Bi-Monthly Newsletter of The Green Party of Washington
Volume 3, Issue 2
Welcome to your Green Party of Washington State bi-monthly newsletter. If you have information to submit for the Newsletter, please send it to GPWAnewsletter@gmail.com.
Our hope is that this newsletter is published every other month on the odd months.
SAVE THE DATE! – Green Party of Washington Spring Gathering – May 23, 2020
Our Annual Spring Gathering will be held on Saturday May 23rd.
Personal and community aspects of climate change
Civil rights, civil disobedience, nonviolent direct action
Earth Day event report
Local and Statewide Candidate presentations
* GPUS Presidential Candidate presentations
** GPWA CC, GPUS National Committee, and GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention delegate candidate introductions
Chapter reports and volunteer opportunities
Sliding scale registration and lunch order will be available soon.
* Presidential candidates recognized by the Green Party of the United States (GPUS) as of April 23, 2020 will be invited to present.
** Green Party members who can attend the combined ANM (Th-Fri) and PNC (Sat-Sun) meeting in July are encouraged to put themselves forward as candidates for our state delegation. The Green Party 2020 Annual National Meeting and Presidential Nominating Convention will take place July 9-12, 2020 at Wayne State University in Detroit, Michigan.
Official information on the 2020 Green Party Presidential candidates.
In case you missed the call for statewide candidates in our last Newsletter, please click here to review and share with those who may be interested!
As a minor party, the Green Party is excluded from the publicly funded Presidential Primary in Washington State. Because we did not get more than 5% of the presidential vote in 2016, we must use our own process to determine our Presidential nominee and choose our Presidential Nominating Convention delegates. We do this by a ballot to our membership right after our Spring Convention (May 23, 2020).
As you may be aware, on the publicly funded WA State primary ballot this year the major parties are making voters take a pledge, written by each party, that they prefer the Democrats or Republicans and will not participate in the nominating process of any other political party.
This is not a legally binding oath. It is not a registration with the party: we have no party registration in this state. The only actual “Democrats” and “Republicans” by state law are Precinct Committee Officers in each party and other Legislative and Statewide officeholders. Everyone else is a “sustainer” or a “supporter.”
These loyalty pledges on the ballot are an attempt to artificially “close” the major party primaries, and to give the major parties access to temporary data to build their voter lists. There is no expectation of enforcement of pledges except (and this is the key part) by the parties themselves.
For practical reasons the Green Party of Washington has decided it will not enforce loyalty pledges on behalf of the Democrats and Republicans in our presidential nominating process. You aren’t registering with the Democrats or the Republicans if you vote in the Democratic or Republican primary (there is no party registration in WA), and we don’t require a loyalty pledge (other than your Green Party membership in good standing) to vote in our Presidential Primary.
We have learned from a County Auditor that major party ballot pledges are kept for two months, where they are subject to public records requests, after which time they are destroyed. This means that all public record of these loyalty pledges will be destroyed before our Green Party nominating convention begins.
In order to vote in the 2020 Green Party Primary in Washington State, your Green Party membership must be current as of April 23, 2020 (for new members) or by May 23, 2020 (for renewing members).
Click here to make sure your Green Party membership is up-to-date!
Save the Date: Saturday April 18, 2020!
Oxbow Park in Seattle
Earth Day is April 22 of every year. Wednesday, April 22, 2020 will mark 50 years of Earth Day! The theme this year is “Climate Action” and people all over our planet will participate. Many dramatic actions are planned to get the attention of economic and political world leaders that Wednesday. The scientific case for Climate Change is real, and action is needed. Join us the Saturday before Earth Day at our Earth Day Pledge Fair!
About the Earth Day Pledge Fair
Green Party of Washington State and Green Party of Seattle are planning a science fair in Oxbow Park in Seattle. Games and activities for elementary school aged children as well as adults are planned on the Saturday before Earth Day. Green Party of Washington and Green Party of Seattle are excited to host this event which is intended to inspire positive change and a pledge from attendees to protect and nurture our Earth and all who reside on her. Topics and actions will include conservation, species preservation, clean energy, and confronting climate change through our Green New Deal.
We will challenge people to honor our Planet on actual Earth Day on Wednesday with simple but impactful action items. Orcas, salmon, trees, and bees are all PNW favorites. How can we better co-exist? A ranked list of simple pledges like “We/I will not eat meat on Earth Day”, “We will take the bus/not use the car on Earth Day”, etc. Action ideas will be based on the “Drawdown List” and posted prominently at the “Pledge Booth”. You can go to https://www.drawdown.org/solutions-summary-by-rank for the comprehensive list of personal and community actions.
This will be a simple and fun event with 10×10 booths set up by volunteers. No food will be sold in the park and there will be no restrooms on site, or items for sale at this event. Literature and promotional giveaways are fine. This keeps us in compliance with Seattle Parks and Recreation, and keeps our other expenses low.
Oxbow Park is in the Georgetown Neighborhood of Seattle and is the iconic home of the “Hat & Boots”. Photo ops! The bus stops right in front and there is a Pea-patch in back. A “big toy” play area makes it good for families with young kids. There will be a giant cowboy hat to shelter us if it rains.
The Green Party is a worldwide political party organized around the future sustainability of our planet. We are volunteer run, grassroots, and exist outside of the pay-to-play paradigm of the current U.S. political mainstream. However, more Green Party members are entering political offices all over the world. Check out the globalgreens.org website to learn more. Earth Day is a big deal to us Greens. Let’s Celebrate, Educate, and Dedicate to Climate Action. By the time Spring is here, there will be many doomsday political messages telling you what to be afraid of. Most will be manufactured divide-and-conquer tactics. Profiteers who work hard to keep people distracted while stealing resources from the future — we see you. We must nurture the youth coming up with positive takeaways at this event. The future must be empowered, because the future must win.
We acknowledge the first people of Seattle, and honor with gratitude the land itself and the Duwamish Tribe, past and present. This event is sponsored & organized by the Green Party in partnership with EarthDay.org. This is a community event. Participation does not imply a political affiliation with the Green Party.
Follow these links for more info:
Green New Deal info: https://www.gp.org/green_new_deal
Looking for Volunteers — Saturday April 18, 2020
We welcome like-minded organizations to participate in this event. We are not soliciting donations or memberships at this event and your participation does not imply a political affiliation with the Green Party. We all like the planet, and political parties will never have the power to legislate away the future rights to clean water, air and personal integrity. We are all citizens of Earth. Earth does not belong to us; we belong to Earth. Power concedes nothing to the un-empowered. We are inviting participants with the caveat that you do not solicit. Please inspire, teach, demonstrate, and interact in a positive way. Literature and promotional giveaways are fine. This keeps us in compliance with Seattle Parks and Recreation, and volunteers keep our other expenses low. There are businesses that sell food and have restrooms within a few blocks of the park. Share a game, show us an experiment or a model, give us a photo op. No single use plastics at this event.
Volunteers Needed for Set Up and Breakdown.
AM or PM? We need an AM group and a PM group of volunteers. The actual public event is from 10am to 4pm.
AM volunteers plan for 8am-1pm. Chalk marks and sign in between 8 and 9am. Set up starts by 9am and we should be ready to start games/exhibits by 10am. Help participants set up their 10×10 canopies and carry tables/ load out of their vehicles for set up. During the event help collect pledge forms, hang out and be friendly to the general public, run sound/music, play games with kids, give directions, make sure that we keep the park clean and safe, and take pictures for social media.
PM volunteers plan for 1pm-6pm. Help participants collapse their 10×10 canopies and carry tables/ load out of the park after the event. During the event, help collect pledge forms, hang out and be friendly to the general public, run sound/music, play games with kids, give directions, make sure that we keep the park clean and safe, and take pictures for social media.
Volunteers get Earth Day reusable water bottles, the satisfaction of making a positive impact in the community, new knowledge based on the current science about ways to honor Earth in our everyday lives, opportunity to meet nice people, and a resume reference from organizers. Follow the links below to volunteer!
Green Party of Seattle
Ranked-Choice Voting is on a Roll
You’ve probably seen that New York City Voters adopted ranked-choice voting by a margin of 73% to 27% back in November. Maine is using it in all their state and congressional elections. Twenty or so cities elsewhere in the country have adopted it. It’s going to be on the ballot in both Massachusetts and Alaska for voters to decide on next November.
It’s also happening in Washington State through non-profit, non-partisan FairVote Washington. Just in the last several months, the group has signed on well over 5,000 concerned voters across the state as supporters.
What is Ranked-Choice Voting
It is a way of setting up elections so that voters can vote for more than one candidate and rank their choices. The voters’ first choices are counted, and if someone has a majority that’s the end of it and that person is elected. If no one has a majority, the person with the fewest votes is eliminated and that person’s votes are transferred to the next choices on those voters’ ballots. There is a new tally. If someone now has a majority then that person is elected. The process goes around this cycle of tallying, eliminating candidates and reallocating votes until someone has a majority.
If ranked-choice voting is in place you can vote for the person that you really favor without fear that it will throw the election to some you really don’t want in office. It means that campaigns will tend to be more civil since candidates will want to get the second choice votes of voters who give their first choice vote to someone else. And it has the potential to make gerrymandering effectively impossible.
Ranked-Choice Voting is of Particular Interest to Greens
With ranked-choice voting third parties like the Greens no longer need to fear being labeled (or libeled!) as “spoilers”. Especially if the system is adopted in its multi-winner form (sometimes called Proportional Representation) there is a much better chance that we’ll see Greens in single-winner offices like Mayor and on bodies like city councils, county councils and legislatures.
Many Local Politicians Support Ranked-Choice Voting
FairVote Whatcom organized a mock ranked-choice election for three of the local primaries affecting Whatcom County last summer. They also asked all the local candidates what they thought of ranked-choice voting. Here is what the candidates thought:
|Whatcom-Area Candidates Who Supported Ranked-Choice Voting in the August 2019 Primary|
|Office||Supporters (*eventual winners)|
|Washington State Senate||Carrie Blackwood, Liz Lovelett*|
|Whatcom County Executive||Karen Burke, Satpal Sidhu*|
|Whatcom County Council||Brian Estes, Natalie McClendon (hedged)|
|Bellingham Mayor||April Barker, Seth Fleetwood*, Garrett O’Brien, Pinky Vargas (these were all the candidates for Mayor)|
|Bellingham City Council||Lisa Anderson*, Dana Briggs, Dan Hammill*, Beth Hartsoch, Hollie Huthman*, Ashanti Monts-Treviska, Von Emeth Ochoa, Hannah Stone*, Raymond Straka, Chanan Suarez (these were all the candidates for City Council)|
That’s 19 out of a total of 31 candidates in these races (61%).
Focus on the Local Options Bill
The Washington State Legislature is considering a bill promoted by FairVote Washington called the Local Options Bill (HB 1722). If the bill is passed, local jurisdictions in Washington would have the option of adopting ranked-choice voting for their local elections in both the single-winner and multi-winner forms. HB 1722 has been in the state legislature for a couple of years. 40th District Senator Liz Lovelett has just sponsored a companion bill in the state senate.
Wherever you live in Washington, you can inform your legislators what you think about the Local Options Bill at the state legislative website here, and we urge you to do that. The more constituents that legislatures here from the more likely they are to act.
Plan B is a statewide initiative in 2021. That will cost a pretty penny. If you can, please help us build up our war chest by donating here.
How You Can Get Involved
Let me count the ways. In addition to contacting your legislators about the Local Options Bill, you can:
Come to a Ranking Party
These are events at a local establishment where we sample their good things to eat and drink and then rank them. The tallying is done by moving our bodies around the room. It’s really fun for everyone involved – apart from making it really clear how the counting works in a ranked-choice election. We’ve held several already.
Here are the ones coming up in the Bellingham area:
|Chocolate Necessities, 1408 Commercial||Chocolate, gelato||March 4||6:30 pm – 8:00 pm||RSVP|
|FrinGe Brewing, 5640 3rd Ave, Ferndale||Beer, snacks||March 12||6:00 pm – 7:30 pm||RSVP|
Join Kit, Stoney, and Tina When We Go Tabling
As the summer comes on, we will be at more and more outdoor events. You can sign up for a two-hour stint at one of these. For example, we’re at the Bellingham Farmers’ Market most Saturdays when it is in session. Don’t worry if you’re unsure about how to talk about ranked-choice voting to people on the street. Actually being on the spot you’ll catch on quickly. We bring all the materials. Interested? Contact us at email@example.com or 360-920-8357.
Help Lobby for the Local Options Bill
Go here to register your views about the Local Options Bill with state legislators.
You can also contact your local city council and the county council. What they can do is pass a resolution supporting the Local Options Bill.
Legislative Update – February 28, 2020: If you’ve been following the Local Options Bill for Ranked-Choice Voting (HB 1722 & SB 5708) – we’ve learned that it won’t progress any further this session. This is an opt-in bill that mandates nothing — it simply allows cities, towns, and other local districts to use ranked-choice voting if they so choose. The Local Options Bill had a very encouraging run, with bi-partisan momentum. It WILL be reintroduced next session (with a new bill number) — so all the momentum continues to work to pass it! What can you do to continue advocating for the Local Options Bill? Ask your legislator to support it next year!
Sign on as a Supporter
Go to the FairVote Washington website to sign on as a supporter. The more people sign as supporters, the more likely the legislature is to act on the Local Options Bill.
If time is at a premium, do your part by donating what you can here.
– Stoney Bird
Local Chapter News
Come meet other Greens and find out how you can promote the presence of Green Values in your community and your local government!
Green Party of Seattle
This chapter recently reorganized membership meetings to the first Tuesday of the month, 6-8 PM in Seattle. Find out more at GPSEA.org or check out their Facebook page for meeting details. All Greens, as well as friends and allies for sustainability, are welcome to attend. Input and volunteers are needed!
Green Party of the Mid-Columbia
This chapter generally meets on the 2nd Thursday of the month at the home of Frank & Laura Lockwood, 118 Rachel Rd, Kennewick, WA at 7pm. Everyone interested in the Green Party is welcome. Check out their new Website, find them on Facebook at Green Party of the Mid-Columbia, and join the discussion at Green Party Friends of the Mid-Columbia.
South Sound Greens (formerly Green Party of South Puget Sound)
This chapter is very active supporting youth working for climate change, homeless issues, and actively supporting local candidates for office. Please contact Noah Martin for information on meetings and other activities, and check out their Facebook group for updates.
Green Party of the Olympic Peninsula
Charles Law is working to form an active local chapter on the Olympic Peninsula. For more info and to get involved, email Charles or join their Facebook discussion group at Green Party Olympic Peninsula.
Green Party of Snohomish County
This chapter is currently inactive. We hope to be able to restart it when we have more active members in Snohomish County. For more info, check out their Facebook discussion group or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Green Party of Whatcom County
GPWA VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
Interested in getting involved with our Tech Team or helping with Social Media? Please email to let us know!
GPUS VOLUNTEER OPPORTUNITIES
There are many committees of GPUS that need people to help them achieve their goals. Members don’t have to be elected as a delegate to the National Committee to serve on these committees. You can go to gpus.org/committees to see where you might be able to lend your talents. Then send the GPWA Coordinating Council a short bio with your request to join the committee, and your request will be added to our next agenda.
LETTERS TO THE EDITOR
(Views expressed in Letters to the Editor do not necessarily reflect the views of the Green Party of Washington State. Please note that letters may be edited for content, grammar and length. Letters should be signed by the person submitting the letter.)
No letters received this time…
Green Party of WA State Coordinating Council
Mary Ellen Knoop – Facilitator, GP Tahoma (Pierce County)
Jody Grage – Secretary, GP Seattle
Scott Thompson – Treasurer, GP Whatcom County
Lisa Canar – Deputy Treasurer, GP Seattle
Charles Law – Member at Large, GP Olympic Peninsula
Kathryn Lewandowsky – Member at Large, GP Snohomish County
Richard Redick – Member at Large, GP Mid-Columbia
Local Chapter Representatives:
Alice Green – GP Seattle
Noah Martin – South Sound Greens
Don’t see your chapter represented? Give us a holler. Our goal is to have an elected representative from each chapter on the State Coordinating Council. We have a conference call at 7 PM on the 1st and 3rd Sunday of each month.
But wait! No, it’s not! There’s plenty of room for more!
Send in your pictures, stories, and ideas to Kathryn at GPWAnewsletter@gmail.com.
We hope to publish this newsletter every other month on the odd months. Send your Newsletter submissions to GPWAnewsletter@gmail.com.
Green Party of Washington State, PO Box 70493, Seattle, WA 98127