Working toward a future where people and planet are valued, and our government represents all of us.
Respecting and Celebrating the Earth
by GPPA Co-chair Alan Smith
"Mitakuye Oyasin," she said in her soft spoken voice, as she made a sweeping motion with her hand. Grandma Dora uttered this Lakota phrase that means, "All are related." From speaking of the wind as a mother, to treating a bear like a brother, Indigenous Peoples understand that all things on this planet are in relationship to each other.
I spent five summers on "the rez" in South Dakota learning from Grandma Dora "Oti Ahani Win" and others learning about the importance of healthy relationships. Charlene "Little Eagle Woman" Charger taught me about keeping space open. When she visited me in my urban/suburban setting she would feel claustrophobic as life on "the rez" in South Dakota featured wide open spaces not cluttered with buildings. Space is important in creating healthy relationships. The creation of more green spaces would help foster healthier communities. My great grandfather was Cherokee, and my great grandmother was Lumbie. They raised 12 children, one of whom was my grandfather. His speech was measured. He chose his words carefully, respectfully, leaving space. Long walks in the woods is what I remember most about time spent with him. The importance of getting to know my surroundings was what he was teaching me.
A couple of weeks ago, I traveled to a small community library to take part in a film discussion. The film featured a Lakota elder named Dave Bald Eagle. It was based on a book written about him called, Neither Wolf Nor Dog. In the book he said something similar about the problem we face.
“Our old people noticed this from the beginning. They said that the white man lived in a world of cages, and that if we didn't look out, they would make us live in cages too. So we started noticing. Everything looked like cages. Your clothes fit like cages. Your houses looked like cages. You put your fences around your yards so they looked like cages. Everything was a cage. You turned the land into cages. Little squares. Then after you had all these cages you made a government to protect these cages. And that government was all cages. All laws about what you couldn't do. The only freedom you had was inside your own cage. Then you wondered why you weren't happy and didn't feel free. You made all the cages, then you wondered why you didn't feel free.”
At the heart of Indigenous ways is humility. As Chief Seattle said, "The Earth does not belong to us. We belong to the Earth." Yet, this relationship, this focus on humility is absent from many environmental conversations. Instead, climate change has become the focus of environmental movements. Indeed, 70% of carbon emissions are from big business and the lifestyles of the super wealthy, but simply addressing carbon in the atmosphere will not solve the problem. Climate change and carbon emissions are symptoms. From pollution, to seismic blasting, from fracking to deforestation, humans have dishonored their relationship with the planet. We need system change. This disrespect, dominance, and dysfunction is the root of the problem. We must cultivate the opposite. We must nurture a profound love for the Earth. We need more eco and less ego. Planet before profit. We must plant the seeds for this everywhere we go. We must also go beyond sustainability; restorative and regenerative work must be done. Let's educate ourselves about the movements happening everywhere from the tree climbers, to the water protectors, to the pipeline protesters, paying close attention to the work and ways of Indigenous Peoples, building relationships, building solidarity. Let’s develop deeper connections with all things on this planet. So that they ALL our relations have a place in our hearts.
A year before her passing in 2008, the governor of South Dakota proclaimed April 15 to be “Dora Bruguier Day” honoring her work as a caregiver for many. I celebrate Grandma Dora always, and likewise remember that Earth Day (April 22) is everyday. Every moment is a moment to nurture our relationship with the planet. We have a MEGA task ahead of us; a Make Earth Green Again task, that is. Let's get to it! Tókša akhé (until next time in Lakota; there is no word for goodbye in their language).
GPPA News Highlights
edited by Jim Beggs
PA Governor Tom Wolf (Democrat) and PA Senator Mike Folmer (Republican) have announced proposals to reform Pennsylvania’s antiquated, expensive, and daunting election system. The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) reviewed these proposals and found that both include some excellent changes which would eliminate obstructions and make voting easier and more accessible. However, both proposals also have some concerning issues and are missing some key elements of a fair and inclusive system. [Read the five changes that GPPA demands in PA elections.] (show all)
GPPA Conference in Pittsburgh
The Green Party of Allegheny County hosted the GPPA Delegate Conference on March 23 and 24. Green Party delegates from around the state heard from four interesting speakers. DARIO HUNTER, an Ohio Green who is seeking the nomination for President of the U.S. (POTUS), spoke about economic and racial justice, including reparations. HOWIE HAWKINS, a New York Green who has set up a POTUS exploratory committee, spoke about extending the Green New Deal because our choices now are “ecosocialism or death.” IAN SCHLAKMAN, a Maryland Green who is seeking the nomination for POTUS, spoke about building the Green Party and the importance of down-ticket races. Finally, SEDINAM KINAMO CHRISTIAN MOYOWASIFA CURRY (aka SKCM Curry), a California Green who is seeking the nomination for POTUS, presented a useful paper containing 15 points of unity. The delegates also learned about a nuclear power bailout under consideration in Harrisburg. There was a panel of elected PA Green Party officials who talked about serving in elected office, and another panel that offered ideas on building local power through “strategic patience.” The Green Party of Allegheny County made everyone feel at home while away from their homes.
edited by Brian Lee
The door is still open for local candidates who would like to run for elected office on the Green Party ballot. In order to run, the candidate MUST be a registered Green Party voter before April 22.
So far, Green Party has at least four candidates running for office in 2019:
MIKE FARLEY was endorsed by the Adams County Green Party to run for Auditor.
RILEY MAHON was endorsed by the Green Party of Allegheny County to run for Upper Saint Clair School Board.
NICK PRETE was endorsed by the Green Party of Montgomery County to run for Methacton School Board, nicholas.prete-at-icloud-dot-com, (484) 343-4564.
Communications Team by Chris Robinson
Want to stay up to date with everything happening in the Green Party of Pennsylvania? Follow @GreenPartyofPA on Twitter! There you will find updates from campaigns, coming Green Party events in your area, and news about Green issues in Pennsylvania and beyond. The GPPA Communication Team is still handicapped by a shortage of volunteers. Too many tasks still fall upon a very few members. The ComTeam would be much more successful if a couple of Greens would volunteer to learn just one, monthly task, such as editing a page of GREEN STAR. To volunteer, please call Chris at 215-843-4256 or email him at chrisrecon-at-netzero-dot-net, or sign up HERE.
Finance Team by Tim Runkle
The Finance Team includes volunteers who help to manage and plan the finances of the Green Party. Team tasks include membership promotion, fundraising, merchandise, and state event/meeting planning. Our volunteers are spread across the state and perform their organizing remotely while connecting local Green Chapters with new membership and supportive organizations. Finance Team meetings occur on the 1st and 3rd Meeting of each month at 8:30 p.m. To join the Finance Team sign up HERE
GreenWave Team by Jenny Isaacs
We have four confirmed candidates for local office in Allegheny, Lancaster, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties, and nibbles in Adams and Luzerne. Two campaigns have reported having formed committees and held strategy meetings. Green Wave helped with the process of filing Olivia Faison's Philadelphia city council campaign committee, and sent signature requirements and maps of school district polling places to Nick Prete in Montgomery County. Green Wave has also offered to help recruit and assign volunteers for Primary Day.
As a reminder, the #1 focus for all Green candidates at this time should be securing volunteer commitments for a strong Primary Day operation on Tuesday, May 21. Set a goal of staffing all precincts in small districts, if not all day then at least from 7-9, 11-1 and 5-8. Primary Day is the single best chance you will have to collect signatures on nomination papers from eligible voters. It is also a crucial opportunity to contact reliable voters. The folks who are entering your polls on primary day are virtually guaranteed to be back again in the General Election. If a volunteer introduces your campaign to them by collecting a signature from them in May, they will remember us in November!
We hope to see more 2019 Green candidates emerge in the next few weeks. Please help by spreading the word that Green Wave is available to answer questions and help launch local campaigns. Email [email protected] or to join a GreenWave initiative sign up HERE
edited by Dave Ochmanowicz
The Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King cited racism, materialism, and militarism as three of the great injustices of the United States. When publicly traded companies traffic arms, planes, and other military vehicles internationally, complicity with the immorality of war spreads. Investors, universities, religious organizations, and retirement funds must be aware of their complicity with widespread death and injustice. Choose peace instead of war. (show all)
During March we honored women during Women's History Month and International Women's Day. Every day of every month there are Green Women working hard to elevate the Green Party Platform and the Green Party Values. Our Green Women stand for women's rights, social equality, reproductive rights, economic equality and against the atrocities of violence and oppression. I applaud all the wonderful strong Green Women who are working toward a more peaceful, just and equal world. While we celebrate women in our communities this month and on International Women's Day I also want to address an issue of violence and oppression: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). (show all)
Augusta, ME -- The Green Independent Party has taken a position opposing a Central Maine Power (CMP) proposal to create a 145-mile transmission line corridor that would deliver electricity from Canada to Massachusetts. Central Maine Power, which would distribute power provided by Hydro-Québec, has failed to provide evidence that the proposal would reduce climate-changing emissions and has admitted that it does not know what the sources of energy will be. (show all)
The Green Party of New Jersey is supporting and participating in two upcoming national marches in Washington, D.C. to oppose the US coup-plotting toward Venezuela and to oppose NATO’s role in endless US war-making. The first one is on Saturday March 16 and the second one on Saturday March 30. We are working with our movement partners #NJAntiWarAgenda, NJ Peace Council, Hands Off Venezuela, NJ and others toward mobilizing a bus to each of these events. We need to make as strong a statement as possible now -- first to show our ongoing opposition to regime change operations in Venezuela (each country has the right to self-determination) and to bring to light NATO’s history of death and destruction, while calling for its elimination. If there is war in Venezuela, this will be the first time NATO operations will extend to Latin America. The U.S. could use Colombia, a global partner of NATO, as a launch pad into Venezuela. (show all)
Elections are great for the short term building of the party. They accomplish name recognition. They accomplish wider understanding of what the party is about. However they do not do away with the Republican/Democratic lock-hold on the election system. We need to be going out speaking about the purpose of the Party. The actions including trying to get bills introduced at local, state and federal levels.(show all)
NEW YORK — Green Party officials said today that while there were some positives in the Assembly and Senate one-house budget resolutions, they did not move far enough or fast enough on critical issues such as healthcare, ending the drug war, and wealth inequality. Party officers said the Legislature needed to ensure it passed crucial legislation this session outside of the budget process, and that the party and its members would continue to press their agenda. (show all)
edited by Sheri Miller
[The following statement by Green Party of Pennsylvania Co-chair Alan Smith concerns the senseless hate crime committed in Christchurch, NZ, on March 15.]
“Asalaam Alaikum. Peace be unto you.
“This phrase is the root meaning of the word Islam, and as such it is the foundational belief of one fourth of the human population. Peace also serves as the foundation for Green Parties worldwide.” (show all)
On January 23, two members of the Green Party of United States (GPUS) delivered an open letter and three other documents to Ambassador Inga Rhonda King, president of the United Nations Economic and Social Council (UNESC). This open letter had been adopted by the GPUS National Committee, and it asked UNESC to listen to and talk with three speakers called by GPUS. (show all)
11 March 2019 is the 8th anniversary of the Fukushima nuclear meltdown disaster. Greens Japan tells us in this interview about how It’s going for the Greens in Japan now. Watch the video for a touching personal story about what it’s like to live in Fukushima in 2011 and today.(show all)
Brave young people are standing up--determined to fight for a welcoming, social and sustainable Europe. In a joint event between the Federation of Young European Greens - FYEG and European Greens, dozens of brave young people from all over Europe rise together in Madrid. > See the livestream!
edited by Chris Robinson
LOOK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT STATEWIDE AND LOCAL EVENTS.
(To submit a proposal for your county to organize an in-person state meeting or another local, state-sponsored event, fill out the Event Hosting Application Form.)
April 1 thru 5
Green Party Lobby Days
Talk with your Representative about public funding for elections. Visit Washington, DC.
April 2, 10:00 am
Stop SEPTA’s Fracked Gas Plants
Rally and L&I Appeals Hearing
1515 Arch Street, Philadelphia, PA
April 2, 6:00 pm
Green Party of Allegheny County General Assembly
Panera Bread, 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA
April 3, noon
No to NATO, Yes to Peace, Festival
Saint Stephen’s Church, 1525 NW Newton Street, Washington, DC.
April 3, 4:00 pm
Fund Community College! Settle the Contract!
Community College of Philadelphia
1515 West Girard Avenue, Philadelphia, PA
Chester County Green Party Meeting
20 Redtail Court, West Chester, PA Please contact Chair Beth Scroggin,
April 9, 6:00 pm
Winding Way Books, 118 West Chestnut Street, Lancaster, PA
April 15, 7:00 pm
Montgomery County Green Party Meeting
Location to be announced
April 20, 9:00 am
PA Cannabis Festival
1901 Mulberry St, Scranton, PA
April 25, 7:00 pm
Green Party of Philadelphia Meeting
Location in Philadelphia to be announced
April 26 - 28
Socialist Feminist Convergence
Location in Philadelphia to be announced
April 27, noon
Protest at Drone War Command
Brandywine Peace Community, Bucks County Green Party, Montgomery County Green Party, Green Party of Philadelphia, [email protected]
Air Guard Station, Easton Road (#611) at County Line Road, Horsham, PA
April 29, 7:00 pm
Bucks County Green Party Meeting
El Changarro, 2333 State Road, Bensalem, PA
GPPA Meeting Dates for 2019:
- May Virtual Meeting/Spring Web Conference: Sunday, May 19th, 12pm-4pm
- Summer Retreat: Saturday - Sunday, July 13-14
- September Virtual Meeting/Fall Web Conference: Sunday, September 15th, 12pm-4pm
- Fall Conference & Celebration: Saturday - Sunday, November 16-17
Web Conferences are online - RSVP to get connection information. The locations for in-person conferences are to be determined. In-person conferences can be hosted by counties, county groups or regions. These events are fundraisers. When hosted locally, the host group receives back half of the revenue after expenses. To apply for hosting, submit your info to our Application for Local Hosting of GPPA State Meetings or GPPA-Sponsored Events. We strive for geographic diversity in reviewing applications, however, all submissions are considered.
Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team & Media Committee
EDITORS: Chris Robinson, Dave Ochmanowicz Jr., Jim Beggs, Sheri Miller, & Brian Lee
CONTRIBUTORS: Alan Smith, Tim Runkle, & Jenny Isaacs
ILLUSTRATIONS: Alan Smith
LAYOUT: Sheri Miller & Kevin Richardson
GRAPHIC ARTS: Kevin Richardson
Everything we do is based on our Four Pillars and Ten Key Values. If you find that you share these ideals, come and join the movement.
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