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: grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice and economic justice.
Here are some policy distinctions that might be of interest to the people we're talking to:
Greens want to stop runaway climate change, by reducing greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050, over 1990 levels.
Greens support science-based policies to curb climate change. We have an ambitious plan to make drastic changes quickly to avert global catastrophe. We will expend maximum effort to preserve a planet friendly to life as we know it by curtailing greenhouse gas emissions and actively removing greenhouse gases from the atmosphere.
Creating energy efficiency standards and conservation measures that create massive reductions in energy use over the next 20-30 years
Establishing a national zero waste policy. The less we consume and throw away, the less we will need to produce and replace
Establishing carbon taxes on fossil fuels, to reflect the environmental cost of their extraction and use
Eliminating subsidies for fossil fuels, nuclear power, biomass and waste incineration, and biofuels
Repaying our climate debt by paying for the costs of adaptation to climate change in countries with less responsibility for climate change
Creating an inclusive program to train workers for the new, clean energy economy focusing on both the environment and social justice
An immediate end to the use of nuclear power
Local, organic agriculture
Greens want to bring grassroots democracy to the United States, to counteract what Thomas Jefferson called the “excesses of the monied interests.”
Greens support a ban on corporate political contributions and an end to corporate personhood.
Greens support open, honest and accountable government and civic institutions.
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.
Greens aim to promote peace and disarmament throughout the United States and the world. We call for an immediate end to wars in Afghanistan, Libya, the Middle East and across the planet.
We trust that non-violence is the best road to peace. We understand the right of self-defense, but we must move beyond actions that perpetuate violence.
Greens want to help millions of Americans obtain a green-collar job that pays a living wage while helping to build a brighter environmental future. Green jobs will help us stabilize our national economic crisis and the global climate.
Massive public investment to create millions of green jobs in fields such as energy conservation, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green building and the construction of mass transportation.
Creating an inclusive program to train women and workers of color for the new, clean energy economy.
Prioritizing the creation of green jobs in communities of color and low income communities.
Union organizing at all workplaces.
Adopting a reduced-hour 35 hour work week as a standard.
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?