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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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Greens turn out in big numbers for People’s Climate March (pics & video)

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Jill Stein with Elizabeth May and her daughter

Green Party members and candidates from across the United States and Canada joined a large Green contingent in the People’s Climate March in New York City on September 21st.

Before the march began, volunteers in Howie Hawkins for NY Governor t-shirts worked the massive crowd, while past and present Green candidates including Jill Stein, Cheri Honkala, Elizabeth May (Canadian Green MP), Howie Hawkins, Brian Jones (Hawkins’ running mate), and Eugene Puryear (for DC City Council) fired up marchers at an impromptu rally.

p pcm NY GreensOver 150 Greens marched with Hawkins, Jones, and Ramon Jimenez (for NY Attorney General), chanting “We are unstoppable – a Green world is possible”, “We’re gonna beat back the frack attack”, “No more poison and pollution – we need a solar revolution”, and more, drawing cheers from the assembled crowd.

On the following day, Greens including Howie Hawkins joined the Flood Wall Street sit-in to protest the financial corporations that are funding the dirty energy behind climate change.

Below are videos from the People’s Climate March pre-rally, as well as an interview with Howie Hawkins at Flood Wall Street:

Thanks to Craig Seeman, Sanda Everette, and James Lane for the videos.

 

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Hawkins, Jones, Jimenez call for a Green New Deal for New York

p brian jones ramon jimenez labor dayFrom Howie Hawkins for NY Governor:

Hawkins, Jones, Jimenez Call for a Green New Deal on Labor Day

$15 Minimum Wage, A Guaranteed Job, Health Care for All, Organizing Rights

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said that as Governor he would unilaterally raise the state minimum wage to $15 an hour. “The raise will inject billions of dollars into the purchasing power of the state’s working class. That would be far more effective in stimulating the state’s economy than Governor Cuomo squandering public money on tax breaks for big business and the rich,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins also said that the state should guarantee every New Yorker a living wage job. He would create a public works program, as well as investing in transitioning the state’s energy system to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.  A peer-reviewed study in the journal Energy Policy projects that such an energy program would create 4.5 million jobs. Jobs and training would be guaranteed to existing current workers in the fossil fuel and nuclear industries.

“If the private sector can’t provide a decent job to everyone who needs one, the public sector will. Rather than an unemployment office, we will have an employment office that provides jobs,” added Hawkins. Continue Reading

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NY Green AG candidate: Take Staten Island DA off Eric Garner case

p ramon jimenezThe New York Observer reports on Ramon Jimenez, New York Green Party candidate for Attorney General:

Ramon Jimenez–a Green Party challenger to Attorney General Eric Schneiderman–today argued that Republican Staten Island District Attorney Dan Donovan is too intimately tied to law enforcement to prosecute the officers involved in the chokehold homicide of Eric Garner.

Noting that Mr. Donovan has repeatedly received the endorsements of top cop unions and works with police in the prosecution of criminal offenses, the Harvard-educated Mr. Jimenez said that the Staten Island lawman cannot fairly bring justice in the case of Mr. Garner–who medical examiners determined last week died as a result of being placed in a throat restraint by undercover officers. Mr. Jimenez instead called for the appointment of a special prosecutor or for a federal indictment of the police involved.

“It certainly should be taken out of the hands of the Staten Island D.A.,” Mr. Jimenez said. “Donovan is very close to the police in Staten Island, we don’t know if there will be clarity.”

Read the full article at the New York Observer.