Synthesis/Regeneration 11   (Fall 1996)

Nader Campaign Helping Build the Greens in New Jersey

by Steve Welzer, New Jersey Green Party

The Greens' presence in New Jersey will grow enormously this year owing to interest in the Ralph Nader for President campaign. A state Green Party will likely be founded in 1997 on the basis of the contacts being made and the infrastructure being built around the Nader candidacy. Activists of the Grass Roots Environmental Organization, the NJ Environmental Federation, We the People, NJ Rainbow, NJ NOW, NJ Animal Rights Alliance, the Nation Associates, Peace Action, Delaware Riverkeepers Association, Citizens Energy Council (and many more) are now expressing an interest in the activities and ideas of the Greens—to an extent that we have not seen before. Some of these people will join us; some to work primarily with the New Jersey Green Party, while others gravitate more toward movement/activist work. It's all for the good, as far as I can see.

New Jersey has had a reputation for excellent Green community organizing, alternative culture, and counter-institutional activity. Now we're "rounding out" our presence with an electoral component. It happened to start with a fortuitous and high-profile presidential campaign. Nothing wrong with that. We will follow up next year running people for school boards and town councils.

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