Also can be read here:
At the same time that this discussion was taking place, individual state-by-state ballot qualification efforts were underway nationally.
On February 4, 1990, the Green Party of California (GPCA) was founded at a meeting at California State University, Sacramento. In order to qualify with the California Secretary of State for the statewide ballot, the new party would have to convince at least 78,992 Californians to change their voter register to Green Party. At the meeting 27 Green locals voted in favor of forming a state party, and three stood aside. Other Greens stayed home in protest, arguing that party formation was premature and could co-opt Green values, ultimately undermining the long-term viability of the Green movement.
This conflict came to a head at the GPCA’s second statewide meeting, which was held at Los Angeles Community College on March 25-26, 1990, where anti-party “movement” Greens came out in force. While many “movement” Greens wanted the party to be “accountable” to the movement, the reality was that functionally and legally, the new Green Party of California would be made up and structurally accountable only to its registered members; it would have no structural connection to the Green Committees of Correspondence (GCoC).
The strong debates over party formation pushed back much of the weekend’s written agenda. Ultimately delegates continued the meeting nearby at Julia Russell’s Eco-Home on Sunday evening to conclude the weekend’s business. The debates at this gathering presaged the upcoming national debate and a split within the Greens nationally between the majority favoring a party structure and a minority, led by the Left-Green Network, favoring a “movement” structure with rules/processes/mandates that would be set up to oversee any and all electoral activity. The latter would prove to be unpopular and unworkable. The idea of “accountability” to the Ten Key Values again served as a consensus commitment, but over time it was demonstrated that the structure of member-oversight set above Green campaigns and candidates and state parties was not a structure that worked. Grievances grew, and many Greens dropped out. The Greens in California went through these debates and provided models of what to do and not do to be successful.
Over the next two years, the heated debate over electoral activism became self-selecting, with those interested in party building becoming involved in the statewide voter registration drive. Mindy Lorenz provided especially effective leadership in that effort. Ultimately the ballot qualification effort succeeded, with over 103,000 Californians marking Green Party as their party affiliation on their voter registration card by the deadline of December 31, 1991.
In Alaska, Green Jim Sykes received 3.4 percent of the vote for Governor in November 1990, qualifying the Green Party there for ongoing ballot status as well, while California’s Mindy Lorenz received an impressive 1% as a write-in candidate for U.S. Congress in Ventura/Santa Barbara counties. Also in Alaska, Kelly Weaverling, running as a Green, was elected Mayor of Cordova in
Between 1985 and 1989 a total of 25 U.S. Greens ran for local office, mostly in rural Wisconsin, Massachusetts, Maine, and New Haven, CT, with seven elected. In 1990-1991, 37 Greens ran for office nationwide, with 17 elected, including six in California.
Table of Contents
- First Stirrings of a Green Political Party in the United States
- Green Politics: The Global Promise
- Early Outreach to the Bioregional Movement
- The Founding of U.S. Greens – St. Paul, MN, August 1984
- Creation of the Ten Key Values
- National Clearinghouse
- Early Debates About Green Issues
- First National Green Gathering – Amherst, MA, 1987
- Strategy & Policy Approaches in Key Areas (SPAKA)
- Greening the West Gathering – near San Francisco, 1988
- Second National Green Gathering – Eugene, OR, 1989
- Early State Party Ballot Qualification Efforts and Candidacies
- Third National Green Gathering – Estes Park, CO, 1990
- Green Party Organizing Committee – Boston, 1991
- Fourth National Green Gathering – Elkins, WV, 1991
- Green Politics Network – 1992
- Fifth National Green Gathering – Minneapolis, 1992
- Electoral Success in 1992 and Post-Election Conferences in Santa Monica and at Bowdoin College, February 1993
- 1995 – A Watershed Year for Green Party Development: The Third Parties ’96 Conference, and the Nader Factor
- National Green Gathering ’95 – Albuquerque, NM 36
- First Green Presidential Nominating Convention – UCLA, 1996; Nader’s 1996 Campaign for President as the Green Party Candidate
- Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) – 1996
- 2000 Presidential Candidate Outreach
- Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention 2000 and Nader 2000
- The Boston Proposal – October 2000
- Founding of the Green Party of the United States – July 2001
- National Committee Status Granted to the Green Party of the United States by the Federal Election Commission, 2001