proposal name change

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)




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.


BACKGROUNDThere 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



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.”


IMPLEMENTATIONThere 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

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


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  • Matthew Andrews
    commented 2020-06-15 11:46:39 -0400
    What was the final vote? Where are the minutes?
  • Elie Yarden
    commented 2019-05-14 11:36:50 -0400
    The GPUS values statement reads somewhat differently from that of the Green-Rainbow Party, The first listed of the ten key values reads. “1. GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY
    All human beings must be allowed a say in decisions that affect their lives; no one should be subject to the will of another. We work to improve public participation in every aspect of government and seek to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in decision-making.” The proposal sacrifices an understanding of the centrality of personal autonomy, individual understanding, and the centrality of local acton to cope with the catastrophic ecological consequences of anthropogenic global warming and climate change. A different use of language is central to the political demands made on groups and individuals. The resistance to Neoliberal agendas on the part of yet to be identified people is the future source of our ability to mount an alternative. A concern with improving the image both trivializes our past and yields to elected regression. I wanna be like them other guys. Bye-bye difference, Elie Yarden