Every year the Green Party of California meets, usually one to three times. What that means is that Green Party members from the different parts of California get together and talk about whatever party business comes up. I used to go all the time, but lately I've been having trouble dragging myself to the meetings. Since the meeting was in Berkeley this time, it was too convenient to pass up. Caroline gave me a ride up there, so I was there at the very beginning of the meeting.


Laura did the opening talk. She began by welcoming us to her home county. After unfurling that flag she explained that the PACE across three stripes is the Italian word for "peace". Then she held the flag by her body with the purple at her head and related each of the stripes to the chakra at that level of her body. Funny how much sense it made that the red stripe was at the bottom where her legs met. After she explained the connections a lot of the other ones made sense to.

Greg spoke for the housekeeping committee.

Maxine spoke for the food committee.


The presenters presented. I'd spent the previous evening riding my bike until late in San Francisco's critical mass ride. The topic didn't really draw me in. Maybe I fell asleep. Maybe I just looked out the window. Anyhow, I missed a lot of what was said.


The bone of contention seemed to be that Marne wants to be the fund raising honcho and staff. She has a plan that involves using software to reach out to voters and manage relationships with them and turn them into regular donors. She wants to take a salary out of that money or something like that. Sounded like a lot of money to some people. They danced around with concerns and time issues and confusing questions for a long time.


The other bone of contention was the budget. There were some big new line items for Marne's project. Also the national committee Greens wanted more money for travel. It just dragged on and on. I enjoyed my nap. Nobody tried to wake me up, so I guess I managed to vote enough. I was delegate 23.


Finally, at the end of the day it seems like it had all worked out for the best.


Sunday morning bright and early the meeting resumed, with Jane and Warner facilitating.


Jim began the presentation by explaining that Richard Winger is a big deal in the ballot access community. Then Richard took the mike and listed off a number of things about Prop 14 that sounded good but just weren't true after thoughtful analysis. One of them was that the initiative makes the primary open. This means that any voter can vote for any candidate. This takes away the right of political parties to define their candidate for the general election, which was a lot of "freedom of assembly" that had traditionally been given to political parties. Then he passed the mike to the lawyer, who talked about his case to have the initiative thrown out.


Rubin talked about a letter in support of the suit and passed around copies. Click his picture to read the copy I saw.

Lots of us took turns asking questions about it. They passed around a hat to collect money for the suit. Probably it was less than a half inch high stack of bills or something like that, with a few checks.


Shane led us in reaching consensus on a couple of new planks for the platform.

After that I went to the Green Issues Working Group meeting.


Jean said that as Treasurer she had taken the decisions that we had made the previous day while working on the budget and had crunched them into a spreadsheet. She passed out the numbers and said she wanted to hear any feedback on the results ASAP. Click her picture to see the copy she gave me.

James Ogle said that he is working with the American Independent Party nowadays.


My big project for the weekend was showing everybody I could the new back on the Sacajawea dollar. I'd tell people "now that there is a peace pipe in the change, for only a dollar you to can have a peace pipe in your change." Only once did somebody who knew the whole story because of their Massachusetts background tell me things about the story I didn't already know. More often I was discussing new information when I said "The Wampanoag Treaty was the first treaty between the white and red man. It lasted 50 years." Some people got one. My biggest customer was Marla. She sold me a Green Party shirt for a reasonable number of them.

Kent got up to announce that he is running for the Green Party Presidential Nomination in the 2012 election cycle. He had signs that said MESPLAY 2012 and was giving them to everybody that wanted one.


Joan read a quote from Howard Zinn. It was something like "We have to all do everything we can to bring sanity into the american political system. Participating in the struggle has awesome spiritual rewards, and has practical and beneficial effects in our daily lives."