Greens urge rejection of ‘Catfood Commission’ plan to reduce Social Security, Medicare

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders called on Congress and the American people to reject a proposal by President Obama’s Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform to scale back Social Security and require Medicare recipients to pay more out-of-pocket costs for services.

Greens said that the bipartisan commission’s recommendations, if supported by Mr. Obama and his fellow Democrats, would amount to a betrayal of voters, and called the attempt to link spending on Social Security with the deficit a deception.

• Starlene Rankin, co-chair of the Green Party’s Lavender Green Caucus: “Taking an ax to Social Security does nothing to close the federal budget deficit, because Social Security is a separate account. If President Obama and Congress really want to reduce the deficit, they should begin by ending the war in Afghanistan and occupation of Iraq, ordering all troops and military contractors home, and reducing the military budget. The debt was caused by the two wars, bloated military budgets, tax breaks for rich people, and the huge Wall Street bailouts.”

• Julia Willebrand, 2010 Green candidate for New York State Comptroller and Social Security recipient: “Powerful lobbies want to turn Social Security into a feeding trough. Congress and the White House are under heavy pressure from the financial industry to scale back Social Security, which would have the effect of privatizing it, by driving people to invest more of their retirement savings in the Wall Street casino. Indexing Social Security to life expectancy and raising the age for recipients would place more older Americans in competition with younger people for jobs and depress wages for everyone.”
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Green John Russell may be Appointed Deputy Mayor (CT)

In New London, Connecticut, local politics makes for strange bedfellows. In this case, it may result in Green Party City Councilor John Russell being appointed Deputy Mayor.

If all goes according to plan, Councilor John Russell, a member of the Green Party, will be nominated and elected deputy mayor. He said he also was not seeking the position.

“I’ve never asked for it. I was told I was going to be deputy mayor,” he said. “There was some stuff I wasn’t privy to behind the scenes, and Marty wanted me to be the deputy.”

He said he is thankful for the recognition from his fellow councilors but is realistic about the role of the deputy mayor.

“It’s ceremonial,” he said, adding that the deputy mayor fills in when the mayor is unavailable. “The seas aren’t going to part when you’re walking down the street.”

Read the entire story at The Day.


Bronx Greens Protest Bloomberg’s School Chancellor Appointment

From The Green Light, via Independent Political Report:

Green Party Teachers to Apply for Cathie Black’s Position as Chair of Hearst Magazines
November 27, 2010

Greens Oppose Black’s Nomination, Launches Campaign to Restore Community Control of Schools

What: Teachers to Apply for Cathie Black’s job at Heart Magazine; Greens Launch Campaign to Restore Community Control of Public Education

Who: Green Party, teachers and ex-teachers and their supporters

When: Tuesday, November 30th, 11:00 am

Where: In front of Hearst Tower, 300 West 57th St. at 8th Avenue, Manhattan

On Tuesday November 30, several current and former teachers from the Green Party of New York City will apply for the job of Chair of Hearst Magazines that Cathie Black is vacating. Ms. Black has been nominated by Mayor Bloomberg to head the NYC School System despite lacking the minimal educational qualifications. The Greens contend the nomination
of Ms. Black highlights the problems with Bloomberg’s top-down corporate CEO model of governance of the city school’s system.

If a magazine executive with no educational experience is qualified to serve as chancellor of the nation’s largest school system, then it’s only logical that an experienced teacher with no publishing background should be eminently qualified to chair the board of a media conglomerate. The teachers will bring books about the publishing industry to demonstrate that they, like Ms. Black, fully intend to “get up to speed” in their new profession.

The Greens will also launch the Green Platform for Public Education, which opposes mayoral control. The Platform calls for publicly elected NYC community school boards to elect a citywide school board, which will hire the chancellor. To mobilize public support, the Greens plan to take their campaign to NYC’s 59 Community Boards.

From the website of The Green Light:

Bronx Greens is a community based volunteer organization affiliated with the Bronx County Green Party and Green Party of New York State. We strive to uphold and promote the Green Principles of Democracy, Justice, Ecology and Peace. These principles are further defined through our Ten Key Values. Although registration in the Green Party is not required, it is encouraged. The Green Light is the banner under which Bronx Greens publishes articles, press releases, blogs and other forms of communications.


Matt Reichel Running for Chicago Alder

Two time Congressional Candidate Matt Reichel has announced that he will be running for Alderman in Chicago’s 47th Ward:

Matt Reichel, two-time Green Party nominee for Congress in Illinois’s 5th District, has announced to supporters that he will try to unseat 9-term alderman Gene Schulter in the upcoming municipal elections.

Reichel won about 1,000 votes in the 47th ward part of the 5th district in last week’s election, and believes he can make up the difference needed to beat Schulter. He told supporters:

Despite our vast disadvantage in resources and organization, we pulled nearly 1,000 votes in the ward for the Green Party vision. 1,000 votes for grassroots democracy. 1,000 votes for sustainable economics. 1,000 votes for peace. 1,000 votes for real monetary reform.

There are thousands of other progressives out there, who either voted Democrat out of fear of a Republican take over, or did not vote out of frustration with American electoral politics. There are thousands more, who are ready to join our movement, and make history in 2011.


Kazumi Inamura Elected First Green Mayor in Japan

On November 21st, Ms. Kazumi Inamura, the former co-spokesperson of Greens Japan (Midori no Mirai) was elected Mayor of Amagasaki in West Japan, the first Green Mayor in Japan.

Kazumi Inamura won with 54.3% of the vote against three other candidates. She ran on a vision of participatory democracy, transparency and budgetary reform.

She is supposedly the youngest female city mayor in Japan’s history at 38 years old.

Amagasaki has approximately 460,000 residents, located between Kobe and Osaka.

Here is a video of Kazumi Inamura from 2008:


Four More Election Day Wins

Sent by Brent McMillan, Executive Director of GPUS:

Herb Gura was re-elected to Konocti Unified School Board, Lake County
He will be about to start his third four year term.
He finished third of six candidates for three seats with 1,638 votes or 18.2%

Jim Smith, President of the Canyon School Board, Canyon Township, Contra Costa, CA was up for re-election this fall. Since no one filed to run against him, no election was held, technically a win. He was rolled over into the next term.

Steve Larrick won his re-election to Lower Platte 5 Natural Resources District, Lancaster County
1/2 for 1 seat, 1,720 votes 60.08% final result

Enrique Valdivia won his re-election to Edwards Aquifer Authority Board District 7, Bexar County, TX
“The Edwards Aquifer Authority Board of Directors, at its regular meeting September 14, canceled elections in four director districts and declared the unopposed candidates in each district elected to office. None of the four candidates drew opposition in the upcoming general election and, therefore, the holding of an election was not required. In Bexar County, Ron Ellis (District 5) and Enrique Valdivia (District 7) were each declared winners.”


New York Green Party State Committee Meeting Dec. 11th

From the New York Green Party:

The next meeting of the State Committee of the Green Party of New York State will be on Saturday, December 11, in Rensselaer, New York at First United Presbyterian Church, 34 Broadway. All enrolled Green Party members are welcome to attend and will have a chance to address the State Committee members some time between 9 – 10 am during the enrollee speak out.

For more information, please contact Gloria Mattera at secretary@gpny.org. Continue Reading


Chicago Reader: “The Silver Lining Party”

The Chicago Reader has a feature on the Illinois Green Party’s post election mood. Below are some excerpts, but read the entire article at the Chicago Reader. What is interesting about this article is the depth it goes into the variety of positions, often contradictory, among the Illinois Green Party’s candidates this year.

The Greens, drastically underfunded and as a result excluded from most mainstream media coverage, are still struggling to get their message out. And that message can vary: the Green candidates in this election weren’t always on the same page. The party’s leaders say that’s just grassroots democracy in action. But the fundamental problem remains: the reluctance of liberal voters to vote Green when it could cost a Democrat an election.


In Jesse Jackson Jr.’s Second District, also extending from the south suburbs into the south side, Anthony Williams, an African-American pastor with distinctly un-Green views, got 6 percent. Williams is anti-gay marriage, anti-choice, and anti-immigration—but he’d beaten the endorsed Green candidate in the primary.


Huckelberry says Greens need to focus on “dinky little races” in smaller cities and towns where they can actually win and show in practice why Greens are worth electing. “We have to run for governor to be taken seriously by the electorate, so we’ll keep doing it. But we need to get more people on school boards, village boards, library boards, park boards, and build the idea of what it means to have Green elected officials.”


Amid the gloomy news, Green Party leaders take heart in some of the young volunteers they attracted this election—such as Lucky Mosqueda, a 22-year-old Latino from Albany Park who volunteered for Whitney. Mosqueda says most Latinos in his neighborhood have no idea who the Greens are. Nor did he four years ago, when he turned 18 and voted for Blagojevich. He soon became disillusioned with the Democratic Party because of the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the failure of Democrats to push harder for gay rights. Through connections with Gender JUST, an organization for LGBTQ youth, he learned about the Green Party’s gay rights and anti-war stances, as well as its support for universal health care. He thinks more young Latinos would embrace the Green Party if they knew what it stood for, and he’s optimistic about the Greens’ future.

“I’m a metal head, so my message to the Green Party is, just keep on rockin’,” he says. “Reach out to more people. Have round table discussions with pizza, tea, vegan food, whatever will bring people together. We’re minorities in every way, the Democratic Party isn’t representing us, so the Green Party should make more of an effort to let people know they are out there.”

I highly recommend reading the entire article. I pulled these teasers out but read the entire piece to put them in proper context.


Modern Times: Third Party Roadmap

Modern Times Magazine has an interesting piece out on third parties in the US, focusing on the Green Party, the Constitution Party and the Libertarians. It is a nice overview of the challenges of a third party in the US political system, and the strategies that these three parties are taking. Green Party (US) Executive Director Brent McMillan is quoted throughout. Read the entire thing here, but here are some excerpts:

The Green Party is similarly bent on winning elections, influencing political power, and building its infrastructure. “Our long-term goal here is to win elections. Last year we won about 40 percent of our municipal elections. We obviously struggle at this point with some of the larger races. In the long haul, hopefully, we want to start winning those races,” McMillan said.


“We have to get corporate money out of these elections,” McMillan said. “We clearly oppose this legal fiction of corporate personhood. The 14th Amendment was supposed to be used for the repatriation of the slaves (via incorporation of its Due Process clause to the U.S. Bill of Rights); now it’s being used to justify corporate personhood.”

Further, McMillan said the U.S. Chamber of Commerce is essentially acting as a political action committee and has become so powerful toward that end that they don’t even need the Republican or Democratic national conventions to push their well-heeled agenda.


“We need to stop thinking of this as a left-right or liberal-conservative battle,” McMillan said. “If you’re pro-democracy then you need to be opposed to the current two-party system that we have. Those parties are controlled or heavily influenced by the multinational corporations. So vote third party. If not the Greens, then check out one of the other third parties. Otherwise we’re done as a democracy or a republic. We’re done if we don’t mount an effective challenge to that in our lifetime.”


Massachusetts Green Rainbow Convention Report


GRPMWORCESTER- The Green-Rainbow Party’s annual state convention was held on Sunday at Clark University in Worcester. The 80 attendees celebrated the fact that their small party had won major party status as a result of the elections and had emerged rejuvenated and poised to grow.

The convention opened with addresses from five recent GRP candidates. Jill Stein, the Party’s gubernatorial candidate, noted “There is a growing awareness that we are in serious trouble, and that the incumbents that created the mess are not going to get us out. People were been so appreciative that we were in this race and that we were speaking up for the solutions that were being ignored. ”

Lieutenant Governor candidate Rick Purcell, an Army veteran and health care worker, recounted his initial nervousness at being in a debate at a law school, facing three lawyers. But as the debate proceeded, he found that he had no trouble deflating the lawyerly bickering. “I killed them with normalcy” he recalled.

The convention applauded State Auditor candidate Nat Fortune whose vote total regained major party status for the Green-Rainbow Party. This lifts restrictive fundraising rules and puts the Party’s name on state registration forms.

Fortune told the convention “If electing Democrats to office could change things, we’d already be living in Nirvana.”
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