Introducing the new leaders of PA's Green Party
By Beth Scroggin and Tina Olson.
PHILADELPHIA – Happy New Year, everyone! We are delighted to have been elected as co-chairs of the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) and hope to build our party in strength and numbers. Now, more than ever, we need to elect Green Party candidates and advocate for Green values at every available opportunity. As the new co-chairs of GPPA, we would like to introduce ourselves to those who don’t already know us.
I, Beth Scroggin, have been working with the GPPA since 2016, when I founded the Chester County Green Party. In 2017, I was elected as a national delegate to the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) as well as to the GPPA Steering Committee as a member at large The following year, I was elected to serve as GPPA secretary, which I have done for the last three years. Since 2016, I have worked on Green candidates’ campaigns and have represented my local Green Party at demonstrations opposing war and promoting the care of our planet.
I have worked as a math teacher at a public junior-senior high school for the last 14 years, and I care a great deal about educating children, as well as ensuring that all employees are represented and advocated for by a strong union. On a daily basis, I try to represent the Green Party and embody its values here in Chester County, where I live with my boyfriend, Jason and my 11-year-old daughter, Lilith.
I, Tina Olson, came into the GPPA this past summer like many others fed up with the lack of representation of progressive politics from the Democratic Party. As a former registered Independent voter, I volunteered and canvassed for Democrats for over a decade. After the disturbing nomination of Joe Biden, I proudly re-registered for the Green Party. As a life-long activist, I’ve helped organize various campaigns, petitions, and protests. I also organized family-friendly music festivals while advocating for early literacy and promoting young artists.
My first presidential vote went to Ralph Nader and after two decades, I’m excited to fully realize the necessity of building up candidates outside of the failing two-party system. I can safely say that in the months since I became an active member, I have been incredibly inspired by the people I have met and hope to continue to build the GPPA as a strong political body. This includes building a local chapter in the Lehigh Valley (Northampton and Lehigh counties). At home, in Hellertown, I am the mother of four amazing people: Darius, 22, Holden,18, Oliver, 16, and Violet,13.
We are so grateful to our previous co-chairs, Sheri Miller and Alan Smith, for all of their hard work and inspiration. Sheri has done a tremendous amount of work to organize the party internally, ensuring that our policies and procedures are clear and easy to follow, helping us to easily bring new members and their excitement and energy into the fold. Alan has always provided a living, breathing example of Green values personified. To every meeting and decision, Alan brought careful consideration and clarity, and had a knack for expressing his values in a way that inspired admiration for him, and inspiration to live the ideals of “People, Planet, and Peace over Profit.”
We were elected by the 24 Green Party delegates from 12 county chapters of the GPPA, who met virtually on January 10 to conduct party business. Here are the results of the election:
- Co-chair Beth Scroggin (Chester);
- Co-chair Tina Olson (Lehigh Valley);
- Secretary Kelly Kuzemchak (Allegheny);
- Member at Large Noel Antonio Rivera (Berks);
- Member at Large Tre Schumacher (Philadelphia); and
- Member at Large Jay Walker (Allegheny).
- [Tim Runkle’s term in office as GPPA Treasurer does not expire until the end of 2021.]
Please welcome our new GPPA Steering Committee!
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. GPPA candidates promote public policy based on the Green Party’s Four Pillars: grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice/equal opportunity. For further information about GPPA, please visit www.gpofpa.org.