Green Party Holds 100-Signature-A-Plate Reception For Ralph Nader
June 21, 2000 St. Louis, Missouri. When Ralph Nader arrives in St. Louis Thursday night, June 22, he will be off to a first of its kind meeting for campaign workers. The Green Party of St. Louis will hold a "100-signature-a-plate" reception for its Presidential hopeful.
Since April, Missouri Greens have been gathering signatures to get Nader on the ballot. Those who have obtained at least 100 signatures are being invited to meet the candidate at a private reception. "We want everyone to know that this is a grassroots effort," says Green Party organizer Don Fitz. "You have to pay hundreds or thousands of dollars to meet the Republican and Democratic Party candidates. But the people who are going to influence Ralph Nader are campaigners who do the day-to-day work of the Green Party."
The author of 10 books on politics and the concentration of corporate power, Nader is best known for his critiques of business practices that compromise worker and consumer safety. The Green Party candidate claims that corporate money had grown so influential in current politics that reforms he helped spearhead 20 years ago would not get out of Congressional committees today. This focus is what inspired his nomination for President by Green Party activists which include consumer and social justice advocates as well as environmentalists.
Though Nader has yet to attain double digit support in polls, Greens base their hopes on his 80% name recognition and the fact that he has lower negativity ratings than either Gore or Bush. Signature-collector Mira Tanna claims, "Nader doesn't spend a lot of time with corporate executives unless he is challenging them or suing them. We will never have the tens of millions of dollars that the Democrats and Republicans do. The strategy of the Green Party is to outdo them in the number of grassroots organizers we mobilize."
The Green Party of St. Louis can be contacted by calling 314-727-8554 or sending an e-mail to GreensStL@aol.com
Contact: Barbara Chicherio, 314-727-8554
Contact: Jason Toon, 314-865-4159
Rally May Get Green Party on Missouri Ballot
PRESIDENTIAL HOPEFUL RALPH NADER TO SPEAK AT WEBSTER UNIVERSITY
Presidential hopeful Ralph Nader will speak at 9 am, Friday, June 23 at the Winifred Moore Auditorium on the Webster University campus (470 E. Lockwood). The Green Party candidate is often seen as one of the honest few in public life. Nader first gained national recognition as a consumer advocate in 1965 when he exposed that the faulty rear suspension system of Corvairs made it possible to skid violently and roll over.
Nader is already assured of being on the ballot in many states. Missouri Green Party supporters hope his St. Louis appearance will help put them over the top in number of required signatures. "We have over 8,000 of the 10,000 needed for Nader's name to appear as a Presidential candidate in Missouri," says Barbara Chicherio, co-coordinator of the Green Party of St. Louis. "But we need to have 14,000 to 15,000 signatures as a safety cushion. We expect that Nader speaking will gain us enough new petitioners so we will meet that goal by early July."
The campaign received a major boost when the California Nurses Association endorsed him on June 14. Like California nurses, Greens see Nader as the only candidate advocating universal health care. Greens want a national health insurance plan that guarantees access to full health care services for everyone in the US.
Building an alliance between labor and environmentalists will be a long road to haul for the Greens. But the alliance that surfaced during the Seattle demonstrations against the World Trade Organization (WTO) could be a beginning. Unions and Greens agree that international trade agreements like the WTO weaken both labor and environmental standards. According to Missouri Green Party activist Daniel Romano, "Big business backed Clinton-Gore in 1992 because they seemed to have a better chance than Bush of getting the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress. Opposing NAFTA was the first time Greens and labor worked together in St. Louis. Now we need to join forces to stop Gore and Bush from giving away even more to the WTO."
Nader's June 23 talk at Webster University is open to the public at no charge. The Green Party of St. Louis can be contacted by calling 314-727-8554 or sending an e-mail to GreensStL@aol.com
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