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Green Party LogoGreens at the Chicago convention, July 10-13, to collect and donate items to homeless shelters


For Immediate Release:
Tuesday, July 1, 2008

Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, cell 202-904-7614,
Starlene Rankin, Media Coordinator, 916-995-3805,
Ruth Weill, National Convention Coordinator, 414-350-2107,

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WASHINGTON, DC -- Green Party members attending the Green National Convention in Chicago, July 10-13, will bring donations for area shelters.

The collection is a project organized by Pat LaMarche, the Green Party's vice presidential nominee in 2004. During her 2004 campaign, Ms. LaMarche, who ran with presidential nominee David Cobb, went on a two-week cross country tour of urban homeless shelters, staying overnight at many of them or sleeping along side the homeless in the street in an effort to bring attention to veterans issues, the need for a living wage, affordable housing, and universal access to health care.

"I would like for folks with less agreeable resting places for their heads to know that Greens came to town and that we did not forget them," said Ms. LaMarche, who wrote a book about her 2004 experiences, 'Left Out in America, the State of Homelessness in the United States' (Portland, Maine: upalaPress, 2006).

"The last time I stayed in Chicago was in 2004 at a shelter for women and their children. There's a big difference between where I'll be staying this time and where the homeless folks like the ones I met last time will be staying," added Ms. LaMarche.

Ms. LaMarche has already contacted food suppliers in her home state of Maine. Wyman's Blueberries of Cherryfield, Maine, has led the way by committing donations of canned berries to the shelter in Chicago. Greens from around the country who will not be attending the convention have begun food drives to support their local shelters in solidarity with the collection efforts in Chicago, with satellite shelter drives confirmed in Utah, Pennsylvania, and Maine.

"As in the 'Left Out' tour we undertook in 2004, we want to bring the plight of the poor and the need to restore the social safety net into the election year debate," said Ms. LaMarche. "The Green Party calls adequate housing and health care a human right. As our economy falters, as this winter's heating costs soar, as the gap between the rich and the poor grows ever wider, and as our middle class recedes to join the ranks of the poor, it is no less important today than four years ago that we focus on the issues of poverty."

Pat LaMarche can be reached at 207-671-0190.

During the convention, hundreds of delegates from Green Parties in nearly every state will choose the Green nominees for President and Vice President of the United States. The nomination process will take place on Saturday, July 12, at the Chicago Symphony Center.

The four candidates -- Jesse Johnson, Cynthia McKinney, Kent Mesplay, and Kat Swift -- will participate in a forum Friday, July 11, at the Palmer House Hilton beginning at 7 pm. Other candidates, including Green congressional hopefuls, will be featured during press conferences and other events throughout the weekend.


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