Greens Hold 2006 Annual Meeting in Tucson, Arizona
Monday July 31, 2006
Greens hold 2006 annual meeting in Tucson, Arizona
WASHINGTON, D.C. -- State Green Party delegates, candidates, and leaders from 34 states gathered in Tucson, Arizona over the weekend for the party's 2006 annual meeting.
During press conferences held on Friday and Saturday, Green candidates for congressional, state, and local office met with the media and discussed their 2006 election campaigns.
Green candidates and elected public officials from across the U.S. talked about how Greens serve the needs of their constituents, noting that Greens don't take corporate contributions or surrender to pressure from big business lobbies.
Many Greens discussed ballot access efforts and attempts by other parties to keep Green candidates off the ballot.
Illinois Green Party Co-Chair Phil Huckelberry described efforts by Democrats in his state to have Green ballot access petitions invalidate after Greens submitted 39,000 signatures to the Illinois Board of Elections -- 14,000 more signatures than the required 25,000. Democrats tried to have thousands of clearly legitimate signature declared invalid, but Greens expect the party to achieve state-level ballot status in Illinois.
Hosted by the Pima County Green Party and titled "El Futuro es Verde / The Future is Green," the meeting is taking place at the Historic YWCA Building, 738 North 5th Avenue (corner of East 5th Avenue and East University Boulevard), four blocks from the University of Arizona. Claudia Ellquist, Angel Torres, and other local Green leaders organized the national meeting.
Ms. Ellquist, joined by José Matus, spiritual leader of the Yaqui Indians and head of Alianza Indígena Sin Fronteras, spoke on border issues Friday evening, and emphasized the Green Party's humane position on immigration, support for the rights and well-being of all immigrants (including those without documentation), and the economic devastation caused by NAFTA that has driven Mexicans and other immigrants across borders.
"The border wall between the U.S. and Mexico -- constructed the same year that NAFTA passed -- needs to come down now!" said Ms. Ellquist. "Too many people have died trying to seek a better life."
George Martin, national co-chair of United For Peace and Justice <http://www.unitedforpeace.org> and a Wisconsin Green, discussed ballot referenda in 32 Wisconsin cities, towns, and villages in April, 2006, which called for the immediate return of U.S. troops from Iraq. 26 of the initiatives passed. "Greens led that initiative.. Seize the time! The war is an issue. Democrats are becoming more militaristic. Our Green candidates are promoting peace."
Mr. Martin, speaking before a plenary during the Tucson meeting, said, "Let's bring our troops home now! We will end this war!... The Green Party position is now the majority sentiment in the U.S."
Green Party leaders also used the 2006 meeting to talk about plans for a Green presidential campaign in 2008.
For Green campaign listings, news, photos, and web sites, visit the Green Party's candidate spotlight page <http://www.gp.org/2006elections> and the Green elections database <http://www.greens.org/elections>, which lists all 2006 candidates.
Green Party of the United States