Green Change: 10 Growing Green Campaigns

From GreenChange.org:

Here are ten growing Green campaigns from around the country. Our Green candidates are the true leaders of the Green movement.  They are working hard for all of us, and they need your help.  Please support them by donating and volunteering today.


Rich Whitney is a civil rights attorney who received over 10% of the vote for Governor of Illinois in 2006. He has proposed a detailed plan to fix Illinois’ budget shortfall and invest in green public works through public banking and progressive taxation, while his opponents Pat Quinn, Bill Brady and Scott Lee Cohen have not offered plans of their own. Whitney is advocating for single-payer health care, a living wage, free higher education and legalization of marijuana. Whitney needs at least 5% of the vote to maintain a ballot line for the growing Illinois Green Party, which is running 47 candidates at all levels this year. Learn more about Rich Whitney’s campaign and how you can help.


Jesse Johnson is a leader in the battle against mountaintop removal coal mining, which he calls “ground zero for global climate change.” He is the only candidate in the race who opposes mountaintop removal, which Democrat Joe Manchin and Republican John Raese both support. Johnson has been endorsed by WV Democrat Ken Hechler, a former member of Congress and mountaintop removal opponent who challenged Manchin in the primary. Watch Jesse Johnson whip up the crowd at the Appalachia Rising rally in Washington DC on September 27th. Learn more about Jesse Johnson’s campaign and how you can help.


John Gray is the Mayor of Greenland, Arkansas and an advocate for single-payer health care, worker’s rights, and ending corporate personhood. His opponents are Republican John Boozman, conservative independent Trevor Drown, and Democrat Blanche Lincoln, a leading recipient of Wal-Mart campaign cash who has fought to weaken health care reform and stop the Employee Free Choice Act. Gray’s priorities include breaking up “too-big-to-fail” corporations, ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and putting Americans back to work. Learn more about John Gray’s campaign and how you can help.


Tom Clements is a veteran activist against nuclear proliferation who has worked for Greenpeace, the Nuclear Control Institute, and Friends of the Earth. He is running against far-right incumbent Republican Jim DeMint and Democrat Alvin Greene, who faces felony obscenity charges. Clements is a strong advocate for green jobs, single-payer health care, and halting the abuses of big corporations and their political cronies like DeMint. He has been endorsed by the Greater Columbia Central Labor Council. Learn more about Tom Clements’ campaign and how you can help.


Laura Wells is a financial manager and democracy activist who is campaigning on a plan to fix California’s budget crisis and provide quality affordable health care and education to all. Despite widespread dissatisfaction among voters with Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Meg Whitman, organizers of an “eco-friendly” gubernatorial debate on Oct. 12 are denying Wells the chance to offer her Green solutions to voters. Wells and local Green officeholders will join supporters at an open debate demonstration outside the debate in San Rafael. Learn more about Laura Wells’ campaign and how you can help.


Luisa Evonne Valdez is running for Arizona State House in District 15, which covers central Phoenix. Valdez is a disabled veteran and advocate for LGBTQ and veterans’ rights who was recently named one of “40 Hispanic leaders under 40″ by the Arizona Hispanic Chamber of Commerce. She is campaigning to bring a voice for equal rights, community-based economics, renewable energy and sustainability to Arizona state government. Learn more about Luisa Evonne Valdez’s campaign and how you can help.


Dan Craigie is running for Minnesota State House in District 59B in Minneapolis. Craigie, whose background includes working as a Navy technician, is a strong advocate for green jobs, single-payer health care, and equal rights. With the support of Cam Gordon, a Green who has twice won election to Minneapolis City Council, Craigie is running a muscular on-the-ground campaign to become the first Green elected to Minnesota’s legislature. Learn more about Dan Craigie’s campaign and how you can help.


David Ellison of Cleveland is running for Cuyahoga County Executive in Ohio. Ellison is an architect and community activist who has led the fight for community-driven development. In a race with five other candidates, Ellison stands out as a supporter of community-based economics and environmental sustainability. He supports creating a public bank and investing in local food production to strengthen the local economy. Learn more about David Ellison’s campaign and how you can help.


Edward Shadid is running for Oklahoma State House in District 85 in Oklahoma City. Shadid is a medical doctor and advocate for healthy, sustainable lifestyles. His campaign is focusing attention on the issue of ballot access reform in Oklahoma, which makes it harder than any state for Greens and other independents to qualify for the ballot. Ralph Nader recently joined Shadid for a campaign rally in Oklahoma City – watch the video here. Learn more about Edward Shadid’s campaign and how you can help.


Cheryl Wolfe is running for Montana State House in District 11, which covers parts of Flathead and Lake Counties north of Missoula. Wolfe is an accountant and community activist from Polson. She is running against incumbent Republican Janna Taylor, a supporter of more oil and coal industry development in Montana. Wolfe’s campaign gives Montanans the choice of voting for green jobs, sustainable development, progressive taxation, instant runoff voting and more. Learn more about Cheryl Wolfe’s campaign and how you can help.


Chicago Tribune writer: Green Party’s Whitney most sensible, well-informed of IL gov candidates

After the Chicago Tribune joint interview of 5 candidates for governor of Illinois, Tribune op-ed columnist Eric Zorn blogged:

Of the five candidates for governor at the joint interview, Green Party nominee Rich Whitney was the best spoken, had the best command of the facts and, in my opinion, had the most sensible ideas for moving Illinois forward.

If we only had an instant-runoff voting system where a ballot cast  for a third-party candidate down in the polls, as Whitney is, isn’t a purely symbolic gesture at the expense of a voter’s second favorite candidate.

The post sparked an interesting discussion in the comments section, which you can read here.


Rich Whitney protests exclusion from IL Governor debate

Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney protested with supporters Monday outside a Union League Club candidate forum in Chicago that excluded Whitney. Here is some of the coverage garnered by the protest:

Chicago Daily Herald: Whitney protests being left off debate list

My Fox Chicago: Rich Whitney: I have plan for state budget

NBC Chicago: Third Wheels vs. Big Wheels

Supporter-created Youtube video: Rich Whitney excluded from Union League Club Debate


Rich Whitney, polling 8% for IL Gov, asks supporters to protest Chicago debate exclusion

Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney was at 8% in a poll of Illinois voters, reports MyFoxChicago:

A survey of 1,000 likely Illinois voters conducted by Pulse Opinion Research shows that 46 percent support Brady, with 36 percent supporting Quinn. Green candidate Rich Whitney gets 8 percent of the vote, and 9 percent are undecided.

Whitney earned over 10% of the vote for governor in 2006, establishing the Green Party as a major party in Illinois. He recently wrote to supporters that his campaign needs more donations to be able to get his message out to likely supporters.

Despite Whitney’s strong showing in 2006 and a Public Policy Polling poll that put him at 11% in August, the Union League Club in Chicago has decided to exclude him from a candidate forum set for Wednesday 29 September. Whitney called on supporters to protest in a facebook note: Continue Reading


Green governor candidates in MA, IL call for marijuana legalization

Green Party candidates for governor in Massachusetts and Illinois have recently made the news for supporting legalization of marijuana. Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein was featured in the Boston Herald in an article entitled “Gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein, pot rally organizer push for legalization”:

Candidate for Governor Jill Stein touted her medical credentials as she called for the legalization of marijuana in an address to tens of thousands of pot smokers yesterday at the annual Hemp Fest rally on Boston Common.

“I’m the only candidate for governor here,” she said. “I’m here because I agree with you, as a medical doctor and as a candidate for governor. Marijuana prohibition, making marijuana illegal is a flawed, tragic failure.”

Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney feels the same way. WQAD reports:

The Green Party candidate for governor says Illinois should legalize and tax marijuana, but his opponents disagree. Green candidate Rich Whitney says Illinois could bring in about $300 million a year by taxing marijuana.


Whitney, Greens, Profiled by Gay Chicago Magazine

Rich Whitney, Illinois Green Party candidate for Governor, makes the cover of the latest issue of “Gay Chicago Magazine”. Whitney and the Green Party are favorably profiled in the cover story as a viable alternative to the “other candidates”.

The article notes other Illinois Green campaigns as well, including LeAlan Jones for U.S. Senate, Kenny Williams, and Jeremy Karpen.


Rich Whitney, Green for IL Governor, hits rivals on taxes

Lynn Sweet at the Chicago Sun-Times reports on Illinois Green Party gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney‘s call for fair taxation and criticism of his rivals’ failure to talk straight on issues of budget and taxation.

“Pat Quinn, Bill Brady and Scott Lee Cohen all refuse to say exactly how they would deal with the burning issue of the budget crisis and taxation until after the election,” said Whitney. “This is disrespectful, if not insulting, to Illinois voters. How can voters make an informed choice when they are ducking the issue? In contrast, I provide voters with a clear and detailed road map for solving the crisis, attacking both the spending and the revenue side of the equation.” (read on at the Chicago Sun-Times)

Whitney, who earned over 10% of the vote in the 2006 governor’s race, previously published a detailed plan to fix the budget crisis and revive Illinois’ economy. Also, read on for a personal message from Rich Whitney to supporters: Continue Reading


Rich Whitney: The Best Choice for True Conservatives?

The Whitney Campaign for Illinois Governor has released the following essay by Whitney titled “Why True Conservatives Should Vote for Me”:

Let’s be candid. If you identify yourself as a conservative, your first inclination will probably be to
vote for Republican candidate Bill Brady in the Illinois governor’s race. I understand that. He covers some
of the basic conservative talking points: cutting spending, holding the line on taxes, “pro-life,” pro-Second
Amendment, pro-business.

That’s the rhetoric. Now let’s look at the substance of his positions and see how they compare
with my own.

Bill Brady proposes to balance the state budget by cutting spending 10 percent across the board.
He refuses to identify what programs he will actually cut until after the election. This is not a conservative

First, his math is wrong. A 10 percent cut in the operating budget won’t close the currently $9.3
billion budget deficit (the latest figure after Governor Quinn’s devastating cuts imposed in July). You
would need a nearly 40 percent cut in spending to manage that. Second, the spending cuts enacted by
the General Assembly and the additional cuts imposed by Quinn have already had a devastating impact
on our public schools, colleges and universities and basic services for people with disabilities, the elderly
and children in need. The far more drastic cuts proposed by Brady would be result in more of the same. It
would be catastrophic, not only to education, social services and public safety but to employment,
resulting in the loss of over 120,000 jobs.

In my view, there is nothing “conservative” about destroying our public schools, making higher
education more and more unaffordable to lower and middle-income working families, kicking people with
physical and mental disabilities out of assisted living facilities and onto the streets (which will end up
costing more money), compromising care for veterans, children and family services, daycare (which helps
people get off welfare and into work), natural resources, parks and recreation, and public safety.
Continue Reading