Sunflower Seed E-Newsletter April 2017

Welcome to the April 2017 issue of the Sunflower Seed! In this issue you will find out how you can get involved in our 2017 campaigns, learn how our candidates and elected officials are standing up for our communities, hear about big Green Party of England election successes, and read about how Greens in Greater Minnesota are getting energized, organized and engaged! Enjoy!

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In addition to paying our wonderful Party Administrator Betsy, your donations will make it possible to send out mailers on behalf of our 2017 candidates, order new Green Party Minnesota t-shirts, banners, flags, and all sorts of things to get our message out beyond the internet! Please consider becoming a sustaining donor for as little as $10 a month today!

Upcoming Events:

Saturday, May 13th
GPMN Coordinating Committee Meeting
10am - 1pm
4200 Cedar Ave
Minneapolis, MN 55407

Saturday, May 20th
Black Women in Politics Featuring Green Sam Pree-Stinson
11am-4pm
Gangelhoff Center
235 Hamline Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55104

Saturday, May  20th
Endorsing Meeting for Billy Menz – Minneapolis Park Board/Membership Meeting
2pm-5pm
North Regional Library
1315 Lowry Ave N
Minneapolis, MN 55411

Saturday May 20th
Annie Young Park Board Retirement Party
5pm-8:30 pm
The Eagles Club
2507 E. 25th St.
Minneapolis, MN 55406

Sunday June 4th
4th Congressional Green Party Membership Meeting
1:15pm-3:15pm
Rice Street Library
1011 Rice St.
Saint Paul, MN 55117

Sunday, June 4th
Open Streets Booth – Lyndale with Terry White for Ward 8 Minneapolis
11am-1pm
See link above for more info!

Have you ever thought about running for office?

Don’t wait - when planning a campaign, it is best to do so as far in advance as possible. We recommend at least 1-2 years before election day. Read more about how you can get started on your future Green run for office here: mngreens.org/run_for_office

Prior Election Judges Wanted 

Have you served as an election judge in Minnesota in the past ten years? A nonpartisan organization is forming to help with recruitment of election judges and to collaborate with local and state election officials on the training and work of poll workers.

Here is a link to an interest survey: https://goo.gl/7EXHrF

Southern Minnesota Green conference

SamPree.pngApril 29 marked an important new chapter in the development of the Green Party in Minnesota. Greens from across the First Congressional District - which includes virtually all of Southern Minnesota - met at a historic Spring Conference, the first of its kind in the region.

The event, hosted by the Olmsted County Greens, took place at the Rochester Public Library, and drew Greens from across Southern Minnesota. The conference, titled "Energize, Organize, Engage!," focused on connecting with local groups working on Green issues. Attendees included activists from the local peace, environmental, and health care movements.

Minneapolis Green Samantha Pree-Stinson, who is running for City Council, addressed the gathering to express solidarity from the Twin Cities. Her talk was covered by KAAL Television, which ran a short piece on the conference.

Brian_M.pngRepresentative John Marty also addressed the conference, detailing his Minnesota Health Plan. The newly-formed Green Party of Minnesota Health Care Caucus was also in attendance. The caucus is comprised of Green Party members advocating for a single-payer system, many of whom have been active in the cause for years.

Southern Minnesota has been a hotbed of Green Party activity and growth since 2016. Winona County re-established a local, and Olmsted County established a Green Party seedling (precursor to a local). The two local units have also been working with Greens in Mankato at establishing a network for the entire First Congressional District.

For more information and to connect with Southern Minnesota Greens click here. 

You can watch a similar event that took place in Saint Cloud prior to this in its entirety here.

Minneapolis Green Candidates Blast Police Appointment of Delmonico    

Sam.pngSamantha Pree-Stinson, Green and labor endorsed City Council candidate in Ward 3, had strong words against the appointment of Lt. John Delmonico to head the 4th Precinct in North Minneapolis, the site of the police murder of Jamar Clark in November 2015 and the subsequent occupation of the precinct area by Black Lives Matter and allied groups.

Pree-Stinson pointed out that the city, especially the Northside, needs “collaborative, ground-up leadership,” not the same top-down leadership that has led to antagonism between police and residents and has contributed to an overall governing process that does not work for most of the people, especially in areas of the city with higher percentages of residents of color and poor residents.

Pree-Stinson referred to the Department of Justice report on the Jamar Clark killing and the 4th-Precinct occupation, a report that highlighted the need for collaborative leadership and changes in the way the police department relates to the community.

“Did no one at city hall read the DOJ report?” wrote Pree-Stinson. “We do not need rank and file leadership. We need collaborative ground up leadership. We need leaders across the entire city.”

CamGordon.jpgIncumbent Green City Council Candidate for Minneapolis Ward 2 also had strong words about this situation.

“Putting a man like that in charge of a precinct at which there were recently large-scale protests and an occupation resulting from the police killing of an unarmed black man is beyond a bad idea. It undermines the relationship rebuilding that needs to happen between police and the community.” –Cam Gordon

The appointment of Delmonico by Police Chief Janee Harteau was rescinded by Mayor Betsy Hodges. In Minneapolis’s City Charter, the Mayor has authority over all personnel issues, including the police department.

Councilmember Gordon to Propose Protections for Dancers in Strip Clubs

CamGordon2.jpgResponding to a University of Minnesota report that performers at some Minneapolis strip clubs face on-the-job hazards ranging from injuries during performances to financial exploitation to physical and sexual assault, City Councilmember Cam Gordon said he is looking into an ordinance to provide better workplace conditions for workers at adult venues.

The University of Minnesota’s Urban Research and Outreach-Engagement Center (UROC), which conducted the study in response to reports from workers of unsafe working conditions, argued that since adult entertainment is a legal industry, workers should have an environment free from harassment and assault.

Gordon, who chairs the City Council’s Health, Environment, and Community Engagement Committee, which heard the report, agreed, and said he plans to involve UROC and entertainers, managers and club owners in coming up with ordinance changes that will offer greater protection to workers at these venues.

The Green Party platform strongly advocates for the rights of workers in all jobs on all levels to a livable wage and safe and humane working conditions.

Elizabeth Dickinson for Saint Paul Mayor officially Green endorsed

ElizabethDickinsonEndorsed.jpgOn a warm and windy April Sunday afternoon, the members of the 4th Congressional District Green Party of Minnesota (4CDGPMN) assembled to discuss making a commitment to the future. Within the welcoming Rice Street Branch of the Saint Paul Public Library, a candidate appeared. She, Elizabeth Dickinson, was no stranger, having previously helmed the 4CDGPMN, and ran under its banner for Mayor of Saint Paul in 2005, and City Council in 2003.

Her previous run for mayor had nearly caused a major upset - only 1950 more votes in the primary and she would have eliminated the incumbent from the November election - despite starting late and being outspent by hundreds of thousands of dollars. There is no incumbent this year or even a clear front-runner among the establishment politicians, and Saint Paul has replaced the non-partisan primary with Ranked-Choice Voting, making this a wide open race. 

The 4CDGPMN membership takes endorsement seriously, and after a lengthy discussion determined that Elizabeth had all of the passion, principles, and practical grasp of the process necessary for the run, and unanimously endorsed her in the first round of a secret ballot.

As a small-business owner and long-term community activist, Elizabeth has the complete support of the local Green Party in building a broad coalition to take back the City of Saint Paul from the forces of short-sighted corporate greed, and building a city for the neighborhoods, for the future, and for all people.

Green Minneapolis city council candidate Terry White featured in the Southwest Journal

TerryWhite.jpgTerry White, Green candidate for Ward 8 Minneapolis City Council, was recently featured in the Southwest Journal and had this to say about why he decided to run Green:

“a large part of why I’m running as a Green is to ensure that ecological wisdom is incorporated into city policies,” White said. “In particular, I want to ensure that the city’s Climate Action Plan is implemented and fully funded.”

 “I’d also like to produce a scorecard on socially responsible procurement, which I think will promote greater transparency,” he added.

Prior to moving to Minneapolis in 2006, Terry and his wife worked for nonprofits in New York.  He is the father of two boys, aged 10 and 11, and currently works as a marketing operations manager in the healthcare industry.

Terry joins Cam Gordon and Samantha Pree-Stinson in their candidacies for City Council, and if all are successful, we will have three amazing Green Party members implementing Green Party Values in Minneapolis.

If you are interested in finding out more about Terry White’s positions and policies you can read more at https://terryforward8.org/ 

Greens Get Active!

TGreensGetActive.jpghis last weekend Minneapolis and Saint Paul endorsed Green candidates came together to meet with volunteers and inject even more energy into their campaigns! Volunteers had a chance to find out what specific and tangible tasks these Green campaigns could use help with – but they definitely need more!

While the endorsing process is ongoing and as needed, you can find our currently endorsed campaigns and pitch in below:

Elizabeth Dickinson for Saint Paul Mayor

Website: www.elizabethdickinson.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/DickinsonForSaintPaul
Twitter: @MayorDickinson
Instagram: www.instagram.com/dickinsonforsaintpaul


Cam Gordon for Minneapolis City Council, Ward 2

Website: www.camgordon.org
Twitter: @CameronAGordon
Facebook: www.facebook.com/camgordonward2

Samantha Pree-Stinson for Minneapolis City Council, Ward 3

Website: www.preefor3.ruck.us/
Twitter: @SamPreeStinson
Facebook: www.facebook.com/preefor3

Terry White for Minneapolis City Council, Ward 8

Website: terryforward8.org
Facebook: www.facebook.com/terryward8
Twitter: @TerryForWard8

Charles Exner for Parks Board District 3
Facebook: www.facebook.com/CExner4Parks

You can read more about all of these candidates in one place and see future endorsed candidates here: mngreens.org/our_candidates

Channel 9 Features St. Paul Green on Single-Payer Health Care

Diane.jpgDiane Peterson, a long-time activist for single-payer health care and founder of the Minnesota Green Party’s Health Care Caucus, was featured on local TV news at a press conference calling for a federal audit of the state’s payments to HMOs.

According to the Greater Minnesota Health Care Coalition and the Minnesota Nurses Association, who called the press conference, the state pays more than $5 billion a year to HMOs to manage low-income health programs in the state, including Medical Assistance and MinnesotaCare, but does not monitor how the non-profit HMOs are spending the money.

“There is a complete lack of oversight,” said Peterson in a Channel 9 news story. “The state just takes the HMOs’ word for it. There is no independent examination of what's going on here, and this is has been going on for a long time.” The coalition is seeking a federal audit of Minnesota HMOs because the state has failed to conduct such an audit.

The Green Party’s Health Care Caucus formed this year to advocate for Minnesota to adopt a single-payer system, sometimes called Medicare for all. The caucus has 18 members from the Metro Area and Greater Minnesota. If you are interested in learning more about the Health Care Caucus, please contact info@mngreens.org.

Green Party Wins Seats Across the UK

green_victories.jpgThe Green Party of England and Wales made big gains in local elections earlier this month, as did its sister party, the Scottish Greens. In total, the Greens won 40 seats around the United Kingdom, including breakthrough wins in Wales and the Isle of Wight, which elected Greens for the first time. Greens performed particularly well in Scotland, where the party took 19 seats, an increase of 5 seats from 2012.

Among parties on the left-liberal side, Greens were alone in making gains. The Labour Party in particular saw a loss of seats. Greens continue to reach out to Labour to encourage strategic partnerships where one party is stronger than another, but thus far these entreaties have fallen on deaf ears.

UKIP - the United Kingdom Independence Party - continued to perform poorly, despite heavy media coverage. The far-right, anti-immigration party won just a single seat compared to the 40 won by the Greens. Post-election, Greens filed an official complaint with the BBC over the biased coverage. 

These local gains were made just weeks in advance of national elections, where the Greens are targeting a seat in Bristol West to try and elect a second MP to join party co-leader Caroline Lucas in the House of Commons. Molly Scott Cato, a Green economist, is the Green candidate for the Bristol West seat.

To follow further developments in UK Green politics, see:

www.greenparty.org.uk/

www.greens.scot/

Bylaw Change Proposals

The Bylaws of the Green Party of Minnesota can be amended every odd-numbered year. If you would like to propose changes to the Bylaws that will be considered at the Annual Meeting June 24, 2017, please email betsy.barnum@mngreens.org or call 651-288-2820 to find out how!

Made it this far in the newsletter? Appreciate what you read? Please consider becoming a sustaining donor to ensure we have more news to bring you!

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