- July 19 - The Green Party of the United States kicked off its 2002 Midterm
Convention in Philadelphia with the seating of five new states in the party's
Coordinating Committee and a dramatic challenge from Green candidates against
the erosion of U.S. democracy by corporate control of the Democratic and Republican
"We have 78 delegates
from 39 states, including 6 states that were approved this morning," said
Jo Chamberlain, a California Green and member of the party's national steering
committee. "That includes the District of Columbia, which is seeking statehood."
The five new states are
North Carolina, Washington, Alaska, Vermont, and Nebraska. The party's Lavender
Green Caucus, representing gay, lesbian, bi, and transgender Greens, was also
seated on Thursday morning.
"This is not a show
convention, like the national conventions of the Republican and Democratic Parties
every four years," said Michael Morrill, Green candidate for governor of
Pennsylvania. "Every word, every moment of the major party conventions is
scripted. The Green Party is here in Philadelphia to debate openly and freely,
and to organize ourselves as a national political force. We in Pennsylvania welcome
the Green Party to the cradle of American liberty."
"We have 155 elected
officials now, double the number from two years ago," added Chamberlain.
"And we have triple the number of candidates over two years ago."
At a press conference Thursday
morning, Green candidates and activists spoke of measures necessary to retrieve
democracy from what Texan Green David Cobb called "hijacking" by powerful
"The first thing I'd
do, if elected, is seize the assets of Enron and bring Ken Lay and his cohorts
before a grand jury," said Cobb, the Green candidate for Attorney General
of Texas. "I'd begin an immediate investigation of Dick Cheney and Halliburton."
Elizabeth Shanklin, candidate
for Congress in New York's 17th Congressional District, spoke of the need to restore
the social safety net, especially for women, children, and other vulnerable Americans,
after years of assault from both Democrats and Republicans. "Corporations,
seeking quick profits, have betrayed the future. The Green Party is the party
of the future."
"We need clean money
for campaigns, voluntary funding as practiced in Maine, Arizona, Vermont, and
Massachusetts," said Ted Glick, New Jersey candidate for the U.S. Senate.
"This would allow candidates to run effective campaigns without corporate
money.... Corporate boards must include democratically elected representatives
of their workforces, as well as consumer representatives. And we must repeal the
Taft-Hartley Act, which limits the right of workers to organize."
Glick noted that, after
voting to limit debate on legislation against corporate abuses last week, 16 Democratic
senators flew on corporate jets to Nantucket, Mass. for a weekend retreat with
250 major corporate campaign donors. The flights were donated by BellSouth Corp.,
Eli Lilly and Co., FedEx and AFLAC. Among the Democratic senators were Majority
Leader Thomas Daschle (S.D.), Joseph R. Biden Jr. (Del.), Hillary Rodham Clinton
(N.Y.), Edward M. Kennedy (Mass.), John F. Kerry (Mass.), Charles E. Schumer (N.Y.)
and Jon S. Corzine (N.J.).
"Under corporate globalization,
passed by the two parties, corporations have been moving down to Mexico to escape
environmental and labor protections," said George Martin, co-chair of the
Green Party of Wisconsin. "In my lifetime, we've gone back and forth between
Democrat and Republican, but nothing really gets better. We've suffered globalization,
lack of national health care, privatization schemes...."
Kevin McKeown discussed
the recent passage of a living wage law ($10.50 an hour, with medical benefits)
under Green leadership in Santa Monica, Calif., where he serves as Mayor Pro Tem
and is up for re-election in November. "The minimum wage is no longer a floor,
but a sub-basement. Working people deserve a real living wage, and the Green Party
will help them get it."
The convention will continue
through Sunday; the next press conference takes place Friday at 11 A.M., at which
Green gubernatorial candidates will be introduced.
The Green Party of the United
National office: 1314 18th Street, NW Washington, DC 20036 202-296-7755, 866-41GREEN
Green 2002 Midterm Convention
Press credentialing for the convention: download an application at
Index of Green Party candidates