Philly Green Party

Minutes, November Membership Meeting

Minutes, Membership Meeting
November 30, 2017 – 7 PM
Shissler Recreation Center, Fishtown

Greens in Attendance: Jarrett Anderson, Treasurer; Belinda Davis; Olivia Faison, City Committee Member at Large; Alexander Gillett; Hillary Kane; Taj Magruder, City Committee Member At Large; Asanetwaa Nkrumah-Ture; Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary; Ernest Schulte and Galen Tyler, Chair.
Others in Attendance: Tonya Ryva and Marlene Soifer. Absent: Georgie Georgeson, City Committee Member at Large.

This meeting was chaired by Galen, and minutes were taken by Chris with assistance from Belinda. [Draft minutes were circulated for additions and corrections on 12/2. Hillary submitted a correction. The minutes were then posted to the GPOP website on 12/7/’17.]

Everyone present celebrated the election of Olivia Faison on 11/7 to the office of Minor Party Inspector of Elections at Ward 60, Division 17.

A representative from Philadelphia Tenants Union had been invited to speak, but the person did not appear. This will be rescheduled because GPOP has endorsed PTU.

Outreach Working Group Report by Taj
The OWG has posted one News Release since the last meeting: “Green Party Wants Elected School Board,” which was written by Margie Neary.
The next OWG event will be the Welcome Party for New Members on January 28 at PhillyCam. Please see Announcements (below) for details. The OWG requested suggestions for a speaker at this event.
Hillary suggested that we invite Jessica Clayton, David Ochmanowicz, and Cem Zeytinoglu, all of whom are Greens elected this year to various PA School Boards. She thought we might focus on education as an issue.
Taj explained that OWG prefers a welcome party with one speaker. Any of the above would be welcome to fill that role, but an Education Forum might be considered as a separate event for later in 2018.
[Hillary sent the following correction: “FWIW, I only suggested Jessica Clayton as a speaker for the welcome party. Charles suggested adding Dave O and Cem, but I thought that might not work for the reasons cited by Taj. I think we tentatively agreed to possibly do the education themed event as a separate event in February.”]
Other suggested speakers for the Welcome Party: Stewart Chen-Hays (Judge of Elections in Newtown, Bucks County), Mike Dennis (GPUS Youth Caucus and LGBTQIA+ Caucus); Gloria Matera (New York, NY) and Darryl! Mock (Washington, DC). The latter three are members of the GPUS Steering Committee.
Chris recommended that OWG repeat last year’s successful organization of Greens to participate in the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day event on January 15.

Communications Working Group (CWG) Report by Jarrett
Jarrett explained that GPOP’s new NationBuilder website was under construction, and that GPOP’s communication with members will take place monthy in a multi-issue “newsletter” format.

Treasurer’s Report by Jarrett
Jarrett said GPOP has $1,325.38, plus $85 from pass-the-hat at this meeting. There were no major expenses during the last month.
Chris suggested that a fundraising email to GPOP members would give us a chance to tell our members all of the fantastic things we have done during 2017. This might appear at their Inboxes during the first week in January.

Election Operations Working Group (EOWG) Report by Chris
Chris apologized for the two great failures of EOWG during 2017: failure to organize a better nomination campaign in the spring and failure to organize more poll volunteers in the fall. Chris said that after two years of trying to build the EOWG, he recognizes that he is personally unable to motivate GPOP’s membership.
The details of Chris’ remarks may be found in EOWG Report #8, “General Election 2017: The Good and the Bad,” which was posted to GPOP Representatives on 11/28.

Report on Green Party of PA’s (GPPA) Quarterly Meeting by Alex Gillett
Alex reported the 35 delegates came to the meeting in Pittsburgh, which did not have a GPPA chapter last year. Alex also reported on GPPA’s dire financial situation, leading to its inability to afford NationBuilder. Kristin is seeking open-source alternatives to NB. We discussed the possibility of increasing regular contributions to GPPA, either or both individually or as a large city chapter.
Alex recommends GPOP members look to Slack for notes on the meeting. [Please see the Minutes of the GPPA Quarterly Meeting on 11/18.]
The GPPA Delegates amended the GPPA Rules (bylaws) so that GPPA will have six meetings/year. Three will be face-to-face, and three will be virtual. The next meeting of GPPA Delegates (open to any GP member) will be a virtual meeting at 10:00 am on Saturday, January 20.
Hillary offered her office, on the Penn campus, as a place where many of us could participate in the next meeting as a group (see Announcements, below).

City Committee Elections
Belinda asked when the campaign would begin for the next City Committee elections. In the past, our nomination campaign has begun late in the prior year concluding with a nominations meeting, January 25, and an election meeting, February 22. This will be organized by the City Committee at its next meeting on December 14.

There was no discussion of the following:
GPOP Issue Survey
On 4/27, the GPOP membership expressed a need for a survey of issues deemed important. The on-line survey was posted to the membership on 7/16. If you prefer a hard copy of the survey, please let us know. https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/LM536GW
Call for Candidates
Both the September and October GPOP membership meetings called for Green Party candidates for electoral races in 2018 and 2019. See the Minutes from the September GPOP Membership meeting for more on this topic. The City Committee decided to not post a news release about this call until after the 2017 General Election. http://www.gpop.org/news/?p=2393
Election of GPOP Recording Secretary
NOMINATIONS FOR A RECORDING SECRETARY REMAIN OPEN.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary.
______________

ANNOUNCEMENTS
(Please mark your calendars.)

December 14, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N.
December 16 thru 17, GPUS Diversity Committee needs housing in Philadelphia for participants in an anti-oppression training class. If you have a spare bed or sofa, please contact Belinda at bedavis@history.rutgers.edu. Belinda will be in touch soon with those who kindly offered accommodations.
HAPPY HOLIDAYS!! There will be no General Membership Meeting during the holiday season.
December 30, New Year Observance at the Drone War Command Center, Horsham, PA. This event has been endorsed by the Green Party of Philadelphia.

2018
January 1, HAPPY NEW YEAR OF STRUGGLE!

January 11, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N.
January 15, The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service. Green Party events to be announced.
January 20, GPPA Virtual Meeting for Delegates, 10:00 am, at 3624 Market Street, Suite 5-W. Call 267-971-3559 for admission.
January 25, GPOP Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, Nominations for 2018 City Committee, location to be announced.
January 28, Welcome Party for New Greens, 1:00 pm, PhillyCam.
February 8, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, location to be announced.
February 22, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, City Committee election, location to be announced.
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Written on December 7, 2017

Posted in General Meetingswith No Comments →

General Election 2017: The Good and the Bad

GPOP Election Operations Working (EOW) Group
Volume 2, #8
November 28, 2017

Dear Green Party Representative.
The 2017 General Election is behind us, and in this Report to Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) Electoral Operations Working Group (EOWG) I will abandon the usual format in order to deal with the election’s results. Naturally, there are both good and bad aspects resulting from the General Election. [You may find Report #7 to the GPOP EOWG on our web page.]

Bad: Jules Mermelstein Finished 9 out of 9
Unfortunately, Jules Mermelstein, the Green Party candidate, received only 106,686 votes state-wide. This was 1.39 percent of the total vote for Judge of Superior Court. Even worse, Jules Mermelstein received even less in Philadelphia, only 1.26 percent of the vote.

Good: Greens Won Six out of Ten Races in PA
In local races, Green Party members won seats on the Quakertown and Stroudsburg School Boards, a Borough Council Seat in Philipsburg, a Judge of Elections in Newtown Township and Elizabethtown, and a Minority Inspector of Elections in Philadelphia. You may read more about these victories here.

Bad: Why only Ten Races
PA is a really big state, and the Green Party should have had many more candidates contesting many more electoral offices. It is even more of a problem here in Philadelphia. The odds of winning an election become much better if there are a multitude of Greens on the ballot. This was explained to me by Representative Bernadette Marie, who said in an email, “I personally think that if we can’t fill more than one position in our very own [Green Party] column, we shouldn’t be surprised if we are the only ones who are pushing that button.” I have not, yet, heard a plan to change this.

Good: GPOP Representatives Did a Fantastic Job
As has been true in past elections, GPOP Representatives did a fantastic job volunteering for the Jules Campaign at nine polling places in Philadelphia. I congratulate these Representatives – Hillary, Charles, Belinda, Murielle and Scott, Beverley, Bernadette Marie, Christian, and Olivia – who joined me in volunteering at their own polling places. Those nine polling places pulled an average of 2.85 percent of the vote for Jules, more than double the Philadelphia average. At four polling places, GPOP Representatives (Hillary, Chris, Murielle & Scott, and Charles) won more than three times the Philadelphia average.

Bad: Why only 9 Polling Places?
During this election, the Green Party had 1,551 Green Party members in Philadelphia. It was a big disappointment to have so few Green Party members volunteering for Jules’ at their own polling places. I consider this to be my personal failure. As leader of this effort, I repeatedly contacted all of our GPOP members about working the polls. I also contacted Representatives who had volunteered during previous elections, for Jill Stein in 2016 and Kristin Combs in 2015, but I was unable to motivate more Greens to become GPOP Representatives.
This is a second failure, following my inability to motivate more Greens to volunteer during the nomination campaign to get Jules Mermelstein on the ballot last spring. (Remember, Philadelphia submitted only 588 out of Jules’ 4,204 nomination signatures.)

Good: Jules did much Better in Other Counties
Jules received a higher proportion of the vote in some of Pennsylvania’s other counties. For instance:
2.11 percent in Susquehanna County,
2.00 percent in Centre County,
1.78 percent in Butler County,
1.78 percent in Erie County,
1.75 percent in Beaver County,
1.74 percent in Allegheny County,
1.55 percent in Chester County,
1.52 percent in Lebanon County,
1.52 percent in York County,
1.45 percent in Lehigh County,
1.39 percent of total in Pennsylvania, but only
1.26 percent in Philadelphia County
.

Bad: Philadelphia fell short
I am ashamed that Philadelphia was not at the top of the above list. GPOP was founded 16 years ago and our members have a lot of experience. One experienced Green, Hillary, got five percent of the vote at her polling place for Jules. Charles and Belinda also did very well. Where were our other experienced Greens?
In addition, GPOP has many new, energetic members who could have been in the forefront of our electoral work. Scott and Murielle, two of our new Greens, volunteered at their polling place, where Jules got 3.7 percent of the vote. Where were our other new Greens on Election Day?
Okay, I understand that they could not volunteer at the polls because of school, work or travel. One of our new members, Margie, was not able to volunteer at the polls, but Margie did stuff every door in her division with Jules literature. At Margie’s polling place, Jules received 2.8 percent of the vote.
Where were you on Election Day?

Good: 2018 Might Be Better
Now that we have reflected on the good and the bad from this year, it is time to consider how we can turn GPOP around during 2018. As Jill Stein use to remind us, “It is in our hands.”
First, you might become a Green Party Representative for 2018 and join our EOWG. That means you will volunteer on our electoral campaigns by collecting voters’ signatures at your polling place during the Primary Election on Tuesday, May 15, and campaigning for our candidates at your polling place during the General Election on Tuesday, November 6.
Second, you might become a Green Party candidate by running for electoral office. This is not about winning. Running for office is about publicizing the Green Party and what Greens stand for. Running for office is also about gaining experience – experience for you and experience for your campaign volunteers. This is all part of building the Green Party.
Third, GPOP needs a Recording Secretary right now. Will you volunteer?
Fourth, we have an Outreach Working Group. Are you a member of it? No, then volunteer.
Fifth, GPOP has a Communications Working Group. Are you a member of it? No, then volunteer.
Sixth, GPOP will hold elections for our seven-person City Committee (think, “steering committee”) in early 2018. Read about those offices in the GPOP By-Laws, and then run for office. You can really help turn our party around if you are in our leadership committee.

Please email or call me if you would like to volunteer or talk about other ideas you might have.
Thanks,
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256
chrisrecon@netzero.net
Membership Secretary
Green Party of Philadelphia

PS: Members of the GPOP EOW Group are called “Green Party Representatives.” According to a motion approved by the GPOP membership on September 30, 2015, the EOW Group has three tasks: “recruiting Green Party candidates who will campaign for office; organizing people to work on those campaigns; and building an infrastructure that will be able to win electoral campaigns.”
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Written on December 2, 2017

Posted in 2017 Philadelphia Municipal Elections, Election Operationswith No Comments →

Greens to Meet, 11/30, 7:00 pm

    Greens to Meet
    Thursday, Novemberber 30
    7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

    Shissler Recreation Center
    1800 Blair Street
    (near East Berks Street)
    Fishtown, Philadelphia

    This venue is wheelchair accessible.

    More information from
    215-843-4256 and gpop@gpop.org

    Please join us to discuss the
    results of the 2017 General Election.
    Let’s talk and decide what you can do!

    Please RSVP via Facebook.

    We look forward to your participation.
    This meeting is open to the public with no admission charge.

____________________

Written on November 26, 2017

Posted in General Meetings, Newswith Comments Off

Good Luck at Your Polling Place

GPOP Election Operations Working (EOW) Group
Volume 2, #7
November 6, 2017

Dear Green Party Representative.

As our Fall Campaign comes to a close, I want to wish each of you success at your polling place on November 7. We have an excellent candidate, Jules Mermelstein, for Judge of PA Superior Court, and he will do well at polls where each of us volunteers for him. In September, Jules received the endorsement of the Pennsylvania State Education Association, which has 181,000 members in our state.
The rest of Report #7 will bring you up to date on what has happened since Report #6 was posted to you on September 18.

Task: Organize Campaign Workers
In coordination with Jules4Judge, Green Party Representatives like you have gone door-to-door in their divisions, and they plan to appear at the polls to ask their neighbors to “PUSH BUTTON #302 FIRST.” This is important because voters who begin by pushing their party button will not be able to vote for Jules. We will have ten Green Party Representative (including myself), volunteering at voting locations which include 20 divisions (precincts). When the returns are certified, I will let you know how our volunteers did.

Task: Build an Infrastructure to Win Elections
I have some good news to report. The GPOP membership created a Communications Working Group (CWG) at their September Membership Meeting and approved the CWG Statement of Purpose and Goals at the October Membership Meeting. Please visit the CWG page on our website for more information.
The current CWG members are Green Party Representatives Charles, Christian, Georgie, Jarrett and Margie. Please let me know if you would like to join the new CWG, to help with news releases, email contact with Green Party members and social media.
Here is an excellent opportunity for you to participate, become our recording secretary. Green Party Recording Secretary is an important office which involves much more than just taking minutes at meetings. Our Recording Secretary is a member of the GPOP City Committee and deeply involved in building the Green Party on a daily basis. Please let me know if you are interested in becoming our Recording Secretary – even if it is only on a trial basis.

Task: Recruit Green Party Candidates
The Green Party is still searching for people to run in 2018 as Green Party candidates for PA State Representative. Your State Representative will be running for re-election next year. I hope you will consider running against them as a Green Party candidate, seeking single-payer healthcare, reparations for slavery, an end to fracking, a basic universal income, and an end mass incarceration.

Please let me know what you have been doing to build the Green Party.
It is Good to be Green,
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256
Membership Secretary
Green Party of Philadelphia

PS: Members of the GPOP EOW Group are called “Green Party Representatives.” According to a motion approved by the GPOP membership on September 30, 2015, the EOW Group has three tasks: “recruiting Green Party candidates who will campaign for office; organizing people to work on those campaigns; and building an infrastructure that will be able to win electoral campaigns.”

Written on November 26, 2017

Posted in Election Operationswith Comments Off

Greens want Elected School Board in Philly

Green Party of Philadelphia calls for an elected School Board to replace the School Reform Commission

http://www.gp.org/gpop_calls_for_elected_school_board

PHILADELPHIA, PA — The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) applauds the tireless work of the grassroots coalition Our City Our Schools, whose pressure led Mayor Jim Kenney to announce on November 2 that he will abolish the School Reform Commission and return Philadelphia schools to local control. The state takeover of our schools by an unaccountable body has been a failed experiment, and this victory belongs to the many community activists who made their voices heard. However, Mayor Kenney’s decision to move to a model of a Mayoral-appointed board is a missed opportunity to reorganize Philadelphia’s public school system under the democratic control of its students, parents, and teachers.

The Green Party of Philadelphia calls for the new Philadelphia School Board to be democratically elected by Philadelphia’s voters. “To prevent a takeover by corporate interests,” said Taj Magruder, a Member At-Large of the GPOP City Committee, “our school board elections must be publicly funded and must use instant run-off voting. In addition, students and teachers should have their own elected representatives on our new school board.” Chris Robinson, the GPOP Membership Secretary, said, “The public school children in Philadelphia deserve an elected school board, just like the children in all of the other school districts in Pennsylvania.” The Green Party of Philadelphia stands with the Our City Our Schools coalition, which is also calling for a “People’s School Board — a board made up of the students, parents and educators.”

The Caucus of Working Educators, a group within the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers and a member of the Our City Our Schools coalition, noted on their website in response to the Mayor’s announcement that they “did push for the conversation on [the what model should replace the SRC] to be transparent and take public input into account, calling for the creation of a citywide task force” to lead the conversation. Instead, as shown by Mayor Kenney’s statement to City Council, “it seems that a decision has already been made to commit to a particular model.”

In 2012, the Green Party of Philadelphia outlined a Proposal for Philadelphia Public Schools that included a series of reforms that need to be implemented to ensure that every child receives a public education that fosters critical and holistic thought, and provides the breadth and depth of learning necessary to become an active citizen and constructive member of society. In addition to calling for an elected School Board, those reforms include ending all attempts to privatize education, equalizing educational resources by challenging our discriminatory funding system in court, and ending the school-to-prison pipeline by removing “zero tolerance” policies, and ending high-stakes testing.

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice. For information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please call 215-843-4256 or email gpop@gpop.org. Follow us on Twitter at @GreenPartyofPHL and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreenPartyOfPhiladelphia.
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Written on November 18, 2017

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

Minutes, October Membership Meeting

Minutes, GPOP Membership Meeting
October 26, 2017 – 7 PM

Shissler Recreation Center, Fishtown

Attendence: Jarrett Anderson, Treasurer; Belinda Davis; Olivia Faison, City Committee Member at Large; Georgie Georgeson, City Committee Member at Large; Alex Gillett; Eric Hamell; Taj Magruder, City Committee Member At Large; Asanetwaa Nkrumah-Ture; Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary; Ernest Schulte; and Charles Sherrouse. Absent: Galen Tyler, Chair.

This meeting was chaired by Taj, and minutes were taken by Chris. [Draft minutes were circulated for additions and corrections on 10/30. No additions or corrections were received by 11/1. The minutes were then posted. See http://www.gpop.org/news/?p=2414.]

Jules’ Campaign
Taj urged everyone to work the polls for Jules Mermelstein for Judge. Literature is available from Jules’ website.

Call for candidates
Taj made a call for Green Party candidates for races in 2018 and 2019. See the minutes from the September GPOP Membership meeting for more on this topic.

Communications Working Group
Jarrett reported that the GPOP email list has been entered into NationBuilder (NB), and it has been used successfully three times. Georgie has developed an email template for NB.
Jarrett read the CWG Statement of Purpose and Goals, which had been requested by the September Membership Meeting.
Chris objected because it will change GPOP’s method of approving News Releases. In the past, Draft News Releases were approved by a quorum of GPOP’s elected leaders. Under the CWG plan, GPOP News Releases will be approved by three unelected volunteers from CWG.
The membership approved the CWG Statement of Purpose and Goals. (7 aye, 1 nay, and 2 abstentions)

Treasurer’s Report
Jarrett’s said GPOP spent $278 since our last meeting, which was the annual rental for NB. Monthly statements are available on GoogleDrive. GPOP now has $1,141.25. There was a brief discussion of requiring dues for Green Party membership.

Election of GPOP Recording Secretary
Chris said that there have been no nominations. Taj asked if any member present would be interested in running for this office. Since there were no candidates, this election was postponed, and NOMINATIONS FOR RECORDING SECRETARY REMAIN OPEN.

Electoral Operations Working Group (EOWG)
Chris requested and was given permission to make an EOWG report. Chris said that he has ordered 2,000 pieces of literature for distribution at 9 polling places (which include 20 divisions) by ten Green Party Representatives. This literature will be distributed to Green Party Representatives next week, along with instructions for volunteering at the polls.

There was no discussion of the following:
GPOP Issue Survey
On 4/27, the GPOP membership expressed a need for a survey of issues deemed important. The on-line survey was posted to the membership on 7/16. If you prefer a hard copy of the survey, please let us know.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary.

ANNOUNCEMENTS
November 4, Impeach Trump Rally, 2:00 pm, Thomas Paine Plaza. https://www.facebook.com/events/523147704689612
November 7, General Election, 7:00 am. Volunteer for Jules4Judge at your very own polling place. http://www.mermelstein4judge.org/volunteer
November 9, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N. http://www.winwincoffeebar.com/
November 18, GPPA Quarterly Meeting, 10:00 am, in Pittsburgh, PA. http://www.gpofpa.org/gpofpa_state_quarterly_meeting_2017_11
November 18, Living Legacy of the Soviet Union, 5:00 pm, 1801 Diamond Street, Philadelphia. https://www.facebook.com/events/528031530868303/
November 23, Happy Thanksgiving!
November 25, Thanksgiving Weekend at the Drone War Command Center, noon. http://www.brandywinepeace.com/event/take-a-break-thanksgiving-weekend-in-horsham-pa-protest-the-drone-war-command-center-at-the-air-guard-station/
November 30, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, Shissler Recreation Center. http://www.phila.gov/findrec/RecCenterDetails.aspx?ID=831
December 15 thru 17, GPUS Diversity Committee needs housing in Philadelphia for participants in an anti-oppression training class. If you have a spare bed or sofa, please contact Belinda at bedavis@history.rutgers.edu.
_____________________

Written on November 2, 2017

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off

Statement of Purpose, Communications Working Group

Communications Working Group
Statement of Purpose & Goals

[Approved by the General Membership Meeting, October 26, 2017.]

Purpose:
To professionalize, modernize and bring consistency to GPOP communications, both internally (among GPOP membership) and externally (with the public).

Goals:
1. Migrate to NationBuilder platform, which provides both a website and email component.
a. Approved at GPOP Membership Meeting on 9/28/17.
b. Next Steps:
i. Need current list of those subscribed to GPOP email lists
ii. Limit current emails from Chris’ Netzero Accounts to meeting reminders. Any other email notices to be sent to GPOP mailing lists should be approved by City Committee until new email system and procedures are established.
iii. Policies and procedures for sending emails to GPOP members will be established by the Working Group.
iv. Ensure content on gpop.org can be archived on Nationbuilder website or linked from there.

2. Authority to draft and disseminate Press Releases & Statements
a. One member of Working Group can draft a press release or statement; should be approved via email by 2 additional members of the Working Group.
b. Next Steps:
i. Need Press contact list to be shared with Communications Working Group via excel document or Google docs.

3. Social Media
a. Authority to manage Admin functions of Facebook and Twitter and establish policies and procedures for adding new Admins and posting messages/creating events.
b. Next Steps:
i. Determine who currently has Admin rights on Twitter and Facebook.
_________

Written on October 30, 2017

Posted in Communications, Newswith Comments Off

Philly Greens to Amazon: “Stay Away”

Green Party to Amazon: Stay Away from Philly

http://www.gp.org/amazon_stay_away

PHILADELPHIA, PA – On October 19, cities across the country will submit their proposals to become the home of Amazon’s new $5 billion headquarters. The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) City Committee condemns Mayor Jim Kenney’s decision to enter Philadelphia into this competition while ignoring the harsh reality of the poor and working class citizens of Philadelphia. Far from improving our city, an Amazon headquarters would only exacerbate the crises we already face.

Amazon, which made $136 billion in revenue in 2016, is demanding tax breaks from the city it selects as its new home. Philadelphia cannot afford any more corporate welfare. The city has already given Comcast a ten-year property tax abatement in addition to tens of millions of dollars for Comcast’s new Center City building. It seems Mayor Kenney, a willing participant in Amazon’s bribery, can somehow put money on the table for Amazon but can’t seem to do so for the people of Philadelphia.

Philadelphia is the poorest big city in the U.S. Over 400,000 Philadelphians live below the federal poverty line, including 37% of the city’s children. Childhood hunger has more than tripled in parts of Philadelphia since 2006. But instead of using city money to end this crippling poverty, Mayor Kenney has promised millions of dollars to a massive corporation that only pays an average of 13% in taxes. Lauren Hitt, the Mayor’s communications director, has even said the city could overhaul its tax system for Amazon, saying, “We do have business taxes, but that’s something that could be looked at in the scope of Amazon coming here.”

Amazon claims its new headquarters will create 50,000 jobs, but Amazon has long been waging war against workers. The company has vigorously and consistently fought against its employees’ attempts at unionization and treats its workers with deadly disregard. In 2011, Amazon stationed ambulances outside its Allentown warehouse, where a lack of air conditioning allowed temperatures to rise over 100 degrees and caused 15 employees to collapse. A 2015 report by the New York Times detailed Amazon’s vile corporate workplace practices, including placing a woman who had recently had a stillborn child on a “performance improvement plan.”

According to S&P, Amazon “has been a major indirect contributor to higher housing prices and rents.” In Amazon’s current home of Seattle, rents have skyrocketed by 57% since 2011 and housing prices have increased as much as 13% per year. Philadelphia is already dealing with a housing crisis, and an Amazon headquarters would put that crisis into overdrive. The median house price in Philadelphia has soared 33% in the last decade, while the city lost 20% of its low-cost rental units between 2000 and 2014. By refusing to house the homeless but promising millions to house a multi-billion-dollar corporation, Mayor Kenney reveals his morally bankrupt priorities that put profits before people.

The Green Party of Philadelphia encourages all city residents to call Mayor Kenney at 215-686-2181 on Thursday, October 19 and tell him they oppose bringing Amazon to Philadelphia.

Taj Magruder, a Member At-Large of the GPOP City Committee, said, “It’s time to put a stop to corporate welfare in Philadelphia. We refuse to sell our city to Amazon.” Chris Robinson, GPOP Membership Secretary, said, “I agree with Taj that we must ban Amazon from Philadelphia. The Green Party sees the economy as being a support for a harmonious community and a healthy environment. Contrary to the two corporate parties, the Green Party platform says that ‘the giant multinational corporation [like Amazon] is the world’s most potent force for environmental and social destruction.’ Mega-monopolies like Amazon will find no friends in a Green Philadelphia.”

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice. For information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please email gpop@gpop.org. Follow us on Twitter at @GreenPartyofPHL and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/GreenPartyOfPhiladelphia.
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Written on October 17, 2017

Posted in Local and Regional News, Press Releaseswith Comments Off

Greens to Meet, 10/26, 7:00 pm

Greens to Meet
Thursday, October 26

7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Shissler Recreation Center
1800 Blair Street
(near Girard Ave)
Fishtown, Philadelphia

This venue is wheelchair accessible.
More information from 215-843-4256 and gpop@gpop.org

Please join us to plan for the Green Party Election Day Presence at the Polls.
Let’s talk and decide what you can do!

We look forward to your participation.
This meeting is open to the public with no admission charge.
______

Written on October 12, 2017

Posted in General Meetings, Newswith Comments Off

Petition: Oppose SEPTA’s Plant in Nicetown

The Green Party has actively opposed SEPTA’s fracked-gas power plants proposed for Nicetown and other neighborhoods in Philadelphia.

Please take a look at this Energy Justice Petition. It lists seven excellent reasons why most people reject SEPTA’s proposal. If you feel that this petition speaks for you, please sign it and then forward it to your friends and neighbors.

We need your signature on the petition no later than October 19. So please sign it today.
______________

Written on October 3, 2017

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

Minutes, September Membership Meeting

Minutes, Membership Meeting
September 28, 2017 – 7 PM

Shissler Recreation Center, Fishtown

Attendence: Vivek Ananthan; Christian Banchs; Olivia Faison, City Committee Member at Large; Georgie Georgeson, City Committee Member at Large; Alex Gillett; Eric Hamell;, Richard Kanegis; Taj Magruder, City Committee Member At Large; Margie Neary; Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary; Ernest Schulte; and Charles Sherrouse. Absent: Jarrett Anderson, Treasurer; and Galen Tyler, Chair.

This meeting was chaired by Taj, and minutes were taken by Chris. [Draft minutes were circulated for additions and corrections on 9/30. Several changes were suggested by Charles. Minutes were posted to the membership on 10/3.]

Before the meeting began, Chris congratulated our national Green Party for developing active caucuses. As an example:
Chris circulated “Greens Condemn Cancellation of DACA” to GPOP members on September 9. This was written by the Green Party Latinx Caucus.
Chris also circulated “Greens Mark Peace Day, Blast Military Budget” to GPOP members on September 22. This was written by the Green Party Peace Action Caucus.
If any GPOP member would like to organize a caucus around an issue or constituency dear to their heart, please contact Chris at 215-843-4256 and chrisrecon@netzero.net.

Campaign Updates
Jules’ Campaign

Chris said that the GPOP Electoral Operations Working Group now has ten Representatives who will volunteer at the polls for Jules4Judge on November 7. All but one of these divisions have been flyered door-to-door with “Register Green, Vote Green,” and we will soon being flyering with Jules4Judge literature. For more information, please see EOWG Report #9. http://www.gpop.org/news/?p=2387
Christian moved that GPOP purchase Jules4Judge yard signs for $50.00. The motion passed by consensus.

Cheri’s Pretrial Hearing
Taj reported that there was no news because we are awaiting the judge’s decision. (Cheri wants to sue the Democratic Party for electioneering in the Special Election in PA House District 197.)

Call for candidates
Taj made a call for candidates for races in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, every PA State Representative District will be up for election. These are small districts, which do not require massive amounts of funding or volunteers. They will also be an ideal way for new candidates to 1) put together a campaign organization and 2) begin to build name recognition for later electoral campaigns.
During 2019, Philadelphia will have elections for Mayor, City Council and City Commissioner.
Chris suggested that GPOP post a News Release that asks interested people to request information about running as a Green Party candidate. The News Release will also give us a chance to publicize the key issues that will ground such a Green Party candidate.

Election of GPOP Recording Secretary
Chris said that there have been no nominations. Taj asked if any member present would be interested in running for this office. Since there were no candidates, this election was postponed, and NOMINATIONS FOR RECORDING SECRETARY REMAIN OPEN.

Move GPOP to NationBuilder.com
Taj explained that some GPOP members would like to move our website and email to NationBuilder.com (NB).
Speaking in favor: Christian, Margie, Taj and Georgie.
Speaking in opposition: Chris and Charles.
The membership voted (10 yes, 2 no) to spend $288/year to move to NB.

Creation of GPOP Communications Working Group
Taj introduced a proposal for a new working group, which will handle GPOP’s website, email communications, social media, literature and news releases.
Chris agreed with this proposal, and requested that the new working group submit a statement of its objectives for approval by the members at the October General Membership Meeting. This was acceptable to Taj.
The following members volunteered to participate in the working group: Georgie, Taj, Christian, Jarrett (in absentia), Charles, Margie and Chris.
The GPOP Comminications Working Group was created by consensus.

Status of Anti-Islamophobia Committee
This committee (consisting of 4 volunteers) was created by the GPOP membership on 4/27/’17. Charles reported that Hillary had tried to develop something, but there appears to be little interest at the present time. The committee was declared in abeyance, with Charles’ agreement.

Status of Anti-SEPTA Power Plant News Release
On 8/27, the GPOP membership authorized a News Release demonstrating our opposition to fracking and to the proposed SEPTA Power Plant in Nicetown. The lead author has now moved to Florida, and the other two authors did not respond to an email posted to them on 9/14. The membership’s authorization was declared in abeyance due to lack of progress.
Chris circulated an Energy Justice petition against the Nicetown plant to GPOP Members on September 11. Please sign this petition when you have a moment.

Treasurer’s Report
Taj read Jarrett’s Treasurer’s Report, saying GPOP has $1343.78 as of September 19.

GPOP Issue Survey
On 4/27, the GPOP membership expressed a need for a survey of issues deemed important. Taj created an on-line survey, which was posted to the membership on 7/16. If you prefer a hard copy of the survey, please let us know.

Krasner to Speak?
Richard made a motion to invite Democrat Larry Krasner to speak at the October General Membership meeting and to seek Green Party endorsement. Eric seconded the motion, which was defeated (10 in opposition, 2 in favor).

Amendment to GPOP By-Laws
Margie withdrew her request to amend the GPOP Bylaws.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary.

ANNOUNCEMENTS

October 12, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N. http://www.winwincoffeebar.com/
October 26, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, Shissler Recreation Center. http://www.phila.gov/findrec/RecCenterDetails.aspx?ID=831
October 28, Stop the Drone-Warfare Command Center, noon, Horsham Air National Guard base. http://www.brandywinepeace.com/event/ignite-peace-stop-the-drone-war-command-center-at-the-horsham-pa-air-guard-station/
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Written on October 3, 2017

Posted in Communications, General Meetingswith Comments Off

Greens Mark Peace Day, Blast Military Budget

Green Party Peace Action Committee marks Peace Day, blasts Trump’s U.N. speech and the U.S. Senate’s military budget hike

http://www.gp.org/peace_day

WASHNGTON, D.C. – The Green Party’s Peace Action Committee (GPAX) calls for the development of alternative solutions to violence on the International Day of Peace. GPAX, an official committee of the Green Party of the U.S., has chosen Sept. 21, the International Day of Peace (“Peace Day”), to announce its reorganization after a hiatus of several years.
“President Trump’s belligerent speech in front of the United Nations (U.N.) General Assembly, with his appalling assertion that the U.S. would ‘totally destroy’ North Korea, show how urgently we need a strong movement for peace. The Green Party exists to represent the movement in the political field by an alternative to the two war parties,” said Rich Whitney, GPAX co-chair and Illinois Green Party member. “Mr. Trump’s threats, which blatantly violate the U.N. Charter, are unfortunately consistent with invasions and attacks launched by the previous two administrations against Afghanistan, Iraq, and Libya, and with U.S. aid for assaults by Saudi Arabia on Yemen and by Israel on Gaza,” said Mr. Whitney.

Greens said the U.S. Senate vote on Monday for a massive increase in the military budget to $700 billion, approved with bipartisan support, and Democrats’ enthusiasm for a new Cold War with Russia are further evidence that a revived peace movement is necessary.
Peace Day was founded in 1981 through a U.N. resolution. GPAX exists to facilitate the planning and achievement of peace and justice actions of the Green Party and to support and promote the party’s anti-war candidates and agenda. “We recognize that peace is not just the absence of violence, it’s a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner and to develop alternatives to society’s current patterns of violence,” said Rita Jacobs, member of GPAX and the Green Party of Michigan.

The Green Party lists nonviolence among the Ten Key Values in its national platform. The platform calls for a number of measures to achieve peace, including the elimination of weapons of mass destruction, demilitarization in the Middle East, swift action against human rights violations, and adherence to international law and existing treaties.
“We believe that nations should prepare for peace, not violence. The achievement of peace can only be realized through practices that lead to economic justice, universal nuclear disarmament, sane defense spending, international cooperation, and human rights,” said Deanna Dee Taylor, GPAX co-chair and member of the Green Party of Utah.
GPAX furthers its mission and the Green Party platform through educational events and activities at the national and state levels.

MORE INFORMATION
Green Party of the United States, http://www.gp.org, 202-319-7191, @GreenPartyUS.
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Written on September 30, 2017

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

The Fall Campaign Has Begun

GPOP Election Operations Working (EOW) Group
Volume 2, #6
September 18, 2017

Dear Green Party Representative.

Our Fall campaign has now begun, and we are looking forward to the General Election on November 7. We have almost completed distribution of GPOP flyers in every division where we have Green Party Representatives volunteering at their own polling place. This will be a giant help in convincing voters to push the electoral button for Jules Mermelstein for Judge of Superior Court.
The rest of Report #6 will bring you up to date on what has happened since Report #5 was posted to you on July 23.

Task: Organize Campaign Workers
Jules Mermelstein joined us at the Philadelphia Labor Day Parade. He also sent volunteers to help us reach out to voters at GreenFest. At both of these events, we were able to install the GPOP banner prominently and to distribute many GPOP flyers.
We have also recruited three new Green Party Representatives (Murielle in Queen Village, Denise in Frankford and Bernadette Marie in Andora). They will each volunteer at their own polling place for Jules. This brings our total to ten Green Party Representative (including myself), who have already volunteered to work for Jules’ election.
Please contact me today (email or telephone) if you are ready to become a Green Party Representatives.

Task: Recruit Green Party Candidates
We are still searching for people to run in 2018 as Green Party candidates for PA State Representative. Your State Representative will be running for re-election next year. I hope you will consider running against them as a Green Party candidate seeking single-payer healthcare, reparations for slavery, an end to fracking, a basic universal income, and an end mass incarceration.
I have pushed this search vigorously with other movement organizations, and I hope that you have also been mentioning it to people you know.

Task: Build an Infrastructure to Win Elections
There are still openings for Green Party Representatives who are interested in two important tasks: building media relations and coordinating affiliations with progressive movements. If you are interested in learning either of these skills, please contact me.

Also, please don’t forget to contact me about becoming a Green Party Representative at your polling place on Tuesday, November 7.
It is Good to be Green,
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256
Membership Secretary
Green Party of Philadelphia

PS: Members of the GPOP EOW Group are called “Green Party Representatives.” According to a motion approved by the GPOP membership on September 30, 2015, the EOW Group has three tasks: “recruiting Green Party candidates who will campaign for office; organizing people to work on those campaigns; and building an infrastructure that will be able to win electoral campaigns.”

Written on September 30, 2017

Posted in Election Operationswith Comments Off

GREENS TO MEET, 9/28, 7:00 pm

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA
Membership Meeting

Thursday, September 28, 7:00 pm

Greens will gather to plan outreach for the
Jules Mermelstein Campaign.

Greens will also refine their strategy for
representation at the polls during the General Election.

Please join us. This meeting is open to the public.
There will be no admission charge
(a free-will offering will be accepted).

Shissler Recreation Center
1800 Blair Street
(near Girard Ave)
Fishtown, Philadelphia

This venue is wheelchair accessible.

For more information: https://twitter.com/GreenPartyofPHL, 215-843-4256 or gpop@gpop.org.
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Written on September 18, 2017

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off

Electioneering in District 197 Must Wait for Judge

Green Party, GOP must wait to find out if they can sue over special election
METRO, Friday, September 15, 2017

Attorneys for Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala and former Republican candidate Lucinda Little will need to wait to find out if a federal court will hear their case alleging electioneering in the city’s 197th district.

The parties on both sides of a potential lawsuit that claims illegal electioneering took place during a special election in Pennsylvania House District 197 will need to wait more than six weeks before they will know if the case will be heard in federal court.
During a hearing held Thursday afternoon, after hearing arguments from the many attorneys involved in the case – including those for the candidates who lost the March 21 special election, Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala and Republican candidate Lucinda Little, as well as those for the Democratic City Committee, the Board of City Commissioners, the Department of State, state Rep. Mike Turzai and Democrat Emilio Vazquez, who won the election – Judge Joel H. Slomsky requested all parties involved to submit supplemental materials after they receive a transcript of the day’s proceedings before he would rule on whether the case could be brought to trial.

Lawyers for both Honkala and Little, as well as the Republican City Committee, contend that the pair were deprived of a fair election, with several alleged examples being brought up in court, including poll workers going as far as following voters into voting booths on the day of the election in order to force voters to cast their ballot for Vazquez. “This is massive fraud on a regular basis, and we have to stop it if we can,” Sam Stretton, an attorney for Honkala, told the judge during the hearing.
For their part, attorneys for Vazquez, the Democratic City Committee, the Board of Commissioners and the Department of State and Turzai all provided arguments on having the case thrown out, with many noting that there were other ways to solve an election issue, like contesting the election results, rather than bringing it to federal court.
However, Stretton argued that they have reviewed all avenues available to them and have determined that the most appropriate action was to file a federal lawsuit hoping to void the results of the election that put Vazquez in office. They also claimed that their rights under the Federal Voting Rights Act and Philadelphia and Pennsylvania Election Codes were violated during the election. “We did not bring this lightly,” said Stretton. “This is a pattern where everything that could happen wrong, happened wrong.”
While both parties saved specifics of their cases for the full trial, Linda Kerns, an attorney for Little and the Republican City Committee, said that, if the case were brought to trial, they could prove that poll workers gave write-in voters stamps that forced them to vote for Vazquez and had images that could prove at least four people – “eight legs,” as she told the judge – could be seen in one voting booth in the district, which she said indicated that poll workers followed voters into polls in order to manipulate their votes.
At the end of the hearing, Slomsky said that he looked forward to reading through forthcoming supplemental materials and would let all parties involved know if the case could be brought to trial after he had done so. Slomsky’s decision isn’t expected to be heard for at least six weeks, as obtaining a transcrtipt of Thursday’s hearing is expected to take 30 days, and the attornies have an additional two weeks to submit additional materials.
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Written on September 18, 2017

Posted in 2017 Philadelphia Municipal Electionswith Comments Off

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