Green Party of the United States
|Headquarters||7059 Blair Road NW, Suite 104
Washington, D.C. 20012
|Student wing||College Greens|
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|Continental affiliation||Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas|
|Seats in the Senate|
|Seats in the House|
|State Upper House Seats|
|State Lower House Seats|
|Other elected offices||128 (2014)|
|Politics of the United States
|Part of a series on|
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a green political party in the United States founded in 1984 as a federation of state green parties. With its founding, the Green Party of the United States became the primary national Green organization in that country, eclipsing the Greens/Green Party USA, which emphasized non-electoral movement building. The Association of State Green Parties (ASGP), a forerunner organization, first gained widespread public attention during Ralph Nader. At the state legislature level the party has several members elected, including in California, Maine and Arkansas. A number of Greens around the United States hold positions on the municipal level, including on school boards, city councils and as mayors. The party promotes environmentalism and social justice with policy principles in nonviolence, grassroots democracy and participatory democracy, gender equality, and anti-racism.
- 1 Ideology
- 2 History
- 3 Fundraising and position on super PACs
- 4 Structure and composition
- 5 Geographic distribution
- 6 Electoral results
- 7 Office holders
- 8 Presidential tickets
- 9 List of national conventions/meetings
- 10 See also
- 11 References
- 12 External links
The Green Party follows the ideology green politics which is based on the Four Pillars of the Green Party: Ecological Wisdom, Social and Economic Justice, Grassroots Democracy, and Nonviolence and Peace. It emphasizes environmentalism, non-hierarchical participatory democracy, social justice, respect for diversity, peace, and nonviolence. Their "Ten Key Values," which are described as non-authoritarian guiding principles, are as follows:
- Grassroots democracy
- Social justice and equal opportunity
- Ecological wisdom
- Community-based economics
- Gender equality
- Respect for diversity
- Personal and global responsibility
- Future focus and sustainability
The Green Party does not accept donations from corporations, political action committees (PACs), 527(c) organizations or soft money. The party's platforms and rhetoric harshly criticize any corporate influence and control over government, media, and society at large.
The political movement that began in 1984 as the decentralized Committees of Correspondence (GCoC) evolved into a more centralized structure by 1990, opening a national clearinghouse, and forming governing bodies, bylaws, and a platform under the name The Green Committees of Correspondence (GCoC) and by 1990, simply, The Greens. The organization conducted non-electoral grassroots organizing efforts, educational activities, and electoral campaigns.
Internal divisions arose between members who saw electoral politics as ultimately corrupting and supported the notion of an "anti-party party" formed by Petra Kelly and other leaders of Die Grünen in Germany, vs. those who saw electoral strategies as a crucial engine of social change (organized as The Green Politics Network in 1990 and The National Association of Statewide Green Parties by 1994). A struggle for the direction of the organization culminated a "compromise agreement," ratified in 1990 at the Greens National Congress in Elkins, West Virginia – in which both strategies would be accommodated within the same organization under a 527 political organization renamed The Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA).
The compromise agreement subsequently collapsed and two Green Party organizations have co-existed in the United States since the mid-1990s, now operating independently as the Green Party of the United States and the G/GPUSA, which is no longer registered as a political party.
Fundraising and position on super PACs
In the early decades of Green organizing in the United States, the prevailing U.S. system of money-dominated elections was universally rejected by Greens, so that some Greens were reluctant to have Greens participate in the election system at all, because they deemed the campaign finance system inherently corrupt. Other Greens felt strongly that the Green Party should develop in the electoral arena; many of these Greens felt that adopting an alternative model of campaign finance, emphasizing self-imposed contribution limits, would present a wholesome and attractive contrast to the odious campaign finance practices of the money-dominated major parties. Over the years, some state Green parties have come to place less emphasis on the principle of self-imposed limits than they did in the past. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that Green Party fundraising (for candidates' campaigns and for the party itself) still tends to rely on relatively small contributions, and that Greens generally decry not only the rise of the super-PACs but also the big-money system, which some Greens criticize as plutocracy. Some Greens feel that the Green Party's position should be simply to follow the laws and regulations of campaign finance. Other Greens argue that it would injure the Green Party not to practice a principled stand against the anti-democratic influence of money in the political process. Candidates for office, like Jill Stein, the 2012 Green Party nominee for the President of the United States, typically rely on smaller donations to fund their campaigns.
Structure and composition
The Green Party has two national committees recognized by the Federal Election Commission:
Green National Committee
Four identity caucuses have achieved representation on the GNC:
- Black Caucus - Acting Co-Chairs: Thomas Muhammad, George Friday
- Lavender Greens (LGBTIQ)- Co-Chairs: Starlene Rankin, Justin Crockett Elzie
- Women's Caucus - Co-Chairs: Nan Garrett, Sylvia Inwood
- Youth Caucus
Three other caucuses are working toward formal recognition by the GNC:
The Blue Greens (workers' caucus) and the Native American caucus also exist, but have not established organizing committees yet.
The following is a list of the accredited state chapters of the Green Party of the United States as listed on the Party's official website.
The Green Party does not currently operate state chapters in Alabama, Kansas, North Dakota, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Utah, or Vermont. Its Presidential candidates have been able to appear on the ballot in some of those states, however. In addition, the Green Party operates a chapter in the US Virgin Islands.
The Green Party has its strongest popular support on the Pacific Coast, Upper Great Lakes, and Northeast, as reflected in the geographical distribution of Green candidates elected. Californians have elected 55 of the 226 office-holding Greens nationwide as of June 2007. Other states with high numbers of Green elected officials include Pennsylvania (31), Wisconsin (23), Massachusetts (18), and Maine (17). Maine has the highest per capita number of Green elected officials in the country, and the largest Green registration percentage with more than 29,273 Greens comprising 2.95% of the electorate as of November 2006. Madison, Wisconsin, is the city with the most Green elected officials (8) followed by Portland, Maine (7).
In 2005, the Green Party had 305,000 registered members in states allowing party registration, and tens of thousands of members and contributors in the rest of the country. One challenge that the Green Party (as well as other third parties) faces is the difficulty of overcoming ballot access laws in many states.
|Election year||Candidate||Running mate||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of electoral votes||+/-|
|1996||Ralph Nader||Winona LaDuke||684,871||0.71|
|2000||Ralph Nader||Winona LaDuke||2,882,955||2.74||0|
|2004||David Cobb||Pat LaMarche||119,859||0.10||0|
|2008||Cynthia McKinney||Rosa Clemente||161,680||0.12||0|
|2012||Jill Stein||Cheri Honkala||468,907||0.36||0|
House of Representatives
|Election year||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall seats won||+/-|
|Election year||# of overall votes||% of overall vote||# of overall seats won||+/-|
As of October 18, 2012, there were 134 elected Greens across the United States. Positions held varied greatly, from mayor to city council, school board to sanitation district. Twenty-three states had Greens elected at the municipal level, representing every region of the country except for East South Central. Greens held mayorships in California and New York, and positions on city, neighborhood, or common councils in the West, South, Midwest, and Northeast. Major cities with a Green presence were spread throughout the country and included Los Angeles, Minneapolis, Milwaukee, Cleveland, Oklahoma City, and Washington, DC.
The Green Party in the United States has won elected office at the local level; most winners of public office in the United States who are considered Greens have won nonpartisan elections. The highest-ranking Greens ever elected in the nation were: John Eder, a member of the Maine House of Representatives until his defeat in November 2006; Audie Bock, elected to the California State Assembly in 1999 but switched her registration to Independent seven months later running as an independent in the 2000 election; Richard Carroll, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election; and Fredrick Smith, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012, but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014.
As of 2014, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin is the most notable Green elected official in the United States. McLaughlin is serving her second term as mayor of Richmond, California. McLaughlin defeated two Democrats in 2006 to become mayor, and was reelected in 2010. Richmond, with a population of over 100,000 people, is the largest city in the country with a Green mayor.
Fairfax, California, Arcata, California, Sebastopol, California, and New Paltz, New York are the only towns in the United States to ever hold a Green Party majority in their town councils. Twin Ridges Elementary in Nevada County, California held the first Green Party majority school board in the United States.
- 1996: Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke 685,128 votes
- 2000: Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke 2,882,000 votes (Ralph Nader presidential campaign, 2000)
- 2004: David Cobb and Pat LaMarche 119,859 votes
- 2008: Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente 161,603 votes (Cynthia McKinney presidential campaign, 2008)
- 2012: Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala 469,501 votes (Jill Stein presidential campaign, 2012)
List of national conventions/meetings
- 1996 – Los Angeles, CA
- 2000 – Denver, CO
- 2001 – Santa Barbara, CA
- 2002 – Philadelphia, PA
- 2003 – Washington, DC
- 2004 – Milwaukee, WI
- 2005 – Tulsa, OK
- 2006 – Tucson, AZ
- 2007 – Reading, PA
- 2008 – Chicago, IL
- 2009 – Durham, NC
- 2010 – Detroit, MI
- 2011 - Alfred, NY
- 2012 - Baltimore, MD
- 2013 - Iowa City, IA
- 2014 - St. Paul, MN
- 2015 - TBD
- 2016 - TBD
- Greens/Green Party USA
- Worldwide green parties
- List of political parties in the United States
- California Green Archives
- Jello Biafra
- Audie Bock
- Ellen Brown
- Peter Camejo
- Douglas Campbell
- Ben Chipman
- David Cobb
- John Eder
- Mike Feinstein
- Matt Gonzalez
- Daniel Hamburg
- Howie Hawkins
- Chris Hedges
- Jesse Johnson
- Joel Kovel
- Pat LaMarche
- Ben Manski
- Cynthia McKinney
- Gayle McLaughlin
- Brent McMillan
- David McReynolds
- Ross Mirkarimi
- Malik Rahim
- Kent Warner Smith
- Dona Spring
- Charlene Spretnak
- Jill Stein
- Kevin Zeese
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- Officeholder Members of the Green Party of the United States
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Green Party of the United States.|
- Official website
- Green Party Ballot Status and Voter Registration Totals
- Green Senatorial Campaign Committee (GSCC)
- National Lavender Greens Caucus (GLBTIQ)
- National Women's Caucus (NWC)
- Disability Caucus Identity Caucus of the United States Green Party
-  California Green Archives project
- 2012 Green Party Platform
- Explanations of the ten key values
- Ten Key Values of the Green Party
- Global Greens' charter
- California Green Party's Ten Key Values
- Radical Middle Newsletter's historical intro. & early version