Philly Green Party

Archive for August, 2017

“Harvey”: Climate Change Alarm Bell08.31.17

Hurricane Harvey Rings the Climate Change Alarm Bell

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Green Party leaders are calling Hurricane Harvey the latest alarm bell on global warming and said that President Trump and Congress must make solving the climate crisis the nation’s top priority.
Greens expressed sympathy and solidarity with people in Houston and other parts of Texas and Louisiana who are suffering the effects of the hurricane and have lost homes, belongings, and loved ones.

“Along with providing relief to those affected by Harvey, we need a reversal of the U.S. political establishment’s irresponsible direction on climate change. The only solution to the crisis is a Green solution,” said Wesson Gaige, co-chair of the Green Party of Texas.

Texas Greens are urging support and donations to several frontline relief organizations: [Please visit and n.]

The Green Party listed talking points on Hurricane Harvey, climate change, and Green solutions:
• The severity of Hurricane Harvey and the devastation it wreaked in Houston must be recognized as an effect of climate change and an indication of similar and worse disasters to come. The planet’s climate functions as a system: there are no isolated storms, all weather is affected by global warming. The Trump Administration’s rejection of science is already having deadly consequences.
• Although rainfall from Harvey is unprecedented, 2017 is the city’s third year with severe flooding. The disaster in Houston is one of many floods around the world that have displaced tens of millions this summer, with more than 1,000 deaths in South Asia.
• Lowering the amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere is urgently necessary, otherwise increasingly unstable weather and the rise of sea levels promise a future of Katrinas, Sandys, Harveys, mass population displacement, and global social breakdown in the coming decades. Working class communities, the poor, and people of color are facing the worst effects. The only solution is a rapid conversion from fossil fuels to clean, renewable energy.
• The Green Party has called for 100% renewable energy by 2030. To achieve this goal, Green candidates are promoting the Green New Deal, a plan to reorganize the U.S. economy, expand the public sphere, and create millions of new jobs in conservation and energy conversion.
• The Green Party has compared global warming to the global threat posed by the Axis powers at the beginning of World War II and has called for U.S. leadership in a worldwide alliance to end the crisis that includes peaceful cooperation with currently perceived enemies like Russia and Iran.
• ExxonMobil and other companies that knew about the reality of climate change placed oil refineries and other toxic sites in flood zones. In the wake of Harvey, their irresponsibility resulted in a toxic brew that is now spreading over hundreds of square miles and contaminating water tables. Two explosions and fume injuries were reported Thursday morning. The poor and people of color who live in affected areas are suffering the most harm. State and local governments in Texas have refused to undertake any preparation or enact regulation in the face of predictable emergencies.
• Only the Green Party is taking the climate crisis seriously. Greens said that a political field limited to two parties, both of which accept money and influence from the fossil-fuel industry, has become a threat to future generations.

Republicans, led by President Trump, continue to deny that the crisis exists and are dismantling environmental regulations and agencies, including the EPA, even as the need for these agencies and for regulation has grown. Republicans are likely to use Hurricane Harvey to call for more drilling and refineries. The Green Party has condemned President Trump’s decision to withdraw from the Paris agreement on climate change.

Democrats acknowledge the crisis but won’t take necessary action. The Obama Administration made sure that the Paris accords were not legally binding, and President Obama boasted of increased oil production. Hillary Clinton and her representatives kept carbon taxes, a ban on fracking, and other measures out of the 2016 Democratic Party platform.

Green Party leaders said that the “100 by ’50 Act” (Senate Bill 987) introduced by Senators Jeff Merkley (D-OR) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) was “too little, too late” in light of warnings from scientists about the severity of the crisis.

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Remove Rizzo Statue08.19.17

Philly Greens Call for Removal of Frank Rizzo Statue

PHILADELPHIA, PA – Earlier this month, white supremacists protested against the removal of a statue of Confederate general Robert E. Lee in Charlottesville, VA, where they killed Heather Heyer and injured dozens of others. These events highlight the urgent need to examine and eradicate racism in our culture and institutions. Therefore, the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) City Committee calls for the removal of the statue of former Mayor Frank Rizzo that stands in front of the Municipal Services Building.

First and foremost, the Green Party salutes Philly REAL Justice, a Black-led coalition for racial, economic, and legal justice for communities of color, which has been organizing the effort to remove the Rizzo statue for quite some time. We offer Philly REAL Justice our admiration and our solidarity in the campaign to remove Rizzo’s statue.

Not all white supremacists wear white hoods or Confederate uniforms. Frank Rizzo, who served as Philadelphia’s police commissioner (1968-71) and mayor (1972-80), used his power to inflict terror and violence upon the African American community, as well as the LGBTQ community and others.

Among his many actions, he ordered police raids of the offices of SNCC, strip-searched members of the Black Panther Party in front of news cameras, and ordered police to attack a group of black students who were peacefully protesting for a black history curriculum. In 1980, the U.S. Department of Justice even sued Philadelphia for police conduct that included “physical abuse, unlawful use of deadly force and disciplinary procedures which condoned abuse.” In 1978, Rizzo explicitly urged people to “vote white” to change the City Charter so he could seek a third term as mayor. As long as his statue stands in front of the Municipal Services Building, the city gives its approval to Rizzo’s words and actions.

Rizzo’s legacy of racism and brutality remains alive and well in Philadelphia today. Between 2007 and 2013, police in Philadelphia killed people at a rate six times greater than in New York City; 81% of their victims were African American. Furthermore, 80% of stop-and-frisks, made without reasonable suspicion in Philadelphia, are made against people of color. These are injustices that Mayor James F. Kenney pledged he would end when he ran for mayor and must address even after the statue comes down. Removing the statue will not erase Rizzo’s legacy, but it will show that Philadelphia refuses to honor a man who made a career out of bigotry.

Members of the Green Party City Committee agree that the statue has no home on the steps of a city building. Chris Robinson, GPOP Membership Secretary, said, “I lived through the Rizzo Calamity and participated in the ‘STOP Rizzo’ movement to prevent him from changing the City Charter. Some now suggest moving his statue to a more appropriate place, and I believe that it would be appropriate to locate it in the courtyard of Eastern State Penitentiary.” Jarrett Anderson, GPOP Treasurer, said, “Rizzo’s statue should be moved to the bottom of the Schuylkill River.”

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 contact 215-843-4256 and Follow GPOP on Twitter at @GreenPartyofPHL and on Facebook at

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Jules for Judge Campaign Secures Ballot Access08.18.17

Here’s Why to Vote for Jules

The Campaign to Elect Jules Mermelstein to the Pennsylvania Superior Court is thrilled to announce that thanks to the efforts of volunteers across 44 counties, he will be on the ballot for the November 7, Pennsylvania General Election. More than 4,300 Pennsylvania voters submitted their signatures for the campaign to nominate Jules for Judge. On Friday, July 28, nearly double the signatures needed to place Jules Mermelstein on the ballot were submitted. None were challenged over the following days.

Mermelstein has worked as an attorney, and both as a high school and college government teacher. He spent more than two decades teaching Sunday school to teens and was elected five terms as a township official. Mermelstein has never had a single ethics complaint made against him. In fact, in two of Mermelstein’s bids for Upper Dublin Township Commissioner, he was endorsed by both major parties. Now, as a Green Party candidate, Mermelstein believes he will bring much-needed nonpartisan integrity to a judicial system that has been plagued by corruption.

Recently, Mermelstein was proud to appear at a candidate press conference for the Annual National Meeting of the Green Party of the United States, where he described his thoughts on injustices throughout Pennsylvania that have left voters seeking third party options. The issues he focused on include corruption in Pennsylvania courts and the constitutional right to have clean air and water.

“As a former criminal defense attorney,” Mermelstein told Green Party members from around the U.S., “I am fully aware of the racism inherent in that system. I actually argued a case once to a judge that the commonwealth hadn’t proven my client guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, and his response from the bench in open court was, ‘The fact that your client’s black makes it worse.’ I took that appeal actually to the court I’m running for and got an order for a new trial before a different judge.”

Mermelstein continued, “Pennsylvanians are lucky in that we have a constitutional right to a clean environment. Article 1, Section 27 of the Pennsylvania Constitution states that we’re entitled to clean air and pure water… Our state Supreme Court has repeatedly slapped down administrations — both Republican and Democrat — who have tried to cozy up to the fracking industry. This has not stopped that activity. We need judges throughout the system to recognize people’s right to a clean environment.”

The Jules for Judge Campaign has volunteers — Green and all others welcome — canvassing in towns across the state, and Mermelstein himself has been traveling tirelessly since his candidacy was announced. Be sure to check the campaign calendar to see when Mermelstein will be in your region and don’t forget to mark your calendars to vote November 7 and elect Jules Mermelstein as Superior Court Judge!

Follow Jules for Judge: and

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Greens Urge Prosecution of White Supremacists08.14.17

Green Party urges prosecution of white supremacist groups for domestic terrorism in the wake of racist violence in Charlottesville

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States is calling for vigorous prosecution of white supremacist groups responsible for the violence, injuries, and deaths that occurred in Charlottesville, Virginia, on Saturday, August 12. Greens said that the violence inflicted on anti-racist counter-protesters, including a car driven into a crowd that killed one person and injured more than two dozen others, was a deliberate act of domestic terrorism.

The Green Party strongly condemns the white supremacists and their rally and violent actions and expressed solidarity with all those who participated in the counter-demonstrations. White supremacist and neo-Nazi organizations thrive on violence and threats of death and mayhem. They support a violent overthrow of the U.S. government and various forms of subjugation, expulsion, and extermination for all people of color, LGBTs, immigrants, Jews, Muslims, and anyone who doesn’t conform to their vision of a white gentile male-dominated society based on an extremist “blood and soil” ideology.

The violence on the University of Virginia campus was consistent with the openly expressed intention of white supremacist groups to provoke a “race war” and clearly fits the definition of terrorism.

President Trump responded by casting blame “on many sides,” as if peaceful anti-racist protesters were responsible for the attacks they suffered. The president’s reaction betrayed the influence of advisors like Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka, who have ties to fanatical far-right, neo-Nazi, anti-Muslim, and white supremacist organizations. Greens said that Mr. Trump’s loyalty to these staffers makes him unfit to occupy the White House. (On Monday, the president condemned “criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists and other hate groups” after widespread criticism of his initial response on Saturday.)

The Green Party counts nonviolence and respect for diversity among its Ten Key Values and has endorsed Black Lives Matter and its demand for racial justice. The party also recognizes and upholds the right of self-defense, in keeping with the Key Value of nonviolence. Greens support efforts to eradicate racism and other forms of discrimination, including removal of public monuments that glorify Confederate leaders and military personnel.

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Jules Mermelstein is on the Ballot08.09.17

GPOP Election Operations Working (EOW) Group
Volume 2, #5
July 22, 2017

Jules Mermelstein is on the PA Ballot

Dear Green Party Representative.

Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) Representatives — like you — have finished collecting nomination signatures for Jules Mermelstein for Judge of Superior Court. We were successful! Thanks to you, Jules received 4,204 signatures (588 from Philadelphia), more than enough to get on the ballot.
We are now transferring into campaign mode, looking forward to the General Election on November 7. Jules Mermelstein and the Green Party will need you, as a Green Party Representative, to volunteer at your polling place. Please see below for more details.
The rest of Report #5 will bring you up to date on what has happened since Report #4 was posted to you on May 23.

Task: Organize Campaign Workers
Jules Mermelstein has now campaigned in Philadelphia three times (most recently on 7/8), and you have had an opportunity to shake his hand, to ask him questions, and to volunteer for his campaign.
Right now, we have six Green Party Representative (in addition to myself) who have already volunteered to work for Jules’ election: Scott in Queen Village; Belinda in Chestnut Hill; Hillary in Cedar Park; Christian in Wynnefield; Charles in Oxford Circle; Chris in Germantown; and Olivia in Garden Court.
Please contact me today (email or telephone) if you are ready to join the other Green Party Representatives.

Task: Recruit Green Party Candidates

In addition the Jules, we now have 14 Green Party candidates running for office in Pennsylvania. Please visit Green Wave Candidates for more information about these Greens.
One of these candidates is Green Party Representative, Olivia Faison, who is running for Inspector of Elections at her polling place in Garden Court, West Philadelphia.
It is now time for you, as a Green Party Representative, to consider running for office in 2018. Your PA Representative will be running for re-election. 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.

Task: Build an Infrastructure to Win Elections
There are 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 volunteering 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.”

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Minutes, July Membership Meeting08.08.17

Minutes, General Membership Meeting
July 27, 2017 – 7 PM
Shissler Recreation Center, Fishtown

Attendence: Jarrett Anderson, Treasurer; Belinda Davis; Olivia Faison; Alex Gillett; Eric Hamell;, Hillary Kane; Richard Kanegis; Taj Magruder, City Committee Member At Large; Francis McCloskey; Natasha Minkovsky; Asantewaa Nkruma-Ture; Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary; Ernest Schulte; and Nathaniel Wilkerson. Absent: Galen Tyler, Chair; Georgie Georgeson, City Committee Member at Large; and Ian McShea, Recording Secretary.

This meeting was chaired by Taj, and minutes were taken by Chris. [Draft minutes were circulated for additions and corrections on 7/29. Belinda’s ideas are included below. Final minutes posted to GPOP NEWS on 7/31.]

Decision to Accept Nominations for GPOP Recording Secretary
Following the decision made at the June General Membership Meeting, the members discussed our Recording Secretary’s prolonged and unexplained absence. [Ian had attended no meetings since the Special Election on March 31. Several City Committee members have reached out to Ian, but he has not returned text messages or messages via voicemail or email.]
At the request of the June General Membership Meeting, Hillary had contacted Ian on 6/22, and offered Ian a chance to appear in his own defense at this meeting, before his removal would be formally considered by the membership.
Ian did not appear in his own defense at this meeting, and the members present decided by consensus to consider the office of GPOP Recording Secretary to be open and to accept nominations to fill that seat. Chris will notify the GPOP membership that nominations will remain open until the next General Membership Meeting on Thursday, September 28.

Election of New City Committee Member at Large
The June General Membership Meeting had accepted with regret the resignation of Rachel Rawlings as City Committee Member at Large. Nominations for this office have been open since that meeting.
Olivia had accepted a nomination for Member at Large at the June meeting, and no additional nominations have been received . Olivia spoke briefly about her background, and why she thinks the Green Party is necessary. She also explained her interest in reparations for slavery, saying, “until reparations are made to African Americans, this country will not heal, nor will it be whole, and it will never free itself from its horrible legacy.”
Olivia was elected by the members present by consensus to be GPOP’s new City Committee Member At Large.

Richard proposed that the Green Party endorse Lawrence Krasner for Philadelphia District Attorney. No one seconded this motion.

Working Group Reports
Outreach Working Group

Taj reported as co-chair of the OWG that they would hold no meetings until after Labor Day, and everyone will be notified. The agenda for that meeting will include: creating a new email system to communicate with GPOP members (using MailChimp); planning more Green Party Happy Hours; and planning the next Welcome Party for New Members.
Taj then read a proposed News Release, saying that GPOP endorsed an event on National Housing Action Day, 7/29. The membership approved this endorsement by consensus. [Chris posted the News Release to the media and to the GPOP Membership on 7/28.]
Hillary suggested that GPOP post an additional News Release, which will combine Green Party opposition to fracking and opposition to SEPTA’s proposed fracked-gas power plant in Nicetown. Nathaniel volunteered to write a draft with the help of Hillary and Belinda. The draft will then be submitted to the City Committee for approval.
The membership continued discussing our organizing against SEPTA’s fracked gas plant. Asantewaa wanted more door-to-door outreach. Chris expressed a lack of confidence in the leadership of Natasha volunteered to work on this project.
Jarrett said the new GPOP banner is ready at FastSigns, and Chris volunteered to pick it up.

Electoral Operations Working Group
Chris reported that the EOWG now has eight Green Party Representatives who will join Chris (Ward 59) at the polls on 11/7 for the Jules Mermelstein Campaign for Judge of PA Superior Court. These Representatives are Scott McCarthy (Ward 5), Belinda Davis (Ward 9), Bernadette Cronin-Geller (Ward 21), Hillary Kane (Ward 46), Christian Banchs (Ward 52), Charles Sherrouse (Ward 54), Natasha Minkovsky (Ward 55) and Olivia Faison (Ward 60). To join Green Party Representatives, please contact Chris.
Then, Chris congratulated Natasha for being the most recent Green Party Representative, and explained that Natasha has also volunteered to be the Green Party liaison with Put People First PA. PPF has non-electoral goals which are similar to GPOP’s, and their current project is single payer healthcare in PA.
Chris has emailed the new executive director of Jobs with Justice, explaining that the Green Party is searching for candidates for State Representative in 2018.
Chris also explained that EOWG will begin door-to-door outreach in divisions where we have Green Party Representatives. This will start with distribution of the “Register Green” flyer during August/September and will be followed by distribution of Jules4Judge literature during September/October. Chris and Charles have already completed the first wave of flyering in their divisions. Hillary volunteered to do hers on August 20. Please let Chris know your choice.
Chris asked members to look at the events listed below during the summer months. Many of these will be excellent locations to distribute “Register Green” flyers. Please let Chris know in advance.

Treasurer’s Report
Jarrett reported that after paying for the new banner GPOP now has slightly more than $1,078.00. He thanked all GPOP Sustainers for their continuing support, and he asked others to join GPOP Sustainers.

Report from the GPPA Quarterly Meeting
The Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) held its quarterly meeting near Erie, PA, on July 16. Since no one present attended it, there was no report.

Report from the GPUS Annual National Meeting
The Green Party of the U.S. (GPUS) held its Annual National Meeting in Newark, NJ, on 7/14-16. Of those members present, Asantewaa, Hillary and Belinda had attended the Annual National Meeting.
Hillary explained how the GPUS Steering Committee elections work and the results of the election held on 7/15. The GPUS Black Caucus objected to the results of this election and made demands upon the delegates to the Annual National Meeting. Asantewaa followed with her perspective on these events and said that she believes that a political resolution to this problem will involve a more active GPUS Black Caucus, which will better educate and better vet its candidates for leadership positions.
For further reading on this topic, please see “Green Party Growing Pains” by Kevin Zeese, CounterPunch, July 21, and
White Liberal Guilt, Black Opportunism and the Green Party” by Bruce A. Dixon, Black Agenda Report.

Green Party Book Discussion
Hillary reported that the Green Party Book Discussion will take place on July 30. For information on the book, and to RSVP for the discussion, please visit Facebook.

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, 215-843-4256.
Summer Events
July 29
, Stop the Drone-Warfare Command Center, noon, Horsham Air National Guard base.
July 30, GPOP Book Discussion Group, 3:00 pm, Grindcore House.

PARKS ON TAP, throughout the city during August and September. Contact Chris, 215-843-4256, if you want GPOP literature to distribute near you.

August 10, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N.

September 10, GreenFest, noon, Bainbridge Green (Bainbridge Street between 3rd and 5th Streets). This is a new location. Distribute GPOP literature with Chris Robinson, 267-977-0570.
September 14, GPOP City Committee Meeting, 7:00 pm, W/N W/N.
September 28, GPOP General Membership Meeting, 7:00 pm, Shissler Recreation Center.

There was No Discussion of These Topics:
Membership Issues Survey, Taj.
Anti-Islamophobia Committee, created on 4/27, Charles.
Amendment to the GPOP Bylaws, Margie.
GPOP Participation in PhillyCam, Georgie.

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