Wednesday, April 02, 2008

We havn't got the time.

With the plenary coming up next weekend, I have given some thought to the whole idea of using that time to "fix" the problem with the Coordinating Committee (CC) of the GPCA. I have to put that idea on the level of re-arranging the deck chairs on the Titanic.

Folks, it does not make any difference. There is nothing that will be solved by changing the number of members of the CC. There is nothing that will be solved by changing the manner in which they are selected. There is nothing that will be solved as long as the same leadership, by virtue of their virtue, their focused intent, or even just their longevity, as in a position to influence what we do.

But, power is every addictive, especially when one can rationalize using that power on behalf of some noble cause.

I was not present at the beginning of the GPCA. In fact, at that time I was a registered Republican becoming disillusioned with Reaganomics. However, from reading the comments of that who were, I have the impression that they were drawn together by the sense that something was wrong in the world and that there was a better way to find a solution. Thus, the Green way.

What I see now, is that we have lost the sense that this party can have any affect at all on the problems of the world, so we turn inward to solve the problems of our organization. As a result, we forget about the problems of the world. We spend time at plenary after plenary (Northridge, San Francisco, Riverside and not Alameda) debating who should really represent LA, or the structure of the CC, or how many angels can dance on the had of a pin.

Similarly, we chase after a very few issues, some of which mean a lot and others that do not. While we are doing this, the world is changing around us and we are not reacting.

In the news this week, we are told that in many cities, the number of high school drop outs exceeds 50%. In Detroit, the number of students who graduate was put at 24.9%. On the Early Show (CBS) this morning, they trotted out Harvard Professor Alvin Poussaint and Bill Cosby to repeat their call to action from "Come On People." Thank goodness we have Greens like Mark Sanchez (School Board). John Rizzo and Hilary Bradbury-Huang (Community College Trustees) getting into position to do something about education.

On a local PBS station (KQED-San Francisco) last night, they repeated the September, 2007 program call Dimming the Sun and made the point that we have not more than 10 years to actually do something about Global Warming.

The spectre of gang violence in the street, not unconnected from the problems in education, is no long just an issue for large urban centers. Salinas just had 2 gang related murders in 11 hours this week. The neighboring community of Gilroy had a gang related drive-by shooting last night and the television coverage showed that those who had been injured by shotgun pellets were showing off their injury to television as a badge of honor rather than being treated.

My point here is that if try to fix the problems we seen in the GPCA before we tackle the bigger issues in society, we will run out of time because there will always be problems in the party. And, frankly, most of society does not give a rat's ass about about how many people are on the CC. This internalization of focus is, to my mind, the single biggest reason that we are losing membership.

It is easy to blame it on the Democrats for framing us as spoilers. Does that affect the results? Yes, at the presidential level. But, lets start doing something about what is going on in our communities first. It is my sense that if we do that, the internal conflicts we might have will look trivial.

So, I am calling for a Green Day of action by everyone who does not attend the plenary. Pick one major issue in your community this week and figure out what you think needs to be done. Then, do something. Anything positive. Set up a Neighborhood Watch if the issue is Crime. Find a youth center and volunteer to tutor if the issue is education. Write a letter to the editor of your local, community newspaper. Just do something.

Then, when they finally decide how many angels we need for the head of the pin, keep on doing what you have begun.


Eclecticvibe said...

Good point! Think of all the wasted energy that goes into internal debates. If that energy were focused on issues, we would truly be making a difference. We'd be a movement, rather than a debating society. What's true in California is True in Indiana and all throughout the US.

Lisa said...

We are and we will do. Most Greens do wonderful things EVERY day off those infuriating, endlessly looping e-lists.

Party with Greens and Cynthia McKinney in L.A. Details here:

Earth Day Car Free on Wilshire! Los Angeles City Greens will have a booth here:


Wes said...

April 5, during the Plenary, is also the day to hike up El Toro, emblematic of Morgan Hill. I will wear a Green shirt, a Green Party pin and take my camera. Might find the basis for my next column there also.