I got to Baltimore in the early afternoon. Before I went to the meeting I had to find my hotel room and drop off my bag. On the way there I saw this great bike rack.


Once I got there they were in process on workshops. I went to the one where the speaker was David Doonan, a Village Mayor from Greenwich, New York. He talked about his challenges. Turns out that he had inherited an abandoned mill and put enormous energy into getting the site to become a productive resource for the community. The battle is still going on. It's not a simple problem. It was great listening to the problems of governance in an old rural town.


After supper there was a forum for international greens. The MC was this woman, coordinator of the international green party working group.

The first speaker was Dr. Joachim Denkinger, Deputy Secretary General of the GREENS/EFA Group (Greens in the European Parliament). He explained that because the Greens are an international party, we are key to European integration, in that many of the delegations have green party members on them. We are often on the forefront on international issues like the environment.

Toussaint Hinvi of Benin was the only African that spoke to us. He said that many of Africa's worst environmental problems are caused by extraction industries pushed by American companies like Exxon and Chevron. He pointed out that as Americans we (he said you) have more access to them than his people could dream of getting. He called on us to make those companies better global citizens.

We listened carefully. I hope his words resonate widely.


Rick Leckinger represented New Zealand. He said that "like you we have banks running amok", among other things. He also said that "unlike you, we have a growing block of Greens in Parliament." Turns out their Green group in Parliament is up to fifteen members and still growing. He also mentioned being an American expat who remembered living just a few blocks from where we met.

I didn't catch the name of the other guy. He was the representative of a German foundation that invests money in good ideas.

After the meeting there was considerable schmoozing. The Kiwi gave me a "door prize", a Green pin. I gave him a MEND YOUR FUELISH WAYS sticker. He said it would end up on the bicycle of their Parliamentarian who specializes in bicycle related issues. I told him I'd be honored by that.

What I really remember of the time was the general murmur of interesting conversations in the cooler evening air. This building across the street was so interesting I couldn't resist taking a picture of it.