by Dean Myerson, ASGP Secretary
The Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) was formed in late 1996, to help strengthen and create independent Green parties in the 50 states and the District of Columbia, and to prepare for the creation of a national Green Party in the US. The inaugural ASGP meeting was held in Virginia in November, 1996. Subsequent meetings have occured in Portland, OR (April 1997), Topsham, ME (October, 1997) and Santa Fe, NM (April, 1998). The next meeting is scheduled for Connecticut in June, 1999.
The ASGP currently has affiliates in 24 states, the three newest being California, Georgia, and Minnesota. Each state has two delegates on the Coordinating Committee (CC). In addition, there is a five member Steering Committee with three co-chairs, a secretary and a treasurer. There are also a number of standing committees, including Accreditation, Communications, International, Platform and Presidential Exploratory.
The ASGP is a charter member of the recently formed Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas and also works closely with the Partido Verde Ecologista in MÈxico. The 30 member-nation European Federation of Green Parties has chosen the ASGP as its United States partner, and the two worked together to craft a Common Ground statement for presentation at the EFGPís February, 1999 Congress in Paris. The ASGP also sent an observer to the first African/European Greens meeting, held in Nairobi, Kenya, in December, 1998.
At the Santa Fe ASGP meeting, a series of interim position statements were approved that serve as the ASGPís basic platform, until a full platform is approved. The Platform Committee is currently working on a draft ëPlatform 2000í. The draft and interim statements are available at the ASGPís web site (see below). In Santa Fe, a report was also presented by the Transition Committee, on plans for future state representation in the ASGP and at a potential presidential nomination convention in 2000. Delegates also dealt with a variety of bylaw and rules changes relating to accreditation of new member states, and a policy for dealing with the Federal Election Commission.
The current ASGP Steering Committee was elected in Santa Fe by preference voting, a proportional representation system. The three co-chairs are Nancy Allen (ME), Tom Sevigny (CT) and Anne Goeke (PA). Dean Myerson (CO) is Secretary while Tony Affigne (RI) is Treasurer. Since Santa Fe, the Steering Committee has been overseeing press relations. A strong showing in a special election in New Mexico led to extensive coverage in both the mainstream and progressive press, including the New York Times, the Nation, and In These Times .
In December, 1998, the ASGP constituted a Presidential Exploratory Committee. Their task is to contact potential presidential candidates to determine if they are interested in running for President in 2000 on the Green Party ticket, and if so, how they would run their campaign. The committee will not be making any recommendations regarding candidates, but rather will pass on the information it gathers to all Greens.
The next ASGP meeting will be held June 4th-6th, at Sunrise Resorts near Moodus, CT. For more information, contact the state party nearest you or the ASGP.