Working toward a future where people and planet are valued, and our government represents all of us.
A May Day Message
by GPPA Co-chair Alan Smith
My great grandfather died as a result of injuries from a white supremacist's bomb. From Reconstruction up to the Civil Rights Era bombings and lynchings took thousands of black lives. Yet, for almost 100 years from 1877-1966 only one Southern white man, John S. Williams, was ever convicted of killing a black person in the USA. This glaring fact is indicative of the institutionalization of white supremacy. It is an example of structural violence. As Dr. Paul Farmer says, "Structural violence is one way of describing social arrangements that put individuals and populations in harm's way...The arrangements are structural because they are embedded in the political and economic organization of our social world; they are violent because they cause injury to people...neither culture not pure individual will is at fault; rather, historically given (and often economically driven) processes." What then are these historically given or economically driven processes? White supremacy and capitalism. Capitalism perpetuates the cultural and economic superiority of whiteness. Whiteness as a standard by which things are measured is also an effective tool of capitalism. The two things go hand in hand.
Having Indigenous American and African American roots I have experienced this structural violence first hand. One's proximity to a standard of whiteness affords them a great deal of power. I know if I didn't have a white sounding name that some doors would not have opened for me. I also remember the shock on the faces of the people when they find out that I have a darker skin tone and wider nostrils, fuller lips and coarser hair than what they were expecting. When dating I encountered people that said "no blacks." I also know the flip side of things where I am an exotic and ethnic experiment. In both cases I become "thingified," or objectified. I don't want to be a market commodity, a pretty face on a brochure. I don't want to help diversify the machine. Rainbow capitalism, rainbow imperialism, rainbow colonialism is still structural violence.
What fuels these oppressive structures, these processes? It is the drive for power, the drive to dominate, to see someone as thing to be used, as a competitor or threat, instead of as a life to be honored, respected, cherished in full. We are taught this and we can unlearn it and be taught differently. My great grandparents were considered pieces of someone else's wealth, property, or savages. Society's arrangements did not grant us wealth. Struggling to make ends meet has been normalized for us. I've lived in a tent, eaten out of trash cans, faced eviction and repossession. The value of our labor has not been used to enrich us, but has been stolen and re-purposed to enrich others by a normalized exploitative social and economic arrangement. We must dismantle the system that helps perpetuate this.
On May 1st, people around the world celebrate human dignity on International Worker's Day, created to honor those fighting for worker's rights in 1886 at Chicago's Haymarket. Lucy Parson's husband Albert was framed and falsely blamed for the outbreak of violence at the Haymarket after the peaceful rally, and summarily executed. African American, Indigenous American and Mexican, a writer, speaker, and organizer, Lucy Parsons carried on after his death and argued vigorously for unions that were all inclusive. She spoke out specifically for the rights of sex workers. She worked tirelessly to defend those who were unjustly accused and caught up in the criminal "in-justice" system. She ardently opposed war and imperialism. She advocated for the dissolution of hierarchy and for the development of critical thinking. We have an 8-hour work day, a weekend, and labor protections due to the work of all the many Lucy Parsons of the world. What happened at the Chicago Haymarket should not be viewed as simple historical trivia, but as a powerful moment filled with many lessons.
What were the vital lessons? First, governments, corporations, and the media all work together to perpetuate structural violence. The need to attack the structure is one lesson. The need to get rid of a system is another lesson. The need to live in a new way is yet another lesson. To me the Green Party's 4 Pillars and 10 Key Values are the lesson plan, the blueprint.
What then are our assignments, what is our homework? What are some concrete steps that we can take to create this world? We must voluntarily choose not to take part in the rat race. We are kept busy so that we can't think critically. Tech giants compete for your attention. Your attention is a commodity. Unplug, connect with nature, reconnect in deep and abiding ways with the people around you. We must rid our lives of isolation and alienation and consumerism. We must demand our worth. The average worker in the USA contributes $70 worth per hour to the economy and we are only demanding $15 an hour? Shouldn't we received at least 80% of the value of our labor? Demand $55! But that's unimaginable they say. Indeed it is, and we must use our imaginations to think beyond current arrangements!
We must use creative means to navigate the capitalist minefield, whether it's sit-ins, stalling, sick outs, strikes, or slowdowns. "We must tuck our bodies in places so that wheels don't turn," said Bayard Rustin. In addition we must also make oppressive arrangements obsolete using networking, co-ops, and informal mutual aid. The Montgomery Bus Boycott was not one "little old lady refusing to give up her seat." It was 50,000 people in Montgomery, Alabama boycotting for 381 days. It was 50,000 people courageously and creatively inventing a new ways of doing things from forming car pools to cooking and selling food and funneling the money into movement. It was people deciding to walk and to make stuff instead of hopping on a bus to go to the store to buy it. It was the people in Montgomery choosing a different way of life.
There are other concrete steps we can take. We must run for school boards, become teachers, volunteer to be a guest speakers for schools or community events. We must ask questions. Our voices can shift the dynamics of a conversation and affect the outcome of a decision. Perhaps most importantly, we must keep learning and teaching. As Lucy Parsons said,"education must precede any great fundamental change in society."
I have hope that things will change and in fact are changing for the better. Arrangements are shifting. Old structures are crumbling. Some may argue that it will take too long. I disagree. As an educator, I have had students email me five years after a class and I have had students on the second day of class exhibiting tremendous shifts in their thoughts and values. I think we have all witnessed how fast society can change. So fundamental change either on the individual or societal level does not require a certain amount of time. I think what it does require is the opening up of a space. My classes are designed to do that. We can create space where ever we are for this change. Join me and millions of other Lucy Parsons in creating fertile ground and planting seeds to overcome and make obsolete structures of violence so that people, planet, and peace can thrive!
GPPA News Highlights
edited by Jim Beggs
"Not only is nuclear power unaffordable, it's also extremely dangerous. In PA we have already had the Three Mile Island disaster. Russia had the Chernobyl disaster. The latest meltdown, in Fukushima, Japan, still has not been resolved, and radiation continues to enter the Pacific Ocean. Do we need any more evidence of the danger?” (show all)
Something Was Rotten in Pennsylvania by Emily Cook
”We have far to go toward assuring full electoral integrity. Pennsylvania was, and is still, shamefully backward when it comes to rights of voters and ballot access. The state has even been called the poster child for gerrymandering. And, in the seven years I’ve lived here, apparently the only method by which one can seek redress is by lawsuits. To their almost singular credit, the Green Party has filed several such suits, thus leading the movement to enhance electoral integrity for Pennsylvania voters.” (show all)
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) holds that the scientific evidence is overwhelming that fracking and fossil fuel extraction have had enormous impacts on our climate. However, the negative impacts of fracking and fossil fuel extraction do more than impact our climate. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that fracking and fossil fuel extraction have incredibly negative public health effects. The scientific evidence is overwhelming that fracking and fossil fuel extraction violates Article I, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution. (show all)
“General Assistance is being targeted by the majority-Republican legislature as part of its bigger plan to dismantle an array of programs that help struggling Pennsylvanians get by,” wrote Heidi Schultheis, analyst for the Center for American Progress. Chris Robinson, a GPPA delegate from Philadelphia, agreed, saying, “This attempt to cut aid to the most vulnerable here in Pennsylvania is unconscionable and must be stopped.” (show all)
Real Green New Deal and Our National Well-being by Neal Gale
”The Green Party has been developing the Real Green New Deal since the early two thousands, beginning with the European Green Party and continuing with the Green Party of the US, as a vision to change the course of this crisis -- while recognizing that it is not just about the environment. The dramatic and geologically recent alteration of the global climate has occurred as a result of the emergence of industrial capitalism, beginning at the outset of the eighteenth century, and our increasing reliance on the use of extracted, fossil fuels, ever since”
“I see promise in the Green Party’s Real Green New Deal (Real GND)1, and I imagine it being adopted as a standard, below which we will not allow ourselves to fall. Because of the urgency I feel regarding the potential good the Green Party’s Real GND can do, I am compelled to warn us off the GND Resolution (HR 109) introduced by the Democrats this year. It does not point to the same results, and we shouldn’t allow ourselves to be fooled.” (show all)
Greens Challenge Fossil Fuel Sponsorship of Earth Day Event by Garret Wasserman
"On Sunday April 28th, members of the Green Party of Allegheny County organized a demonstration at an Earth Day event in Robin Hill Park in Moon Township against the township's acceptance of funding and sponsorship by Chevron. The demonstration comes on the anniversary of local activist Amanda Papa's arrest in the same park after challenging Chevron's presence at the event on Earth Day 2018. Amanda was charged with multiple criminal offenses including disorderly conduct, trespassing, and resisting arrest.
Sunday's demonstration went much more smoothly than the prior year as Moon police acknowledged first amendment rights to free speech and assembly. While officers stood near the Chevron table for nearly the entire event, Greens spoke with representatives of other sponsoring and participating organizations and encouraged them to speak out against Chevron sponsorship of the park and school. Members also held signs calling for a Green New Deal, and handed out literature on the Green New Deal to the public. Most event attendees seemed responsive to the Green New Deal and the action.
Allegheny Greens agreed the action went well, and resolved to hold more regular demonstrations to bring attention to local issues and activists. We hope you'll join us at the next one! To learn more about Amanda, who is still challenging the arrest in court, or donate to her legal expenses, please see: https://www.gofundme.com/amanda-protect-our-water."
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 have been registered as a Green Party voter before April 22.
So far, Green Party has at least four candidates running for office in 2019:
OLIVIA FAISON was endorsed to run for Philadelphia City Council Member-At-Large by the Green Party of Philadelphia.
Interview with Olivia Faison, Green Party Candidate for Philadelphia City Council:
MIKE FARLEY was endorsed by the Adams County Green Party to run for Township Supervisor and 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
The GPPA Communication Team is the focal point for Green Party outreach to voters in our Commonwealth. We do it all: weekly news releases, monthly GREEN STAR Newsletter, daily social media (at least Twitter and FaceBook), YouTube videos (aka GREEN STAR Live) and our vibrant website, https://www.gpofpa.org/.
The ComTeam could do even more, with your help. To volunteer, please call Chris at 215-843-4256 or email him at chrisrecon-at-netzero-dot-net.
Finance Team by Tim Runkle
Due to conflicting schedules, the Finance Team did not meet in April. However, behind the scenes, the Team is working on donor follow-up and is getting ready for our next exciting fundraiser coming up soon. 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
Green Wave's biweekly calls in March - April had an average attendance of 7 individuals from 5 counties. Notes from our latest call can be read here, and links are included to prior calls. We are up to 6 local candidates with the addition of a 2nd School Board candidate in Allegheny County.
Olivia Faison's campaign for City Council in Philadelphia is in need of a volunteer campaign manager. (Owing to a health crisis in her family, Wendy Lee Simonsen has had to step aside from both that role and her position as Chair of the Green Party of Philadelphia.)
Volunteers to petition for Olivia at the polls in Philadelphia on Primary Day (Tuesday, May 21) should sign up here! Folks who would like to help with phone calls from anywhere in the state to sign up local volunteers for Olivia should email [email protected] directly as soon as possible!
Core Report by Sheri Miller
The Core Team has created a new, universal Slack work space for Green Party of Pennsylvania. All Teams, delegates, and members will use the same work space with individual channels for Teams and delegates. This will reduce duplication and confusion and may make it easier to use for people new to Slack. More information to come in the May meeting, after which we will send out the new links. The current Slack work spaces will be open for viewing and will eventually be archived. Core Team creates the tools that enable us to function as an organization. We try out the newest technologies and come up with innovative ways to support our critical work. To join the Core Team, sign up HERE.
edited by Dave Ochmanowicz
Respect all sacred sites and people by Rev. Dr. Bruce Wright
The fire that partially destroyed the Iconic Cathedral, Notre Dame, though certainly sad, underscores some very important contrasts in priorities for people of faith in general, Christians in specific, and the public at large. The history, the architecture, and the stories associated with it have significant importance. However, it underscores some fundamental problems with what Christians prioritize and what people of wealth prioritize. Within hours of this occurrence, more than 300 million was raised for its restoration.
Yet the very same rich people in France refuse to support paying more for social programs in France. It also underscores the irony of Victor Hugo's novel Hunchback of Notre Dame, a novel the highlights the Churches need to offer sanctuary to undesirables, immigrants, homeless folks and those whom society rejects, contrasted with the Wealthy and powerful, and racists' attitudes toward the very same people, and yet they mourn the destruction of this very Cathedral. The Yellow vest protests against austerity and Government corruption further contrasts this contradiction. (show all)
The congressional move would codify a 2003 memorandum of understanding with the industry group Free File Alliance: in exchange for an IRS pledge not to create its own online filing system, the companies offer a free filing service to those below an income threshold.
70% of American taxpayers are currently eligible to file for free; however, only 3% use the free program each year. “Critics … say that companies use it as a cross-marketing tool to upsell paid products, that they have deliberately underpromoted the free option and that it leaves consumer data open to privacy breaches.” (show all)
Gardena, CA -- Green Party Presidential Candidate Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry today rolled out a proposal to ban US interference in foreign elections and to strengthen the existing ban on foreign contributions to American political candidates and parties.
"The Mueller investigation and the unfolding political crisis in Venezuela share a key feature - the blatant hypocrisy that surrounds American policy with regard to foreign political activity," Moyowasifza-Curry stated. "The United States has a documented terrible history of meddling in the democratic political processes of other countries. But at the same time, it's 'do what I say, not what I do' position when it comes to our own elections, and that must stop." (show all)
Many Greens, working with other peace and anti-imperialist activists, helped to organize the week of actions and many other Greens participated. The Green Party showed itself to be the alternative to the two-winged War Party of the Democrats and Republicans, a party that stands for an end to militarism and imperialism.
The protests began on March 30, 2019, with a mass rally and march across the street from the White House in Lafayette Park. The event was organized by the United National Antiwar Coalition (UNAC) whose national co-coordinator is Joe Lombardo, a Green Party member from Albany, NY. Lombardo, an antiwar organizer since the Vietnam War era, immediately announced a response to NATO when their meeting was made public. Lombardo framed the protest as stopping wars abroad and at home emphasizing the wars at home when the April 4 date was chosen by NATO. It was important to highlight militarized police and police abuse in communities of color, especially on the anniversary the assassination of Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. being killed by the government in 1968 and his important speech, Beyond Vietnam, which called for an end to war given one year before his murder (show all).
The Green Party has many strong women leaders. Three of those women left a legacy of leadership in the party with their passing in 2018. We celebrate and remember their lives and their roles in making our world a better place (show all).
The monthly newsletter of the Green Party of the United States (show all).
edited by Sheri Miller
Iceland elects 41-year-old environmentalist as prime minister by Greg Beach (inhabitat)
”Katrin Jakobsdottir, the 41-year-old chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement, has been elected Prime Minister of Iceland. One of the most well-liked politicians in Iceland, Katrín, a former education minister and avowed environmentalist, has pledged to set Iceland on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040.” (show all)
Prince Edward Island election results: voters elect PC minority by By Kevin Bissett and Teresa Wright (The Canadian Press)
”Voters in Prince Edward Island have shed their century-old embrace of the Island’s two-party system, electing a Tory minority government and handing the upstart Green party official Opposition status for the first time.” (show all)
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.)
May 4, noon
Rally to End Homelessness
Chester County Courthouse, Two North High Street, West Chester, PA
May 4, noon until 4:00 pm
Mount Airy Day
Help Olivia Faison harvest signatures on her nomination paper for Philadelphia City Council.
6400 Germantown Avenue, Mount Airy, Philadelphia, PA
May 7, 6:00 pm
Green Party of Allegheny County General Assembly
Panera Bread, 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA
May 11, 10:00 am
Green New Deal Explained
Hear from the experts including our own Jenny Isaacs.
Pennridge High School, 1228 North Fifth Street, Perkasie, PA.
May 13, 6:30 pm
Webinar: Health & Economic Impacts of Fracking in PA
Delaware Riverkeeper Network: Register here:
May 19, noon – 4:00 p.m.
GPPA Delegates Web Conference
This meeting of the Green Party of Pennsylvania will be a virtual meeting held online! All interested members of the public may attend (show all)
Allegheny County Greens will participate collectively; details from alleghenycountygreens-at-gmail-dot-com
Chester County Greens will participate collectively; details from efs1127-at-gmail-dot-com
Philadelphia Greens will participate collectively; details from chrisrecon-at-netzero-dot-net
May 20, 7:00 pm
Montgomery County Green Party Meeting
Location to be announced
May 20, 7:00 pm
Bucks County Green Party Meeting
Eastern Dragon, 238 South West End Blvd, Quakertown PA
May 21, 7:00 am until 8:00 pm
Primary Election Day
This will be the best location to harvest voters’ signatures on Green Party nomination papers. If there are no Green Party candidates in your division, please ask the closest Green Party candidate how you might help them.
May 22, 6:30 pm
Health & Economic Impacts of Fracking in PA
Delaware Riverkeeper Network: Open to the public.
Lycoming College, Heim Science Building, Room G-11, Williamsport, PA.
More information: barbjarmoska-at-verizon-dot-net
May 23, 6:30 pm
Health & Economic Impacts of Fracking in PA
Delaware Riverkeeper Network: Open to the public.
California University of PA, Convocation Center, North Wing, California, PA
May 25, noon
Protest at Drone War Command
Brandywine Peace Community with 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 http://www.brandywinepeace.com/events/
May 31, 3:00 pm
Keep Free Speech Free!
Lancaster Against Pipelines
Binn’s Park, 100 North Queen Street, Lancaster, PA
June 4, 6:00 pm
Green Party of Allegheny County General Assembly
Panera Bread, 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA
June 6, 7:00 pm
Chester County Green Party Meeting
For location, please contact [email protected]
June 8, 1:00 pm
21st Annual Philly Dyke March
Kahn Park, 1119 Pine Street, Philadelphia
June 9, Noon
Philly Pride Presents Honoring Stonewall 50
252 South 12th Street, Philadelphia
June 19, 5:00 pm
Juneteenth BBQ: A Celebration of African American Independence
Reservoir Park, 199 City Park Drive, Harrisburg
GPPA Meeting Dates for 2019:
- May Virtual Meeting/Spring Web Conference: Sunday, May 19th, 12pm-4pm
- Summer Virtual Meeting/Web Conference: Sunday, July 14
- September Meeting (Venue TBD): Sunday, September 15th, 12pm-4pm
- Fall Conference (Venue TBD): 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, Neal Gale, Jenny Isaacs, Garret Wasserman, & Emily Cook
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.
You can support the Green Party in many ways; however, a monthly sustaining donation helps to fund a solid infrastructure to help local chapters coordinate candidates and provide resources to make their campaigns successful. As little as $3 per month can have a significant impact!
Join us and help bring about a future where people and planet are valued over profits. We have a new, tiered membership structure that allows you to determine your level of commitment and support. And if you want to get more directly involved, consider joining an action team. Work with other committed progressives and activists in activities such as planning events, developing media content, or helping with campaigns. Let's join together to make 2019 the year of progressives!