On The Wilder Side: Green Party National Meeting wrap-up

Original post here:

KW writes: The Green Party of the United States (GP-US) held is Annual National Meeting in Durham, North Carolina. It was an off election year and non-presidential prep year, so the focus was on workshops, issues, local candidate elections, and internal elections.

Attendance: There has not been an official attendance report. Several media and blog accounts have noted about 100 people in attendance. An unidentified Green Party member who was there said that it seemed that the dissenters and other people that the leadership beats up on decided to just stay home this year, which made for a smaller and more harmonious meeting. But, not necessarily as productive.

Information based on a report back from GP-US delegate from New York, Roger Snyder and various blog and media reports:

Overall, the Annual National Meetings Committee did a good job. Durham was a good place to hold a meeting, and people at the venue and in the neighborhood were helpful and friendly. The meeting was held at North Carolina Central University Campus. Being on a campus, with classrooms for meetings and dorm rooms for lodgings was very effective, and kept things inexpensive. Still, Delegate Snyder is not sure that it was necessary to have a national meeting in this off election year. There had been and probably will be debate about the overall usefulness.

There did not seem to be any official vote taken during the whole meeting. There was not even a time where it seemed like people noted a decision was made by consensus. The only item where moderators or Steering Committee seemed to be saying action was taken was on setting up a proposal for messaging. It went in phases, so it is unclear if it will be consider a proposal that passed, or just work that got done. Related to the messaging project, three working groups were set up on the following subjects: 1. Single Payer Health Care 2. Food & Water 3. Human Rights. There was controversy over whether and how other greens would be allowed to join the groups or conference calls. It appears the groups might be closed, including only people who attended the meeting.

Cynthia McKinney was scheduled to appear in person. Though, due to illness, she appeared only via video-feed. (And, it was apparent that she had some bit of a cough and laryngitis.) Delegate Snyder does not believe Ms. McKinney specifically mentioned running for President again. The main focus of Ms. McKinney’s talk was her trip to Gaza to deliver humanitarian supplies, and her work with the group Dignity. It appears that while Ms. McKinney’s speech was live-broadcast, there may not be a recording of it.

It is unclear if some or all of the meeting was recorded. [Update, July 28: Much of the meeting was recorded. Some of the video, including the Cynthia McKinney presentation, is available at gp.org.-KW]

Overall, the Presidential race for 2012 was mentioned only in passing, largely by people asking questions at workshops, etc. There was not much buzz about the 2012 race, and it was not an important part of the National Committee agenda.

There are 4 Co-Chair seats open on the Steering Committee [SC]. The SC has 7 members in total, so a majority of the SC seats are up for election. The Secretary position is also open. The vote will be done on-line. Though, nominations were taken at the meeting, and nominations are said to be closed.

The 8 candidates for the 4 Co-Chair seats open at GP-US are:

(incumbent) Jason Nabewaniec, NY
Les Evenchick, LA
Mike Feinstein, CA
Jennifer Sullivan ,FL
Farheen Hakeem, MN
David Strand, MN (who is a delegate of the Lavender Caucus)
Nick Mellis, NJ
Kat Swift, TX

The 2 candidates for the Secretary of GP-US seat are:

(incumbent) Holly Hart, IA
Audrey Clement, VA

The election will be held on-line. The proposals are not up and running yet, but should eventually appear: here.

There are several good stories covering the meeting over at Indy Week blogs: here. You can look for insider updates at Green Party Watch and Greens for Greens in the next few days, as volunteer bloggers return home and sort out their notes and impressions.

19 thoughts on “On The Wilder Side: Green Party National Meeting wrap-up

  1. Monique Berry

    Kimberly Wilder,

    doing outstanding work as normal. Thank you.

    Brent thank you also.

    As a Independent Greens of Virginia candidate for House of Delegates in 2009, I want to thank all the Green Party members who warmly received our Gail for Rail Parker at the meeting in Durham.

    The Indy Greens of Virginia are an Independent State Party. We are not the affiliate of the Green Party of the United States.

    Our big tent approach in Virginia – including independents, constitution, and greens works well.

    Gail for Rail had an enjoyable three days meeting all the delegates in Durham.

    It is my understanding Gail for Rail Parker discussed with the delegates the possibility of her being a candidate for the 2012 Green Party nomination to focus on the need for nationwide high speed rail, cutting dependence on foreign oil.

    Thank you.

    You can read more about the Indy Greens at http://www.VoteJoinRun.US

    And see our full list of 27 endorsee/nominees for House of Delegates in Virginia in 2009.

  2. Col. Jim Leslie

    Why didn’t they elect the Steering committee at the national meeting?

    It was also reported at Green Party Watch – the only press that came to the press conferences were:

    1) Green Party Watch
    2) Indy Blog
    3) Local paper.

    Is that true?

    That’s a disappointing performance.

  3. Donald R Lake

    Gail 4 Rail Revisited:

    Since 2007, no physical address!

    Since 2007, telephone numbers, never answered, and [if you ask tough, awkward questions] never returned.

    Sniff, sniff, does not pass the smell test.

    Think Frank $500 MacKay, and fakey dakey Independence Party ……….

  4. Kimberly Wilder

    Re: Gail for Rail and Independent Green Party of Virginia

    I don’t consider Gail for Rail an actual “green.” And, at the 2008 Green Party Presidential Convention, Gail Parker specifically suggested the Green Party endorse Bloomberg for President.

    I think that the Independent Green Party of VA is trying to confuse people by using the name “green” in their title. In NY, they probably would not get away with that. Guess VA law is different.

    I am not even an “enrolled green”. But, I do think people should not posture so much.

  5. Kimberly Wilder

    Re: Thank you to Paulie, I guess, for posting my article here.

    But, my story was somewhat cranky and opinionated….oh, well.

    Glad to find out that some video was saved as recordings. The link is now also in the story.

  6. VAGreen

    The Steering Committee was not elected at the meeting because we recently adopted a proposal to elect the national party’s officers in online elections. This allows delegates who could not attend the meeting to vote, and frees up time at the meeting for other business.

  7. Michael Cavlan

    Ok

    My understanding of why the National GP did not vote for the four Co-Chair positions is that there as about 90 odd people there, representing 26 States.

    Which means that the National GP meeting did not meet quorum.

    Can anyone here confirm that?

  8. Daniel Alley

    Let’s stop pretending that it was a success.
    What a failure!
    Incredibly low attendance by the membership and the media, we could go on and on.
    But little was decided about the future of the party or where we go from here.
    And we heard nothing from the 2008 candidates.

  9. greg gerritt

    Most interesting comment to me was the idea that work could get done without a decision. When the Green Party runs into trouble it is when it gets hyper about rules and forgets common sense and the idea of allowing people to do their work. Over my years in the GP, I have found those who seek to control the actions of others are the most disruptive element of the party and the most responsible for work not getting done. I am glad the rules nannies stayed home.

  10. Kimberly Wilder

    Thank you, Gregg Gerritt, official consultant on troublesome people. Your perspective is very interesting…I think I have heard it somewhere else…well…won’t even go there.

    Anyway…

    To Michael Cavlan – I think you are correct that attendance was low. And, it could even be that quorum was not achieved. I think that the meeting leaders shuffled numbers wrong, and also that some states and delegates did not even realize that non-delegates could not carry proxies.

    But, I do know that the proposal to elect the Steering Committee on-line was made before the meeting by the whole NC.

    It could be that that the on-line idea was floated because people anticipated low turnout.

    I think that on-line voting for the SC is not that bad an idea.

    I will be interested how it goes. I try not to care. (Since I am not an enrolled green anymore.) There is no one I am thrilled about having on the SC, or think will change the universe. (One SC candidate brings some tiny hope, another SC candidate is at least a sparkling local candidate.)

    There are a few people who I think would just destroy any hope for fairness or productivity in GP-US, and possibly destroy GP-US entirely. But, I tell myself that perhaps that is the pre-destined path. And, better to get it over with now–before prep must begin for Presidential Race 2012.

  11. Michael Cavlan

    Kimberley,

    I think the saddest moment in this thing was when Cynthia McKinney did not show up. In fact she appeared by video phone, at home, almost in her pajamas. Did Rosa Clamente show up?

    This whole thing was like a train wreck, horrifying to see but you were unable to keep your eyes off it. Of course, at the chat room that was set up, I was summilarily banned for pointing out just how bad it really was. No Good Ship Lolly Pop, Pollyanna happy talk from me.

    My dear God, this was so sad. This thing held so much potential.

  12. Michael Cavlan

    I am convinced that this thing was destroyed very deliberately.

    For those of us who are serious about creating a real, strong and viable alternative to the pro-war, corporate corrupted two party system there are some significant lessons.

  13. Kimberly Wilder

    Well…I do think Cynthia McKinney was sick. Roger S. said she was even coughing in the video feed. But…

    Anyway, Michael, why don’t you write out here just a couple of the lessons. It is helpful to think things through.

    Peace,
    Kimberly

  14. Michael Cavlan

    Kimberley

    Will do. However, I am leaving for vacation in Michigan, so it will have to happen at a later date and time.

  15. VAGreen

    The meeting at Durham was very productive. We had workshops on reviving our network of chapters on college campuses, state party fundraising, statewide petition drives, and candidate recruitment.

    We started putting together our plan for the 2012 election. We also started work on some issue campaigns. Jesse Johnson showed us a great movie on mountaintop removal mining.

    The Black Caucus was rejuvenated. Even state parties with very difficult ballot access situations (such as North Carolina) were excited about running local candidates.

    How could I forget? Thanks to the great work done by the North Carolina Greens and the Annual National Meeting Committee, we actually made money on this meeting. On to a Greener 2010!

  16. Dave Schwab

    I consider it a great thing that the meeting was held at an affordable venue with a rich history, rather than a Hilton hotel.

    Also a great idea to webcast the events and conduct business online. Anyone who cares about including lower-income people in the national meeting should be encourage by these developments. Of course, there’s still a long way to go.

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