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  Winter 2004 (current)
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Mountain View City Council Race A Squeaker for First-Time Candidate

In this issue:

National Green Candidates Ran Against All The Odds
Mountain View City Council Race A Squeaker for First-Time Candidate
Pioneering California Green Officeholder to Step Down After Twelve Years
Green Congressional Candidates Make a StatementAgainst the War, for Civil Rights on Nov. 2
Green Election Highlights: Significant Wins in California
Questionable Green Party Image Presented To Voters
Mandate Bush? I don't think so!
Defeat of prop 62 Opens Door to Green Electoral Reform Alternatives
Greens hold on to S.F. District 5 supervisor's seat
Tough and Tenacious: Taking Voting Rights Issues to the Supreme Court?
Nepal: On A Green Path to Democracy
Benefits Abound Through Precinct Walking
Reframing the Political Debate
Winter 2004 Cartoons

By Stephanie Schaaf

As a Green candidate for Mountain View City Council this November, I received the votes of 10,585 Mountain View residents. Unfortunately, this was a mere 160 votes shy of the winning number. Nonetheless, I am proud of the campaign I ran with the help of many Green volunteers.

The campaign really started 2 years ago when I began making connections in the community. I volunteered with education, peace, and environmental groups, and graduated from the City's Leadership Mountain View program. I also became a Council groupie and attended virtually every City Council meeting, making connections with Council members and community advocates and developing expertise on the issues facing Mountain View.

When it came time to begin the campaign, I started very early. We held our kickoff party at the end of April, which raised $2300 from the 50 attendees. Fundraising activities continued over the next two months, including a mailed solicitation to frequent Green donors from throughout the county. By June 30th, we had already raised over $10,000. This campaign viability helped me gain the endorsements of local leaders including my state Assembly member, Sally Lieber.

I also received endorsements from organizations like the Sierra Club, the South Bay AFL-CIO Labor Council, Mountain View Voices for Peace, the League of Conservation Voters, Mountain View Professional Firefighters, BAYMEC - a gay rights group, and Advocates for Affordable Housing. And all three local newspapers endorsed me as well, including the San Jose Mercury News.

Early fundraising meant that I could focus on voter contact starting in July. Precinct walking (knocking on doors and talking to voters) is the best way to gain votes. I personally knocked on over 2500 doors, and with the help of a large, motivated group of volunteers, we covered the entire city - some of it twice! We also sent direct mail to approximately 20,000 voters.

Part of the purpose of my campaign was to educate the community about Green values. I ran on a theme of making Mountain View a sustainable city to preserve our quality of life for future generations. This includes sustainable neighborhoods, environmental policies and financial decisions. The concept of sustainability is now meaningful to many more community members than it was before my campaign.

Overall, I consider the campaign a success, despite falling short of election. For a 27-year-old, first-time candidate, I accomplished a great deal. I strongly encourage other Greens to run for local office, and I look forward to helping mentor future candidates.

Stephanie Schaaf can be reached via email at: sas@alumni.brown.edu

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