Philly Green Party

Greens to Meet, 7/29, 7:00 pm

GPOP General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, July 29, 7:00 pm

TURN IN YOUR NOMINATION PAPERS

Kristin Combs for City Council Member At Large,
www.combs4citycouncil.com, and

Glenn Davis for City Commissioner,

https://m.facebook.com/GlennDavisforCityCommissionerPhiladelphiaPa.2015

Please join us. A free notary will be present.

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

Cavanaugh’s Restaurant
(Basement meeting room)
119 South 39th Street
(at Sansom Street)
University City, Philadelphia

For more information:
215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.
_________________

Written on July 15, 2015

Posted in General Meetings, Newswith Comments Off

Minutes, GPOP General Membership Meeting, June 24, 2015

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA (GPOP), General Membership Meeting,
Minutes from Wednesday, June 24, 2015
Liberty Choice Market, Front & Norris Streets, Kensington, Philadelphia

Attendance: Alex Gillett, Glenn Davis, Hillary Kane, Kristin Combs, Sergio Fogel, Charles Sherrouse and Eric Hamell.
Minutes were taken by Hillary in the absence of an elected Recording Secretary. Chris circulated a draft copy to those present and received additions and corrections from Hillary, Kristin and Eric. The final copy was posted to www.gpop.org on July 15.

1) Announcements
June 25-28, U.S. Social Forum. Be seen being Green. We will have about 10 people attending as part of the GPOP contingent. Attend workshops and make comments/ask questions, make it a point to publicize the Green Party.
June 27, Anti-Drone protest in Horsham
Alex raised concerns about the anti-drone demonstrations (at Horsham) because they appear to be directed to the “proletariat,” the actual workers and staffers of the facility who would need to make great personal risks to challenge the program, rather than the government & leadership that put the policies in place.
June 27, Jill Stein at Green Night Out
July 8, GPOP City Committee at Cavanaugh’s (to be confirmed)
July 29, GPOP General Membership meeting with notary at Cavanaugh’s
August 12, GPOP City Committee (location TBA)

2) Introductions
See attendance list above

3) Campaign reports
Kristin has 500 signatures in hand. Reports from others, like the Socialist Alternative, have reported many more. There is also an independent running a strong campaign: Andrew Stober http://articles.philly.com/2015-06-07/news/63120358_1_philadelphia-city-council-at-large-incumbents. Kristin has a piece of literature that is not being received well so she’s redoing it. She is working closely with Socialist Alternative, http://phillysocialistalt.com/, being more explicitly anti-corporate in her literature. Many of us noted that we were not receiving email from Kristin’s campaign, and she is going to see why we’re not on her list.

Glenn also has about 500. Some people mobilizing for Glenn because they want to see one of the incumbents out (Anthony Clark). Glenn also noted that there might be a Special Election for State Representative in District 190, if Vanessa Lowry Brown gets kicked out for campaign finance improprieties. Glenn looked it up, and he apparently can run for both offices simultaneously.

Hillary emphasized the need to have more organized and coordinated petitioning over the weekend.

Discussion of the plan for turning in the signatures. Note about the court ruling that says we don’t have to notarize each signature page. Kristin explained, “The discussion we had was that we would proceed with still notarizing the pages.”

Discussion of who will be on hand on which day to turn in signatures. General consensus is Kristin, Glenn, and Alex in the morning of Monday, August 3. Others will meet over the weekend to review all the pages and batch them.
Alex suggested that we file a Writ of Mandamus to require the other parties to obey the law and cite Bonusgate. He also suggested that we should have someone in a Green Party t-shirt hang out in the office all day to see who comes in and asks for copies of our stuff.

4) Report from GPOP Treasurer
GPOP has $817 in treasury but about $150 is for pre-sales of Saturday’s Green Night Out.
Discussion of GPUS brochure. Hillary got estimates from Paper Crane. Kristin and Alex both had contacts with other union printers that were cheaper. Hillary will get new quotes.

5) Special Elections
Charles noted there were three special elections going on, and the Election Day will be August 11. Those voters are clearly very interested in politics, and we should plan to flyer them to publicize our candidates. It’s also a good way to warm up your machine in preparation for Election Day, November 4.

6) Discussion of Email lists
Alex noted that we don’t have an internal, members-only email list for planning activities (beyond the City Committee list). Hillary suggested that we can probably do this through NationBuilder. Alex asked for a presentation on NationBuilder (capabilities, costs) for the next meeting.
___________________________

Written on July 15, 2015

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off

GPOP General Membership Meeting, 5/27/2015

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA, Minutes from Wednesday, May 27, 2015
Dream House Asian Bistro, 6127 Ridge Avenue (at Green Lane), Roxborough, Philadelphia

Attendance: Alex Gillett, Bernadette Cronin-Geller, Glenn Davis, Julian Robinson, Beverly Rolfsmeyer, Hillary Kane, Chris Robinson, Ernest Schulte, Lawrence Geller, John Winfelter, and Eric Hamell
Minutes were taken by Hillary in the absence of an elected Recording Secretary.

1) Announcements
May 30, GPPA State Meeting in Swarthmore, 11 AM-3 PM
May 30, Horsham Demonstration against Drone Command Center
June 10, City Committee meeting/Phone Banking, 7 PM at Liberty Choice
June 24, GPOP meeting, location TBA [THIS DATE WAS CHANGED, SEE #8 BELOW]
June 25-28, US Social Forum
Hillary selling tickets to USSF through GPOP at only $20. Buy tickets through Hillary, not the USSF Philly site. Proposing two workshops: one on ballot access (with Jay Sweeney, Carl Romanelli, and possibly Alex Gillett and Paul Rossi), and another on May Day as a National Holiday (Vivek Ananthan).

May 26, Bernadette, Lawrence and Eric protested at the federal building yesterday against drone strikes. Philadelphia-Area Anti-Drone Network.
Alex raised concerns about the anti-drone demonstrations (at Horsham) because they appear to be directed to the “proletariat,” the actual workers and staffers of the facility who would need to make great personal risks to challenge the program, rather than the government & leadership that put the policies in place.

2) Introductions
See attendance list above

3) Discussion of Primary Election Results
Alex noted that the turnout was low – only 30%. This is a big opening for us — voter dissatisfaction is high.
Chris felt that this was because no one is talking about their issues. If Greens were running, we would presumably be talking about the issues people care about.
Lawrence mentioned that we need to work to mobilize the 1900 or so registered Greens that have already indicated some support for us. We need to ask those 1900 registrants to take 50 brochures a piece and hand them out in their own neighborhood.
Eric is supposed to be putting a list together of registered Greens with phone numbers. We can’t afford to do a snail mailing. This was decided on at the last City Committee meeting. The goal is to do some phone banking on June 10th in lieu of the City Committee meeting.
Hillary mentioned the new GPUS brochure that has a space for a local chapter’s information. It also happens to have Hillary on it! Can we raise $ to get some of these new brochures produced?
Next week, Chris will get the list of Greens who voted in the Primary.
Hillary will also update the Philly Election Results spreadsheet which tracks votes for Green candidates for the entire city by division.
Glenn wants us to focus more on younger voters “millennials.” Focus on #BlackLivesMatter as a local movement. We need more Greens to come out to participate.
Alex thinks we need to simply go to our own neighbors and talk with them about joining the Green Party, how to register, etc. He wants to focus on voter registration.
Beverly, picking up on the movement thread, asked how we could be more involved and more visible at events and demonstrations.
Hillary noted that one additional thing we need to do is use social media. She has been tweeting when she can from the GPPA account — such as at one of the #BlackLivesMatters events and when she and Chris gathered signatures at Mt. Airy Day.

4) Discussion of new Press Release
Chris proposed a press release if no one got a majority, but Kenney did. So this idea is no longer useful. Alternative plan is to issue a release that makes a set of recommendations for the next mayor and try to get the two major party candidates to agree to those points or at least to debate them. The meeting accepted this plan, and Chris will ask everyone for their ideas.
Alex wants us to be more political. We have been too passive. A candidate for mayor (Anthony Hardy Williams) paid a $30,000 fine to the Board of Ethics for campaign finance violations. Another candidate paid $6-8,000. Alex’s PAC has gone to Harrisburg and looked at the signatures of incumbent candidates and at least 10% are bad. Until we threaten the incumbents with defeat from signature challenges, our proposed legislation to change the ballot access rules will not have a chance. Alex thinks we could bring this to the media — not do an actual challenge ourselves.
Discussion about getting out of our individual bubbles — some want to do anti-drone protests, some want to work on ballot access challenges, some want to do door-to-door outreach — but no one activity is unifying the party and people are often not interested in working on what they perceive to be “other people’s” stuff.
Lawrence: We have a malaise in GPOP right now — we need to make a plan, stick to it, and push ourselves to hold ourselves accountable to the decisions we made at previous meetings. We need to roll up our sleeves and do work.

5) Latest news from Kristin’s campaign
Kristin not present but her campaign seems to be ramping up post-primary. She reached out to Hillary to join her campaign committee. She seems to be doing stuff. Chris will email her to send a report to GPOP News. Alex said her campaign was a bit in limbo until the primary. Helen Gym’s victory has prompted Kristin to re-focus her campaign and message.
John mentioned the real estate tax for businesses and large corporations (Comcast, Stadium, Universities). Tons of money for the stadiums only goes to a small section of South Philly.
Bernadette suggested charter school oversight as an issue for Kristin.

6) Latest news from Glenn’s campaign
Glenn said his campaign is going well. He’s running a “grass roots” campaign and focusing more on getting people involved rather than raising money. He has some support from Stephanie Singer’s office since she was kicked off the ballot. Goal is to beat the Republican who, in 2011, won with only 15% of the vote. Glenn believes that he will be challenged by the Republicans since we’re a bigger threat to them in this election. We need to each talk to all of our Democratic friends and explain that they can and should split their vote and this will actually help knock off the Republican, not “spoil” a Democrat.
Raising money by door knocking. Doing it while petitioning.
Next campaign meeting Sunday, May 31st at Hillary’s house at 2:30 PM. 5031 Catharine Street.

7) Report from GPOP Treasurer
Hillary passed out the analysis of income and expenditures. Our income is roughly evenly split between one-time donors, monthly sustainers, and “pass the hat.” Hillary noted that the monthly sustainer program brings in ~$80 a month and comes from only 5 people. We could easily increase our income substantially by recruiting more sustainers.
Green Night Out has been revived at the Sang Kee Peking Duck House, www.sangkeechinatown.com, 238 North Ninth Street, Chinatown, on Saturday, June 27th.

8) Next GPOP General Membership Meeting
GPOP usually holds its General Membership Meeting on the fourth Wednesday of each month (with the exception of August and December). Unfortunately, the fourth Wednesday of July will conflict with travel plans for members who will attend the National Convention of the Green Party of the U.S. in Saint Louis, MO, http://www.gp.org/current-news/1367-the-green-party-will-hold-its-2015-annual-national-meeting-in-st-louis-missouri-july-23-26. Therefore, the membership agreed to hold its next General Membership meeting on Wednesday, July 29. Please bring your nomination petitions to this meeting. Mady Cantor will notarize them for free.
__________________________________

Written on July 3, 2015

Posted in General Meetings, Meetingswith Comments Off

Greens to Meet in Kensington, 6/24, 7:00 pm

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPH

General Membership Meeting
Wednesday, June 24, 7:00 pm

Greens will gather to hear news of:
Kristin Combs Campaign for City Council Member At Large,
www.combs4citycouncil.com,

and

Glenn Davis Campaign for City Commissioner,

https://m.facebook.com/GlennDavisforCityCommissionerPhiladelphiaPa.2015.

Please turn in your notarized nomination papers at this meeting.

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

Liberty Choice Market (second floor)
1947 North Front Street (at Norris)
Kensington, Philadelphia

For more information:
215-243-7103 or gpop@gpop.org.
_________________

Written on June 21, 2015

Posted in General Meetings, Newswith Comments Off

Green Party Ideas for the Next Mayor of Philadelphia

“The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) recognizes that less than thirty percent of the members of the Democratic and Republican Parties voted in the recent Primary Election and have now chosen two candidates for mayor,” said GPOP Chair Glenn Davis following the Green’s membership meeting on May 27 at Dream House Asian Bistro in Roxborough. “Those two candidates will now be observed and questioned by the great majority of voters, who did not participate in the primary election,” continued Davis. “The Green Party has many good ideas, which should be considered by the next mayor. Therefore, our membership has voted to offer some Green Party policies for consideration by the two candidates Melissa Murray Bailey and James Francis Kenney. We hope that Philadelphia’s voters will evaluate the responses of Bailey and Kenney before deciding between them.”

More →

Written on June 11, 2015

Posted in Local and Regional News, News, Press Releaseswith Comments Off

Green Night Out with Jill Stein June 27th

Green Night Out will return with Jill Stein, President of the Green Shadow Cabinet, at 6:00 pm (NEW TIME) on Saturday, June 27, at San Kee Peking Duck House, 238 North 9th Street, Chinatown, Philadelphia. Jill Stein will lead a discussion on ”Climate Justice and Energy Democracy.” Reservations for Green Night Out are $25.00, and can be bought via Paypal below or by bringing a check or cash to the event itself.  If paying at the door, please RSVP to Hillary Kane at hillary.aisenstein@gmail.com.


Written on May 31, 2015

Posted in Active GPOP Items, Green Night Outwith Comments Off

GPOP at US Social Forum

The U.S. Social Forum will be in Philadelphia, June 25-28. General information is here. The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) has registered as an organization, and we can send 10 people at a highly discounted rate ($20.00) rather than the individual ticket price ($100.00) on their website. Please register through GPOP by contacting Hillary Kane, hillary.aisenstein@gmail.com, and sending $20 to GPOP for your ticket or by purchasing one through Paypal here:

At the U.S. Social Forum, GPOP has organized two workshops/panels:
- Ballot Access with Carl Romanelli, Jay Sweeney, Alex Gillett and hopefully Paul Rossi, and
- May Day as a National Holiday with Vivek Ananthan.

Written on May 31, 2015

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

GPOP Quarterly Report to GPPA, May 16, 2015

The Green Party of Philadelphia has been very active since the last Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) Delegate Meeting on March 21, 2015, in State College, PA. We have focused our efforts on outreach to Philadelphia’s voters and on collecting nomination signatures for our two local candidates.
From March 21 through March 25, GPOP members participated in the Voters March across Philadelphia to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of the Voters March in Selma, AL. This event was organized by Green Party candidate Glenn Davis and endorsed by GPOP.

On March 25, 13 people attended the GPOP General Membership Meeting. They elected delegates to GPPA for one-year terms. Those delegates will be Kristin Combs, Alex Gillett, Eric Hamell, Hillary Kane, Chris Robinson and Galen Tyler. Richard Kane was elected to be an alternate delegate. Chris Robinson reported the results of this election to the GPPA Chair. Minutes of this meeting can be found here, http://www.gpop.org/news/?cat=17.

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Written on May 16, 2015

Posted in Active GPOP Items, Local and Regional Newswith Comments Off

Greens to Meet in Roxborough

Wednesday, May 27
7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

Dream House Asian Bistro
6127 Ridge Avenue (north of Green Lane)
Roxborough, Philadelphia
(Easily accessible via SEPTA 9 or 27 Bus)

More information from 215-243-7103 and gpop@gpop.org

Please join us to discuss the outcome
of the 2014 Primary Election and what it means for
our two Green Party candidates,

Kristin Combs for City Council,
http://www.combs4citycouncil.com/volunteer,  and

Glenn Davis for City Commissioner,
https://m.facebook.com/GlennDavisforCityCommissionerPhiladelphiaPa.2015.

Are there specific issues that have been ignored by the
two corporate parties?
Let’s talk and decide what to do!

We look forward to your participation.
This meeting is open to the public with no admission charge.
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Written on May 14, 2015

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off

Green Party says, “Fund schools without property tax increase”

http://www.gp.org/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/799

The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) objects to Mayor Michael Nutter’s budget for Fiscal 2016 because it heaps the cost of school services upon poor and working people. Meeting on April 22 at Cavanaugh’s Restaurant in University City, Green Party members rejected Nutter’s proposed tax increases and urged Philadelphia’s City Council to tax the wealthy to pay for the public education of future citizens.

In his budget address on March 5, Nutter requested that City Council provide $103 million more for public education. Green Party members agree with this request. Chris Robinson, a member of the GPOP City Committee from Germantown (Ward 59), said, “For too long, our city and state leaders have starved public education. Mayor Nutter should have made this request six years ago. The Green Party has highlighted this problem for many years, and we will continue to argue for a larger investment in public education.”

While visiting Kensington Health Sciences Academy on April 9, Nutter added some additional criteria for funding an increase in public school investment. He said, “Let’s cut the phoniness. Let’s be serious about educating kids.” The press reported that Nutter then asked for “concrete, achievable, and annually-recurring plans” to come up with the cash.

Nutter would like to pay for this investment with another increase in property tax, which is not supported by the Green Party. The Green Party City Committee decided in 2012 that the best way to pay for quality public education was to get the money from giant businesses and mega nonprofits.

The Green Party has long opposed the take-backs forced on school employees by a School Reform Commission appointed by failed-Governor Tom Corbett. The Green Party has also opposed tax increases on poor and working people, like the cigarette tax passed by City Council in 2014.

Since 2012, the Green Party has urged City Council and the Mayor to fund an increased investment in public education using methods which are concrete, achievable and annually recurring. Any of the following three methods, which will tax the wealthy, will meet the criteria of both Mayor Nutter and Green Party members:

CUT THE FREE PASS. City Council should reduce the current 10-year property-tax free pass to just five years. The current free pass benefits the new, the few, and the well-to-do, while making long-time residents and businesses pay more.

GOOD NEIGHBOR PAYMENTS. Right now, the mega nonprofits (think, Hahnemann University Hospital, the University of Pennsylvania, and others) pay no taxes on their profitable property. Since these nonprofits use city services (think, police and fire), Mayor Nutter now has a duty to issue an executive order on such payments, which was requested of him by Council on March 26.

USE AND OCCUPANCY (U&O) REFORM. Philadelphia’s 2013 AVI reform of real estate taxes shifted $200 million dollars away from businesses and onto homeowners. Instead of another property tax increase like the one requested by Nutter, City Council should raise the U&O tax rate on big businesses to restore fairness to the property-tax code. This change should exempt small businesses.

These three funding methods would allow poor and working citizens to see a better education for their children, while having that investment paid for by giant businesses and mega nonprofits that require a better-educated supply of labor and customers.

Hillary Kane, treasurer of GPOP from Cedar Park (Ward 46), said, “Education of all children should be one of our main responsibilities.” Kane, who is also a delegate to the Green Party National Committee, points to the Green Party Platform, which says, “We must stop disinvestment in education and instead put it at the top of our social and economic agenda. Effective schools have sufficient resources. Too many of our teachers are overworked, underpaid, and starved of key materials.”

The Green Party has also published a proposal for Philadelphia’s public schools, which describes the structural changes needed to improve public education. This document can be found by visiting http://www.gpop.org/news/wp-content/uploads/2012/06/2012GPOPNewsletterSchools.pdf.

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of social justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, and ecological wisdom. For more information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please telephone 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.
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Written on April 25, 2015

Posted in Education, Local and Regional News, News, Press Releaseswith Comments Off

Minutes, GPOP General Membership Meeting, March 25, 2015

Wednesday, March 25, held at Liberty Choice Market in Kensington, Philadelphia.

Meeting called to order at 7:15 pm by facilitator Julian Robinson.
City Committee Members present: Glenn Davis, Eric Hamell, Chris Robinson, Julian Robinson and Galen Tyler.
City Committee Members absent: Hillary Kane (excused).
Others present: Zoe Buckwalter, Kristin Combs, Chuck Cannon, Alex Gillett, Richard Kane, David Lamando, Andrew Mattei, and Ernest Schulte.
Chris offered to take minutes in the absence of a GPOP Recording Secretary. Chris sent Draft Minutes to those present on March 30 and received one correction from Kristin Combs. The final minutes were posted on April 2, 2015.

During April, Hillary Kane has volunteered to take minutes.

Coming events
March 28, Rally Against the Drone War Command Center in Horsham,
April 4, MLK Dare March,
April 8, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, Cavanaugh’s Restaurant,
April 19, GPOP Finance Committee Meeting, 3:00 pm, at Hillary Kane’s house,
April 22, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, at Northern Liberties Neighbor Association,
June 25 – 28, U.S. Social Forum.

Introduction of those Present
Amendments to Proposed Agenda

Report from GPOP Chair Glenn Davis
Glenn spent the last five days leading the Voters March across Philadelphia. 28 people participated in the March. There was coverage in the Westside Weekly Newspaper, www.westsidepa.com.
Galen thought this march was valuable in contacting neighbors and valuable for the students who participated.

Report on GPPA Delegates Meeting on 3/21
Chris gave an overview of the meeting. A new GPPA Steering Committee was elected by the delegates. Two GPOP members will hold office during 2015. Hillary was re-elected as GPPA Secretary, and Vivek Ananthan was elected GPPA Member at Large. The GPPA Delegates voted to donate $100.00 to each of GPOP’s candidates for election in 2015 (see below).

Election of GPPA Delegates from GPOP
GPOP members elected the following people to be their delegates to GPPA: Kristin Combs, Alex Gillett, Eric Hamell, Hillary Kane, Chris Robinson and Galen Tyler. Richard Kane was elected to be an alternate delegate.

Report on Combs for City Council Member at Large Campaign
Kristin has nomination petitions ready, and her campaign is circulating them. She is still refraining from a media blast, but she is responding to individual media requests.

Report on Davis for City Commissioner Campaign
Democratic candidate for City Commissioner Dennis Less has been thrown off the ballot, and Stephanie Singer’s nomination petitions are under attack. These two candidates had been endorsed by Neighborhood Networks, leaving an opening for liberal Democrats to endorse Glenn Davis.
Alex withdrew his criticism of Glenn’s 2014 campaign for PA State Representative, which he had expressed at the February GPOP General Membership Meeting.

Report by Membership Secretary Eric Hamell
Eric plans to increase GPOP publicity on social media using ideas from “Change of Heart,” a book that explains the value of social media tactics. Eric says that this will be a low-cost way to increase GPOP’s visibility.

GPOP Registration with U.S. Social Forum
Hillary had proposed that GPOP register with the U.S. Social Forum (cost $200). Questions were raised about Hillary’s plan to raise that money. GPOP members agreed to spend $200 for GPOP to register with U.S. Social Forum and asked the GPOP City Committee to devise a plan to raise that amount at the City Committee meeting on April 8.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:00 pm.
______________________________

Written on April 2, 2015

Posted in General Meetings, Newswith Comments Off

GREEN PARTY OF PHILADELPHIA
www.gpop.org

Membership Meeting

Wednesday, March 25, 7:00 pm

Greens will gather to hear news of:

Kristin Combs Campaign for City Council Member At Large,
www.combs4citycouncil.com,  and

Glenn Davis Campaign for City Commissioner,
https://m.facebook.com/GlennDavisforCityCommissionerPhiladelphiaPa.2015.

Election of delegates to
Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA).

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


Liberty Choice Market
(second floor)
1947 North Front Street
(at Norris)
Kensington, Philadelphia


For more information:
215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.
_________________

Written on March 15, 2015

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

Green Party VP candidate Honkala challenges standardized testing of students

Green Party Watch, Tuesday, March 10, 2015

2012 Green VP candidate Cheri Honkala challenges standardized testing in Philadelphia schools

http://www.greenpartywatch.org/2015/03/10/2012-green-vp-candidate-cheri-honkala-challenges -standardized-testing-in-philadelphia-schools/

In Philadelphia, PA, the Green Party’s 2012 Vice Presidential candidate is taking a leading role in public school parents’ challenges to high stakes standardized testing. Cheri Honkala, the parent of a child in the Philadelphia public school system, is also the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

In October, Honkala sent and published a letter to the principal of her son’s school requesting that he receive permission to opt-out of a number of state-mandated standardized tests. She wrote that “standardized testing is against our religious and philosophical beliefs.” Opting out of the tests would “allow [her son] to pursue other educational activities such as independent reading, book reports, research projects, volunteering in the library, etc.” Several weeks later, Honkala and her organization followed up by participating in a forum on standardized testing at Philadelphia City Hall.

Recently, organizing and publicity surrounding high stakes testing in Philadelphia has started garnering more attention. Last week, Honkala participated in a public forum on opting out of the tests. The “Test-In” was put together by a coalition of organizations in Philadelphia, including the Caucus of Working Educators, Alliance for Philadelphia Public Schools, Teacher Action Group, Philadelphia Student Union, Parents United for Public Education, & Action United. The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign is also part of the coalition.

The Examiner gave some context to the meeting:
“The Opt-Out movement is growing in Philadelphia. After parents and teachers took a stand against standardized testing at Feltonville School of Arts and Sciences, there has been an informational informal meeting about how parents can opt out hosted at the district-wide Home and School Association and several articles written about the movement itself. Superintendent Hite just recently gave a statement that the School District of Philadelphia will make sure that parents receive information about their opt out options. The national outcry against testing and the inherent flaws are not limited to Philadelphia or the surrounding suburbs, but are evident in New York City and Chicago too. The fear and intimidation surrounding testing can render parents, teachers, and administrators silent and powerless, but now there is another opportunity to be informed of the opt out process that is available in Pennsylvania.”

Meanwhile, in a story that Honkala linked on her Facebook profile, the Washington Post is reporting that in nearby New York state, 60,000 students opted out of similar testing in 2014. For Honkala and PPEHRC, this is one more in a line of fights surrounding public education in Philadelphia. Last year, Honkala was arrested in an act of civil disobedience defending her son’s elementary school from being one of dozens closed by the school district.

More recently, the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) has nominated Kristin Combs for City Council. Combs is competing against Republicans for one of two seats that must go to a minority party. She is a public school teacher and advocate against the ongoing cuts to Philadelphia public schools. Her education platform, which is central to her campaign, states that “every school aged child deserves access to a meaningful public education, and Philadelphia’s current climate does not allow for this.” Stay tuned for more on Combs’s campaign.

______________________

Written on March 10, 2015

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

GPOP Elects New Leadership

http://www.gp.org/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/783

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Philly-Green-Party-Elects-by-Chris-Robinson-Elections_Elections_Elections-And-Campaigns_Elections_Campaigns-150306-567.html

On the evening of February 25, the members of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) met at the Philadelphia Ethical Society on Rittenhouse Square to elect a new City Committee for 2015.

Glenn Davis of Haddington (Ward 4), the incumbent Chair of GPOP, was re-elected to that office. Two other incumbent officers were also re-elected: Hillary Kane of Cedar Park (Ward 46) as Treasurer; and Eric Hamell of Germantown (Ward 59) as Membership Secretary. The three City Committee Members at Large will be Chris Robinson from Germantown (Ward 59); Julian Robinson from Cedar Park (Ward 46); and Galen Tyler from Holmesburg (Ward 64). Chris Robinson and Galen Tyler were incumbents re-elected to the same office.

Green Chair Glenn Davis, explained, “I would like to see the GPOP City Committee continue as a team effort to build our party’s membership. I also plan to bring new people into our active organization by mentoring new leadership. As our party grows, we will begin to appoint our own ward leaders and committee people.”

Eric Hamell offered these thoughts on his re-election, “As GPOP Membership Secretary I intend to explore new and creative, evidence-based ways of involving current members and attracting new ones, drawing on the best evidence from the study of social influence and social networking.”

“The Green Party turned an important corner last year,” reasoned Chris Robinson. “We were back on the ballot with a candidate for PA State Representative, and this year we are looking forward to having two excellent candidates on the ballot for local office: Kristin Combs for City Council Member at Large, www.combs4citycouncil.com, and Glenn Davis for City Commissioner,
https://m.facebook.com/GlennDavisforCityCommissionerPhiladelphiaPa.2015. Last year Green Party registration was up six percent, and we plan to do much better in 2015.”

Julian Robinson tendered these plans, “In the up-coming year, I would like the Green Party to be together in one accord to help strengthen this party. I will work with our team to help embellish our party and help it grow under the mentorship of Glenn Davis.”

The Green Party is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of nonviolence, grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom and social justice. For more information about the Green Party of Philadelphia, please telephone 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org.

Written on March 7, 2015

Posted in Newswith Comments Off

Green Party Goals for PA Electoral Reform

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Green-Party-Goals-for-PA-E-by-Chris-Robinson-Electoral-Politics_Fair_Greater-Philadelphia_Green-150103-349.html

http://www.gp.org/newsroom/press-releases/details/4/761

http://germantownnewspapers.com/Welcome_to_Germantown_Newspapers_files/TIV.010815.pdf

On Friday, January 2, the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) requested the assistance of governor-elect Tom Wolf in reforming the Pennsylvania election process. Leaders of the Green Party pointed out six reforms that would make elections more just and that would increase the participation of eligible voters. These reforms are already common practice in other states and cities.

Green Party Goals for PA Electoral Reform
Approved, January 2, 2015

The members of the City Committee of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) hold that fair elections, involving the maximum number of citizens, are the cornerstone of a representative democracy.

The members of the GPOP City Committee therefore request that Governor-elect Tom Wolf approve the following electoral reforms. Most of these reforms have already been enacted in cities and states around the nation. Some of these reforms will require legislation, and some will require the cooperation of the appointed Pennsylvania Secretary of State or the elected County Commissions of Pennsylvania’s 67 Counties.

Open the elections to minor parties
Pennsylvania should change the nomination process to allow the candidates of minor political parties (sometimes called “third parties”) to participate. A political party should be recognized by the Secretary of State once it has at least 0.05 percent of the total number of voters registered in their party. This process is used in other States, such as Delaware. Following this model, candidates from minor parties, like the two established parties, would have no signature requirement to have their names placed on the November ballot. Currently, the Voters Choice Act (SB 195) would make this reform happen. (That legislation was previously known as SB 21.)

End corruption in regulation of elections.
The PA Secretary of State and the elected County Commissioners should clean up the electoral process. Pennsylvania’s elections should be run by non-partisan committees: no favorites, no endorsements, no ward leaders. The non-partisan committees that manage our elections must be free from political influence, and committee members should not be involved in the management of political parties.

Paper record of votes at every polling place
The Democratic primary in Philadelphia’s Second City Council District was won in 2011 by less than 50 votes. The losers could not demand a re-count because our voting machines do not have a paper record of the vote. THIS IS WRONG. We need voting machines with a verified paper record at each polling place.

Decent pay for polling place officials
Polling place officials (judge of election, majority inspector and minority inspector) are paid less than minimum wage. THIS IS WRONG. These are the people who insure the integrity of the electoral system and guarantee our right to a fair and honest election. Make sure they receive a decent, respectable wage.

Registration and education of new voters
Since the Pennsylvania Secretary of State is responsible for the registration of voters, that office should have a department with funding to actively register and educate new voters. This department should focus on the registration of returning veterans, high school seniors, college freshmen and formerly-incarcerated people.

Instant runoff voting to achieve majority rule
In many of Pennsylvania’s primary and general elections, candidates for state and county office win with less than fifty percent of the vote. For example, in the Democratic primary for Philadelphia’s 8th City Council District, the winning candidate in 2011 received only 39% of the vote. The Philadelphia City Commission declared “the winner” to be a person who 61% of the voters had voted against. THIS IS WRONG. We need instant runoff voting (IRV) to determine which candidate has the support of a majority of the voters. IRV is widely used by nations and political parties around the world. Within the U.S., IRV is used in local elections in California, Maine, Minnesota and Massachusetts and in leadership elections within the Green Party.
Sincerely,
Kristin Combs, Recording Secretary
Hillary Kane, Treasurer
Eric Hamell, Membership Secretary
Bernadette Cronin-Geller, At Large
Chris Robinson, At Large
for the City Committee
Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP)
215-243-7103
gpop@gpop.org
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Written on January 4, 2015

Posted in City Committee Meetings, Local and Regional News, Newswith Comments Off

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