Why hold a mid-term convention?
Midterm Convention to Help Greens Organize and Win in 2002
Why is the Green Party having a 2002 convention when there is no Presidential candidate to nominate?
Traditionally, a non-nominating national convention was a time for grassroots progressive activists to get together for organizing and training.
Former US Labor Secretary, Robert Reich, in The American Prospect (July 30, 2001), writes:
"Democratic activists are pushing for a midterm convention next summer . The party hasn't met at midterm for more than two decades. But activists make a convincing case for rallying the troops next year before the 2002 midterm elections and using the occasion to articulate a new progressivism for America."
For Reich and the progressives, the midterm convention is their only hope of rebuilding a progressive wing of the Democratic Party. Reich again:
"The official Democratic Party has ossified into a Washington-based financial service. It's become ever more efficient in seeking out likely donors but has forgotten how to inspire local crusaders. As a result, there's a large and growing political vacuum at the local and state levels. That vacuum is being filled by Green Party activists, labor organizers, students campaigning against sweatshops and for a living wage, Latino community organizers, and church-affiliated community activists, none of whom are especially interested in a resurgent Democratic Party."
"For years now, the financiers have been gaining power in the party. They're the big rollers from Wall Street, K Street, major corporations, and national law firms. Their main interests are free trade, financial austerity (also known as balanced budgets and debt elimination), and privatized social services. Their main argument has been that Democrats must win over white males in upscale suburbs in order to win back Congress and the presidency. Their main voice in the party has been the Democratic Leadership Council."
Reich reports that "Whether it [midterm convention] occurs at all depends largely on whether organized labor pushes for it." Hugh Jackson in In These Times (August 6, 2001), reports that "There is no groundswell among Democrats for Reich's call for a midterm convention."
Robert Reich effectively describes why the Democrats no longer hold a Midterm Convention, and why you should participate in our Midterm convention.
In 2001, Pennsylvania Greens brought their proposal to the Green National Committee to host this convention.
They proposed hosting it to achieve several goals. Among them are:
Mobilizing, organizing, and galvanizing the grassroots of the Green Party for the 2002 election.
Building alliances with labor, community, minority, environmental, feminist, and other progressive organizations and activists.
Providing a range of small group meetings on organizing skills, policy issues, Green theoretical and ideological perspectives, and for socializing and networking.
The Green Party is coming of age as the foremost electoral arm of the progressive movement. Many of our prominent candidates this year come from years of political experience and effort in other non-electoral organizations. But they see that the avenue for grassroots reform is now stifled by corporate government.