When Ralph Nader ran for president in 2000, I was made aware of the Green Party. I had been a follower of Nader for decades. He was instrumental in the passage of the Clean Water Act, the Freedom of Information act and other legislation. Through Public Citizen, he shed light on many issues and educated the public on civic responsibility.
I circulated a petition and collected 100 signatures to put Nader on the Pennsylvania ballot. It was my first action in electoral politics other than voting. I learned of the Green Party values of democracy, social justice, non violence and environmental protection. I became a Green.
I became a Green because these were my values.
I am a Green because the Green Party continues to fight for these issues. The Green Party started the Green New Deal, while our candidates did not necessarily win electorally. Co-opted by the Democrats, the Green New Deal is a big part of the political conversation today.
I am a Green because the Green Party continues to fight for our democratic rights. With the help of good lawyers, the Green Party has challenged the Pa Department of State and the Legislature and prevailed in several cases including reducing the signature requirements for our candidates. Right now a settlement between Jill Stein’s campaign and the Commonwealth is being challenged because the state did not provide bona fide paper ballots.
Jay Sweeney is a Green residing in Wyoming County. He has served as chair of GPPA and run for office several times including Auditor General, State Rep and State Senate.