OTHER GROW WIKI DOCUMENTS: http://wiki.cagreens.org/index.php/Grassroots_Organizing_Working_Group
CHAPTER 5: A SAMPLE ORIENTATION: GREEN PARTY HISTORY AND PLATFORM
GREEN PARTY HISTORY
The Green Party of California (GPCA) was founded on February 4th, 1990 and qualified for statewide ballot status as of December 31st, 1991.
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) was founded in 2001. It is a federation of state Green Parties including the Green Party of California.
More than 660 California Greens have run for public office since the Green Party of California was founded in 1990 and 220 have been elected.
34 California Greens currently hold elected office. We have three Green Party mayors who serve in Fairfax, Richmond and Marina.
GREEN PARTY PLATFORM
We have 10 Key Values. You do not have to remember all of these to be a great volunteer. In fact, don't even try, but it is a good idea to read about them to refresh your memory about who we are and why we are different than Democrats and Republicans.
GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY: Everyone deserves to influence the government decisions that affect their lives. We believe decision-making is best done at the individual, local and regional levels. We work to increase public participation and transparency at all levels of government, and ensure that public officials are fully accountable.
SOCIAL JUSTICE: The heart of social justice is the equitable distribution of social and natural resources, both locally and globally, to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to develop their innate gifts and talents, and to enjoy the pleasures of life on earth. Greens believe in equal rights for citizens, regardless of gender, race, age, religion, class, ethnic or national origin, sexual orientation, disability, wealth or health.
ECOLOGICAL WISDOM: Our human community is a part of nature, not separate from it. We must learn to live in harmony with nature, within the natural limits of our planet. We respect and relish the ways of nature, including all forms of life. We support a sustainable society that uses natural resources with wisdom, thrift, and with future generations in mind.
NON-VIOLENCE: We endorse non-violence, and work towards lasting personal, community and global peace. We support demilitarization, disarmament and elimination of all weapons of mass destruction. Security does not derive from military strength but from justice, good will, cooperation, negotiation, mutual respect, sound economic and social development, and environmental conservation. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree. However, we recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations.
DECENTRALIZATION: Greens seek to reverse the rising concentration of wealth and power, both economic and political. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual, local and regional levels, while assuring that fundamental rights are protected for everyone. Power should be centralized only as a last resort. We believe in local self-reliance, buying local, eating local, and strengthening local communities.
COMMUNITY-BASED ECONOMICS: Greens aim to build strong and diverse local economies that maintain balance with nature. A Green economy supplies meaningful work with dignity, while paying a living wage that reflects one’s true contribution. We seek to end corporate personhood, reduce the power of large corporations, and expand the rights and powers of individuals in our economy, including the right to basic economic security. We encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy.
FEMINISM: We call for an end to male domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. We support gender balance, equal opportunities, interpersonal responsibility and honesty. A woman's right to control her own body -- including her right to choose -- shall never be compromised.
RESPECT FOR DIVERSITY: We celebrate cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and strive to build peace and understanding between disparate groups. We believe that the diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and governments, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally kept out of it. We depend on the diversity of the natural world and we must protect it.
PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY: We must change our values and lifestyles to make them consonant with peace, justice and preserving life on our planet. We should act with the well-being of others in mind, including other peoples, nations, species and future generations. We should not pursue our own well-being to the detriment of others. Greens believe in the power of setting a good example.
SUSTAINABILITY: The Earth's resources are finite. We cannot long live beyond the carrying capacity of the earth. So we must build a sustainable economy that guarantees our long-term future, and that of other species with whom we share this planet. We aim to build a zero waste society. Where knowledge is limited, we follow the precautionary principle for safety, and to secure the continued abundance of our planet's resources for present and future generations. Our actions must be motivated by ecological wisdom, sustainability and quality of life, not short-term profits and perpetual economic growth.
The 10 Key Values are often synthesized into the 5 pillars. Memorize the 5 pillars. Read more below about ways to describe them to others.
After more than a century of rule by Democrats and Republicans, our democracy is in disarray. Corruption is rife. Money buys political office. Districts are gerrymandered. Alternatives are restricted or excluded from debates, the media and the ballot. As a result, voter participation is low and seen by many as an empty gesture. People are disempowered.
Our federal government wastes astronomical sums every day, doling out subsidies and corporate welfare to big business and the wealthy, while cutting programs for the poor and shackling the middle class with the bill. Trust in government is fading. Our nation is increasingly a plutocracy.
Greens want to bring grassroots democracy to the United States, to counteract what Thomas Jefferson called the “excesses of the monied interests.” Our government should reflect the great diversity of honorable, generous and good-hearted people of our country. A grassroots democracy would be more reflective of the people and their interests. It would elevate new people into leadership – more women and people of color, more teachers, nurses and local retail clerks, more mothers, union members, dishwashers, artists, janitors and secretaries. Our government will have fewer millionaires, but greater moral authority. Our goal is a government of, by and for the people.
Greens support open, honest and accountable government and civic institutions. We believe the rules of our democracy should give real power to people to influence the decisions that affect our lives. We support electoral reforms, such as proportional representation and instant runoff voting, to increase the power of voters to elect people who represent them. Public financing of campaigns will help give us a government we can be proud of -- one that can’t be bought.
Greens intend to become an important political force in this country, and to present candidates for election at every level of government.
GREEN PARTY FUTURE
This voter registration drive is essential to secure future ballot access for the Green Party of California.
To continue our primary ballot access beyond November 2014, the Green Party of California must satisfy one of these requirements:
(a) One of our statewide candidates must earn at least 2.0% in the November 2014 election; or
(b) On the 135th day before the first 2015 primary election, our total party membership must be at least 1% of the number of people who vote in the November 2014 election .
We're just hovering above 1% of the total number of general election voters. 10,300,392 Californians voted in the November 2010 election.
Right now, we have 113,563 registered Green Party members. That totals 1.1% of the number of people who voted in the last gubernatorial election.
When you calculate in the inevitable decline (without a voter registration drive) in numbers due to deaths and migration out of California, we are teetering on the edge.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
CAN I VOTE IN THE DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY?
Yes. Starting this June, we have open primaries in California. That means when you go to vote in all primary elections (except the presidential primary), you will see all of the candidates of all parties on your ballot. You can vote for one person, regardless of your party and the candidate's party. In other words, you can be a registered Green and vote for a Democrat in the primary. The top two candidates in the primary will proceed to the general election.
ARE YOU RUNNING A PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN?