Philly Green Party

Greens nominate Honkala for Sheriff, elect new leaders

Posted in 2011 Philadelphia Municipal Election on Feb 28, 2011

Philadelphia Greens elect new leaders

The members of the Green Party of Philadelphia (GPOP, www.gpop.org) met on the evening of February 24 to elect their new leadership. They also nominated Cheri Honkala for Sheriff of Philadelphia.

The Greens were greeted by Hugh Giordano, who ran for PA Representative (District 194) in November 2010. Giordano welcomed everyone to the “new, active Green Party, which is in the process of rebuilding,” and he offered his vision of “a Green Party which will make the Republicans and the Democrats irrelevant.”

The meeting, which was held at Crossroads Coffee House, www.crossroadsrox.com/content/menu, in Roxborough, then moved onto the election of officers, which was led by Charles Sherrouse, a Green from Oxford Circle (Ward 54), who explained that the GPOP City Committee has four officers and three members-at-large. After a brief explanation of the duties of each office, Sherrouse opened the nominations.

Chris Robinson, Germantown organizer for GPOP, then described how Giordano had put together an active committee for his 2010 campaign. “This group had varied talents and worked together well for ten months,” Robinson maintained. “Following the election, they continued to work together on an unofficial basis, testifying at City Council Hearings, issuing Action Alerts for Green Party members, attending neighborhood meetings, and writing for the local press.”

Robinson then nominated a slate of seven candidates for the GPOP City Committee. There being no other nominations, Sherrouse conducted a secret ballot, with members voting “yes” or “no” for each candidate. The following people were elected to be the local Greens’ new leadership.

  • Chair Vivek Ananthan is a founder of GPOP and the treasurer of the Green Party of Pennsylvania, www.gpofpa.org. A resident of Northern Liberties (Ward 5), Vivek has retired from health-food merchandising. For the last 12 years, Vivek has been a member of the International Committee of the Green Party of the U.S., www.gp.org.
  • Treasurer Belinda Davis is a history professor who lives in Chestnut Hill (Ward 9).
  • Membership Secretary Carol McLean is a quality-assurance representative at a local behavioral health hospital. She lives in Germantown (Ward 59).
  • Recording Secretary Michael Nance is a graduate student from Cedar Park (Ward 46).
  • At-Large Member Hugh Giordano is a union organizer from Roxborough (Ward 28).
  • At-Large Member Zach Pelchat is a tutor from Point Breeze (Ward 36).
  • At-Large Member Chris Robinson is a grocery clerk from Germantown (Ward 59).

The meeting was handed back to Giordano, who described how GPOP came into contact with Cheri Honkala, executive director of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign, www.old.economichumanrights.org/index. After describing Honkala and her work in glowing terms, Giordano nominated her as Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia, www.cherihonkala.com.

Honkala then addressed the group, explaining that she had never run for office before but that this seemed to be the next logical step in her personal development. Honkala stressed that no one should ever face foreclosure or eviction because of the current depression. “The economic crisis was caused by the banks and financiers,” she said, “and there is no reason for homeowners to pay for the bankers’ mistakes.” She described how she had consulted with 100 of her mentors around the nation, and they had unanimously agreed that she should run for Sheriff of Philadelphia to end foreclosures. The Greens then approved Honkala’s nomination by acclimation.

Before leaving, Giordano explained to Green Party members that “this is just the beginning. Both the Republicans and Democrats began with people like us sitting around a big table. With a lot of outreach in the neighborhoods and with the help of Cheri’s campaign for sheriff, we will see the Philadelphia Green Party thrive.”

For more information on the Green Party of Philadelphia, please telephone 215-243-7103 or email gpop@gpop.org, For more information on Cheri Honkala’s campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia please telephone 215-243-7103 or email cheri4sheriff@gmail.com.

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