Sunday, May 22, 2005

From inauspicious beginnings...

After a slow start yesterday, the Green Party of California plenary more of a future focus today, and actually got some business done:

The General Assembly (GA) agreed by consensus to endorse and support a Green-initiated coalition to raise the minimum wage in California. The Californians for Fair Wages Coalition is designed to bring a statewide initiative in Nov. 2006 to raise the minimum wage in the direction of a living wage, including a provision to index the minimum wage for inflation. The specific language has not been drafted yet, and will include input from two stake holders conferences to be held later this year.

The GA also voted to support two measures at the national level of the Green Party. The initiatives, and a third that had majority support but did not meet the two-thirds threshold, were brought by Greens for Democracy and Independence (GDI), a national organization of Greens instituted after the 2004 elections to address what they see as inadequacies with Green Party of the United States (GPUS) internal policies.

The first measure would change state representation in the GPUS coordinating committee and presidential conventions to reflect the number of Greens in each state (party registration), rather than the current formula, which is based on the size of a state's congressional delegation. The second measure, which also passed, would give Presidential candidates more control over their delegates to the national election. The third measure, which failed to gain the support of the GA, would preclude the national and state parties from endorsing or supporting candidates endorsed by either the Democrats or Republicans.

There was wide support for all three measures, although a significant minority believed there had not been enough discussion about them at the local level, and that the language could be improved. The proposal's presenters promised to bring all concerns to the national discussion, which will be held at the next GPUS meeting this July in Oklahoma.

Hopefully the party will reach national consensus about these ideas over the next year and have a smoother nomination process in 2008.


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