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Wall St Journal Expose on San Francisco Greens

The Wall Street Journal has shined a flashlight at the San Francisco Green Party in this article, stating: “Declines in Membership, Donations Mirror National Organization’s Struggles; Headquarters Close but Meetings Remain”.

I highly recommend reading this article, it offers so many different angles to Green Party growth, stagnation, decline, purpose, mission, etc.

Matt Gonzalez:

Mr. Gonzalez, meanwhile, says he left the Green Party because he wanted to run for vice president as an independent, and hasn’t rejoined the local Greens in part because of their lack of organization. He says Greens have hurt themselves by placing ideology ahead of practicality, such as by imposing rules that limit how much in contributions a Green candidate could take. “Sometimes you can apply principles of political purity that aren’t very functional and you run into problems,” he says. “It’s part of the charm, but it’s also a liability if it’s taken too far.”

Ross Mirkarimi:

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, the only Green politician currently in elected city office, says the party didn’t adequately retain Green voters excited by Mr. Nader’s 2000 presidential bid, Mr. Gonzalez’s 2003 mayoral bid and Mr. Mirkarimi’s 2004 supervisor bid. “We didn’t harness in a way where we could rebuild our profile locally,” he says.

The supervisor says the Green Party, locally and nationally, can rebuild itself by focusing on winning elections and sharpening its message, which he says is too vague, to appeal to more voters. Building coalitions with Democrats can also help, he says.

Brent McMillan:

Brent McMillan, executive director of the Green Party of the U.S., estimates that the recession sent donations plummeting about 10% from a couple of years earlier. He adds that many Greens left the party to vote for Democratic President Barack Obama. “There was a tough time,” Mr. McMillan says.

Erika McDonald:

“It’s been an uphill battle,” says Green Party spokeswoman Erika McDonald. “It’s never been easy building an alternative.”

Read the article, please comment here!

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Reverend Billy rocks San Francisco

Change-a-lujah! July 21st was proclaimed “Reverend Billy Day” in San Francisco by the SF Board of Supervisors (with a big assist from Green Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi). The Reverend Mayor’s visit and benefit concert in the City by the Bay caused a frenzy of excitement and some nice press mentions.

San Francisco Bay Guardian: “Common sense is radical” on Reverend Billy Day

He said the mayoral campaign was off to a good start: “We seem to be getting a wonderful response. It’s so clear that common sense is radical right now.”

And the common sense back in April – which seems to have rapidly receded from the popular consciousness, at least as expressed through the mainstream media – was that Wall Street had run dangerously amuck and needed to be reformed.

Fog City Journal: Electallujah! Reverend Billy takes on Bloomberg, corporate hegemony and consumerism

“We need new policies on the way we use energy, the way we cycle our energy and waste and water, and well of course, [this campaign] supports those green urban policies.  We’re intrigued by the possibility of changing how we live in a 8.5 million person city.  The campaign slogan is ‘The Rise of the Fabulous 500 Neighborhoods’. ”

Continue Reading

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Ross Mirkarimi selected for California Coastal Commission

San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi is the highest level Green Party office holder in California.  He was recently selected for a term as  the North Central Coast representative on the California Coastal Commission.  His term runs from March, 2009 to May, 2011.

As a Supervisor, Mirkarimi has developed a reputation for his expertise in land use planning.  On the Coastal Commission, he will have ample opportunity to use that expertise as almost everything the Commission does involves land use in one way or another.

The twelve members of Coastal Commission are appointed to their office.  The Governor, the California State Senate Rules Committee and the Speaker of the State Assembly each can appoint four members: two from the public at large and two from among elected officials in designated coastal districts.  Mirkarimi was appointed by the Senate Rules Committee controlled by Democrats.

There are some who have cynically commented that this is a move by the Democrats to convince Ross to change his registration.  Other hope that this shows everyone that Greens can work within the body politic and succeed in spite of belonging to a very minority party.

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San Francisco Green quoted

In an article at the San Francisco Chronicle, Green Party City Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi is quoted saying

“He shot to rock-star status with the green jobs movement,” said San Francisco Supervisor Ross Mirkarimi, a Green Party member who has known (Van) Jones for years.

Jones has been tapped by the Obama administration to advise them on green jobs, enterprise and innovation.