I carpooled down to the GPCA meeting with Andrea and Drew in a small white rented car. We parked it at the Hostel California, where we roomed for the plenary. It was about as good a place to stay as could be asked for. The walk from there to the church where the Statewide meeting was held (In the same hall that hosts a local Peace & Justice Center) was maybe five minutes. A significant portion of that time was spent waiting for a hole in the traffic on Lincoln Blvd. to cross the street in.



When I got there they were already butting heads over the LA Problem. The context was where to put it on the agenda. The factions each had their own solution as a proposal, and each one wanted to use more time then we had to give them.

Glen just had some sort of housekeeping announcement, urging us to take home stuff from the freebie table. Things like bottles of sunflower oil, literature, and low power light bulbs. They even had world market bags to put your haul in.



One of the more memorable lines came from Jack Lindblad, who said something like "our failed state, the Green Party's Pakistan." I thought at the time he was talking about LA, but later he explained that was referring to the general lack of focus on dealing with important problems that the LA discussion is part of.

They droned on and on. I wandered around looking at stuff on the tables.


The later part of the morning was taken up with breakout sessions. I went to the finance committee, just to see what happens there. They talked about keeping the books and fund raising. Jean Rosenmeier said that every time they send out a fund raising mailing they get back some thoughtful letters with the checks. I suggested they bring those to the next statewide meeting and set them out for us to browse.


Will Yeager introduced Los Angeles City Council member Bill Rosendahl, whom the LA Greens had helped elect. The guy spoke for a few minutes, saying that being a talk show host for many years had been a great way to get to know about the city (and get known by the city) before jumping into politics. He also thanked us for our service and confessed to being a closet green and a religious recycler.


Then he acknowledged Warner Bloomberg, our outgoing Campaigns & Candidates cofacilitator, and Larry Mullen, our outgoing Coordinating Committee cofacilitator. He was also going to give Glen an award, but because of the two strokes the guy had recently had, he had already left.



These were the people at the meeting that talked about running for office with me. Laura Wells told me that she is planning to run for State Controller again. Lisa Green has her eyes on the 53rd Assembly District seat representing Los Angeles. Ross Frankel is talking about the board of equalization. Mike Chalmness wasn't specific, but since the last time I saw him at a GPCA statewide meeting (back in the '90s) he has run for Congress in Colorado as a Green Party candidate there. He might do something.


The Treasurers reported that fund raising and expenditures were down from what they used to be. Sanda wanted more money for travel for the national delegates. Sitting there I got to thinking about how un-green it is to travel. I didn't say anything though.




During the afternoon we spent an hour or so on platform. There were four planks to discuss: water, violence in society, public education, and political reform. It was the one part of the day where the feel of the meeting was more like an orchestra making music together.


Linda explained that desalination uses a lot of energy and creates a very toxic plume of very salty water, both good reasons that greens should oppose it. Jack Lindblad said we should be opposed to bottled water. I asked that we present canteens (reusable metal bottles that can be refilled many times) as an alternative.


Then we spent a lot of time talking about Los Angeles.

Later Jack Linblad emailed me that he is planning to run for State Assembly in the 39th District again next year. Last time he got 8.1%, making him one of our better candidates.



Jim explained that one of the LA problems was that when electing coordinating council representatives for LA they were holding three separate elections, and the same 11 votes were electing all three seat holders. He suggested that they hold all three elections at the same time, and then maybe IRV could be used so that the minority faction could get at least one seat.


Somewhere in there the woman across the table from muttered something about not enjoying this. Richard advised her "Don't say that to people when you go home. Say it was 'interesting'. If you don't it will be difficult to find people to represent your county here later." Since hearing that I've thought back on a San Francisco Green Party meeting I went to where the guy in charge called the Statewide meeting "a circle jerk" and "a complete waste of time". What a coincidence! San Francisco has a much smaller delegation then they used to have. That was further proof that words matter for me...


Actually, a lot of the speakers had thought through their comments, and were speaking from notes. It gave the proceedings a deliberate and thoughtful quality.


The various factions on the LA Issue finally agreed to set up a committee to bring back a better answer next year or sometime like that. There just weren't enough votes in the room for any of the proposals to pass.


The lady from the church wanted our support battling a city initiative to create OPDs to keep the homeless from sleeping in their cars. She wanted us to sign copies of this letter. To find out more click her picture.



I'd missed the part of the meeting at the very beginning where they had seated the Contra Costa Greens, so Eve wanted me to take a group shot of them. Also, as the meeting broke up Warner's brother dropped in to give him a ride to San Diego. They also wanted to be in pixels.


As I walked out the door, these kids were doing cool moves on the skateboarding ramps behind the church.  Driving back on I-5, we passed a few oil wells. I think they look like giant mosquitoes, sucking the blood out of mother earth.

I think these power lines mostly bring hydro power from Washington State to Los Angeles, another sight on I-5.

Click here to see the official summary I found in my email later.