The 2012 Presidential Nominating Convention will be held July 12 through 15 on the campus of the University of Baltimore in Baltimore, Maryland. On Saturday, Green Party presidential candidates will give presentations and delegates will choose the next candidate to give voice to the Green imperative to the presidential election. On the other days, the National Committee Plenary will meet, there will be workshops ranging from organizing tactics, tools for a successful campaign, and even getting out Green media. Friday and Saturday nights will feature off-site events for fun and fundraising. Bring your dancing shoes!
The convention is a great way to network with other Greens from across the country, learn and become inspired by Green efforts taking place all the time at local, state and national levels, and if you come as a delegate be a part of important policy decisions leading the Green Party forward in 2012.
Before the Nominating Convention, there will be two very important events. On Friday morning, platform hearings will be held to discuss the additions and changes proposed in the Draft Platform, which will be presented for approval at the Convention. On Friday evening there will be a candidate forum, to introduce the presidential candidates and allow them to speak and answer questions. Convention delegates should be sure to attend both of these events so that they are fully informed and ready to cast their ballots on the Convention floor.
The University of Baltimore is located in mid-town, across the street from the Amtrak station, and also has a light rail connection to the airport. Most events will be held at the Law School, and the Convention will be in Langsdale Auditorium nearby. UB is part of the University System of Maryland today, but its roots are as a low-cost evening college in business and law for working people. The university is in the midst of a program to “green” its campus, retrofitting existing spaces and building leading-edge new structures to high LEED standards. The John and Frances Angelos Law School has a roof of living plants, which reflects sunlight and heat, reducing the energy needs of the building as well as reducing stormwater runoff.
Baltimore has a long history as an important port city and manufacturing center, but it has shifted, as most American factory towns, to a service economy. Its harbor has been redeveloped as a tourist destination, including restaurants, hotels and the National Aquarium. Getting around in Baltimore should be relatively easy, as it has been rated as the 14th most walkable city in the country. Parts of the downtown area are served by a free bus line.
In this economic climate, it’s often hard for states to raise the funds to cover travel expenses for all of their delegates. It is important, though, to send as many as we can, and to keep it as democratic as possible. The annual meeting and the PNC are the only opportunity to hold face-to-face meetings and to get to meet Greens from other states. It would be a shame if attendance were limited to only those who can afford to pay their own way. Make use of diversity waivers to help with registration fees, and fundraise the rest. Or bring a tent and occupy Baltimore! And don’t forget those dancing shoes.