July Newsletter

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Greetings I’m Jorden Leonard, Executive Director of the Portland Green Party.

This last 29th we had our June member’s meeting and open meet and greet.  See minutes here.  There were a number of new faces, and many commitments to volunteer.  We are starting two new campaigns.  The first is a register Green campaign that will be led by T Oliver, contact him to help out.  Our goal is to register two thousand new Greens in the Portland area in the next twelve months.  We will work closely with the state party in this effort and will draw upon the success of our Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) campaign to ease voters’ worries about splitting the vote while showing the power a progressive minor party can have.

Our second new campaign is about energy and will for the moment be led by me and will draw upon green campaign work being done by non-profits that we are building relationships with.  I’ll only be the interim campaigner because of my other commitments.  There are a number of core volunteers already so I’m confident that after I help set things up someone will step up to replace me.  Contact me to join effort.  Judy Barnes is our contact with Oregonians for Renewable Energy Policy and Jacob Gellman is our contact with Sierra Club and their two relevant campaigns, getting Oregon past coal and renovating our homes to be more energy efficient.  Any suggestions for a good campaign name, something better than Green energy campaign?

Our web presence is lacking, and we need more pictures with our words.  Kevin Witmer is our new web developer, who will be working with our tech team as a volunteer.  We need help with design, if anyone has the time/inclination to help with direction, contact me.  We are strengthening our social networking presence and I am working on organizing those how have offered to help in this regard.  We do have a Facebook group and page.  The group is the member community builder and the page is more informational, the public face.  Anyone who wants to be a part of the virtual expression of our group please join.  And everyone please like our page.  The numbers matter as people at a glance will judge our worth by how many likes we have.  Even though we have thousands of members and thousands of donors on top of that, this wide and deep support isn’t yet shown online.  Help us step up.

We need to speak with pictures.  Anthony Preciado has volunteered to express our campaigns visually.  He will start with IRV, and will try to explain this ranked choice voting concept in a snapshot instead of a paragraph.  We won’t have the money for a marketing firm, but in such an artistically rich city we can draw upon much more than what any firm could provide.

Non profits have held the line, now our party is beginning to pull it’s weight.  We are the political expression for the environmental, peace, and social justice movements through grassroots democracy.  We are partisan.  We play the politics non-profits are barred from by law.  With us these movements will no longer be hamstrung and we can face our opponents directly on the political field.  We see the conflict of interest when corporations have political power and we will force a separation.  We will bring back public financing of local elections in Portland, and big money candidates will face grassroot opponents again.

We are proud of our city, and we want to show the Bay Area how we can define progressive.  It’s friendly competition, and I have to mention the other Portland, Portland Maine already has implemented IRV so we have some catching up to do.

Seth Woolley represented us at a meeting set up by the World Affairs Council last month with representatives from Algeria, Egypt, Mauritania, Morocco, Palestinian Territories, Saudi Arabia, Tunisia, United Arab Emirates, and a relief organization.  He educated them about how local grassroots politics work. He is happy to talk with anyone who wants to know more about how that meeting went and what specifically was talked about.

Debby Schwartz and T Oliver will be heading down to Albany for the Oregon Single Payer Campaign – Strategic Planning Retreat on the 16th.  They will be representing the Portland Greens and will help lay the ground work for the powerful coalition a single payer success like in Vermont will require.  We are poised to be a founding leading member of this new coalition.  Get in touch with me to join our volunteer list so when they need help you’ll know directly how you can help.

I’m proud to say that we not only have an active campaign for single payer healthcare, but we offer 100% fully paid healthcare through Kaiser to our employees, medical, dental and vision.  This has not been easy to accomplish, nor is it easy to maintain, but we try to practice what we preach.  We follow consensus at our public and private meetings and we have co-management instead of hierarchy.  Our work is transparent and available to view and judge.  We empower you to comment, take part, and have a seat at our table.  Share the work with us.  We can only succeed with help.  We can only succeed by helping each other.

On that note we have begun to actively recruit for the three empty board spots.  We are tentatively looking at having elections at the August members meeting.  If you are interested in joining the board I suggest that you come to this months meeting on July 27th.  See our current proposed agenda here.

We meet the last Wednesday of every month at People’s Coop, enjoy the farmer’s market then come upstairs to the community room for our members meeting and meet and greet.  3029 SE 21st Avenue, 7-8 members meeting/8-9 work meeting.  Anyone who is a member of the Coop and is thinking they can make it please let me know.

Thank you for your time.  Enjoy the summer air, and if you feel that tickle of pollution, know we are the party poised to clean it.

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2 responses »

  1. Sorry, I never got a chance to attend the meetings. I had to move from Portland, Or. I love Portland, Or. It is a green city indeed. But, I was alone, and on the struggle there at the time trying to survive. Now, I live in Florida. It is hot and humid here. People here are not as active into community minded gatherings and events. It is a more like The Jersey Shore here.

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