Long time Green Party national office staffer leaves

The Green Party of the United States (GP-US) has a national office in Washington, DC which is home base for a handful of staffers. Emily Citkowski is a staff person who has been involved in various tasks such as communications, administrative work for the Steering Committee, etc. at various times over the years. It is unclear if the current finances of GP-US have had any influence on Ms. Citkowski’s departure.

From a GP-US Green line e-mail announcement:

Green Party Says Goodbye to Emily Citkowski

The Green Party of the United States’ Operations Director, Emily Citkowski, is leaving this month after nearly six years with the party.  She started working for GPUS in November of 2003 and coordinated day-to-day operations at the national office through two Presidential campaigns, five national meetings, and several location changes.

After leaving a regional labor organization to direct operations for the Green Party, she is returning to work for a national labor advocacy group and then to law school shortly thereafter.

Emily remarked: “I feel very fortunate to have had the opportunity to work for the Green Party as a staffer. During my time on staff I was constantly amazed, inspired, energized and sustained by dedication and creativity of our volunteers, candidates, officeholders and grassroots activists. Our party will not just survive but thrive on this kind of people-power and I look forward to being part of it as a volunteer.  I’ll miss working with my colleagues at the national office, but have no doubt they’ll get along fine without me.”

In addition to her duties as Operations Director, Emily played a key role on the Merchandise and Outreach Committees. She will continue with her GPUS committee work, as well as her efforts with the DC Statehood Green Party…

21 thoughts on “Long time Green Party national office staffer leaves

  1. anonymous

    I got that e-mail too. It has her e-mail address in it. You could just e-mail her and ask about her why she is leaving.

  2. Kimberly Wilder

    😉

    And, do you think if you asked someone why they were leaving, they would tell you everything?

    Maybe.

    I have a fairly good guess that some of the reason that a staff person is leaving, is because the party is having financial problems and changing hours and not looking like such a secure position.

    Now, someone might not even understand that is the reason they are leaving. Just subconsciously getting worried for the future or something.

    Anyway, an interesting situation. And, I am wondering if more people might leave GP-US soon. Especially if the annual meeting loses money – again.

    I wish that the GP-US would reform, re-energize, empower the states more, and motivate the volunteers so that it dazzles and grows again. Or, that it would just give up the ghost and let the next, wonderful new movement and third party arise.

    The in-between seems so draining.

  3. anonymous

    What is “the next, wonderful new movement and third party” that is arising soon? I was just wondering if you had one in mind, or just assuming there would be something out there?

  4. Michael Cavlan

    There is something out there. No speculation, no grinding of axes.

    Just dealing with the sad reality. I hear taps playing off in the far distance.

  5. Trent Hill

    Kimberly, Lou Novak is right. Change that last sentence in your paragraph. There is no reason to put that ax-grinding sentense in there–she gave a perfectly reasonable explanation herself. If you have speculative guesses to make, do them in the comments, not in the news story.

  6. Kimberly Wilder

    Trent,

    I am sorry that you fell so easily for the propaganda/dismissive word “ax-grinding”?

    What does that mean, anyway? Does it mean that something happened in the past and you want to say it again. I suppose the implication is that it is only being said for revenge or because of feelings or something.

    I am trying to make sure that the history of things is set down correctly, so that improvements are made and the same mistakes do not happen over and over again.

    Of all things, saying, “the in-between is so draining”. How is that sentence of mine ax-grinding. I am saying that while people stay stuck in the same bad patterns and relationships, and no one is brave enough to break ties and/or heal wounds, all of our potential is being lost. It is a call to bravery and action. The furthest thing I could think of from grinding an ax.

    If Lou Novak would like me to grind an ax, I could have gone over several incidents where Emily Citkowski let down the party by choosing the absolutely wrong side, by breaking rules (in favor of people who then left the party), etc.

    I think Lou Novak has an ax to grind with me. And, that he is either a very good poet-propagandist, or someone has leant him some words. Perhaps Gregg Gerritt, the person who the party used to officially list as “consultant on troublesome people.”

    I am not trouble for the Green Party. I am out of the Green Party. And, only giving my thoughts and ideas as a concerned journalist, and a friend to some people stuck in the old patterns.

    Doesn’t Lou Novak have more important axes to grind? Or, even jobs to do related to the actual Green Party?

    I think that I will go to the voting web-page and start researching where Lou Novak’s loyalties are. Often when someone is so rude to the dissent and sounding one note, you see a history of them voting with the Steering Committee and the clique. Let me check that NC voting page when I have time…

  7. Kimberly Wilder

    Oh, well. The laundry was in the washing machine, so I did my initial check. At least on 392, Lou Novak voted with the “more independent-minded people” and voted NO to a bad Steering Committee decision. Still, I will look over the patterns more later. Really curious why Lou Novak has taken such an interest in me lately.

  8. Kimberly Wilder

    More on topic: Answer to if I think something is out there already…

    When the clique plays the personal attack games (calling me “ax-grinder” instead of noting my points), it does get distracting. But, when I turned away from the page, I remembered a comment with meat in it.

    So, anonymous said

    – What is “the next, wonderful new movement and third party” that is arising soon? I was just wondering if you had one in mind, or just assuming there would be something out there? –

    I have spoken of this a bit before. I think there are some places that people are working on things now. For instance, the Peace and Freedom Party in California is trying to go national, and there is some action there. Michael Cavlan has stuff going on in Minnesota (which may be related to P&F a bit? I think, but also independents and such.)

    I think that there are groups of folks energized by Cynthia McKinney. Not all of them indentify with the Green Party. I believe the grassroots calls thing is a way to try to push that inside the Green Party gain. So, I hope the conferences either fail, or steer more towards the newer folks, and people who understand “justice” as being as important to the party as “environment.”

    Cindy Sheehan still seems to be feeling her way around. I think there is great potential for her to link in with another group, or gain momentum as a leader/presidential candidate herself.

    And, there are always lots of little socialists groups at work.

    And, there are the Nader people. (And, I must imagine that some of them would be tired of Nader and ready to aim somewhere more independently of him…????)

    And, there is always the chance that some Green organizations in a few states could find their way together and try to re-do the connections that formed GP-US.

    Something like that is what I meant. There are lots of things brewing. So, something might happen from that, or just something brand, spanking new!

  9. Trent Hill

    “It is unclear if the current finances of GP-US have had any influence on Ms. Citkowski’s departure.”

    You said “it is not clear” whether her decision to leave had anything to do with “Green Party finances”. You could’ve just as easily said “it is not clear” wether her leaving has anything to do with a “random elephant attack on Green Party offices”. There is no factual detail there. She claimed she was leaving for another job, your job as a journalist at a strictly-fact-driven-news-blog is to report that. You can question it in the comments, if need be. If you find facts that speak to that assumption, feel free to report THEM.

  10. anonymous

    Kimberly,

    Fair enough. That’s a fine list. Let me ask you a question in strictly the interests of learning more about your perspective, without presuming to understand it fully…

    You seem, based on some reading one can do on this blog, to be opposed to trends you see in GPUS right now, including factionalism, cliques, decision-making hierarchies, and power-hungry people. Even though I’m a GPUS supporter, I acknowledge that some of these things exist in the organization right now. I believe that they will exist in any organization to some extent. My question is: what about these other movements leads you to believe that they will be able to organize to the extent that GPUS or any other “major minor” party has organized to without all those associated problems?

  11. mdh

    @12 – She doesn’t, she just hopes to be inside of the ruling faction. Isn’t that the truth for everyone who leaves one group for others because of such reasons? 🙂

  12. Kimberly Wilder

    Hi, Trent,

    I will tell you that it hurt a bit for you to question if I my statement was journalistically inappropriate.

    But, we do not know each other well enough for you to know how carefully I think about these things. And, there is not enough time for us to communicate privately about the stories we write. So, I have to have patience as we build trust and understanding.

    You wrote

    -You said “it is not clear” whether her decision to leave had anything to do with “Green Party finances”. You could’ve just as easily said “it is not clear” wether her leaving has anything to do with a “random elephant attack on Green Party offices”. There is no factual detail there. She claimed she was leaving for another job, your job as a journalist at a strictly-fact-driven-news-blog is to report that. You can question it in the comments, if need be. If you find facts that speak to that assumption, feel free to report THEM. –

    Trent, I would say that it is “common knowledge” that the GP-US is drowning in debt and having huge financial problems. I have seen other people mention it here and at GPW. If an employee leaves an organization which lots of people have stated is having huge financial problems, then that is fairly clearly part of the story.

    So, I know I am correct, but I don’t have time to dig up the information (family crisis.)

    I thought the way I resolved it – alluding to it, but not affirming it – was a pretty good way to meet the journalistic bar of this site. This site does have a pattern of having people who are insiders and party of a certain community, and we often pass information that we receive from list-serves or inside information, things that other news sites would not necessarily rely on.

    Anyway, I think we should explore conversations like this more. Maybe even on the IPR list-serve of contributors. And, I regret that I don’t have much time to do so now.

    But, if someone resigns one organization and leaves to another, I think that it is fair to speculate that it COULD be money related. My speculation was a way to give my readers a clue, even though I could not provide the research at this time.

    I did provide readers with the actual e-mail, so they saw that my assertion was not part of the official story line.

  13. Kimberly Wilder

    To anonymous:

    Of course, all organizations face problems of factionalism and of power hungry people. I am not naive. Power tends to coagulate everywhere – in churches and temples, in schools, even in clubs. I get that.

    But, at GP-US, the ration between “work getting done/positive energy” and “powergrabbing and infighting” has gotten to the point I think the national party is not worth the effort as it stands.

    Some people believe that in any election, you just vote AGAINST the incumbent, because it is healthy to have a switch of power. People with title and position always wind up trying to snowball it and propping up their pet projects and their friends.

    So, I just think GP-US needs to clear the deck. There is a group of a few dozen “founders” who have been in there awhile. And, they didn’t effectively share power and nurture a next generation. They are stale. They are on the decline. They are leaking money.

    It is time to have a huge change, healing and reformation. OR, to let the thing die.

    I would appreciate either one happening. I like renewal.

    And, it is a good time for it. No, not just because it is Spring. Because, the next Presidential race is a few years away. Perfect time to regroup.

  14. Kimberly Wilder

    To mdh – Yes, whatever party I am in, I want to be in the ruling faction.

    Because, I only want to be in a party where every single member is welcome and invited to participate and do work.

    When a group has grassroots democracy, then every person will be in the ruling faction, including me. That means when I have good ideas, and/or time to help on projects, my talent will be utilized.

    (And, please, mdh, smile when you say “she”.)

  15. Kimberly Wilder

    Re: Background research showing that GP-US is in financial difficulties:

    1. The current budget is available at:
    http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=373

    2. A quotation from a proposal to GP-US from Jan/Feb 2009:

    http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=375

    375
    Proposal Revised Proposal to suspend printing of Green Pages for 2009

    quote: – GPUS has been in severe financial straits for some time, and must
    reduce expenditures wherever it can practically do so… –

  16. mdh

    @17 – My smile has nothing to do with your gender affiliation, genitalia, or any other such thing. Actually, what I spoke was a pretty much universal truth. The people who feel they’re getting the “short end of the stick” in any organization tend to be driven towards creating alternatives over which they can exercise some control. This goes for other parties and the gubmint, too….

  17. Anonygreen

    Emily had a baby last year. I think I recall that she has been looking for a change since then. New babies do that sometimes, force people to make changes to accommodate the changes in their family life.

  18. Anonygreen

    She may have been looking for half time work, something that working mothers often appreciate. If she was working full time for gpus, or even three quarters time for an extended period that could lead to a desire for change in jobs.

    Or it could be the elephant stampede. Or maybe GPUS wasn’t paying her.

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