Green-Rainbow Party

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Green-Rainbow Party[1]
Chairperson Darlene Elias and David Gerry
Founded 2002
Headquarters 232 Highland Ave, Arlington, MA 02476[1]
Ideology Green politics
National affiliation Green Party of the United States
Colors Green
Seats in the Upper House
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Seats in the Lower House
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Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The Green-Rainbow Party is one of four political parties officially recognized by the Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.[2][3] The party is a local state affiliate for the wider Green Party of the United States of America.[1][4] Originally the Massachusetts Green Party, it was formed in 1996 and recognized in 2000. It merged with the Rainbow Coalition Party in 2002 and rebranded as the Green-Rainbow Party.[5] The party has supported candidates on the national level such as Ralph Nader, David Cobb, and Jill Stein. It has also run candidates and pushed for political support at the state and municipal level. As of February 2012 the official party's membership ranks stood at roughly 5,300, which makes up about 0.12% of the Commonwealth's eligible electorate; though the number of votes for party candidates are usually significantly higher attributed to independent voters.[6] Hampshire, Berkshire, and Nantucket counties have the highest per-capita number of Green-Rainbow Party members in ratio to county population.

Political ideology[edit]

Like most North American Green parties, the basis of the Green-Rainbow Party's platform stems from the 10 key values. The 10 key values are: grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, social justice and equal opportunity, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus and sustainability.

Causes and initiatives[edit]

The party has been involved in co-organizing an annual March to Abolish Poverty[7] since 2004. Like many minor parties that view the Democratic and Republican parties as creating difficult ballot access laws, the party has also pushed for electoral reforms, particularly instant run-off voting (IRV). The party also champions universal health care and strongly supports the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court's decision to allow same-sex marriages within Massachusetts. The Green-Rainbow party supports a much faster transition from fossil fuels to safe, clean renewable energy than the Democratic and Republican parties. It sees climate change as a crisis.


Establishment of official party status[edit]

Founded in 1996 as the Massachusetts Green Party, the party attained official political party status in 2000 when the Greens ran Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke for president of the United States. Official political party status in Massachusetts affects how political groups can use finances, and official political parties are guaranteed ballot access. The Nader ticket received 6% of the vote in Massachusetts, where state law requires 3% during state and national elections for establishing and maintaining official party status. In 2002, the party entered the state gubernatorial race for the first time with Jill Stein as the candidate for governor, Anthony Lorenzen for lieutenant governor, and James O'Keefe for treasurer. Stein and Lorenzen received over 3% and O'Keefe received almost 8% resulting in maintaining state party status in Massachusetts for 2002.[8] An alternate method to establish and maintain state party status in Massachusetts is to have over 1% of voters registered in their party, a threshold that Green-Rainbow has not met yet but is working towards.

Merger with Rainbow Coalition[edit]

In 2002, the party was renamed when it merged with the Rainbow Coalition Party, which was founded by former State Representative Mel King.[9] King endorsed Stein's 2002 candidacy for governor, saying "Jill Stein is the only candidate who will speak truth to power. She's the only one that makes issues of racism and social justice integral parts of her campaign".[10]

Campaign 2004[edit]

In 2004, with David Cobb as its presidential candidate, the Green-Rainbow ticket was unable to meet the required 3% threshold, and subsequently lost recognition in Massachusetts of state party status.[5] Losing state party status has the results that the expenditures on Massachusetts candidates are subject to the state laws regulating political action committees (or PACs). In addition, the party name is no longer printed on voter registration forms as an option to check off, and the party must collect signatures to place presidential candidates on the ballot; state and local candidates always need signatures to be placed on the ballot.

Campaign 2006[edit]

In March 2006, at its nominating convention, the party nominated five candidates for statewide office: Grace Ross for governor, Wendy Van Horne for lieutenant governor, Jill Stein for secretary of the Commonwealth, James O'Keefe for treasurer, and Nathanael Fortune for auditor.[11] In early April, Nathaniel Fortune withdrew his candidacy. The races for secretary of the Commonwealth and treasurer were two-way races between the Democrats and Green-Rainbows, with Green-Rainbows polling higher than ever before on a statewide level. In an April 3, 2006 poll by Suffolk University and WHDH, O'Keefe polled at 21% and Stein at 8%. The Ross / Van Horne team, likely to face three other opponents in the election, polled at 2%, before having officially announced.[12]

When Van Horne withdrew from the race in early September, she was replaced by Martina Robinson, a 30-year-old disability and equal marriage rights activist.[13]

Ross and Robinson only garnered 2% of the vote in the gubernatorial election. However Stein won 18% in the race for Secretary of State and James O'Keefe won 16% in the race for State Treasurer.[14] As a result, the Green-rainbow Party once again qualified for ballot access.

Campaign 2010[edit]

Jill Stein announcing her candidacy for governor in February 2010

Jill Stein officially announced her entrance into the governor's race on the steps of the Massachusetts State House in Boston on February 8, 2010.[15] As of February 25, she was polling at 3% in that race.[16] Stein announced on April 3, 2010, that her lieutenant governor running mate would be Richard P. 'Rick' Purcell (born December 21, 1959), an ergonomics specialist from Holyoke.[17] Purcell was born in 1959 in Albuquerque, New Mexico and grew up on the Tohajiilee Indian Reservation in New Mexico. He moved to Holyoke, Massachusetts in 1974 and graduated from Chicopee Comprehensive High School in 1977. He works as an ergonomics specialist with Baystate Medical Center in Springfield, Massachusetts.[18] Purcell served as a buck sergeant during the Gulf War. He was also stationed in Korea and Germany.[19] Purcell sought election to the Holyoke City Council in 2002, 2007, 2011 and 2013. [20]

Beyond Stein's run for governor, three additional candidates ran for office as Green-Rainbow candidates: two for the state legislature and one for state auditor. In the state's 4th Berkshire District, Lee Scott Laugenour announced that he would challenge incumbent State Representative William "Smitty" Pignatell.[21] The state's 3rd Berkshire District saw a race between Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller and incumbent candidate Christopher N. Speranzo.[22] Nat Fortune rounded out the ticket, running for Massachusetts Auditor.[23]

On election day Mark Miller received 45 percent of the vote, the best result for any Green running for state legislature in the United States in 2010.[24] Nat Fortune received 5 percent of the vote guaranteeing the Green-Rainbow Party official party status in Massachusetts for the subsequent two years.[25]

Campaign 2012[edit]

In 2012, Green-Rainbow Party leader Jill Stein won the presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States. Stein received 456,169 nationwide while advocating for a Green New Deal to address climate change and financial crises. In Massachusetts, Stein received 19,672 votes (1%).[26] Because Stein did not receive 3% of the vote statewide, the Green-Rainbow Party lost party status.

Campaign 2014 --- Regaining of Official Party Status[edit]

In November 2014, Green-Rainbow Party Statewide candidates Danny Factor (Secretary of State), Ian Jackson (Treasurer) and MK Merelice (auditor) all received more than 3% of the vote which resulted in the Green-Rainbow Party gaining back official party status.

Campaign 2015[edit]

The Green-Rainbow Party ran three candidates for office in the November, 2015 election: Darlene Elias for Holyoke City Council, Plinio Degoes for Cambridge City Council and Sean Connell for Fall River School Committee. None of the candidates won their election, but all made strong showings, considering that they were all first time candidates.

Campaign 2016[edit]

The Massachusetts primary took place on March 1. Five candidates appeared on the ballot, the results are as follows:

County results of the Massachusetts Green presidential primaries, 2016.
Massachusetts Green Party presidential primary, March 1, 2016[27][28]
Candidate Votes Percentage National delegates
Jill Stein 768 45.7% 5
Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry 78 4.7% 1
Darryl Cherney 54 3.2% 0
Kent Mesplay 37 2.2% 0
William Kreml 24 1.4% 0
Others 436 25.9%
No Preference 199 11.8%
Blank votes 85 5.0% n/a
Total 1,681 100.00% 10

Any members of the party could apply to be delegates to be sent to the national convention, and had until March 10 (over a week after the primary) to apply.[29][30] The number of voters that took part in the election slightly increased from the 1,554 that took part in the 2012 primary.[31] On August 6, 2016 at the Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention in Houston, Jill Stein was nominated as the Green Party candidate for President and Ajamu Baraka was nominated as the Green Party candidate for Vice-President.

Green-Rainbow Party member Charlene DiCalogero has announced that she will be a candidate for State Representative in the 12th Worcester District. Green-Rainbow Party member Danny Factor has announced that he will be a candidate for State Representative in the 14th Middlesex District.

Presidential nominee results[edit]

Since 1996, the national Green Party has run a candidate for President of the United States. In 2000, the Green Party of Massachusetts placed Ralph Nader, the nominee of the Green Party of the United States, on the statewide presidential ballot. The highest vote total came in 2000, when Ralph Nader received over 173,000 votes. The lowest vote total came in 2008, when Cynthia McKinney was the nominee. Her campaign received only 6,550 votes. Nader, who was also on the ballot as an independent candidate, received more than 28,000 votes.

Year Nominee Votes
1996 Ralph Nader (write-in) 4,734 (0.19%)
2000 Ralph Nader 173,564 (6.42%)
2004 David Cobb 10,623 (0.36%)
2008 Cynthia McKinney 6,550 (0.21%)
2012 Jill Stein 20,691 (0.65%)

Structure and composition[edit]

Chapters and committees[edit]

The Green-Rainbow Party (GRP) currently has five local chapters:[32] Greater Boston, South coast, Assabet River Valley, Nashua River Valley, and Pioneer Valley.

There are also Green-Rainbow Town Committees in Acton and Reading, and a Green-Rainbow Ward Committee in Ward 11 of Boston (Jamaica Plain). The Party also has an elected State Committee that meets four time per year, an Administrative Committee that convenes several times per month and working committees such as Membership, Platform, Communications and Candidate Development and Legal. The body with the highest amount of power in the Green-Rainbow Party is its State Convention (consisting of all GRP members) which convenes once per year. The last convention was in the Spring of 2016.


Co-Chairpersons: Darlene Elias and David Gerry Party Treasurer: Ian Jackson[1] Party Secretary: Roni Beal Ad-Com Diversity Rep: Daphne Stevens Communications Director: Vacant Membership Director: Brian Cady Fundraising Director: Manuel Pintado

Current elected office-holders[edit]

As of 2016, there are 9 Green-Rainbow Party members who currently hold elected office in Massachusetts.[33][34]

  • Frank Gatti - Amherst Town Meeting
  • Vincent O'Conner - Amherst Town Meeting
  • M.K. Merelice - Brookline Town Meeting
  • Damon Jespersen - Newbury Select Board
  • Gus Steeves - Southbridge Town Council
  • Gail Garrett - Mt. Washington Select Board
  • Tar Larner - Concord Housing Authority
  • Bryan Moss - Shrewsbury Town Meeting

Social Media[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "AO 2015-01: Green-Rainbow Party Qualifies as State Party" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 3 September 2016. 
  2. ^ "Independent voters have a Green option". The Pittsfield Gazette. Pittsfield, MA. January 31, 2008. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  3. ^ "Massachusetts Directory of Political Parties and Designations". Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  4. ^ "Green Party – State Parties". 2015. Retrieved August 28, 2015. 
  5. ^ a b Estes, Andrea (May 27, 2006). "Galvin may face primary battle". The Boston Globe. Globe Publishing. Retrieved September 3, 2016. "He has a long history of involvement with the Greens," asserts Galvin, referring to the Green Party, which lost its designation as an official political party in 2004 and is now called the Green-Rainbow party. 
  6. ^ "Enrollment Breakdown as of 02/10/2016" (PDF). Secretary of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Retrieved September 3, 2016. 
  7. ^ "". Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  8. ^ "Return of Votes for Massachusetts State Election November 5th, 2002" (PDF). Massachusetts Elections Division. July 31, 2012. Retrieved 17 March 2015. 
  9. ^ [1]
  10. ^ "Massachusetts Green and Rainbow Coalition Parties Merge.". Green Party of the United States. May 3, 2002. Retrieved 28 October 2011. 
  11. ^ [2] Archived April 18, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  12. ^ [3] Archived September 11, 2006, at the Wayback Machine.
  13. ^ "Nurse quits lieutenant governor race - The Boston Globe". 2006-09-02. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  14. ^ "2006 Massachusetts General Election Results - Boston Globe". Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  15. ^ [4] Archived August 25, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  16. ^ [5][dead link]
  17. ^ Lori Stabile. "Gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein of Green-Rainbow Party, introduces lieutenant governor candidate Richard P. Purcell, of Holyoke". Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  18. ^ "Jill Stein has a running mate". Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  19. ^ "Green party Lt. Gov. candidate in it to win it". The Massachusetts Daily Collegian. October 17, 2010. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  20. ^ "Rick Purcell Biography - Project Vote Smart". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 9 May 2013. 
  21. ^ "Lenox man in 4th Berkshire race - Berkshire Eagle Online". 2010-04-02. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  22. ^ "Blog Archive » MA Green-Rainbow candidates to challenge incumbents in 2010 - America's #1 Source for Green Party News & Views". Green Party Watch. 2015-12-18. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  23. ^ [6] Archived May 3, 2010, at the Wayback Machine.
  24. ^ "Blog Archive » Top State House Green Party Campaigns - America's #1 Source for Green Party News & Views". Green Party Watch. 2015-12-18. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  25. ^ "Blog Archive » Post-election Green Party 2010 ballot access roundup - America's #1 Source for Green Party News & Views". Green Party Watch. 2010-11-03. Retrieved 2015-12-25. 
  26. ^ "US presidential election results - 2012 -". Retrieved 28 November 2014. 
  27. ^ "2016 President Green-rainbow Primary". Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth. Government of Massachusetts. 1 March 2016. Retrieved 17 March 2016. 
  28. ^ "Official results: Stein wins Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party presidential primary with 48.1%". Green Party Watch. 11 March 2016. Retrieved 12 March 2016. 
  29. ^ "Massachusetts Green Party Presidential Primary Will List Five Candidates". Independent Political Report. 2016-12-25. Retrieved 2016-02-20. 
  30. ^ "2016 Green-Rainbow Party Presidential Primary". MA Green-Rainbow Party. 2015-12-25. Retrieved 2016-02-20. 
  31. ^ "Massachusetts Secretary of State Releases Green Party Presidential Primary Results". Ballot Access News. 2015-04-07. Retrieved 2016-03-23. 
  32. ^ "Locals". Green-Rainbow Party. 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-04. 
  33. ^ "2016 Green-Rainbow Party Elected Officials". MA Green-Rainbow Party. 2015-12-25. Retrieved 2016-09-05. 
  34. ^ "Green Party – Green Officeholders". 2016. Retrieved 2016-09-05. 

See also[edit]

External links[edit]