Green Party, progressive Dems, community organizers to hold Political Strategy panel at US Social Forum in Detroit, June 24

From the Green Party of the United States:

Five organizations have collaborated to organize a “progressive strategy dialogue” at the United States Social Forum (http://www.ussf2010.org) in Detroit, Michigan. The dialogue will be one of 50 People’s Movement Assemblies during the USSF. It will take place on Thursday afternoon, June 24th, from 1 to 5:30 pm in Cobo Hall, room W2-67.

The dialogue was initiated by the Independent Progressive Politics Network, which has organized similar dialogues a number of times over the past decade. Co-sponsors are the Green Party of the United States, League of Revolutionaries for a New America, Progressive Democrats of America and the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy.

Three major issues will be addressed:

• what can be done to stimulate independent, grassroots activism around key issues like unemployment, the housing crisis, racial justice, the climate crisis, corporate control of elections, immigrant rights, war and empire and universal health care;

• an assessment of the strengths and weaknesses of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party as far as the building of a popular progressive movement; and,

• how to develop a “united progressives” network that brings together Greens and other third party activists, progressive Democrats, and labor, community and issue-based organizers into an on-going, independent, progressive alternative to our corporate-dominated political system.

Among those participating in this dialogue:

• Tim Carpenter, executive director, Progressive Democrats of America

• David Cobb, leader of the Program on Corporations, Law and Democracy, Green Party 2004 Presidential candidate

• Sanda Everette, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States

• Ted Glick, co-founder of the Climate Crisis Coalition

• Kevin Gray, South Carolina community organizer and author

• Logan Martinez, leader of National Jobs for All

• Brent McMillan, executive director, Green Party of the United States

• Sandra Rivers, education activist, former Harlem, N.Y. school board member

• Jerome Scott, leader of the League of Revolutionaries for a New America

• Laura Wells, Green Party of California gubernatorial candidate

All USSF attendees are welcome to take part in this dialogue.

Dave Schwab


  1. There has been some discussion on a national party list about this event, asking why the Green Party is conspiring with PDA. My question for people – is this event appropriate? Should Greens, Progressive Dems, and Communists be at the same table?

  2. I don’t see how a public discussion amounts to “conspiring”. Dialogue is healthy. If Greens can’t hold dialogue with progressive Democrats, why would we try to elect them to legislatures that are full of Democrats and Republicans?

    One phrase in the press release that might have raised concerns is “joint political strategy”. Some Greens might be worried that this is an effort to forge a top-down political strategy with PDA, and such concerns would be justified if that were true. I read the release as more of an open discussion with an eye to areas of possible voluntary agreement, sort of like the USSF itself. You know, if PDA members are willing to support Greens in places like Arkansas, Illinois and New York where the Democratic candidates are notably un-progressive, that would be fine with me.

  3. Speaking as one myself (but stealing the words from a friend of mine), Greens have this habit of sacrificing the good because it’s not perfect. We are (and I say this with affection) elitists, idealogicals and perfectionists. And because we’re so inclusive of others, we also employ the radical.

    These are in many ways simultaneously virtues and vices.

    We’re not going to get anywhere if we don’t work with Dems and Republicans (or any other group.) We’ll have to compromise. We’ll have to adapt. We certainly can’t expect to grow our party by knocking the Democrats and Republicans – because that’s where most of our new party members will likely come from.

    We cannot devolve into the partisan jingoism we curse our red and blue counterparts for.

  4. I also read this as “a dialogue” not a joint political strategy session. I also see that most of the named participants are Greens: Brent McMillan, Sanda Everette, David Cobb, Laura Wells, Logan Martinez, Ted Glick,

    Might this not turn into a session about how a vote for Progressive Democrats is just a vote for Democrats, but a vote for a Green is a vote for a real alternative?

  5. As a South Carolina Green I am excited to see that Kevin Gray is on the panel.

    As to working with the PDA/”Progressive” Democratc, “Liberal” Republicans, “Communists” etc, the Green Party key values of grassroots democracy, respect for diversity and decentralization should guide us. If my state chooses to work with non-Greens, that’s up to us. Ditto every other state or local chapter. For the National Party I believe that we must stand apart from the corporate parties and build our party. If the Dems or Repubs rise or fall, it’s not our business. We have plenty to do building the electoral imperative, the Green Party.

  6. Thanks for the post. It is good to see David Cobb out, about, and publicly involved. I’d like to see David Cobb on the ballot again soon for the Green Party. Whether it’s local office, state, or federal office. David, as many others on this panel, have done great work for the Green Party.

    It’s nice to all these Green Party people in the public square. It grows and promotes the Green Party.

    The answer to first question (primarily) and others to be dicussed is simple. Put people on the ballot as Green Party candidates in every race, local, state, and federal. Every year.

    Talk is nice. Action in the form of Green Party candidates on the ballot is sooo much better…it is THE ANSWER..


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