Your opinions on how to grow the Green Party


"The Green Party nationally and in most states provides little if any resources for its candidates 
as there's no infrastructure to provide that.
Candidates and/or elected Greens leave the party often because there's no
infrastructural resources or institutional advantage to staying in the party. 
One of the ways the Titanic parties maintain allegiance is that they have resources 
to give . . . or withhold at the discretion of the various party leaders that hold such resources. 
Until "we" have something more than "values" "branding" a few ballot lines,
the hold the Green Party has on candidates is tenuous.

I can certainly write about how such infrastructure might be developed (and have on some lists) 
and what such infrastructure would look like and how it might work 
but it's all academic without the desire to FOCUS on implementing that 
rather than forever arguing over rules which have virtually NO impact on campaigns 
or developing resources to run such campaigns."

Craig Seeman 
former Chair GPNY (2000-2001) and 6 time candidate for public office in partisan races.

Candidates and former GP office holders say that all over all the time,
when honestly trying to speak to us about why we leak our best candidates so well.

People on the other side of any one of several coins see nothing to discuss either.

We who remain over time are simply the coalition builders we were all supposed to be, 
the ones who see that the degree to which we all agree is more important,
than any given set of issues, or anyone's personal agenda.

Somehow i got on this list of people from national, candidates and dissenters. 

Another long piece in this thread, from San Diego, spoke to praxis,
the need to embody one's theory in one's practice,
which we have failed to grapple with in a collective manner, 
and so we cannot build the support that would keep our candidates
in office as GP loyal greens.

I like to speak of a post ideological politics, but good theory must remain, and it has.
Deep Ecology is not quite politics or religion, it is at least as much a discipline of science.
It's just that we as a national culture are not good at commonly considering
the connect between how one does a thing and why.

In ancient Greek one had theche, which implied artfulness, 
but not outside of the context, of how and why an art even is,
and -logia which is a discipline, or branch, of study and inquiry,
also seen as part of a context of how and why such branches interconnect.

WIGP has learned a lot about what is wrong from NY and CA, 
where the failures are more obvious.

Our web site is currently the only sphere we have that allows sustained interaction of us as 
human beans; we must use it to construct some of the community, and record of praxis,
that we need to figure out which methods have failed us,
and which have been our strengths.

That is why there is much talk of the much more easily administered WordPress,
which i highly recommend; with a pretty major counterpoint.
On closer inspection i am finding many ways to create more life and community on the site,
but i am not getting any reciprocal interaction,
we must first to learn the habit of interacting in a permanently available sphere,
before WordPress will help,
and i am delighted to spend the work that can bridge either side of this gap.

It is not there yet, but i am dedicating tonight to putting a volunteer sign up on site,
and/or some coherent approximation of an email list,
two things we've all agreed to many times.

That would give us some organizational praxis to develop an online praxis worth discussing,
otherwise everything we do is kinda all just relative.

I hope you have found this worth reading,
and I welcome feedback suggesting otherwise.

Monte Letourneau
WIGP Rec. Sec., 

GPUS NC Alternate,

———- Forwarded message ———-
From: Craig Seeman <cseeman@runcynthiarun.org>
Date: Fri, Feb 18, 2011 at 11:03 AM
Subject: Re: Your opinions on how to grow the Green Party

There are some fundamental issues that need to be acknowledged and/or addressed.

The Green Party nationally and in most states provides little if any resources for its candidates as there's no infrastructure to provide that.
Candidates and/or elected Greens leave the party often because there's no infrastructural resources or institutional advantage to staying in the party. One of the ways the Titanic parties maintain allegiance is that they have resources to give . . . or withhold at the discretion of the various party leaders that hold such resources. Until "we" have something more than "values" "branding" a few ballot lines, the hold the Green Party has on candidates is tenuous.

I can certainly write about how such infrastructure might be developed (and have on some lists) and what such infrastructure would look like and how it might work but it's all academic without the desire to FOCUS on implementing that rather than forever arguing over rules which have virtually NO impact on campaigns or developing resources to run such campaigns.

In addition to the above, people must be willing and have the wherewithal to run for office. Generally there's no party apparatus preventing or supporting anyone from running in a given district beyond the local organizing done by local people preceding or part of such campaign.

To say "the Greens" should run in District X assumes there's an entity that actually makes such tactical and strategic decisions. In my experience, that does not exist nationally nor in most state parties. Personally, I wish such infrastructure did exist so that resources could be allocated but that would have to acknowledge the prioritization rather than egalitarian distribution of resources as well.

Craig Seeman
former Chair GPNY (2000-2001) and 6 time candidate for public office in partisan races.

On Feb 18, 2011, at 4:04 AM, <barry@hermansons.com> <barry@hermansons.com> wrote:

Sandy and everyone else on this list.

I like to win.  In fact, losing sucks.  Many of you may feel the same.

I ran a campaign against Jackie Speier even though I knew I couldn't win.  My message – very much the same as is on the NotMyPriorities.org web site.  Speier did not have a voice in the anti-war community before.  She does not now.  Yet, her opening statement on the floor of the House was bring our troops home now.  Republicans booed her and walked out.  Most of that campaign was financed out of my pocket.  GPCA leadership didn't have anything to do with it.

San Francisco has a lot of registered Greens.  We used to have elected Greens.  Not now.  No Green candidates last fall.  I believe that our elected Greens left us because we are too disorganized.  We enjoy fighting amongst ourselves.  Many of us spend too much time sending long e-mail messages, criticizing each other and promoting what we think is the best way to move forward.  Who has the time to read all of this stuff?  I don't.

Should we organize in Oakland?  Absolutely.  We should also organize in San Francisco and Orange County – every part of the state.  Should we run a candidate against Barbara Lee?  Some would say yes.  I say no.  If I lived in Oakland, I might vote for her.  She should be a Green.  Should we run a candidate against Nancy Pelosi?  I'm still trying to decide.  Many Greens think that we can be most effective running candidates in local elections rather than in elections they perceive we can not win.  My campaigns have been about raising issues and giving greater visibility to Green ideas.  GPCA provides almost no funding for any candidate.  The same can be said for local Green parties.

I'm glad to have contributed financially in 2004 to Pat Gray's campaign.  I ran in the Green Party primary against her.  Pat recruited me.  She had already been running for almost a year.  But, she knew that if Greens had a contested primary, we would get more press.  It was brilliant.  We were invited to public forums and debates.  We were interviewed by the local media.  Our comments appeared in the press.  She won our primary convincingly (one might say, she cleaned my clock).  Did all of this translate into a larger Green voter base?  No.  Why it did not is, to me, one of the most difficult questions for Greens today. 

My apologies for writing such a long response.  Politics is best done face to face and in my mind over a very good beer.

Barry Hermanson

Hello Micheas, Hello Ankur,
 
Thank you both for your valuable input on Green campaigns, candidates and shared Green futures.
 
As Dennis the Menace said, "I'm not a poor sport! I just like to win!" 
 
Michaes, Lawrence Lessig had a classy, insightful concess

ion speech; thanks for including it.  Did you design it; it was great! But I love it when someone makes my point for me!

 
In 2004, incumbent Tom Lantos won his California 12th Congressional District seat with 171,852 votes, or 68% plurality, against three opponents.  Republican Mike Garza won 52,593 votes, and Green candidate Patricia Gray netted 9%, with 23,030 votes.  I'm sure Pat sincerely appreciated all the hard work San Mateo and San Francisco Greens contributed to her campaign.
 
Both the 2008 race, albeit a special election, as well as Pat Gray's race in 2004, illustrate the high cost and low return for Greens to compete in electoral districts with little or no chance to win, or even to influence the outcome, versus in inland, poorer, more ethnically diverse areas..  State Green Party officials still appear to believe, this is the type of political struggle to which we should rededicate ourselves.  Median income in CD 12 is $70,000, as compared with neighboring CD 9, which includes all of Oakland, $44,000.  While I can't comment on personalities in this District, I'm sure lower income residents of this District would have more strongly gravitated to Green ideology, far more so than the well-heeled, entrenched progressives, liberals and conservatives across the Bay.  A primary mission must first be to build a party by running candidates who'll inspire new Greens.
 
As ever,
 
Sandy Stiassni
 
P.S.  Ankur, I accept your invitation to collaboratively work on a Green campaign for California CD 36 special election!  But it's not me you need to convince; there appear to be other LA Greens inside or closeby this District, who appear to lean toward two of the Democratic party challengers.

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