City of Kotzebue News

City of Kotzebue News
Next city council meeting

Thursday, November 16, 2023

A call for Greens to work together

Last Sunday on November 12th I participated in my first Green Party meetings in a long time, and my first two as an office holder. I found myself being volunteered into the position of treasurer of the state party. If you find yourself asking the question which green party in Alaska I’m referring to then you know all too well about the nonsensical drama that has surrounded The Green Party of The United States. Most people and voters don’t dabble into this party’s inner drama, and look for good candidates to vote for by the time election season rolls along.

Tonight I look forward to going to a city council meeting where important topics like The Ambler Road Project is going to be brought up. Before that, I’m going to participate in a Green Resistance meeting, with the discussion being around The Green Party’s new candidate for President of The United States, Dr. Jill Stein, and the party’s inability to manage itself to be political opposition to either The Democratic or Republican Parties. In a time when voters find themselves not aligned with what The Democrats or Republicans are doing with our government you think that voters would be happy with a party that offers them something different, like The Green Party. But when we look at The Green Party now what we see is a mess.

We can ask ourselves who is to blame for the state in which The Green Party is in today. I attempted to work with The Co-Chairman of The Green Party of Alaska and the national party’s nominee for president Howie Hawkins to get him on the ballot in Alaska in 2020. But I found myself being threatened with a lawsuit because I refused to submit paperwork without Chairman Shields’ signature. The Green Party’s presidential primary in 2020 was very controversial, with Alaska's votes not being counted during the candidate selection process at the national convention. Chairman Shields wanted to talk to Hawkins before agreeing to have him be our candidate and on the ballot, a call Hawkins never made. After donating hundreds of dollars to his campaign I had to cut myself off from Hawkins’ campaign. A vote was held and The Green Party of Alaska put Jesse Ventura on the ballot as our presidential nominee instead of Hawkins. The Green Party of The United States understandably unrecognized us as their state affiliate. We now have this confusing situation where there are two “Green” parties in Alaska, one with the name and the other with the recognition of being affiliated with The Green Party of The United States, whatever good that does.

I wish to state now that I don’t want to waste my time with continuing this drama. How does The Green Party expect to win anything when it fails right now to work with each other? When this situation is explained to voters how do we expect them to think of us as anything more than a joke? While many people think of Greens as “Democrat lite” I’d compare this situation more like what’s happening with The Republican Party over the debt limit and the house speakership. They have made themselves look like fools because the extreme wing of their party with their small numbers took control, while Republicans broke their deal with Democrats to keep the government going. The only saving grace for The Green Party is this mess has led them to irrelevance, allowing candidates to be viewed by voters with a clean slate.

The Green Party of Alaska (GPAK) holds weekly meetings on Zoom on Sunday afternoons, and in the last one Co-Chairman Robert Shields and I discussed what it means to be a Green, and how that makes us different from the other parties. We agreed that to say you’re a Green means that you believe that humans should be good stewards of this planet, with everything else being secondary. Is that the reason we’re dividing ourselves right now? No! We’re embroiled in a struggle over party politics, with people telling each other it’s going to be my way or the highway. That didn’t work well for us in 2020, and it’s not going to work well for us in 2024. I’m going to invite the members of The Aurora Party to a future GPAK meeting where I believe we should hash this out. Because if we can’t make this work The Green Party as brand will be garbage to the voters.

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