Philly Green Party

Archive for December, 2017

Green Party Seeks Candidates12.23.17

The Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP) is seeking candidates to run for elected office in 2018. At their October membership meeting, Philly Greens issued a “Call for Candidates.”

Galen Tyler, Chair of GPOP, said, “Now is the time for people to step up and become leaders of an independent party. The coming year will provide a great opportunity for new candidates to take their first step into political waters. Most Green Party candidates will not be elected on their first campaign for office, but there have been surprises in Philadelphia when a dynamic candidate backed by vigorous volunteers has unseated an incumbent from a corporate party.”

“The Green Party is especially interested in interviewing those who have been traditionally excluded from running as candidates for the two corporate political parties. Our door is open for qualified women, people of color, and LGBTQIA+ and other citizens who agree with the Green Party’s Ten Key Values,” explained Chris Robinson, Green Party Membership Secretary. The Green’s Ten Key Values are ecological wisdom, social justice, nonviolence, grassroots democracy, feminism, future focus, respect for diversity, community-based economics, personal and global responsibility, and decentralization.

“There are several good reasons to run for office,” continued Robinson. “A candidate running for the first time will gain both name recognition and practical experience. They will also have a media soapbox to educate the community around their special issues. In addition, they will be able to pressure the incumbent and give voters a choice, which is so often lacking in Philadelphia.”

During 2018, Representatives in every PA House District will be up for election, as will PA Senators in even-numbered Districts. Candidates seeking these offices must receive the endorsement of registered GPOP members and elected delegates to the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA).

Candidates for PA State Senator must be at least 25 years old, and candidates for PA House of Representatives must be at least 21 years old. Each candidate must have been a resident of PA and a citizen of the U.S. for the last four years, and a resident of the District for the last year. For more information about running for office as a Green Party candidate, please contact Chris Robinson, GPOP Membership Secretary, at 215-843-4256 and

Green Party candidates for office are coordinated and supported by GPPA Green Wave, a committee which offers a region-based network for candidates. Green Wave officials say that 2018 “could be a great year for local Green wins. Dissatisfaction with the two major parties is at an all-time high and people are looking for change that will bring hope for a peaceful, just, and stable future.”

The Green Party of Philadelphia is an independent political party founded on the four pillars of grassroots democracy, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, and social justice. Follow GPOP on Twitter at @GreenPartyofPHL and on Facebook at
A similar article appeared in Philly Voice.

Posted in 2018 National & PA State Elections, Newswith Comments Off on Green Party Seeks Candidates

Minutes, November Membership Meeting12.07.17

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.
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.
Election of GPOP Recording Secretary

Respectfully submitted by Chris Robinson, Membership Secretary.

(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 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.


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.

Posted in General Meetingswith Comments Off on Minutes, November Membership Meeting

General Election 2017: The Good and the Bad12.02.17

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.
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.”

Posted in 2017 Philadelphia Municipal Elections, Election Operationswith Comments Off on General Election 2017: The Good and the Bad

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