Tag Archives: Green Rainbow Party State Convention

The Green Rainbow Party Convention: 5-21-16

Workshop-1
Gordon Davis, center, at a Green Rainbow workshop; it was one of several held during the political party’s recent convention.

For the “Third Party,” Neither Trump Nor Clinton

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its annual convention May 21 in Worcester.

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts is the official state affiliate of the Green Party US. The national Green Party has made unofficial overtures to Senator Bernie Sanders to form a left-of-center third party should he not win the Democratic nomination.

There was some discussion of how the Reds (Green for Republican) and the Blues (Democrats) were breaking up, similarly to what happed to the Whigs before President Lincoln. I do not think this is the election of the third party. It might, however, be soon.

Jill Stein of Lexington is the favorite daughter of the Green Rainbows. All of its delegates seemingly are committed to Dr. Stein for the national convention of the Greens in Houston, TX, in August. The national Green Party platform included basic income for all regardless of work status, single payer health insurance similar to Medicare,  universal good free public education from kindergarten through college, and replacement of fossil fuels by renewable fuels.
 
The Green Rainbow convention also endorsed the candidacy of Charlene DiCalogero, running for state rep in Worcester’s 14th District and Danny Factor, vying for state rep in Worcester’s 12th District.

There were two informational speakers at the convention:

The first was Jonathan Simon who talked about electric vote counting. He pointed out statistical anomalies between the hand counted ballots and electronically counted ballots. The software for the electronic counters is proprietary, and no election commission anywhere can review the software. Even in Massachusetts the Secretary of State does not allow a comparison of hand counted ballots to the quantity of votes counted electronically.

The second speaker was Mary Lawrence who spoke on animal rights. She made an interesting observation. Ms. Lawrence said when farm animals are treated badly, the workers on those farms are also treated badly. This bad treatment eventually finds its way into society.
      
The Green Rainbow Party adopted a support resolution for BlackLives Matter during its 2015 convention. This was well ahead of the Democratic and Republican parties. As a part of this convention, the Green Rainbows organized a workshop on racism and BlackLives Matter.  The workshop leader was scheduled to be Julius Jones, who confronted Secretary Hillary Clinton in New Hampshire last year. Unfortunately, he had to cancel.

Something of a crisis was handled well by the convention coordinator, David Spanagel. He recruited Darlene Elias, a leader of the BlackLives Matter civil rights movement in Holyoke. A local activist from Worcester assisted her.  The discussion was energized and focused on how to interrupt offense behavior. Merelice, a town representative, from Brookline spoke of her efforts to fight racism at City Hall. 

merelice
Merelice, standing, discussed efforts to eliminate racism in her town.

Other workshops included a discussion of the fight against the gas pipelines through Massachusetts and a workshop on global climate change.

The upcoming presidential election will be a test for the Greens nationally. The party may grow as more people express their disgust for candidate Donald Trump and their mistrust of candidate Hillary Clinton. Regardless, the Green Rainbows seem on the verge of a break-through on several local levels.

Worcester: Takeaways from yesterday’s Green Rainbow Party state convention

DarleneDarlene Elias helped organize a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Holyoke. 

By Gordon Davis

The Green Rainbow Party of Massachusetts held its 2015 State Convention in Worcester yesterday, May 30.  Unlike previous conventions, the issues were interesting and timely: basic income, Black Lives Matter, and fracked gas/pipeline.

Jason Burke Murphy Ph. D. presented a proposal for a basic wages or minimum income that would be sufficient to meet the needs of individuals or a family. This basic income would be portable and would be retained in the event of unemployment or sickness. There would not necessarily be a maximum income, as the needs of some people are greater than others. He indicated that this new safety net could replace, if done right, the myriad of social programs now in existence. Unfortunately, Dr. Murphy ran out of time and many questions had to wait for another day.

There were three speakers on the issue of Black Lives Matter: Leetka Katzenblickstein, Darlene Elias, and Danny Factor.

Leetka Katzenblickstein, who is 12 years old, organized a Black Lives Matter demonstration. Her story is the most heartening, not only because she felt empathy for people, but also because  she stood up to opposition.

When Leetka began to organize the rally, she was told by a Westford town official that she needed a permit. So she went through the permitting process. Then she found out the wife a town official was planning a counter demonstration – without a permit. Undaunted, Leetka contacted her friends and many people from around the state, including the ACLU.  The counter demonstrators moved their event to another day.

Darlene Elias helped to organize a Black Lives Matter demonstration in Holyoke. Several Holyoke City Councillors attended, as well as people of color from the city and their friends. The City Councillors are now facing some backlash, especially in an election year.  Ms Elias facilitated the workshop on Black Lives Matter.

Danny Factor told us how shortly after the demonstrations in Ferguson, he and others people in the GRP held a rally in support of those demonstrations. He told us how 11 people on less than 24 hours notice held a front page rally in Acton.  We learned that literally scores of Black Lives Matters rallies were held around Massachusetts.

RosemaryLearning about the hazards of fracking.

The Convention passed a resolution against police misconduct and systemic racism associated with Black Lives Matter and tying together all the Black Lives Matter actions initiated by GRP members.

On the issue of the proposed gas pipeline in Northern Massachusetts carrying gas from fracking: The pipeline would ruin the homes and farms of many people, but there are other interesting facets of the pipeline story, too. There is only a need for 0.6 million cubic feet of new natural gas in Massachusetts, and the pipeline would be built with a capacity of 2.6 mill cubic feet. The extra capacity would be allegedly to get around the regulations of exporting natural gas overseas. Also, interestingly, is the assertion that the pipeline is a disincentive for more energy-efficient construction and retrofits.

Like all previous conventions, the mundane requirements of electing new Statewide officials took place.  Now it is on to the presidential election for the Green Rainbow Party, as Jill Stein said in her videotaped a message to the Convention!