When I got there the Green Party of California meeting had already been going on for a few hours. They were talking about extending the deadline for people to submit their names as delegates to the national convention in Chicago from three months ago to a month ago.


After that we had lunch. It was vegan Burmese food. Rice with a few raisins plumped up in it, tofu in ginger sauce, and a very delicious salad. Cookies if you wanted them. Strong organic coffee. Compostable plates if you forgot to bring yours. It was a good opportunity to chat with other Greens from around the State.



After lunch I went to the IT (Information Technology) working group meeting.


They spent a lot of time talking about the problem of getting Countys that aren't active on the web. The problem seems to be finding a volunteer who will put something up that we can link to from the GPCA website. (cagreens.org) Cameron said "Yeah, we could teach somebody how to put up a perfectly workable HTML page in an hour. The problem is that all the likely volunteers have had their minds poisoned by the IT consulting industry. They think they need a database front end, and that means we need to provide them with one."


The only Congressional Candidates I saw at the meeting on Saturday were Carol Brouillet (CD 14) and Carol Wollman (CD 1). I'm grateful they have the courage to show up.



The last thing before lunch was the International Protocol working group meeting. The gist of the discussion was that Fred who used to do a lot of things to make the committee visible was no longer interested in being active for the Green Party of California. We talked about this and that for a while, but nobody wanted to be the new coordinator. Everybody agreed that it was important to have that group on our agenda, but nobody wanted it to be the center of their activism.

Lunch was pizza and salad. Again it was vegan, and again it was delicious.




The Green Issues working group met after that. Everybody was from a different perspective. The guy with the white beard turned out to be a cannabis activist from San Francisco. He had good things to say about the support he is getting from Ross Mirkarimi on his issue. Things like help with permits for cannabis dispensaries. The woman in brown had this idea for "green bingo", a game that encourages people to do activist tasks to fill in spots on a bingo card. Things like "walk a precinct for a candidate" or "get informed on an issue". She said that she had good luck with the project in the Unitarian church, and offered to help anyone that wanted to manifest the game in their worlds do so.

We spent some time talking about the relationship between nonprofits and the Green Party. There was some handwringing about how the lobbyists are always pandering to the incumbents. My thoughts on the issue crystalized more recently when I got a great email from the Organic Consumers Fund that included links to these great fliers for tabling on global warming (click here) and biofuels (click here) that tell it like it is. I think if more nonprofits were being that kind of helpful the win/win feeling that comes from "moving forward together" would grow, especially if we put such materials on our tables when we go out to register voters.


Barry Hermanson spent a bit of time at the meeting in the early afternoon. He was working on his campaign for Congress, and the election was the following Tuesday, but he took the time to honor us with his presence. The election was a special because the incumbent, Tom Lantos had died in office a few months ago. He is also a candidate in the general election for the same seat.

The woman from Sonoma County started the announcements. She was feeling discriminated against as an omnivore who was being forced to eat Vegan food. She is organizing a caucus to get meat in the lunch at some future plenary. Somewhere in her talk was mention of her many Californian ancestors that had put food on the table. She just felt it was the right thing to do.


The other announcements were more forgettable, but no less important.





The meeting ended with everybody giving the local Greens a hand for putting on a well organized plenary. A lot of them had already left at that point, but Greg and Victoria accepted our kudos on their behalf.

Walking to the BART station after the meeting I saw this mailbox pair. It's not often that I see a mailbox just for mail going to the local zip code. My hometown Post Office used to have a mail slot for local mail in the lobby, but they quit doing that a decade or more ago now.

Not long after I left the UC Berkeley campus I saw this art on a T-shirt in a shop window.  I'm sure I've seen at least one person with one of those shirts on their body. On my desk at home is a coffee cup with the periodic table of the elements on it, and the entry for Atomic Number 97 has about the same information as the shirt. There are not many cities with elements named after them. It makes sense that Berkeley would brag about something like that.

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