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.