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Synthesis/Regeneration 14   (Fall 1997)

The Green Dream of a Green Bud

starlene rankin, Ames/Iowa State University Greens

i have been reading lots of stuff and talking to lots of people about the national Green Party situation, since last October, when i eagerly campaigned for two people i respect and admire: Ralph Nader and Winona Laduke running for President and Vice President of the USA as Green Party candidates. i was excited to be a part of a group of activists who felt a connection to all life and to the planet that sustains us.

Thanks to modern electronic technology, i could be in touch with Greens around the country. As i read my e-mail each day, i learned about TG/GPUSA and i learned about some Greens calling a meeting of state Green Parties who wanted to form an association to run a presidential candidate in the future (ASGP). i learned that TG/GPUSA considers itself the national Green Party and i learned of other groups in existence: the Left Green Network, the Green Politics Network, Third Parties '96. i was somewhat confused as to the purpose of and difference between these different groups.

i wanted to attend the ASGP formation meeting at Middleburg to observe and learn about this need for, yet, another national Green Party. For financial reasons, i couldn't go. That weekend i read my e-mail and discovered that a woman named Jana (a member of TG/GPUSA) had been treated rudely when she wanted to observe the meeting. i felt very sad when i read the story of Jana's experience.

It seemed that there were some unresolved conflicts between different people in leadership positions that had added to the motivation to form a new national party.

This incident made me wonder about the disunity occurring with Greens on a national level. Through talking to people on the internet, i began to understand that this new group wasn't necessarily being formed to expand Green activity and organization in the spirit of cooperation and partnership. It seemed that there were some unresolved conflicts between different people in leadership positions that had added to the motivation to form a new national party. i also understood that there were major intellectual/philosophical disagreements on many elements of national party structure and form.

After the Middleburg meeting and the formation of the ASGP, a group of greens participating on the Greens Electronic Forums started discussing how we could help bring unity to the Green Movement/Party. "Unity" became our password and "Greens for Unity" became our name.

i want UNITY among Greens. We already have Unity on paper -- our Ten Key Values guide our activism and connect us together in a beautiful way. The Ten Key Values are, to me, based in spirit and love. They state a love for life, for natural beauty, for diversity, for creativity, for thinking and education, for health and well-being, for peace, for democracy, and much more. They also state a willingness to be responsible for our actions, including those actions that may rise out of feelings of anger and resentment.

The Greens for Unity working group has grown over the months and our plans for Unity have evolved and action is being taken to reach our goals. We have a negotiation plan and if the G/GPUSA and the ASGP will agree to participate, we could experience a dialog that could be powerful and healing. It could lead to a cooperative agreement that will give us a United National Green Party. Our United Green Party will, eventually, nominate and work to elect a Green President and ultimately, will work with our international Green cousins to significantly influence the destiny of the human species on this planet in a positive way.

i believe the world needs us, now, to work together and deal with conflicts as they arise. Here's one of my ideas about how to handle conflicts. When conflicts come up, we can have Green facilitators, close by, to work their conflict resolution magic whenever they're needed. This will help us avoid repeating our mistakes. Like the character, Counselor Troy, on the Enterprise in the Star Trek: Next Generation TV series. These peer counselors would help us stay connected with our bodies and intuition and not let our egos and minds run the show or ruin the effort.

We are bringing revolutionary, yet, practical and workable ideas about participatory democracy to our fellow citizens.

In my opinion, we have to have cooperation and respect within our group if we want to be successful in our quest for justice and peace in our country and on the planet. The people of the USA need to TRUST us. In order for them to TRUST us, we have to TRUST ourselves and each other. We are bringing revolutionary, yet, practical and workable ideas about participatory democracy to our fellow citizens. People need to TRUST us and LISTEN to us, because we are asking them to be active, thinking public citizens participating in creating a wonderful democracy and a healthy environment and lifestyle for the citizens of the USA and future generations. (and as reincarnated souls know, we could be our own descendants!-or the future life you save could be your own!)

i ask you, my Green friends, to please support and participate in our Green Unity process. It may not be a perfect process, however, at its heart is the desire to communicate and when those nine representatives sit at the table with a facilitator-"eyes to eyes and senses to senses"-contact will occur and cooperation will emerge. TRUST will be GAINED! And i will sigh from relief and cry for joy to know that we are United and willing to work together.

We are such a smart bunch of people. The structure we adopt to handle the organizational aspects of our movement will be pliable, yet strong and we have many talented and creative people among us who can advise us on building that structure. The key is COMMUNICATION: staying in communication via electronic communication technology and staying in communication by meeting in person whenever it's possible. Communication and Action are two of the keys to a functioning participatory democracy. Let's role model how it CAN be done.

Here's my idea for the near future:

Anyone who considers themselves "a Green" is invited to a camp next summer -- bring the whole family! We'll do some fundraising and grant writing to have a scholarship fund so it's possible for everyone to go who wants to go. Everyone attends this camp as an individual, leaving all their organizational affiliations at home. We'll go to this camp as Greens who honor and practice the Ten Key Values and we'll go for two purposes: to build trust while getting to know each other and to share our dreams, desires, and visions for the future together as Greens. We can do this by experiencing a VISION QUEST where all the kids, teens, and adults agree to discover a common vision founded on trust and cooperation and ultimately, LOVE.

i would love to talk to or receive mail/e-mail from anyone who wants to connect with me about Green Unity.

Thank you for reading this.

-om nama shivaya (means "i bow to the divine within you" or more simply, "i respect you")
starlene rankin p.o. box 622, ames, ia 50010 515-232-2971 starlene@iastate.edu

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