Green Party of the United States

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Green Party
Founded 1991 (1991)
Headquarters

7059 Blair Road NW, Suite 104

Washington, D.C. 20012
Student wing College Greens
Membership  (2013) 250,682
Ideology Green politics
Progressivism
Social democracy
Grassroots democracy
Civil libertarianism
Pacifism
International affiliation Global Greens
Continental affiliation Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas
Colors      Green
Seats in the Senate
0 / 100
Seats in the House
0 / 435
Governorships
0 / 50
State Upper House Seats
0 / 1,972
State Lower House Seats
0 / 5,411
Other elected offices 128 (2014)[1]
Website
www.gp.org
Politics of the United States
Political parties
Elections
Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a national 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's United States presidential campaigns in 1996 and 2000. The party has no current representation in the U.S. House of Representatives nor the Senate and controls no governorships nor other state-wide elected positions. At the state legislature level, until 2014 the party controlled one seat in the Arkansas House of Representatives.[2] A number of Greens around the United States hold positions as city and town council members and mayors.

Ideology[edit]

It is founded 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,"[3] which are described as non-authoritarian guiding principles, are as follows:

  1. Grassroots democracy
  2. Social justice and equal opportunity
  3. Ecological wisdom
  4. Nonviolence
  5. Decentralization
  6. Community-based economics
  7. Gender equality
  8. Respect for diversity
  9. Personal and global responsibility
  10. 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.

History[edit]

Early years[edit]

The political movement that began in 1984 as the decentralized Committees of Correspondence[4] (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,[5] 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.

Fund raising and position on super PACs[edit]

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 in the U.S. 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.[6] 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.[7]

Structure and composition[edit]

Committees[edit]

The Green Party has two national committees recognized by the Federal Election Commission:

Green National Committee[edit]

Caucuses[edit]

Four identity caucuses have achieved representation on the GNC:

  • Black Caucus[9] - Acting Co-Chairs: Thomas Muhammad, George Friday
  • Lavender Greens[10] (LGBTIQ)- Co-Chairs: Starlene Rankin, Justin Crockett Elzie
  • Women's Caucus[11] - Co-Chairs: Nan Garrett, Sylvia Inwood
  • Youth Caucus[12]

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.[citation needed]

State parties[edit]

bl - achieved 2008 ballot line
na - not yet affiliated with the national, Green Party US[16]
ci - currently inactive

Geographic distribution[edit]

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.[69] 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.[70] 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.[71] One challenge that the Green Party (as well as other third parties) faces is the difficulty of overcoming ballot access laws in many states.

Electoral results[edit]

President[edit]

Election year Candidate Running mate # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of electoral votes +/-
1996 Ralph Nader Winona LaDuke 684,871 0.71
0 / 538
2000 Ralph Nader Winona LaDuke 2,882,955 2.74
0 / 538
Steady 0
2004 David Cobb Pat LaMarche 119,859 0.10
0 / 538
Steady 0
2008 Cynthia McKinney Rosa Clemente 161,680 0.12
0 / 538
Steady 0
2012 Jill Stein Cheri Honkala 468,907[72] 0.36
0 / 538
Steady 0

Congress[edit]

House of Representatives[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/-
2000 279,158 0.3
0 / 435
2002 286,962 0.4
0 / 435
2004 331,298 0.3
0 / 435
2006 234,939 0.3
0 / 435
2008 570,780 0.5
0 / 435
2010 230,764 0.3
0 / 435
2012 458,411 0.4
0 / 435

Senate[edit]

Election year # of overall votes  % of overall vote # of overall seats won +/-
2000 685,289 0.9
0 / 34
2002 94,702 0.2
0 / 34
2004 157,671 0.2
0 / 34
2006 295,935 0.5
0 / 33
2008 427,427 0.7
0 / 33
2010 516,517 0.8
0 / 37
2012 212,103 0.2

Office holders[edit]

John Eder, elected in Maine in 2002, was the first Green Party candidate elected to a state legislature to serve a full term as a Green.
Musician Jello Biafra ran for several offices with the Green Party, including for President in 2000.
Malik Rahim, former Black Panther Party activist, ran for the U.S. Congress in 2008 with the Green Party.
Psychiatrist Joel Kovel ran for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2000.
2012 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein

As of October 18, 2012, there were 134 elected Greens across the United States.[73] 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.[74] 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[75] running as an independent in the 2000 election;[76] Richard Carroll, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008 but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election;[77] and Fredrick Smith, elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012,[78] but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014.[2]

In 2010 Ben Chipman, a former member of the Green Party, ran for Maine Legislature as an Independent and was elected. Chipman was reelected in 2012.[79]

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,[80] and was reelected in 2010.[81] 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.[82]

Presidential tickets[edit]

List of national conventions/meetings[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Officeholder Members of the Green Party of the United States
  2. ^ a b Richard Winger (February 26, 2014). "Arkansas Representative Fred Smith, Elected as a Green Party Nominee in 2012, Files for Re-Election as a Democrat". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 20 June 2014. 
  3. ^ "Green Party of the United States". Gp.org. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  4. ^ Jodean Marks (1997). "A Historical Look at Green Structure: 1984 to 1992". Synthesis/Regeneration 14. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  5. ^ Petra Kelly (2002). "On Morality and Human Dignity (excerpts)". Synthesis/Regeneration 28. Retrieved 2008-06-07. 
  6. ^ 7 Creative Political Fundraising Ideas, Local Victory website, Referenced on February 10, 2012
  7. ^ Long Shots, Huffington Post, Colleen Black, Long Shots February 9, 2012
  8. ^ "The Green Senatorial Campaign Committee". Greenscc.org. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  9. ^ Grigsby, Karen (2010-10-21). "Green Party Black Caucus Journal". Gpblackcaucus.blogspot.com. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  10. ^ "Lavender Green Caucus". Lavendergreens.us. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  11. ^ http://greens.org/gp-uswomen/
  12. ^ http://gpusyouth.yolasite.com/
  13. ^ "Disability Caucus of the USGP". Immuneweb.org. Retrieved 2011-01-01. 
  14. ^ "Green Party Latino Caucus". gp.org. Retrieved 2012-11-06. 
  15. ^ http://www.gp.org/labor/
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  17. ^ http://www.alabamagreenparty.org/
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External links[edit]

Explanations of the ten key values