February 2022 Green Star Newsletter
Working toward a future where people and planet are valued, and our government represents all of us
Your 2022 New Year’s Resolution
By GPPA Co-Chair Beth Scoggin
Happy New Year, everyone! With 2021 now behind us, this is the perfect time to look ahead and create the metaphorical trellis upon which the rest of this year will grow vines. With your help, those vines can bear the fruit of Greens in elected offices across the Commonwealth. . . .
A few weeks ago, a Democratic Party candidate for Governor, Josh Shapiro, visited West Chester, the county seat of Chester County, where I live. Stumping for Shapiro was the current Governor Tom Wolf. A group of people from the Uwchlan Safety Coalition, www.uwchlansafetycoalition.org, organized a demonstration of residents to ask Governor Wolf, in person, to pull the construction permits for the Mariner East II pipeline. . .
While we protested, chanting "Pull the permits now!" and holding signs, both Wolf and Shapiro noticed us but did not acknowledge our presence. They were too busy patting themselves on the back for not being Donald Trump, and giving speeches devoid of plans for meaningful change. . . .
Now more than ever, we need Green solutions to the problems plaguing us all. Climate change has already been causing violent storms in many parts of the world, droughts and wildfires in other parts. A lack of nationalized health care has caused many to die needlessly because they can't afford the care they need. Hospitals are understaffed and their workers are exhausted and underpaid. Similarly, lack of funding for education has led to staff shortages so severe that it's a wonder our schools can operate on a day-to-day basis. It's been more than a decade since Occupy Wall Street, yet wealth inequality continues to grow by the day. Mainstream politicians continue to ignore these issues. They will continue to ignore these issues because corporations benefit from the status quo, and those same corporations fund electoral campaigns of the two corporate parties. The Green Party is the ONLY party that does not accept corporate funding, and as a result, you can count on Green candidates to represent YOUR interests!
The Green Party is calling for YOUR help in 2022! If you care about promoting our four pillars of nonviolence, social justice, grassroots democracy, and ecological wisdom, please join us! Whether you're new to politics, have plenty of experience but have taken a break, or have been fighting the system for decades, we will welcome you and find something important for you to do. We need candidates for all elected offices, as well as people who will help those candidates run their campaigns. Make one of your New Year's resolutions to get in touch with your local Green Party, or start one of your own!
GPPA NEWS HIGHLIGHTS
edited by Chris Robinson
GPPA has two co-chairs who serve for staggered two-year terms. The delegates [on 1/9/22] elected Co-chair Jay Ting Walker (Allegheny County) as leader until the end of 2023. Walker has been a member at large of the GPPA steering committee and an elected member of the Green Party of Allegheny County (GPOAC, https://www.alleghenygreens.org/) steering committee since 2017. Walker has also run twice for election as the GPPA candidate for PA House District 23. Incumbent Co-chair Beth Scroggin (Chester County) said, “I am so grateful to Jay Ting Walker for joining me as co-chair! His energy, enthusiasm, and ideas are just what the Green Party needs to move forward this year.” Referring to other new members of the GPPA steering committee, Scroggin continued, “David Ochmanowicz (Bucks County) brings more than a decade of experience with the Green Party as well as his seasoning as an elected Green official. Beth Schongar and Claire Cohen are both accomplished, passionate women who will bring fresh perspectives to our steering committee. Overall, we will have a great team of people!” Asked for his political forecast, Walker said, “I predict that 2022 will be a dazzling year for the Green Party. We have justice, climate science, the people, and even the PA Constitution on our side. Our only obstacles are the corporations and the politicians they have in their pockets. The Green Party will be in the streets and on the ballot, fighting for the future of every citizen of PA. . . .” (show all)
Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick (Delaware County), a former member of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) steering committee, pointed out, “. . .There are numerous examples of how pipeline companies have been allowed to grossly pollute the environment without meaningful consequences .. . . There are many patterns of behavior we need to stop and many actions we need to take to make sure we will have a healthy, safe and beautiful environment in which we, our future children, and our precious wildlife can thrive, and the Green Party with its 10 Key Values makes sure these goals remain central to our purpose. . . .” “My point of view,” she continued, “and that of the Green Party of PA is that there is no sane reason to be maintaining or adding to the pipeline infrastructure that we have in PA. In fact, on November 14, 2021, the assembled delegates of the Green Party of Pennsylvania voted unanimously to oppose any proposed or under construction fossil fuel pipelines in PA and to favor the dismantling of in-use fossil fuel pipelines as soon as possible, which will be able to happen as we adopt more clean energy infrastructure. . . .” (show all)
The Minor Party seat will soon be open on the Philadelphia City Commissioners, offering a good opportunity to remember that there are more than two political parties in Philadelphia. The Green Party of Philadelphia was founded in 2001, like all Green Parties, on our “four pillars” of grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom and social justice. The Green Party of Philadelphia offers up to Mayor Kenney the perfect candidate to fill the seat vacated by Republican Commissioner Al Schmidt: Richard Garella. Rich is a long-time advocate of fair elections. He is a member of the Election Verification Network and a co-founder of Protect Our Vote Philly, a “coalition of groups and individuals, working to bring elections that are verifiably fair, accurate, and secure to Philadelphia, at a fair cost.” Rich has spent countless hours observing and reporting on Philadelphia elections as an official Green Party observer and knows first-hand how to improve our system. Through POV, he has pushed for voting machines that insure the integrity of the vote, and other measures to guarantee that all Philadelphians’ votes count. Rich’s values are Philadelphia’s values, and we urge Mayor Kenney to appoint this outstanding candidate as City Commissioner. . . . (show all)
David Ochmanowicz has been a Green Party activist since 2011. During 2017, he ran for and won a seat as Director of the Quakertown Community School Board in Bucks County. Ochmanowicz did not run for re-election this year, and he has offered some thoughts about his presence as School Director. -- By David Ochmanowicz. As my 4 years as School Director conclude, who would have thought I would have so many mixed feelings over these last few months. What a privilege it has been to be the voice of a (my) community. What a responsibility it has been to be trusted to serve. It's an end to something; an ending I chose with my eyes wide open. You might think that would make my transition into a more normal life much easier. But it doesn’t. . . . What will happen next is still unwritten. “We the People” must pay attention, get involved, and participate. Otherwise, the pages of time will be written by private lawyers funded by corporate interests. You should support people who choose to fight for the public good, for the common good. You should become a person who chooses to fight for the public good, for the common good. (show all)
In the 2021 General Election, the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) had 12 candidates on the ballot and several write-ins. When the smoke cleared, the Green Party had seven candidates win the election. Several Green Party candidates offered their thoughts on the 2021 campaign. Those thoughts are collected here to help future candidates, especially those who are running for office in 2022. . . . (show all)
Meeting virtually on November 14, elected delegates to the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org) unanimously endorsed the Shut Down Berks Coalition. The coalition is a group of organizations and individuals demanding the closure of the Berks County Family Detention Center (BCRC) in PA and an end to the practice of imprisoning immigrant families in the U.S. . . . “Detention is not a deterrent, and we have seen countless studies and statistics to that effect,” explained Secretary Jes Potts of the Green Party of Berks County. . . . (show all)
edited by Noah Alter
The EcoAction Committee of the Green Party of the United States (Green Party US) condemns President Biden’s year of climate negligence and renews the call to pressure the president to declare a climate emergency and issue a comprehensive series of related Executive Orders, as described on ClimatePresident.org. . . . “Biden and the Democrats have squandered the first year of what is likely to be only a two-year window . . . ,” [said Mark Dunlea, co-chair of the EcoAction Committee]. “Last year, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a ‘Code Red for the planet,’ saying the pledges made by elected officials since the Paris accords were far too little to avoid a climate collapse. It is long past time for Senator Schumer to make Senators take a public vote on whether they will sacrifice the well-being of their constituents and future generations in order to maintain the campaign donations and profits of fossil fuel companies. . . .” (show all)
The Green Party of the United States Steering Committee strongly supports the use of vaccines, vaccine mandates and quarantines as part of a comprehensive public health effort to curb and eradicate the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has swept the globe since early 2020. . . . To ensure the most vulnerable individuals and communities are protected, and provide parents and families the economic and social aid necessary to support collective public health policy, we support a. . . .(show all)
edited by Hal Brown
The Green Party of the Philippines (GPP) or the GGP Kalikasan Muna as they are called are set to participate in the 2022 local and national elections. Kalikasan Muna means ‘Nature First,’ and this motto is an apt name for a party who wishes to reshape politics in the Philippines. The GGP are fielding both local and national candidates, however only some local candidates are running under the GGP party name . . . . The GGP’s platform outlines a declaration of a national climate emergency, moratorium on mining, food sovereignty, green education, green communes, and renewable energy. They have a further 10-point plan on their website . . . . The three green parties in Indonesia are the Sarekat Hijau Indonesia (SHI), the Parti Atjeh Hijau (PAH), and the Parti Hijau Indonesia (PHI). In such a large country they have different influences depending on the location. The oldest and the one with the best shot at entering the national election in 2024 is the PHI. They have member groups in all 34 provinces. The other two parties are more regionally focused. The SHI has 30,000 members in 10 provinces, and the PAH is the newest party with 1,200 members in 7 provinces. . . . (show all)
President of the Congolese Ecologist Party denounces the Substantial increase in the Standard of Living of [Government] Institutions
The largest country in sub-Saharan Africa, with an area equivalent to that of Western Europe, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) is endowed with exceptional natural resources. In addition to its mineral wealth (cobalt and copper in particular), the country has great hydroelectric potential, vast arable land, tremendous biodiversity and is home to the second largest tropical forest in the world. However, poverty remains widespread in the DRC. The country ranks third in the world for the number of poor people and the situation has worsened further following the COVID-19 pandemic . . . . For [the leader of the Congolese Greens] Didace Pembe, the finance bill tabled by the government in parliament is far from having a social character in many respects . . . . He criticized the substantial increase in the standard of living of [government] institutions at a time when the Congolese are demanding a drop in this standard of living. “As I looked through the different lines of credit, I noticed the existence of several agencies and services whose usefulness in the field leaves me perplexed. The budgetary allocations of the Presidency of the Republic increased by 37.2% in 2022 . . . an increase of $94,900,000!!! I would like to know for which objectives?” (show all)
The Green Party of Norway or the ‘Miljøpartiet De Grønne’ (MDG) has published an alternative budget for 2022. While the MDG is currently not holding power in Norway’s ruling coalition they have created an example of what the economy could look like called ‘The Good, Green Life.’ The hope is that this budget may provide examples of what the ruling coalition could do to better help the environment. Here are [two] of the main points: Give a check for 4,000 kroner ($561 CAD) to each person, so a 5 person household would receive 20,000 NOK ($2,805 CAD). Once this is in place they will hike prices for climate threatening activities like driving fossil fuel cars or flying regionally around the country. This climate reward check would be financed by the taxes on these activities . . . . Spend more money on green energy investments such as off-shore wind, solar power, carbon capture and storage, and increasing recycling and reusing facilities. These investments would go hand in hand with raising the tax on oil to 43 NOK per barrel. Thus, incentivizing green energy and taxing harmful fossil fuels . . . (show all)
Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team & Media Committee
EDITORS: Noah Alter, Hal Brown, and Chris Robinson, Dave Ochmanowicz Jr
CONTRIBUTORS: Lorianne Burgess, Connor Mulvaney, Beth Scroggin, Bob Small and Kearni Warren
LAYOUT: Tina Olson & Sheri Miller
GRAPHIC ARTS: Kevin Richardson
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