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D.C. Statehood Green council candidate wins straw poll

Mt32oY5gG. Lee Aikin, a District of Columbia Statehood Green Party candidate for the D.C. council, won the D.C. Tenants’ Advocacy Commission straw poll in her at-large race. Aikin finished second behind Democrat Robert White; the top two candidates were declared victors in the top-two race.

There are eight declared or potential candidates in the race. In the straw poll, Aikin topped the two incumbents — one Democrat, one independent — who are seeking re-election.

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D.C. has one registered Green for every eight Republicans

Mt32oY5gThe District of Columbia Statehood Green Party has approximately one registered member for every eight registered Republicans in the District, according to statistics released by the District government earlier this month.

There are 3,540 registered D.C. Statehood Greens, 0.81% of all D.C. registered voters. The District has 332,561 Democrats, 27,472 Republicans, 897 Libertarians, and 73,903 voters registered with no party or another smaller party.

In 2014, Statehood Green Council At-Large candidate Eugene Puryear finished sixth of of 15 candidates in the top-two race, outpolling the GOP candidate by more than 2,500 votes. Statehood Green candidate G. Lee Aiken received 3.3% of the vote in her run for Council Chair, slightly less than half the vote total of the Republican nominee.

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D.C. Statehood Greens back new District statehood campaign

Mt32oY5gThe District of Columbia Statehood Green Party is backing a proposed D.C. Council resolution supporting a new statehood campaign.

Statehood Green Party activist David Schwartzman testified in support of the “Statehood or Else” Signature Campaign Resolution on Tuesday. The campaign seeks to gather one million signatures backing statehood to be delivered to the White House, every member of the Senate and House, and party leaders at the 2016 Democratic and Republican national conventions.

Schwartzman said, “As the local affiliate of the Green Party of the United States which has long supported D.C. statehood in its platform, unlike the national Democratic and Republican parties, we are committed to energize our national party and Global Greens, to support D.C. statehood nationally and internationally. … But what is the ‘else’ in ‘Statehood or Else’? The only alternative is a commitment to create mass resistance to our present neo-colonial status, including civil disobedience on a scale not yet witnessed in the District of Columbia. But the challenge is to make this resistance possible by raising the morale of our residents in a city with very high income inequality, income insecurity and poverty, while simultaneously improving the quality of life for our residents by addressing these realities of everyday life.”

Residents of the District of Columbia do not have representation in the Senate or House. Even though D.C. residents pay the highest overall rate of federal income taxes in the nation, and even though more people live in D.C. than in Vermont or Wyoming, and even though more than 200,000 have fought in America’s wars and 5,000 never came home, they have no voice in the federal legislature. D.C. does have a delegate to the House who has limited rights in committees, but no guaranteed vote on legislation. In the Senate, D.C. has no representation at all.

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2014 campaigns highlight growing diversity of Green Party

Green Party campaigns in 2014 made a splash, from Howie Hawkins’ historic result in New York to Gayle McLaughlin’s triumph over a Chevron-funded challenge in Richmond, CA. But another remarkable story is the growing diversity of the Green Party and the candidates who are its public face.

Respect for diversity has long been a key value of the Green Party US, but still, Greens have faced charges (from within and without) that the party and its candidates are disproportionately white and male. Yet it’s clear that as people of color are increasingly marginalized by the Democratic and Republican parties, more and more are finding a welcoming home with the Green Party.

p anita riosIn Ohio, Green gubernatorial candidate Anita Rios, a longtime advocate within the Green Party for Latino/Latina issues, earned nearly 100,000 votes for 3.3%, winning a ballot line for the Ohio Greens. In California, gubernatorial candidate Luis Rodriguez, a well-known Chicano activist and author, took 1.5% in the June “Top Two” primary, the top vote-getter outside the Democratic and Republican parties. The Texas Greens’ slate included Emily “Spicy Brown” Sanchez for US Senate, Antonio Diaz for US House, and Martina Salinas for Railroad Commissioner. The Tennessee Greens’ gubernatorial candidate Isa Infante was born in the Dominican Republic. In New York, Attorney General candidate Ramon Jimenez is a “people’s attorney” from the Bronx, and Daniel Vila Rivera took over 10% of the vote for US House.

p brian jones headshotAfrican-American Greens made their impact felt too. In New York, Howie Hawkins’ running mate Brian Jones was crucial to mobilizing NYC activists for the Green Party. Eugene Puryear ran the most dynamic city council race the DC Statehood Green Party has seen in years, building the DCSGP for future success. In St. Paul, Lena Buggs’ run for state representative showed that the Greens are fast overtaking the GOP as the Twin Cities’ second party. Glenn Davis, a veteran and colleague of Cheri Honkala, helped the Greens do the same in Philadelphia. In Oakland, the Greens nominated Jason Anderson, a veteran, artist, and activist, for mayor. And in Texas, the Greens ran Jamar Osborne for Attorney General.

p skip sandmanOne of the most talked-about Green congressional campaigns in 2014 was that of Ray “Skip” Sandman in Minnesota’s 8th district. Skip Sandman is an elder in the Fond du Lac band of Ojibwe, and drew widespread attention for his stand against an ecologically devastating sulfide mining project in the Duluth area (which Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan continues to support). Sandman’s call to protect the water for future generations garnered admiration from Greens across the US, as well as 4.3% of the vote in a hotly contested congressional race. Shortly after Democrat Nolan’s re-election, he voted in favor of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

p keiko bonkAlso deserving of special mention is Keiko Bonk, who challenged Hawai’i’s speaker of the house with a run for state representative. A Japanese-American, Keiko Bonk became the first Green elected to partisan office in the United States when she won election to the Hawai’i County Council in 1992. While she wasn’t able to unseat the speaker, Bonk did win 23.3% of the vote, beating a Republican into 3rd place.

These are only some of the candidates showing the growing diversity of the Green Party – there are many other Green candidates, not to mention activists, who are defying the stereotype that all Greens are aging white men. However, Greens still have much work to do if they hope to create a welcoming political party for people of color, and turn the Green Party into a truly diverse multiracial coalition dedicated to winning liberty and justice for all.

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Green Party highlights from Election Day 2014

From Green Party US:

Election results http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2014/11/04/green-party-2014-election-results and http://gp.org/election-wrapup

p hawkins for governor girlWASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party made several advances in the 2014 general election on November 4, with Green candidates winning 27 seats and ballot lines held for most state Green Parties.

The most closely watched Green races were in Richmond, California, where outgoing Mayor Gayle McLaughlin overcame a $3-million campaign by Chevron to defeat her slate, and New York, where Howie Hawkins challenged incumbent Gov. Andrew Cuomo. Continue Reading

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Washington Post profiles DC Statehood Green candidate Eugene Puryear

p eugene puryear officeFrom the Washington Post:

Name: Eugene Puryear

Party: Statehood Green

Age: 28

Neighborhood: Congress Heights

Education: B.A., Howard University

Family: single

Occupation: radio producer, Liberation Media

Notable endorsements: TENAC, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 2401 (representing workers in the D.C. Child and Family Services Agency and the Department of Human Services)

Total funds raised: $17,977

So who are you? I’m someone who has been here for 10 years, someone who came here to be involved in the political scene. I grew up in Charlottesville, Va. My father was director of African American affairs for the University of Virginia, and my mom was also an educator. It played a huge role. My father was huge in the Civil Rights Movement. He was involved in the Non-Partisan Voters’ League in Alabama. I was growing up with a lot of stories from the Civil Rights era. Oftentimes, politics was an all-day, every-day thing, with a heavy social justice influence. Continue Reading

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Monday 10/6 is DC Statehood call-in day

p dc statehood nowFrom the Green Party US:

Candidates Puryear and Schwartzman urge calls to Congress in support of D.C. statehood

Statehood Greens send testimony to the Senate supporting bill for D.C. statehood

WASHINGTON, D.C. — On Monday, October 6, D.C. Statehood Green Party candidates Eugene Puryear and David Schwartzman will lead the party in a “D.C. Statehood Call-in Day” on which Green Party members, friends, and all supporters of democracy and equal rights across the U.S. are invited to call their U.S. Senators and Representatives and President Obama and urge support for legislation that will grant statehood to the District of Columbia. Continue Reading

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Green for Greens: Eugene Puryear for DC City Council

Green For Greens is about highlighting some of the most exciting Green candidates across the United States – and asking our readers to contribute what they can to help these candidates succeed. We are committed to building a party of peace, justice, democracy and ecology, free of corporate money and control, and the best way to do that is by supporting the courageous candidates who are spreading our message and building our party every day.

From Ben Manski, former co-chair of the Green Party US:

This November, it might be the case that one of the elections that matters most for you will take place somewhere you don’t live and can’t vote. That might be the case, that is, unless you live in our nation’s capital.
Puryear for the People

I was in Washington D.C. the other week to rally for ratification of the Equal Rights Amendment. I got up on Saturday morning and took the Metro to the Washington Mall. Emerging out of the station and into the rain, I was greeted by volunteers for Eugene Puryear’s city council campaign

Later that day, I took the Metro to Du Pont Circle. There again, I ran into volunteers for Puryear, tabling and holding signs.

I walked a mile from the station, heading for a meeting. Along the way, I ran into an old friend from Wisconsin who informed me that just the previous night he’d held a house party for . . .Eugene Puryear.

There is a well organized, excited, and visionary political campaign underway in the Washington D.C..
 That campaign is doing everything it needs to do to win. And what a win it would be: To elect a D.C. Statehood Green Party candidate to government in the capital of the United States. Continue Reading

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Green Veterans Speak Out

Veterans Day, for many Americans, means parades, speeches, flags, and the usual political theatrical displays of patriotism. Those who have never experienced war itself can never truly understand the effect on the lives of those who have endured the horrors of warfare.

Since the advent of industrialized warfare in World War I, working people have too often served as cannon fodder in wars for the profits of the ruling class. The dawning understanding of this dynamic has birthed anti-war protests and resistance movements like Occupy Wall Street, which continues to draw veterans and others outraged at the current wars and their cost in lives and a damaged national economy.

“The late singer and composer Phil Ochs wrote ‘It’s always the old to lead us to the wars, it’s always the young to die,'” said Mike Spector, chair of the Green Party of New Jersey. “The young men and women returning from the conflicts are finding themselves in trouble, mentally and physically. As wars become enshrined in the nation’s foreign policy, the more they will be forgotten, tear-drenched home-comings and memorial flag-waving ceremonies to the contrary. The Green Party has always been the party of peace in this country, the true alternative to the parties of ceaseless war. Our goal is to ensure that Veterans Day will eventually be replaced by World Peace Day.”

We in the Green Party have always believed what Gil Scott Heron said: “Peace is not just the absence of war, but the active pursuit of justice.” With this thought in mind, we offer the perspectives of Green veterans on war.

• TE Smith, Washington, DC, member of the DC Statehood Green Party: I am a Black Vietnam vet. Lke hundreds of other young Black males in Washington, DC in the 1960s, I really had no real idea what was going on. There was very little to no conversation or explanation in the Black community about the war, the draft, or much else of real importance. Continue Reading

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Press conference: Statehood Greens urge Gray to back a Just DC Budget & Tax Plan, 3/28 before Mayor’s speech at Eastern HS

WASHINGTON, DC — DC Statehood Green Party activists will challenge Mayor Vincent Gray on the District’s budget priorities at a press conference immediately preceding the Mayor’s ‘State of the District’ address on Monday, March 28.

The press conference will take place outside of Eastern High School, 1700 East Capitol Street NE, beginning at 6 pm. The Mayor’s speech begins inside the school at 6:45 pm.

“We will call on Mayor Gray not to balance the budget on the backs of DC’s working people and unemployed. We can make ‘One City’ a reality, if the Mayor and Council enact a ‘Just DC Budget and Tax’ plan,” said Alan Page, DC Statehood Green candidate for At-Large City Council in the April 26 special election (http://alanpagedc.blogspot.com).

Statehood Greens will offer a progressive alternative to DC’s present regressive income tax. The progressive plan would generate $250 million in additional revenue that should go into essential social services cut in recent years. This and other recommendations to balance the budget and restore essential funding in our budget are summarized below.
Continue Reading