Chris Robinson, Communication Team
215-843-4256 and [email protected]
Municipal Efforts Against Fracking Are Grassroots Democracy
This editorial appeared in Green Point #2, online newsletter of the Green Party of Allegheny County, https://www.alleghenycountygreens.org/news
By Garret Wassermann
On October 30, Pittsburgh Mayor Bill Peduto surprised many of us by finally opposing the petrochemical build-out in western Pennsylvania publicly -- although he was careful to oppose only “additional” development and not the Shell “cracker plant” currently being built in Beaver County. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald’s response was a very heated rant in favor of fracking and the petrochemical industry. Fitzgerald talked about natural-gas-powered cars, implied plastics are inevitable so should be made here, and demonized a general anti-fossil-fuel stance as “far left” and unreasonable.
The lack of leadership from elected officials against today’s fracking and pipeline projects is resulting in residents taking matters into their own hands. As reported in Green Star #1 (October 21), residents of Grant Township are currently opposing a PA Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) lawsuit that was initiated to protect oil and gas profits; the lawsuit stems from township residents establishing a “home rule charter" to protect their air and water. On November 4, residents of Elizabeth Township will next be going to court to protect their public parks and water by opposing a township decision to open up their park to private fracking.
Municipalities are beginning to stand up and demand a more direct democracy, via courts and “home rule”. Rather than top-down governance, residents are asking: why can’t we make important decisions about our own communities directly? Indeed, this idea is exactly grassroots democracy, one of the pillars of the Green Party. We Greens should not only be supportive of Grant, Elizabeth, and other townships exerting their rights to self-determination, but actively encourage municipalities throughout Allegheny County to do the same. Our 2020 Green legislative campaigns can help change the public debate by calling attention to these struggles and strongly emphasizing communities’ right to decide their own affairs to protect their own environment and health.
The Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund (CELDF) and state affiliate PA Community Rights Network are organizations promoting this approach; they even have draft state constitutional amendments that would affirm municipal rights to protect their environment free of state “preemption” laws as well as recognize statewide ballot referenda. It’s our values of democracy and decentralization at their finest; promoting these ideas also means promoting Green values.
I hope Green candidates in 2020 will consider these amendments as part of their legislative platforms; all Greens can investigate how to push their municipalities into claiming their own “home rule” rights to act when county and state leaders won’t.
Garret Wasserman is vice-chair of the Green Party of Allegheny County and managing editor of their Green Point online newsletter.
-- By Neal Gale.
- (H) overhauling transportation systems in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the transportation sector as much as is technologically feasible, including through investment in—
- (F) spurring massive growth in clean manufacturing in the United States and removing pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from manufacturing and industry as much as is technologically feasible, including by expanding renewable energy manufacturing and investing in existing manufacturing and industry;
- (G) working collaboratively with farmers and ranchers in the United States to remove pollution and greenhouse gas emissions from the agricultural sector as much as is technologically feasible, including—
- (i) by eliminating pollution and greenhouse gas emissions as much as technologically feasible;
- (iv) by ensuring that any infrastructure bill considered by Congress addresses climate change;
I have accumulated and summarized a brief list of actions and activities that you can implement in your routine that will have little or no impact to your daily life or budget.
Undoubtedly, with little change to your time and pocketbook – you can make a big impact.
Always Share (at least) three times
It almost goes without saying, or does it? Green Party of the United States (GPUS) official graphics, branding and content have come a long way over the last few years. Their press releases, op-ed and graphic production is seriously topnotch, and people should see it, especially people who are not Green…
A suggested routine regarding GPUS official content for example; a simple share to 3 “non-Green” groups you frequent. It is good to share our content for discussion amongst your other groups’ membership. Good or bad responses - conversation aside, this action builds awareness, educates and carries our message to those that may have not seen it otherwise. We are the media. We are our voice.
“Be Seen Being Green” everyday …
No Green message is too small or simple to share. Passively sharing the “Green Party” by name is one of the easier actions we can actively engage in to garner awareness and help further educate.
Everyday you passively interact with dozens or thousands of people whether you realize it or not. Maybe a lot of people look at your backpack on the bus or subway, everyday. A trip to the grocery store in a town of 15,000 people on a Saturday for 45 minutes and you have just had forty or so people looking right at you. Your laptop could be out all day at school and every one of your classmates sees the back of your screen, everyday.
Have great road frontage with medium to heavy traffic? A one-time small investment into a banner or homemade sign with only the “Vote Green” and the Party website www.GP.org may engage the interest of a passersby, further building awareness and educating.
Every moment people are looking at the back of your car, backpack, laptop, coat or hat … is an opportunity for them to read “Green Party” proudly displayed on a button, pin or sticker. It is time for them to read and possibly to peak their curiosity.
Give Green to Greens
When you can, if you can … give several small donations to several Green Party caucuses, candidates and organizations during the year. This has a minimal impact on your budget and is literally helping a candidate or Party chapter plan for the growth and outreach that our party needs.
The GreenCents program and small sustaining monthly donations of $3 and $5 are the perfect sentiment of your commitment to grow the Green Party into the largest party in the United States.
Small donors are the lifeblood of our grassroots organizations and campaigns. Your $5 every month makes a huge difference and DOES make an impact to those organizers, candidate, state and local parties you are supporting.
Written by David Ochmanowicz Jr.
David is a previous Green Party of PA (GPPA) Steering Committee Member and GPPA Secretary.
He currently serves as a local delegate, member of the GPPA and GPUS Media Committees as well as co chair of the GPUS Merchandise Committee.
June marks the start
of LGBTQ+ Pride Month
June marks the start of LGBTQ+ Pride Month. Pride Month isn’t just a time of glitter and rainbows. It is, in fact, a time to reflect upon the radical spark that set forth to the modern day queer rights movement.
On June 28th, 1969 the Stonewall Riots erupted out of the indignation with the abuse and hardships queer folk faced on a daily basis. Police brutality, sexual violence, community rejection, homelessness, and poverty were among these issues. Gay rights pioneers like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera were among the first to speak up and take action. Pride Month is also a time to celebrate other achievements, such as when black gay civil rights leader Bayard Rustin organized the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom in 1963 or when the Green Party of the United States recognized LGBTQI equality in 2000.
Many of those same issues that plagued the queer community in 1960’s persist to this day. Only two US states (California and Illinois) have outlawed the gay panic defense, which basically allows a bigot to claim temporary insanity when beating or killing an LGBT+ person. Some states, like Texas or North Carolina, have gone the extra mile to oppress LGBT+ folk by restricting access to bathrooms and adopting children. This is a load of malarkey. In addition to this, less than half of US States offer protections from discrimination in housing, employment, and from other hate crimes. Sadly, Pennsylvania is not one of the states that offer protections for its LGBT+ citizens. However over 40+ cities, within our state, have passed local ordinances. This includes 5 in Northeastern Pennsylvania (Scranton, Pittston, Dickson City, Wilkes-Barre, and Stroudsburg). I do not believe this is enough though. We need statewide protections and we need it now. Doing so will show it's citizens and the rest of the United States that Pennsylvania stands for basic human dignity.
The lack of legal protections also allows for homophobia and transphobia to go unchecked. This, in turn, puts queer folk, especially LGBTQ+ youth, at higher risk of developing depression, attempting suicide, and becoming homeless.
To put this in perspective, 1 in 4 LGBTQ+ have attempted or thought about taking their own life. This is a very serious issue that does not get talked about, largely in part due to the stigmas around mental health. Trying to curb these matters, are non-profits such as The Trevor Project. This organization works around the clock on suicide prevention efforts among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and questioning youth. The Trevor Project has a 24/7 crisis hotline at “1-866-488-7386”.
In keeping with the Green Key Values of diversity, social justice and feminism, we support full legal and political equality for all persons, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, characteristics, and expression. You can read more on the Green Platform at www.gp.org/social_justice_2016
About the author:
Tim Maloney is a queer activist based out of the Wyoming Valley with a blog at maloneyofnepa.com
My name is Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick and I am happy to be endorsed by the Green Party of PA as a candidate for Lt. Governor of Pennsylvania.
I was born in Philadelphia and attended public schools first in North Philadelphia and then later in Media, PA where I also lived. I took classes at Yale University and CCP before graduating with a Bachelor’s degree in biology from Temple University. While attending college I worked at several different jobs and got married. My husband and I moved from an apartment in Media to our own house and home in Chester, PA in 1989. A few years later I graduated, and I spent the next 24 years working as a laboratory technician at a medical research facility & biorepository in New Jersey. I left this position when I was laid off, and I found that it was very hard to find employment again (possibly because I was over 50) especially in a full-time position. I have spent a lot of time volunteering, gardening and teaching English as a second language to adult students with my extra free time. I am currently working part-time as a pharmacy technician. Many years ago my husband and I became the parents of my late brother’s youngest son and eventually home schooled him so he could get a better education than he was receiving in Chester’s public schools. He now has his Ph. D. in biology and is doing AIDS research in Portland, Oregon.
I am both an active member of my county level Green Party by serving as the chair of the Green Party of Delaware County PA and the state level Green Party by serving as an At-Large Delegate on the steering committee of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA). I am enthusiastic about being a Green Party member because I am neither suicidal nor homicidal and the goals and values of the Green Party make it the most life-affirming political party I know of on the planet. Our Green Party is not only one of the best tools or strategies for improving the peace of mind, health and safety for ourselves, our loved ones and the rest of the human race, but also for maintaining the beauty and diversity of the land, the seas and all other living species.
The Green Party’s Ten Key Values which are succinctly expressed by its four pillars which advocate for grassroots democracy, social justice, peace and ecological wisdom equate to putting the welfare of people and the planet always above the quest for financial gain. I feel that working with other people who have the same goals on issues and are interested in electing people who are committed to the same values that the Green Party is dedicated to is much more effective than trying to do the same work by myself or within either major political party which lets the money and ideas of the rich and powerful dictate its values and goals. Therefore, both major parties are ineffective at reducing widespread poverty and oppression and too often support policies and spend our tax dollars with little or no consideration toward eliminating these large and persistent problems.
The attitudes of Greens and the policies and changes in society for which we work such as excellent universal healthcare for all in the U.S., improvements to K-12 public education, tuition-free college education, cutting the U.S. military budget by more than half, ending U.S. funding of and involvement in violent conflicts around the world, ending fossil fuel extraction and use, and making our economy 100% reliant on clean and renewable energy sources benefit the physical, mental and emotional health of people within the United States and around the world.
As a Green Party member and the GPPA’s 2018 candidate for Lt. Governor of PA I feel obligated to those who put their trust, support or money into Green Party projects and candidates to make the following statement a permanent truth about the Green Party: Defenders of workers’ rights on and off the job, environmental activists, those working to make high quality healthcare obtainable by all, social justice advocates, anti-war/peace activists, reformers of our criminal justice system, and protectors and expanders of civil liberties, human rights, political expression, and economic justice for all and especially historically marginalized groups—You can all find a nurturing home in the U.S. Green Parties where people are fighting through electoral politics and activism to make the solutions you want a part of our everyday reality. The commitment to make society more compassionate and just through a greater expression of the Green Party’s Ten Key Values in all aspects of our daily lives is what makes the Green Party such a uniquely superior political party.
To volunteer now, contact Green Wave in our efforts to secure ballot access.
Pennsylvania's Medical Marijuana Program Is Up & Running
Megan L. McElhinney, CPhT
February 26, 2018
On April 17, 2016, Gov. Tom Wolf signed SB3, Pennsylvania’s Medical Marijuana (PAMMJ) Program, into law. 669 days later the first Medical Marijuana dispensaries opened. CY+ in Butler, Pa (Butler County) and Solevo Wellness Center in Squirrel Hill, Pa (Allegheny County) opened their doors on February 15th to patients that have received their medical cards. Two days later TerraVida in Sellersville, Pa (Bucks County) and Keystone Shops in Devon, Pa (Chester County) followed. Over the next few months more dispensaries will begin to open as the Health Department gives them the go ahead. Restore Integrative Wellness Center, is slated to be the first dispensary to open in the city of Philadelphia come mid April.
Currently, there is one medical marijuana cultivation center providing medicine to the 6 open dispensaries throughout the state. Dispensaries will only be able to offer patients their medicine in the following forms: Pills, Oils, Topical, such as, gels, creams and ointments. Also, tincture, which is a sublingual liquid you put under your tongue, and other forms of liquid medicine. Finally, vaporization of oils and nebulization will be the only way a patient can inhale their medicine. Smoking flower, or bud, is prohibited under state law.
Over 17,000 patients and caregivers have registered with the Department of Health and 4,000 have been certified by a registered physician. Among those 4,000 patients more than 400 have received their medical cards. To be eligible for the PAMMJ Program you must meet the 17 serious medical conditions outlined by the state. Physicians are required to take a four hour course approved by the Pennsylvania Department of Health if they want to certify a patient for the PAMMJ Program. You can find more about the PAMMJ Program at the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania's website.
For more information on the Green Party of Pennsylvania's position on cannabis, click here.
Care about decriminalization, democracy, peace, the environment and social justice?Read more
Have you attempted to change your voter registration within the last year?
Have you clearly registered as a specific party, but received the incorrect Party designation returned on your Voter ID?
There is a reasonable suspicion there is a current Statewide problem in Pennsylvania.
The current online voter registration system seems to be causing errors in the registrations of some voters registering around the state.
We have been made aware by several concerned citizens from Pennsylvania who have been returned incorrect and inconsistent voter registration from their initial request.
At first, I thought it would be fixed shortly, but after some asking around - there seems to be no one individual or department working on this resolution.
As of the 2016 election - the Green Party of Pennsylvania gained minor Party status - granting us acknowledgement as a recognized minor political party in Pennsylvania.
We (as well as the Libertarian Party) should be listed as a recognized Party option on the online Voter Registration Portal.
These voter issues, combined with possible troublesome redistricting legislation that may be moving forward, are concerning for third parties.
We need to be attentive and forward thinking about this issue, and many others and their long term damage and undue burden on our State Party that has been looked at as an "oversight" or "mistake" by our State.
The Green Party is seeking a Photographer volunteer to work in coordination with designated contacts within the GPUS Merchandise Committee
.pdf available here
The Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green parties united in the common good of grassroots democracy, social justice, non-violence and ecological wisdom.
The Green Party is seeking a Photographer Volunteer to work in coordination with designated contacts within the GPUS Merchandise Committee.
Production of quality, publishable photography of Green Party merchandise for various purposes using diverse models when necessary.
Photos will be utilized in a wide variety of projects and will be shared widely. Photos and final product may / will be branded with the Green Party logo. If you choose, your photos and work will be credited to you.
This photography work will be used in whole, or in part by utilization into projects consisting of, but not limited to:Read more