The GPUS Steering Committee (SC), along with the party’s staff, oversees and helps execute the day-to-day administration and operations of the party. The SC is made up of seven members plus the party’s Treasurer and Secretary, for a total of nine members. Steering Committee members must be National Committee delegates, alternate delegates, or former delegates/alternates from their state parties. They are elected by the National Committee for two-year terms, with a two-term limit.
Chris Blankenhorn, Co-Chair
Chris Blankenhorn has lived in Central Illinois for most of his life, and has also spent time in Arizona and Southern Illinois. He has been involved intermittently in electoral politics and activism since the age of 17. He has identified as a Green before being old enough to vote.
In recent years, he became involved in the Occupy movement in Springfield, IL and served a variety of organizational roles, from media liaison and event planning to teachin organizer. During this time he graduated from the University of Illinois Springfield with a degree in Political Science, focusing on political philosophy. While a student, he cofounded the Radical Student Union on campus, which engaged in campus activism and organized a number of events on a variety of topics including student debt, the Israel-Palestine conflict, and advocating for Jill Stein on campus during the 2012 election cycle.
In early 2012, Chris took a job as a community organizer for a new, supposedly nonpartisan, community organization trying to get started up in Springfield and soon became Field Director of the Springfield office. This experience allowed him to knock on the doors of about 15,000 homes in Springfield (a town of 110,000) and instilled in him a belief that there was a real hunger for a new path in electoral politics. This work also included helping to organize community resistance to the closure of a manufacturing plant in Freeport, IL. As the 2012 election heated up, Chris left the organization because he couldn’t in good conscience be responsible for running a campaign that forced members to abandon organizing around local issues in favor of supporting President Obama’s reelection campaign and other Democratic candidates. After Chris left, he advocated locally for Jill Stein while trying to start a local Green Party Chapter. During this time, Chris also helped found a nonprofit in Springfield and after the organization changed locations, Chris served on its advisory board.
Chris has been involved in a wide range of other movements and organizations ranging from organizing a Haymarket Festival on May Day to participating in an antifracking sit-in outside the Illinois Governor’s Office, to recently serving as Springfield’s Team leader in Illinois’ Jill 2016 ballot access drive. Chris presently works at an Montessori school with students ranging from three to six years old and will soon begin working towards becoming a certified Montessori teacher. Chris is in the process of helping to turn a renewed energy about the Green Party in Springfield, following a recent visit from Jill, into a re-born local Green Party chapter. Chris is an alternate delegate to the National Committee from Illinois and a member of the Green Party Youth Caucus.
Andrea Mérida Cuéllar, Co-Chair
Andrea Mérida Cuéllar is a Denver-based education and social justice activist, hailing originally from Rochester, NY but living in Denver, CO since the early 1970s. The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants with their own lifelong commitment to social justice, Andrea has served her community in many ways, from student leadership to service in the U.S. Army, to service as an elected member of the Denver Board of Education and now as a national co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the Green Party of Colorado. Until August 2016, she was the only Latinx person in national political party leadership today.
During her tenure as a member of the Denver school board, serving as Denver's first-ever Green elected official, she was the prime driver of a landmark civil rights ruling regarding English learners in the Denver Public Schools. As a result, now even charter school students in Denver must be provided with support to learn English in public schools, where previously charters were allowed to cherry-pick from among students by English proficiency level.
Andrea still lives in Denver, where her blended family lives in Denver's Westside, spending her time both in politics and in managing and singing in her husband's funk band, Gumbo le Funque. Andrea's musings can be found at her website and on her Huffington Post column.
Andrea is a member of the BRPP (Rules), Outreach, Media and Steering committees. She is a co-founder of the GPUS Latinx Caucus which gained accreditation in 2015. She is active in Denver's #BlackLivesMatter movement and steering committee member of 15Now Colorado. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Darlene Elias, Co-Chair
Darlene Elias first encountered the Green Party five years ago when she approached them asking for assistance in helping to prevent the demolition of Lyman Terrace, a low income housing complex located in Holyoke, MA where she grew up. The chair of the local chapter, the Pioneer Valley Green Rainbow Party, at the time was a lawyer and offered his services pro bono. His assistance, along with the zealous advocacy of Greens helped turn the tide for Lyman Terrace and its almost 500 tenants. Darlene is proud to say that on May 24, 2016, the City of Holyoke celebrated the ground breaking of a $35,000,000 project to renovate Lyman Terrace, which is fully supported by Governor Baker and his staff. Darlene strongly believes it is activism on causes we are passionate about that will continue to distinguish the Green Party from the rest and bring people to our party. Since her first encounter with the Green Party, Darlene has worked on many causes in her community, which have ranged from housing, education, discrimination, union and labor, to running for political office. Darlene now proudly tells others that she am a registered member of the Green Party, Co-Chair of the Massachusetts Green Rainbow Party, and Alternate Delegate for the Latinx Caucus.
On a national level, Darlene wants to focus on increasing membership and strengthening the infrastructure of the party. She believes that we can and have to do this to ensure the future of our party, and the time is now to do it. As many are aware, people are disenchanted more then ever with our government. They know the system is rigged, influenced by corporate dollars, and it does not have its priorities straight.
Darlene believes that the Green Party must be the voice of the 99%, and work to ensure the fair and equitable treatment of the disenfranchised and marginalized by creating a fair and more just democracy. If we are to address the major crisis of our times, such as climate change, terrorism, xenophobia, racism, sexism, homophobia, transphobia, and social and economic inequalities to name a few, we must run candidates and change the electoral system.
She believes that now is the time to make the move. The youth of America are protesting in the streets and showing up at the polls in record numbers demanding change. It will behoove us not to believe that youth are the future of our party and will change the landscape of our country. They have the power to make a difference as leaders and it is our responsibility to usher them into the Green Party with open and welcoming arms, provide refuge, encouragement, and guidance as much as we can.
Darryl! Moch, Co-Chair
Darryl! L.C. Moch currently serves as Chair of the DC Statehood Green Party in Washington, DC. He previously served as both a delegate to GPUS NC from DC and as a national Co-chair of the US Green Party on the GPUS Steering Committee member for several terms. Darryl!, in his last years of service as a SC member he was also selected to serve as spokesperson for the party via the SC. He is a member of the GPUS Black & Lavender Caucuses. He has served on the Platform Com, Media Committee, Dispute Resolution Committee, Coordinated Campaign Committee, Bylaws, Rules and Procedures Committee, Diversity Committee, and served as advisor on the Strategic Planning Working Group. He had been liaison to these GPUS committees: Coordinated Campaign Committee, Credentials, Diversity, Green Pages Ed Board, House (GHCC), Senate (GSCC), Bylaws, Rules, Policies, and Procedures Committee. Darryl!, ran for DC City Council in the 2010 DCSGP primary and is looking towards another run in the near future. He has served as an adviser to campaigns and candidates in various parts of the country, locally, regionally, and nationally. He is also currently on the board of Green Horizons. He is also the director of the Charm City Labor Chorus.
Darryl! is a leader and has developed and trained leaders as well as become partners with and worked with community leaders on local, regional, national, and international levels. A native of Los Angeles, California who proudly makes his home in Washington, DC, Darryl! serves as a consultant, activist, advocate, performance artist, psychotherapist/life coach, and minister. His work as an organizer has spanned the country. His passion, and current work, include arts and culture of the progressive community; creating opportunities that will empower, expose, and enlighten individuals and our collective communities. His art, activism and advocacy work is rooted in social justice, equality, and quality of life issues for African-American/People of Color and minority communities, children, youth, families, LGBTQ constituencies, people living with mental and physical challenges, the homeless, as well as HIV/AIDS and other issues facing communities most disenfranchised by local, regional, and national political policies and laws.
Gloria Mattera, Co-Chair
Gloria Mattera has been a member of the Green Party since 2001. Coming to the Green Party through the Nader campaign, Gloria has been involved in building a left, political independent movement since the mid 90's as a leader in the Labor Party New York Metro Chapter. She has served as a coordinating member of System Change Not Climate Change and is a founding member of Left Elect.
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.
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.
In addtion to her new role as GPUS Steering Committee Gloria is currently the co-chair of the Green Party of New York and a delegate to the National Committee.
Tony Ndege, Co-Chair
[Editor's note: elected on March 25, 2018 to replace George Martin. This term ends Summer of 2019.]
Violet Rose Zitola, Co-Chair
[Editor's note: elected on July 1, 2018 to replace Michael Dennis. This term ends Summer of 2019.]
Jody Grage, Secretary
Jody Grage was born in Seattle, Washington, and has been there ever since except for a year living in the mountains in Norway. She lives in Ballard, the part of Seattle where Scandinavians settled, and is a noted Norwegian folk costume expert. Her house she owns was built in 1890 and now includes four apartments. Jody is a retired school teacher and taught in alternative schools, frontline communities, and juvenile hall. She has been knitting since she was five and has knit many green scarves for local and national Green fundraising. She is a vegetable gardener, long-time community activist, member of the Ballard District Council, and determined supporter of the unhoused.
Jody began doing Green Party work in the mid 80's with the Cascadia Green Alliance. She has been active in the Green Party of Seattle and the Green Party of Washington State since their founding and has served in a variety of leadership, administrative, and organizing roles.
She served as a GPUS Steering Committee Co-Chair from 2004 – 2006, as GPUS Treasurer from 2006 – 2010, and was elected GPUS Secretary in 2017. She is currently a Co-Chair of the GPUS Ballot Access Committee and has in the past served on the Accreditation Committee, the Annual National Meeting Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Finance Committee.
Jody sees the position of GPUS Secretary as a good place to use her energy and organizational abilities to increase communication between and among GPUS and state and local Green Parties, enhance the productivity of the Steering Committee, and get things done.
Hillary Kane, Treasurer
Hillary Kane is the proud parent of Jeremy, 7, and Lailah, 4. Her day job is the Director of PHENND, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes campus-community partnership.
Hillary has been active in the Green Party since 2000, when she became active in Ralph Nader’s Presidential campaign. She has held numerous leadership positions at all levels of the party since that time including secretary, treasurer, and chair of both her local (Philadelphia) and state (Pennsylvania) parties, as well as various roles on candidate campaigns.
Currently, Hillary is the co-chair of the GPUS Coordinated Campaign Committee. Ms. Kane is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies.