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News ::
Green Party Candidates in 2001- Part 1
31 Oct 2001
RECORD NUMBER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN, URBAN, AND
YOUNG CANDIDATES RUN ON THE GREEN PARTY TICKET
FOR PUBLIC OFFICE IN 2001
THE GREEN PARTY OF THE UNITED STATES

MEDIA ADVISORY
For immediate release:
Wednesday, October 31, 2001

National Contacts:
Nancy Allen, Media Coordinator
207-326-4576, nallen (at) acadia.net
Scott McLarty, Media Coordinator
202-518-5624, scottmclarty (at) yahoo.com

RECORD NUMBER OF AFRICAN-AMERICAN, URBAN, AND
YOUNG CANDIDATES RUN ON THE GREEN PARTY TICKET
FOR PUBLIC OFFICE 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.

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:

==> CONNECTICUT

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/
http://www.ctgreens.org/candidates/hortonsheff.htm

==> NEW JERSEY

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:
http://gpnj.org/Campaign2001/Coleman2001.htm

==> MINNESOTA

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/

==> WASHINGTON

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 runoff
voting in particular, has resonated not only with
average voters, but also with elected legislators
who 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.


MORE INFORMATION

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.greens.org/elections/


END


See also:
http://gpus.org
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