Indiana Green Party
Application for Accreditation by the Green Party of the U.S.
P.O. Box 441105
Indianapolis, IN 46244
Green Party of the U.S.
c/o Nathalie Paravicini, Secretary
P.O. Box 18452
Washington, DC 20036
14 January 2003
The Indiana Green Party decided, by consensus, at its July 2002 Congress in Indianapolis, to pursue affiliation with (accreditation by) the Green Party of the U.S.
This document conveys our request for accreditation. It is organized in several parts: (A) this letter of transmittal; (#B) our letter of application explaining how we meet the criteria for membership; (#C) our bylaws; (#D) platform information; and (#E) additional information.
Please send any requests for clarification or additional information to me at email@example.com (or the street address below) and I will do my best to find answers. This document was prepared by me in consultation with the officers of the Indiana Green Party and with advice from key members; however all errors are mine. The party co-coordinators Pam Raider and Sean Bagley may be contacted directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Of course, members of the committee may contact any members of the party or Indiana local Green groups directly for unmediated corroboration of the information contained here or to obtain missing information. The URL of this application has been provided to members of the Indiana Green Party, and I invite them to send me corrections or additions. We have provided it on the web in the interests of transparency and accountability...and to save a little paper.
We look forward to participating with other state Green parties in this national organization.
with warm regards,
for the Indiana Green Party
2225 Riverside Dr.
South Bend, IN 46616
B - Letter of Application
Dear Accreditation Committee members:
The Indiana Green Party is in its beginnings; we have no illusions that we have done anything other than plant a small Green seed in hard ground. The Indiana GP is a result of long efforts by a small number of Greens to expand in the state - combined with the 2000 Nader petition drive. Looking ahead, we hope the continued efforts of Greens contributes to a transformation of Indiana politics.
This part is organized in two sections; first, a general introduction intended to provide some political background and a sense of our organizing situation and strategies, and second, a review of the ways in which the Indiana Green Party meets the criteria for accreditation by the Green Party of the U.S.
The St Joe Valley Greens, long the only Green organization in Indiana, were trying to develop additional locals in 1999-2000, when Ben Manski arrived to start up the Ralph Nader petition drive. During that drive (which was nearly successful), in July 2000, Monroe, Marion, and St. Joseph county Green organizers set up the Indiana Green Coordinating Committee (IGCC). Soon after the election, IGCC activists set up a provisional party organization and began drafting bylaws. The Indiana Green Party was formally established at the July 2001 meeting in Indianapolis, with its current revised bylaws approved at the second Congress in August 2002. Activity is down from the highwater marks reached during the Nader petition efforts, but a solid party organization, several politically active locals, and a statewide network of Greens remain, and we are building upon this foundation.
Part of a history is available on the website: http://www.indianagreenparty.org/history.shtml
The Indiana Green Party is an unincorporated political association based on paid members and affiliated chapters. "The Indiana Green Party shall be a confederation of local Greens chapters and an unaffiliated Greens caucus in the state of Indiana and any other alliance or confederation agreed upon by the Indiana Green Party in keeping with the purpose and values of this organization." (Bylaws sec. 4.) Chapters must have at least five members, and are encouraged to be county-based. There are approximately 50 official members of the party.
Currently, there are
- three active affiliated locals: Marion County -http://www.marioncountygreens.org/ [webpage currently not working]- (Indianapolis), Monroe County -http://www.monroegreens.org/- (Bloomington), and St. Joseph County -http://www.sjvgreens.org/- (South Bend).
- There is an unorganized Unaffiliated Caucus of members not in affiliated locals (Bylaws sec. 4.2), which some members are attempting to get organized.
- Brown County -http://www.browncountygreenparty.org/- (Nashville/Columbus) has an organized local unaffiliated with the state party.
- The Northwest/Calumet area (Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties together), Greene County, and Vanderburgh County (Evansville) are the most likely to organize in the near future.
- In addition to these, there are county contacts in Allen, Clark, Delaware, Henry, Howard, Huntington, and Jackson counties (N.B.: some of these may no longer be available, and there may be others not known to me).
- Finally, there are campus groups or contacts at: the University of Notre Dame, IUPUI (Indiana Univ./Purdue Univ. Indianapolis), IU - Bloomington, IUSB (Indiana University South Bend), Purdue University (W. Lafayette), Butler University, DePauw University, and Wabash College. (The first three are known to be active at this date; status of the others is not known to me.)
Currently our political strategy - as a statewide electoral party - is to build the Indiana Green Party by outreach to historically disadvantaged and underrepresented groups in the state, by building the nascent local groups into a significant presence, and by building locals in new parts of the state (most areas have no local group, and several sizeable cities - like Ft Wayne - have no Green presence). Our goal is a much larger party with a strong enough Green network to succeed in breaking the 2 percent barrier [see below]. We won't be able to count on the boost provided by a Ralph Nader or other candidate - including the possibility of a prominent Indiana progressive activist or defector from another party - able to raise money independently of the Green Party. We are trying to build a network of Green locals which can thrive independent of the election cycle while qualified to participate in it.
At this stage, while we are developing the local groups, we have not yet developed statewide issues to work on in concerted ways, nor a state legislative agenda. Our platform development process, just begun, represents a move in that direction.
Individually, of course, our locals seek to create change in our local communities.
Discussion of membership criteria::
II. Criteria for State Party Membership in the Green Party of the United States.
1. Acceptance of the four pillars of the international Green Party movement [ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, non-violence] or the Ten Key Values as guiding principles.
The first sentence of the party bylaws are: "We, the active members of the Indiana Green Party have come together to form a new political party based on the 10 Key Values of the Green movement." Section 1 goes on to list and discuss the role of these values. The glossary [this should be updated] defines them as "the central values of the Green movement, which form the basis for all Green activity." Bylaws. The Ten Key Values head our homepage on the web; the party considers them "the ten principles by which Greens value their activities and the activities of others." The Monroe County Greens conduct rotating quarterly forums on topics related to the four pillars; the St. Joe Valley Greens use the pillars as criteria for goals.
2. Organized and run in accordance with these values.
The Indiana Green Party operates consistent with the Four Pillars of the Green movement (Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, and Nonviolence). They form our goals - they provide the organizing principle for our platform discussion - and are behind all the campaign positions taken by Indiana Green candidates and the issue stances made by our local groups. They inform our decisionmaking processes and organization. In particular, our Bylaws incorporate Social Justice and Grassroots Democracy in their requirements for party process and leadership.
Minutes of all our meetings may be found at:
3. A statewide organization open to, and reflective of, a statewide membership.
The Indiana Green Party is the result of lengthy attempts to organize statewide Green political presence - and is the most tangible yet. The most active locals are in the central (Marion and Monroe) and northern (St. Joe Valley) tiers of the state. Members of the party are currently involved in helping to organize locals in two sizeable urban areas at opposite ends of the state: Evansville (Vanderburgh county) on the Ohio River in the south, and (300 miles away) in the Northwest Calumet area near Chicago (Lake, Porter, and LaPorte counties).
Because of the size of the state (not among the largest, but large enough to require 6-hour round-trip drives for those far from Indianapolis, the largest city and capital (as well as geographic and population center), the Congress has charged the CC with using technology to link distant locals (outside the central tier counties) using a video-conferencing system. A recent (16 Nov 02) experiment with this resulted in a monthly meeting with thirty attendees (in-person meetings requiring more driving may only have a handful in attendance). This system should allow us to increase participation, make the state party more democratic, and improve its usefulness to local groups. (Note: the Ingreens (Yahoo.com groups) list has also been used for member notification and party governance. [A link is provided in section E below.])
All Green locals, regardless of affiliate status, and all volunteer county contacts (persons who have expressed an interest in having a local group and agreed to be a contact), regardless of membership status, are linked on the Indiana Green Party website, informed of meetings, and provided assistance where practicable.
There are no competing or antagonistic Green organizations in Indiana at either the state or local level. Also, no G/GPUSA affiliates remain.
4. Agrees to support national candidates selection by Green convention.
This commitment is a foregone conclusion; the 2000 Nader campaign was one of the formative experiences of the Indiana Green Party. A national Green presidential candidacy is one of the few situations which can lead to Indiana Greens breaking the 2% threshold. However, the party has been asked to affirm it explicitly. See http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ingreens/message/2722
Kevin Robinson and Jeff Sutter attended the 2000 Denver ASGP Convention as accredited delegates for Indiana Greens. Kevin, at the microphone, casts our votes for Ralph Nader [27kb jpg - photo by js].
5. Makes good faith effort, where reasonable, to achieve ballot status.
Ballot access in Indiana is notoriously difficult. Currently the Democratic, Republican, and Libertarian parties are qualified for the ballot (the Libertarians poll about 4%).
For statewide candidates to get on the ballot, current Indiana law requires a number of validated signatures equal to 2% of the number cast statewide for Secretary of State in the last election. (currently 30,700; http://www.ballot-access.org/2002/june-chart.pdf). In order to achieve ballot-status for the party, it must run a candidate for Secretary of State and receive at least 2% of the votes cast for that office. If that number is achieved, the party is qualified for the next election cycle; however, it must receive at least 2% of the number cast statewide for its Secretary of State candidate in that next election or be disqualified for subsequent elections and back to petitioning for access. Only the vote totals in the race for Indiana Secretary of State are used to determine ballot access.
In order to make it harder still to achieve these goals, Indiana has recently moved the petitioning deadline from July 15 to June 30 (taking away the 4th of July weekend). The Secretary of State elections are held in the off-year (non-presidential election year) which can make it still more difficult to motivate voters for this relatively obscure bureaucratic office.
The Indiana Green Party is affiliated with the Indiana Coalition for Fair Election Laws, which is working to improve ballot access for third parties. (See also Ballot Access Update).
6. Makes good faith effort to run state and local candidates.
Marion County Green Party is considering runs for Indianapolis City/County at-large seats. St. Joe Valley Greens are researching government structure and process to assess prospects for local progressive candidacies.
The following campaigns were conducted in 2002: (Tom Brown's petition drive for the Secretary of State's office was terminated for personal reasons.)
2002 Campaign webpages:
Jeff Melton, Green candidate for U.S. Congress, 9th district, http://meltonforcongress.org/
Julie Roberts, Green Party candidate for Monroe County Council District 2, http://electjulieroberts.org/
Timothy Baer, Green candidate for Brown County Commissioner, district 2, http://www.browncountygreenparty.org/documents/timothy_baer_candidate_statement.pdf
(For 2002 election results: see http://www.greens.org/elections/ (select Indiana)).
Though these candidacies were supported by the party, the campaigns and their fundraising and get-out-the-vote activities were self-organized by the candidates' campaign committees and local Greens - without help organized by the state party. Jeff Melton's campaign was endorsed by the state party and helped by Greens from more than one local.
7. Has applied to GREEN PARTY for accreditation, and has included written by-laws, platform, and other documentation with that application.
Please advise us if you require any additional information.
8. Has a history of networking with other environmental and social justice organizations.
The Indiana Green Party is affiliated with Common Bonds (A Coalition of Indiana Progressives) (see http://www.commonbonds.org/) whose affiliates are:Americans United for Separation of Church and State - Greater Indianapolis Chapter
Citizens Action Coalition
Citizens for Independent Public Broadcasting
Community, Faith, and Labor Coalition
Hoosier Environmental Council
Indiana Alliance for Democracy
Indiana Citizens to Abolish Capital Punishment
Indiana Green Party
Indianapolis Peace & Justice Center
The Indianapolis Vegetarian Society
Jobs with Justice
Marion County Green Party
Natural Law Party of Indiana
Indiana NORML (National Organization for Reform of Marijuana Laws)
Positive Change Network
The Monroe County Greens are part of the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition; St. Joe Valley Greens activists have worked for local Fair Wage legislation and with the Peace and Justice Coalition of Michiana. Local chapters are involved in local Earth Day celebrations.
Some additional examples are noted under point 10, below. We are well aware of our need to make efforts in this area; only lately is the party sufficiently organized to approach other groups more assertively.
Indiana Green members have participated in several pickets and marches against U.S. policy on Iraq around the state (Bloomington, Indianapolis, and South Bend). The party sent a delegation in December, 2001 to demonstrate outside of the Indianapolis-Marion County City-County Bldg during the medical marijuana trial of Jeanne Horton. (InGP did so as part of Common Bonds and as an ally of Indiana NORML.) Indianapolis Green Party members participated in several anti-Iraq war protests, Indy Living Wage events, two "Take Back the Earth Days" in Indianapolis. A party co-coordinator spoke last May at an Indy Indiana NORML rally.
Our process for platform and strategy development will include outreach and networking with other groups as an integral part of decision-making, so the Indiana Green Party can develop as an electoral expression of Indiana's progressive, radical, and historically-disadvantaged organizations and communities.
9. Evidence of commitment to, and good faith efforts to achieve, gender balance in party leadership and representation.
We have a good record (so far) in this respect.
The party Bylaws require: "4.4.1 Coordinators; 22.214.171.124 It shall be required to have at least one female in this two-person position. If a female coordinator is not available or elected, a member of a minority (i.e.; racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, age, disability) group may serve as coordinator. If a minority member is not available, then any male may serve as an interim coordinator until either a female member or minority group member is available."
The Indiana Green Party's 4 officers are (currently) 3 female/1 male. In addition, our technology volunteers are currently 1 female/1 male.
Indiana locals show similar strong commitments: St. Joe Valley Greens' co-coordinators are 1 female/1 male; Marion County's officers are 2 female/1 male; Brown County's officers are 3 female/3 male. Monroe County's leadership is currently 2 female/3 male (one position is vacant); previously the majority has been women.
10. Evidence of good faith efforts to empower individuals and groups from oppressed communities, through, for example, leadership responsibilities, identity caucuses and alliances with community-based organizations, and endorsements of issues and policies.
Charge to the party from July 2002 Congress: "The IGP CC should encourage locals to foster the recruitment and retention of historically underrepresented groups in the party." Members of the party are asking for this policy to be translated into specific actions and goals in the future: the intention is nice but execution is critical.
Some small actions have been taken at the local level:
The St. Joe Valley Greens have made contacts with the NAACP in South Bend, and a likely joint project is an NAACP-sponsored or jointly sponsored voter registration drive in a targeted city neighborhood.
Monroe County Greens have done outreach with the NAACP and NOW, and are planning to work harder to draw the GLBT communities.
Marion County Greens have participated in the Indianapolis Living Wage Campaign and attended other Labor-related demonstrations.
As for internal party rules, the Bylaws require: "4.4.1 Coordinators; 126.96.36.199 It shall be required to have at least one female in this two-person position. If a female coordinator is not available or elected, a member of a minority (i.e.; racial, ethnic, sexual orientation, age, disability) group may serve as coordinator. If a minority member is not available, then any male may serve as an interim coordinator until either a female member or minority group member is available."
An African-American woman from Indianapolis has previously served as party co-coordinator.
C - BylawsThe text of the Bylaws can be found at http://www.indianagreenparty.org/igpbylaw.shtml
D - Platform Information
The Indiana Green Party does not currently have a platform but is developing one (perhaps more accurately, is developing a process for creating a platform). One idea some are considering combines the processes of identifying and approaching local coalition partners with writing local platforms, and thus generating new ideas for the state platform from the bottom-up.
Its Platform committee last met July 2002 and disseminated (on Ingreens and the website) the included report: (29 July 2002) http://www.indianagreenparty.org/platform-report.shtml).
Further work on the platform is planned soon, but will come after statewide communications and organizing issues are addressed as prioritized at our last party Congress.
E - Additional Related Information
No newsletters are currently published by the Indiana Green Party. The Monroe County Green Party has published a quarterly newsletter called Greenspace since August 2001 (and the St. Joe Valley Greens have previously published one); all state-related information is distributed on the state party website, locals' websites, the Ingreens lists, or directly within locals.
Some of the linked information is for the benefit of Indiana GP members regarding our accreditation - and general Indiana politics.
Site Map of the website of the Green Party of the U.S.
Bylaws of the Green Party of the U.S.
Rules and procedures of the Green Party of the U.S.
Selected Green Party/ASGP minutes and documents
Green Party Ballot Status and Voter Registration Totals by state
Ingreens (Indiana Greens Yahoo.com group) - 252 members (1/03)
Ingreens-discuss (Indiana Greens Yahoo.com discussion group) - 35 members (1/03)
"Indiana deadline is now worse" - June 30 petitioning deadline. (Ballot Access News - to B.A.N.)
Indiana Secretary of State - Elections Division
Election law - Indiana Code Title 3 Article 8.
Petition to nominate independent candidates or candidates of non-qualified parties (Form CAN-19).
Indiana U.S. Congressional districts (map)
Indiana Legislative districts
Access Indiana - State of Indiana government
Indiana General Assembly http://www.in.gov/legislative/
Access Indiana - Legislative bills introduced
Bill Watch http://www.in.gov/apps/lsa/session/billwatch/
Indiana Coalition for Fair Election Laws
Open Secrets (Indiana pages)
Campaign Finance Information Center (Indiana page)
Indiana Daily Insight
html by Jeff Sutter (email@example.com) 1/03 rev 24jan03