Greens Get Second State Legislator.
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES
GREENS GET SECOND STATE LEGISLATOR
New Jersey State Assembly member, rejecting Democrats' devotion to corporate money, switches to Green
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- New Jersey State Assembly member Matt Ahearn, of the 38th district (Bergen County), switched his party affiliation from Democratic to Green on Friday, January 24. Ahearn had met with local Greens before his conversion, and met with the state party on Saturday.
Democrats had indicated that they would not renominate Ahearn when his term is up later this year because of his lack of fundraising. Ahearn said that "the stranglehold by big money in politics on these issues must be broken at all levels of government. Our children and their future grandchildren deserve nothing less from us."
"Too few of my former caucus members were willing to stand for their commitments made during the last campaign to toughen drunk driving laws and to support legislation for civil unions and other equal rights issues for women and minorities," said the new freshman Green Party Minority Leader.
Ahearn's switch follows the election of John Eder to the Maine State House last November 6. Eder was the first sitting Green state legislator since 1999, and this is the first time the Green Party has had two state legislators. There are currently 170 elected Greens in the U.S., in 23 states.
Ahearn, in his meetings with Greens before his switch, confirmed his support for the Green Party's platform.
"We can have a thriving economy, preserve the environment, and keep our constituents making a good living with brighter and safer futures for their children," said Ahearn. "All we in government need to do is put aside the game of power politics and focus on the real issues for the right reasons. We must solve them with tri-partisan dialogues and cooperative efforts with the entire legislature all sharing the credit. We all need to be more concerned about the people and less concerned about winning the next election cycle and holding on to power at any price."
Joe Fortunato, state chair of the New Jersey Green Party, said, "The Green Party of New Jersey is on the move. We are sinking deeper roots and strengthening our visibility. We are Green and growing and look forward to more of the same throughout the year."
"The Green Party offers pragmatic, democratic and cost-effective alternatives not considered by the dominant parties," said Nathalie Paravacini, Texas Green and secretary of the Green Party of the United States. It is no surprise people, particularly women, adopt the party's vision when given a chance to hear about Green policy perspectives."
The Green Party of the United States
Matt Ahearn, District 38 State Assembly
New Jersey Green Party
"Green Assemblyman Matt Ahearn vows fight for
campaign finance reform: New Jersey Green Party meets with Assemblyman
Matt Ahearn to plan campaign strategy for the coming year" Green
Party of New Jersey press release, Sunday, January 26, 2003