Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Qualifying Green Candidates

There is not a lot of time between now and the next election cycle... not nearly enough if California Greens have to think about candidate training as well as recruitment.  Depending on what happens with the special election for California's House of Representatives District 36 special election, we may even see a state wide special election for Secretary of State is Debra Bowen can defeat Janice Hahn for that soon to be vacated (by Jane Harman) Congressional seat. 

This just means that we need to bring more focus to recruiting candidates to run in 2012... and I would hope that Dr. Forrest Hill takes another look at the Secretary of State position if that opens up again. 

While California Greening is mostly about  this state, I also think that we need to consider the 2012 presidential election.  Securing the right candidate in 2012 could help us all, in every state, build the party.  Selecting the wrong candidate for the times, as we did in 2008, could make our hold harder to climb out of.

Just as was the case in 2008, a Green Party candidate for 2012 will have to be able to articulate an economic policy that make sense for all.   It goes without saying that any Green Candidate will have to articulate a position based on economic justice, they will also have to talk convincingly about ecological justice.  I have seen nothing from Cynthia McKinney that indicates she has the interest to do either.

The issues of peace and freedom of expression are important and having the correct understanding of these issues is mandatory for a Green Party candidate, but they will not win over new voters any time soon. 

A Green Candidate will also have to deal persuasively with the issue of corporate power, in particular the power of corporations to influence elections.  We can not simply pass this responsibility off to the David Cobb led Move to Amend or Russ Feingold's Progressives United.

I have my own list of people that I would like to see run: Winona LaDuke and Ben Manski are near the top.  I also know that there will be a scattering of not so serious candidates&hellip: exempt in their own minds.  We need to treat them kindly, hear them out looking for a gem in the rough, but keep our minds on finding a real candidate with broad appeal.

For all state-wide or local candidates in California, the budget crises looms like tsunami about to crash on our heads.   Every politician has simplistic solutions that will not work.  I am not sure that anyone has "the answer." We will need all of our candidate to be able to articulate the options and what it means for the particular constituency they are addressing.  If they can't do that one basic thing, then we should not be supporting them from the GPCA.

In many ways, I hope to seen Greens run for school boards in the next election cycles.  Education takes up over 50% of the state budget.  When Sacrament tries to balance the budget, it will necessarily hit the schools harder than any other sector.  If we have any obligation to the future, it is to make sure that our children are educated and understand how to think.  This is what we are up against, a concerted effort to turn all local offices into incubators for future anti-tax corporate puppets and our children into acquiescent followers.
“We want to have a wide, deep victory,” he told a few hundred people gathered Sunday morning at the Manchester Grand Hyatt. “We want to take over school boards, fire boards, water boards, city councils.”
I feel that now, more than ever, Greens hold the future of CA in our hands We must not fail.

1 comment:

Lisa in LA said...

I'm leaning towards Winona LaDuke. She gave a great speech on sustainability at Cal Poly Pomona a few months ago to a packed crowd and many of us Greens from L.A. attended the reception dinner at their 16 acre Lyle Center for Regenerative Studies.

If you do a google video search, you'll find many recordings and variations of the speech LaDuke has been giving the past few years. This looks like a good one,
and coincidentally, it is from my alma mater, UCF--the University of Central Florida:


Lisa Taylor