Sunflower Seed E-Newsletter February 2018

Welcome to the February 2018 issue of the Sunflower Seed! In this issue you will find upcoming events, get a recap of our Winter Membership Meeting, catch up on the swearing in of two Minneapolis Greens, read our tribute to Annie Young, learn about the recent success of the Green-Left Party in Iceland, hear #MeToo statements from Green Party Women and more. Enjoy!

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Upcoming Events: 

Wednesday, February 7th
Winona Green Party Social Hour
6pm - 7pm
Acoustic Café
77 Lafayette St.
Winona, MN 55987

Sunday, February 11th
Insure the Police!
1:15pm - 3pm
Rondo Library
St. Paul, MN 55103

Saturday, February 24th
11am - 1pm
Membership Meeting
St. Anthony Public Library
2941 Pentagon Drive NE, St. Anthony 55413

Saturday, March 24th
GPMN Statewide Endorsing Meeting
10am - 3pm
Rondo Library
Saint Paul, MN 55103

Saturday, April 14th
Endorsing Meeting
12pm - 3 pm
Hosmer Public Library, 347 E. 36th St.
Minneapolis 55408

Sunday, June 24th
GPMN Summer Membership Meeting
Details TBA

Political Contribution Refund Program is Back for 2018!

Happy 2018! It’s a new year, and another opportunity to donate up to $50 to the Green Party of Minnesota and receive a full refund from the state of Minnesota!

Fulfill your New Year’s resolution to fund the great work Greens are doing, and help us reach our 2018 goal of $4,000!

Your contribution helps us do the following:

  • maintain and expand our current staffing and secure a physical location that will better suit our growing needs.
  • build infrastructure to support Green candidates across the state of Minnesota in 2018.
  • most importantly: continue to promote the values that we share to build a better community and world for all of us.

Donate today!

Insure the Police!

By: Vanessa Vogl

Sunday, February 11, 2018, 1:15pm – 3:00pm, Rondo Library in St. Paul

The 4th Congressional Green Party is excited to partner with Communities United Against Police Brutality to discuss a novel solution to police accountability--requiring police officers to carry professional liability insurance.

InsureThePolice.jpgThis solution will incentivize good policing, create consequences for bad policing, and provide relief for taxpayers.

Communities United Against Police Brutality (CUAPB) was founded in December, 2000, by the killing of Charles "Abuka" Sanders by the Minneapolis police.

Their overriding goal is to create a climate of resistance to abuse of authority by police organizations and to empower local people with a structure that can take on police brutality and actually bring it to an end.

Social justice and nonviolence are part of the Green Party’s Ten Key Values, and we are committed to supporting measures that eliminate police brutality in our community. Join us in learning more about this approach to keeping officers accountable. We hope to see you there! Invite your friends on Facebook!

5th Congressional District Green Party Endorsing Meeting

One candidate has come forward so far seeking Green endorsement for this year’s elections: Megan Kuhl-Stennes, running for Hennepin County Commission District 4.

The membership will elect a screening committee at the Feb. 24 meeting and begin the screening process for Kuhl-Stennes and any other candidates who come forward by that time. The decision on endorsements will be made at the April 14th meeting.

The Feb. 24 meeting will include a one-hour white ally training led by Samantha Pree-Stinson.

Green Party Endorsed Officials Sworn In January 2nd, 2018

By: Kristina Gronquist

LaTrisha_Swearing_In.jpgMinneapolis City Council Member Cam Gordon (Ward 2) and Park Board Commissioner (at Large) LaTrisha Vetaw were sworn into office on January 2nd. City Council members celebrated their inauguration with a public swearing-in ceremony in the City Hall rotunda, Monday, January 8.

Gordon has represented the Second Ward as a City Council Member since 2006. He is the Council's sole Green Party member and this will be his fourth term. Cam says, “Proud and excited to be embarking on my next term. As committed as ever to make Minneapolis a more just, peaceful, democratic and sustainable city where everyone of us can be healthy and thrive.” Cam will Chair the newly formed Housing Policy and Development Committee.

Vetaw will be serving her first term as an elected official. The City of Minneapolis voters elect nine commissioners every four years: one from each of the six park districts, and three serve at-large. Vetaw says, “Today I was sworn in as a Citywide Commissioner to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Thank you Minneapolis for believing in me! I am excited to serve for the next 4 years and I look forward to making you proud! I must say Commissioner Vetaw has a nice ring to it.”

Cam_Swearing_In.jpgVetaw will be serving on two committees. She will be Vice Chair of the Legislation and Intergovernmental committee and serve on the Administration and Finance committee. In addition, she has been appointed to serve on the following external boards: the Minneapolis Riverfront Partnership and the Minneapolis Downtown Improvement District Design and Infrastructure Committee.

The Minnesota Green Party is thrilled to have Gordon and Vetaw in office, representing the key values of the Party and helping to build a better future for all the residents of Minneapolis.

(Photo Credits: LaTrisha Vetaw; Cam Gordon)

Green Pioneer Annie Young Passes

It is with a heavy heart that we have learned of the passing of former Green Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Annie Young.

Annie1.jpgAnnie had always been a pioneering and visionary activist in all the fields she endeavored to enter. Politics was certainly no exception. Annie was one of the very first Green Party elected officials in the state of Minnesota. She had recently retired as one of the longest-serving Green Party elected officials in the entire country.

"Annie was a consistent and dedicated public servant and community advocate who pushed her world and the City of Minneapolis to be a better, healthier and more just place. She was a pioneer in sustainability, a seasoned community activist and one of Minneapolis' most successful elected official. She was a mentor and teacher for me and many of us along the road to building the Green Party in Minnesota. I am deeply grateful for her leadership, her friendship and her commitment to making this a better world,” said Minneapolis Councilmember Cam Gordon.

Annie3.jpgConsistently re-elected by wide margins, Annie showed not only that Greens can win at the local level, but that they can thrive. Her dedication to the people of Minneapolis, and her ability to work with colleagues regardless of political party affiliation, served her and the Green Party well.

In addition to serving as an elected official, Annie served the Green Party in countless other ways over the years. A self-professed "political junkie," she advised and mentored candidates for office at all levels, and even ran for statewide office herself, helping Greens maintain party status in 2010.

Often times Annie was the lone Green voice in the room. Her patience and dedication, however, paid off.

Annie2.jpg“I will remember Annie forever. She was irascible, in the best of ways. She not only believed in the key values of the Green Party, but did her part to make them a reality, fighting and pushing and advocating for environmental sustainability, social and economic justice, grassroots democracy and peace,” said Minneapolis Council Aide Robin Garwood.

Annie will be greatly missed and we will continue to do everything we can to honor her legacy and commitment to the citizens of Minnesota and our core Green values. Rest in power Annie Young.

(Photo Credits: Annie Young; Brandon Long)

#MeToo – Voices of Green Party Women

MeToo.png“We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with more cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender.”Green Party 10 Key Values

The #MeToo Movement has launched a powerful conversation about the toxic patriarchy which dominates our political, social, environmental and economic landscape and how we overcome it.

Below are small segments of how powerful Green Party Women view this movement and what they have to say about how we “transform the relationship between men and women from one characterized by exploitation, violence and dominance to one based on equality and mutual respect” (Green Party of Minnesota Platform). To read their full statements you can click here.

Sam Pree-Stinson, Coordinating Committee Member, Green Party Minnesota

"Feminism is not about pink hats and fragility but is about strength, courage and solidarity. #Metoo is about telling our own narrative and owning our story as part of the healing process.

Intersectionality in this movement must be front and center of everything that we do and the leaders of our movement must be rooted in solidarity and not white supremacy, misogyny and misogynoir tactics.”

Betsy Barnum, Steering Committee, 5th Congressional District Green Party

“The DFL’s subtle punishment of the courageous women who came forward must be added to the list of undemocratic and unjust results of a system that has room for only two parties, where being dominant is the biggest concern.

To me, as a Green, their bravery is not only admirable and honorable, but their contribution to shifting the way everyone thinks about what is acceptable and what is not acceptable in the way men treat women moves us toward a world of equity and respect, and that is the world I want to live in.”

LaTrisha Vetaw, Green Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner, At-Large

"The #MeToo movement has made us take a good look at ourselves. The brave women who have come forward are my hero's.

We must all do our part to support these women and the women who continue to share stories of harassment, sexual abuse, shame, and fear. We must begin doing the work to reclaim our lives, our daughters lives, our mothers lives and our sisters lives."

Kristina Mattson, Member, 4th Congressional District Green Party

“I wish that all women from any political affiliation could feel supported by other women to be courageous and brave enough to express their anger and disgust without fear of retaliation.

It may look like, to some women, a loss of ground to stand with those who speak out, if the ground they want to gain is only reflected in partisan political control. But the real loss is much greater, a loss of trust among women and a loss of an opportunity to take a huge step forward for all of us, men and women both.”

Paula Overby, Candidate for US Senate seeking Green Endorsement, Author of The Transgender Myth – Through the Gender Looking Glass

“A woman's place is in the home:” a notion that has trivialized the role of women in society for centuries, perhaps since the dawn of property rights. Female spaces are the foundations of society: family, childcare, education, health care, and social organizing.

As a transgender woman I have lived experience in both genders. I have experienced both sides of the issue: the indignity of being discounted, minimized, and ignored as well as the loss of due process perpetuated by the false allegations of political and economic agendas."

Megan Kuhl-Stennes, Former Steering Committee, 5th Congressional District Green Party and Current Candidate for Hennepin County Commissioner District 4

‘As people (mostly women) have come out to say #MeToo, we will not and must not continue to sit by and be silent.

We stand with those who are abused, harassed, demeaned, or have faced any other form of oppression. We must listen to each other’s stories and recognize each other’s humanity. We must stop the victim blaming.”

We will be collecting more statements and thoughts in the weeks to come, but in the meantime read the the expanded statements here.

Winter Membership Meeting Recap

By: Brandon Long

Members had an amazing time at this year’s Winter Membership Meeting!

LaTrisha_Cam.jpgThis year we heard from representatives of 15Now to discuss the current campaign to bring a $15 living wage to Saint Paul, Health Care for All Minnesotans/PNHP to talk about efforts to pass a Single Payer Minnesota Health Plan and FairVote Minnesota, which helped us run a Ranked Choice Voting election for our newest coordinating committee members - Wendy Thoren , Yan Chen and Chelsea Palmer!

A big thank you to our wonderful elected officials LaTrisha Vetaw and Cam Gordon for their reports and tributes to former Green Minneapolis Park Board Commissioner Annie Young!

Held at the Minneapolis Television Network, members were led in policy discussions by the hilarious Danger Boat Productions improv troupe which then performed using snippets from the conversations they helped facilitate!

(Photo Credit: Brandon Long)

Southern Minnesota Greens Continue to Grow 

By: Brian Mueller

Things are starting to heat up in southeastern Minnesota!  A potential candidate interested in running for the open seat in the 1st Congressional District has submitted a questionnaire for review and the 1st Congressional Greens will hopefully have more news about this in March!

The Green Party of Winona County also tabled at the Progresstival in La Crosse this last Saturday, Feb 3rd and had some great conversation with attendees!

The Winona Greens will be having their monthly informal “Green Party Social Hour” on February 7th at 6pm at the Acoustic Cafe in Winona.  All this and much more is in the works!

Iceland’s Left-Green Leader Becomes Prime Minister 

By: Eric Gilbertson

Iceland.pngAt the end of October, the people of Iceland elected a new Althing (their Parliament) through a complex system of proportional representation. The tiny nation of 350,000 had 11 political parties represented, 8 of which received at least one of the 63 seats in the Althing. The party called the Left-Green Movement received 17% of the vote and seats, second only to the conservative Independence Party which received 25% of the vote and seats.

With the formation of a new government the leader of the Left-Greens, Katrín Jakobsdóttir, became the new Prime Minister. Now Iceland has their second female Prime Minister, their first being Jóhanna Sigurðardóttir who served from 2009-2013. Following this in January, Iceland became the first nation to pass a law requiring companies to prove that men and women are paid equally for equal work.

(Photo Credit: Reuters)

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