July 30, 2001: Greens Create National Party

Green Party of United States announced in city where Green-led council passes pioneer living wage law.

Jo Chamberlain (650) 678-6695 
Dean Myerson (303) 956-0827
Stacy Malkan (202) 486-6409

Santa Monica, Calif. -- Green Party leaders today celebrated the formation of the Green Party of the United States and announced their application to the Federal Election Commission for national committee status, heralding a new era for the country's third strongest political party.

Green Party Press Conference

Kevin McKeown, Green Party member of the Santa Monica City Council, sits far left. McKeown announced the Council's passage of the nation's first-ever private-sector living wage law, more than doubling minimum wage for the city's thousands of tourism and hospitality workers. Other Green Party speakers included (left to right) Nancy Pearlman, recently elected to the Los Angeles Community College board; congressional candidate Donna Warren, from South Central Los Angeles; Santa Monica's mayor, Michael Feinstein; Jo Chamberlain (California), newly-elected member of the party's national Steering Committee; and Tom Adkins, director of the Campus Greens. Click here for more photos of the press event.

"The Green Party has grown an estimated 35% since the historic Nader/LaDuke 2000 presidential campaign. Already this year, more than half of our Greens candidates for office have been elected. There is no stopping the Green movement," said Jo Chamberlain, co-chair of the newly elected Green Party Steering Committee.

"The new Green Party of the United States is the political framework from which we will fuel the momentum against corporate power that is building on a global scale," she said. State Green parties voted unanimously to form the new national party at their recent convention in Santa Barbara, Calif.

The announcement was made in Santa Monica, where, under the leadership of Green Mayor Mike Feinstein and Green Councilmember Kevin McKeown, the city council recently passed a groundbreaking living wage ordinance. The first living wage ordinance in the country to apply to the private sector, the law raises wages to $10.50 an hour and provides benefits to some 2,000 low-wage workers. 

"The Green Party is working for the things that will make a positive difference in the lives of average people, " Mayor Feinstein said. "We are working for universal health care coverage, a living wage, a safe and healthy environment, an end to the inhumane and racist death penalty and war on drugs, and reforms to put power back into the hands of the people - the issues Americans care most about."

Feinstein announced a three-part strategy to build the party in the coming years. 

"The Greens will win more campaigns by recruiting and supporting viable candidates who will challenge Democrats and Republicans at every level of government. We will aggressively register new party members to vote for our candidates. And we will work to change our undemocratic, winner-take-all electoral system to a fair and inclusive system of proportional representation," he said.

Greens are also organizing on colleges and universities across the country with the help of the newly formed Campus Greens, which holds its founding convention August 9-12 at the University of Illinois-Chicago. More than 200 Campus Greens chapters will be active by the fall. 

The Green Party has been building in the United States since 1984 and now has 91 elected officials in 21 states.

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