Steering Committee needs compensation
The Green Party has always had a commitment to a living wage, and as a soon-to-be former employee, I have always appreciated that I did not have to demand to be treated fairly. But as the Green Party grows, it needs to look seriously at how this commitment applies to our Steering Committee.
I believe that we need to pay stipends to Steering Committee members. I understand that many committee chairs and other volunteers work very hard, but as one with the most intimate view, I do not believe these other positions have the same pressure, stress or demands for a quick response with things coming from all sides at once, all year long.
I understand that there are some valid concerns as to how a stipends system would work, but I do not think that those concerns should delay the implementation of stipends for the Steering Committee. An ad hoc committee should be formed to iron out the details and come up with a proposal, and the party should not put the Steering Committee in the awkward position of having to ask for it to be created.
2004 strategy can be more complex
The debate over whether to run a Green presidential candidate or defeat George Bush represents a false dichotomy. We must remember that there is no national presidential election in America. Instead, there are 51 statewide elections that in aggregate determine a winner. We can, and should, have different strategies in different places.
I would like to see us nominate the strongest possible presidential candidate. But I urge that we have no campaign in key battleground states like Florida, Michigan, Ohio and Pennsylvania. In such states, the state party might intervene, if necessary, to insure that no Green presidential candidate appears on the ballot.
We cannot survive a rerun of 2000. To grow, we need the goodwill of progressive Americans. By adopting a customized electoral strategy, we can have a positive impact on the outcome and earn the gratitude of the nation, all while running a Green candidate for president.
Green effort cause for excitement
I’ve just returned from the Dauphin County (Pa.) Board of Elections, following up on the nomination papers I filed to run for Harrisburg City Treasurer. Admittedly, I was apprehensive, wondering whether the papers had been challenged. To my surprise, as soon as the director saw me, he said, “Looks like you guys got a free ride; no one even came in to look at the signatures.”
OK, no problem; they’re taking us for granted again, I thought as I obtained enough street lists to start going door to door.
Walking back to my car, I started to fantasize about talking to people about my campaign and the Green Party, about voter registration parties, neighborhood block parties, the Black Caucus Outreach proposal and the response we got at the Green Party meeting in D.C., about the excitement of Cynthia McKinney as the keynote speaker at the Campus Greens National Convention, about “Turning the Green Party Black.” By the time I reached my car, I was totally hyped.
I’m proud to be a Green. I get excited about the Green Party platform and the impact that its implementation would have on communities of color and the African American community in particular. I’m sure my Latino and Asian friends would feel the same way if they ever got a chance to read it, not to mention my gay and lesbian friends. It’s up to me and every other Green in this party to get the word out.
Yes, you’d better believe the Greens are running, and we’re running hard. Let’s see who gets the “free ride.”