Green Party of Pennsylvania
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Sunday, January 20, 2019
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256, [email protected]
PA Green Party Elects New Co-chair
Delegates of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) elected a new party co-chair, Alan Smith of Chester County, at their first meeting of the new year held on January 13. Smith will join current Co-Chair Sheri Miller of Adams County, to lead the Green Party in 2019.
Smith will bring a wealth of knowledge and skills to the Green Party leadership through extensive experience as a philosopher, educator, and peacemaker. As a long-distance runner, he also understands the value of patience, perseverance, persistence and pacing and uses these tools in all endeavors. Having taught students from kindergarten to university, Smith’s philosophy begins with the idea that we are all teachers and all learners.
The GPPA meeting was held via web conference to allow widespread representation for the election without the barriers of travel, cost and inclement weather. In all, 29 delegates, elected by their county Green Parties, participated on 14 computer terminals throughout the state, from Erie to Philadelphia Counties and from Wayne to Allegheny Counties.
Smith was introduced to the delegates by Beth Scroggin, GPPA secretary and Chester County Green Party chair (https://www.gpofpa.org/chestercounty). Scroggin said,
“Alan Smith's political experience reaches back to the Jesse Jackson campaign in 1988, even though he looks far too young for that to be the case. Alan has been an active member of the Chester County Green Party since its inception. Alan has canvassed for local Green Party candidates, and he has collected nomination signatures for both local and state-level Green Party candidates. As an adjunct professor of philosophy at both Arcadia University and the University of Delaware, Alan is articulate and thoughtful, and can express his views in a way that is both respectful and eloquent, which will make him an excellent spokesman for our Green Party.”
“Additionally,” continued Scroggin, “as a black, gay man, Alan Smith represents communities which are under-represented in politics and perspectives we must always incorporate into our platform. Most importantly, Alan embodies the Green Party’s Four Pillars [democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, and peace] and Ten Key Values [grassroots democracy, social justice/equal opportunity, ecological wisdom, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics/economic justice, feminism/gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus/sustainability] better than anyone I know. Alan considers his values in every decision, and ensures that when the world sees him, they see a man of principle who embodies Green virtues.”
Alan Smith spoke persuasively about his preparation for this new role, "The Green Party’s Four Pillars can be explained as authentic empowerment of all, fairness, deep connection with and reverence for the planet, and passionate commitment to peace. Aside from my 30-plus years of political activism, education, and work experience as an educator, my life's work has been about living these Four Pillars: putting people, planet, and peace before profit. In addition, my mother taught me to leave a place better than I found it. These things have prepared me for this moment."
When asked if he planned to lead GPPA in a new direction, Smith inverted the question: "We are in a state of planetary emergency. Exploitation and abuse of people and planet must end. The Green Party's Ten Key values directly speak to this. One of those values is grassroots democracy, the conviction that everyone can and should have a
say in what happens to them.”
Smith continued, "Ella Baker [African-American civil rights strategist (1903-1986)] said, ‘Strong people, don't need strong leaders.’ Here in Pennsylvania, we are strong. I see resilience, perseverance and incredible courage everywhere I go. From people sitting and waiting hours for government services to people cleaning bathrooms and raising children. I see my job as convincing people to believe in their own power to change things. GPPA can be the vehicle for that change.”
Miller welcomed Smith whole-heartedly, saying, “Co-Chairs should complement each other.” She continued, “Alan brings many qualities that will help us move the Green Party forward. I met him when he spoke at our Summer Retreat and was impressed with his dedication, his extensive knowledge on issues, and his ability to connect passionately and articulately to people on many levels. I’m really looking forward to working with him.”
The Green Party is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party four pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org. Follow GPPA on social media: Facebook, Green Party of Pennsylvania and Twitter, @GreenPartyofPA.
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