Peace on Earth, Goodwill to All: GPTX December Newsletter
On this shortest day and longest night of the year, the Green Party of Texas brings you Green Tidings.
Two weeks ago, after a new election was held in Austria following a challenge to the vote results in May, the first Green President in the world, Alexander Van der Bellen, was (re)elected. His win of both elections demonstrates Greens' ability to successfully impede the efforts of “far-right" forces re-emerging across the First World. But what about the integrity of the electoral process in our country?
Greens at Home
In the U.S., Green Party presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein used her candidate standing to pursue electoral recounts in the few states she was able. Her actions have increased public interest, and will hopefully embolden public scrutiny of our electoral process and the highly questionable integrity of our elections. Actions undertaken by past Green Presidential campaigns have exposed electoral misconduct in Florida and Ohio. We have long advocated for preferential votingmethods, publicly verifiable voting systems, public-financing of campaigns & equal access for all candidates, abolition of the electoral college, and more.
In Texas, we Greens will continue to support the call for proper vote documentation as outlined by state law and challenged in the Pressley v Casar case, in which the election authority wishes to produce only cast vote records for recount instead of the individual ballot images required by current law. We also will be working to prevent the Legislature from changing this law as we have heard they will attempt this upcoming 2017 session.
Greens are unafraid to call out the crisis of American legitimacy; when vote counts can't be verified, a winning percentage of eligible voters don't vote, and the electoral college overrules the popular vote anyway. How can such a government claim to have any legitimacy or mandate from the people?
So why do Greens continue to play a rigged game, you may ask? And the answer is; someone must stand in opposition to the duopoly and the tyranny of bullies, and for the freedom, health, and welfare for all our relations.
Whether we can win or not, and regardless of what polls say, we refuse to sit down and let it be said that no one disagreed with the establishment. We refuse to have our point of view & our very existence erased. We will continue to make every, difficult, effort merely to stand as candidates because Greens can not allow establishment policies to go unchallenged. Symbolically withdrawing consent by abstaining from electoral politics only seems to embolden the status quo. But our struggle to offer an alternative vision for the future, and influence the public dialogue by articulating ideas outside the box, are both worthwhile efforts for Greens who won't take the status quo lying down.
Green Energy – #nomorepipelines
Dramatic developments continue on the #nomorepipelines front (44 are currently in the works nationwide). While events around #NoDAPL continue to "play out", so do events surrounding numerous other fossil fuel infrastructure projects. In Texas there are struggles in East Texas over the Energy Transfer Partners other project:TransPecos Pipeline (#NoTPPL) and Georgetown (a 100% renewable energy town) is nowfighting a pumping station for theEnterprise Pipeline.
Greens reject continued social investment in fossil fuel infrastructure, to the tune of billions in subsidies that would be better used in encouraging growth of more sustainable infrastructure. Furthermore, Greens reject the use of state violence to protect the financial interests of corporate entities over the personal bodies of human beings exercising their first amendment rights and protection of our water.
The GPTX State Executive Committee is engaged in planning for 2017-2018. One immediate focus will be on the 85th TX Legislative Session. We have a Legislative Committee,and are also working in coalition on electoral integrity and fairness with other organizations. Join these efforts and help us make light work of a challenging task.
Another important focus is continued community connections and movement building.We have several meet ups & holiday parties planned in December, and will soon add more 1st quarter 2017 meet ups around the state. Of special note are MLK Day events & Occupy Inauguration protests – check your local GP facebookpage to join those efforts. If you would like to help with hosting meet ups in your area,please contact your regional coordinator.
GPTX SEC is also planning a working retreat in Austin on February 18 & 19, to finalize and train for the upcoming year’s strategic plan. In addition to sending organizers, the SEC also asks all locals to focus onbuilding a sustaining GPTX donor base, so that we will build up sufficient resources for our collective organizing needs.
Stand with Greens
It has taken the dedicated efforts of third parties to achieve many social gains; abolition of slavery, child labor laws, minimum wage & a 40 hr work week, Medicare, Social Security, and women's suffrage were all championed by third parties before being adopted by the mainstream. The Green Party continues to be a forerunner for social change by having unequivocally adopted key issues since its inception; equal rights for all people, marijuana decriminalization, peace, economic, environmental, & social justice, ending mass incarceration/private prisons, community policing, electoral integrity & of course, ecological wisdom. As we see these issues gain traction in the mainstream political dialogue, we know that it is at least in part a result of the principled stand that Greens like you are willing to take.
With the commercialized holiday season fully upon us, we sometimes hear references to Peace on Earth & Goodwill to All. These ideas occupy the minds of Greens year round. We hope that you, like us, continue to see the essential need for the Green Party to maintain electoral standing to challenge the establishment agenda & ensure people are allowed to examine our elections’ integrity.
We invite you to continue standing with us and if you are able, please become a financial sustainer of our work.
Stay safe during these holidays and we look forward to building our movement together in the New Year!
In Peace & Solidarity,
Laura Palmer co-chair GPTX SEC
Green Party of Texas