GreenStar News - September 2022
On Monday, August 1, the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, https://www.gpofpa.org/) filed more than 500 petitions containing thousands of signatures from registered voters from across the state to qualify five candidates for ballot access in the November 2022 general e
lection. This will put critical issues like fracking, climate change, healthcare, criminal justice modernization, corruption in government, and voting reforms on the ballot, giving voters a starkly different political vision than offered by Republicans and Democrats.
The Green Party candidates include Christina "PK" DiGiulio for PA Governor, Michael Bagdes-Canning for PA Lieutenant Governor, Richard L. Weiss for U.S. Senator, Jay Ting Walker for PA Representative District 23, and Queonia "Zarah" Livingston for PA Representative District 32.
These Green Party candidates call for a statewide ban on fracking; a just transition for workers and families to a renewable energy green economy to address climate change; a single-payer healthcare system that protects and expands abortion rights; decriminalization of cannabis and an end to cash bail; a gift ban to address legislative corruption; ranked choice voting and proportional representation for fair elections that end gerrymandering and better reflect constituencies; and more. Read the complete release here.
More information about the candidates and the full GPPA platform is available at https://www.greenslate2022.com/
PA Green News
By Chris Robinson
PA Green Party Calls for Community Based Economics
By Treasurer Joseph U. Murray, Green Party of Berks County
Housing, food and utilities are the basics for a human life. Yet in a nation with a $25 trillion economy, homelessness, hunger and poverty are steadily increasing as a recent letter from Habitat for Humanity stated: “17% of children in your home state of PA are living in poverty . . . . Secure housing provides a pathway to financial stability, safety for children and a healthy environment in which whole families can thrive.”
I paraphrased Habitat’s letter. They referred to home ownership, but the same applies to safe, affordable decent rental housing. The Green Party Platform warns, “State governments continue to weaken or preempt local rent control laws, while landlords who violate housing code requirements by failing to keep their property in habitable condition, are often tolerated or given lenient penalties. Housing discrimination also remains rampant against people of color, immigrants, disabled, single people, gays and lesbians, and families with children . . . .”
Behind this lies record profits for the oil and gas industries and cash flows for the private equity firms that snapped up foreclosed homes after the Wall Street-caused financial crash of 2008. Since that time those same financial corporations have been buying rental housing from small landlords in hot markets and jacking up rents while evicting rent-subsidized tenants to maximize investment returns . . . .
This system is fully supported by the Democratic and Republican Parties which are the political franchise of the Wall Street powers. They will tell you it’s the best system for the majority and those who don’t benefit from it are at fault. This is a well proven lie by our own history, by the results of the GI Bill and VA mortgages which were established after WW II veterans fought politically for them here at home.
The Green Party has a different vision of how our society should work. Compare our existing system to this Green Party Key Value:
COMMUNITY BASED ECONOMICS
“[The Green Party supports] redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new economic activities and institutions that allow us to use technology in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological and responsive and accountable to communities. We support establishing a basic form of economic security open to all. We call for moving the narrow ‘job ethic’ to new definitions of work, jobs and income in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work and the like. We support restricting the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.”
The Green Party Platform calls for renter/tenant’s rights, publicly elected local rent control boards, promotion of affordable housing policy as a national priority, and vigorous enforcement of fair housing laws. The focus of Green Party values is community, humanity and the Earth that sustains all life. If we continue with the present system of politics and economics you will witness human civilization devour itself and the Earth leaving only the mocking cries of scavengers as our legacy of existence. Story Here
Edited by Chris Robinson
GENERAL ELECTION, November 8
The following Green Party candidates will be on the 2022 General Election Ballot.
Christina “PK” DiGiulio (Chester County) for Governor of Pennsylvania
Michael Bagdes-Canning (Butler County) for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
PA Green Gubernatorial Candidates Say “End Legalized Bribery!”
The Harrisburg Four were arrested inside the PA Capitol on June 13. They appeared in magisterial court on August 9, including Green Party candidate for PA Lt Governor Michael Bagdes-Canning. The Four were in the Capitol, appealing to all 203 members of the PA House of Representatives to support a gift ban. The Gift Ban, HB 1214, is a bill to ban lobbyist gifts to legislators. It has been supported by a number of organizations including March on Harrisburg and the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA, www.gpofpa.org).
All of the defendants used a necessity defense and were found not guilty of various charges including criminal trespass. The defendants’ arguments included citing a recent report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), which compiled the scientific findings from thousands of studies around the world. The report made a stark case that climate change is accelerating, is caused by human development, and can only be halted by a rapid transition away from fossil fuels and carbon-intensive industry.
"The IPCC lays out the case for urgent action clearly in their recent report on climate change, and we're glad Judge O’Leary agreed," said Bagdes-Canning. "We're calling on all elected officials and candidates this year to pledge to uphold Article 1, Section 27, of the Pennsylvania Constitution demanding that we protect the environment for future generations, instead of taking lobbying gifts – sometimes called 'bribes' -- from fossil fuel companies which are destroying that future . . . .”
"I find it disgusting that corruption is effectively legal in PA," said Green Party candidate for PA Governor Christina DiGiulio. "I support the Harrisburg Four's message. When elected PA Governor, I pledge to support a lobbying gift ban and to refuse bribes from lobbyists, especially fossil fuel interests. I promise to fight for a just transition that bans fracking statewide, while making sure no worker or family is left behind. I call on all candidates for PA Governor this year to make the same pledge and to declare a climate emergency," DiGiulio added. "Climate action cannot wait. We must act now." Story Here
It’s Time to Fix Things
by Michael Bagdes-Canning (Butler County) for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania
...It sometimes seems to me that things are impossibly broken. The climate fight seems lost. The Supreme Court has rolled back protections for women, the environment, and voting rights. We’re in yet another war. It seems that there is a mass shooting every week. Our prisons are filled. We are faced with a housing crisis, a crisis at our border, and the pandemic still rolls on. There seems to be no way out of this, and many have given up . . .
While organizing to stop fracking and climate change, one of the epiphanies I had occurred when I was working with folks in the struggle against mountaintop removal (MTR) coal mining in WV. One of their organizers said, “You know, we’re fighting the same monster, it just has many heads.” When I looked around, I noticed that not only were fracking, climate, and MTR related, but the monster also had its dirty hands in crushing unions, destroying local economies, pitting people against people in another region. Once I saw that, I knew that the monster was also pitting us against each other
Running for PA Lt. Governor has given me another way to bring many movements together. I’ve come to believe that just showing up for each other is not enough. It is important for us each to see where our struggles intersect. We also have to overcome the divisions that artificially keep us apart. We have to come to know each other. I’ve seen this play out. My friends in the Green Party of Allegheny County (GPOAC) have done an amazing job of building the Green Party but also making connections with front-line struggles. GPOAC consistently shows up, and they get to know people who oppose injustice. They have helped build bridges between groups. They are a great example of what building strength looks like . . .
We need to build solidarity across fights. We need to recognize that we are often fighting different heads of the same monster. That’s what my run for PA Lt. Governor is all about. I want to build bridges between the many organizations which oppose injustice. There’s lots that is broken. It is now time for us to fix things . . . Story Here
Richard L. Weiss, Esq. (Allegheny County) for U.S. Senate from Pennsylvania
Richard told GREEN STAR, “The U.S. has a higher incarceration rate than any other country in the world. Conditions in prisons are human rights violations, with overcrowding and inadequate food and healthcare. Prisoners are preyed upon with unreasonable charges to buy their own food and communicate with their family. Many inmates of local jails are held without being convicted of any crime solely because they do not have enough money to pay cash bail. Decriminalizing cannabis would have an immediate effect on reducing prison and jail populations. All current prisoners and inmates serving time solely for cannabis charges should be released and all past criminal records from cannabis convictions expunged.”
You may volunteer to get Richard on the ballot at[email protected].
You may follow Richard’s campaign here, Twitter: @RichardLWeiss.
Jay Ting Walker (Allegheny County) for PA House District 23
Zarah Livingston (Allegheny County) for PA House District 32
National Green News
Edited by Noah Alter
Last month, news media outlets across the U.S. and globe boasted of the ‘Inflation Reduction Act,’ which according to mainstream headlines, targets climate change; ever-increasing medical expenses, namely senior citizens’ medicine on Medicare; the creation of an abysmal 15% corporate tax rate; and an asinine multi-billion-dollar IRS investment, enabling the federal agency to hire nearly 87,000 agents over the course of the next decade.
The name given to this piece of legislation is extremely illusory, and it does not address the pressing issues at hand, particularly the global climate emergency. Rather the legislation furthers climate change . . . . In response to the legislation, the Green Party of the United States warned that the 2022 Inflation Reduction Act overtly allows corporations to capitalize on a global crisis by expanding massive new oil and gas leasing in disproportionately impacted minority communities.
This "climate deal" provides a relatively small number of renewable investments and further subsidizes oil, nuclear, natural gas, and carbon capture while requiring the U.S. Department of the Interior to offer at least 2 million acres of public lands and 60 million acres of offshore waters for oil and gas leasing each year. The bill also does not address the essential phase out of fossil fuels (i.e., coal). We must demand transparency within our government to ensure they put us, the people, and our planet before profit.
President Biden and Congress have the moral obligation to immediately declare a climate emergency and pass effective, comprehensive climate change legislation, including a rapid ten-year transition to real zero emissions and 100% clean renewable energy. Moreover, Biden and Congress must urgently address inflation and the developing recession by passing legislation that benefits the working class of this country as it does not require 87,000 IRS agents to audit roughly 788 billionaires. Story Here
Global Green News
Edited by Hal Brown
Green Party of U.K. Demands Action on Rising Air Pollution
The UK Green Party is asking for more investment in public transport as well as walking and cycling infrastructure. They also demand to implement the so-called Clean Air Zones, published in 2017 to address all sources of pollution and reduce public exposure to them. These strategies should accelerate the transition to a low emission economy, by setting emission standards and minimum requirements . . . Story Here
Italy: Snap Elections Push The Italian Greens To Find New Partners
Italian President Sergio Mattarella dissolved parliament and announced new snap elections that will take place on September 25. This comes as Italy’s main coalition collapsed, pushing the Prime Minister, Mario Draghi, to resign . . . .
The far-right in Italy is often associated with climate skepticism and preserving the status quo. Their ascension to power might threaten Italy and the European Union’s ability to face the climate crisis just as the continent faces record-breaking heat waves and wildfires . . .
To counter the powerful right-wing coalition, the greens propose an alternative urging left-wing parties to form their partnership. “To put social justice and climate justice at the center,” the Italian Greens announced an alliance with Sinistra Italia (Italian Left), a small left-wing party with minor to moderate success in the country . . .Story Here
DR Congo: Plastic Pollution Causes Water Cuts
Thousands of bottles, cans and other rubbish thrown into Lake Kivu caused the shutdown of the Ruzizi dam facilities near the city of Bukavu, Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), thus causing power cuts in several localities . . . .
It is extremely difficult to clean the thousands of plastic bottles and other debris which are attracted to the Ruzizi River dam at the end of the lake, which stretches over 90 km on the border between the DRC and Rwanda.
“All the waste we throw into the lake or the river ends up here, regardless of where it was thrown. Even in Goma, the waste dumped there is only a matter of time. As the lake flows towards the Ruzizi River, little by little, the waste comes and in the end, it will end up here,” notes Liévin Chizungu . . . Story Here
Asia-Pacific Greens Federation Support The People Of Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka has been in a political, economic, and humanitarian crisis because of President Gotabaya (Gota) Rajapaksa‘s mismanagement of the country. In May, Sri Lanka defaulted on foreign debt for the first time since their independence. This has created shortages of goods, sky-rocketed inflation, and pushed millions of people into poverty . . .. The people of Sri Lanka still want to see the new President step down. Wickremesinghe was installed by Rajapaksa and remains very close to his family. . .
On July 18, Wickremesinghe declared a state of emergency, giving security forces the power to arrest and detain any protester without probable cause. Next, the day after his inauguration, he continued the fight against protesters by sending the police and the military to disperse a peaceful protest site . . .
The NGO Human Rights Watch as well as the Asia Pacific Greens Federation (APGF) urges the new president to listen to what his people want. Their non-violent protests show that they want to do no harm, but simply to have a democratic state with better living conditions. The APGF stands in support of the people of Sri Lanka. There is change to be brought to the country, and they are at the heart of it. Story Here
GPPA Meeting Dates for 2022
All State Web Conferences will be 12 noon to 4pm. September's meeting will be in-person in Bellefonte, PA.
You can now register for the September meeting Here
- Saturday, September 10, and
- Sunday, November 13
Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team
Editors: Noah Alter, Hal Brown, and Chris Robinson
Contributors: Michael Badges-Canning, Christine "PK" DiGuilio, Joseph O. Murray, and Chris Robinson
Layout: Hal Brown, Sherri Miller, and David Ochmanowicz Jr.
Graphic Arts: Kevin Richardson
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The GREEN STAR is an official publication of the Green Party of Pennsylvania Communications Team * 2022.