The first thing I saw walking into
the meeting room was Mike Wyman
behind a table with his fliers and buttons on it.
Looking at this
flag with the green fringe, I was reminded of the time when I lived in
Sacramento when a grass roots republican I knew through UWSA explained
to me that American Flags with a gold fringe were an indication that
you were in the presance of "the federal conspiricy". Right now, the
conspiricy theorist in me is thinking a green fringe probably means
somebody is part of "the un-conspiricy". Whatever the truth is, it
looked good on that Green Party table.
There was lots of tabling. I kept
expecting the meeting to get
underway, but every time the facilitation team tried to get consensus
on the agenda, a foo foo row would ensue. The main issue seemed to have
something to do with Los Angeles and the processes of their internal
democracy. It was like it wasn't enough for the nuclear option to cause
trouble on Capitol Hill, but LA had to bring the same crisis to the
GPCA. Every time the latest agenda proposal got shot down, I would go
back to talking to people and taking pictures of interesting sights.
David from Tulare County. I think
was the only delegate on the floor in a suit.
The T shirts on
that rack were all recycled. San Mateo Greens had bought them from
places like the Salvation Army, and then printed them with Green Party
logos, the 10 key values, and other things like that. It was a very
interesting way to live their values.
After a while the buzz of
conversations got intense. Lots of people
were working on interesting things and wanted to share what they were
doing. I just love hearing the noize of people talking, and there was a
lot of that as the hours went by and the failure to agree on an agenda
caused more need to talk.
This guy is working on a project to get people interested in other
forms of transportation machinery. This scooter was an electric vehicle
he was working to get people to take test rides on, just so they could
say they had tried "more sustainable transportation".
The idea that "apathy" and "free trade" are both weapons of mass
destruction, just like "misinformation" and "WTO" I can only call
interesting. The woman in the picture is Lisa, one of the very active
grass roots greens in LA. She was vending the shirts. Come to think of
the US Senate thinks the "nuclear option" is a rule change on talking
overtime, the shirt could be right!
Four hours into our Statewide
meeting. A roomfull of Greens, many of whom traveled hundreds of miles
there. Nobody paying the stage much mind. Still no agenda.
I think all of the people in that
line wanted us to talk about LA's democracy
issues, but it could be some of them wanted us to talk about something
else. Anyhow, I took the picture during one of the more organized parts
of the working on the agenda discussion. I love how the note taker
looks bent under the load of his task. It must have been a frustrating
time for those who were expecting organized progress.
When the Green Party of California was getting on the ballot in 1991,
these two guys were Sacramento Greens. Now John is an LA Green, and
Tian is a Santa Clara County Green. The picture was taken by Peggy, who
is now a (not shown here) Sacramento Green.
The fine print on that shirt says
"one planet" in a number of languages. Many of them I don't know how to
use the fonts for, if indeed my computer can print them, which I'm not
Don, in the green shirt talking to Mike Feinstein, is the editor of the
Green Focus, our Statewide newspaper.
Finally, about 3:33 PM, we had an Agenda to move forward on. A lot of
things that had been on the planned agenda (three platform planks, for
example) had been sacraficed to for the discussion of what to put on
the agenda, but LA had what they wanted, a discussion of LA's internal
democracy issues first on the list.
What was the LA issue all about? At the registration table they gave
out packets about what the Finance Committee wanted the issue to be
about. I didn't read it until after I got home. That was too bad,
because it was a lucid explination of at
least one of the problems. I don't think many of the people from LA
with strong issues about LA that talked had read it either. They knew
what the problem was, and it was something else. One guy told me the
problem was "Mike Feinstein". Somebody else said the problem was too
much representation on the County Council for places like Santa Monica,
and not enough for places like East LA. Another person said the problem
was that LA's seats on the Coordinating Committee were not being
selected on a proportional representation basis, since they were
getting elected one at a time, and the same 51% were winning every
election. Whatever the
problem(s) really was/were, we talked about something like it/them for
quite a while. I'm sure it wasn't all resolved at the meeting, but a
number of people said they were going to take it to the ballot box next