I first became interested in the Green Party in the late 1990’s, and became involved in organizing and campaigns with my local chapter. Since then, I have been involved at various times at the local, state and national levels, in various officer roles as well as “general member.” My main interests have been in policy and the development of the platform, and ballot access. I am a member of the national platform committee, of which I was co-chair from 2002-2005, and a member of the National Women’s Caucus.
The Green Party fills a niche that no other progressive/”green” Non Governmental Organization can – that of an electoral organization, some of whose affiliates are official political parties in their respective states. In order to be effective and successful, we must run candidates, and they must be able to get on the ballot (duh!).
Since I became involved with the Green Party in the late 1990’s, I have been involved in ballot access policy and work of some kind: either petitioning for a ballot line, coordinating a ballot line petition drive, managing ballot filing paperwork, researching ballot status legislation and working in my own state for improved access and benefits for third parties. Most recently, I was part of a Green/Libertarian effort that successfully won an out-of-court settlement to gain party name designation of voter registration forms (a benefit in my state); and am currently involved in a litigation effort between Wisconsin and Iowa Green Parties and the City of Davenport over the right to petition in public areas.
I have coordinated 3 statewide presidential ballot access efforts (Iowans are fortunate to be in a state with some of the fairer ballot access laws), in 2000, 2004 and 2008; and oversaw ballot-filing paperwork nationally for both the Cobb/LaMarche and McKinney/Clemente presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. In 2006-07, I was involved in a Green/Libertarian lawsuit to win the right for “non-party political organizations” to be listed on the Iowa voter registration form, along with members of the two major parties. This was successfully settled out of court.
Electoral work has included running as the Iowa Green Party’s candidate for Lt. Governor in 2002 (the IAGP slate won the endorsement of an alternative Latino newspaper, “El Communicador”), and serving as treasurer of several campaigns – two of them winning!
I am currently serving on the Iowa City Housing and Community Development Commission. Locally, I am a member of: Iowans for Voting Integrity, People for Justice in Palestine, and Iowans for Peace.
My work as GPUS Secretary involves assisting with internal communications, such as providing general information to new Green National Committee delegates. Externally, tasks involve responding to inquiries for information: school projects (everything from middle school projects to graduate studies research), requests from publishers to use some of our platform or parts of our website (yes, we’re in textbooks!), and general inquiries about Green Party policies.
I believe development of effective state and local parties is the key to creating a Green U.S. The national body has some excellent resources, both people and materials, to offer to aid in this development. As secretary, I try to help facilitate the GPUS in furthering the development of effective local and state Green Parties.