February Newsletter

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Greens growing across Michigan!

Editor’s Note

By Fred Vitale

Welcome to all the new locals formed in the past few months – Oakland County Greens, Vehicle City Greens, Wayne County Greens, West Michigan Green Party! Revitalized locals: Detroit, Washtenaw County and Up North with elections of new officers and welcomes to new members!

Survey Results

We conducted a survey of Green Party members.  133 of you responded.

The first question we asked was: What issues you wanted the Green Party to focus on in 2017?  The chart below shows your responses from the highest to the lowest number.

Build strong Green Party locals

54.1%

72

Win universal healthcare

51.9%

69

Get more Greens elected

48.9%

65

Stop hydro-fracking in Michigan

41.4%

55

End the Flint water crisis and water shutoffs

40.6%

54

Recruit more people to the Green Party of Michigan

36.8%

49

End Emergency Management and voter disenfranchisement

34.6%

46

Win a $15 Minimum Wage

31.6%

42

Reduce income inequality

31.6%

42

Reduce the military budget; promote peace.

26.3%

35

Win recreational marihuana/stop attacks on medical marihuana

24.8%

33

Eliminate Student Debt

21.8%

29

Expand women’s rights/keep the right to abortion

15.8%

21

Honor treaties with indigenous peoples

15.0%

20

Stop police killings of people of color

13.5%

18

Stop attacks on immigrants

11.3%

15

The five issues receiving the most support:

Build strong Green Party locals
Win universal healthcare
Get more Greens elected
Stop hydro-fracking in Michigan
End the Flint water crisis and water shutoffs

The next five issues were:

Recruit more people to the Green Party of Michigan
End Emergency Management and voter disenfranchisement
Win a $15 Minimum Wage
Reduce income inequality
Reduce the military budget; promote peace.

Looking at these top ten issues, I see some key trends.

First — three of the top ten including #1 and #3 are building the Green Party.  That’s great! This issue of the newsletter includes reports from some Green locals.

We Greens need to explore together, through actions and proposals, what building the Green Party looks like in every county and in as many locals as we can in every county.  Please check out our webpage (www.migreenparty.org), our facebook pages and our blog for more information on Green locals and party-building actions.

The second trend is important national issues of social justice and non-violence— universal healthcare (#2), $15 minimum wage (#8), reducing income inequality (#9) and reducing the military budget (#10).  These issues are very important to new Green members many of whom came from the Bernie Sanders’ campaign. They were key issues of his campaign. They speak to deep and profound needs and problems in U.S. society and Michigan. There are many organizations and efforts devoted in different ways to these issues. Greens should help each other find the means to work on these issues in ways which empower Greens and the people.

The third trend is specific Michigan fronts of struggle. #4 and #5 are: Stop hydro-fracking in Michigan and End the Flint water crisis and water shutoffs.  #7 is End Emergency Management and Voter Disenfranchisement.

A ban on hydrofracking in Michigan has been a focus of grassroots environmental organizations and volunteers over the past few years including circulating petitions to get the ban placed on the ballot.

The Flint water crisis, a horrific story of emergency management, systemic racism and neo-liberal policies, continues with the populace hanging on with filters and delivered water.

Greens have been deeply involved in water issues and we will continue to find ways for locals and the whole party to be involved.  Water has been a key issue, voted on annually, for Green Party for several years.

Ending Emergency Management has been the focus of much Green work in Detroit, Benton Harbor, Highland Park and Flint.  While emergency managers may have been formally removed from many locations, the state financial review boards remain and the dictatorial disenfranchisement appears in other forms.

63 of you added issues to Question #1.  Some repeated or were similar to the listed ones. You raised nearly every important issue in the state.

Here is the link to all the survey details

Green Party members have a very broad set of political interests for the Green Party to focus on.  This breadth and passion allows for rooting of Green Party in many diverse areas of Michigan.

What Do I Want to Work on?

The next question in the survey was: What is the most important issue you wanted to work on?

88 of you responded to this question.

Again, in large numbers Greens wanted to work on building strong Green Party locals, electing candidates, improving Green Party media, and other thoughtful additions to growing the Green Party. In addition, there was the full spectrum of issues, causes and crises which we found on Question #1.

Here is the link to all the survey details

County Participation

We asked you what county you were from.  126 responded.

The top 10 are listed below.  38 counties had participants.

Wayne

22

Oakland

20

Washtenaw

12

Genesse

8

Macomb

7

Kalamazoo

6

Ingham

5

Kent

4

Ottawa

4

Allegan

2

How the Green Party participates in all the causes , issues and struggles is part of the on-going work of Greens.

Water, hydro-fracking and Flint will be discussed at the upcoming State Membership Meeting:

State Membership Meeting

Saturday, March 25, 11 AM–8 PM; Sunday, March 26,  1-5 PM.

First Baptist Church, 315 W. Michigan Ave.,m Kalamazoo, 49007

The State Membership Meeting is the highest body of the Green Party.  The meeting is open to all members and if you are a member now, you will have voice and vote.

Here is the link to our next State Membership Meeting.

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Capitol Area Greens

Capitol Area Greens covers Ingham, Eaton, & Clinton counties. Membership is growing. We look at a variety of issues and are working to develop a strong system to keep an eye on legislation being considered at the Capitol. Being based in Lansing we think we have the opportunity to build a strong early warning system of what is coming through the pipeline in the State House and can keep the State Party informed about what is happening. More on this once we get it fully developed. The Capitol Area Greens is also currently home for the State Party Treasurer and the State Party Membership Manager as well as our local SCC reps so we try to keep our local well informed and involved statewide. We share a view point that says we must grow and strengthen the Green Party Statewide if we wish to have a real impact on the issues we all care about. Getting “Greens”elected is our highest priority. – Paul Homeniuk

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Green Party of West Michigan

Green is growing in West Michigan. This local saw the number of people attending the monthly meeting almost double from a group of nine at the December 5th meeting to 17 attending the one on January 23. Two others could not make it because they were at political events in the area.

This local meets monthly at the Institute for Global Education at 1118 Wealthy Street in Grand Rapids – next door to the Wealthy Street Theater.

GPWM is blessed with a nice mixture of some “old Greens” who have been on board since 2000 as well as an influx of new Green blood from Bernie-crats and DemExiters.

Goals include reaching out to the many colleges and universities in the 3 counties that make up this local: Kent, Ionia, and Allegan. Some officers were chosen, goals for activism and community outreach were set with a general agreement to accentuate the positive by telling people the strong positions of the Green Party regarding college tuition, healthcare, and the environment. Plans are underway for tri-fold handouts, business cards, and banners to use in recruiting more new people to this local and the Green Party of Michigan.

The local has a growing Facebook presence and plans to use the web to grow the group. -Cliff Yankovich

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Washtenaw County Greens (Huron Valley Green Party)

Green Party members are putting together a slate for this year’s 2017 Ann Arbor City Council race. People interested in becoming a candidate or working on that campaign should contact Dylan Calewarts at: dylancalewarts.gpmi@gmail.com (734) 431-0224

On Jan. 8th we also elected new HVGP officers:

Huron Valley Green Party (Washtenaw County) officers:

Chair: Stuart Collis  stuartcollis@gmail.com

Co-Chair: Shauna MacNally votemcnally123@gmail.com

Treasurer: Eric Borregard eric_borregard@yahoo.com

Secretary: Lindsey Krantz  l.krantz@gmail.com

The next meeting is set for Monday February 20th at 7 pm. All are welcome – we would love to run out of chairs! – Eric Borregard

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