Some comments from new members
As of this July, The Green Party of the United States has a newly elected Steering Committee. This committee is composed of nine members and is responsible for overseeing the day-to-day operations of the national Party. The committee administers funds, oversees staff, assists other committees and state Parties, and carries out directives of the National Committee. This year’s new members are: Darryl! Moch of Washington D.C., Charles Ostdiek of Nebraska, AJ Segneri of Wisconsin, Steve Welzer of New Jersey, and Karen Young of New York. Farheen Hakeem of Minnesota is the longest standing member serving on the committee since 2009. Jeff Turner of Hawaii has served since 2010 and is currently treasurer, Susan Chunco of California and Budd Dickinson of Washington, who is currently secretary, both joined the steering committee in 2011.
Green Pages asked members to say a little about themselves and what they would like to accomplish while on the Steering Committee.
AJ Segneri, Illinois, firstname.lastname@example.org
My name is AJ Segneri. I am a delegate from Illinois where I have been involved in politics and activism for over 12 years. I also operate a nonprofit, Foundation for a United Front, a community-building organization. As a Green I have worked on state and federal campaigns and served in a leadership position on the state level. I have been treasurer and membership steward for Illinois, was the co-chair for the Wisconsin Green Party when I lived in Milwaukee, and am currently on the Speaker’s Bureau. As a Steering Committee member, I would like to do at least three things. First, I would like to expand our organizational network. Second, I would like to improve our election aspect to GPUS by working with our current elected officials and reinvesting in our Coordinated Campaign Committee. Finally, I am working with our Fundraiser Committee on how to draw in major donors.
Darryl! L.C. Moch, Washington, DC, email@example.com
Why did I join the Greens? Well, to be honest, I felt that it was time to present some alternative views and promote a different approach to political change. While it is my intention to run for office and be elected, my immediate interest is to build a stronger party. GPUS needs a strategic plan; one we can all agree on as part of the process of building a strong voice and body politic in this country. We need party structure that will help us respond in real time to the changing political needs and climate. We need people committed to change and improvement and less on “having it my way.” Change, progressive, and evolution are NOT dirty words and we should use them as our guide forward in this critical and pivotal political moment for GPUS.
Darryl! works as the Executive Director of the Labor Heritage Foundation, an arts and culture non-profit, and also provides consulting services to communities and non-profit organizations. He is a member of the Coalition of Black Trade Unionists and a member of UAW/National Writers Union. His work as an organizer has spanned the country. His current work in DC includes arts and culture of the labor movement and other progressive issues for working people, the poor, and HIV/AIDS education/prevention. Darryl! holds a BA in Theatre, Dance and Psychology (Clinical counseling) and a Masters of Education in Counseling from Alfred University (’91, ’92); he also has earned a Masters Of Fine Arts in Theatre: Directing (’96). He is also director of the Charm City Labor Chorus.
Currently Darryl!, serves on the DC Statehood Green Party Steering Committee (and is a delegate to the USGP National Committee), USGP Black Caucus, USGP Platform Committee, and USGP Media Committee. He recently ran for DC City Council in the 2010 DCSGP primary. Darryl!, is an ordained minister and has served in various organizations and ministries across the country. He served as executive director, CFO, and/or board member for non-profit organizations including: ITLA, Al-Sura, Inc., BroadArts Theatre, McKenzie River Gathering Foundation, MBK (My Brothaz Keeper), Inc., and others. He is a former editor and features writer for local and national magazines. He is also part of the Center for New Community program Which Way Forward, confronting the anti-immigration wedge issues targeted to the African American community. He is the founding secretary of the International Federation of Black Prides. His motto: “Remember to live in Love and let LOVE live in you, around you, through you, and…AS you.”
Karen Young, New York, firstname.lastname@example.org
I am thrilled to be serving for the first time on the Steering Committee. My hopes and dreams in this new role include: developing a strategic plan for the party; strengthening our national committees, so that all state parties can benefit from our collective knowledge, experience, and creativity in many areas, including Merchandise, Electoral Campaigns and Communications; and working with the other Steering Committee members, many of whom I have known and worked with for years to build a more productive and leadership-oriented Steering Committee.
I was ecstatic to see all the young people at our national convention in Baltimore, and especially to see so many of them in leadership positions in their states. The speech from Wisconsin’s 19-year-old Leland Pan was the highlight of the whole event for me. I hope to see our Youth Caucus grow strong and keep growing the influence of these young leaders in the party.
I have been active in the Green Party since 2002, first in the Illinois Green Party, and then in the Green Party of New York State since 2008. Professionally, I worked in commercial radio for 25 years, both on the creative and business sides, in many different roles. For the last few years I have worked as a strategic researcher for the Writers Guild of America, East, a labor union of film, television and new media writers. I live in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, New York.
Charles Ostdiek, Nebraska, email@example.com
I became a vegetarian over twenty years ago and one year later helped to open what has become an internationally raved, organic restaurant in Omaha, Nebraska. McFoster’s Natural Kind Café gave me my first practical experience in understanding environmentalism. I have had the opportunity to study our global food systems and economies, and to originate and develop some of the best practices for the sourcing of products for our diverse menu. McFoster’s also presented me with my first political experience as a volunteer for the Nader/LaDuke presidential campaign in 2000. In December of that year, I helped to found The Nebraska Green Party, and have participated in electoral work to grow our party for each of the five election cycles since then. In 2008, I was selected as one of Nebraska’s delegates to The National Committee where I have had profound delight in meeting some of the finest and most knowledgeable people in the world. The work we are doing in concert with other Green Parties around the planet is vital to our future as a people on this singularly precious Earth. My education in philosophy at Creighton University has well prepared me for facing the ethical and ecological concerns arising from the technocracies challenging modern civil society.
I’m looking forward to collaborating with our fresh Steering Committee to create a culture of sustainability for the nation, and for my family, friends and neighbors here in the heartland. This has begun with work toward electing Jill Stein to the presidency. My electoral work for the party this season will for the first time also include facilitating the election of other Green candidates to office all across this land. Another of my priorities is to change our country’s energy policies to the use of highly efficient and renewable sources rather than the violent and destructive fuels we currently use. A part of that goal is the decommissioning of the dangerous Ft. Calhoun Nuclear Station, here on the recently flooded banks of the Missouri River. My ongoing work includes a devoted intention to reinvigorate the national dialog about food choices and the public health consequences of those decisions, both at consumer and institutional levels. Thank you, all, for this wonderful opportunity.
Steve Welzer, New Jersey, firstname.lastname@example.org
I’ve proudly been a social change organizer since entering college during the revolutionary year of 1968. Recognizing the Democrats and Republicans as the problem, not part of the solution, I’ve always voted for the best alternative candidates I could find on the ballot. I hold a Masters degree in Economics from Rutgers University (where I might have possibly been the last graduate student allowed to get an advanced degree studying only Marxian Economics!).
I’ve been a Green movement activist for over twenty years, an alumnus of the fourth national Green Gathering (the one held at Elkins, WV in 1991). After coordinating the Nader campaign in New Jersey in 1996, I was part of establishing the Green Party of New Jersey in 1997. We hosted our 16th Annual Convention last March where we introduced our slate of 2012 candidates, including Ken Wolski for U.S. Senate.
After editing the Jersey Greens Journal for many years during the ’90s, I joined the effort of John Rensenbrink to re-launch the national publication Green Horizon Magazine in 2003. Almost ten years later we’re going strong with increasing circulation and interest each year (contact me and I’ll send you a copy!).
I’ve represented New Jersey on the National Committee since 2008 and feel privileged to contribute more now on the Steering Committee. One thing I’d like to see us prioritize is our longstanding goal of having active and functional Green parties in every state of the union. Wouldn’t it be great if we could have 50 strong state parties (plus DC) by the time the 2016 major election cycle rolls around!