When Margaret Flowers opened up her home for a Jill Stein event, I accepted the invitation excited to meet the Green Party Presidential Candidate face to face. Even though I was a few minutes late, I had a seat saved between Flowers and Stein as the discussion continued. I learned about their passion and their politics as constituents asked questions and important topics were discussed. Foreign policy, the environment, and economics is where I really found the difference, making me more comfortable with my switch.
My time with the Green Party, if characterized by one word, can be described as "learning". Listening to white people talk about issues like the environment, really opened up my eyes to some issues I never really considered.
Even as I think about the election today, if voting Jill Stein means I'm throwing away my vote, then my vote was trash to begin with. I would never consider voting for Hillary Clinton, but the response from Bernie Sanders voters have thus been disrespectful and condescending. "Oh, you're voting for her? But will she win?", once again reminding me that electoral politics is built on celebrity. But, I digress.
Sometimes I felt I was tokenizing myself in these majority white spaces. I often thought to myself, "What is my place, a 20 year old Black man, here around all these non-Black people discussing fracking and charter schools?" But then, I realized that in this space I can bring something back to my peers and, as Marc Lamont Hill said, "change the conversation". I can take what I learn back to my circles where we can have conversations on the privatization of education, the corporate media, and universal basic income. I can take these ideas back to my Black spaces, so that we can talk about structural issues - so that our discussions around Blackness can be less reactionary symbolism and more institutional progressivism. Besides, in the Green Party I join some other great Black activists like - Rosa Clemente, Jared Ball, Cynthia McKinney, Elaine Brown and more. There's no doubt that people of color have more living room in this party.
I've seen the limits of the Democrats and how soft "trickle-down economics" works as banks get bailouts while the people continue to get cuts in welfare and social programs. "Pragmatic" neoliberalism continues to sustain businesses and corporations, who already see benefits of wealth. As someone who believes in nonviolence, the Democratic love for war, violence, and empire is one entirely off-putting. Militarization, both globally and domestically, is dangerous as drones and the war on encryption threaten American privacy, and the sovereignty of those abroad.
The Green Party, for me, offers a greater alternative of ideas and that's what progressivism is supposed to be about - looking at the future and saying, "What new ideas can we bring to the table?" The Green Party is bringing those new ideas, from the grassroots, to the people.
I'm excited for the work that the Baltimore Green Party will do, especially after seeing the work our people have done. I don't want to just tell you. But you can see, here and here, the way that politics is less something our people do, and more a medium of bringing the change we need to see. Our values are consistent. Each day is a new day to learn and open the mind to new ideas and I'm somewhere I can do that. I know I'm in the right place.
Jeremy Collins is Co-Chair of the Baltimore Green Party. Visit his website itsjer.com
For over five decades, Baltimore has been ruled by one party. Democrats have held every elected office for the entire life of almost every resident. Political apathy, low voter turnout, and a Democratic primary that is called "the election" have combined to leave a progressive Baltimore represented by a neoliberal Democratic Party.
Republicans appeal to some Baltimoreans, but in Baltimore they are a third party, just like the Greens.
After last year's uprising in the wake of Freddie Gray's death at the hands of police, and the national media spotlighting all the wrong things about the city, Baltimore is looking for a new path, a Second Party instead of a Third. The Baltimore Green Party has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide that.
Our voters will vote in the first ever contested Baltimore Green Party Mayoral Primary. Beyond the Mayor's race, the Greens are running candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, President of the City Council, and five additional City Council seats. Baltimore has a real opportunity to end the decades-long rule of the Democrats. The Baltimore Green Party has good candidates and progressive, people-centered solutions.
We are recruiting new members, have launched a Young Greens intiative, are sharing a value-driven vision, and reaching the people of Baltimore City with new and future-looking ideas. Democratic insiders realize we could contest this election up and down the ballot and they are starting to take notice and get scared. (See the list of Baltimore Green Party victories at the end of this post.)
Greens face many challenges in Baltimore. Though we have ballot access in Maryland we have to run and pay for our own primary. We also need to maintain momentum past the primary when most media outlets and voters think the election ends. We have ambitious plans to reach and engage each of our voters, to hire a part-time volunteer coordinator that we can share with our campaigns, and even to launch a "Welcome Back" campaign to reach out to voters who left the Greens to vote for Bernie Sanders.
But we need your help.
Today we are asking two things:
We need to show that we have a movement of Greens around the country who are paying attention to Baltimore and willing to support candidates and the party with money, social media, and most importantly, good Green solutions.
We know this won't be easy, but we know that during this election we can show that our values and solutions appeal to a majority of Baltimore residents and that we can change the trajectory of a city thrust into the national spotlight over the last year.
In the 2016 Baltimore City Election, Republicans and Democrats will choose their candidates exactly one day shy of the one-year anniversary of Freddie Gray's funeral.
The Baltimore Green Party chooses our candidate on May 1st--one year to the day since State Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby brought charges against the officers involved in Freddie Gray's death.
From where we stand, there is no better place than here and no better time than now to launch a revolution at the ballot box and we need you, a nation of Greens, to make it work.
Baltimore Green Party
Baltimore Green Wins So Far This Election Season
This election season has already seen some major victories for the Baltimore Green Party. Our Candidates were included in the League of Women Voters Election Guide, The Baltimore Sun Voter Guide and candidate forums all across the city.
In a historical first one of our mayoral candidates won a straw poll including many establishment democrats who are deemed "frontrunner.
Victory in the Fight for Clean Air in Baltimore
Following escalation of protests, Maryland Department of Environment denies Air Quality Permits for Trash Incinerator
Baltimore, MD - Today, Margaret Flowers, MD, candidate for US Senate seeking the Green Party nomination in Maryland, applauded a decision by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to deny the air quality permits for the construction of the largest trash incinerator in the nation in Curtis Bay, a community in Southwest Baltimore. The permit was sought by New York-based Energy Answers International.
For the past 4 years, residents of Curtis Bay, led by students at Benjamin Franklin High School and United Workers who together formed a group called ‘Free Your Voice’, have fought to stop construction of the incinerator, which would be located less than a mile from the high school. Over the past year, they have escalated their tactics including occupying the MDE’s Baltimore office and overwhelming the CEO of Energy Answers International with factual information at a recent community meeting.
"This is a tremendous victory for advocates with Free Your Voice and the people of South Baltimore who have organized to stop this incinerator from going forward. Maryland already has terrible air quality, receiving an ‘F’ from the American Lung Association in and around Baltimore. This incinerator would have greatly increased air pollution and the resultant cancer, cardiorespiratory disease and asthma in Curtis Bay,” said Dr. Flowers. “Although the O’Malley administration allowed the incinerator to be classified as clean renewable energy, the community saw through that and won through persistence and having the truth on their side.”
Baltimore District 10 City Council candidate Amanda Maminski, who is seeking nomination by the Baltimore Green Party, lives in Curtis Bay and organizes with Free Your Voice. She was one of the community members who left the CEO of Energy Answers International speechless at the recent meeting. She studied their 465-page certificate of need request to the Maryland Public Service Commission. It was clear at the meeting that he had not.
Maminski explains, “By revoking the Air Quality Control permits that expired in 2013, the MDE is upholding our community’s basic human right to clean air and enforcing the terms of their own agreements.” She added that there is still more to do to stop the construction permit for the project. And she has developed an alternative proposal for the land where the incinerator would be built that includes a solar farm and job training on how to build and maintain it so that community members could be hired.
It is the combination of direct action such as the resistance against this incinerator and the development of plans that both move us towards the 21st century clean energy future we require and are based on the needs and desires of the community that set Green Party candidates apart from Democrats and Republicans.
The Baltimore Green Party Primary is coming up May 1st and now is crucial time to learn about your candidates.
We have a contested mayoral primary with three candidates vying for the Green Party nomination:Joshua Harris, Emanuel McCray, David Marriott
This Saturday March 19th, from 4-7 PM we are hosting the Baltimore Green Party Meet and Greet at our office located at 100. E 23rd St, Baltimore MD.
Baltimore's Three Green Party Mayoral Candidates Agree To Participate In Two Forums Open Society Institute Reconsiders and Includes the Green Party
Baltimore, MD: Yesterday, the Open Society Institute and additional co-sponsors and hosts of two upcoming mayoral debates reversed themselves and decided to include the three Green mayoral candidates in their two forums. All three candidates, Joshua Harris, Emanuel McCray and David Marriott have agreed to participate.
"We applaud the sponsors decision to take democracy seriously and ensure that all candidates are heard. Democracy cannot work if closed debates are where only two parties are allowed to participate. The sponsors of these two debates, along with the sponsors of a previous debate the Mt. Vernon Belvedere Association looked at the law and reached the same conclusion -- all candidates must be included under the law," said Andy Ellis, co-chair of the Baltimore Green Party. "Baltimore is facing multiple crisis situations and the same old ideas of the Democratic Party will not solve them. We need new ideas and the Green Party will provide those."
The schedule of the debates is:
February 24th, 7:00 PM at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, 430 East Belvedere Ave.
Hosted by Rev. Heber Brown and moderated by E.R. Shipp and Marc Steiner
March 16th, 7:00 PM at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave.
Hosted by Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. and moderated by Karen Houppert and Lester Spence
The Green Party primary system is a combination of mailed ballots with in-person voting at a convention on May 1.
For more on the Baltimore Green Party candidates see Baltimore City Green Party To Hold Contested 3-Way Mayoral Election
Baltimore Green Party Press Release-Green Party US Senate Candidate, Margaret Flowers, Endorses Plan to Prosecute Wall Street
As of the 2/3/2016 filing deadline these are the candidates seeking the Green Party nomination to run in the general election November 8th.
Mayor- Emanuel McCray & Joshua Harris & David Marriott
President of the City Council- Connor Meek
City Council District 3- Andreas Spiliadis
City Council District 6- Richard T White
City Council District 9- Jamie Frierson
City Council District 10- Amanda Maminski
City Council District 12- Ian Schlakman
In addition to the Baltimore City races there are Green Party candidates for
US Senate- Margaret Flowers
US House of Representatives 3- Nnabu Eze
US House of Representatives 7- Myles Hoenig
Registered members of the Green Party in Baltimore City will have the opportunity to participate in our Baltimore Green Party Primary. Information can be found here http://www.baltimoregp.org/bgp_primary_process_2016