Editorial: Strategies for Diversity Require DiversitySit in on Green Party gatherings at international, national, state, and local levels, and you are likely to encounter the subject of diversity. And if the discussion moves to strategies for outreach to diverse ethnic and immigrant groups, no single answer will be found. It all depends on the group we are trying to reach. Two main approaches are issues versus campaigns.
by Karine Megerdoomian, co-editor
Outreaching to the African-American population, according to Donna Warren, Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor in November 2002, would only work if we actually work on the issues important to the community. Often Latino organizers also feel that working with them on issues relevant to their community and becoming known locally is the most efficient way to garner their support. This requires serious community organizing and issue-based campaigns side by side with the local groups.
As an Armenian, I noticed in my attempts to reach out to the Iranian community that they try not to get too involved in political organizing. Although there have been attempts to organize as a community, in general they shy away from issue-based campaigns. For this group, it's more important to have an Iranian candidate. For example, most of the Iranians in San Diego are actually conservative but when Sara Amir ran for Lt. Governor, Iranians voted for her, a Green, just because she was Iranian. It seems to work the same in the Armenian community. Presumably an Armenian candidate will make sure that issues important to the community (e.g., genocide and relations with Armenia) are addressed.
In some instances, it will be important to focus on certain issues and work on those alongside the community groups. In other cases, focusing on issues will not be as efficient as recruiting and mentoring candidates from within the community. To help our discussions on diversity to be more fruitful, it is important to move toward developing effective strategies. These strategies will be, inevitably, diverse.
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