Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Former Black Panther running for Green presidential nomination

Elaine BrownEarlier this week, Ga. Green Elaine Brown announced that she is running for president in the Green Party primary. From the national Green Party's newsletter:
Former Black Panther Party leader, noted author, community and prison justice activist Elaine Brown announced this week that she intends to seek the Green Party┬╣s nomination for a presidential bid in 2008. "The 2006 elections signified a mass rejection of Bush's policies--not a shift to the Democrats. We have arrived at a powerful moment when the majority of the country is seeking a political alternative, toward embracing progressive values and realizing a progressive agenda. I haven't seen this potential since the 1960s."

Brown, who ran as a Green in the 2005 Brunswick, Georgia, mayoral election where Republicans succeeded in illegally removing her name from both the ballot and the voter roll, intends to run on a platform that addresses the interests of poor and working families, in terms of living wages, free healthcare, decent housing and increased funding for public education and higher education; ending the war in Iraq; restoring the environment and bringing about economic parity. Strategically, she intends to target non-voters, specifically women under 30 and African Americans, constituencies she believes are not represented by the nearly identical agendas of the Democrat and Republican parties, stating these crucial constituencies "have the power to build up an alternative party to truly challenge the status quo."

"I believe I have the ability to raise consciousness among disaffected and disenfranchised poor and working people, women and blacks, to galvanize them to vote for a real second party. Such a broadening of the Green Party base will allow us to start winning big time, at the state level and nationally, so that we can overturn some of the most egregious policies and laws (like the three strikes crime bill which has so devastated black communities) and introduce progressive legislation. There are a lot of great community organizations working for change, performing Sisyphean tasks that cannot address the fundamental problems. I believe the time is right to use the ballot to make the kinds of changes we know must be made to serve the people we represent."

Brown stated she is running as a Green because: "Not only does the Green Party support reparations for slavery, but the party's ten key values represent the values and interests of poor and working people. Only the Green Party offers clear positions on the needs of the people, in terms of a living wage, decent housing, food, education, and medical care. The Democrats and Republicans offer black and poor people nothing."

When asked what she hopes to achieve with her run, Brown said: "I know the party can earn a significant increase in votes and membership, which will increase our viability to take congressional seats, state house seats, and local offices; so that we can really start changing the way government operates."

3 Comments:

Blogger Dave English said...

Just what we need...another controversial figure throwing her hat in the ring...we should just disavow ourselves of her and move on....to me, she is a reactionary civil rights activist...a democrat, really...one look at her website http://www.elainebrown.org/ says x-treme to me...she's announced her candidacy and is using over half of her front web pages to sell her CD which has an illustration of a an assault rifle on it? Not real, um, strategic

1:31 AM  
Blogger michael said...

I don't think it is useful to lump all "controversial figures" or "democrats" together. And I'm not sure what a "reactionary civil rights activist" is.

In this case, from the little I know about Elaine Brown, I agree with you that she does not seem to be the person we want to represent the Green Party to the country.

11:20 AM  
Blogger Dave English said...

I suppose I responded in a "reactionary" way to this post myself...It's hard for me to take her seriously as Presidential Candidate when her focus seems so narrow and single-minded...

To elaborate on my other generalities...When I say 'controversial figure', I mean 'too controversial'...I don't think that controversy necessarily excludes somebody from consideration...

And in this case, I say 'Democrat' to mean that I don't believe her beliefs align with with what 'should' be Greens' priorities right now...I don't think civil rights issues should be our primary focus right now

11:42 PM  

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