Posted by Ronald Hardy at Green Party Watch:
GREEN-RAINBOW CONVENTION CELEBRATES SUCCESSES, LOOKS TO FUTURE
WORCESTER- The Green-Rainbow Party’s annual state convention was held on Sunday at Clark University in Worcester. The 80 attendees celebrated the fact that their small party had won major party status as a result of the elections and had emerged rejuvenated and poised to grow.
The convention opened with addresses from five recent GRP candidates. Jill Stein, the Party’s gubernatorial candidate, noted “There is a growing awareness that we are in serious trouble, and that the incumbents that created the mess are not going to get us out. People were been so appreciative that we were in this race and that we were speaking up for the solutions that were being ignored. ”
Lieutenant Governor candidate Rick Purcell, an Army veteran and health care worker, recounted his initial nervousness at being in a debate at a law school, facing three lawyers. But as the debate proceeded, he found that he had no trouble deflating the lawyerly bickering. “I killed them with normalcy” he recalled.
The convention applauded State Auditor candidate Nat Fortune whose vote total regained major party status for the Green-Rainbow Party. This lifts restrictive fundraising rules and puts the Party’s name on state registration forms.
Fortune told the convention “If electing Democrats to office could change things, we’d already be living in Nirvana.”
State Representative candidate Scott Laugenour noted the positive reception he had in his first attempt at a legislative run. “Voters met us and heard about Green-Rainbow candidates more than ever before. On election day, green signs were everywhere. Many voters went green for the first time in their lives. There’ll be more of them next time.”
Mark Miller, a former newspaper editor from the 4th Berkshire district in Pittsfield, said that he decided to run when he asked the incumbent a question and got only evasive answers. Miller received 45% of the vote, which was considered an impressive showing for a first-time candidate who only spent $2500 on the race.
The convention heard from a panel of students who had worked for Green-Rainbow candidates. The students said that young people were resonating to the fresh approach of the Green-Rainbow Party.
Allie Kaufman, a student panelist, noted that the GRP’s opposition to high-stakes testing resonated with students: “I think MCAS takes away from the fun of learning. It takes away from the kids in inner city schools finding the fun in learning too. It’s making learning a race, which it’s not. My school has become a pressure cooker, and it’s partly because of the high stakes testing, and it’s partly because of the SATs. Education has become something of a corrupt industrial system. . . So I became the voice for Jill in my political science class—up against a lot of boys – some of whom eerily resembled the candidates they were supporting. . High school is just like the real world. It’s a little model of the real world. So if you can start a change in high school … you can start making change in the real world.”
Convention attendees attended workshops on establishing a Party local committee, candidate development, fundraising, member recruitment, issue research, and communications. Plans were laid for establishing a number of new Green-Rainbow local groups.
Jill Stein and Michael Horan were elected as Party co-chairs for the coming year. Nat Fortune was elected Treasurer, and Mary Likins was elected Secretary,
The Party presented its annual People’s Voice Award to the Boston Workers Alliance in recognition of its key role in the movement to reform the Criminal Offender Record Information (CORI) system.