Whither To Grow?The Green Party of California is launching a voter registration campaign with the goal of doubling registration by 2004.
By Stuart Bechman from the GROW working group
The Green Party has transformed in ten years from a small group of activists meeting in Wisconsin to a national party with affiliates in 38 states. In that time, it has grown from 0 to 300,000 registrants156,000 in California alone. Yet as you look at rising rates of non-voters in this country, its clear most people have not yet heard of the Green Party. Faced with economic crisis, corrupt corporations, buildup toward war, and absence of opposition by the Democratic Party, Americans see their only alternative as cynical non-participation. They do not realize there is a focused, energized and disciplined group of political activists ready to take on the establishment and demand the return of politics by the people, of the people, for the people.
And thats where you come in. We have had ten years to build our party and its time to go prime time. The Green Party of California is launching a voter registration campaign with the goal of doubling registration by 2004. Some people think its enough to simply vote Green, but pollsters and reporters gauge the seriousness of a party by its strength of registration. Ross Mirkarimi, Nader 2000 California Campaign Coordinator, points out the only real yardstick for party growth and sustainability is underscored by the number of our registrantsits the only way to fortify our gains and advance our influence. If you want the big parties to finally sit up and take notice that you disagree with their politics, the best way to register that vote is by registering Green.
There is great potential in California, where the Greens have consistently received vote counts 4 to 5 times greater than the number of party registrants. There are many voters who are aligned with Green values even though they are not yet registered Green. We need to translate that alignment into voter registration percentages in order for all of us to gain the clout we need to change the system.
We need to begin now; and we need you to help make it happen. Contact your local Green chapter and ask them how you can start tabling for the Greens; and if youre not yet a Green, get registered today to help us reach those numbers. If you want to change the future, be the future you want to be. Medea Benjamin, 2000 California Green candidate for U.S. Senator, agrees: Its absolutely essential to increase Green Party registration, especially between elections when we are not working on individual campaigns and initiatives. When I ran for Senate, journalists kept insisting that the Green Party was insignificant because we had such a low percentage of registered voters. Lets prove them wrong!
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