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!

Peace, 
Starlene Rankin, Organizer GPWA

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

Keep up with us on Twitter and Facebook 

2022 Primary and Green Party Voter’s Guide

Federal Candidates

U.S. Senator: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 1: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

Jason Call for U.S. Representative, Congressional District 2: While we do not officially endorse members of major political parties, we oppose corporate democrat Rick Larsen for this office. While not a Green Party member, the candidate most closely aligned with our platform in this race is Jason Call.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 3: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 4: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 5: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

Rebecca Parson for U.S. Representative, Congressional District 6: While we do not officially endorse members of major political parties, we oppose corporate democrat Derek Kilmer for this office. While not a Green Party member, the candidate most closely aligned with our platform in this race is Rebecca Parson.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 7: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

U.S. Representative, Congressional District 8: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

Stephanie Gallardo for U.S. Representative, Congressional District 9: While we do not officially endorse members of major political parties, we oppose corporate democrat Adam Smith for this office. While not a Green Party member, the candidate most closely aligned with our platform in this race is Stephanie Gallardo.


Statewide and Legislative Candidates

Secretary of State: The Green Party has no preferred candidate in this race.

Liz Hallock for State Representative, District 14, Position 2: While not a Green Party member, Liz Hallock is running as a community organizer and is aligned with the Green Party’s 10 Key Values.

Kathryn Lewandowsky for State Representative, District 39, Position 2: While not currently a Green Party member, Kathryn Lewandowsky is running as a grassroots community organizer and is aligned with the Green Party’s 10 Key Values.

Other State Legislative Positions: The Green Party has no preferred candidates in these races.


Other Candidates, Initiatives, and Resolutions

Consider endorsements and supporters of the following organizations:


Looking for endorsements or Green Party write-in candidates?

Currently, the Green Party is focused on initiative campaigns (Universal Healthcare, Ranked-Choice Voting), solidarity efforts, mutual aid, and building Left Unity. While we have no Green Party members actively campaigning for federal, statewide, or legislative office at this time, we hope to have candidates running for City Councils, Conservation Districts, and other local offices next year in preparation for building a serious statewide run in 2024, especially if we can get Ranked Choice Voting enacted soon.

If you or someone you know is interested in running for office in 2023 or 2024, now is a good time to start thinking about it and to get involved!
Green Party of Washington State, PO Box 70493, Seattle, WA 98127

#WeAreGreen

Green Party Platform

GPWA Candidate Statements

Nominees for GPWA offices:


LEE SCOTT LAUGENOUR – CANDIDATE FOR DELEGATE TO GPUS NATIONAL COMMITTEE

Nomination Bio for Lee Scott LAUGENOUR (he/him/his)

Green Party Commitment:

  • 2022 – present: monthly financial contributor to GPUS
  • 2015 – present: monthly dues-paying member of GPWA
  • 2008 – 2015: registered Green-Rainbow Party (MA) voter
  • 2000: first Green vote cast

Candidate/Campaign Experience:

  • 2022 – present: Candidate for GPUS Coordinating Campaign Committee (CCC) member
  • 2021 – present: GPUS CCC Associate for GPWA
  • 2021: GPWA point person for Forks (WA) mayoral candidate Stephen Wright
  • 2013 – 2015: Director of the Green-Rainbow Party (MA) Candidate Development and Legal Committee
  • 2012: Green-Rainbow Party Candidate for State Representative, Fourth Berkshire District of Massachusetts
  • 2010: Green-Rainbow Party Candidate for State Representative, Fourth Berkshire District of Massachusetts
  • 2009 – 2013: Treasurer for JD Hebert’s Berkshire County (MA) Sheriff (partisan) and Pittsfield (MA) City Council (non-partisan) campaigns
  • 2008: Candidate for Lenox (MA) Select Board (non-partisan)

Other Green Party positions held:

  • Green-Rainbow Party Representative to the GPUS National Committee in 2011
  • Green-Rainbow Party Membership Director in 2008-2009
  • Elected Green-Rainbow Party State Committee Representative from the Berkshire Hampden Franklin and Hampshire State Senatorial District 2011-2015

Career / Professional Background:

I have worked as a teacher of English as a Second Language in Tokyo and in Hanoi, worked in various front-line and in executive positions for Marriott International, and have run an art gallery business.  I have served on a number of boards in various fields, including several appointed positions in town government.  Presently I am retired, residing both in Hanoi, Vietnam and in Reykjavik, Iceland.  I remain a registered voter in Washington State.

Education:

BA Liberal Arts, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Class of 1980


MATTHEW VILLATA – CANDIDATE FOR COORDINATING COUNCIL – AT-LARGE

Matthew Villata hails from California, though he is proud to call Washington State University his alma mater. He very much thanks you for your time and consideration.

There is no place quite like Washington. Here is a state that is diverse, beautiful with a thrilling combination of mystique and the simply strange. A new arrival to the state of Washington and the Washington Green Party, Matthew wishes to contribute constructive positivity to both of his new homes geographically and politically.

There is fertile soil in this country and State for the so-called minor parties to grow past the shackles the so-called major parties have imposed on them and the people of this nation. The Green Party is at the forefront of this. The Party can give people the hope and optimism they need to challenge the oppressive status quo and can do this in simple and practical ways, like continuing to heavily support ranked-choice voting reform and an end to the odious tradition of gerrymandering. The Party can also prioritize working with other minor parties, those who operate out of love and respect and should do so while not compromising its own integrity. The task of establishing multiparty democracy in America is great. Reasonable alliances should be made to this end.

With that in mind, Matthew believes that the chief duty of any representative is to listen to the hearts and minds of those represented. A representative must also be timely and responsive. He has modest political experience, though he has made a habit of attending rallies and protests in order to understand how to listen and hear. From BLM rallies in Sacramento to C.H.O.P in Seattle, Matthew has witnessed that people are demanding real solutions to painful problems. It would be his honor to contribute to the solutions.

The man you are reading about has a straightforward set of skills. Washington State University taught him to write and reason at a passable level. He is not afraid of public speaking or public communication. He constantly studies American History. Work in radio, visual interpretation for the blind and low vision, and Special Education have instilled communication and listening skills. Matthew considers himself a Green-Libertarian and also associates with the Libertarian Party. His most important personal issue is the establishment of multiparty democracy in the United States and an end of the reign of two parties guided by fear, greed and the military-industrial complex. No less important are the preservation of this planet for future generations, the protection of personal liberty including individual privacy and the correction of the injustices found within the historical record of the United States. Great strides can be made in all these avenues within this lifetime.

The Green Party can grow and provide real help to people who need it the most. Matthew would be humbled to contribute to this eventuality to the best of his ability if chosen to serve.


Nominees for GPUS Committees:

Animal Rights Committee – Charles Law (continuing, May 2022 – May 2024)

Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures Committee – Rick Morrow (to be appointed)

Coordinated Campaign Committee – Scott Laugenour (elected by the GPUS National Committee)

Diversity Committee – Daniel Bumbarger (to be appointed)

International Committee – Noah Martin (continuing, May 2022 – May 2024); Scott Laugenour (to be appointed)


Link to all GPUS Committees.


Green Party Virtual Spring Gathering

Thank you to all Green Party members who attended our Spring Gathering in May!

We had a lively and informed discussion with representatives from FairVote Washington giving a presentation on the campaign to bring ranked-choice voting to Washington State elections!

If you missed the Gathering, you can watch a video of the FairVote WA presentation on our YouTube channel!

–> Like and Subscribe while you’re there!

_____________________________________

Beginning Sunday, June 5th, our Coordinating Council will consider appointments for two of our remaining unfilled positions — GPWA Deputy Treasurer and At-Large Coordinating Council member.

GPWA members who are interested in being considered for either of these two positions are invited to post a statement of interest and a brief bio in our Loomio discussion group.

Our Coordinating Council will also approve nominees to serve on several GPUS Committees, including Animal Rights; Banking and Monetary Reform; Bylaws, Rules, Policies and Procedures; Diversity Committee; and the International Committee. If you are interested in learning more about serving on a GPUS committee, please post your question in our Loomio discussion group.

Thank you!

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 (see video link below).

Mike spoke on his experiences of running for office, and what it’s like to 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 can file 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 we can shift the balance of power away from the parties of war to the party of peace. This is 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 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:

https://www.wvgazettemail.com/opinion/op_ed_commentaries/michael-feinstein-protecting-voting-rights-not-wrongs-opinion/article_f1564dea-c209-5653-a485-08a5eb758ff1.html

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:

https://www.youtube.com/pHt_OCsmMeQ

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