Green Committees of Correspondence

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The Green Committees of Correspondence (CoC) were founded in the summer of 1984 with the goal of organizing local Green groups, providing a clearinghouse and newsletter, and working toward the founding of a Green political organization in the United States. The locals organized themselves into regional confederations, representatives of which met three times a year (until the 1991 restructuring) as the Interregional Committee to exchange information and coordinate among locals and (largely self-defined) regions. This terminology and structure reflected the organization's roots in the bioregional movement, which rejected political boundaries in favor of boundaries indicated by natural phenomena such as watersheds, flora, and fauna, and in the municipal confederalism of the social ecologists, who viewed existing governments above the municipal level (i.e., the state and federal governments) as illegitimate.

In accordance with the Green principle of grassroots democracy, the CoC was a bottoms-up organization. About the only requirement for locals was that they advocate and adhere to the Ten Key Values; within these bounds, each was free to decide on its own purpose, structure, process, and actions. As of late 1986, Green locals' activities varied widely, from electoral politics (running candidates for local, county, and state office) to alternative institutions (setting up direct farmer-to-consumer marketing and a bank for low-income communities), public education (organizing conferences, forums, and lecture series), media (a Green radio show) and publications, citizen watchdog groups (on water quality and on biotechnology), demonstrations, and support of efforts of other environmentalist and progressive groups. [1]

The Green Committees of Correspondence were the first Green political organization in the United States, forming in 1984 and eventually becoming known as the Greens/Green Party USA. This organization still exists, but has become overshadowed by the larger and newer Green Party of the United States.