Mackinac Straits

Posted in Ecological Wisdom & the Environment on March 24th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Be the first to comment

p mi line 5 mackinac spill mapFrom the Michigan Green Party:

In recognition of World Water Day on March 22, the Green Party of Michigan (GPMI) renewed its opposition to Enbridge’s Line 5 fossil-fuel pipeline through the Straits of Mackinac.

At the urging of Chris Wahmhoff, the party’s 2014 US Senate candidate, Greens approved a call to decommission the 60-year-old pipeline at a state membership meeting March 14-15 in East Lansing.

GPMI Vice Chair Art Myatt explained the case for decommissioning Line 5 — and against suggestions of repairing or replacing it, much less expanding its capacity — in an entry on the party’s blog.

“There are a lot of scenarios about how disastrous a rupture of Line 5 dumping into the Straits of Mackinac would be. The gist of it is that it would be a disaster spread rapidly into both Lake Michigan and Lake Huron, and impossible to clean up. It’s a really extreme risk for Michigan to take for the benefit of a Canadian pipeline company specifically and for perpetuating the environmentally destructive tar sands energy generally.” read more »

Greens call for halt to endless-war policies, threats against Iran, Venezuela, and Russia

Posted in Peace & Non-Violence on March 20th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p green party peace memeFrom Green Party US:

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders said that provocation and aggressive posturing by the U.S. against Iran, Venezuela, and Russia should be understood as dangerous attempts to assert U.S. political and economic hegemony abroad while maintaining a domestic wartime economy.

Many Greens are participating in “Spring Rising,” March 18-21, four days of anti-war and pro-peace events in Washington, D.C., that will mark the twelve-year point since the 2003 U.S. invasion of Iraq (http://SpringRising.org).

Greens said that a military confrontation between the U.S. and any one of these countries could trigger a wider, more destructive, and possibly global conflict. Party leaders noted that the Iraq and Afghanistan wars are responsible for one third of the national debt, as well as 700,000 wounded U.S. veterans and mass civilian casualties in both countries. read more »

MSNBC: Can the Green Party break out in 2016?

Posted in General, Presidential Campaign on March 19th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – 1 Comment

p MSNBC Karen YoungMSNBC’s Greenhouse with Tony Dokoupil recently hosted Green Party US Co-chair Karen Young to talk about the Green Party, the growing influence of Green ideas, and potential 2016 presidential candidate Jill Stein.

Watch the interview with Karen Young on MSNBC’s Greenhouse.

Green Party US 2015 annual meeting in St. Louis July 23-26

Posted in National Greens on March 16th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

p Green Party US new logoFrom Green Party US:

Why should you come to the 2015 Green Party Annual Meeting in St. Louis in July? We’ve all invested time getting to gatherings that end up being great chances to hang out for a couple days … but not much else. This year’s meeting will feature much more than just a gathering. We are planning a shorter but more productive National Committee Meeting on Friday and Sunday morning. We’re working with local activists to provide workshops and possibly events on racial justice in the wake of Ferguson. There will be several days of issue and skill-building workshops, electoral strategy sessions, and panel discussions. This year we are planning a special keynote or panel for Saturday during lunch (included in the cost of registration). The point is this: our Annual Meeting is not just a place to talk about the issues and see old friends (although it is that too). It’s also a place where we continue to work on our strategic plan, begin new projects, and build alliances with local activists. read more »

2012 Green VP candidate Cheri Honkala challenges standardized testing in Philadelphia schools

Posted in Local Elections, National Greens, Social & Economic Justice on March 10th, 2015 by rossmlevin – Comments Off

2012 Green VP candidate and PPEHRC National Coordinator Cheri Honkala shared this photo on her Facebook page recently.

In Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, the Green Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential candidate is taking a leading role in public school parents’ challenges to high stakes standardized testing.  Cheri Honkala, the parent of a child in the Philadelphia public school system, is also the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

In October, Honkala sent and published a letter to the principal of her son’s school requesting that he receive permission to opt-out of a number of state-mandated standardized tests.  She wrote that “standardized testing is against our religious and philosophical beliefs.”  Opting out of the tests would “allow [her son] to pursue other educational activities such as independent reading, book reports, research projects, volunteering in the library, etc.”  Several weeks later, Honkala and her organization followed up by participating in a forum on standardized testing at Philadelphia City Hall.

Recently, organizing and publicity surrounding high stakes testing in Philadelphia has started garnering more attention.  Last week, Honkala participated in a public forum on opting out of the tests, sharing the following image on her Facebook:

The “Test-In” was put together by a coalition of organizations in Philadelphia, including the Caucus of Working Educators, Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, Teacher Action Group, Philadelphia Student Union, Parents United for Public Education, & Action United.  The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is also part of the coalition.

The Examiner gave some context to the meeting:

The Opt-Out movement is growing in Philadelphia. After parents and teachers took a stand against standardized testing at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, there has been an informational informal meeting about how parents can opt out hosted at the district-wide Home and School Association and several articles written about the movement itself. Superintendent Hite just recently gave a statement that the School District of Philadelphia will make sure that parents receive information about their opt out options. The national outcry against testing and the inherent flaws are not limited to Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs, but are evident in New York City and Chicago too. The fear and intimidation surrounding testing can render parents, teachers, and administrators silent and powerless, but now there is another opportunity to be informed of the opt out process that is available in Pennsylvania.

Meanwhile, in a story that Honkala linked on her Facebook profile, the Washington Post is reporting that in nearby New York state, 60,000 students opted out of similar testing in 2014.  For Honkala and PPEHRC, this is one more in a line of fights surrounding public education in Philadelphia.  Last year, Honkala was arrested in an act of civil disobedience defending her son’s elementary school from being one of dozens closed by the school district.

More recently, the Green Party of Philadelphia has nominated Kristin Combs for City Council.  Combs is competing against Republicans for one of two seats that must go to a minority party.  She is a public school teacher and advocate against the ongoing cuts to Philadelphia public schools.  Her education platform, which is central to her campaign, states that “every school aged child deserves access to a meaningful public education, and Philadelphia’s current climate does not allow for this.”  Stay tuned for more on Combs’s campaign.

New York Greens nominate candidate for special congressional election to replace Grimm

Posted in General on March 3rd, 2015 by Dave Schwab – 1 Comment

p james laneNew York Greens have nominated James Lane for the special congressional election in NY-11, which covers Staten Island and part of Brooklyn. From Green Team NY (Staten Island Live also picked up the story):

Congratulations to James Lane, who was nominated by the Green Party of New York State to run as the candidate in the upcoming special election for the open seat in the 11th Congressional District.

Lane was the GP candidate for NYC Public Advocate in 2013, receiving 6,072 votes, beating out all other alternative party candidates. He’s a long time Green, and has served on the State Committee of GPNYS.

The open seat in CD11 is a result of the resignation of Republican Michael Grimm who pled guilty to tax evasion. Grimm had just been re-elected this past November. He was challenged by Green Party candidate Hank Bardel. read more »

Madison Greens endorse 7 local candidates in Spring 2015 election

Posted in Local Elections on February 27th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – Comments Off

The Four Lakes Green Party, based in Dane County, Wisconsin, has issued endorsements in local elections for April 2015. From the Wisconsin Green Party:

The Four Lakes Green Party has endorsed seven candidates for local office in Madison and Fitchburg.

Help us elect more Greens to local government by volunteering, making a financial contribution, and voting April 7th!

p_ledell_zellers.jpgLedell Zellers (Madison Alder District 2) (unopposed)

Ledell Zellers is seeking a second term on Madison’s City Council. In her first term, she has been a leader on issues such as sustainable development and historic preservation, protecting water quality, expanding public transit, and working to end homelessness. See Ledell’s website here.

p_marsha_rummel.jpgMarsha Rummel (Madison Alder District 6) (unopposed)

Marsha Rummel has served on Madison’s City Council since 2007. She has been a progressive champion on many issues, and has been instrumental in ensuring that development of Madison’s East Side has been sustainable, affordable, and vibrant with lots of green space. See Marsha’s website here.

p_samba_baldeh.pngSamba Baldeh (Madison Alder District 17)

Samba Baldeh is a software engineer and community activist in Northeast Madison. He is running on a platform that includes expanding community policing and addressing the shortage of affordable housing. See Samba’s website here. read more »

Virginia Green announces State Rep campaign

Posted in Local Elections on February 19th, 2015 by Dave Schwab – 2 Comments

Jeff Staples, a mechanic from Chesapeake, has announced a Green campaign for Virginia House of Delegates District 81.

From HamptonRoads.com:

A Green Party candidate from Chesapeake announced he’ll challenge Del. Barry Knight, R-Virginia Beach, in the 81st House District. Knight won without a challenger in 2013.

Candidate Jeff Staples wrote Thursday on his Facebook page: “Tired of not having choices, I have stepped forward to offer an alternative. I want to offer a voice for the working folks of this district.” read more »