Green Star: August 2019
Green Star is the official publication of the Green Party of Pennsylvania
Working toward a future where people and planet are valued, and our government represents all of us.
The Violence of Nuclear Energy
by Co-chair Alan Smith, Green Party of Pennsylvania
I awaken, head to the bathroom and look out the window. A column of steam greets my eyes as it rises from a nuclear power plant. I turn to look in the mirror and put on a peace sign necklace, taking a moment to meditate. The peace symbol, first used in 1958, was derived from international semaphore code which uses flag positions to symbolize letters. The letters used are N and D representing nuclear disarmament. In order to bring about peace we must rid this planet of the use of nuclear energy.
J. Robert Oppenheimer split the atom in 1942 as part of the Manhattan Project. Upon seeing the first atom bomb explosion in 1945, he said, "Oh, I have become the destroyer of worlds." The scientists responsible for the atom splitting experiment were only 80% sure in their calculations that they would not set off a chain reaction and destroy the whole universe. This is an example of the rich, and powerful getting to determine the fate of billions of lives. This should not be the case. The concentration of wealth and power into the hands of the few is dangerous.
This month we commemorate one notable example of this danger, the destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, on August 6, and 9,1945 with the extinguishing of hundreds of thousands of lives, and the devastation of the environment. Some would argue that the use of nuclear power for energy by the Japanese is a redemptive move, and that the world needs the "efficiency" of nuclear power. Yet, as we saw with the earthquake and tsunami that hit Japan in 2011 destroying the Daiichi nuclear power plant in Fukushima, nuclear energy is ALWAYS a disaster waiting to happen. In addition to daily venting by power plants that release radioactivity into the air, the process inside all reactors creates waste that is toxic for thousands of years.
"I don't think it's efficient to generate a radioactive byproduct," says GPPA's own Tom Bailey of Westmoreland County, who sits on the GPUSA International Committee and has a lifetime of activism against nuclear energy. He was an evacuee during the Three Mile Island meltdown in 1979 here in Pennsylvania. It was then that his passion for halting the use of nuclear energy blossomed. He recently returned from Japan after meeting Greens there and exploring the area devastated by the meltdown of three of the four Daiichi reactors. He is pushing for the 2020 Olympics to be moved from Japan and for the Japanese government to properly stop and clean up from the continuing disaster, as 300 tons of radioactive waste seeps into the Pacific Ocean every day.
With all our creativity and ingenuity, humans should develop things that are in harmony with the planet. Building/inventing environmentally destructive things is suicidal. Nuclear used for energy or weapons is violence. Peaceful conflict resolution and care for this planet must be our top priority. Concerns about companies' bottom lines are artificial and must take a back seat to our planet's survival, so that we do not continue to be destroyers of THIS world. Let's disarm this planet of nuclear energy. Peace.
GPPA News Highlights
edited by Chris Robinson
GPPA Delegates Hold Virtual Meeting, 7/14
Eighteen elected delegates (and 5 observers) from PA county Green parties held a virtual meeting on July 14th. Our Team Leaders and National Committee members presented updates on their work and accomplishments since the previous meeting. Campaign updates were provided for our candidates in Allegheny, Adams, and Montgomery Counties and Philadelphia City. A plan to hold county Presidential Caucuses during April 2020, developed in a joint effort by GreenWave and Core Teams, was approved by Consensus. Although specific 2020 meeting dates were not selected, the group agreed to hold three virtual meetings and two in-person meetings in 2020, including a January Virtual Meeting for Party elections, a March Convention, a probable in-person meeting in September, and the remaining virtual meetings to be determined. Many other topics also generated discussion including the importance of running state-wide candidates to maintain ballot access and getting an early start on those campaigns.
PA Libertarian and Green Parties agree that SB 300 must be struck down, 7/9
The idea of "open primaries" sounds awesome, but the language in the open primary bill (SB 300) is anything but that, redefining an unenrolled elector to be: "A person who is registered to vote within an election district having selected "NONE" or "NO AFFILIATION" in regard to a political party"
Co-chair Sheri Miller, of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA), said, "This bill will NOT open the primaries to people who have registered as Independent, or as a member of any party other than Republican or Democratic. This bill will NOT allow other parties to utilize the primary system to select their own candidates. If SB 300 becomes law, a voter will have to unregister from their party, and then -- once unregistered -- that voter will be allowed to vote only for a candidate from the Republican or Democratic Party." Chair Steve Scheetz, of the Libertarian Party of PA (LPPA), explained, "People will be unable to see or to hear any ideas other than those of the old parties. In addition, nearly half a million people will be taxed to pay for a process in which they cannot participate." (show all)
PA Greens Demand 100 Percent Renewable Energy, 7/3
Hundreds of Pennsylvanians from Erie to Philadelphia, and everywhere in between, converged on the capitol building in Harrisburg on June 19 for PA's largest Environmental Lobby Day. Chair Doug Mason, Centre County Green Party, said, "Citizens attending the Lobby Day came from more than 35 counties to call for a transition to 100 percent renewable energy on a timeline called for by the scientific community. Throughout the day, constituents visited more than 160 legislative offices, to discuss how this transition could tackle the climate emergency, save consumers money, and create clean-energy jobs."
The attendees were advocating for House Bill (HB) 1425 and Senate Bill (SB) 630, awaiting action in the PA General Assembly, which would require the Commonwealth to achieve 100 percent renewable energy by 2050. Mason added, "The legislation has bipartisan support from 20 PA Senators and 70 PA Representatives. Dedicated lobbying at Environmental Lobby Day, sponsored by PennEnvironment, prompted five additional State Reps and one additional State Senator to sign on as co-sponsors of the bills." (show all)
Greens Being Green
This photo shows Co-Chair Sheri Miller of GPPA at the Climate Crisis Awareness Rally at the Lincoln Square in Gettysburg, PA. Sheri attended with her niece, Dannee Schoepfer, hidden by the poster.
Led by local Green Jim McHenry, Climate Crisis Awareness rallies are held in Gettysburg every Friday from 11:30-12:30 in solidarity with Greta Thunburg's movement, which has gained support all over the world. (show all)
PennLive Letters, June 22, 2019
By Randall Hayes
Esteemed Representative Kim,
I am a resident of Harrisburg City in the 103rd Legislative District, which you have represented since 2013. I would like to publicly commend you for your recent support and Sponsorship of HB 1291, The Commonsense Gift Ban. This bill would prohibit gifts of cash, meals, drinks, and travel to public officials. (Unlike the Governor's gift ban, exceptions are made for items of nominal value.)
HB 1291 is an important step towards rebuilding public trust in the Legislative process in PA. We are one of only eight states that does not have a limit on the amount of gifts that legislators can receive. These gifts come from individuals with an agenda and who wish to curry favor with our representatives and senators in Harrisburg. There is a particular word reserved for when gifts are given to public officials in order to influence their behavior: bribery.
With your support, this bill now has a total of 28 co-sponsors in the House, including Speaker Mike Turzai. Thank you for taking a stand for getting money out of PA politics.
Randall Hayes is a Green Party member from Dauphin County. (show all)
PennLive Letters, June 18, 2019
By Timothy Runkle, Elizabethtown Borough
The Governor's RestorePA plan overlooks the necessities of the Commonwealth in order to grab short-term gains. RestorePA is a twenty-year guarantee to the natural gas industry, sold to us with a four-year severance tax slush fund. The plan would bring benefits to PA like that of more petrochemical infrastructure and an increase in consumer base access for natural gas suppliers. To pay off the required debt Gov. Wolf is ready to welcome 20,000 new shale gas wells.
Scientific consensus explains that we have less than 12 years to avoid the catastrophic effects of altering our global climate. In reaction, the governor has joined the U.S. Climate Alliance and has released his Climate Action Plan, which intends to reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions of the Commonwealth. However, one must ask if this is a serious endeavor given his long-term commitment to the oil and gas industry proposed by the RestorePA severance tax.
It is time that we plan for a sustainable future. Deliberate and difficult actions are required today in order to ensure that our future is not one riddled with climate emergencies. We need an economy that respects the labor of the workers who produce a benefit to all in our society. Not one that benefits only a corporate class which is savvy enough to legislate their advantage.
There is a better way to restore Pennsylvania than the detrimental arrangement of RestorePA. Our legislature should be encouraged to hold the necessities of our communities above short-term gratifications.
Tim Runkle, from Lancaster County, is Treasurer of the Green Party of PA. (show all)
edited by Chris Robinson
Nicholas Prete for School Board
Methacton School District, Eagleville, Montgomery County
Nick tells GREEN STAR that he turned in 220 nomination signatures to the board of elections on 7/15. He was two weeks early and only needed 80 signatures. You may find Nick's campaign on Facebook. Facebook.com/nickformethacton
Mike Farley for Supervisor and Auditor
Latimore Township, Adams County
Mike tells GREEN STAR that he filed with the Board of Elections with 13 signatures on his nomination paper (3 more than he needs to qualify for the ballot).
Riley Mahon for School Board
Upper St. Clair Township, Allegheny County
Riley, a high school senior, tells GREEN STAR that he successfully filed with the Board of Elections with enough signatures to appear on the ballot.
Olivia Faison for City Council
Olivia tells GREEN STAR that she had an interview with PhillyCAM, which you may watch HERE. However, she was unable to harvest sufficient signatures on her nomination papers by the deadline and therefore, did not file to be on the ballot.
Candidates for County-Wide Office
Chair Jay Walker, Green Party of Allegheny County, tells GREEN STAR that they were unable to harvest sufficient signatures on their nomination papers. Therefore, Green Party candidates for county-wide office have not filed to be on the ballot.
Finance Team by Tim Runkle
Finance TeamWould you like to help promote a more peaceful, sustainable, and equitable future through grassroots democracy? Then become a SUSTAINING MEMBER of the Green Party of Pennsylvania today! Our Memberships provide you access to a variety of news, discounts, and Green Party merchandise. We offer several levels of membership engagement from a no-cost Green Follower level to monthly sustaining donations which allow you to decide what level of support is best for you. Head to our JOIN_US page to find your membership level and sign up today!.
Communications Team by Chris Robinson
Communications Team Your Communication Team is on a roll. So far this year, we have published more news releases than in all of 2018. This has been made possible by GPPA members and officers who have submitted drafts for our review. Therefore, we would like to thank Tom Bailey (Westmoreland County), Jocolyn Bowser-Bostick (Delaware County), Emily Cook and Neal Gale (Montgomery County), Doug Mason (Centre County), Tim Runkle (Lancaster County), and Jay Sweeney (Wyoming County) for their help. If you have a suggestion for a future news release, please fill out this form: https://forms.gle/TEZnhxk8gSVNrnpV7 If you would like to join our team, please volunteer HERE
GreenWave Team by Jenny Isaacs
GreenWave Congratulations to local Green candidates Nick Prete, Mike Farley, and Riley Mahon, who have reported filing their ballot access signatures with their respective Boards of Elections in Montgomery, Adams, and Allegheny Counties! The Green Wave Team met jointly with the Core Team in late June to begin discussing scheduling and process for PA Greens to participate in the 2020 Presidential Caucuses; at our July meeting we completed a draft proposal for this process, which was subsequently reviewed and adopted at the State meeting July 14.
If you would like to join GreenWave and help with campaigns and outreach, sign up HERE
National Green News
edited by Dave Ochmanowicz
Salute' Bruce Dixon
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) National Black Caucus salutes the life and legacy of Bruce Dixon. We are mindful and grateful for the amazing work that Dixon did in his lifetime. He was a stalwart vigilant advocate and warrior for Black Liberation and Justice, seeking to raise black voices and consciousness in the U.S.A. and around the world and particularly within the ranks of the GPUS.
We will remember Bruce's work for his challenges and passionate demands for unity. At one time Bruce was an active part of the Caucus. What we take away from our many exchanges is a commitment to march forward and continue the work in the struggle against racism, classism, and other forms of bigotry that plague our nation and the world.
We send our condolences to his family, friends and the people whose lives he touched in so many ways through his work in the Green Party of Georgia, The Black Agenda Report and in countless encounters in the struggle.
Bruce Dixon, we will remember you; you will not be forgotten.
Rest in Peace & Love.
On behalf of the GPUS National Black Caucus:
Darryl! LC Moch, Co-chair
Robin Harris, Co-chair
Philena Farley, Secretary/ Treasurer
Trahern Crews, Delegate
Monica James, Delegate
James Lane, Alternate Delegate
(Read more about Bruce Dixon)
To the editor: Nuclear is worst option
Nuclear power is the most expensive, dangerous, and dirtiest form of energy ever devised. The fact that it's expensive has been demonstrated by House Bill 6, which would bail out Ohio's nuclear plants that can't compete against cheaper, cleaner energy sources in a competitive market. The danger of nuclear power was made clear by Davis-Besse's "hole in the head" accident, which nearly resulted in a meltdown that would have wiped Toledo off the map.
JOSEPH DeMARE The writer is co-chair of the Wood County Green Party. (show all)
Community members protest immigration policies, white supremacy
Jane Wilson, a mental health therapist and member of the Coles County, IL, Green Party, said people were also protesting white supremacy. She said early in July, white supremacist messages bearing swastikas and the words "White Power" were distributed in plastic bags tied down by rocks at Charleston areas. This is one of the chief reasons the group came out Thursday to protest, Wilson said. The mere fact that one or more persons would scatter the hate-filled messages was shameful enough, but what Wilson said concerned her more was the positive reception she saw on social media. Wilson's sign said "now is the time to be vocally anti racist." She said her sign presents an important fact: People need to start taking action right now to combat racism. (show all)
Public Bank Advocate Jumps in San Jose's City Council Race
Green Party candidate Jake Tonkel, who joined Andrew Boone in challenging incumbent Dev Davis for the San Jose's District 6 City Council seat, aims to make public banking a part of his platform in the 2020 election. As a member of South Bay Progressive Alliance's public banking action team, Tonkel, a 28-year-old biomedical engineer, is a vocal proponent to establish a city-run financial institution to mitigate the housing crisis, spur investment in clean energy and support small private lenders. "Credit unions or nonprofit community banks are more likely to provide safe investment opportunities," Tonkel says. (show all)
Green Party of New York demands justice for Eric Garner
"For five years, justice has been denied to the family of Eric Garner," said GPNY Co-chair Gloria Mattera. "For five years, officer Daniel Pantaleo has remained on the NYPD payroll, despite video evidence and conclusions by the city's medical examiner, an independent autopsy, and an NYPD internal affairs inquiry that Pantaleo used a chokehold. We call on Mayor Bill de Blasio to exercise his influence with Police Commissioner James O'Neill to do the right thing and fire officer Pantaleo," said Mattera. (show all)
Green Party of Pima County, AZ, victorious in ballot access lawsuit against city of Tucson
The Green Party of Pima County (GPPC) had filed a lawsuit against the City of Tucson for depriving the party of ballot status in the upcoming city elections. On July 3, the court order ruling was made from the Pima County Superior Court. The judge overseeing the case, Hon. D. Douglas Metcalf, stated: "IT IS ORDERED that the Green Party's petition for special action is GRANTED. The City of Tucson and its clerk abused their discretion and acted arbitrarily and capriciously by not including the Green Party as a political party qualified for the August 27, 2019 primary election ballot." (show all)
Indiana Green Party: Record Number of Candidates in 2019!
""Thanks to everyone on the State Coordinating Committee and all of the local organizations who have helped our state field an excellent and exciting group of candidates," INGP Chair Monica James stated. Six Indiana Green Party candidates have achieved ballot access in 2019, a first for our party. "We are making history together, but we still have a lot of hard work ahead of us." (show all)
Global Green News
edited by David Ochmanowicz
Greens are the new hope for Europe's Center. For the Far Right, they're Enemy #1
For now, the jobs in polluting industries like cars and coal are among the most unionized and best protected. In the renewables sector, however, unions are still rare and companies often pay little more than minimum wage. "This is a real issue," said Ralph Obermauer, a longtime Green member who used to work for the party and now works for IG Metall, one of Germany's most important labor unions. (show all)
Don't let nationalism win – we can create a better Europe from within
By: Magid Magid, a Green Party Member of Parliament
"Yet for too long, we – progressives, liberals, committed Europeans – have been passive in the face of inequality, climate catastrophe and the dangerous narratives of the far right that blame the hope of desperate migrants rather than the greed of the top 1% for Europe's most pressing ills." (show all)
Climate fears lift Greens' chances of running Germany
Hitting 27-29% in opinion polls in June, the Greens became Germany's strongest party, spawning headlines about popular co-leader Robert Habeck becoming the chancellor. A pro-European party that welcomed refugees in the 2015 migrant crisis, it wants a total switch to renewable energy, an end to the combustion engine and higher taxes on SUVs. The chances of a snap election before 2021 have increased since the European vote when the Greens pushed the SPD into third place. In turmoil, with ratings near all-time lows, the SPD may quit its loveless coalition with Merkel by the end of the year. Polls suggest the Greens would be big winners in an election. (show all)
May says Greens will work with any party that has a serious plan for the climate
With three months until Canadians vote in the next federal election, Green party leader Elizabeth May says her big hope for the final result is a minority government over which she can exert some influence. (show all)
Pamela Anderson adds star power to B.C. Green Party town hall
Anderson said she doesn't attend many town halls, but said it's nice to be home after travelling all over the world talking about green issues and the green new deal. "You have to count on the Greens to get to the environmental issues and not being concerned about what all the politics [are]," she said at the meeting. "So I'm just happy to help in any way. Keep working hard." (show all)
150 UK MPs and peers condemn Trump's 'outright racist and dangerous' attacks and tell Ilhan Omar: 'We are with you'
Politicians from Labour, the Conservatives, the SNP, the Liberal Democrats, Change UK and the Green Party condemned the U.S. president's attack on Minnesota representative Ilhan Omar and other women of colour in the House of Representatives. They said Mr Trump's "outright racist and dangerous" comments were "abhorrent" and claimed that his "fascist tendencies...have been silently accepted" for too long. (show all)
We are planting trees everywhere: Q&A with Madagascar's environment minister
Alexandre Georget, a founder of Madagascar's first Green Party in 2008, is the country's new environment minister. "The environment touches everything. Some of the problems in Madagascar exist everywhere in the world, so it is a transnational problem. For us, protection of biodiversity, forests and flora and fauna are priorities. We plan to plant trees at a very vast scale." (show all)
GPPA Coming Events
edited by Chris Robinson
LOOK HERE TO FIND OUT ABOUT STATEWIDE AND LOCAL EVENTS.
August 6, noon
Hiroshima Day Remembrance & Nonviolent Resistance
Lockheed Martin (world’s #1 war profiteer, U.S.' #1 nuclear weapons contractor) behind King of Prussia Mall, Mall and Goddard Blvds in King of Prussia, PA.
Sponsored by Brandywine Peace Community. Endorsed by the Green Party of Philadelphia.
August 6, 6:00 pm
Green Party of Allegheny County General Assembly
Panera Bread, 3401 Boulevard of the Allies, Pittsburgh, PA
More information from: [email protected]
August 7 thru 28
Stop Killing Us (SKU) March to Washington, DC
Hosted by Jamal Johnson SKU. Endorsed by Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign
EXTRA INFO ROW
August 8, 7:00 pm
Green Party of Chester County Meeting
Interested parties should contact [email protected] for more information.
August 9, 4:00 pm
Nagasaki Day 'Reach-Out' to Abolish Nuclear Weapons
West side of Philadelphia City Hall, 15th and Market Streets.
Sponsored by Brandywine Peace Community. Endorsed by the Green Party of Philadelphia.
August 9, August 16 & August 23 at 11:30 am-12:30 pm
Climate Crisis Awareness Rally
Lincoln Square in Gettysburg (York Street crossing)
Every Friday in solidarity with Greta Thunburg's worldwide climate awareness movement.
August 10, 10:00 am
Breakfast of Champions
Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign,
1505 West Allegheny Avenue, Philadelphia PA.
August 12, 7:00 pm
Lackawanna County Green Party Meeting
2043 North Maine Avenue, Scranton, PA.
More information from
August 12 to 18
International Anti-Nuclear Summer Camp
In Döbeln, Middle Saxony, Germany. Organized by the Nuclear Heritage Network.
August 18, 4:00 pm
Green Party of Erie County Virtual Meeting
Please contact [email protected] for more information.
August 19, 7:00 pm
Back to Basics: Bike Camping for Beginners
Philly Bicycle Coalition will meet at Sedgley Porter House, 3250 Sedgley Drive, Philadelphia, PA.
August 22, 7:00 pm
Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) Membership Meeting
Shissler Recreation Center, 1800 Blair Street, Fishtown, Philadelphia, PA.
More information from [email protected]
August 26, 7:00 pm
Green Party of Bucks County Meeting
El Changarro, 2333 Street Road, Bensalem, PA
More information from [email protected]
August 31, noon
Protest at Drone War Command
Hosted by Brandywine Peace Community with Bucks County Green Party,
Montgomery County Green Party, and Green Party of Philadelphia,[email protected]
Air Guard Station, Easton Road (#611) at County Line Road, Horsham, PA.
GPPA Meeting Dates for 2019/2020:
Fall Meeting (TBD): Saturday/Sunday, September 14th-15th
November Virtual Meeting: Sunday, November 17th, 12pm-4pm
January 2020 Virtual Meeting/Web Conference: Date to be determined.
March 2020 Delegate Convention (including a Presidential Forum or Debate): Date and location to be determined.
Web Conferences are online - RSVP to get connection information. The locations for in-person conferences are to be determined. In-person conferences can be hosted by counties, county groups or regions. These events are fundraisers. When hosted locally, the host group receives back half of the revenue after expenses. To apply for hosting, submit your info to our Application for Local Hosting of GPPA State Meetings or GPPA-Sponsored Events. We strive for geographic diversity in reviewing applications, however, all submissions are considered.
Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team & Media Committee
EDITORS: Chris Robinson & David Ochmanowicz Jr.
CONTRIBUTORS: Alan Smith, Timothy Runkle, Jenny Isaacs, Chris Robinson, & Randall Hayes
LAYOUT: Sheri Miller & Kevin Richardson
GRAPHIC ARTS: Kevin Richardson & Alan Smith
Everything we do is based on our Four Pillars and Ten Key Values. If you find that you share these ideals, come and join the movement.
You can support the Green Party in many ways; however, a monthly sustaining donation helps to fund a solid infrastructure to help local chapters coordinate candidates and provide resources to make their campaigns successful. As little as $3 per month can have a significant impact!
Join us and help bring about a future where people and planet are valued over profits. We have a new, tiered membership structure that allows you to determine your level of commitment and support. And if you want to get more directly involved, consider joining an action team. Work with other committed progressives and activists in activities such as planning events, developing media content, or helping with campaigns. Let's join together to make 2019 the year of progressives!
The Green Star is an official publication of the Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team