The Master of Ceremonies was Scott Laugenour, who is launching his 2012 campaign for State Representative in the Mass 4th Berkshire District.
Out-going co-chair John Andrews reviewed the history, past successes and contributions of the Green-Rainbow Party, with others adding information from their experiences.
Our keynote address was by Jose Barriga, Founder of the Boston Latino International Film Festival, who spoke to the group about "Communications and Media in Community Organizing."
We heard a rousing address by Jill Stein, the Green Party’s 2012 Presidential candidate, who has been getting a very enthusiastic reception as she's begun her national campaign tour (see her website at www.jillstein.org/). Kent Mesplay, a Green Party member from California who is also running, was unable to attend but sent a written statement, which was read to the audience. Harley Mikkelson, a potential third candidate, travelled from Michigan to address the convention. The Green Party primary is on March 6.
Attendees had opportunities to get together to talk about interests they shared. Topics of these small-group discussions included:
- The Role of Cooperatives in Social Change
- Community Supported Agriculture, Relocalization and "Buy Local" Campaigns
- Strategic Planning Working Group Workshops
- Better Government Budgets, the Budget Control Act and the Supercommittee (with Michael Kane of Mass Alliance of HUD Tenants)
- Training Workshop: How to Run a Better Meeting
- Campaign Strategy: Using campaigns to reach out to persuadable voters and build strong parties (with Jill Stein and John Andrews)
- The Significance of Communications and Media in Political Organizing
- GRP Campaigns and Campaigns: Past, Present and Future
- Cooperatives as a Business Model (with Wayne Clark)
- Sustainable Energy (with Louellyn Lambros, Solarize Scituate)
- Platform Committee: Updating Our Platform for the New Decade
- Training Workshop: How To Be a Great Volunteer Coordinator
We elected the following officers:
- Co-chairs: Anthony Barrows and Claribel Santiago
- Treasurer: Nat Fortune
- Communications Director: Isabel Espinal
- Membership Director: Rick Purcell
- Representatives and alternates to the Green Party National Committee: Isabel Espinal, John Andrews, Shirley Kressel, David Gerry; Jamie McLaughlin, Mark Miller, and Elie Yarden
Two offices, Secretary and Fundraising Director, will be filled at at follow-up event.
WE ARE LOOKING FOR VOLUNTEERS! Convention attendees signed up for various volunteer activities. If you have tech, artistic, management, writing, research, organizational or other Party-building skills, if you want to put up lawn/window signs or bumper stickers, if you want to help make the Green-Rainbow Party a strong alternative to the two-party duopoly so we have a genuine progressive choice in the voting booth -- volunteer online or call Joanna Herlihy at 617-864-0506. Here is a list of volunteer activities you can join -- or you can think of some others!
- Join a local chapter, or create on in your area
- Strategic planning
- Platform writing, issue research
- Issue committee participation
- Managing media:
- Data input and management
- Online discussion facilitator
- Website development/management
- Social media
- Public relations and media communications
- Film-making or video-making
- Event planning
- Meeting facilitator
- Youth/student outreach
- Outreach to other organizations
- Host a party
- Lawn and window signs, bumper/bike stickers
- Candidate volunteer work
GRP members were very appreciative of the great job done by the convention planning committee and our local hosts and volunteers: Andrew McLeod, Joanna Herlihy, Nat Fortune, Merelice, Roni Beal, Sheryl and Richard Vaillette, Mark Miller and David Spanagel. And we enjoyed the delicious and healthful breakfast and lunch!
If you attended the convention and didn’t get a chance to write up your feedback, please send your thoughts to firstname.lastname@example.org.
REMEMBER: IF YOU'RE SEEING RED, DON'T STAY BLUE -- VOTE GREEN!