I Am Not Your Ally

Below is the text of the speech given by South Sound Green Party Chair Colin Bartlett on June 18th, 2022. This speech, titled “I Am Not Your Ally” was given at the 5th Annual Olympia Witch’s March at Heritage Park, Olympia, WA.

Hi there!

My name is Colin Bartlett. I’m here on behalf of the South Sound Greens, an eco-socialist political party I chair, though my responsibilities and attachments in this beloved community go beyond that. I am a worker-owner in a queer cooperative cafe. I am a trained street medic and de-escalator. I am a proud union member through IWW IU 640. I am a member of the Puget Sound Socialists. I am a trained evolutionary biologist. I am queer who fought hard in two states for the right to marry my husband. I have met many of you before, in one of those other capacities. I view this multiple identity as a source of great strength for me, each part helping focus my vision and gaining me fellow fighters who have my back.

That said, I am going to start this speech with a confession: I am not a witch. The Green Party that I am speaking on behalf of includes profoundly spiritual people -spiritual agnostics, deists, pantheists, satanists, witches and pagans of all sorts, people who have invented their own faith, people practicing their traditional indigenous spirituality, Hindus, Sikhs, Jainists, Muslims, Jews, a lot of Buddhists and Unitarians – shout out to my UU buddies, hosts of every queer youth support group I ever went to – and even, bless their hearts, some Christians. The Green Party also has many non-spiritual atheists, be they soft secular humanists or hard antitheists. I tend toward the latter: I believe we can best build a life for each other when we use a critical, evidence-based scientific approach, whether that is modern, “western science”, or the twenty thousand years of indigenous science we can benefit from here on the Salish Sea.

This leads me to a second confession: I am not your ally.

My liberal friends love to be people’s allies. Being an “ally” as the term tends to be used is largely a rhetorical stance. It’s a Statement, that you will, passively, be there for people when they ask you for help. It’s an “In this house, we believe” sign. An ally is a power relationship: it’s a statement in favor of the tolerance or inclusion of a more marginalized Other whose survival depends on it. Don’t get me wrong: I love my liberal allies. As a queer and as a non-Christian, I have always relied on the kindness of these strangers.

But allies are not what I need most right now. Not now, as the inherent contradictions of Christian colonial capitalism tear our world apart – as the earth we depend on melts, burns, and floods; as our courts try to seize control over my own means of reproduction; as states once again make showing my love for my husband a crime; as heavily armed self-declared Christian fascists state their intention to commit genocide against all deviants and non-Christians; as witches are once again being burned. What I require is the relationship I am here to offer. I need an accomplice. I need a comrade.

An accomplice is someone who is guilty of the same crime that I am. That crime is threatening Christian patriarchy. That crime is resisting colonial capitalism. A comrade is someone who is engaged in fighting for the same liberation against the same foes that I am. That liberation is one where our bodies and our minds are our own. That liberation is one where our communities can find a path together toward a livable world, where we thrive together as equals. Our enemies are the bosses and landlords, priests and politicians, owners and talking heads, who profit off the power relationships that are killing us. Some of them may call themselves atheists or pagans, but their good is not our good, and their power is not our power.

The same forces that endanger my survival as a queer, as a worker, and as a non-Christian, are the forces threatening your own. Our struggles are materially related. We depend on the same planet, and we depend on the same freedoms. A nation that burns witches burns queers and atheists, too.

We can survive only by joining each other as comrades, as accomplices, as partners in thought crime. Those who follow traditional narratives that built this system – the belief that wealth is a sign of god’s blessing, that we own the earth and have a right to own each other, that our rewards lie in heaven and not in what we create with each other, that borders are real and people belong on one side of them or the other, that we can mine the future to enrich the present – these belief systems are doomed. We can choose to die along with them, or we can choose to grow in partnership with each other.

My party, the Greens, founded by an alliance of the secular and spiritual, of settlers and First Nations, of environmentalists and gender, race and class revolutionaries, is an eco-socialist party. That means that we recognize that the seed of my oppression, and my liberation, lies within your own. If I am to remain free from self-described Christian Fascists, I am going to need to work with a lot of people to kill the heart of their power: fear and isolation. That means universal healthcare, housing, education, utilities, food, and communication, to ensure that no patriarch can hold me hostage through them. It means free and publicly managed transportation and opening borders so I can flee my abusers and build a supportive found family. It means democratizing our economy and ecology so that religious institutions, landlords, and bosses can’t keep us fighting each other when we should be fighting them.

In the end, alliances with people who hold power over us cannot be depended on. The moment it becomes too unprofitable to let us live, they turn on us, again and again. We have all seen this on the streets of Olympia, Portland, Seattle, Baltimore, Chicago, New York, and Minneapolis: people who tell us to invest in their campaigns, in their party duopoly, in their police, and then use what we give them against us tenfold when we demand the change they promised. We have also seen the change we can make when we stand against them, the good we can do for each other outside of their game. It is time we stopped playing along. It is time we recognized that their help is not coming. Only we can protect each other, but through each other we will win, and the green world we can build with each other is a beautiful one.

I am going to end this by reading my favorite passage from my favorite religious text. As might be expected, it’s a fictional religion, for our very real world. It is from Earthseed, the faith of the protagonists of Octavia Butlers’ prophetic science fiction novel, Parable of the Sower. I used this passage in my wedding. It’s about the kind of relationship I want to cultivate, with all of you, too.


Partnership is giving, taking, learning, teaching, offering the greatest possible benefit while doing the least possible harm. Partnership is mutualistic symbiosis. Partnership is life.


Any entity, any process that cannot or should not be resisted or avoided must somehow be partnered. Partner one another. Partner diverse communities. Partner life. Partner any world that is your home. Partner Change. Only in partnership can we thrive, grow, Change. Only in partnership can we live.

Remembering Stonewall Today and Everyday

On this day, 53 years ago in the early morning, “Public Morals Squad” officers waited outside a small bar in the New York City neighborhood of Greenwich Village. The roughly 200 patrons inside were doing what most folks do at bars, drinking, dancing, and trying to have a good time. It wasn’t a nice bar. It didn’t have running water behind the bar, it was owned by the mafia, and the patrons were all criminalized by the society at the time. It was, however, a place where these folks could be themselves, if only for a few hours.

 What followed is, as they say, history. The subsequent police raid and eventual violent uprising would go on to be memorialized to this day as one of the sparks that ignited the modern queer rights movement. For years now, we’ve used this day to look back and comment on how far we’ve come, but this year it feels like we’ve never been so close to returning to that time as a society.

A society that treats drag performers as dangers to children and the public. A society that treats queer people as existential threats to society and tries to legislate away our rights to healthcare. A society that looks once again to criminalizing our love, our bodies, and our existence.

Having pride in this climate is hard. It’s easy to feel demoralized when everything we’ve fought for over decades seems so fragile – so close to disappearing. It’s times like these we need to remember Stormé DeLarverie, standing handcuffed in police custody outside the Stonewall Inn in the early morning all those years ago.

“Why don’t you guys do something?” she shouted at the bystanders.

She was under attack, and together with her queer community they demanded their rights and stood up to a society that saw them as less than, deviant, and immoral. For days they rioted in the streets throwing bottles and dropping bricks through windshields of police cars. They marched in the streets. They confronted oppression where it lived and made themselves unavoidable.

It’s that activism that lives at the core of who we are as Greens. When the climate is threatened and the duopoly is standing by impotent, we’re shouting “Why don’t you guys do something!?” When our black and brown siblings are victimized by police violence, we are marching in the streets shouting, “Why don’t you guys do something!?” When queer rights are threatened we confront those enabling it and set forth our vision for a more just society.

The Green Party of the United States has centered LGBTQIA+ rights since its inception. It has stood arm in arm with the oppressed across this country and demanded justice. On this anniversary, we ask you to continue that fight with us in any way you can, whether that is with your activism, your time, or your generous donation.

Our mission has never been more important, and your support has never been so needed.

Will you give $53 to honor this anniversary?

In Solidarity,
Daniel Bumbarger & Margaret Elisabeth
National Lavender Green Caucus Co-Chairs

Coordinating Council, Green Party of Washington State

Please help us start the summer with momentum!

We could really use your help. If you are able, I hope you will consider making a mid-year donation to the Green Party of Washington. For the past six months, I have been working hard, along with our GPWA Coordinating Council, to strengthen our local Chapters and increase our membership across the state.

One of our biggest expenses each summer is for our Website and our Database. We use a content management and customer relationship management (CRM) software called NationBuilder. Your donation will help us make our annual payment to them in mid-July. Any amount is appreciated.

As Greens, we are actively marginalized and scapegoated by people that see our existence as a threat. Your donation today will help us keep moving forward, looking beyond our current political paradigms.

I’m so thankful to be in a party that has vision! Thanks for being on this journey with us and thank you for your donation!

Starlene Rankin, Organizer GPWA

PS: Become a GPWA member, check your membership status, or renew your membership today!

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Campaigning 101: Join the Green Wave 2022!

The Green Party of Washington State is looking for progressives who share our values to run for elected office. All across the country hundreds of Green Party candidates will be challenging the two corporate parties, so this is a great time to learn the ins and outs of running for office and a great opportunity to listen to the experiences of Greens who have run and won their seats.

Our guest speaker on March 20, 2022, was former Santa Monica, California City Council Member and Mayor Mike Feinstein. Mike spoke on his experiences of running for office, and what it’s like to actually be a Green in elected office. This was a great chance for people who are interested in running or participating in electoral campaigns to get questions answered by a Green who has done it.

We’re looking for people who are under-represented in elected office: women, African-Americans, Indigenous People, Asian Americans, Hispanic and Latinx Americans, LGBTQIA+, People with Disabilities, and Young People. The Green Party of Washington is dedicated to the 4 Pillars and 10 Key Values of the Green Party and we’re dedicated to Social Justice and Equity.

In 2022, seats in the US Senate, US House of Representatives, Washington State Senate and House, and other local offices are up for election. To be competitive for these seats, candidates need to begin their campaigns early and have a campaign staff in place. We are recruiting candidates as Greens or Independents who are able to run by the May 20, 2022 filing deadline.

The Green Party of Washington approaches national and state elections with the same overall strategy of supporting Green candidates and Independents who share our values so that we can shift the balance of power away from the parties of war to the party of peace. This will be a great time for a smart, energetic anti-war candidate to challenge and win election in Washington State.

If you or someone you know is interested in running for office or working on a progressive Green campaign, please share the video below with them. We look forward to organizing with you!

In this video, Michael Feinstein speaks on his experiences of running for office and what it’s like to actually be a Green in elected office. He is a former Santa Monica, California, City Council Member and the former Mayor of Santa Monica.

Recorded on Sunday, March 20, 2022

Subscribe to our YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCdndvU07E1xDX6EKlGwzK0w

Protecting voting rights, not wrongs

By Michael Feinstein
Jan 13, 2022

This Opinion is reposted from the West Virginia Charleston Gazette:


The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on the Freedom to Vote Act, in response to increasing restrictions upon voting rights passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures. In 2021, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. Over 100 more such bills are scheduled to be heard in 2022.

The Freedom to Vote Act is a pared-down version of the Democrats’ For the People Act. The newer bill was negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to address his concerns. Manchin’s compromise legislation even includes a voter ID provision in the hope of gaining at least 10 Republican votes to avoid an unbreakable 60-vote filibuster.

But with no Republicans indicating they would support it, the Freedom to Vote Act can only pass if there is a change to the filibuster rule. Manchin has been visibly reluctant to consider any change. Unless he supports at least a filibuster “carve-out” for voting rights, the Freedom to Vote Act has no chance of being enacted into law in 2022.

In May 2021, Manchin wrote, “Protecting Americans’ access to democracy has not been a partisan issue for the past 56 years, and we must not allow it to become one now.”

Agreed — voting rights should be about what is good for people and country, not any political party. But Manchin also argues that passage of voting rights legislation needs to be bipartisan.

“Nonpartisan” and “bipartisan” are not the same. The former is an absence of political interest. The latter is a confluence of political interests.

In today’s deeply polarized environment, many politicians have concluded the easiest way to win elections is by reinforcing partisan divides, rather than passing bipartisan legislation. Instead of pushing parties to find common ground, the filibuster is weaponized by the minority to deny the majority achievements, in the hope it will swing the next election the minority’s way.

The Freedom to Vote Act contains desperately needed provisions to preempt new Republican state laws promoting partisan gerrymandering, voter suppression, partisan election certification and intimidation of voters and election administrators. The Republicans’ gambit is they have a better chance to win elections if these laws remain in place. Their lack of support for the Freedom to Vote Act is a natural consequence of our duopoly electoral system.

At the same time, the U.S. Constitution grants Congress the authority to “make or alter” state regulations regarding elections. Since the power invested in the legislature derives from “the consent of the governed” — if the governed are denied their say in electing the legislature, then no act of the legislature is valid. Upon that basis, protecting voting rights should be exempted from the filibuster.

But before making such a principled exemption, there remains a major ethical contradiction — the major parties’ own partisan self-interest in the bill’s campaign finance section.

The Freedom to Vote Act would terminate the Presidential Election Campaign Fund — a post-Watergate era reform meant to reduce big donor influence by providing alternate public funding for campaigns. Abandoned by major party nominees (because they can raise and spend more private money outside of it), the program’s public matching funds are critical to help minor party presidential candidates (and their parties) fund expensive petition drives to meet onerous ballot qualification requirements established by Democrats and Republicans — a use affirmed by the Federal Election Commission. In many states, a certain result for president is even required for minor parties to retain ballot status. Without these funds, minor parties would disappear in many states.

True freedom to vote includes the freedom to vote for whom you want. Party suppression is a form of voter suppression.

Instead of reducing voter choice, it’s time to move beyond bi-polar politics to a viable multi-party democracy, by enacting proportional representation elections from multi-seat districts, where voters and parties win representation according to the percentage of their vote.

But for now, no voting rights bill should be used to convey partisan electoral advantage — in this case, to a major party by depressing its minor party competition. A filibuster exemption supporting this would be hypocritical. If Manchin is to be consistent that voting rights legislation must be non-partisan, he must insist this partisan element of the Freedom to Vote Act be removed.

Michael Feinstein is a former mayor and city council member in Santa Monica, California, and a former co-chairman of the Green Party of the United States.

Reach him at twitter.com/mikefeinstein and linkedin.com/in/michael-feinstein-14b45911/

GPWA Supports the Statement From GPUS on COVID-19 Vaccines and Mandates

The Green Party of Washington strongly supports the Covid19 statement issued by the Steering Committee of the Green Party of the United States (see below).

We recognize the challenges we face to confront Covid19 and the impact it will have in our society are myriad and interconnected. Consequently, we encourage all Washingtonians to get vaccinated, get their booster and, above all else, stay home this holiday season.

Statement From GPUS on COVID-19 Vaccines and Mandates

Become a Whole Washington Signature Captain!

The most direct path to universal healthcare in Washington state is by putting it on the ballot and passing it through a vote of the people. All it takes is 400,000 signatures, collected during 2022!

In order to collect these signatures, Whole Washington is recruiting Signature Captains – people who are willing to step up and collect just 13 signatures a week from May-December, either by themselves or with a small team.

Right now the goal of the campaign is to recruit 800 Signature Captains to lead signature gathering starting in May!

Please join Whole Washington for the next Signature Captain Orientation on Monday, December 13th at 7 pm to learn more about becoming a signature captain, including the training and resources you’ll be given to ensure success!

Whole Washington will explain the program and commitment, and you can decide if it’s right for you!

Here is the link to sign up for the Signature Captain Orientation on Monday, December 13th – please help us bring in new people by sharing it with friends who might be interested!

If you can’t make the 12/13 orientation but are still interested, you can sign up on the Signature Captain Interest form and Whole Washington will follow up with you soon.

For more details and a *sneak preview* of the Signature Captain program, watch this video:


Together we will pass health care that’s always there and make Washington whole!

Statement From GPUS on COVID-19 Vaccines and Mandates

WASHINGTON — The Green Party of the United States Steering Committee strongly supports the use of vaccines, vaccine mandates, and quarantines as part of a comprehensive public health effort to curb and eradicate the novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic that has swept the globe since early 2020.

Green Party of the United States


For Immediate Release:
Wednesday, December 8, 2021


Michael O’Neil, Communications Manager, meo@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Diana C. Brown, Co-chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758
Philena Farley, Co-chair, Media Committee, media@gp.org, 202-804-2758

A comprehensive public health policy focused on prevention includes not only vaccines, but free access to personal protective equipment (PPE) including face masks, infrastructure upgrades to treat and filter indoor air, and quarantines and mandates when necessary — particularly for front-line, public-interfacing jobs such as schools and hospitals. To ensure the most vulnerable individuals and communities are protected, and provide parents and families the economic and social aid necessary to support collective public health policy, we support a comprehensive COVID Relief Plan such as that put forward by Green Party 2020 presidential ticket Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker, including:

  • monthly relief checks
  • eviction and utility shutoff moratoriums
  • rent and mortgage forgiveness
  • emergency Medicare-for-All
  • universal high-speed internet access for both jobs and education

Additionally, patents must be canceled on all vaccine formulations to aid rapid global distribution and stop the rise of even more transmissible and deadly COVID-19 variants.

We understand why mistrust exists toward the for-profit, privatized health insurance system — a system that has produced current and historical injustices. At the same time, because of the severity of this crisis, we encourage hesitant individuals and communities to consult with medical professionals including nurses, doctors, and researchers to learn more about the science, safety, and efficacy of vaccines. We encourage conversations about how vaccines and related policies protect our most vulnerable community members, such as young children, the elderly, and immuno-compromised individuals.

Scientific data and experiments may be difficult to properly interpret and put into context without formal training, therefore we support the efforts of the medical community working with the public to help dispel mistrust and misunderstanding of vaccine science and other public health efforts. We also call for direct remedies to systemic, racial, and class disparities in medicine through community outreach by qualified medical counselors, economic restitution, and dialogue toward truth and reconciliation.

Additionally, the public must be provided with general science information and counseling around the links between pandemics and the environment: continued ecological destruction due to industries like fossil fuels and human encroachment on habitats all increase the possibility that deadly new viruses will evolve and turn into future pandemics, making climate action an important part of comprehensive public health policy.

Ultimately, we are calling for communities to join together and work toward a nationwide, transformative Green New Deal — such as what Greens have campaigned for over a decade — to truly address the health, economic, and environmental issues that are deeply interconnected and have exploded under the COVID pandemic crisis. Then we can empower individuals and communities to make the best decisions for their own circumstances.


The Green Party US Steering Committee (SC) serves as the party’s primary spokespersons and oversees day-to-day administration and operations. The SC is made up of seven co-chairs plus the party’s Treasurer and Secretary, for a total of nine members. They are elected by the Green Party’s highest decision-making body, the National Committee.

The Green Party is an independent political party rooted in American social movements and a global Green movement founded on Four Pillars: Peace and Non-Violence, Ecological Wisdom, Grassroots Democracy, and Social Justice.

Hawkins/Walker COVID Relief Planhowiehawkins.us, last updated Sept. 19, 2020

Green Party of the United States

Newsroom | Twitter: @GreenPartyUS

GPWA Organizer Description (Contract Position)

This recruitment is open to current state party members in good standing. If you’re interested in applying for this position, please send your one-page letter of interest to hello@greenpartywashington.org explaining your qualifications and relevant experience no later than 11:59 pm on October 25th.

In order to grow, we must increase membership and organize new chapters in our state. Increasing membership and building chapters is a huge task and hiring an organizer will be a good investment and be more efficient and effective than relying totally on volunteers.

This proposal is to hire an experienced Green Party Organizer who will work to increase membership and create new and viable chapters in Washington. The Organizer will serve as a contractor, not an employee. The contract will last for six months, with an option to extend for an additional six months based on work completed. The contract will begin on November 1, 2021, and continue through May 1, 2022.

During the month of April 2022, the CC will review overall progress and our budget to decide whether to continue the contract until November 1, 2022. In October 2022, the CC will review progress and our budget to decide whether to extend the contract for any longer period of time.

The Organizer position will begin as a contract for six hours per week at $15 per hour, for six months. Future increases in hours per week and/or pay per hour may be approved by the CC.

The contractor will provide monthly status reports to the CC on their work, including time spent on each task; updates on membership, income, and fundraising; progress on chapter building; and a summary of social media outreach.

GPWA Organizer Tasks – 25 hours per month:

Month 1: Chapter Building – 1, 2, 3; Membership/Income – 1; Communications – 1, 2

Month 2: Add: Chapter Building – 4

Month 3: Add: Chapter Building – 5

Month 4: Add: Chapter Building – 6; Membership/Income – 2; Communications – 3

Month 5: Continue above

Month 6: Add: Chapter Building – 7, 8, 9; Communications – 4, 5

Chapter Building (40%)

GPWA chapter activity can be grouped by the CC into three levels: (1) affiliated chapters that are doing well and only need targeted support, (2) affiliated chapters and chapters-in-formation that are organized but not very active and need more support, and (3) areas that are not organized and need extensive support.

1. Information in the database and anecdotal reports will be used to identify those areas (3) where new chapters can most readily be formed, as well as potential leaders in those areas.  Zoom calls will be used to discuss the formation of each new chapter with potential leaders and others they suggest.

2. Information in the database and anecdotal reports will also be used to identify affiliated chapters and chapters-in-formation (2) that are not very active. Zoom calls will be used to discuss reactivation with potential leaders and others they suggest.

3. A menu of outreach strategies will be created including tabling kits, merchandise available from GPWA at cost, literature, event support, etc. (GPWA will continue to offer $200 advances to local chapters affiliated and in-formation for outreach events. Proceeds from an event will pay back the advance, with GPWA absorbing the loss if proceeds don’t cover it all.)

4. Recruit a qualified volunteer and/or a college intern, if possible, to serve as Assistant Organizer.

5. Chapters that are currently active (3) will be engaged in discussions of support available from GPWA, including setting short-term goals, outreach strategies including media, facilitation training, tabling kits, etc.

6. Presentations including PowerPoint and other platforms will be developed on How to Form a New Local, Building Coalitions, Tracing Events and Activities, How to Run a Meeting, How to Use Consensus, How to Recruit Candidates, Staffing Campaigns, Supporting Greens in Office, etc.

7. Periodic state-wide Zoom calls will be held on topics of interest to chapters including outreach, learning from other chapters, etc.

8. Create a Speakers Bureau of Greens knowledgeable about various issues so they can serve as guest speakers at chapter meetings to encourage interest and activism.

9. NationBuilder options will be utilized to track chapter activities and local organizers.

Membership & Income (40%)

1. Information in NationBuilder will be used to create a systematic process to increase membership and income from membership, including converting non-members to members and increasing the level of dues paid by individual members.

2. Supporters whose NationBuilder listing of employers or job titles or from referrals can be assumed to be in a higher income bracket will receive a personal call asking them to consider becoming a major donor with a one-time or ongoing donation. A short menu of possible projects for which we are seeking funding may be offered.

Communications and Social Media (20%)  

1. Review all literature and resources on our website and suggest updates to the CC.

2. Chapters, both affiliated and in-formation, will be offered assistance in creating social media platforms and websites.

3. Promote local organizing on our state party social media platforms.

4. Write and distribute a periodic state-wide E-Newsletter for chapters and members.

5. Create a PowerPoint presentation on how GPWA is organized, GPWA history, and volunteer opportunities.

Volunteer with the Green Party!

The Green Party is governed by our principles and values, and unlike the corporate political parties, we do not accept — and are not influenced by — corporate cash. Our platform is based on our values of peace, sustainability, grassroots democracy, and justice for all. We aim to broaden the scope of political discourse and reshape the political process.

We are currently forming teams for each of the volunteer options in our recently updated Volunteer Form. We want to make good use of your skills, knowledge, interests, and time to support the Green Party at state and local levels.

Your efforts make a direct impact on the growth and success of our party, and we look forward to working with you!

Please complete or update our revised Volunteer Form available at https://www.gp-wa.org/volunteer – and contact us to suggest other volunteer options.

Jody Grage, Volunteer Coordinator

Green Party of Washington State


Become a GPWA member, check your membership status, or renew your membership today!

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Donations are always appreciated and put to good use!

🌻 #WeAreGreen