Philly Green Party

Archive for December, 2015

COP21 has failed to take the action necessary12.14.15

Jill Stein: “COP21 has failed to take the action necessary

In a Saturday [12/12/’15] email message, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein wrote that as the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris “progressed and its final outcome took shape, it became clear that COP21 has failed to take the action necessary to prevent global climate catastrophe.”

Stein continued, “The voluntary, unenforceable pledges being produced by COP21 are entirely insufficient to prevent climate crisis. Scientific analysis shows that these pledges will lead us to 3 degrees centigrade global temperature rise — and that will be catastrophic. … Despite the seriousness of the threat, some of the major polluters remain committed to protecting the fossil fuel industry rather than taking serious action. I include in that group the United States, where President Obama’s promotion of the hydrofracking industry is leading to a spreading cancer of polluted groundwater and fracked gas pipelines.”

Stein said the U.S. “and other industrial nations are failing to adequately fund transition and adaptation efforts in developing countries. It is the US and major industrialized countries that are primarily responsible for climate change. We have both a moral and legal responsibility to compensate other countries for the damages we have inflicted, and to enable them to find sustainable paths to development that will raise their standards of living.”

Posted in 2016 National & PA State Elections, Newswith Comments Off on COP21 has failed to take the action necessary

Please Save These Two Dates12.14.15


January 27, 2016
GPOP Nomination Meeting
7:00 pm
Calvary Community Center
801 S. 48th Street Philadelphia, PA 19143

February 24, 2016
GPOP Election Meeting
7:00m pm
Ethical Humanist Society,
1906 South Rittenhouse Square,

We look forward to your participation.
These meetings are open to the public with no admission charge.

For more information, please contact
215-243-7103 and

grassroots democracy – social justice – nonviolence – ecological wisdom

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off on Please Save These Two Dates

Green Party Post-Election Progress12.14.15

GPOP EOW Group Report #4
December 14, 2015

Hello, GPOP EOW Group Member.

The 2015 election is over, and we had some successes and some challenges. Fortunately, our candidate, Kristin Combs, gained the most votes of any Green Party candidate in Philadelphia since our Party was formed at the turn of the century. Unfortunately, some Green Party activists did not participate in Kristin’s exciting campaign. This gives us quite a bit of work to do now that the election is behind us.
We have all had time to reflect upon the election, and it is now time for us to resume our work to build the Green Party. I hope that each of us will choose some activity from the following list of tasks.

Task: Recruiting Green Party Candidates
Yes, we have already approached five movement organizations about running a candidate on the Green Party ballot for PA State Representative in 2016, and we have not yet heard from any interested parties. This is not surprising because we are asking organizations to do something out of the ordinary. Many groups are stuck in a rut. Maybe you are a member of such an organization.
We are looking for neighborhood or activist organizations which would like to publicize their cause by using the Green Party ballot line for one of their members to run for office. The candidate should be accepting of Green Party values, but that would allow us to work with democracy, peace, feminist, labor union, anti-mass-incarceration, pro-living-minimum-wage and anti-discrimination activists.
Do you know of some organizations to contact about this proposal?

Task: Organizing Campaign Workers
On November 4, I polled the members of GPOP News and GPOP Chat to find their thoughts about Kristin’s campaign. You have already read the results of that poll, which was posted to you on November 16 as “EOW Group Report #3.”
I followed that by preparing “Volunteers Necessary for Electoral Success,” which was posted on December 4. I hope that you took the time to read this piece, because it explains the importance of the work we are doing right now. As you know from the personal email to you, Kristin Combs won the election at your polling place (and at the other polling places with volunteers from the EOW Group).
Please make use of this when you contact friends and neighbors about volunteering for Green Party candidates in 2016.

Task: Building an Infrastructure to Win Elections
Our forces are still inadequate to the task at hand, but that is understandable considering that the EOW Group is only three months old. We have a long-term project ahead of us to change society through electoral means.
Basically, we need people to work with us on future campaigns by Green Party candidates. At the most rudimentary level, this means working the polls each election day, as you have already done this year. Later this month, I will be contacting the people who volunteered for Kristin Combs who are not already members of the EOW Group, and I will ask them to join us. Organizing election volunteers, however, is only one element in building the infrastructure we need.
There are many additional tasks which we can do to improve the electoral success of future Green Party candidates. For instance, we really need a website, a fundraising committee, and an email list-serve. A publicity committee to produce press releases, yard signs and flyers (leaflets) is another necessary component of our work.
Can you help with any of the above projects? Do you have any of these skills? If not, are you ready to learn these skills?

I know that sounds like a lot of things for any one person to do, and I have no intention to do everything myself. We should work together, and we should each take one step at a time. Please decide which step will be your next one, and then let me know.

Thank you and Happy Holidays,
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256
City Committee Member at Large
Green Party of Philadelphia

PS: 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.”

Posted in 2015 Municipal Elections, Election Operationswith Comments Off on Green Party Post-Election Progress

PA Election Calendar for 201612.13.15




February 17, First day to circulate and file nomination papers

March 28, Last day to REGISTER before the primary
[Also, last day for Green Party candidates to register as Green Party.]

[Best location to collect signatures at your polling place on nomination papers.]

August 1, Last day to circulate and file nomination papers
August 8, Last day for withdrawal by candidates nominated by nomination papers

October 11, Last day to REGISTER before the November election


(Note: All dates in this calendar are subject to change without notice.)
Posted on 12/13 to:
GPOP News.

Posted in 2016 National & PA State Elections, Newswith Comments Off on PA Election Calendar for 2016

Volunteers Necessary for Electoral Success12.06.15

2015 Municipal Election Summary, Part 2
December 4, 2015
“There are two ways that a theoretician goes astray. 1) The devil leads him around by the nose with a false hypothesis (for this he deserves pity). 2) His arguments are erroneous and ridiculous (for this he deserves a beating).” — Albert Einstein, letter to Hendrik Lorentz, quoted in New York Times, “Finding Relativity” by Dennis Overbye, November 24, 2015.

There is a false hypothesis which is commonly expressed within the Green Party. This hypothesis makes it difficult for Green Party candidates to build a wide-spread electoral movement which (in time) will be able to win elections. It is important for us to discuss this hypothesis because it stands in the way of our efforts to build the Green Party.

The Hypothesis
At the November 2014 monthly meeting of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP), an active member said that statistics have shown him that voters go to the polls with their minds made up. Therefore, he continued, it is a waste of time for members to volunteer at the polls for a Green Party candidate. A similar hypothesis is sometimes voiced at quarterly meetings of the Green Party of Pennsylvania. It would be tragic if this hypothesis has convinced Green Party members to stay at home, instead of volunteering to build our party.

Personally, I have never seen any such statistics, and this hypothesis runs counter to the basic strategy of the Green Party. GPOP has relied since its creation on building rank-and-file support for our candidates at the polls. Fortunately, there is quite bit of evidence contradicting this hypothesis, and I hope to demonstrate to you that this hypothesis is incorrect. I would like to relate some of my experiences with electoral campaigns during the last twelve years, which may shed some light on this topic.

Inconsistency or Social Causation
The first Green Party electoral campaign in which I volunteered was Tom Hutt’s campaign for Philadelphia City Council District 8 in 2003. During that campaign in the early days of the GPOP, I found it interesting that some divisions (precincts) had a very small vote for Hutt, while in other divisions he actually won the election.
This seemed like an inconsistency to me: Why would divisions with similar economic/ethnic demographics have such widely different counts for the Green Party candidate? Notably, Hutt was able to cover very few polling places with volunteers, though he had tried to recruit as many as possible. Could that have caused the variation in voting for a Green candidate? I began to follow election results more closely in following years, to determine if this was a natural inconsistency or if there was a social causation for it.

Ward Results: 2007 through 2015
In the 2007 Philadelphia City Council election, the Green Party’s candidate for District 8, Brian Rudnick, received 1,100 votes (four percent). At the end of the campaign, I wrote, “Rudnick’s campaign for City Council focused on three wards (Chestnut Hill’s Ward 9, Mount Airy’s Ward 22, and Germantown’s Ward 59), where he received 81 percent of his vote. In those three wards, he had volunteers in 27 divisions. The other 44 divisions in those wards had no volunteers (33) or paid poll workers (11). Paid poll workers had no significant effect, and their divisions have been counted here as polls with no volunteers. Divisions with volunteers averaged three times the number of Green votes in polls with no volunteers.” [See, “Analysis of the Green Party in the Election of 2007.”]

During 2010, GPOP had 59 volunteers at the polls for Hugh Giordano’s campaign for PA State Representative in District 194. Of that number, 14 were Green Party members, 28 were from the United Food and Commercial Workers and Iron Workers, and 17 from other parties or independents. In Philadelphia, Giordano received 3,212 votes (23 percent). After the election, I wrote, “Not surprisingly, Giordano did best in his home Ward 21 (Roxborough/Manyunk), where he won six divisions (aka precincts) with 39 to 46 percent of the vote. Giordano came close to winning another six divisions with 37 to 39 percent of the vote. There was only one division in Ward 21 where Giordano received less than 20 percent of the vote. Overall, Giordano received 85 percent of his vote in Ward 21, where he averaged 86 votes/division.” Giordano had a volunteer poll worker at every division in Ward 21.

The following year, 63 volunteers worked at the polls city-wide for Green Party candidate Cheri Honkala’s campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia. Of that number, 23 were Green Party and 40 were from other parties or independents. Honkala received 10,430 votes (seven percent) citywide. Following the election, I wrote, “Of the 66 wards, Cheri’s campaign had no poll worker in 33 of them. In those 33 wards, Cheri received 3,611 votes (35% of her total), averaging 109 votes/ward. In the 33 wards where Cheri did have poll workers, she received 6,819 votes (65% of her total), averaging 207 votes/ward.” [See, “History of Green Party Volunteers in Philadelphia Elections (2007 – 2013).”]

During 2015, the Green Party’s Kristin Combs, who campaigned for Philadelphia City Council-at-Large, received 11,366 votes (6 percent) city wide. This was the most votes ever received by a Green Party candidate running in Philadelphia. Kristin had 71 poll volunteers, 13 from GPOP and 58 from Neighborhood Networks, Temple $15 Now, and other organizations. Those volunteers worked at divisions in 22 Wards where Kristin received 7,567 votes (67 percent of her total) which was 344 votes/ward. In the 44 wards where Combs had no poll volunteers, she received 3,799 votes (33 percent of her total) which was 86 votes/ward.
Significantly, if the Green Party had been able to mobilize the same proportion of volunteers in the 44 wards where the Combs campaign had no representatives, she would have been able to double her total vote to more than 22,700. While this would not have been enough votes for Combs to have won a seat on City Council, it does demonstrate the value of volunteers at the polls.

Results within a Single Ward
I understand one problem with trying to draw conclusions from the limited, ward-based statistics presented above. A wise skeptic might say, “Perhaps the presence of a volunteer working for the candidate made no difference in the vote total. Perhaps there were differences between the economic/ethnic demographics of the wards which caused the divergence between wards which voted for Combs and those which did not – regardless of the presence of a volunteer.”

Actually, I thought that myself and attempted to answer such skepticism by looking at the votes for Combs within a single ward, in this case Germantown’s Ward 59, where I reside. Germantown has 25 divisions, where Combs received 422 votes (17/division). Interestingly, Combs had volunteers at eight of those polling places, and the polls with volunteers produced 243 of her votes (30/division). At the 17 polling places with no volunteers, Combs earned 179 votes (11/division). These numbers demonstrate that the Green Party could have increased Combs’ vote total in Germantown to 750, had the Green Party been able to mobilize 17 additional volunteers.

I suppose that by now you have deduced the alternative hypothesis which I am proposing. I believe that Green Party candidates cannot win elections without Green Party volunteers working the polls on election day. I think that there is now enough evidence from the campaigns of Green Party candidates during the last twelve years to demonstrate the necessity of volunteers working the polls for our candidates. I hope that in proposing this hypothesis, I will earn neither your pity nor a beating. Instead, I hope you will express your support for this hypothesis by joining me in our newly formed GPOP Electoral Operations Working (EOW) Group.
Please volunteer by telephone or email, and then forward this email to those who might be interested in helping us.

Thank you,
Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256
City Committee Member at Large
Green Party of Philadelphia

PS: 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.”

Posted in 2015 Municipal Elections, Active GPOP Items, Election Operationswith Comments Off on Volunteers Necessary for Electoral Success

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