Welcome to the political party of grassroots democracy. Who are we? We are state-based Green political parties determined to provide an electoral alternative to a corrupt, corporatized two-party system. We believe that the policy-making processes that determine our quality of life belong in the hands of the people. The current two-party monopoly effectively deprives ordinary citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed rights to representative government.The Green Party believes in empowering citizens and communities. We offer hope and a call to action.
Our party's first priority is to value-based politics. We believe the most effective strategy for achieving democracy is through serious alternative-party challenges at the polls. Our Green Platform makes our case that we intend to change the way government operates while we act to effect the quality of our environment and everyday lives. We are supporters of social justice and equal opportunity, nonviolence, and community-based economics. The Green Party is recognized world-wide for its forward thinking ideas that address sustainability in a way other political parties have yet to do. The Green Party brings a politics of hope and a future that is not dominated by politics- or business-as-usual.
What we are proposing is an independent politics that reaches beyond background and political loyalty. We, the Green Party, see our individual lives, and political and economic progress as part of an evolving, challenging world. We believe we can change history - that together we can make a real difference in our communities, nation and around the globe.
The Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) currently consists of 21 autonomous, state-based Green Parties, each with its own platform and bylaws. We have organized together as a national political force in order to cooperate on substantive issues such as campaign finance reform, ballot access, environmental and social justice issues, and electoral campaigns (such as the Ralph Nader for President campaign in l996). Our goal is to help Greens create legitimate parties in all 50 states.
Although third party candidates have not won national office since the l860 election of Abraham Lincoln, many major issues have required the prodding of third party movements to achieve acceptance. The abolition of slavery, women's right to vote, establishment of a minimum wage, and regulation of child labor were all incorporated into major party platforms and enacted only after they were raised and promoted by third parties.
The ASGP is loosely modeled on the European Green Federation, which currently represents 28 member parties from Ireland to Georgia, from Malta to Norway. The parties are today represented in 12 federal governments in Europe and in the European Parliament by about 200 Green parliamentarians. There are also Green Parties in African countries, Japan, Taiwan, New Zealand and Australia. With parties around the globe, the international Green Party is the only truly global party. The ASGP has formed relationships with the European Green Federation, the Green Federation of the Americas, and corresponds with Green parties everywhere. There are Green parties in 87 nations.
Greens throughout the world support 10 "key values", often stated as: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus/sustainability.
Within Green parties and a broader Green movement, a guiding principle is to "think globally, act locally." Our Green vision calls for a diversity of approaches to solving problems, one that tends to be bottom up, not top down. Green politics looks to peace and prosperity, and a rich milieu of communities. The Green Party is about children, education, the health of the environment in which we all live together. The Green Party is a foundation on which we can build a better tomorrow.
BACKGROUND: The US Greens trace their roots to the European Greens who first organized as a anti-nuclear, pro-peace movement at the height of the Cold War, the progressive New Values Party in the South Pacific , and the sixties/seventies student and evironmental movement. The late Petra Kelly, a founder of the German Greens, attended American University in Washington, DC, and was greatly influenced by the US environmental movement of the early 70's.
In l984, the first US Green organizing meetings were convened. These meetings eventually led to the formation of a national membership organization of Green locals and individuals. By l992, state parties were organizing and gaining ballot access. In Arcata, CA, Greens now hold the majority on a five member council. There are currently 43 Greens holding elective office in 11 states, 22 of them in California. Many more Greens hold appointed office and serve on city/county groups and community organizations.
In August 1996, state Green parties held their first national Nominating Convention in Los Angeles, California. Earlier, in November 1995, as a result of Green national organizing efforts, Ralph Nader had set in motion the Green Party's first presidential campaign by officially announcing he would enter the California Green primary. His decision sparked a reaction from Greens across the country. States that had never had an active Green Party were inspired and motivated to jump on Public Citizen Nader's unconventional presidential campaign. By election eve, the Greens had placed Ralph Nader on 22 ballots nationwide, with another 23 states qualifying him as a write-in candidate. Ralph Nader was joined on the ticket by Native American, Winona LaDuke. Their campaign crossed the country and challenged the candidates, and platforms, of the Democrats and Republicans. The campaign accelerated the party building of the Greens and energized efforts at the local and state level, and helped create new coalitions and awareness of the serious and credible efforts of the Green Party. Ralph's 96 campaign was one of integrity and ideas, and forever captured a place in the history books as representing the Green Party as we stepped into the national political arena. When the results were in, the Nader-LaDuke campaign came in fourth place, after Perot, and polled nearly 700,000 votes, approximately l% of the vote nationwide, denying Clinton a clear majority and surpassing third party candidates who appeared on all state ballots. The Nader/LaDuke vote in Oregon was the best nationwide -- more than 4%!
Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Winona LaDuke grew up in Oregon and California and now lives on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She is known for her work on environmental and indigenous women's issues and for her role in the struggle for return of Native American lands. Both Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke have pledged their continued support to growing the Greens.
It was the remarkable success of the Green parties in 1995 and 1996 that led to the formation of the Association of State Green Parties. The decision to form the ASGP was made by Green activists from twenty-five states who met in Virginia, November of 1996 -- just l0 days after the l996 elections.
Not far from where the documents were written and the meetings held that gave birth to the historic experiment known as the United States, Greens from across the nation gathered, debated and determined to go forward to build a major political party. Ours will be a living work-in-progress. We invite all to join us in creating enduring change.