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
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.