Greening the West Gathering – near San Francisco, 1988

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Green Politics groups had been forming in California since December 1984, when Charlene Spretnak organized the first meeting, in San Francisco. On September 30–October 2, 1988, a western regional Green gathering entitled Greening the West was held in a redwood park one hour south of San Francisco. It was hosted by the Northern California Greens, a regional affiliate of the Green Committees of Correspondence. The planning group was composed of Bay Area Greens Danny MosesGreg JanRichard Gustafson, and Jess Shoup. More than 1,000 people attended. Speakers included Margot Adair; Planet Drum editor Peter Berg; Sierra Club Books founder David BrowerEcotopia author Ernest Callenbach; pioneering bioregional philosopher Ray Dasmann; Fritjof Capra (who co- authored Green Politics with Charlene Spretnak); Deep Ecology author Bill Devall; eco-philosopher Joanna MacyJerry Mander (author of Four Arguments for the Elimination of Television); Los Angeles Eco-Home founder Julia Russell; Charlene Spretnak; and ecofeminist Starhawk.

The conference featured a workshop entitled “Towards a Green Party of the West: Local and Regional Electoral Strategies,” Along with the formation of the Maine Green Party in 1984, this was an early steppingstone in the development of U.S. Green electoral politics. Facilitated by Moses (who would be the California Green Party’s candidate for Lt. Governor in 1994), some 150 people attended the workshop and moved ahead with forming a Green Party of the West, “a network to facilitate campaigns for initiatives, referendums, and local independent Green candidates.” That network would grow and help form the nucleus for the founding of the Green Party of California 15 months later.