The Greens in Government panel was
held in Seaside Peace Center, a small storefront next door to a
Church's Fried Chicken. I got there a bit early and started by
browsing the literature table. I was surprised and impressed by
their bike sized sticker collection. Below is a picture that shows
most of them.
That was the first "Mend Your
Fuelish Ways" sticker I'd ever seen that I had nothing to do
with. It's extra white because it's made of that plastic that
glows in headlights. The "ECOMANIAC" and "beet, celery, avocado,
squash, cucumber" stickers were also new to me. I spent some
time trying to figure out if the row of vegetables meant
anything beyond "I'm pro vegetable", but nothing came to mind.
Before we got down to listening
there was a photo op for all of the elected people in the room.
From left to right they are April Clary whose a Student Trustee at
Napa Valley College, unknown, Jan Shriner of the Marina Coast
Water District, John Keener of the Pacifica City Council, Alex
Shantz, Jesse Townley, Ruscal Cayangyang, Kathy Rallings, a
Trustee of the Carlsbad Unified School District, and Bruce
Delgado, the Mayor of Marina.
Then Luis J. Rodriguez spoke as the
poet laureate of Los Angeles. He read us a poem he had written
about how much he loves Los Angeles. It was great. We gave him a
good hand. Then he put on his Green Party of California candidate
for Governor last year hat and moderated our panel of
Luis asked a couple of questions for
everybody to answer, things like "what did you have to do to get
elected?", then later "How do you incorporate green values into
the way you govern?" All of them said they worked very hard to get
elected. Most of them visited every voter in the district at least
once. Some had just been inaugurated a week or two ago. Others
were old hands at the public service game.
Mayor Delgado explained that he had
been on the city council for a long time before getting elected
Mayor, so he was already a known if quirky quantity to the voters.
On the green values thing he talked about how his town wanted to
upgrade the shopping center by adding a hot food vendor. Yeah, a
chain would spew lots of packaging, but it would save the
customers from driving somewhere to eat and then driving back. In
the end there was a lot of compromise involved.
Keener had only been elected last
fall, so the campaign is still sharp in his mind. He got involved
by being on the Sierra Club search committee looking for a
candidate that would oppose widening highway one. Not being able
to find a good candidate he figured his only choice was to be the
candidate. He visited every door in the district at least twice
and did a couple of mailings to spread the word. Click his picture
to see the mailer he passed out copies of. Only now is he finding
out what it means to be elected.
Jan from the water board shared
office space with other candidates on the progressive slate. When
asked about her party affiliation she made no secret of her Green
Kathy lives in a predominantly
Republican area. She said that being Green for her wasn't a
problem because people were just relieved she wasn't a Democrat.
She had many heart warming stories about getting community leaders
behind her campaign and getting them to spread the word to their
I was happy that so many of these
officials had their own water bottles that they are obviously used
to using on the table. I can just feel the trash prevention
building as the people that follow their example spread this
highly sustainable meme.