Proposal to the Green-Rainbow Party State Convention
TITLE: Green-Rainbow Name Change
SPONSORS: Proposals must be sponsored by two StateCom members or a local chapter. Roni Beal Central Mass Green-Rainbow chapter (CMGR)
FLOOR MANAGER: Matt Andrews
SHEPHERD: Person who will monitor the implementation of the proposal, if adopted. Carol Sotiropoulos
SUMMARY: The purpose of the proposal is to join the near-uniform practice of Green Party naming adopted by nearly all US states. Anecdotal reports from many G-R members indicate that name confusion has been more counterproductive than productive in our recruitment and vote-garnering efforts.
BACKGROUND: There can be no doubt that all who know and understand the roots of the “Rainbow” in “Green-Rainbow” honor and respect the historical significance underlying the merger of the Massachusetts Greens with the Rainbow Coalition Party in 2002.
The impetus, conditions, and rationale for the merger of two parties that had worked together through the 1990s were ideal. The “Greens” had been associated in the public mind, both historically and internationally, with environmental issues.
The “Rainbow” of the Rainbow Coalition embodies diversity in all its manifestations—multi-racial, multi-ethnic, multi-religious, multi-sexual orientation, etc.—and to the multi-faceted struggles and campaigns for social justice and civil rights. Further, the rainbow flag as the flag of peace, initiated in Italy in the 60s and adopted internationally in 2002 as a protest against the impending war in Iraq, was a welcome fit with the values of both the Green and the Rainbow Coalition parties. The union served beautifully to reinforce that environment, social justice, and peace issues are inextricably intertwined and were the natural basis for a union of the two parties.
More recently the rainbow has received greater attention as the symbol of LGBTQ pride and struggle for equal and civil rights. I believe it safe to say that today, with the general public in mind, this association predominates. Only those who were engaged in the Greens and/or Rainbow Coalition from the 1980s to the beginning of this century, or who have been educated into that history, understand that the “Rainbow” in “Green-Rainbow” does not pertain first and foremost to LGBTQ pride and rights. Some may consider confusion to be manageable (i.e., do not mind the repeated effort and time to clarify misperceptions). Others may consider it not manageable (i.e., view the repeated effort to clarify the confusion as an impediment to campaigns, recruitment, and motivation). In either case, an unfortunate consequence is that the confusion may be counter-productive to G-R outreach and candidates’ efforts.
We need to be growing our membership. We need to be running candidates. Confusion is detrimental at worst, not helpful at best.
Last but not least, again, the purpose of the proposal is to bring our state party name into conformity with the names of other state parties—either (State) Green Party or Green Party of (State). The only other exceptions to this are Maine (Green Independent Party), Oregon (Green Pacific Party), and West Virginia (Mountain Party).
We have only to gain, in our efforts to recruit new members and in all of our campaigning activities—for our candidates and our causes—when we are recognized immediately as our state’s affiliate of the Green Party
TEXT OF PROPOSAL:
An ad hoc committee shall be established to pursue the most effective and feasible means, including the legal and financial implications, of changing the party name from Green-Rainbow Party to “Green Party of Massachusetts” or “Massachusetts Green Party.”
IMPLEMENTATION: There exists no law in Massachusetts for implementation of a political party name change. Instead, if the State Convention approves the proposal, implementation would require carrying out one of the following methods :
- Enactment of a new law establishing conditions and mechanism for a political party name change;
- Initiation of a new political designation. Under Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 50 Section 1, a new political designation requires submission of a petition signed by 50 registered voters. Certification of each signatory’s voter registration must accompany the petition. Such certificates are obtained from each signatory’s town clerk.
After this has been completed, in order to advance from a “designation” to a “party,” we would need the 3% minimum on candidates for state-wide offices. The new designation would appear beneath such candidates’ names on the ballot. Once an official party, it would be leadership’s role to notify those registered Green-Rainbow (J) to change their registration to the new name and alphabet letter assigned to it;
A related designation that already exists (viewable on the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s website https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepar/paridx.htm
is “Green Party USA” which, when it maintained party status, was accorded the “G” alphabet letter. We could potentially petition the Secretary of the Commonwealth to assign us that “G” letter.
(1) A mailing (likely), to those registered “J” for whom our contact information is limited to street addresses;
(2) New banners (2) for state convention and other G-R events
(3) Printing costs for new brochures, stationery
(4) Replace inventory of T-shirts, buttons, bumper stickers