Maine Green Independent Party
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|Chairman||Gil Harris & Patricia Jackson|
|Headquarters||PO BOX 10345, Portland, Maine, 04104|
|National affiliation||Green Party of the United States|
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The Maine Green Independent Party is a state-level political party affiliated with the Green Party of the United States. It is the oldest state green party in the United States. It was founded following an informal meeting of 18 environmental advocates, including Bowdoin College professor John Rensenbrink and others in Augusta, Maine in January 1984. From 1994 to 2006, the party's gubernatorial nominees received between 6% and 10% of the vote.
Ten Key Values
The party is based on the 10 Key Values of:
- Grassroots Democracy
- Social Justice and Equal Opportunity
- Ecological Wisdom
- Community-Based Economics and Economic Justice
- Gender Equality
- Respect for Diversity
- Personal and Global Responsibility
- Future Focus and Sustainability
The party achieved its current ballot status in 1998. Previously the Maine Green Party achieved ballot status in 1994 with the Jonathan Carter gubernatorial campaign, but lost it in 1997 after Ralph Nader failed to get 5% of the vote for President in 1996, a requirement of state law that has since been changed.
In 1998, Pat LaMarche requalified the political party with her campaign for governor, but under the a new name, the Maine Green Independent Party. LaMarche ran again in 2006 capturing almost 10% of the vote in a five-way race. The campaign's website was indexed by the Library of Congress and won a Golden Dot Award, because of the site's use of new ways to interact with voters.
The party (in terms of registered votes) is currently in a period of continuous growth stretching back to 1998 according to state records,. As of December 4, 2008 there were 31,676 greens in the state comprising 3.19% of the electorate.
As of November 6, 2012, 37,764 Maine voters were registered in the Maine Green Independent Party, representing 3.83% of the statewide electorate.
As of November 2014, registration in the MGIP had increased to 40,771 (4.12%) of Maine voters.
In August 2015, the party decided to open its 2016 primary to unenrolled voters.
The party realizes its greatest successes in the state's largest city, Portland. From 2002 to 2006, the highest-ranking elected Green in the United States was John Eder, who served in the Maine House of Representatives for Portland's West End neighborhood. Four of the state's elected Greens are Portland officeholders, including three School Committee members, and one City Councilor.
According to the Green Party of the United States, Portland holds the longest streak of elected Green officeholders, having Greens in office continuously since 2001.
The first Green elected in Portland was Ben Meiklejohn in 2001, as an at-large School Committee member. In 2002, city voters elected their second Green, Eder to the State Legislature. Meiklejohn was joined on the School Committee by Stephen Spring in 2003, Jason Toothaker in 2004 (a year Meiklejohn was re-elected), Susan Hopkins in 2005 and Rebecca Minnick in 2006.
The School Committee was once the second "Greenest" governing body in the United States, and from 2004–2006, significant media attention was attributed to conflicts between the Committee's Greens and Democrats. The Greens successfully passed precedent-setting policy limiting military recruiters' access to city high schools, and were recognized by the National School Board Association.
The Board of Trustees of the Portland Water District became the next governing body in Portland to have Green members, after Erek Gaines was elected in 2003 and David Margolis-Pineo in 2006.
In 2006, Portland elected two under-30 Green councilors (David A. Marshall and Kevin Donoghue) in the inner city West End and East End districts. In 2007, John Anton was elected at-large, which brought the number of Greens on the Portland City Council to three. Both Anton and Donoghue later unenrolled from the party while serving their terms.
In 2008, John Eder was elected to the Cumberland County Charter Commission.
June to December 2009 marks a period when the most number of elected Greens in Portland (9) were serving simultaneously with overlapping terms, after Portland Charter Commission members were elected.
For the rewriting of the Portland charter, Greens Anna Trevorrow and Ben Chipman won seats on the Portland Charter Commission in June 2009. The two successfully pushed to include instant run-off voting in the new charter. They also supported extending voting rights in municipal elections to legal non-citizens. Trevorrow lead the 2010 campaign while also running for the East End seat in the Maine House of Representatives. Non-citizen voting was narrowly defeated as was Trevorrow.
In 2009, Donoghue and Marshall were both re-elected to the city council.
In the 2011 mayoral election, two Greens, (Eder and Marshall) ran for the expanded mayoral position, using the newly established instant run-off voting methods established by the charter commission and approved by voters the year before.. Marshall ended up finishing in 4th place of 15 candidates.
In 2012, David Marshall (District 2) won re-election to the City Council. Holly Seeliger, a 26-year-old former Occupier and education activist, won election to the School Board (formerly School Committee) from District 2, the same district Stephen Spring had served in years before.
In March 2013, the Portland Green Independent Committee took out petitions to enact an ordinance which would make marijuana legal for adults 21 and older, though not in public spaces such as roads, schools and parks. Later, the Portland Greens were joined by the ACLU of Maine, the NAACP, the Libertarian Party of Maine, Fire Dog Lake, and the Marijuana Policy Project in endorsing the measure. The petition needed 1,500 valid signatures of Portland voters over 80 calendar days. The Portland Greens and their coalition partners turned in 2,508 valid signatures. On July 15, the City Council placed the ordinance on the November 5, 2013 ballot. On November 5, the Greens' legalization ordinance passed with 67% of the vote.
That same year, Anna Trevorrow was elected to an at-large seat on the School Board, joining Holly Seeliger. In 2014, John Eder was elected to the School Board, bringing the total number of Greens on the board to 3 for the first time since 2004. In 2015, six Greens sought office in Portland, including committee chair and economic justice activist Tom MacMillan, who ran for mayor and received over 10% in a three way race with Michael Brennan and Ethan Strimling. In 2016 only one Green collected enough signatures to run for statewide office, Seth Baker was on the ballot as a Green Independent for State Senate District 27 in Portland.
|Period||Number of Elected Officeholders||Names|
|December 2001 to December 2002||1||Ben Meiklejohn|
|December 2002 to December 2003||2||Ben Meiklejohn, John Eder|
|December 2003 to December 2004||4||Ben Meiklejohn, John Eder, Stephen Spring, Erek Gaines|
|December 2004 to December 2005||5||Ben Meiklejohn, John Eder, Stephen Spring, Erek Gaines, Jason Toothaker|
|December 2005 to December 2006||6||Ben Meiklejohn, John Eder, Stephen Spring, Erek Gaines, Jason Toothaker, Susan Hopkins|
|December 2006 to January 2007||8||Ben Meiklejohn, Erek Gaines, Jason Toothaker, Susan Hopkins, Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, Rebecca Minnick, David Margolis-Pineo|
|January 2007 to December 2007||7||Ben Meiklejohn, Erek Gaines, Susan Hopkins, Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, Rebecca Minnick, David Margolis-Pineo|
|December 2007 to December 2008||7||Erek Gaines, Susan Hopkins, Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, Rebecca Minnick, David Margolis-Pineo, John Anton|
|December 2008 to June 2009||7||Erek Gaines, Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, Rebecca Minnick, David Margolis-Pineo, John Anton, John Eder|
|June 2009 to December 2009||9||Erek Gaines, Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, Rebecca Minnick, David Margolis-Pineo, John Anton, Ben Chipman, Anna Trevorrow, John Eder|
|December 2009 to June 2010||7||Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, David Margolis-Pineo, John Anton, Ben Chipman, Anna Trevorrow, John Eder|
|June 2010 to December 2010||5||Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, David Margolis-Pineo, John Anton, John Eder|
|December 2010 to December 2011||3||Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall, David Margolis-Pineo|
|December 2011 to December 2012||2||Kevin Donoghue, David Marshall|
|December 2012 to December 2013||2||David Marshall, Holly Seeliger|
|December 2013 to December 2014||3||David Marshall, Holly Seeliger, Anna Trevorrow|
|December 2014 to current||4
Holly Seeliger, Anna Trevorrow, John Eder
2010 governor's election
Lynne Williams, a former chair of the Party, announced that she intended to seek the Green Party nomination for Governor of Maine in the June 2010 primary. Williams served on the planning board in Bar Harbor, Maine and was a 2004 candidate for the Maine House of Representatives. She dropped out of the race after failing to receive enough signatures to qualify for the MGIP primary ballot for governor. Patrick Quinlan also filed the paperwork to run for the nomination but eventually withdrew.
2014 gubernatorial election
In April 2014, former Maliseet tribal representative to the Maine House of Representatives and University of Maine graduate student David Slagger announced his intention to seek the MGIP nomination for Governor of Maine in 2014. Slagger addressed the 2013 MGIP Convention in Belfast on May 5. However, two months later, Slagger decided to withdraw from the race for Governor.
|1994||Jonathan Carter||32,695 (6.39%)|
|1998||Pat LaMarche||28,722 (6.82%)|
|2002||Jonathan Carter||46,903 (9.28%)|
|2006||Pat LaMarche||52,690 (9.56%)|
Presidential nominee results
Since 1996, the national Green Party has run a candidate for President of the United States. In 1996, the Maine Green Party 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 37,000 votes. The lowest vote total came in 2008, when Cynthia McKinney was the nominee. Her campaign received only 2,900 votes. Nader, who was also on the ballot as an independent candidate, received over 10,000 votes.
|1996||Ralph Nader||15,279 (2.52%)|
|2000||Ralph Nader||37,127 (5.70%)|
|2004||David Cobb||2,936 (0.40%)|
|2008||Cynthia McKinney||2,900 (0.40%)|
|2012||Jill Stein||8,119 (1.14%)|
- Holly Seeliger, School Board, Portland District 2 (Cumberland County) (elected November 2012)
- Anna Trevorrow, School Board, Portland At-Large (Cumberland County) (elected November 2013)
- John Eder, School Board, Portland At-Large (Cumberland County) (elected November 2014)
- Trish Jackson, School Board, RSU 38 (Mount Vernon, Kennebec County)
- Gil Harris, Budget Committee, Limerick (York County)
Formerly elected Maine Greens:
- John Anton, City Council, At-Large, Portland (Cumberland County)
- Antonio Blasi, Planning Board, Hancock (Hancock County)
- Kevin Donoghue, City Council, Portland District 1 (Cumberland County) (elected November 2006)
- John Eder, Maine House of Representatives, Portland (Cumberland County), 2002–2006; Cumberland County Charter Commission
- David Marshall, City Council, Portland District 2 (Cumberland County) (2006-2015)
- Ben Meiklejohn, School Committee At-Large, Portland (Cumberland County), 2001–2007
- Stephen Spring, School Committee (District 2), Portland (Cumberland County), 2003–2006
- Jason Toothaker, School Committee (District 3), Portland (Cumberland County), 2004–2007
- Susan Hopkins, School Committee At-Large, Portland (Cumberland County), 2005–2008
- David Margolis-Pineo, Water District Trustee, Portland (Cumberland County), 2006-2011
- Jane Meisenbach, Board of Directors, School Administrative District #75 Harpswell, (Cumberland County) (2008-2014)
- Karen Mayo, Select Board, Bowdoinham (Sagadahoc County)
- Rebecca Minnick, School Committee, Portland District 1, (Cumberland County), 2006–2009
- Malorie Pastor, Town Council, Old Orchard Beach (elected in June 2013) (2013-2014)
- Erek Gaines, Water District, Portland (Cumberland County), 2003–2008
- Andrea Narajian, Board of Directors, School Administrative District #75 (Bowdoinham, Sagadahoc County)
- Jo Josephson, School Board, Temple (Franklin County)
- John Fillmore-Patrick, School Board. SAD 61, Bridgton (Cumberland County)
- Denis Howard, City Council, Belfast (Waldo County)
- George Sullivan, Town Council, Yarmouth (Cumberland County)
- Charlie Wiggins, Select Board, Sedgwick (Hancock County)
- Jerry Hoag, Select Board, Beaver Cove (Piscataquis County)
- Robert LaVangie, School Board, Penobscot (Hancock County)
- Matthew Shea, School Board, Maine School Administrative District #11, Gardiner, (Kennebec County)
- Rensenbrink, John. The Greens and the Politics of Transformation, 1992, R & E Miles
- "The Ellsworth American - Offline". Ellsworthmaine.com. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
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- "Too Green to Lead?". The Bollard. January 10, 2010. Retrieved January 3, 2016.
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- King, Ed. "MayorWatch2011". The West End News. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Russell, Eric (March 5, 2013). "Greens seek to legalize pot in Portland". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved March 27, 2013.
- Koenig, Seth (July 15, 2013). "Portland voters to decide whether to legalize pot; proponents say there is a 'racial component'". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved July 16, 2013.
- Koenig, Seth (November 5, 2013). "Portland voters strongly endorse pot legalization". Bangor Daily News. Retrieved November 8, 2013.
- Billings, Randy (October 15, 2015). "Portland mayoral race: Tom MacMillan believes in social justice, bold approaches". Portland Press Herald. Retrieved 30 January 2017.
- "Maine Green party chairwoman to run for governor - Bangor Daily News". Bangornews.com. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- "Welcome to the Public Campaign Finance Page for the State of Maine". Mainecampaignfinance.com. January 20, 2009. Retrieved September 4, 2010.
- "Master of Arts in Global Policy student, David Slagger, Runs for Governor of Maine". June 13, 2013. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
- Meiklejohn, Benjamin. "OOB councilors weigh in on new look". Biddeford Courier. Retrieved June 25, 2013.
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