Three people share their viewpoints of the Green Party Convention in Houston, Texas. The Green Party is the largest third party on the left and we should all be concerned about the direction it takes.
The Green Party's Annual Meeting and Presidential Nominating Convention was held in Houston last weekend and over 500 people attended!
We started out Thursday night with a Welcoming Reception, hosted by Green Party Steering Committee member, Andrea Mérida Cuéllar. Andrea gave a warm welcome to our Bernie or Bust allies at the convention and she introduced our special guests, YanNe' Ndgo, one of the leaders of the Bernie or Bust movement, and Keli Yen, from the Global Greens.
Friday was filled with workshops, caucus and committee meetings, and press conferences. Friday night was our big Second Annual 'Greens Got Talent' Show and Fundraiser! Saturday morning the Convention began and it was a packed house! If you were there, you felt the energy and a new sense that the Green Party of the United States is at a break-through moment in time. 58% of U.S. voters want a viable third party. This meeting was all about finding ways to get through the wall of apathy and corporate media noise so voters can hear the Green, growing, vital alternative.
Laura Palmer, Co-Chair of the Texas Green Party and our Convention Co-Chairs, Dr. Margaret Flowers and James Lane, welcomed the delegates and observers to the Convention. Throughout the morning there were speeches and a vote by delegates approve the 2016 Platform. After a short break, we listened to a Q&A between David Cobb and Julian Assange (via live feed from the Ecuadorian Embassy in London).
Following lunch, YahNé Ndgo, and Dr. Cornel West delivered stirring keynote speeches. After the Roll Call of States and Caucuses, at approximately 3:30 p.m. CT, the votes were counted and it was announced that the Green Delegates chose Jill Stein and running mate Ajamu Baraka to be the party's presidential and vice-presidential nominees!
That's it for the wrap-up! We hope to see you next year at the 2017 Green Party Annual Meeting. Keep checking www.gp.org for details and information on how you can get involved in the Green EXPLOSION! Thank you for your help. This is our break-out year!
The Green Party book club in St. Paul, MN is reading "Black Prophetic Fire" by Dr. Cornel West for our book club this month in honor of Dr. West endorsing Jill Stein. I fell in love with the book! When the roll call of state votes was given, I quoted Dr. West from "Black Prophetic Fire" when he wrote "Have we forgotten how beautiful it is to be on fire for justice?" I was not going to ask Dr. West to sign my copy of his book because he was surrounded by so many people and he was so busy, but a couple of women saw me standing there with my book and pen and lead me over to him saying that he is the nicest man. His assistant saw me and went over and got Dr. West, and Dr. West hugged me and thanked me for my words during the roll call of states. He signed by book "To sister Amber, stay strong, Love Cornel West". I sound like such a groupie, but I love Dr. Cornel West!
Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry:
Sedinam was a Green Party candidate for President. She brought up legitimate concerns many of us had about being too closely aligned with democrats and not giving enough emphasis to our four pillars and ten key values. She worked with Michael J. Cavlan and said, “Our combined efforts did have an impact.”
Below is a summary of her statement. Her full statement is in the first comment.
One of the more exciting and rewarding moments came when a self described "Bernie or Bust" person explained how happy he was at the workshop and for the simple honesty and transparency if our discussion. He stated "I just went through bullshit with the Democrats and it gives me hope that you guys are dealing with it here"
Why did you criticize the candidate system of the Green party convention?
Sedinam: Green Party US national political party doesn't have any short, medium nor long term affirmative action strategy or plan in place. There is not a place in its active membership base people of color, poor, working class and female. We need a national leadership training program to address this.
Do you think the lack of People of Color in the Green Party can be a real problem?
Sedinam : We will not survive as a national nor global political party because by the end of this century it is projected that the majority ethnicity in our nation will be Brown. On the global level Europeans are in the minority right now. Our campaign should be focused on ensuring every registered Green Party member is an effective instrument of change. We see the need for permanent structural changes in and for our nation over the next 60 years before the United States turns 300 years old on July 4th, 2076. “We Greens” are the key individual, local, regional, state, national and international links in the “change network” that will move our nation and our world.
Our campaign has been involved with;
- Joining Universal African Peoples Organization’s (UAPO www.uapo.com) five year (2015 -2020) plan for Proportional representation (PR)
- One Planet, One Race Unity Campaign 2016 – We must look to what we each human being has in common – not our differences – to save our mother Earth!
- Support the “Black Out Black Friday and beyond”. A national call to boycott Black Friday for Ferguson and beyond. ... it was targeted originally for Black Friday Shopping in 2015
- Connecting all US Green Parties as one!
Black Lives Matter we use the below as a motto: (By Assata Shakur)
It is our Duty to fight for our freedom!
It is our duty to win!
We MUST LOVE AND SUPPORT EACH OTHER!
We have nothing to lose but our chains!
Do you think the Green Party can do something big for the next campaign?
I personally facilitated workshops that have lead to forming the below caucuses:
-Eco Socialist caucus
These two caucus are set up to be the big drivers over the next 4 years.
Presidential Candidate – Was asked four questions her responses are below;
1. Why did you criticize the candidate system of the Green Party convention?
Sedinam: Green Party US national political party doesn’t have any short, medium nor long term affirmative action strategy or plan in place after setting up in 1984 nor a national leadership training program in place for its active membership base people of color, poor, working class and females nor a long term outcome based approach to
ensuring “We Greens” that are “non privileged” as the majority of our European DNA current membership is, who have not only expressed but have shown commitment to our four pillars, ten key values and platform.
That the GP will not only support more, train and build a “We Greens” that are “non privileged” to be on our federal ticket, governorships, senators, mayors, city council, boards and appointed seats in any solid measurable way due not having critical missing pieces (short, medium nor long term affirmative action strategy or plan in place – after setting up in 1984 – nor a national leadership training program in place for its active membership base people of color, poor, working class (nor a long term outcome based approach) of change to the status quo.
In 2008 I sought to be the Green Party Vice-Presidential Nominee as a direct method to set up a national leadership training program for People of Color (PoC) to ensure “We Greens” would be equipped to lead the Green Party and our nation long term. By identifying requirements, encouraging PoC GPVP hopefuls, we could ensure they would be equipped to run and lead our national political party. It was also the first time a woman and person of color sought to represent both the party and the nation as POTUS and VPOTUS. To continue this effort, during nationwide campaign tours we have been conducting candidate trainings and recruiting people of color, poor, working class and females.
2. Do you think the lack of people of color in the Green party can be a real problem?
Sedinam: We will not survive as a national nor global political party because by the end of this century, it is projected that the majority ethnicity in our nation will be Brown, on the global level Europeans are the “minority" now. I believe the way forward for “We Greens” to secure and win elections is to adopt a strategy of ending so called “White privilege” and Support Green economic plans for communities, and de-segregate our party by “browning” given by the end of this century our nation won’t be any longer majority European American. Our campaign is focused on ensuring every registered Green Party member is an effective instrument of change. We, as Greens, see the need for
permanent structural changes in and for our nation over the next 60 years before the United States turns 300 years old on July 4th, 2076. “We Greens” are the key individual, local, regional, state, national and international links in the “change network” that will move our nation and our world. I and other long time Greens have brought up this and
other legitimate concerns many of us had about being too closely aligned with democrats, and not giving enough emphasis to our core values.
3. Do you think the Green Party can do something big for the next campaign?
Sedinam : Yes, I was the only presidential candidate that spent time during the PNC “party building.” I actually lead & facilitated 4 Green Party workshops and set up a committee that were not included on the “official program” and “unauthorized” them all.
a. Eco Socialist ( 2x) Ms Moyowasifza-Curry – convener
b. GP Affirmative Action Committee (1x) – Ms Moyowasifza-Curry- convener
c. Accountability (1x) Michael J. Cavlan – convener
I (Ms Moyowasifza Curry) worked with Michael J. Cavlan. One of the more exciting and rewarding moments came when a self described “Bernie or Bust” person explained how happy he was at the workshop and for the simple honesty and transparency if our discussion. He stated “I just went through bullshit with the Democrats and it gives me
hope that you guys are dealing with it here” another person remarked, If I hadn’t attended two of the “unofficial” meetings you held, I would be scratching my head and trying to make sense of it all. We know that, “Our combined efforts did have an impact, these newly formed “caucuses and committees” are set up to be the big drivers over the next 4 years.
4. How was the PNC?
Sedinam: Green party administrators, paid & volunteer, NC, PSCS, Stein Campaign & PNC committee didn’t live up to our principles during the PNC. Furthermore, these same groups seem to want to drown out the voices of ordinary Green Party members:
a. No Green Presidential forum was held //due to the false insider poor judgment//[“false insider” is not clear. Not sure why, since we have no real measures to know why]. Presidential candidate Dr William Kreml canceled and didn’t attend because of the 5 minutes speech time slots set by //anti//[?do know this, incompetent maybe, but we don’t really know motivations] Green party folks that crafted our PNC into Bernie or Bust / Stein for Pre Senate Campaign Rallies… Hello, 44% of American Voters: Independent A group of People of Color running for office walked out of a workshop during the PNC, [which workshop? was it dealing with privilege and race or other workshop? What’s name of the Workshop?]
c. All major group events where geared towards Bernie or Bust allies folks, not our core membership base. This wasn’t a Green Party event but a Stein Campaign.
d. How come? Not official by then to be Vice presidential candidate (Ajamu Baraka) stood in for Dr Jill Stein @ Presidential candidates press
conference. What happened to Dr Kent Mesplay, wasn’t there either.
e. David Cobb pushed Julian Assange into saying Dr Jill Stein name during his interview… she had not yet been coronated, Stein for Pre Senate Campaign Rally, it was a C movie at best and showed a lack of Green Values…Not one was fooled …We are awake!
f. PNC organization of it all was “BAD”. The organizers should not pat themselves on the back. It was a very clear show of a lack of solid professional-level event planning.
g. Never were all of us Green Party presidential candidates acknowledged, no one got even given a scrap of paper with all our names, a photo.
h. For those of the people who were “new” to Green conventions, all they saw was Dr Jill’s machine and a bunch of mostly disorganization. One Green from California told me she felt like she was in “green camp”. Organizers didn’t even bother to put up a single sign telling folks what buildings to go to when we first arrived.
j. No Disabled or Black Caucus was set up nor supported during critical times
k. No daily evaluation forms where given out so there was a tally of how each day went, no summations’, no communiqués issued…
l. Having visible police presence was a insult to many Greens in attendance.
m. Most “non green party” speakers weren’t boxed into 5 minute time slots (viewed & timed). It was clear to too many observers, the push by Dr. Flowers to Ms Moyowasifza-Curry to move, was off base and biased.
n. Credential Committee only got set up on the second day of PNC
o. We clearly observed positions of any power during PNC are held by European (falsely labeled white people) from privileged backgrounds
Ms Moyowasifza-Curry & Elijah Manley contested the PNC…and we meet a young Black male who expressed running for President as a Green that was pushed out and aside by Bruce Dixon a Stein staffer… We called him out.
q. I found it very telling that Cornel West and YanNe’ Ndgo, both not long-term Greens, were co-opted by Stein and her campaign. PNC having only Black folks who are not long time Greens be front and center during our PNC was shameful. Note: Green Party media committee has used Black folks for past 12 months sending out press release signed by non functioning Black Caucus Co-Chairs
r. Asa Gordon Black Long time Green made a powerful statement: PNC being a Stein Pre Senate Campaign rally… Note: The Queen of the GP never followed up publicly.
s. The DRC that was committed during the coronation of Dr Stein to our campaign to date still hasn’t really come on in a real way. Instead of doing the background work of securing all the complaints our campaign filed with the PSCS the past 12 months they are more focused on process not outcome.