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Green Party LogoThe Green Party announces new national party co-chairs


For Immediate Release:
Thursday, October 22, 2009

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,

Steering Committee web site, with co-chair bios and photos:

Green Pages, the Green Party's national publication, is now online:

WASHINGTON, DC -- The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States has confirmed the election of four new co-chairs, Mike Feinstein (from California), Farheen Hakeem (Minnesota), Jason Nabewaniec (New York; reelected), and David Strand (Minnesota); and the reelection of Holly Hart as the party's national secretary.

The co-chairs, who form the party's Steering Committee, are elected by the 200 members of the Green Party's National Committee, which includes delegates from state Green Parties and Green caucuses. The newly elected and reelected Steering Committee members join four continuing members, Jill Bussiere, Sanda Everette, Craig Thorsen, and treasurer Jody Grage.

The Green Party uses ranked choice voting, in an open, democratic process, to elect its internal leadership.

"The Green Party advocates numerous election reforms that would make our public election system far more democratic than it is right now with winner-take-all and rules that privilege two entrenched corporate-money parties," said continuing co-chair Sanda Everette. "Greens have promoted ranked choice voting, instant running voting, single transferrable voting, and proportional representation -- and we practice what we preach."

The three new members bring a variety of backgrounds to the Steering Committee. The election of Ms. Hakeem, a community organizer in Minneapolis, makes her the highest ranking Muslim woman in any US political party, which adds to her history of breaking records, having received a high number of votes and percentages as a Green Party endorsed candidate.

Mr. Feinstein served as Mayor of Santa Monica, California from 2000 to 2002, one of several Green mayors elected in California over the past decade (, as well as Santa Monica Council member (1996-2004). Mr. Strand is a prominent gay activist and a leader in the Green Party's Lavender Green Caucus, serving as the caucus's delegate to the National Committee.

PROFILES of new co-chairs

FARHEEN HAKEEM’s position as co-chair of the Green Party is the highest ranking in the US for any Muslim woman or Muslim in any political party.

"Farheen has been proven to be a true Green and is committed to the Ten Key Values ( of the Green Party," said Green Party treasurer Jody Grage.

"Among the Ten Key values, non-violence, respect for diversity and feminism are what draws a lot of Muslims to the Green Party," said Ms. Hakeem. "The Green Party has called for divestment from Israel. Cynthia McKinney, the Green Party's 2008 presidential candidate, recently visited Gaza and was arrested en route and held prisoner in an Israeli jail for bringing humanitarian aid to the people of Gaza in the wake of Israel's invasion."

Farheen Hakeem has been active in the Green Party since 2002. She ran for Mayor of Minneapolis, coming in third out of 12 candidates -- the only woman and Green Party endorsed candidate in the race.

MIKE FEINSTEIN, along with his career as elected mayor and city council member of Santa Monica, is one of the co-founders of the Green Party of California ( He has served twice as a US Green delegate to the Global Greens ( and once to the Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas (

Mr. Feinstein's goals for the Green Party include “electing more Greens and greening public policy. One of my top priorities is the transformation of our privately financed winner-take-all electoral system into a system of proportional representation with public financing, fair ballot access, and inclusion for all ballot qualified candidates in all debates."

DAVID STRAND is politics co-chair of the Green Party of Minnesota ( and treasurer of the 3rd Congressional District Green Party, where he has worked with other Greens to coordinate spending of public campaign financing funds the party has received to support Green state legislative candidates.

Mr. Strand is a founding member of the Lavender Green Caucus, which represents gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender Greens ( He is a proud member of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union (

"I am particularly interested in further expanding the party's activism, positions, and policies on issues relative to those both within and those exiting our nation's criminal 'justice' system. There are so many barriers to reintegration and this year alone more than 2 million people will be leaving our nation's prisons. There is much federal, state and local public policy which is overly punitive towards those who have served their time for their offenses and very little public policy supporting successful reintegration and preventing recidivism," said Mr. Strand.


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