Green-Rainbow Party

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Green-Rainbow Party
Chairperson Roni Beal and David Gerry
Founded 2002
Headquarters 232 Highland Ave, Arlington, MA 02476
Ideology Green politics
National affiliation Green Party of the United States
Colors Green, colors of the rainbow
Green-Rainbow Party
Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The Green-Rainbow Party is a political party in Massachusetts. It is the Massachusetts state affiliate of the Green Party of the United States.


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.[1] 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. 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".[2]

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. 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.[3] 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.[4]

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.[5]

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.[6] 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.[7] As of February 25, she was polling at 3% in that race.[8] Stein announced on April 3, 2010, that her lieutenant governor running mate would be Richard P. Purcell, a surgery clerk and ergonomics assessor, of Holyoke.[9]

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.[10] The state's 3rd Berkshire District saw a race between Green-Rainbow Party candidate Mark Miller and incumbent candidate Christopher N. Speranzo.[11] Nat Fortune rounded out the ticket, running for Massachusetts Auditor.[12]

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.[13] Nat Fortune received 5 percent of the vote guaranteeing the Green-Rainbow Party official party status in Massachusetts for the subsequent two years.[14]

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%).[15] 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 is running 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.

Going Forward into 2016[edit]

With party status being gained back in 2014, the Green-Rainbow Party will hold a Presidential Primary on March 1, 2016, which is on the same day as the Democratic and Republican primaries. The Green-Rainbow Party expects to announce other candidates running for office in 2016.

Chapters and Committees[edit]

The Green-Rainbow Party (GRP) currently has five local chapters: Greater Boston, Southcoast, Assabet River Valley, Nashua River Valley, and Pioneer Valley. There is also a Green-Rainbow Town Committee in Reading, Massachusetts. 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 next convention will be in the Spring of 2016.

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 over 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%)

Elected officials[edit]

As of 2015, there are 11 Green-Rainbow Party members who hold elected office in Massachusetts.

Marcus Chiaretto - Amherst Town Meeting

Frank Gatti - Amherst Town Meeting

Eleanor Manire-Gatii - Amherst Town Meeting

Vincent O'Conner - Amherst Town Meeting

Patrick Sadlon - Amherst Town Meeting

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

Brian Moss - Shrewsbury Town Meeting

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[16] 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.


External links[edit]