s/r home  | issues  | authors  | 24 contents

Synthesis/Regeneration 24   (Winter 2001)

Green Party Statements on Unity

Proposal to Establish a Negotiating Committee for General Unity,
Green Party of St. Louis/Gateway Green Alliance

November 15, 2001

Reason. The 2000 electoral campaign created a tremendous potential for Greens to become the spark for unity between progressive forces in the US. At the same time, the election showed that the Greens/Green Party USA (GPUSA) has not developed sufficiently deep ties with many groups, including environmental, labor and people of color organizations. In order to create the bases for enduring alliances, Greens should explore potential for collaborative efforts in steps:

1. The GPUSA should develop joint action networks for collaborative projects.

2. The GPUSA should develop electoral collaboration which may include (a) members of other organizations joining the Greens in order to run for office on the Green Party ticket; or, (b) the development of an electoral alliance between progressive parties, which do not include parties of corporate power (i.e., Democratic, Republican, Libertarian, Constitution).

3. The GPUSA should explore the possibility of structural unification with progressive organizations which have participated in joint action and electoral efforts with it.

Though there are many potential alliances, the most promising are...

A Blue-Green Alliance with labor, especially concerning international trade deals, single-payer medical care, and campaign finance reform.

A Black-Green Alliance with African American groups, especially with a focus on issues of police brutality, an end to the "drug wars," and a "Marshall Plan" to rebuild inner cities.

A Red-Green Alliance with socialists and others in the US left who share a green understanding of the need to build a new, non-exploitative society.

Proposal. The Green National Committee (GNC) will create a Negotiating Committee to explore possible joint action networks, common electoral campaigns, and/or structural unification with groups which may share similarities with the GPUSA. These groups could include, but would not be limited to:

Association of State Green Parties Black Radical Congress Campaign for a New Tomorrow Labor Party New Party Peace and Freedom Party (CA) Socialist Party Universal African Peoples' Organization (Mo.)

The Negotiating Committee is charged with contacting groups to explore if they would be interested in planning joint action campaigns with the GPUSA which would lead to joint electoral campaigns in 2002 and might or might not be the basis for structural unity of the organizations.

The Negotiating Committee also has the responsibility to return information to the GNC and the Green Congress concerning efforts it made to contact groups, the result of meetings or discussions, areas of potential joint action with each group, and its assessment of the likelihood of joint action leading to joint electoral work and/or structural unification.

Resolution on the ASGP/GPUSA "Unity," Proposal by the Green Party of Onondaga County, New York (Syracuse)

November 29, 2000. We are in general agreement with the spirit of the proposal to set up a unified statutory Green Party of the United States, with The Greens/Green Party USA continuing as an independent dues-paying membership organization for Green Party activists with a new name, such as Greens USA. We disagree with some of the specific points in the proposal, as follows:

Point 1: We support turning its domain name over to the new Green Party only if it is agreed that the new Green Party will provide a link to Greens USA on its website.

Point 2: We support leaving state dues up to each state Green Party.

Point 3: We support a sustaining membership category in the new Green Party. We also support a system of automatic revenue sharing of dues with affiliated state and county organizations to make fundraising more efficient and less competitive between the national, state, and local levels of the party.

Point 4: We support state parties in the new Green Party having written democratic bylaws and at least one membership convention a year.

Points 5 and 6: We do not agree with local representation in the National Committee. We support electing state delegations to the National Committee at-large using preferential voting (choice voting, single transferable vote) to encourage proportional representation of the political, geographic, gender, and ethnic diversity in each party. We do support local representation in bi-annual conventions. But the proposed districts of clustered congressional districts are poor units for representing local Greens because they are not natural units of interaction and local meetings of Greens. The one delegate per district proposal gives unequal representation to grassroots Greens by giving minimally organized and well-organized districts the same representation.

Greens should be represented in the national party on the basis of Greens (such as dues-paid members, enrolled members, presidential votes, or some combination), not general population regardless of the number of Greens in the district. We believe the county organizations of state Green parties should be the local unit for representation to the national conventions of the Green Party because counties are important units of local government and of statutory party organization in almost every state, making them more accountable and more geographically proximate units for Green local organization.

Point 7: We support good faith efforts to include oppressed gender and ethnic groups. We believe these should be strengthened by mandating that the preferential voting system for leadership positions and delegations to the national party include constraint rules that guarantee (when there are a sufficient number of female and ethnic minority candidates) that at least 50% women are elected and that ethnic minorities are elected at least in proportion to their share of the general population in the state represented.

Point 8: We support a voice for organized caucuses of oppressed groups in the National Committee, but we prefer for voting representation the use of proportional representation as proposed in our comment on point 7 instead of the token representation that will likely result if caucuses are seen as the principal means of representation for women and ethnic minorities.

Point 9: We do not support a mail referendum of the GPUSA membership on this proposal. We do support its endorsement with modifications at a special Green Congress to be held within six months. A plebiscite by referendum on this multi-faceted proposal would prevent GPUSA from endorsing the main thrust of the proposal without having to accept every detail and might lead to its defeat even though the membership may agree with its main direction. A Green Congress will allow a deliberative process that can accept main proposal while disagreeing on some of the details.

Statement by the Green Party of Michigan

November 12, 2000. The following resolution was passed by consensus at the quarterly meeting of the Green Party of Michigan, and speaks authoritatively for the state party.

Resolved: That the Green Party of Michigan encourages the ASGP to pass the Boston proposal at its national meeting this December.

That the Green Party of Michigan calls on the G/GPUSA to either initiate a mail-in vote at once, or to hold a Congress meeting as soon after the New Year as possible, for the express purpose of voting on the Boston proposal. Further, the Green Party of Michigan ecourages the membership of the G/GPUSA to vote in favor of the proposal.

Statement by the Green Party of Minnesota

The Green Party of Minnesota membership met on Saturday, 11/11/00, and recommended moving forward with both the Boston negotiation proposal and the ASGP Transition Committee's structure proposal. These two proposals were presented as drafts only, with the understanding that they would continue to be developed in further detail.

Members commented that they would like the ASGP structure to include representation for affinity caucuses; and that both the ASGP and G/GPUSA should strive to respect local autonomy and decentralization of the Green Party movement.

Statement by NOVA Greens

The NOVA Greens had a meeting of our local 12/03/00 at George Mason University in Fairfax VA, where by consensus, we agreed to support the Boston Agreement for a negotiated settlement to have one Green Party (merger of GPUSA and ASGP). We understand further fine tuning may be needed (negotiations ). If a mail-in process is happening consider this our vote of support.

Statement by Massachusetts Greens

Nov. 20, 2000. The Steering Committee of the Massachusetts Green Party meeting on November 19 (with about 50 in attendance) unanimously approved the ASGP/GPUSA Unity Resolution at set forth in the October 2000 meeting of the Negotiating Team.

In addition, we request that the following resolution be placed on the agenda of the ASGP Coordinating Committee meeting, to be held in Georgia in December:

That out of respect for the process and framework established by the Boston Unity talks, the ASGP place a FEC filing moratorium on themselves until April 30, 2001. This would allow G/GPUSA to follow through with their commitment towards a full congress vote on the Unity proposal.

Statement by the Green Party of Pennsylvania

November 20, 2000. The Coordinating Committee of the Green Party of Pennsylvania yesterday agreed by consensus to give its unconditional approval to the Boston proposal (meaning that ASGP structural changes should not be contingent upon the G/GPUSA's approval of the name change) and to direct its delegates to the ASGP Coordinating Committee to vote accordingly.

Statement by St. Joe Valley Greens (Indiana)

The St Joe Valley Greens have endorsed a call for referendum on the Boston proposal, as well as the proposal. They just held their regular congress. It's a little tentative, but this pregnant chad counts.

Except for the St. Louis statement, the text is taken from the October and November, 2000 Green Bulletins—E-mail version. Published by: The Greens/Green Party USA, P. O. Box 1134, Lawrence, MA 01842; phone (978) 682/4353, email: gpusa@greens.org web: http://www.greenparty.org/

Synthesis/Regeneration home page | Synthesis/Regeneration 24 Contents