The GPUS Steering Committee (SC), along with the party’s staff, oversees and helps execute the day-to-day administration and operations of the party. The SC is made up of seven members plus the party’s Treasurer and Secretary, for a total of nine members. Steering Committee members must be National Committee delegates, alternate delegates, or former delegates/alternates from their state parties. They are elected by the National Committee for two-year terms, with a two-term limit.
Anita Rios, Co-Chair
Whenever I seek to provide a political context for myself I always start with the fact that I was born into “the American Third World”. That is, I was born and raised in deep poverty. I know what it feels like to be a hungry child in this wealthy nation and I know what it feels like to be discarded by society. I will always share this not for myself but for the many millions of Americans trapped in some variation of “the American Third World” who are the focus of my political activity.
My parents, both born in Texas, came to the Midwest as migrant farmworkers. I have six sisters and a brother, half of us did not graduate from high-school. All of us who dropped out of high-school graduated from University. While this is an a-typical story it is not unheard of among Latinx raised in poverty in this country. The American educational system routinely discards youth of color.
As a young person I worked many difficult demeaning jobs, but eventually graduated from the University of Toledo. Afterwards I worked in several social service jobs, monitoring child care providers, finding non-agricultural jobs for migrant farmworkers, and in case management for the severely mentally ill. As a case manager I was both honored and challenged to be of assistance to people who were struggling with some of life’s most difficult issues, abuse, homelessness, substance abuse, and poverty, along with severe and persistent mental illness. I was elected shop steward/ executive delegate for SEIU/1199 and was appointed as a delegate representing SEIU/1199 on the Regional Labor Council of the AFL-CIO.
What these experiences taught me was that all the good works we do in communities is important but if our government does not provide an adequate infrastructure for education, health care, criminal justice, housing, mass transit, nutrition, and energy there will always be people who fall through the cracks. Government determines the quality of our infrastructure and politics determines the quality of our government. Throughout my lifetime neither democrat nor republican governments addressed the needs of my community so I started seeking alternative political parties and came to the Green Party.
I joined the GP in 2000 and worked to get Nader on the ballot in Ohio. In 2001 I was elected one of three co-chairs of the entity that would become the Green Party National Committee. I was part of the leadership team that obtained National Committee status for the Green Party.
Building the Green Party and in particular the Ohio Green Party has been an almost full-time job for me since 2000. Since that time I have been on the central committee of the Ohio Green Party and have served as Co-Chair for several years. I was recently elected to a another two year term as Co-chair. In 2004 I helped with the Ohio recount and was the lead plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Ohio Secretary of State to prevent the certification of that election. In 2008 I participated in the legal action that gained Party status for the Ohio GP. In 2014 I ran for Governor of Ohio and by receiving over 3% (over 100,000 votes) of the votes maintained political party status for the Ohio Green Party for four years. I was the Green Party candidate for Toledo city council in 2011 got over 30% of the vote. In 2006 and 2010 I was the GP candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio.
I have been married for 37 years to Robert Hannon who is a letter carrier. We have two grown sons. I decided to retire last year due the difficulty in finding a job. I lost my part time job as a patient advocate in 2013 when Ohio's “TRAP” laws caused the closure of the abortion clinic where I was working. I continue to work as an activist on numerous issues including serving as the President of the Agnes Reynolds Jackson Fund which raises money to pay for abortions for low income women.
Poverty is not a lifestyle choice it is imposed by an economic system that picks winners and losers and by a society that has failed its most vulnerable members. Poverty is a global man-made disaster. Despite the tremendous wealth of this nation we are not immune because our government is indifferent to the needs of poor people and of the working class, and continues to squander a tremendous amount of tax dollars on relentless war. The same greed that is behind America's ability to accept poverty as inevitable is also behind our indifference to climate change and the destruction of the natural world. It is my belief that with an Eco-Socialist focus the Green Party is the right tool for fighting both socio-economic and ecological injustice.
Andrea Mérida Cuéllar, Co-Chair
Andrea Mérida Cuéllar is a Denver-based education and social justice activist, hailing originally from Rochester, NY but living in Denver, CO since the early 1970s. The daughter of Guatemalan immigrants with their own lifelong commitment to social justice, Andrea has served her community in many ways, from student leadership to service in the U.S. Army, to service as an elected member of the Denver Board of Education and now as a national co-chair of the Green Party of the United States and co-chair of the Green Party of Colorado. Until August 2016, she was the only Latinx person in national political party leadership today.
During her tenure as a member of the Denver school board, serving as Denver's first-ever Green elected official, she was the prime driver of a landmark civil rights ruling regarding English learners in the Denver Public Schools. As a result, now even charter school students in Denver must be provided with support to learn English in public schools, where previously charters were allowed to cherry-pick from among students by English proficiency level.
Andrea still lives in Denver, where her blended family lives in Denver's Westside, spending her time both in politics and in managing and singing in her husband's funk band, Gumbo le Funque. Andrea's musings can be found at her website and on her Huffington Post column.
Andrea is a member of the BRPP (Rules), Outreach, Media and Steering committees. She is a co-founder of the GPUS Latinx Caucus which gained accreditation in 2015. She is active in Denver's #BlackLivesMatter movement and steering committee member of 15Now Colorado. She is fluent in English and Spanish.
Gloria Mattera, Co-Chair
Gloria Mattera has been a member of the Green Party since 2001. Coming to the Green Party through the Nader campaign, Gloria has been involved in building a left, political independent movement since the mid 90's as a leader in the Labor Party New York Metro Chapter. She has served as a coordinating member of System Change Not Climate Change and is a founding member of Left Elect.
Gloria Mattera has a master's degree in special education from Bank Street College of Education in Manhattan. After teaching special needs preschoolers, she moved into the field of child life, working primarily with poor immigrant children and families in hospitals. Working in the New York City public hospital system over the years, Gloria experienced firsthand how unjust and inhumane this country's healthcare system is and got involved in the single-payer healthcare movement. She has been a board member of the Physicians for a National Health Program NY Metro Chapter for many years. Gloria soon realized that the two corporate parties in power would never bring a national health program to the U.S. and turned toward independent political party building, initially as a founding member of the Labor Party under Tony Mazzocchi, then NYC coordinator of Labor for Nader in 2000, and finally the Green Party.
Gloria has been a groundbreaking Green Party candidate on four occasions. Her initial run for NYC City Council in 2001 was as an independent socialist who sought and received the Green Party ballot line. Running on a slogan of "People's Needs, Not Corporate Greed," Gloria championed a platform that addressed the disparity between the 1% in the richest city in the world and the 99% of those trying to get by.
Receiving 10% of the vote as a first-time candidate, Gloria also was one of the first Green Party candidates to receive NYC campaign finance matching funds, which enabled her campaign to open a district office and hire campaign staff. She ran again for the same city council seat in 2003, almost doubling her vote percentage, which pushed the Green Party into second place above the Republican candidate, and she again received NYC matching funds.
Striving to increase the visibility of the Green Party in Brooklyn, Gloria ran for borough president in 2005 on an anti-eminent-domain platform, focusing on the mega-development of a professional basketball arena and high-rise luxury housing in the Atlantic Yards. Scores of volunteers from community groups fighting the development project made it possible for Gloria's campaign to collect over 5,000 signatures for ballot access and raise $50,000 to meet the higher bracket of NYC campaign finance matching funds. Gloria received 7% of the vote in a borough of 1.5 million voters.
Her last campaign was in 2010 as the running mate to Howie Hawkins in his first Green Party candidacy for governor of New York. Their campaign garnered over 60,000 votes to grant the Green Party back its ballot status.
In addtion to her new role as GPUS Steering Committee Gloria is currently the co-chair of the Green Party of New York and a delegate to the National Committee.
Margaret Flowers, Co-Chair
Margaret Flowers is a mother of three young adults and a Maryland pediatrician who practiced medicine for 17 years, first as director of pediatrics at a rural hospital and then in private practice. In 2007, Margaret left practice to advocate full time for National Improved Medicare for All single payer healthcare. She is an adviser to the board of Physicians for a National Health Program, volunteered as a Congressional Fellow during the health reform process in 2009-10 and is co-chair of the state chapter. She co-founded the Maryland Healthcare is a Human Right campaign, where she serves on the administrative committee and leadership council. Margaret is also the national coordinator of the Health Over Profit for Everyone (HOPE) campaign.
In 2011, Margaret was a core organizer of the Occupy Movement in Washington, DC. That work developed into Popular Resistance in 2013, which she co-directs. Popular Resistance is a daily movement news website that also organizes issue campaigns and participates in coalitions for economic, social and environmental justice and peace. Popular Resistance hosts an online free school. Margaret's articles are frequently published in TruthDig, TruthOut, Dissident Voice and other online outlets. She co-hosts Clearing the FOG Radio and is interviewed on other radio and television programs. She was featured on Bill Moyers' Journal twice.
Margaret first became active in Green politics on 2006 as a volunteer of Kevin Zeese's campaign for US Senate against Ben Cardin and Michael Steele. She supported Jill Stein's campaigns in 2012 and 2016 and helped to create the Green Shadow Cabinet. Margaret ran for US Senate against Chris Van Hollen and Kathy Szeliga in 2016, receiving 90,000 votes (ten times the number of registered Greens in the state and over two times more than the Stein-Baraka campaign).
Margaret is active in the local Baltimore City Green Party, where she helped to rewrite the by-laws to create a dues-paying structure and write a bylaw amendment ensuring political independence. She advises candidates on policy and electoral strategy and supports local campaigns. She helped to form the Green Party Power Project, a platform for Greens to discuss issues to build a unified party, e.g. dues-paying membership, representing the working class, independence from the Democratic Party, single payer healthcare, and opposing US imperialism and war.
Margaret is also active at the Maryland state party through the electoral committee, which vets and assists candidates, and as a member of the coordinating committee. This year, the Maryland Green Party is running a record number of candidates for local, state and federal positions. The Maryland Green Party also increased the number of Green locals from three to eleven over the past two years and aims to have an active local in every county. Margaret was just elected to her second term as a national committee delegate for the state. She was nominated to run for the steering committee by Tim Willard, a Maryland representative on the national committee and Hunt Hobbs, an alternate delegate to the national committee.
Tony Ndege, Co-Chair
Tony Ndege (the ending of his last name sounds a lot like reggae), presently also serves as Co-chair of North Carolina Green Party. For over two decades, Tony has organized from the local to international level for social justice, labor justice, the rights of immigrants and the undocumented, against war and military intervention, against the US embargo on Cuba, and against water contamination from coal ash and pollution. He has worked as a lead organizer for a wide range of major movements and events locally and nationally: from organizing #BlackLivesMatter actions events to Occupy Wall Street, from co-organizing the largest-ever protests against Duke Energy (one of the largest polluters in the nation), to uplifting the demand to make energy publicly owned, and from organizing protests and events standing up to Bank of America and Wells Fargo's criminal malfeasance to the largest statewide and national actions against the second Iraq War.
Tony has led or co-organized several hundred events including rallies, marches, teach-ins, debates, films, concerts, speaker tours, campaigns, immigration defense, political theater, etc. Just a few organizations he has collaborated with include FLOC (Farm Labor Organizing Committee), NC Against Corporate Power, Industrial Workers of the World, NCWARN, NC NAACP, Rainforest Action Network, Campus Antiwar Network, Black Alliance for Peace, Healthcare for All NC, UE150, and Southern Workers Assembly among others. Professionally and artistically, Tony has organized, assisted with, and performed in hundreds of events including auditions, interviews, concerts, plays, short films, operas, etc.
Tony's experience with the Green Party US began as an Occupy Wall Street activist and co-organizer of the DNC protests in Charlotte in 2012, where he first met 2012 Presidential candidate Jill Stein. Subsequently, he participated in Global Climate Convergence as a lead co-organizer for two events in his state. In fall 2015, in cooperation with Bruce Dixon and the North Carolina GP leadership, he co-organized a four-city cross-state tour for Dr. Jill Stein. Tony eventually became the North Carolina Ballot Access Coordinator and later the State Volunteer Coordinator for the Stein/Baraka campaign. Later, he had the honor to serve as Mid-Atlantic regional coordinator for the Stein/Baraka campaign, where he had the opportunity to meet and collaborate with thousands of Greens and supporters across the region. Subsequently in 2016, Tony was elected co-chair of the NC Green Party. Tony also serves on the GPUS Ballot Access Committee as the Southeast Regional coordinator, and he is a member of the Green Party Black Caucus and Lavender Caucus.
When serving as North Carolina Volunteer Coordinator for Jill 2016, NC Greens achieves historic election results for Stein/Baraka as write-in candidates, including the highest number of write-in votes for a Presidential candidate in North Carolina history. They accomplished this success via meetings with supporters in every major city in NC, and thanks to fantastic volunteer organization and personal motivation of so many NC supporters! This write-in campaign results were a major factor in passing legislation in fall 2017 that dramatically lowered our ballot access signature requirements from over 94,000 to about 12,000 signatures. As a result of these new laws, the North Carolina Green Party was able to achieve ballot access for the first time ever. It has become the first progressive or left party to achieve North Carolina ballot access in over 37 years! In less than three months after winning ballot access, NCGP interviewed several prospects and successfully recruited 4 strong candidates for the 2018 Elections ranging from US Congress to Soil and Water Supervisor and intends to build upon this success next year.
During Tony's tenure as state co-chair, NCGP has grown from one functioning local to five region-wide locals, with plans to add more over the next year. NCGP has successfully restructured the state party into a dues-paying organization while significantly increasing membership. NCGP has co-organized several events, such as helping coordinate a statewide tour of Dr. Margaret Flowers and a presentation by Ajamu Baraka for its 2017 Spring Gathering. As a founding member of his new regional local, Triad Area Greens, Tony worked on its first electoral campaign, (CJ Brinson for Greensboro City Council), where he served as a fundraiser and assistant campaign coordinator
Tony presently resides in Winston-Salem NC, works in the public school system and will be heading back into the IT field. He also has experience in music, film production, and directing. Tony holds degrees and diplomas from UNC Greensboro and North Carolina School of the Arts conservatory.
Tony is extremely humbled to serve on the GP US Steering Committee where he hopes to increase the party's profile to new communities, improve workflow and volunteer participation, improve state ballot access retention, and foster radical political education for the public.
Violet Rose Zitola, Co-Chair
Jody Grage, Secretary
Jody Grage was born in Seattle, Washington, and has been there ever since except for a year living in the mountains in Norway. She lives in Ballard, the part of Seattle where Scandinavians settled, and is a noted Norwegian folk costume expert. Her house she owns was built in 1890 and now includes four apartments. Jody is a retired school teacher and taught in alternative schools, frontline communities, and juvenile hall. She has been knitting since she was five and has knit many green scarves for local and national Green fundraising. She is a vegetable gardener, long-time community activist, member of the Ballard District Council, and determined supporter of the unhoused.
Jody began doing Green Party work in the mid 80's with the Cascadia Green Alliance. She has been active in the Green Party of Seattle and the Green Party of Washington State since their founding and has served in a variety of leadership, administrative, and organizing roles.
She served as a GPUS Steering Committee Co-Chair from 2004 – 2006, as GPUS Treasurer from 2006 – 2010, and was elected GPUS Secretary in 2017. She is currently a Co-Chair of the GPUS Ballot Access Committee and has in the past served on the Accreditation Committee, the Annual National Meeting Committee, the Credentials Committee, and the Finance Committee.
Jody sees the position of GPUS Secretary as a good place to use her energy and organizational abilities to increase communication between and among GPUS and state and local Green Parties, enhance the productivity of the Steering Committee, and get things done.
Hillary Kane, Treasurer
Hillary Kane is the proud parent of Jeremy, 7, and Lailah, 4. Her day job is the Director of PHENND, a nonprofit organization that supports and promotes campus-community partnership.
Hillary has been active in the Green Party since 2000, when she became active in Ralph Nader’s Presidential campaign. She has held numerous leadership positions at all levels of the party since that time including secretary, treasurer, and chair of both her local (Philadelphia) and state (Pennsylvania) parties, as well as various roles on candidate campaigns.
Currently, Hillary is the co-chair of the GPUS Coordinated Campaign Committee. Ms. Kane is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania where she received a Bachelor of Arts in Urban Studies.