Let us never compromise our four pillars of Grassroots Democracy, Social and Equal Opportunity, Ecological Wisdom and Non- Violence!
Hello fellow Greens! My name is Deanna Murphy (Dee for short). I have been in the party only a short time due to experiencing and overcoming serious real-life struggles which affect the lives of millions of people not just within the U.S., but also in the world at large. I appreciate those who have been developing and building this amazing global platform during times when people such as myself were not in a position to participate in the political process, and want to extend my debt of gratitude to those that have so diligently worked towards building the Green Party in the United States for so many years. Never have I been so involved in any political movement, mostly due to a prevalent sense of the feeling that things could not be changed structurally in our society and that those in power would “do what they want to do”. I now understand that this is not, in fact, a reality and that the amazing structure of decentralization within the Green party empowers people that have not previously felt as if they had a voice to be able to work towards deep, lasting societal change through participation on all levels- from volunteering for smaller roles when needed to running for office when permitted to do so on their local levels. I am hoping that through our work together on the Steering Committee, more voices of those who are disenfranchised will be encouraged to participate and will see that it’s okay to try to step up to the plate, even if it’s by joining a caucus on the national level when their local areas are not open or accessible to them due to authoritarian control structures which discourage democratic participation and involvement. It’s not me, it’s us- one of the slogans that originally drew people like myself to this platform, and which I will advocate for at every turn.
I am grateful to have been offered the opportunity to offer lifelong learned skills in helping contribute to the stated aims of the Green Party platform. Since first attending a Green Party outreach event in my state in June of 2016, some of the contributions that I have made locally are:
1) Participation in my local congressional district Green Party. Accepted the offer to call and email a large database of people in my local congressional district (not a huge response rate, but continue trying by setting up a facebook page called St. Cloud Greens and managing a facebook page by the name of 6th Congressional CD Green Party, along with managing 4 facebook groups, 3 of which are geared towards the Green Party and one of which is geared towards people in general in progressive movements). Elected co-chair of MN CD 6 and was sent to the Minnesota State Coordinating Committee in September of 2016.
2) During my time on the state committee, I have introduced novel ways of coordination and streamlined publicly accessible technology venues in order to improve our capacity to reach more of our members. For instance, when I first joined the committee, members such as myself that lived in remote locations simply missed meetings when physically unable to attend them. The introduction of Skype enabled members such as myself and others in remote areas to be able to participate in meetings and assist our state meetings towards making quorum necessary to discuss proposals and vote on them. (Sometimes it is used by those who are in the area, but cannot physically make it to the meetings due to illness or other extenuating factors). I also suggested and implemented free coordination software, such as signups.com, to enable scheduling of volunteers for events such as the State Fair last year. After calling previous volunteers on a list of 30 or so people, was able to enter their email addresses and phone numbers into the list for easy self-management of scheduling (open shifts were easily viewable and people could cancel or reschedule their shifts on viewing openings). I encouraged our communications committee to further bolster signups by including the links to where people could sign up on our facebook page, from which we were able to get several new volunteers, a few of whom still volunteer with us. I personally filled in four days of state fair tabling, completing grueling shifts from morning until night on the days when there were gaps in the schedule or cancellations due to wanting to ensure that we were not penalized for not having people at the tables during our allotted times at the fair.
3) Created a call hub list for each of our last round of candidates, uploading their information and personally utilizing this system to call 236 people after growing tired of manually dialing over 100 people in varying districts to generate excitement and support for our candidates. To further bolster support, I organized a phone banking party- something that I brought over from canvassing for Bernie Sanders prior to coming to to the Green Party. This was also advertised on our facebook page, and had a very nice turnout of volunteers, despite challenges associated with internet access in the building we rent space from.
4) Tabled at events such as the Liberty Tree Foundation and volunteered to facilitate one of the sessions there when no other member of the committee would volunteer.
5) Requested and was granted a table at our annual Saint Cloud Pride event in 2016 to canvass for Dr. Jill Stein and recruit new membership to my CD. 12 people signed up, all were called and from this list of people came a young couple who happened to be transgender, one of whom became the president of the SCSU Greens group that I formed on our college campus prior to graduating in December of 2016.
6) Initiated the concept of and developed an outreach event for our community called “Spring Cleaning, Changing the Political Landscape in America” in March of 2017, working with our then campus Vice President on every level of development and implementation. Our VP scheduled the meeting room and assisted with coordinating food and campus funding, while I planned the itinerary and panel, communicated with participants, requested funds from the CC which assisted with transportation reimbursement for those coming in from out of town and payment for the event to be recorded for future viewing from people who could not be physically in attendance. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UFdIpUd966s
Our state elected me as a delegate to the GPUS Nati0nal Committee in June of 2017. While have only been active on the NC for seven months, I have been relatively successful in navigating state duties along with participating in national discussions and joining the National Green Party Black Caucus, the Women’s Caucus, and the Lavender Caucus. The Black Caucus has appointed me to the Eco-Action committee about two months ago, and am getting to know the other members, our mutual aims and interests, and in what can be done to assist this very critical committee in taking a larger part of the Ecological Wisdom aspect of our 4 pillars through organizing and doing what we can to reflect a stronger Green Party presence in this arena. I have ideas on how this can be done, and these discussions will be taking place soon within the committee. The Women’s Caucus has appointed me to the Accreditation committee a couple of months ago as well, and am familiarizing myself with the accreditation process through participation and observation of communications with current applicants to this process. The Lavender Caucus has invited me to working groups focused on current projects within the caucus within the past week or so, and am happily anticipating contributing what I can in whatever capacity to the groups.
I would like the opportunity to be able to continue this pattern of service as a co-chair of the Steering Committee, who’s mission and purpose is to perform the administrative functions of the Green Party of the United States.
One of the things that attracts me the most to applying for this position is the transparency of the decision-making process. As a person whose life experiences brought an unusual amount of challenges prior to getting to a starting ground where I could begin to contribute towards efforts for societal change, I will always struggle for the underdog, voices not heard, and listen to those who are willing to dialogue on critical issues that affect the people who depend on us to carry out this mission. I love that all calls are recorded, and am open to suggestions and discussions from NC delegates that have concerns or questions about any of the positions I take as a member of the SC, so long as they are offered in the same respectful manner that we all would like to be addressed in. It’s not me, it’s us. While there are 9 SC positions being held at any given point in time, our job is to serve the membership, and not to promote any ideologies that are not in line with the Green party platform or it’s values.
I will say, for the record that I do not support the “one big party movement”. Looking at the success of the Green Party Platform in other parts of the world, I know that we can do it here as well, with enough determination and working together towards this platform on all levels. The four pillars and ten key values are golden, as written, and as are being followed in other countries, which we originally adopted this platform from in the US. It is an honor, as a Women’s Caucus member, to have joined the Global Women’s Green Caucus in coordinating efforts to be able to communicate, compare notes, and ultimately convey what we are about as a party, with people and candidates that can be trusted to deliver on this throughout the world.
For this, we need to be able to work together, and while many states are experiencing challenges with members joining up who are saying “you would be so great if only…. you did this better or different” we should be open to ideas and contributions, but ultimately we are the Green Party of the United States, with each of us working to implement the four pillars and ten key values that is being followed by Green Party members all over the planet. While some states are struggling with attempts to change this value system in their frustration at the current administrations that are in place -and I have seen this even on a local level- my communications have been mostly Green to Green, and no one has ever seen me speak out against this party on any public social media platform. It is critical that we work on our infrastructure and move forward towards implementing our values, and public social media attacks on our party do nothing to facilitate this. I have personally experienced loss of membership due to some of the articles and posts that have been written, and for us to succeed as a party, people working against our party and platform should be encouraged to amend this approach so that we can all move forward, united, with our brothers and sisters across the globe working to make the world a better place utilizing Green Party values and the Green Party movement. It’s not me, it’s us.