INFORMATION ABOUT THE GREENS/GREEN PARTY USA
HOW THE G/GPUSA IS ORGANIZED
The Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA) is comprised of both local groups and state Green parties. In keeping with its decentralized focus, much of the actual political work done by the party is carried out at the state and local levels, with the national organization serving primarily as a coordinator. Individuals normally join the G/GPUSA through a local group or a state Green party. Individuals may also join as supporting members if there is no group or party in their area. Membership roles and financial records are kept by the Clearinghouse (see address below), which is the first point of contact for individuals, locals groups, and state Green parties who wish to join or affiliate with the G/GPUSA.
The highest decision-making body of the G/GPUSA is the National Congress, which meets during the annual Green Gathering (the Gathering includes workshops and other events in addition to the National Congress). The Green Congress is comprised of delegates from affiliated state Green parties and locals (including an "at-large" caucus for supporting members) which have at least five paid-up members and choose to send their own delegates separate from their state party. One delegate vote is allotted for every ten members as follows: 5-14 members = 1 vote; 15-24 members = 2 votes; 25-34 members = 3 votes; etc. Each affiliated state Green party and local may designate delegates and submit proposals for consideration at the Congress. At the Congress the delegates review, amend, and ratify platforms, principles, and policy statements; review and amend bylaws; review, initiate, and set strategic and policy parameters for actions and campaigns undertaken at the national level; and review and amend actions and decisions made by the Green National Committee.
Administrative decisions are made by the Green National Committee (GNC), which meets periodically and consists of delegates from 26 designated regions in the United States (including state Green parties), four caucuses (the People of Color, Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered, Women's, and Youth Caucuses), and three Congress Representatives. Day-to-day administrative work is carried out by a Coordinating Committee.
The following Working Groups and Committees have also been established to deal with specific issues. Participation in the groups is on a voluntary basis and volunteers are actively sought.
- Clearinghouse and Budget Working Group: assists the National Committee in carrying out its administrative and financial management responsibilities; develops a membership and financial base.
- Electoral Action Working Group: aids in the development of Green electoral endeavors and facilitates communication and cooperation among Green electoral activities and kindred groups.
- International Working Group: oversees liaisons with other national and international groups; develops Green contacts on a global basis through an information network and international Green meetings.
- Green National Legislative E-mail Alert Committee: Coordinates and generates electronic Green Party National Legislative Alerts to e-mail subscribers.
- Green Politix Editorial Board: provides editorial oversight for the quarterly newspaper Green Politix.
- Legal Working Group: handles legal responsibilities for the G/GPUSA, including consultation and/or representation when needed.
- Media Working Group: maintains contact with media outlets, journalists, editors, and local media coordinators; issues timely media releases from the G/GPUSA on current issues and party activities.
- Mediation Committee: facilitates an internal mediation process when needed.
- Negotiating Committee: negotiates with the Green Party of the United States and presidential nominees the details of a unified, inclusive, and democratic nominating process and convention.
- Organizing Working Group: hires and supervises paid organizers; assists with the organizing of new locals and state parties; encourages locals and state parties to affiliate with the G/GPUSA.
- Program Working Group: facilitates the development of position papers to be approved by the Green Congress and updates the Green Program as needed.
- Structure Working Group: formulates proposals on structural issues, such as the GNC and Congress representation and voting weights.
Direct Action Networks may also be formed to deal with particular issues as they arise. Recent examples include opposition to the NATO bombing of Serbia and protests against the WTO meeting in Seattle.
Details of actions taken and decisions made by each of the above administrative bodies are published in the Green Bulletin, an internal publication which all Green locals and state parties are required to subscribe to. The Green Bulletin also periodically lists the names and addresses of administrative personnel. Information about the political activities of local groups, state parties, and the national organization are reported on in the quarterly newspaper, Green Politix. Articles on current issues and Green social thought are published in the journal Synthesis/Regeneration. The G/GPUSA also maintains a website at <http://www.greenparty.org>.
THE TEN KEY VALUES OF THE G/GPUSA
The G/GPUSA is based on the following values, which all members are expected to subscribe to:
1. ECOLOGICAL WISDOM: The Earth sustains all life forms. Whatever we do to the web of life, we do to ourselves.
2. SOCIAL JUSTICE: The worldwide growth of poverty and injustice is unacceptable. We are working for a world in which all can fulfill their potential regardless of their gender, race, citizenship, or sexual orientation.
3. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY: The powerless suffer the most from resource exhaustion and toxic pollution. All citizens should have direct participation in the environmental, political, and economic decisions that affect their lives.
4. NONVIOLENCE: Greens reject violence as a way of settling disputes--it is shortsighted, morally wrong, and ultimately self-defeating. We are working to end war forever.
5. DECENTRALIZATION: Power and responsibility must be restored to local communities within an overall framework of ecologically sound and socially just values.
6. COMMUNITY ECONOMICS: We seek a new economics based upon the natural limits of the Earth which meets the basic needs of everyone on the planet, under democratic, decentralized control.
7. FEMINISM: The Green movement is profoundly influenced by feminism. The ethics of cooperation and understanding must replace the values of domination and control.
8. RESEPCT FOR DIVERSITY: Greens honor the biological diversity of the Earth and the cultural, sexual, and spiritual diversity of Earth's people.
9. PERSONAL AND GLOBAL RESPONSIBILITY: Greens express commitment to global sustainability and international justice through political solidarity and in personal lifestyles based on sufficiency and living lightly.
10. FUTURE FOCUS: Like the Iroquois Indians, Greens seek a society where the interests of the seventh generation are considered equal to the interests of the present. We must reclaim the future for ourselves and our children.
THE GREEN PROGRAM
More than 200 papers from across the United States were submitted and condensed into topical areas over the course of two national Green gatherings in 1989 and 1990, culminating in the adoption of 21 policy statements contained in the Green Program. Subsequent Green Congresses have amended the original document in a variety of ways. Although the Green Program is regarded as a nonbinding platform, it spells out in considerable detail the values, policies, and forms of governance that compose a Green alternative to the current order. The G/GPUSA sees the program as a living document that remains open to further democratic development and change, and hopes that the program will stimulate dialogue and lead to greater coordination among the many groups and individuals aware of the need for a Green alternative.
The specific topics covered by the program are: (1) Agriculture and Food; (2) Arts; (3) Biological Diversity and Animal Liberation; (4) Community; (5) Criminal Justice; (6) Direct Action; (7) Economics; (8) Education; (9) Energy; (10) Foreign and Military Policy; (11) Forests; (12) Health and Healing; (13) Indigenous People; (14) Land Use; (15) Materials and Waste Management; (16) Peace and Nonviolence; (17) Politics; (18) Social Justice; (19) Spirituality; (20) Technology; (21) Water and Air.
Nine additional proposals were adopted at the 1999 Green Gathering. Draft versions of six of these proposals were published in the Summer 1999 issue of Green Politix: (1) Drug Policy; (2) Strong Encryption and Intellectual Property; (3) Sustainable Cities; (4) Lesbian/Bisexual/Gay/Transgender Liberation; (5) Health Care; and (6) Media. The adopted proposals have been forwarded to the G/GPUSA Program Working Group to be revised into platform language.
A copy of the Green Program can be obtained for $1.00 from The Greens/Green Party USA, or through the USGA (contact information is below).
HOW TO JOIN THE G/GPUSA
Individuals can join the G/GPUSA directly through the U.S. Greens Abroad. The USGA maintains a caucus which has delegate status within the G/GPUSA. Through the caucus members can vote on candidates for national office and also propose planks for the G/GPUSA Platform. Members also receive copies of the party newspaper Green Politix and the journal Synthesis/Regeneration. Dues are $60.00 per year (6,000 yen in Japan), although dues may be reduced or waived if necessary. For an application form contact Richard Evanoff, 1933-8 Hazama-cho, Hachioji-shi, Tokyo 193-0941 Japan. E-mail: <email@example.com>. The G/GPUSA can be contacted directly at: Greens/Green Party USA, P.O. Box 1406, Chicago, IL 60690 U.S.A. E-mail: <firstname.lastname@example.org>. Web: <http://www.greenparty.org>. Tel. inside the U.S.: 1-866-GREENS2 (toll-free). Tel. outside the U.S.: 312-253-0395 (direct line).