2017 SC Election

Steering Committee Candidates

There are seven candidates for four seats


Andrea Merida

When I ran a couple years ago (twice, actually, the first time to fill a vacancy), I said I would focus on a few key points. Among them were:

  • the official launch of the GPUS Latino caucus
  • improving communications between state parties and the steering committee

I am happy to say I have been able to impact both of these goals. The Latinx caucus came online in September 2015. We chose the name "Latinx" instead of "Latino" because the "x" is the placeholder for every gender that counts itself as part of our family, just like on Christmas Eve or at a quinceañera. In many ways we are still coming online, but we have been able to impact the diverse fabric of our party in concrete ways, by writing and co-sponsoring recent proposals to assign permanent delegates from caucuses to the National Committee and to also increase the numbers, as just one example.

Improving our communication conduit between the state parties is so crucial. I served as the Regional Director for the Southwest Region for the Stein/Baraka campaign, and I gained a perspective about the challenges our state parties are facing. Our southwest team was able to achieve 98.3% of our vote goal for the 5 states, but I got to see first-hand how under-resourced are our state parties, how hardworking are our party activists and leaders, and how little the national party helps. As a state co-chair for the Green Party of Colorado, I can attest that affiliation with GPUS has to be of value to our state party partners.

Therefore, I oversaw a national search for a political organizer, and I am happy to say that Adrian Boutureira was hired a few months ago, specifically to improve the communication conduit between GPUS and state parties. Adrian has been busy at work getting to know many of you, has worked on a needs-assessment survey, and is in the process of strengthening our bonds with leftist grassroots organizations that align with our platform and which could be the basis for new membership in our parties.

Further, as some of you will attest, I have strong, collaborative relationships with many state party members and have worked hard to support their efforts to bring their parties online in various ways, especially Utah and Nevada. I have regularly raised your issues with other SC members. We have moved toward more uniform protocols and response to various issues, and lately, candidate vetting is one such issue. Also, I helped create the opportunity for GPUS to create an online broadcast, which Scott McLarty and others have given the moniker "GreenStream," which will be hosted at the GPUS Facebook page, here: http://www.facebook.com/GreenPartyUS/

I am dedicated to building out more value for a state party's affiliation with GPUS. The truth is, we will not achieve 5 percent of a presidential vote if we don't put more effort into strengthening our state parties. There are a few areas of focus that I believe is the next phase for my service in the SC:

  • create a training program for state-level fundraising efforts
  • construct a compromise between donations and dues so we always have resources to grow
  • helping Texas regain its ballot line (who can win without Texas, really??)
  • launch a political education program, to educate newcomers on the platform and about ecosocialism and fighting white supremacy
  • help state parties grow skill sets in conflict resolution and bylaws development

Anita Rios
Toledo, Ohio (Green Party of Ohio)

When I write a bio about myself I always share the fact that I am the daughter of migrant farmworkers, was raised in poverty, and did not graduate from high school. Because of these childhood experiences, I always seek to represent millions of Americans still stuck in poverty. I stand proudly with my sisters and brothers on welfare and unemployment, sent to the back of the class, or forgotten and discarded in jails and prisons.

While I did eventually graduate from the University of Toledo and now have more economic security, my political activism is still driven by dedication to the elimination of poverty and to creating a world in balance. Why am I Green? Because I know the Green Party is the only party truly dedicated to social justice and ecological healing. Our values, and our dedication to making our communities better places, keep us focused on the grass roots politics of the people.

To succeed, however, we must think beyond sound bite politics and remain fearless in challenging the status quo. We must change how politics are done, bring more people into government, and expand participation in the decision making process. I know the Green Party is the best tool for achieving real and lasting social change, but at this point in our history we face many challenges, both internal and external.

As Co-Chair of the national committee I will be dedicated to growing the Green Party and getting the word out about who we are and what we stand for. Equally important I will work to make our internal processes more user friendly and efficient. I look forward to working with Greens who hold various points of view, to find common ground and create models for collaboration that will strengthen the diversity of our Green Party village.

Experienced Leadership in the Green Party

My work on the Steering Committee would also be informed by my own experience as a Green Party candidate: I have proudly run for office four times, including Toledo City Council, Lieutenant Governor (twice), and in 2014, for Governor of Ohio. My gubernatorial campaign earned more than 3% of the vote and secured party status for the Green Party of Ohio.

If elected to the Steering Committee, I would bring previous experience in party leadership at the local, state, and federal level. I was elected three times to serve on the central committee for the Lucas County Green Party and the Ohio Green Party central committee. In addition, I was Co-Chair of the Green Party of Ohio from 2005 to 2013.

Earlier, from 2001 to 2004, when the Green Party of the United States first gained national committee status, I served on the Steering Committee as Co-Chair. More recently, in 2010-2012, I served as Co-Chair (with Angel Torres) of the Latinx Caucus “in formation,” recruiting young Latinx Greens into the party.

Changing the World

With your support, I am eager to serve, dedicating my skills and experience to the crucial challenges we face as we grow the party and prepare for coming elections. These times call for steady, inclusive leadership; for commitment to Green values; and for thoughtful cooperation among all members of the Steering Committee. The task ahead is daunting, but together we can succeed. I would be honored to do my part, and I hope to earn your support. Go Greens!

Other Leadership Experience

Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund
President, Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund (2010 to present). The Jackson Fund is a 501c3 that raises money to help low income women access abortions in the Toledo Ohio area.

National Organization for Women (NOW)
President, Ohio National Organization for Women (2013-2016).
President, Toledo National Organization for Women (2009-2016).
Vice President, Toledo National Organization for Women-NOW (2016 to present).

Service Employees International Union/District 1199s
Executive Delegate, SEIU/1199 Zeph Center, Toledo (1994-1999). The Zepf Center is a non-profit agency providing behavioral health and vocational services to youth and adults with severe and persistent mental illness.
Regional Delegate, SEIU/1199 delegate to the Toledo Area AFL-CIO Council (1997-1999).


George Paz Martin
Wisconsin Green Party Coordinating Committee
GPUS National Committee Alternate Delegate

Hello Family,

Please consider this my application for self-nomination to our National Steering Committee.

Eligibility: I am a current an Alternate Delegate to our National Committee. I have been an Alternate or Past Delegate for the last 16 years and attended every ANM during that time.

Qualifications: Per Section 2-1 Co-Chairs
The duties and responsibilities of the Co-Chairs shall be to

2-1.1 Serve as the principal spokespersons of the GPUS.

  • Was Co-Chair and Spokesperson for the Greater Milwaukee and Wisconsin Green Parties.

  • Was National Co-Chair and Spokesperson of United for Peace & Justice, anti-war coalition of 1,400 local, state and national organizations, for 8 years during the Iraq War.

  • Has spoken truth to power for peace and justice on television on every U.S. network, CNN, C-Span, Democracy Now, BBC, Al Jazeera and television in more than 150 countries.

2-1.2 Be responsible for oversight and coordination of GPUS committees using a Committee Liaison system as described in the Steering Committee Rules, Policies and Procedures.

  • Managed a similar system as WI Green Party Co-Chair.

  • Related – former international corporate executive and entrepreneur. 

  • Direct – former staff, board member or consultant to more than 100 community-based organizations.

  • Direct – Board Member - Liberty Tree Foundation, former Steering Committee Member – United for Peace & Justice, Peace Action and the US Social Forum.

Wisconsin Green Party Endorsement, June 4, 2017:
Hello Greens, I am Dace Zeps, Co-Chair of the WI Green Party and a former National Committee Delegate. We're speaking to you from our WI Spring Gathering, to endorse our George from Milwaukee for the GPUS Steering Committee. We, the Wisconsin Green Party, ask you, "to Rank George Paz Martin as your First Choice for Steering Committee."

Biographical Application:

  • Joined the Greater Milwaukee Green Party in 2000 and served as its Co-Chair for four years, leading Milwaukee's hosting of our 2004 Presidential Nominating Convention.

  • An original Milwaukee Black Panther, he convened the GPUS Black Caucus in 2001, was a founding member and served as a Co-Chair for four years.

  • Was elected Co-Chair of the WI Green Party 2002 and served for four years during which WI had 37 elected officials.

  • Was elected as a National Co-Chair of United for Peace & Justice, the US's largest anti-war coalition of 1,400 organizations, in 2003 serving for 8 years during the Iraq War. He represented the Greater Milwaukee Greens.

  • Served our GPUS National Committee as a delegate or alternate delegate participating in the Diversity Committee and every Annual National Meeting for 16 years. 

  • After initiating the 'Green Party Call To Action' as a unifying ceremony, he has led our party in the ceremony and helped lead meeting facilitation at all Annual National Meetings since 2002. 

  • At past Annual National Meetings, he has successfully presented to the National Committee:
    • Platform Amendment for Reparations on behalf of the Black Caucus

    • Resolutions to Bring Our Troops Home, to Impeach Bush and Cheney, and to Divest from Israel and Free Palestine on behalf of a coalition of mid-west state Green Parties.

  • Led our ANM Rally at the Ferguson, MO, Police Station and dialogued with the Ferguson Police Chief afterwards about police accountability and community relations.

  • Internationally, he worked with Nobel Peace Prize Winner and Kenyan Green Party Leader, Wangari Maathai, in a 2008 Global Green Youth Conference in Nairobi.

  • Has traveled internationally more than three dozens times working for peace, justice and climate in Africa, the Middle East, Europe, South America and Asia.

  • Has spoken truth to power for peace and justice on television on every U.S. network, CNN, C-Span, Democracy Now, BBC, Al Jazeera and television in more than 150 countries

  • George Paz Martin, a former Fellow of the Marquette U. Center for Peacemaking, has been honored with the National Peace & Justice Studies Association's Social Courage Award, the WI Network for Peace & Justice and the Foundation for a United Front's Lifetime Activism Awards. 

  • George currently serves, for last 8 years, on the Board of the Liberty Tree Foundation with its next Democracy Convention in Minneapolis this August.

Just during the last year, George Paz Martin:

  • was the closing speaker at our 2016 Presidential Nominating Convention in Houston.

  • presented a workshop on the Climate, the Border and Migration in Nogales, Mexico at the School of the Americas Watch Gathering at the Border.

And as the Green Shadow Cabinet Ambassador of Peace, he spoke

  1. at the School Americas Watch Closing Rally in Nogales, AZ/Mexico in November.

  2. at the Peoples Climate March Closing Rally in DC of 200,000 at the Washington Monument in April.

  3. at the Socialist Workers Annual Conference in Athens, Greece this May, he spoke on the US elections, Trump, racism, fascism and immigration.

And most importantly, George Martin initiated the 2016 Wisconsin Presidential Vote Recount and helped lead the Wisconsin Green Party in our Wisconsin Recount, Recount Report and Voter Justice & Democratizing Elections Conference.

Personal Focus:
I look forward to helping lead our national party in:

  1. Growing Membership by increasing our public visibility in social movements at local and national events to fulfill our Ten Key Values, and support our Platform. 

  2. Providing Training in leadership development, media and social media, and candidate schools along with other resources to support local, state and national candidates.

  3. Challenging Electoral Barriers through national campaigns of education and action against exclusion from media and debates, the Electoral College, voter suppression laws and practices, etc.

We're not just tree huggers. We run candidates and will get more elected.
I will work toward our Green Party's full participation in the US political process.
Government has been in a quagmire at all levels.
We look to compete, get elected and be a mediator…a catalyst… a coalition builder…to help move our government forward in serving 'We The People.'
America needs the Green Party and we will grow it! Green & Growing!

Full Wisconsin Green Party Gathering:
Please 'Rank George Paz Martin as your First Choice for Steering Committee.' Wisconsin approves this message!


Gloria-Mattera-300.jpg
Gloria Mattera

The following endorsement by Craig Seeman of the Green Party New York has been approved by Ms. Mattera in lieu of a standard biography.

 

I've known Gloria Mattera for nearly 20 years, going back to our days in the Labor Party. Her sustained level of commitment towards party building may be without parallel and, accomplished with enormous self sacrifice.

During our most difficult times in New York, she's been able to pull disparate people together. Not only has she pulled such elements together, she's beens a motivational force, encouraging team work to accomplish challenging tasks against great odds.

I personally believe she's one of those rare dedicated individuals with the organizational and people skills to move this party forward.

With that, I am proud to announce and endorse the candidacy of my fellow New York delegate Gloria Mattera for Steering Committee co-chair.

Gloria has been essential to the Green Party of New York's leadership for almost a decade and is a big factor in our achievements. She is currently serving a second consecutive term as state co-chair, which she has also held in the past, along with other positions on our Executive Committee. Gloria served as Howie Hawkins's running mate during our groundbreaking gubernatorial campaign in 2010, which won back our ballot status after an 8-year drought. She also served as Presiding Chair of the Green Party of Brooklyn for several terms.

Recently elected to the National Committee as one of 7 representatives from New York, Gloria has served on several GPUS national committees in the past: Accreditation, Ballot Access, Coordinated Campaign Committee, and EcoAction (current). Gloria also served as co-chair of the 2008 Presidential Nominating Convention in Chicago.

Successes, GPNY:

During her term as co-chair when GPNY did not have ballot status, Gloria was instrumental in maintaining and growing the party, which included ensuring the 2008 McKinney/Clemente presidential ticket was on the ballot in New York, requiring over 15,000 signatures from registered voters. I am proud of her work following our regaining ballot status, in which she collaborated with other GPNY leaders to reconstitute our state party into a stronger, more effective organization.

She has helped accomplish this by playing key roles in our

  • developing clear and comprehensive by-laws, including guidelines for affiliating county organizations and prohibiting cross-endorsement of candidates from the two corporate parties

  • establishing high standards for working committees

  • instituting dues structure

  • hiring a part-time paid organizer

  • strengthening alliances with other groups within the Left, leading to collaboration on issue campaigns and endorsements for our candidates

Gloria believes many of the lessons learned from GPNY's transformation can help other state parties and locals grow and thrive—and that the national party should make this one of its highest priorities.

Gloria's Electoral Campaigns:

Gloria has been a groundbreaking Green Party candidate on four occasions. Her initial run for NYC City Council in 2001 was as an independent socialist who sought and received the Green Party ballot line. Running on a slogan of "People's Needs, Not Corporate Greed," Gloria championed a platform that addressed the disparity between the 1% in the richest city in the world and the 99% of those trying to get by.

Receiving 10% of the vote as a first-time candidate, Gloria also was one of the first Green Party candidates to receive NYC campaign finance matching funds, which enabled her campaign to open a district office and hire campaign staff. She ran again for the same city council seat in 2003, almost doubling her vote percentage, which pushed the Green Party into second place above the Republican candidate, and she again received NYC matching funds.

Striving to increase the visibility of the Green Party in Brooklyn, Gloria ran for borough president in 2005 on an anti-eminent-domain platform, focusing on the mega-development of a professional basketball arena and high-rise luxury housing in the Atlantic Yards. Scores of volunteers from community groups fighting the development project made it possible for Gloria's campaign to collect over 5,000 signatures for ballot access and raise $50,000 to meet the higher bracket of NYC campaign finance matching funds. Gloria received 7% of the vote in a borough of 1.5 million voters.

Her last campaign was in 2010 as the running mate to Howie Hawkins in his first Green Party candidacy for governor of New York. Their campaign garnered over 60,000 votes to grant the Green Party back its ballot status.

Additional Campaign Experience:

Co-coordinator: NYC Labor for Nader 2000
Coordinator: David McReynolds for U.S. Senate 2004
Advisor: Rev. Billy campaign for Mayor 2009
Advisor: Stein/Honkala 2012
Deputy Campaign Manager: Stein/Baraka 2016

General Bio:

Gloria Mattera has a master's degree in special education from Bank Street College of Education in Manhattan. After teaching special needs preschoolers, she moved into the field of child life, working primarily with poor immigrant children and families in hospitals. Working in the New York City public hospital system over the years, Gloria experienced firsthand how unjust and inhumane this country's healthcare system is and got involved in the single-payer healthcare movement. She has been a board member of the Physicians for a National Health Program NY Metro Chapter for many years. Gloria soon realized that the two corporate parties in power would never bring a national health program to the U.S. and turned toward independent political party building, initially as a founding member of the Labor Party under Tony Mazzocchi, then NYC coordinator of Labor for Nader in 2000, and finally the Green Party. While in the Labor Party, Gloria was secretary of the largest chapter, NY Metro, and a member of the Just Health Care national committee.

Gloria's Vision for the Green Party:

"It is a critical time for the Green Party to continue rising in U.S. politics, and I am ready and able to play an important role in this as a Steering Committee co-chair. As an increasing number of disaffected Democrats and alienated voters search for alternatives, what role is our party ready to play? Our European brothers and sisters have fought back against the creeping fascism of right-wing candidates not by being timidly liberal but by offering bold proposals that challenge corporate power, hegemony, and racism. This is what the Green Party of the U.S. must articulate in our program, demonstrate in our actions. I am proud to have been the principal editor of the Economic Democracy plank that was passed overwhelmingly at our 2016 Convention.

"Although there is not a one-size-fits-all formula, I believe that our successes in New York can be used as a model to strengthen other state parties, to strengthen regional Green Party organizations, and even to help organize state parties in areas that have been struggling. GPUS, under the direction of the Steering Committee, needs to take this on directly. Offering a "how to" handbook to download on the GP website is not enough to help foster fledgling Green organizations. Concrete support and guidance through monthly conference calls for state party leaders or those working to establish a state party are needed. I would institute a mentorship program to pair stronger state parties with fledgling ones.

"As a longtime socialist, I found my electoral home in the Green Party back in 2001 when I ran for office for the first time, bringing other socialists and the local Green Party together. My NYC City Council platform for a more equitable and just New York City was shaped by socialist ideals and the social movement forces of that time, but without the electoral skill and knowledge of the Green Party, this important message would not have been heard as widely as it was and would not have resulted in good results at the polls. This collaboration has continued in New York over the years, and I believe that the Green Party can and should step up this work state by state if the national party will make this a high priority. My work in building "red-green" coalitions through electoral campaigns in my state (most notably in the Howie Hawkins–Brian Jones 2014 Green gubernatorial campaign) and on the national level with System Change Not Climate Change and the Left Elect Conference demonstrate my skill and commitment to get this done."


Craig Seeman
Green Party of NY - Delegate
Media Committee Member
Animal Rights Committee Co-chair


James Lane

The Green Party has been the only political party that I’ve ever been a member of since registering to vote for the first time in my life at the age of 35 during the 2000 Nader/LaDuke campaign.

For the past 17 years I have been a committed volunteer, organizer and ultimately candidate to help promote the Green Party platform as the only true path to radically transform the corporate controlled systems that are responsible for so many evils in our world today.

For your consideration, the following is a brief list of Green Party related roles, responsibilities and achievements that I’ve experienced during my time as an active member that I feel qualify me to run for the position of Co-Chair.

  • National Committee Delegate, Green Party of the United States Black Caucus

  • State Committee Member, Green Party of New York State

  • Committee Member, Green Party National Diversity Committee

  • Honorary Co-Chair, 2016 Green Party Annual Meeting and Presidential Nominating Convention

  • Keynote Speaker, 2015 Green Party Annual Meeting

  • Candidate, 2017 Green Party for Public Advocate Candidate of New York City

  • Candidate, 2015 Green Party for United States House of Representatives

  • Candidate, 2013 Green Party for Public Advocate Candidate of New York City

  • Author, Adoptee Rights Platform Plank, Green Party of the United States

  • Steering Committee Member, Stop Mass Incarceration Network’s

  • #RiseUpOctober (three days of protest and resistance to Stop Police Terror)

To those that know me and of course those that don’t, many have described me as someone that will go above and beyond the call of duty for the good of our party and I only hope to be able to prove that to you all by hopefully serving as a Steering Committee Co-Chair in the future.

James Lane
Delegate, GPUS Black Caucus


Joy Davis

GPUS Black Caucus
GPUS National Delegate
GPUS Co-Chair Outreach Committee
GPUS Accreditation Committee
Texas

I joined the Green Party under the Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka campaign. I was drawn in by Jill Stein's tenacity and her willingness to stand up and fight for all communities that have been left behind by the duopoly due to corporate greed. I began to learn more about the Green Party when a Louisiana Green ,Anika Ofuri, approached me at the Jill Stein's Acceptance Party in Houston,Texas. Politically and ideologically, the Green Party is a perfect match for me. I have met Greens from all over the country and knew right away that this was the party for me and my family based on the Ten Key Values.

I was elected in 2001 and successfully re-elected until 2005 as Vice President of the Resident Council by a very diverse population. I also implemented programs that served this community while as Youth Committee Director during this time. A majority of my votes during these years were largely from Vietnamese and African-American residents. From 2006-2017 I have been involved within the community with various projects. I served on the Schlumberger Corporate Guild for Dress For Success. I have worked in the accounting field for many years. I was responsible for the payment of invoices, taxes, salaries, wire transfers, vendor maintenance, and employee expense reports. I also served as a SAP Beta Tester and have worked with various accounting programs. My passion is being an advocate and fighting for parents that have children with Autism and/or special needs that may not be receiving services that are required to help them. In 2016, I was nominated and elected by the Black Caucus to serve as a National Delegate, Accreditation Committee member, and serve on the Outreach Committee As of June 20th, I am now one of the Co-Chairs for the Outreach Committee I am very honored to serve the Green Party in this capacity.


Michael Dennis

Amongst my various roles within the Green Party, I am currently the National Delegate for the Youth Caucus and Treasurer for the Lavender Caucus. I also serve on the Media, Fundraising, and Ballot Access Committees. I served as the Systems Manager for Stein/Baraka 2016 and as Deputy Campaign Manager for Cheri Honkala's campaign for State Representative.

Here are some particular strategies and solutions I contributed to:

  • I implemented the largest phonebanking and textbanking efforts in the party's history for the Stein/Baraka campaign. 

  • I have assisted in growing Jill, Cheri, GPUS, Youth, and Lavender Caucus social media as well as helping many states get their social media structures. This has created media opportunities; for example, the first wave of press for Jill's campaign almost all were quoting or even specifically centered around tweets crafted by her early 2016 social media team, myself included. 

  • I implemented a ballot access system that utilized phonebanking, our campaign database, and social media groups to recruit petitioning volunteers—contributing to our historic efforts to get on more ballots than Nader and saving the campaign from having to hire more paid petitioners in states like Missouri and Connecticut.
     
  • I spearheaded a by-laws change to the Youth Caucus by-laws, that expressed our anti-oppression principles as well as setting up a two-tiered system of Youth chapter affiliation that maintains of priority of building Green while opens the door for solidarity and collaboration with other Leftist or progressive student and youth groups. 

  • I assisted in implementing "money blooms" for the S/B campaign and was the accountable manager for the successful fundraising efforts for Cheri's campaign. 

  • I had the idea to centralize the many facets of the S/B Open the Debates strategy by creating the "Debate Hub" page during the campaign with all the ways people could get involved. 

  • I pushed hard and early for the S/B campaign to adopt livestream technology, which ended up being a significant strategic tool as the campaign developed. I pushed hard and early for the campaign to adopt live-chat communications, which ended up being critical for the daily success of some campaign teams. I pushed hard for the adoption of a comprehensive documentation archive, which when finally implemented allowed better cross-team functionality.

  • I have worked with the rest of the Youth Caucus SC to start educational organizing calls on a bi-monthly basis, as I assisted the S/B Youth Director do during the campaign.

  • I've assisted to various degrees in database management and/or volunteer structure setup for North Carolina, Youth, Lavender, Jill, Cheri, and GPUS. I built sizable parts of those websites as well over the past few years.

  • While I felt conflicted at the time on some of the particulars of the recount, as staff I helped setup much of the recount fundraising and volunteer structures at a drop of a hat on Thanksgiving Day. 

  • While their overall political orientation is problematic, I assisted in obtaining the only (thus far) national Our Revolution endorsement of a Green candidate: Cheri Honkala for State Representative, who saw a noticeable benefit in volunteers and resources from this endorsement.

  • I proudly worked alongside other Youth and NC delegates to gather a record-breaking number of co-sponsored for Proposal 835, the Ecological Economics Amendment, and organize Young Greens to lobby their NC delegates to support it.

Briefly, as non-Green experience: At 16 I was the overseer of my 70 peers for the year-long US House of Representative page program, and at 21, I was the Office Manager and de-facto Chief of Staff for a Pennsylvania State Representative. I have managed the educational program for a top 10 (of 400+) Apple store, and I was the Director of Client Services for a travel technology company managing over 50 accounts simultaneously with a multi-million dollar spend. I also run my own wellness business as a yoga teacher, meditation facilitator, and Thai yoga therapist.

---

In short, I believe that we need to explore better structures and strategies at the national level—whether it be volunteer intake, fundraising phonebanking, committee documentation/reporting, educational training, or exploring how to best use our database to support ballot access. We simply need to create or assess many systems across the board. This in turn, will allow us to uphold a functioning vision of decentralization where national is better capable of providing assistance, resources, and lifting up states and caucuses in an amplifying and grassroots way.

I'm happy to participate in discussions at any time on what that could look like for any particular aspect of the party—sharing or openly and sincerely musing to my NC peers about any ideas that I may have. As my experience shows, I am a systems thinker, idea-oriented, and action-oriented; I believe these are competencies that will be of great benefit to the GPUS Steering Committee.

Ultimately many of these critical discussions will fall to the National Committee or various committees of GPUS. As co-chair I pledge to continue to work to initiate and facilitate these conversations where appropriate. I know that the Youth Caucus--and our increasing presence on the National Committee as more Young Greens are elected to this body--certainly looks forward to these deep and democratic discussions, which I why I was encouraged by my fellow Youth Caucus members to run for co-chair here in the first place. Similarly, I know I and other youth look forward to debating proposals put forth by states and caucuses to the National Committee, which is an unfortunately underutilized ability of this deliberative body that I also hope to work towards changing as a national co-chair by encouraging and regularly engaging with NC members.

Thanks for your time and consideration. I am happy to answer any questions or concerns privately or publicly.

Peace and solidarity,

Michael Dennis
717-873-0588
ygusalternate@gmail.com 

 


Secretary Candidates

There are two candidates for one position


Jody Grage

I served as a member of the GPUS Steering Committee from 2004 - 2006 and as GPUS Treasurer from 2006 - 2010. I currently serve as Co-Chair of the GPUS Ballot Access Committee. I have in the past served on the Accreditation Committee, the Annual National Meeting Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Finance Committee.

I have been active with the Green Party in Washington State and Seattle since the mid 1980's, serving often in leadership, administrative, and organizing roles. My previous relevant experiences include being a teacher and community activist.

I am an energetic, organized, efficient and practical person and have a great deal of experience with agendas, minutes, committee work, schedules, facilitating communication, and getting things done. There's some old office memo that lists the increasing tasks from the little the boss does to the great deal a secretary does and, while it's hilarious, it does point out how important a secretary is. I nominate myself with the knowledge of the demands of the role - having worked with Greg Garrett long ago and with Budd Dickinson while they were GPUS Secretaries - and the determination to use the role to enhance the productivity of the Steering Committee as a whole.

If you want to know more about me, just ask...


LuAnne Kozma

I welcome the opportunity to run and serve as secretary of the GPUS steering committee Here's a little about my background.

I've been a Michigan delegate on the National Committee since 2015, an alternate in 2014, and a Green Party member since 2009. Currently I'm a co-chair of the GPUS Eco-Action committee, representing the National Women's Caucus. Last fall I volunteered as the Michigan volunteer coordinator for the Jill Stein/Ajamu Baraka campaign, organizing 8 events for Jill and Ajamu. Recently we revitalized the Up North Green Party in northern Michigan, (www.upnorthgreenparty.org) where I live, for which I'm a co-chair.

I've served as a secretary of several organizations in the past, including my local union (Michigan Education Association) for two years. In addition to being a folklorist, I also have a background and certificate as a paralegal, and am a legal worker member of the National Lawyers Guild. I'd bring those skills to the secretary position.

Before 2012, I lived downstate in the Detroit area, and worked for 25 years as a folklorist at the Michigan State University Museum. My work there involved organizing folklife festivals, exhibits, educational workshops and conferences and doing folklife field research. More recently I did contract folklife fieldwork throughout Iowa and parts of Oregon for those states' folklife programs. I have a bachelor's degree in parks and recreation, and a masters in folk studies/historic preservation. I've also worked as a park interpreter at national, state, county and city parks.

I grew up in New Jersey, where I became involved in environmental issues and was active politically, most importantly the fight to save the Delaware River from a large dam project. I've been an activist in park protection, serving on my city's park commission. While a commissioner, with a small group of residents, I sued the city to save a park from being sold. We lost, but then I began networking with others who were facing similar threats to parks, and we started organizing and working together. For 6 years I worked with residents of Benton Harbor, Michigan to fight off a threat by Whirlpool to takeover their public park. I created this video when we were still pushing the state of Michigan to turn down the proposal:

Eventually we filed state and federal lawsuits. Several plaintiffs and residents and I were the legal team working with the attorney I recruited (Ohio Green Terry Lodge) on the federal lawsuit. In the end it was a political, and racist, result and the park's dunes were lost, in exchange for Whirlpool's contaminated land. This experience helped lead me to the Green Party.

Since 2011, together with my husband, Ellis Boal (a long-time Green and Green candidate), I have been involved in the ban fracking movement. I co-founded the group Ban Michigan Fracking (www.banmichiganfracking.org) and since 2012 have directed the Committee to Ban Fracking in Michigan, a ballot question committee which to date has collected over 222,000 signatures to put a statewide ban on fracking and frack wastes on the ballot. (www.letsbanfracking.org). We're currently in litigation challenging the constitutionality of the 180-day signature gathering statute, and still collecting signatures for 2018. I live in Charlevoix, where we are renovating an old house and getting it off fossil fuels and eventually off the grid.

The Green Party's success in the future depends a lot on getting organized structurally, organizing disaffected voters and young people, and developing new leaders. To build the party we have to stay true to our four pillars and 10 key values, confront and work to eliminate oppression within the party, and remain independent of the two capitalist parties. As secretary I would play a role in keeping the steering committee and the National Committee organized, facilitating communication, and working well as a team.