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Durham, North Carolina prepares for Green Party Annual National Meeting

The 2009 Green Party Annual National Meeting in Durham, NC will begin on Thursday, July 23rd and continue through Sunday, July 26th. Featured events will include a forum on the need for a national single-payer health care system, and a speech from Cynthia McKinney on her efforts to bring humanitarian aid to Gaza. The Raleigh-Durham News has an article on the upcoming event, in which Green activists discuss the opportunities for Green growth in 2010:

DURHAM — N.C. Central is going green.

Beginning Thursday, the university will host the Green Party’s 2009 annual meeting. Around 100 delegates from 29 states — some from as far away as California and Texas — will descend on the Central campus.

Through Sunday, they’ll hear a speech from their 2008 presidential candidate, Cynthia McKinney, on her efforts to bring medical supplies to Gaza. They’ll discuss health-care reform. They’ll attend a series of workshops on a broad range of subjects, including candidate recruitment, democratizing the Electoral College and green economics.

Last year’s national meeting in Chicago drew around 500 delegates. This year’s meeting is in Durham because, “well, to be honest, the Green Party of North Carolina was the only state to make a proposal to host the meeting,” said Brent McMillan, the executive director of the national Green Party. “It was an easy decision to come to Durham.”

The proposal was the idea of local Green Party activist and delegate Theresa El-Amin.

“I thought it would be a good idea to have it here, particularly at a historically black school, and especially since North Carolina Central is celebrating its 100th anniversary this year,” she said. “Durham is a very special place, and I think it will be a good cultural experience to have the meeting here.”

Although it’s not an election-year meeting, McMillan said it’s an important conference nevertheless for the party.

“The main purpose of the meeting, I think, is to prepare for 2010, and focus on our messaging,” he said. “We see a lot of opportunity next year. Historically, the party in power when there’s double-digit unemployment — which we’re soon going to have — is always in trouble, and we think we can take advantage of that.”

McMillan thinks the party can benefit from what he called increasing disappointment with President Obama.

“I think there’s disillusion among many people with what he’s actually done and what they thought he was going to do,” he said, specifically pointing to escalation of the war in Afghanistan and failure to push for more substantive health-care reform.

Party officials also hope holding the meeting in the South will give the Greens traction in a place that has not always been welcoming to them.

“It’s hard in North Carolina to have independent parties,” said El-Amin. “North Carolina makes it very difficult to be registered here. But we really believe we are a growing movement, even here in the South.”

The first of the meeting’s two major events will be a forum on health-care reform and the need for a single-payer national program Friday afternoon from 3:30 to 4:30 p.m. On Saturday at 3 p.m., McKinney will speak in the Miller-Morgan Building’s main auditorium.

Both events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit http://www.ncgreenparty.org/2009-ANM.html.

Dave Schwab

4 Comments

  1. Excellent!

    Job well done!

    Get the Green Party meeting in the press!

    2010 National Green Party Meeting – and every Green Party national meeting thereafter should be in one of the MAJOR media markets in the U.S.

    It’s free local coverage, and vital to Green Party growth.

    Green Party Conventions and yearly national meetings grow the Green Party most by creating the largest amount of mainstream media coverage, and reaching the most people.

    That is best done in large media markets.

    L.A., New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, Dallas, Houston, Atlanta, St. Louis, Minneapolis, Seattle, Phoenix, Denver, Cincinnati, …etc..

  2. The National Popular Vote bill would guarantee the Presidency to the candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    Every vote, everywhere, would be politically relevant and equal in presidential elections.

    The bill would take effect only when enacted, in identical form, by states possessing a majority of the electoral votes–that is, enough electoral votes to elect a President (270 of 538). When the bill comes into effect, all the electoral votes from those states would be awarded to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and DC).

    In Gallup polls since 1944, only about 20% of the public has supported the current system of awarding all of a state’s electoral votes to the presidential candidate who receives the most votes in each separate state (with about 70% opposed and about 10% undecided). The recent Washington Post, Kaiser Family Foundation, and Harvard University poll shows 72% support for direct nationwide election of the President. This national result is similar to recent polls in closely divided battleground states: Colorado– 68%, Iowa –75%, Michigan– 73%, Missouri– 70%, New Hampshire– 69%, Nevada– 72%, New Mexico– 76%, North Carolina– 74%, Ohio– 70%, Pennsylvania — 78%, Virginia — 74%, and Wisconsin — 71%; in smaller states (3 to 5 electoral votes): Delaware –75%, Maine — 71%, Nebraska — 74%, New Hampshire –69%, Nevada — 72%, New Mexico — 76%, Rhode Island — 74%, and Vermont — 75%; in Southern and border states: Arkansas –80%, Kentucky — 80%, Mississippi –77%, Missouri — 70%, North Carolina — 74%, and Virginia — 74%; and in other states polled: California — 70%, Connecticut — 73% , Massachusetts — 73%, New York — 79%, and Washington — 77%.

    The National Popular Vote bill has passed 29 state legislative chambers, in small, medium-small, medium, and large states, including one house in Arkansas, Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Michigan, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, and Oregon, and both houses in California, Colorado, Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Vermont, and Washington. The bill has been enacted by Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey, Maryland, and Washington. These five states possess 61 electoral votes — 23% of the 270 necessary to bring the law into effect.

    See http://www.NationalPopularVote.com

  3. As Winslow Wheeler has written at CDI, the Defense Institute – the current administration’s 10 budget calls for SHOCKING increases in spending and squander.

    $638 Billion for DOD on budget.

    It means the Obama Adminstration would spend more than any previous administration on Defense.

    90% of it wasted…

    All of it without and auditable accounting system at the Pentagon.

    The Green Party offers a positive alternative of realistic, reasonable levels of spending restraint.

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