Green Party Organizing Since the Election
I’m not a Green Party member, but generally approve of 3rd party organizing, and would like to see secondary political players, in the US, give a better account of themselves.
During the Presidential election of 2012, I wrote a handful of diaries critical of the GP in general, and the Jill Stein campaign, in particular. I stand by those diaries.
However, I’m happy to report that the Green Party is not standing still, as is made clear by (my frankly cursory) examination of some links that jeffroby sent me. I have encouraged jeffroby, who is a Green Party member, to blog about their organizational efforts, especially their recruiting efforts; hopefully, this diary will give him, other Greens, and 3rd party sympathizers something useful to discuss.
from jeffroby, via email:
Some good stuff there. Especially this: http://www.gp.org/committees/campaign/documents/GP_and_Elections.pdf
I suggest you blog about it, even if in a cursory manner, to keep the GP in the blogosphere’s collective mind, but more importantly to help the blogosphere tilt more towards organization (or, more likely in the short run, just information about organization efforts; what worked, what didnt’, etc.). The blogosphere is good on conveying information and analysis, but most of it isn’t something that you can do anything about, in the sense of a systemic response.
As an analogy, Gary Null often mentions that, by the time you know about the symptoms of a disease, the disease will have typically long since begun. Ergo, he cautions patience in attempting to reverse a disease process. However, most if not all of his disease-reversing protocols involve detoxification and nutrients that are required by the whole body.
Via this analogy, I am underscoring the current shortcoming of the unevolved political blogosphere, which is hardly what I would call an activist platform, and not really moving in that direction. (Aside from obvious stuff that’s been around quite a while. Appeals to sign petitions, etc.) It’s not even an activist platform for compromised, D/R politically activism (i.e., acceptable to the D’s and R’s, because the insiders are confident that they can manage/Veal Pen such activists.) So, of course, it can’t be an activist platform for aggressive reformers, who will readily throw D’s and R’s under the bus (permanently in the case of ‘full time’ Greens).
In fact, the political blogosphere may be more of a drag on activism, than even a modicum of help. There is research that shows that allowing people to talk about labor problems predisposes them to adapt, rather than fight for their demands.
I think reform oriented people are little demoralized (Tea Parties as well, I have read). People may not want to think about matters related to electoral politics, but waiting until election season means that, given the highly compromised state of our political system, they have waited too long, and either aren’t serious, or else may be on the ignorant side.
This is about as wise as, having suffered your first heart attack (which clearly points to a systemic problem), you say “Well, I’m going to wait until I start having chest pains, again, before I change my diet, exercize, etc.)
I know your last diary didn’t get many comments, but that’s probably partly a function of the electoral letdown and attendant malaise. The election surely didn’t change much.
Some specific comments, mostly criticisms. Please note that I’ve only taken a cursory look. Take the following for what it’s worth:
1) “The CCC is pursuing many different programs and paths to increase the number of Green officeholders nationwide,”
Ah, OK, but for that you need voters. What is the CCC doing to increase registered Green voters? (Plus voters who will commit to voting Green in a general election, so that they can intervene in D and R primaries).
2) the Coordinated Campaign Committee needs to build out their (sub) website. It mostly looks like a wiki.
I’d recommend at least considering a more role-based front page for the CCC. E.g., assuming that CCC will also facilitate individuals who want to recruit a) Green voters b) Green worker bees, especially people who will, themselves, engage in recruiting activity. b) will have different varieties. These ‘roles’ aren’t just for those who have already accepted such roles, but also for those who have not yet realized that they are going to become enthusiastic Green recruiters, campaign workers, or candidates.
So, when you land on the CCC (sub)website, you should have a lot of the real estate taken up by a fork in a digital road. You can get a rough idea as what I’m talking about by looking at: http://www.visualsvn.com/
This company makes 2 main products: one for clients, one for servers.
The GP will have, say, 4 crying needs for role players:
a) recruiters (face-to-face recruiters into GP membership and activities) b) hot button activism (defined below) leaders c) candidates d) campaign supporters
So, devote half the CCC landing page (home page) to these 4 roles
3) the webinar that http://www.gp.org/committees/campaign/index.php is from was not recorded. At the very least, the audio should have been recorded, and posted (you can post audio, with a picture that doesn’t change, on youtube). At the very best, the video (with audio) would be edited, dead space taken out, and then posted at youtube, vimeo, the gp website, etc. Online activists would extract the salient points, and then blog about this in the part of the blogosphere that will permit this.
4) “hot button” activism.
Student debt is killing a lot of young people, and this is on their radar. Social Security is NOT on their radar.
So, let’s say you land on the CCC home page, and say that you are interested in b) hot button activism. Well, it’s a no brainer that you then want to channel web visitors to some area that they’re feeling, to begin with.
Another aspect to this, which I don’t want to even think of (but I’ll leave to you, as homework 🙂 ), is how should the website handle issue-oriented activists who are looking for allies, but might be persuaded to simultaneously become Greens .
Bruce Dixon has written (at openleft) about his plans for recruitment in Georgia, but we don’t know what became of those efforts.
5) Green New Deal Branding
not a biggie, but Green New Deal subsumes more memes than any given individual is likely to remember. Hence, I would be more inclined to make the Green New Deal a second-class meme, in advertising and header verbiage.
E.g., when recruiting/educating on a college campus, I would bill the event as “Student Debt Forgiveness (a Green New Deal initiative)”. Not “The Green New Deal and Student Debt”.
The New Deal doesn’t carry much emotional draw, for most of the population, including not-so-youngsters like you and me.
6) GP website has poor localization. If I live in FL, near you, and you are doing some Green action, it should show up on my GP web page, automatically. The PDA website has some ‘localization’ via a map on its home page, so maybe you should look that one over. In the case of PDA, selecting your state from the map takes you to an affiliated website, http://www.pdacommunity.org/ . There’s some good stuff, there, also, though I think they could have done better integration of the localized info on their main website.