Wall St Journal Expose on San Francisco Greens
January 13, 2010 in Local Party News
The Wall Street Journal has shined a flashlight at the San Francisco Green Party in this article, stating: “Declines in Membership, Donations Mirror National Organization’s Struggles; Headquarters Close but Meetings Remain”.
I highly recommend reading this article, it offers so many different angles to Green Party growth, stagnation, decline, purpose, mission, etc.
Mr. Gonzalez, meanwhile, says he left the Green Party because he wanted to run for vice president as an independent, and hasn’t rejoined the local Greens in part because of their lack of organization. He says Greens have hurt themselves by placing ideology ahead of practicality, such as by imposing rules that limit how much in contributions a Green candidate could take. “Sometimes you can apply principles of political purity that aren’t very functional and you run into problems,” he says. “It’s part of the charm, but it’s also a liability if it’s taken too far.”
San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, the only Green politician currently in elected city office, says the party didn’t adequately retain Green voters excited by Mr. Nader’s 2000 presidential bid, Mr. Gonzalez’s 2003 mayoral bid and Mr. Mirkarimi’s 2004 supervisor bid. “We didn’t harness in a way where we could rebuild our profile locally,” he says.
The supervisor says the Green Party, locally and nationally, can rebuild itself by focusing on winning elections and sharpening its message, which he says is too vague, to appeal to more voters. Building coalitions with Democrats can also help, he says.
Brent McMillan, executive director of the Green Party of the U.S., estimates that the recession sent donations plummeting about 10% from a couple of years earlier. He adds that many Greens left the party to vote for Democratic President Barack Obama. “There was a tough time,” Mr. McMillan says.
“It’s been an uphill battle,” says Green Party spokeswoman Erika McDonald. “It’s never been easy building an alternative.”
Read the article, please comment here!