Recent Green Party candidate for New York City mayor Reverend Billy has been working with a coalition of activists to pressure JP Morgan Chase to stop financing mountaintop removal mining. Rev. Billy declared victory yesterday in an email to supporters:
JP Morgan Chase Backs Down on Mountaintop Removal!
Reverend Billy and activist-singers succeed in campaign!
Chase bank officials agreed at their annual shareholder meeting to stop underwriting the strip-mining called “Mountaintop Removal (MTR).” Less than two years ago, the bank managed a $690 million bond offering with the top MTR mining company, Massey Energy.
Most environmental orgs, including Rainforest Action Network (RAN) and the Sierra Club, joined citizens’ coalitions, including “Alliance for Appalachia” as well as activists willing to block gates and tree-sit – our friends at “Climate Ground Zero.” RAN pressured the bank from within, buying shares and agitating at annual meetings, including the most recent meeting on May 18, 2010.
In New York, we at the Life After Shopping Church sculpted “mountains in lobbies” in branch banks throughout the city. This is the practice of leaving little peaks of damaged West Virginia mountain soil in front of ATMs with information sheets that describe the impact of MTR.
Our YouTube video of activist-customers closing their accounts while informing bank officers of the cancer, asthma and heart ailments among those who live in the valleys below MTR operations was a hit on the Net. Continue Reading
The articles include pieces on Rev. Billy Talen, Green Party candidate for Mayor of New York City; the Arkansas Greens ballot access petition drive; difficulties in the California Green Party; IL Gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney; and finally a piece about Ken Adler, and his race for US House of Representatives.
I went to New York City and all I got was this awesome picture of me and Rev Billy Talen on Election Night:
(image courtesy of j.bucher productions)
Reverend Billy Talen, Green Party candidate for NYC Mayor, has written an election day blog that’s well worth reading. Enjoy:
I feel closer to solving the riddle of activism in 2009. We’ve known how conservative the Democrat/Working Families and the Republican/Independence Parties are. It’s Coke and Pepsi, it’s McDonalds and Burger King. The two party system enforces a strict censorship. We had to experience first-hand the harsh silence of it.
Stewart seems to get the ethos of both the campaign and the Green Party.
A Green Party representative—Billy is running on the Green Party ticket—plops a golden-arches paper bag on the table in front of her. “I’m sorry if I’m offending anyone with the McDonald’s,” she says. “I was hungry.” Bringing McDonald’s to a Rev. Billy meeting—a convocation of the anti-corporate—is like bringing a BLT to a mosque.
“We’re all sinners,” a man shouts reassuringly from the other end of the room.
The article does not forget that Rev Billy is running an issues based campaign. From gentrification
“Gentrification is the absence of God,”
to Mayor Bloomberg and the City Council’s decision to ignore the voter passed limit of two terms.
“Just two terms,” he adds, “I promise.”
In a message to supporters, Green Party candidate for mayor of New York CityRev. Billy Talen writes that New York City is the nation’s biggest consumer of rain forest timber.
This Tuesday Oct 27th Reverend Billy joins with RainForest Relief, NYC Climate Action Group and Friends of Brad Will for a parade through Washington Square Park to draw attention to continued and unnecessary use of tropical rain forest timber for our benches and boardwalks.
The complete message is under the fold.
Those of us who are working on the campaign have the goal not only of getting our candidate elected, but also of bringing attention to important issues which are not being addressed by the main candidate and his Democratic challenger. (I say there is only one main candidate because most polling shows Thompson about twenty points behind in support, and tens of millions of dollars behind in fundraising.)
In what I think is a very wise comment, Baron points out
And, more importantly, the argument of a “wasted vote” falls immediately by the wayside: if the victory of one candidate appears inevitable, then the election serves largely as a means by which to express preferences — and why express any preference other than your actual preferences?
In New York City, city council races used to be considered over after the Democratic primary. But this year, Green Party candidates are breathing some life into previously stagnant local politics.
Lynne Serpe of Astoria has been making the news regularly for campaigning hard and out-fundraising the incumbent. One voter who attended a candidate forum called Serpe the “clear winner of the event” and added “I was impressed to hear about her prior experience working on clean and fair elections, especially when the incumbent voted to extend term limits.”
A blogger at the Daily Gotham, who is still bitter about Nader’s 2000 campaign, nonetheless admits that David Pechefsky would be better for Park Slope than the problematic incumbent: “Pechefsky, from what I can tell, fits the district perfectly in where he stands on issues. He is honest and up front and personable”. Pechefsky also took part in the Develop Don’t Destroy Brooklyn Walkathon, siding with a large number of residents who oppose undemocratic development. At a debate sponsored by the Brooklyn Paper, Pechefsky said he wouldn’t back a speaker who voted to overrule the voters’ decision on term limits, while the incumbent refused to take a clear position.
Walter Nestler of the Southeast Bronx has also made the news for out-fundraising the incumbent in his race. He has made improving environmental quality and getting city funding for local green jobs his main issues. When asked how the Bronx Green Party compares with the dominant Bronx Democratic Party, Nestler remarked, “Maybe the Green Party has no experience. No experience with indictments.”
Evergreen Chou of Flushing outlined his platform in a candidates forum at the Flushing library.