Exploring and Reactivating our Historic Rainbow Coalition and Merger

Exploring and Reactivating our historic Rainbow Coalition and Merger My, Jamie's, Lois's and the other two sponsors' goal is to present a needed discussion that is centered on party growth & strength that has nothing to do with differences of ideology and focus more on our long established coalition with the Rainbow Coalition and the Mel King Institute; which we hope will steer the GRP to developing/renewing a more active role in this historical politically/socially important coalition work, that could very well lead to strengthening and growing the party as well as our working relationship with natural allies. Perhaps this discussion will also open a path to the party that could encourage GRP leadership and all our members to engage in learning better developed skills to respectfully handle ideological differences without sacrificing the strength of our 10 Key Values and 4 Pillars. Submission Date: 3-11-21 at 4:55pm Submitted To: Spring Session 2021 StateCom webpage and Facilitators, Eileen Wheeler Sheehan & Danny Factor Proposal Title: Exploring and Reactivating our Historic Rainbow Coalition and Merger Proposal Sponsor/Shepherd: Elizabeth Humphrey, Lois Gagnon, Jamie Guerin, Sean Connell and Juan Sanchez Floor Manager: Jamie Guerin Summary: In Alignment with, and to forward our 2021 party goals, we would like to explore our historical merger with the Rainbow Coalition and seek out ways to reactivate our relationship by working more closely with the Mel King Institute Background: In 2002, the two parties combined into one, becoming The Green-Rainbow Party, the official Mass. affiliate of the Green Party of the U.S (MA designation "J"). The Party values its dual traditions and joint identity. While some identify the rainbow primarily with the LGBTQ movement, that is a positive connotation in light of the GRP’s commitment to LGBTQ rights as part of all human rights. Moreover, the rainbow remains a universal symbol of hope, promise, and diversity. Text of Proposal: It has been noticed that the Mel King Institute is offering webinars on diverse subjects, including training sessions/classes in respectfully engaging oppressed and marginalized groups, forming tenant unions, use of technology to engage in vibrant community engagement and communications, and professionalism, etc.. which might be of great help and contribution to our party structure, policy, operations & public optics. We would like to motivate a conversation on this subject for Spring Statecom 2021.  If we add any discussion to our Spring 2021 StateCom agenda it should be focused on following through with our 2021 Goals.  We believe this discussion has the potential to grow the party and develop an internal atmosphere and the public optics to exponentially increase our ability to attract diverse membership and candidates to run locally, regionally and statewide, who are our natural allies as well as increase requests to sponsor grassroots political/social movements, projects, peaceful protests and organizations that would only enhance and evolve our political platform while keeping alignment to our 10 Key Values and 4 Pillars. Some starting points to this discussion, but not limited to, are: We are under the impression we are "merged" with the Rainbow Coalition which leads us to wonder: Why are we not more actively participating in &/or supporting the Mel King Institute's work and the Rainbow coalition and if we are, why is it not apparent to any newly joined members? How much of the Rainbow Coalition & the Mel King Institute offer to our communities are we not utilizing ourselves to become a stronger & better political partner & ally for the coalition & our responsibilities as affiliated state within the GPUS Federation of states Why are we not seeking candidates from these aligned professionals & volunteers and natural allies? Why are we not following their lead in the community work they do, and developing coalitions and professional/political relationships with the Mel King Institute's volunteers and professional staff? How can we encourage without demanding our members in leadership to participate in the training being offered by the Mel King Institute that will broaden our political stratagem and social justice awareness Implementation:  Discussion & Brainstorm sessions within & without Statecom Spring Session Financial Implications: Some financial costs could be necessary in order to participate in the webinars offered by the Mel King Institute but are not yet applicable to this proposal of discussion – more investigation is needed.


Showing 31 reactions

How would you tag this suggestion?
Please check your e-mail for a link to activate your account.
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    commented 2021-04-06 15:09:57 -0400
    Thank you Matt,
    I appreciate your input and your ideas are good ones. Yes, those who carry the torch of the Rainbow Coalition are great places to start looking into and forming working relationships with as well!

    I was also hoping this could be more of an invitation to a conversation first about our strengths and weaknesses around the internal culture that effects our public optics and then move onto bigger more broad issues such as deep canvasing for members and candidates within statewide organizations & coalitions such Mass Peace Action, Mass Care, etc…

    Our members that came to us with the Rainbow merger that are still in the party but may not be as active as in the past, is really what I was referring to with" reactivating" the Rainbow Coalition and The Mel King institute was just a starting point as to the possibilities of utilizing what they offer to strengthen and grow our party.

    This proposal was not intended to start and end the conversation and analyses of where we can do better, but more of an opening to an on going awareness and process to improve in our “weak spots” and emphasis our strengths.
  • Matthew Andrews
    commented 2021-03-29 22:28:16 -0400
    I think this proposal is worth discussing. If nothing else, we should educate newer members about the history of the Green-Rainbow merger. Forgive my ignorance, but does a Rainbow Coalition still exist? My understanding is that it only exists as a political designation because the secretary of the commonwealth has no process for removing or updating political designations.
    I would like to see this proposal expanded to include more mass movement based organizations that are currently campaigning around cutting edge issues, such as Mass Action Against Police Brutality, The New Democracy Coalition, and others who are carrying the torch of the Rainbow Coalition today.
  • Matthew Andrews
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-29 22:28:14 -0400
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    commented 2021-03-28 19:01:17 -0400
    Thank you John. As always I value and trust your opinions.

    THIS is the kind of conversation I was hoping to stimulate with this proposal. True, I could have emphasized more on words such as “Utilization” instead of “Coalition” but all of the proposal’s sponsors are definitely open to, and welcome friendly amendments to better communicate the intentions of this proposal; which is a conversation and focus stimulus toward an analysis of our strengths and weaknesses and then working on strengthening our weaker spots in order to more fully implement our goals for growing the party by attracting members and potential candidates.

    The Mel King Institute due to it’s founder Mel King having such a big influence on our party history seemed like a good “STARTING POINT” to implement these intentions – which really boils down to self reflection, working on better more noticeable public optics and deep canvasing and networking.

    The sponsors of this proposal all believe that THESE TYPES OF DISCUSSIONS are the discussions our party should be having.
  • John Andrews
    commented 2021-03-28 16:05:29 -0400
    My feeling is that this project should be launched only after discussions are held with the Mel King institute and a clear understanding emerges that defines the purpose and extent of the collaboration.

    We need to have a good grasp on the time and resource commitments that the GRP is able to commit to this project. Since our volunteer resources are currently inadequate to maintain our own organization, it does not seem likely that we can promise to bring many volunteer resources or financial resources to the table. Our one unique resource might be candidates running for elected office. But MKI may have no interest in this.

    The GRP and the Mel King institute are quite different organizations. The GRP is a political party. We take positions on all important issues. We criticize and protest policy shortcomings of incumbents and establishment parties. We run candidates against the establishment candidates. We have a range of special restrictions and reporting requirements.

    In contrast, the Mel King Institute is a non-partisan community development organization. They focus on “Community Organizing & Planning, Economic Development, Nonprofit Governance and Real Estate Development.” They do not endorse candidates or expend resources in elections. They can afford to ignore policy debates for the most part. They sometimes work closely with incumbent Democrats and with the mayor’s office. Legally, they are restricted in their ability to engage in electoral action. And because of their donor base (which undoubtedly includes many Democrats) and their governmental collaborators hey may be especially reluctant to be publicly seen as having close ties to the Green-Rainbow Party.

    Given this, we must ask what we expect to result from an approach to the Mel King Institute. What is the end result that we can expect? My own feeling is that if they are interested in engaging in the development of policy challenges to the establishment which could be useful to GRP candidates running for office, then we could benefit from working with them. If they want to train people to succeed by working within the system, then I see no promising collaboration. Some clear response from the MKI is needed to help us understand the possibilities.
  • Juan Gabriel Sanchez-Sanchez
    commented 2021-03-18 21:13:27 -0400
    I put my name on this proposal for many reasons. Revisiting our roots is so important and reenvisioning how that looks for the future of the party is important. I also have to say what a great asset the Mel King institute is that offers so much training on many issues including some we are discussing in the party right now.

    I know some may question their funding sources but in no way does this imply that we are accepting funding from these sources and upon looking into all the resources they offer I only see benefit personally. These are things worth discussing. We as a party should always want to learn and grow to be able to be better people and thus be a better party.
  • Juan Gabriel Sanchez-Sanchez
    commented 2021-03-18 21:09:53 -0400
    I put my name on this proposal for many reasons. Revisiting our roots is so important and reenvisioning how that looks for the future of the party is important. I also have to day what a great asset the Mel King institute is that offers so much training on many issues including some we are discussing in the party right now.

    I know some may question their funding sources but in no way does this imply that we are accepting funding from these sources and upon looking into all the respurves they offer I only see benefit personally. These are things worth discussing. We as a party should always want to learn and grow to be able to be better people and thus be a better party.
  • Richard Purcell
    commented 2021-03-18 20:48:53 -0400
    The very 1st City Council campaign I did in 2006 in Holyoke I got the full support of Mel King and Chuck Turner. They know the value of raising up the values in Low Income Communities by getting leaders that are true and relentless to all the people in that Community. I never got elected, but I never will forget their support and I continue to fight for my city through Activism. One love to Mel King and Chuck Turner.

    Rick Purcell
    Co chair PVGRP
  • Richard Purcell
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-18 15:28:14 -0400
  • Jamie Guerin
    commented 2021-03-18 14:13:22 -0400
    This proposal is UNIFYING and positive. It helps build!
  • Jamie Guerin
    commented 2021-03-18 13:45:55 -0400
    I agree with Lois and Elizabeth. We should shift the focus and energy of the party on to this positive proposal that helps build and unify the party. This is in line with our 2021 party goals and also the stated PVC goals of solidarity and coalition building as well!
  • Lois Gagnon
    commented 2021-03-18 13:26:58 -0400
    Thank you for alerting us to this important Mel King Institute event Elizabeth! I hope we can become a sponsor to demonstrate our solidarity. It’s long past due. I agree with you, this is the type of coalition building we must be involved in on a regular basis if we are to build our party into a force for the Massachusetts political establishment to reckon with.
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    commented 2021-03-18 13:00:40 -0400
    THIS is the work and networking we need to be doing instead of going around and around in an eternal time wasting circle debating well known universal “wedge issues”.

    THIS PROPOSAL OFFERS A UNIFYING ISSUE we can discuss as we ask ourselves why we are not listed as a sponsor of this event Celebrating Community Resilience and why we have not actively offered our sponsorship to our partner in much more than a name.

    Our historical merger with the Mel King Rainbow Coalition IS the means and the end of how we can Truthfully unify our party.
    Even in the words themselves that describe this proposal, we can see there is a REAL unification opportunity here.

    This proposal provides a focus without using words such as “differ with aspects of our values and platform; divided; dissent; exclusionary; expulsion; fracturing; etc., etc… and on and on the de-unification continues until there is no one left to hold up the party.

    Unless we can focus our energy and intellect on opportunities that need only words such as “INCLUSION of ALL our values and platform; community; resilience; growth; thrive; equitable; etc., etc… we will be forever caught in a black hole of ideological debate on which values we hold true and those which we will compromise destroying ourselves without any outside forces even lifting a finger. Much like what we see happening to our society and planet we will be a sad reflection.

    Lets focus on what has been PROVEN over and over again TO BRING US TOGETHER under the beautiful rainbow of our WHOLE platform and ALL 10 Key Values!!!

    SAVE THE DATE

    “Celebrating Community Resilience”

    Join us at the Mel King Institute’s
    12TH ANNIVERSARY VIRTUAL BREAKFAST

    Wednesday, June 23rd, 2021
    Via Zoom Video Conference
    Join us in celebrating our 12th year of learning, innovating, and networking across the Massachusetts community development field.

    As we continue to grow, your support is critical to helping us provide the programming community development professionals need to build thriving and equitable communities. 

    While we do suggest a donation, the event is FREE to attend.

    Please stay tuned for registration details!

    June 23, 2021
    8:00 AM – 9:30 AM

    SPONSOR THE BREAKFAST
    Partners:

    LISC Boston; MACDC (Mass association of community development corporations); Mass Housing
  • Jamie Guerin
    commented 2021-03-13 15:56:02 -0500
    Excellent. Positive proposal that focuses us where we should be focuses…on our 2021 GOAL!!! This proposal shoukd absolutely take precedence!!!
  • Carole Oyler
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-13 11:51:30 -0500
  • Carole Oyler
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-13 11:50:56 -0500
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2021-03-12 23:01:54 -0500
    My unqualified support. This has been along time coming. The Rainbow Coalition Party was familiar with the Green Party emphasis pn relating theory and practice. Mel King’s book, Chain of Change is a manual of non-violent activism, and testing what works and what does not.
  • Elie Yarden
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-12 23:01:53 -0500
  • Juan Gabriel Sanchez-Sanchez
    tagged this with Easy 2021-03-12 19:20:42 -0500
  • Juan Gabriel Sanchez-Sanchez
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-12 19:20:09 -0500
  • Juan Gabriel Sanchez-Sanchez
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-12 19:19:51 -0500
  • Lois Gagnon
    tagged this with Easy 2021-03-12 09:52:29 -0500
  • Lois Gagnon
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-12 09:52:28 -0500
  • Lois Gagnon
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-12 09:52:27 -0500
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    tagged this with Easy 2021-03-11 17:30:06 -0500
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-11 17:30:06 -0500
  • Jamie Guerin
    tagged this with Easy 2021-03-11 17:29:34 -0500
  • Jamie Guerin
    tagged this with Important 2021-03-11 17:29:33 -0500
  • Jamie Guerin
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-11 17:29:30 -0500
  • Elizabeth Humphrey
    tagged this with Good 2021-03-11 17:26:34 -0500