Proposal Title:Formation of an Action Working Committee
Proposal Shepherd: Frank Jackson Middlesex
Co-Sponsors: Daphne Stevens, Mike Heichman, Elie Yarden, Danny Factor
Background: Unlike “Traditional” political parties, the Green-Rainbow Party can be organized as both a political movement which elects candidates and a social movement which uses different forms of organizing to establish a more just society. We have a well developed GPUS platform, Green Rainbow Party Agenda, several thousands of members across the state, elected officials in several towns, and candidates in several races each election cycle, features of a “traditional” political party.
Green-Rainbow Party members have often undertook and joined campaigns to better lives in the Commonwealth, be it launching solar farms in our local communities, protecting them from hydro-fracking, or launching a group to prevent predatory lending. We have had elected officials involved in preventing tuition hikes at our universities, and members lobbying to ensure this was not limited only to our “flagship” campuses, but also involved protections for our community colleges.
Different strategies have been used for these successes, such as electing officials, holding meetings with a lot of visibility, making coalitions with other organizations. There have been discussions between members of the party to implement warrant articles in various towns, support statewide legislation which would further the party agenda for a just future, but no group whose goal is specifically to work towards this.
An Implementation Working Committee will be formed with the purpose to strategize, and organize to achieve defined goals in different campaigns.
Limitations: Actions the working group is involved in will be in accordance with the members understanding of the 10 key values.
Role and Actions: The Working Committee will coordinate with the appropriate chapters, elected officials, candidates, and committees to achieve progress on different issues in the Green-Rainbow Party platform and agenda. This can be, but isn't limited to, implementing legislation, warrant articles, holding public meetings, taking direct actions.
Structure: The working committee will begin by forming subcomittees to address hollistically interconnected issues such as abolishing poverty, and an environmental justice. Membership to the working group will be open to any Green-Rainbow party member interested in implementing elements of the Green-Rainbow platform or agenda in communities in Massachusetts. The working group is empowered to form subcommittees as necessary for the purposes of implementing parts of the party platform.
Responsibilities and Reports:The working group will send a report to the state committee email list which will include the list of campaigns the working group is involved in, and the list of Green-Rainbow Party members involved in each campaign.
Financial Impact: Unclear.
For example, if starting such a group in my town, I might begin by consulting with the Cambridge Tenants Association, headed by a formerly active Green, staff of community centers working with youth, neighborhood associations. I’d try to plan meetings with focus on issues of general interest, but maintain the intention of becoming a community uplift assembly (=a political player in the community) as background to all meetings.
I agree with Merelice about the “community uplift initiative” (CUI). It was well received by GRP as an anti-poverty initiative. Given our lack of influence at the state level, we can only dream of diversion of funds from corporate welfare to local jobs programs or tax reforms (e.g. negative income tax) yielding basic income to all. But on the municipal level, GRP could convene assemblies to consider how best to use resources available at the municipal level (in programs like economic development and workforce training) to build more inclusive local economies—finding a place for everyone and trying to meet the needs of all, sustainably.
Such local assemblies would not have the resources envisioned in the CUI proposal but they would perhaps attract like-minded people who would experience GRP as a political force working for shared objectives—maybe even see us as the ones to vote for as their representatives—maybe even join with us. Our past efforts in working with coalitions advocating on various issues have not yet established us as the political arm of all those social movements which share our values: peace, equity, environmental justice, new economy, etc. Given our minimal resources, we should use them strategically.
Also, should this proposal be so specific about the three subcommittees? When it was discussed at an Adcom meeting, the general consensus was that a legislation working committee should be separate. Consequently I was prepared to submit a separate proposal, though I do believe legislation is an action that fits in this proposal, along with other potential actions.
However, I see “abolish poverty” (which already exists as an inactive working committee) and environmental justice, as goals rather than actions for achieving those goals. Might they, instead, be part of a proposal to take steps to implement the “community uplift initiative” that was introduced during the campaign? Such a proposal could also include one or two of the communities that were targeted by the CUI.
In short, I think the paragraph about structure in this proposal needs revisiting.
Merelice, Norfolk County