News Release - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

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The Green Party of the United States Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator 207-326-4576, nallen@acadia.net 
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator, 202-518-5624, scottmclarty@yahoo.com 

Record Number of African-American, Urban, and Young Candidates Run on Green Party Ticket in 2001.

WASHINGTON, D.C. -- The record number of Green Party candidates competing in the November election includes more African-American candidates running for state and local office than ever before, including city council incumbents and a candidate running for Governor of New Jersey. 

"Not only has the party's growth manifested itself in a vastly increased number of candidates in 2001, but it has included a growing presence in the nation's urban cores and its largest cities, alongside an increasing racial diversity among Green candidates," said Mike Feinstein, Mayor of Santa Monica, California, who tracks the party's election campaigns.

Jerry Coleman, GP candidate
for Governor of New Jersey

The current list of elected Greens includes Latinos in some prominent city offices: Municipal Judge Fran Gallegos and City Council Member Miguel Chavez in Santa Fe, New Mexico; City Supervisor Matthew Gonzalez and At-Large Board of Education Member Marc Sanchez in San Francisco, California; and Social Development Commission Member Robert Miranda in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Elizabeth Horton Sheff (see below), who is African-American, holds a City Council seat in Hartford, Connecticut. 

"Originally cast in the late 1980s and early 1990s as a rural, Anglo middle-class environmental party, Greens are now showing an increasing presence in the nation's urban areas, and are presenting an increasingly diverse face in its candidates. In 2001, this is most apparent in the number of African American candidates for the Greens, particularly in the Northeast. This may come as a surprise to those who felt the Democrats had a lifetime 'lock' on some constituencies. But it has not been a surprise to Greens who believe in the party's progressive agenda and feel that it was only a matter of time (and hard work) before increasing numbers of people from diverse backgrounds would be attracted to it." 

Some campaigns to watch:

Elizabeth Horton Sheff is running to hold on to her seat in the City Council of Hartford, Connecticut. Ms. Horton Sheff became the first African American Green elected to public office when she won her Council seat running on an urban/inner city agenda in 1999. This year she hopes to be joined in office by several more African American Greens. 
Web sites: http://ctgreens.org/hortonsheff/ 

Jerry Coleman is the Greens' "yes!" answer to the New York Times question "Isn't it time for an African-American candidate for governor in New Jersey?" A long-time urban activist, Coleman focuses on environmental justice and racism, affordable housing (especially for seniors), and a healthy urban environment. Coleman has been outspoken against racial profiling and police brutality, and advocates the establishment of civilian police review boards. 
Web site: 

In Minneapolis, three African-American Green candidates are running: three-term incumbent Annie Young, seeking re-election to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board, which controls the city's vast park system; Brother Shane Price in Ward 3 member of City Council; and Natalie Johnson Lee for Ward 5. Both Price and Johnson seek to serve some of the city's poorest residents, focusing on education, local economic development, housing, justice and the environment. The burden of maintaining some racial diversity on the City Council there is falling mostly on the Greens; unless Price, Lee, or the city's lone Democratic African-American candidate are elected, Minneapolis could end up with no African-Americans on council for the first time in 30 years. 

Brother Shane Price, a Green running for Minneapolis City Council Ward 3, is a minister who once served prison time and has since become the organizer of an annual march for peace and justice through his community. Price calls himself a "recovering Democrat." 

Natalie Johnson Lee has drawn extensive press coverage as an African-American woman taking on City Council President Jackie Cherryholmes. Lee has worked extensively on provision of housing, racial profiling and other community issues with the NAACP and other community organizations. She came in a close second to the incumbent in the primary. Cherryholmes has raised nearly $40,000 from corporate interests in order to hold her seat in exchange for some well-known favors.  

Minnesota Green activist David Strand said, "The incumbent chose to skip several high profile African-American community debates after her first encounter in which Natalie confronted her and spoke truth to power." Ward 5 is approximately 60% African-American but includes a portion of pricey downtown condos that Jackie Cherryholmes helped get city subsidies to build.
Web site:  http://www.mngreens.org/

Young Han, Green Party candidate for 21st District in the State Legislature race in Washington State, made the national news earlier this year when a Republican political consultant tried to infiltrate his campaign and contribute money, which Han returned. Han is the first Green Party candidate on the ballot for state legislature in Washington State.  

Han, at 18 the youngest among many young Greens running for office, represents the growing popularity of the Green Party among voters under 30, the age group with the highest registration in the party. If Han wins, he'll join another elected Asian-American Green, Shwaw Vang, Madison (Wisconsin) School Board member who defeated a Democrat in a head to head race. "At the national level, there is no longer an opposition party," said Young Han. "There is only a ruling coalition. Here in Washington State, the major parties are constantly trying to undermine democracy, but are, thankfully,bickering with each other as to how to do it. My message of election reform, and instant runoffvoting in particular, has resonated not only with average voters, but also with elected legislatorswho don't appreciate what their party bosses are trying to do. The idea of getting to rank candidates is quite catchy with just about everyone."
Web site: http://voteforyoung.org/ 

NOTE: A second Green Party press release, on Thursday, November 1, will cover more Green campaigns around the U.S.

The Green Party of the United States  http://gpus.org 
Green Party election news  http://gpus.org/elections.html 
Green candidate lists and links  http://www.gp.org/patience.html

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News Release - Wednesday, October 31, 2001

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