INFORMATION ABOUT U.S. GREEN ORGANIZATIONS

A BRIEF HISTORY OF U.S. GREEN ORGANIZING

The first nationwide Green organization in the United States was created in May 1984 at the North American Bioregional Congress, an event which eventually led to the formation of the Green Committtees of Correspondence in August of that same year. The Committees of Correspondence, which took their name from the local Town Meetings which helped to organize support for the American Revolution, was organized as network of local autonomous groups. An Interregional Committee and a National Clearinghouse were established to coordinate activities and facilitiate the flow of information between groups.

By the late 1980s a split had developed among the U.S. Greens between those who favored the further development of a Green movement and those who favored the creation of a national Green party. Movement-Greens saw electoral politics, particularly at the national level, as reformist and favored instead the building of strong, locally based groups, believing that any electoral work engaged in should be strictly accountable to the movement. By this time, however, a number of statewide Green parties had already been formed and a national Green Party Organizing Committee was created specifically to promote electoral work.

In 1989 the Left Green Network was established to further a specifically left, anti-capitalist agenda within the Greens as a whole. Left Greens were influential in keeping any move towards the creation of state or national parties under the firm control of the local groups. In 1991 the original Committees of Correspondence was reorganized as the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA). Largely under the influence of the Left Greens a new structure was adopted which established a Green Council and included representatives from local groups and several established caucuses, but no representation for state Green parties. A proposal by John Rensenbrink to reconcile movement-Greens and party-Greens by creating a "House of Green," in which different kinds of activity could take place (party-building, movement-building, direct-action campaigns, lobbying, cultural work, special-interest caucuses, and the like), and in which there was a common room where all could meet and share their experiences with each other, was narrowly defeated.

Party-oriented Greens subsequently established the Green Politics Network (now called the Green Network) in March 1992 independently from the G/GPUSA, with a view towards supporting electoral work in the states and eventually establishing a national Green Party based on autonomous state parties. Electoral activity continued, with candidates winning local office in a number of states. In 1996 Ralph Nader was drafted to run for President, with Winona LaDuke as his running mate. While Nader received only 800,000 votes, the campaign nonetheless helped to bring a significant number of new supporters into the state Green parties. Within ten days of the election, a new national organization, the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) was formed, with eleven state parties joining immediately.

In 1995 the ASGP convened a "Third Parties '95" conference with representatives from the Libertarian, Reform, Natural Law, Labor, Socialist, and Green parties, which produced a "Common Ground Declaration," containing 17 points of complete agreement among the parties, including support for proportional representation, campaign finance reform, democratic decision-making in the economy, and an end to corporate welfare. The ASGP also received formal recognition from the European Federation of Green Parties as their "partner in the United States."

Meanwhile, the G/GPUSA began to rethink its stance towards electoral work and a proposal was adopted to change the structure of the G/GPUSA to give full voting rights to both state Green parties and Green locals. Although the official nominating convention had been organized by the ASGP, both the G/GPUSA and the ASGP supported Ralph Nader in his 2000 presidential election campaign. While Nader won only 2.6% of the votes nationwide, the Greens used the opportunity to expand both their overall membership and the number of elected officials at the local level. Each year has seen an increasing number candidates for both state and local office, with an increasing number of victories (for information on voting absentee and supporting Green candidates see USGA Infosheet #10, "Information about Green Electoral Work and Candidates").

Discussions continued through 2001 on the idea of establishing a "unity party" between the G/GPUSA and the ASGP. One such proposal, which came to be known as the "Boston Proposal," was rejected by the G/GPUSA at their annual gathering held in Carbondale, Illinois from July 22-24, partly out of concerns that structure of the proposed party would not provide adequate representation for local groups. At their national meeting held in Santa Barbara, California from July 27-29, the ASGP reconstituted itself as a national party. The new party, called the Green Party of the United States (GPUS), retained an emphasis on organizing at the state level. At a conference held in in New Orleans from July 19-20, 2002 yet another group, the Green Alliance, was established with the goal of promoting local democratic organizations and advancing a more radical social, ecological, and economic agenda within the GPUS.

The U.S. Green Abroad (USGA) was established in January 2000 to support the work of all Greens in the U.S. The USGA maintains no official stance with respect to the various splits which have occurred among the U.S. Greens and seeks to provide information about each of the above organizations to American Greens living abroad. The USGA supports both the Greens/Green Party USA and the Green Party of the United States. The USGA seeks to provide information about both parties to Americans living abroad, as well as information about other Green groups, which USGA members can join on an individual basis if they desire. The following is more specific information about U.S. Green organizations:

THE GREENS/GREEN PARTY USA (G/GPUSA)

Members can join the G/GPUSA directly through the U.S. Green Abroad (it is also possible for U.S. citizens living abroad to join the G/GPUSA directly as "at-large" members not connected with any local group). Members receive copies of the newspaper Green Politix and the journal Synthesis/Regeneration. For more information see USGA Infosheet #6, "Information about the Greens/Green Party USA." The G/GPUSA can be contacted directly at: Greens/Green Party USA, P.O. Box 1406, Chicago, IL 60690 U.S.A. E-mail: <greenpartyusa@igc.org>. Web: <http://www.greenparty.org>. Inside the U.S.: 1-866-GREENS2 (toll-free). Outside the U.S.: 312-253-0395 (direct line).

THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES (GPUS)

Since the GPUS is an association of state parties, individuals who wish to support the GPUS should join Green parties in their home states (or support the formation of a state Green party if none yet exists). It is also possible to become a sustaining member by giving a donation directly to the national party. The GPUS can be contacted directly at: Green Party of the United States, P.O. Box 57065, Washington, D.C. 20037 U.S.A. E-mail: <info@greenpartyus.org>. Web: <http://www.gpus.org>. Inside the U.S.: 1-866-41GREEN (toll free). Outside the U.S.: 202-296-7755 (direct line). The official newspaper of the GPUS isGreen Pages, P.O. Box 5631, Santa Monica, CA 90409 U.S.A. <greenpages@greens.org>; published three times annually; subs are $20. A journal closely connected with the GPUS is Green Horizon Quarterly, Green Horizon Foundation, 196 Cathance Road, Tophsam, ME 04086 U.S.A. <www.green-horizon.org>; published quarterly; subs are $20 for one year, $35 for two years, $45 for three years; payable by international money order or check made out to Green Horizon Foundation.

LAVENDER GREENS

The Lavender Greens are a recognized caucus within the Green Party of the United States for lesbian /gay / bi / transsexual Greens. The Lavender Greens maintain a website at <http://lists.gp-us.org/mailman/listinfo/lavender-caucus>. To subscribe to their listserv contact <lavender-caucus@lists.gp-us.org>.

THE GREEN NETWORK

The Green Network accepts memberships from individuals only. Prospective members must sign a mission statement; make an annual membership pledge (two-tenths of one percent of one's annual income is suggested); and either secure a recommendation from a current Green Network member or have an application reviewed by the membership committee. The group expects members to be actively involved in Green activities (widely construed). Membership includes a subscription to the interactive newsletter, The Song of the Frog, published bimonthly. For more information see USGA Infosheet #8, "Information about the Green Network." Contact the Green Network directly at: The Green Network, c/o Barbara Rodgers-Hendricks, 103 Hewett Point, Santa Rosa Beach, FL 32459 U.S.A.

THE GREEN ALLIANCE

Although the Green Alliance is a network of both individuals and groups, members join as individuals. Dues are $45 per year. For further information see USGA Infosheet #9, "Information about the Green Alliance." Contact the Green Alliance directly at: The Green Alliance, 1300 E. 47th St., PMB #343, Chicago, IL 60653 U.S.A. E-mail: <alliance@greens.org>. Web: <http://www.thegreenalliance.org>. Tel: 773-752-2801.

CAMPUS GREENS / YOUNG GREENS OF AMERICA

Campus Greens is a national student-based, non-profit organization dedicated to building a broad-based movement for radical democracy on America’s high school and college campuses. The group works in solidarity with the Ten Key Values of the Green Party and has membership from all sectors of the campus community and all levels of education. Annual dues are $35 for supporting members; $25 for students; $20 for affiliate chapter members; and $10 for limited membership. Members receive a copy of the Campus Greens Newsletter. For further information contact Campus Greens, 3411 W. Diversey Blvd., Chicago, IL 60647-1125 U.S.A. E-mail: <info@campusgreens.org>. A related group, Young Greens of America, maintains a website at <http://groups.yahoo.com/group/YoungGreensOfAmerica/>.

THE U.S. GREENS ABROAD (USGA)

Membership in the U.S. Greens Abroad is open to any U.S. citizen over the age of 18 who has resided, or intends to reside, abroad for a period of more than three months and who completes a signed application form. Contact the USGA directly by writing to Richard Evanoff, 1933-8 Hazama-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 193-0941 Japan. E-mail: <evanoff@sipeb.aoyama.ac.jp>. Web: <http://ultra3.misasa.okayama-u.ac.jp/~pru/usga/USGreens.htm>.

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