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 officeholders.

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 registration.

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 constituents.

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.