Candidates and Commissions
The most up to date listing that I know of Green Candidates in California has 34 entries. Of these, 5 are for City Countil and 4 are for various other boards (School, Supervisors, Equalization). That means most are running for major offices.
The one place where it is possilbe to inject uniquely Green Values into the local political process is in the decisions that are made concerning growth, development amd enviornmental regulation. The contol point for that is generally the City Planning Commission, and this is most often an appointed office. Many have argues that Greens can be more effective and gain more experience in governance by participaing at the local level than by running for higher offices where we fail, time and again. Maybe the best place to be is on the Planning Commission.
To be effective on a planning Commission is a lot of work. It goes far beyond reading the staff reports and going to meetings. It means educating yourself on a number of issues. You have to be dedicated. I know this from experience on the Parks & Recreations Commission in Morgan Hill. It means getting really involved in the community and understanding what gives your community its unique character. The problem with most Greens is that they are much more interested in dealing with things that they can do little about (the War in Iraq, whether Judge Ailoto is confirmened as a Supreme Court Justice) and not so interested in whether the next new building in town is a Safeway or a Trader Joe's, whether the town should have an urban growth boundary or not and how property owners outside that boundary might be compensated for the fact that the value of their property is diminished by such actions.
All of this means that Greens have to be providing solutions to every day problems and not just voicing opposition. Proposing Soultions: what a concept. Just right for Greens.