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Minnesota Greens take leading role in St. Paul minimum wage fight

15nowThe St. Paul Pioneer Press reports that 15 Now, which has campaigned for a $15 per hour minimum wage in Minneapolis, has joined forces with St. Paul-based $15 in ’16 to create 15NowSTP to campaign for a $15 minimum in Minnesota’s capital city. Green Party activists Brandon Long and Jesse Mortenson are among the leaders of the new group.

The newspaper says that Long, “who foresees a minimum wage increase going to ballot referendum in Minneapolis, said the proposed St. Paul ordinance ‘will be strengthened to better match the eventual language of the Minneapolis ballot initiative.'”

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Green Party councilmember joins Minneapolis protests over Clark shooting

gordonMinnPost reports that Cam Gordon, a Green Party member of the Minneapolis city council, is among three councilmembers who have been taking part in protests over the police shooting of Jamar Clark. Gordon has faced some criticism for joining the demonstrations, but said it does not bother him. He said, “We can be supportive. We can encourage positive people to come out there and be part of the solution.”

The Green Party of Minnesota denounced police use of force against protesters at a Wednesday rally, with party spokesman Brandon Long saying, “Last night’s actions by the Minneapolis Police were entirely unacceptable. If, as Mayor Hodges is claiming, officers are exhibiting ‘maximum restraint,’ I sincerely fear for the well-being of the peaceful protesters currently occupying the precinct.” Gordon tweeted, “I am proud of the peaceful protesters tonight. You help make us all better.”

MinnPost said that tension over the shooting “spilled over into a meeting of the 13-member city council Friday,” as activists tried to get the council to amend its agenda to discuss the matter.

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Minneapolis Green City Councilor Cam Gordon working to lessen impact of police racial profiling

Photo credit: Tony Webster

As reported by the Daily Minnesotan, Cam Gordon, the Green City Councilor representing District 2 in Minneapolis, has introduced a bill to repeal “lurking” and “spitting” as arrestable crimes.  Gordon is also working to obtain data from the city’s police force on the racial dynamics of policing in Minneapolis.

The Ward 2 Councilman wants to stop arrests for lower-level offenses like lurking or spitting.

In an effort to combat racial profiling by law enforcement officials, two Minneapolis City Council members are asking the city to repeal certain low-level offenses that impact minorities at higher rates.

At a City Council meeting Friday, Ward 2 Councilman Cam Gordon announced that he plans to repeal ordinances that made lurking and spitting on sidewalks illegal. Changes would go into effect after next month’s full council meeting if the measure is approved.

Gordon said the need to counter racial profiling in the city is immense, and higher numbers of arrests in certain minority groups can contribute to economic inequality.

“Once you get something on your arrest record, you can end up having a much harder time getting housing and finding work,” he said.

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2013 Green Party election results

Minneapolis, MN – Green Cam Gordon is reelected to the City Council, representing Ward 2.

Green-endorsed candidate Ty Moore received 1565 of 4310 votes, or 36.3%, in second place behind Democrat-Farmer-Labor candidate Alondra Cano, who has 39.4% of first-round votes (and who was endorsed by former Green vice presidential candidate Winona LaDuke). There were four other candidates in the race (see full results). Since Minneapolis uses instant-runoff voting, election administrators will begin round-by-round counting on 11/6, and continue until one candidate has at least 50% plus one.

Syracuse, NY – In unofficial results, Kevin Bott is at 2,305 votes for Mayor, or 15%, slightly behind Conservative Ian Hunter. Democrat Stephanie Miner wins the race.

Howie Hawkins is at 995 votes, or 40%, for District 4 City Councillor, behind Democrat Khalid Bey. As when Hawkins ran for the same seat in 2011, the Working Families Party invested resources in his opponent in the final days of the campaign. “Every Green vote was a conscious vote”, wrote Hawkins in his reflections on the campaign.

New York City, NY –  Anthony Gronowicz received 4,741 votes, or 0.5%, for Mayor.

Julia Willebrand received 19,544 votes, or 2%, for Comptroller.

James Lane received 16,088 votes, or 1.7%, for Public Advocate.

Carl Lundgren received 1,358 votes, or 1.1%, for Bronx Borough President.

Henry Bardel received 476 votes, or 0.7%, for Staten Island Borough President.

UPDATE: With 100% reporting, Lynne Serpe has 2,412 votes, or 15% for New York City Council District 22, behind Democrat Constantinides who has 67%. Serpe finished ahead of the Republican candidate, who took 11.2%.

Other City Council races:

District 2: Miles Budde received 1,359 votes for 6.8%.

District 6: Tom Siracuse received 690 votes for 1.9%.

District 7: Christina Gonzalez received 1,581 votes for 8%.

District 11: John Reynolds received 481 votes for 2.6%.

District 12: Trevor Archer received 243 votes for 1.3%.

District 18: Walter Nestler received 302 votes for 1.9%.

District 20: Evergreen Chou received 373 votes for 3.4%.

District 43: Patrick Dwyer received 342 votes for 1.7%.

Cleveland, OH – Cleveland City Councilman Brian Cummins, a Green, defeated challenger Brian Kazy 917-892 to win reelection to his Ward 14 seat. Cummins’ challenger was endorsed by Cleveland’s mayor, who had pushed a trash-to-energy plant that Cummins opposed.

Bangor, ME – Josh Plourde, a 22 year-old Green, was the top vote-getter for 3 spots on the Bangor City Council.

Portland, ME – Anna Trevorrow was the top vote-getter for 2 seats on Portland’s School Board.

Portland voters also passed a ballot question legalizing recreational marijuana for adults, with about 70% voting in favor. Portland’s Green Party was a strong supporter of the initiative.

California – Sixteen California Greens were elected to local government on November 5th, bringing to 18 elected overall in 2013, an all-time high for the party in an odd-numbered year – and bringing to 54 the number of California Greens currently holding public office statewide. Full story at gp.org.

Marnie Glickman, who ran in a competitive race for Las Gallinas Valley Sanitary District Board, appears to have come just short of winning a seat. Glickman took 21% of the vote, compared to 23.7% for the candidate who took the third of three seats.

Arlington, VA – Audrey Clement earned 31% of the vote for Arlington County Board, finishing behind incumbent Democrat Jay Fisette.

Seattle, WA – Kshama Sawant, a Socialist Alternative candidate for Seattle City Council District 2 endorsed by the Seattle Green Party and 2012 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein, is at 46.7% of the vote to 53% for incumbent Richard Conlin with slightly less than half of ballots now counted. A victory for Sawant is still plausible in this tight race.

New London, CT – Mirna Martinez was elected to the New London Board of Education, the sole non-Democrat on the 7-member board.

Pennsylvania – The Green Party of Pennsylvania reports the following election victories:

Neil B. Haagen III was elected to Snow Shoe Boro Town Council.

Tausif Khan was elected Judge of Elections in Falls Township.

Eric Hamell was elected Inspector of Elections in Philadelphia.

Albany, NY – Theresa Portelli received 665 votes, or 4.5%, for Mayor.

Peter LaVenia received 55 votes, or 12.6%, for City Council Ward 11, finishing second ahead of the Republican, Independence Party, and Working Families Party candidates in the race.

Rochester, NY – Alex White received 1,690 votes, or 5.16%, for Mayor.

Emily Good received 12,952 votes, or 11.97%, for Monroe County Sheriff.

Three Greens running for 5 open seats on Rochester City Council fell short, with all five seats going to Democrats. Dorothy Paige received 3,426 votes for 3.05%, David Atias received 2,997 votes for 2.67%, and Drew Langdon received 2,814 votes for 2.5%.

In the race for School Commissioner, Lori Thomas finished 6th of 8 candidates for 3 seats with 2,775 votes for 3.89%.

Fall River, MA – Green-Rainbow Party candidate for Mayor Joe Carvalho came short of unseating incumbent Mayor Will Flanagan. Carvalho received 3,792 votes, or 31.4%, in Massachusetts’ tenth-largest city.

Holyoke, MA – Rick Purcell fell short of winning an at-large seat on Holyoke City Council, receiving 1,717 votes for 4%.

Pittsfield, MA – Mark Miller fell short of winning one of four at-large seats on Pittsfield City Council, receiving 2,378 votes, as compared to 3,459 for one incumbent who won reelection.

Cambridge, MA – In Cambridge’s at-large city council election, which uses a form of proportional representation, Elie Yarden finished 19th of 25 candidates for 9 seats.

 

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Jill Stein and Matt Gonzalez: A call to action for two independent candidates

Jill_Stein_432From SocialistAlternative.org:

Jill Stein was the 2012 Green Party nominee for President of the United States. Matt Gonzalez knows how to challenge the Democratic Party’s establishment. In 2003 he ran for mayor in San Francisco and in 2008 he became Ralph Nader’s running mate for vice president of the U.S. Here is their letter of support for our campaign: 

A CALL TO ACTION IN SUPPORT OF TWO INDEPENDENT CANDIDATES

As the American public is confronted with the latest example of two-party dysfunction, exemplified by the current government shutdown, two candidates running in local municipal races, in two different cities, pose an opportunity for the Left to govern and show the American people what we can accomplish when given a chance.  Continue Reading

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Minneapolis Green Party endorses slate of local candidates

p kristina gronquistFrom the Minneapolis Star-Tribune:

Despite all the attention surrounding DFL endorsements in city races, DFLers aren’t the only candidates vying for spots at City Hall this fall.

The City Council’s official minority party, the Green Party, has endorsed five candidates for City Council seats. That includes current Council Member Cam Gordon, who represents the University of Minnesota and parts of Cedar-Riverside.

The four non-incumbent candidates are running in districts with competitive races or open seats. Continue Reading

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Cheri Honkala on “Rust Belt to Green Belt” Campaign Tour

Cheri Honkala, the Green Party’s Vice Presidential candidate, is in the midst of a campaign swing through the heart of America, the “Rust Belt” from Appalachia to stops this week in Milwaukee, Minneapolis and Detroit.

From the Stein/Honkala Campaign:

Green Party Vice Presidential nominee Cheri Honkala has begun a tour of the Rust Belt during which she has seen first-hand the effects of the failed economic policies advanced by the two corporately owned parties. This tour has highlighted the plight of impoverished communities in the Upper Great Lakes and Appalachia.

Honkala began the tour in Eastern Kentucky and West Virginia and witnessed the horrors of mountaintop removal mining. The environmentally unsound and shortsighted energy policies of both the Republicans and Democrats have left this area dependent on the harvest of coal. The local population now faces abject poverty, contaminated water sources, and the continued degradation of one of the U.S.’s most ecologically significant natural areas.

According to Honkala, “What the Great Lakes and Appalachia need is the Green New Deal. Dr. Jill Stein and I offer commonsense, time-tested solutions to the ongoing cycle of pollution and poverty in the central Appalachian mountains. We would redirect research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal energy. We will invest in research in sustainable, non-toxic materials, closed-loop cycles that eliminate waste and pollution, as well as organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry. We offer a transition away from dirty coal and an escape from poisoned air and water as well as the destruction of these mountains.”

Honkala then continued to Louisville, Kentucky, Columbus, Ohio, where she witnessed the dismantling of public housing and met with displaced families and community leaders. “People in Kentucky and Ohio are suffering. The austerity programs offered by President Obama and Governor Romney offer no relief. We must end the demolition of public housing which serves to only raise homelessness rates. My number one priority, if elected, is ending homelessness in the U.S. by ending foreclosures, and placing families in abandoned housing units and creating employment by fixing them up. There are more abandoned homes than there are homeless people in this country. We just have to put the two together.”

Honkala then traveled to Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and met with leaders on the World Court of Women East which will take place in Philadelphia in October of 2013. This Court will address poverty in the U.S. using the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. “The Republicans and Democrats both violate the Universal Declaration on Human Rights by continuing to allow homelessness and poverty in one of the world’s richest nations. A Green presidency will end homelessness, end unemployment, and provide a living wage for all workers, which would bring the U.S. into compliance with international human rights norms.”

The Rust Belt tour continues with stops in Milwaukee on October 24, the Twin Cities October 25-27, and Detroit October 28-29. Honkala will continue to advocate for the Green New Deal which will allow these ailing economies an escape from the continued downward trend offered by President Obama and Governor Romney.

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Greens finish 2nd in two special elections

In two four-way special elections yesterday in Pittsfield, MA and Minneapolis, MN, Green Party candidates took second place. In Massachusetts’ 3rd Berkshire State Representative district, Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller finished close behind Democrat Tricia Farley-Bouvier, although the final vote count is not yet clear. From Ballot Access News:

Some sources say Miller lost by only 92 votes, and some say he lost by 192 votes. He placed second, with either 30% or 32% of the total. The winning Democrat, Tricia Farley-Bouvier, polled 33%.

In Minnesota’s 61st State Senate district, Farheen Hakeem finished second with 22% to 68% for Democrat Jeff Hayden. In both races, the Green candidate outpolled a Republican and an independent.

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Greens in special elections today in Pittsfield and Minneapolis

Green Party candidates are running in two special elections scheduled for October 18th, one each in Pittsfield, MA and Minneapolis, MN.

In Pittsfield, Mark Miller is running for Massachusetts State Representative in the 3rd Berkshires District. Miller earned 45% of the vote for the same office in 2010. For more information on his campaign, check out his website.

In Minneapolis, Farheen Hakeem is running for Minnesota State Senate in District 61. Hakeem took 30% of the vote in a 2008 run for MN State House. For more information on her campaign, check out her website.

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With city’s first ranked choice election coming up, St. Paul’s Greens endorse 3 candidates, work for more

From the Twin Cities Daily Planet (read the full thing here, there is a lot more information in the article itself):

The Green Party of St. Paul began a new effort to recruit candidates for upcoming 2011 local elections June 16, as candidates and around 40 supporters gathered to launch the effort dubbed Green St. Paul.The campaign is an attempt to change the party’s sporadic track record in local elections by recruiting candidates to run for local office, said Green St. Paul co-chair Roger Meyer…

The Green Party has officially endorsed three candidates in local races. Johnny Howard and Jim Ivey are running for St. Paul City Council seats in Wards 1 and 2, respectively, while Devin Miller is running for the St. Paul School Board…

Meyer said the recruitment campaign was inspired by St. Paul’s adoption of ranked choice voting. The elections this November will see the first implementation of the ranked choice voting system that St. Paul voters approved in a referendum in 2009.

The system allows voters to rank candidates in order of preference. If one candidate receives more than 50 percent of the first choice votes, they win outright. Otherwise, the candidate with the lowest number of first choice votes is eliminated and their votes are redistributed to the voter’s second choice. The process is repeated until one candidate crosses the threshold needed to win.