Green Party 2008 National Convention
Chicago, IL


Workshops on Thursday, 1:00 pm – 2:15 pm

GPUS Budget & Finances in General: Input, Q&A, and more -- Clark 3

The Finance Committee is seeking input on the 2009 Budget. Information on spending from 2004 through June 2008 will be available. Detailed notes will be taken for use during the next budget cycle that begins shortly after the convention. In addition, the Finance Committee will welcome your comments, questions, and suggestions on GPUS finances in general. Feel free to send questions to the treasurer ( before the meeting, so we can compile the information needed to answer them.

Presenters: Jody Grage, GPUS Treasurer & Finance Committee Co-Chair; Jim Coplen, SC member and Finance Committee Co-Chair.

Media: Selling yourself without selling out -- Clark 7

The Media Workshop will cover press releases, press conferences and other media events, web sites, video, publication of article & columns, and other aspects of Green media outreach. The workshop is intended for Green candidates, campaign media directors, campaign managers, party media staff, and all Greens working on campaigns or interested in knowing how to use the media to promote a Green candidate or a local or state Green Party. Bring a notebook & a pen and be prepared to take lots of notes.

The host of the workshop will be Scott McLarty, media coordinator for the Green Party.

Workshops on Thursday, 2:30 pm – 3:45pm

A Clear Path Towards Dismantling and Ending All "ism" (Racism, Sexism, Classism and White Privilege) Within the Green Park -- Clark 3

The Green Party, dealing openly and honestly with all "ism" (Racism, Sexism, Classism and White Privilege), facing ourselves, can and will move us forward by drawing Americans to register and vote Green in the upcoming 2008 national, state and local elections and beyond. This workshop will layout a short- and long-term plan on how we Greens can create a clear path and create "buy in" from the wider American citizenry. To share a way forward, we Greens need to emphasize direct action tactics and traditional electoral politics to women, people of color, independents and progressives in a clear and measurable manner via long term planning.

Facilitator: Ms. Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry (aka SKCM Curry) has been involved with the Green Party of the United States at all levels from 2002-2008. She thinks that we Greens must combine our energy on all levels to create winning strategies that synergistically promote a national Green vision supported by measurable policies, programs and laws appealing to the varied local, state and national interests of all Americans. She is campaigning for the 2008 Green Party Vice Presidential nomination.

Viral Campaign Marketing -- Clark 7

This will be a technical workshop directed at evolving techniques for campaign fundraising, but also for state parties and GPUS initiatives. Audiences are encouraged to participate to learn the principles being adopted by interactive communities on collaborative politics to maximize donation goals, energize voter engagement, and channel new media awareness. For years mainstream media has dominated the political spectrum. In today's social media age, new micro-contribution strategies are changing relationships between candidate and voter, transforming politics in this century with little effort.

Presenter: Jim Carr has over 16 years in the tech industry, whose professional clients included Microsoft, IBM, BEA Systems, Quark, Digital Equipment Corporation and other Fortune 100 companies.

Workshops on Thursday, 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

What Every Green Candidate Should Know -- Clark 3

Following the 2004 general election, the Coordinated Campaign Committee (CCC) sent out a questionnaire to all the Green candidates who ran. With the luxury of hindsight, candidates reflected and shared their experiences of what worked best, and what could have been better. Then CCC member Susan Fawcett compiled these into a checklist of things candidates and their campaign committees should have in mind before deciding to run for office that was released on Jan 29, 2005. This workshop is for those that are considering running for office for the first time or who want to work on a campaign. That's not to say that those that have run before or worked on campaigns cannot also benefit from this workshop.

Presenter: Brent McMillan, Political Director for the Green Party of the United States, will take participants through this checklist along with handouts and additional information.

What is Local Democracy? Building from the Bottom Up for Political Power -- Clark 7

This session will be an introduction to the local democracy movement and to key local democracy campaigns. The theme that ties these together is people, communities and municipalities as social actors taking back power from the federal and global regimes to achieve policy change and action at the local level. The session will end with facilitated discussion about implementing some of these strategies to address local problems.

Led by Juscha E. M. Robinson, Attorney at Law, Liberty Tree Fellow and former chair of the GPUS Coordinated Campaign Committee; Alder Brenda Konkel, former president, Madison Common Council; and former Alder Pete Karas, Racine Common Council.

Workshops on Friday, 9:15 am – 10:30 am

Fundraising 101 -- Clark 1

You won't get much money if you don't ASK for it! You already know WHY, so come hear more about the HOW and WHEN of fundraising. With this panel of experts you'll get an overview of joint State/National programs to help your state fundraising. Included will be an overview of the Green Party Card program, online appeals, phone banking, and merchandise sales. We'll also share how you can use house parties, special events, and candidate appearances to make fundraising appeals.

Panelists: LaVerne Butler, Co-Chair, Merchandise Committee & DCSGP Steering Committee; Angel Torres, AZGP Co-Chair; George Martin (WIGP); David Cobb (GPCA); Jody Grage, Treasurer, GPUS; Emily Citkowski, Operations Director, GPUS; and Tamar Yager, Fundraising Manager; GPUS.

The Role of the Peace Movement in an Election Year -- Clark 3

This workshop will be led by active Peace Action Committee (GPAX) members, who will speak briefly on the state of the peace movement in this election year, including national trends, local initiatives, and particular openings for Green Party members. We will then open the discussion up to how we as Green Party peace activists, can be most effective in promoting the peace plank both within our party and outside; our role in national peace organizations; and in society as a whole. Includes a brief overview of GPAX purpose and activities, and an invitation for new members to become involved.

Presenters: Bruce Gagnon, coordinator the Global Network Against Weapons and Nuclear Power in Space and a member of the Maine Green Party; Steve Shafarman, DC Statehood Green Party and author of Peaceful, Positive Revolution: Economic Security for Every American. Moderator: Ann Wilcox, Acting Co-Chair GPAX, attorney, and member of Code Pink Women for Peace and other groups.

What is Central to the Green Message: Ecology? Democracy? Social Justice? -- Clark 7

This Workshop will take up three values, for each of which claims are strongly made as being central to the Green message. They are Ecology, Democracy, and Social Justice. All are welcome to come for a rousing discussion that is long overdue. Mary Beth Sullivan (of the Global Network Against Nuclear Power and Weapons in Space) will moderate the workshop. Three presenters will lead off for five minutes each: Gloria Mattera (Co-Chair, Green Party of New York State) for Social Justice; Ben Manski (of Liberty Tree) for Democracy; and John Rensenbrink (of Green Horizon) for Ecology. Thereafter, others in attendance will have a full chance to weigh in. At the close, each presenter of the Workshop will have three–minutes for a concluding statement.

Presenters: Gloria Mattera, Ben Manski, John Rensenbrink. Moderator: Mary Beth Sullivan

Workshops on Friday, 10:45 am – noon

Sustainable Activism: Learning how to live for the cause -- Clark 1

Tired of losing your friends to burnout? Afraid of burning yourself out? Ready to learn how to keep yourself and your fellow Greens happy, healthy and hard at work on social change? This workshop is for you! In an interactive seventy-five minutes we will define sustainable activism. "Sustainable" will have a different meaning for every activist and every organization. This discussion will help you figure out your personal style and how to best address the needs of your organizations. We will also discuss the stresses we face as activists and explore individual and organizational strategies for reducing harmful stress and fostering a culture of sustainable activism.

Presenter: Alison Duncan, at-large National Committee (NC) representative from Green Party of New York State; Co-Chair Dispute Resolution Committee

The 60th Anniversaries of the Palestinian Catastrophe (Nakba) and the UN Universal Declaration of Human Rights: The Green Party's Response -- Clark 3

This year marks the 60th anniversary of the dispossession of Palestinians of their homeland with the founding of the State of Israel and the ensuing Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Ironically, it is also the 60th anniversary of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which enshrines into law the right of refugees to return to their country and the right not to be arbitrarily deprived of one's property, among others. This workshop will discuss this historic irony in terms of the Green Party's support for non-violent conflict resolution in general, and its endorsement of the growing call for a boycott, divestment and sanctions movement against Israel in particular. (Greens, Calling for Palestinian Rights, Urge Divestment from Israel -- 11.28.2005)

Participants: members of the International Committee (Justine McCabe; David Schwartzman, GPUS point persons on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict; Lawrence Davidson, historian/IC Advisor, author of The Academic Boycott of Israel-Objections and Defense; Mazin Qumsiyeh, GPCT, author of Sharing the Land of Canaan: Human Rights and the Israeli-Palestinian Struggle) and international Green Party guests.

The Constitutional MAP for Voter Disfranchisement -- Clark 7

This lecture/workshop will examine the legacy of the original compromised Constitutional design of 1787 for effecting the franchise and provide the historical context of Bush v. Gore's contemporary role in voter disfranchisement in presidential elections past (2000 & 2004) and present (2008). Bush vs. Gore's amoral judicial ruling that "[T]he individual citizen has no federal constitutional right to vote for electors for the President of the United States" cited the anti-majoritarian constitutional article that embodied the infamous 3/5ths compromise. That article originally established a government of the few, by the few, for the few, predicated upon the Electoral College constitutional franchise for racial quotas.

Presenter: Asa Gordon is the chair of DC Statehood Green Party's Electoral College Task Force, and the founder and executive director of the Douglass Institute of Government. His work covers studies on democratizing the Electoral College, the constitutional penalty for voter disfranchisement, the 14th Amendment right to vote provision, and neo-confederate culture in American politics.

Workshops on Friday, 1:00 pm - 2:15 pm

Update on NAFTA and the North American Security and Prosperity Partnership -- Clark 1

In the past year, the Green Parties of the US and Canada have been collaborating on opposing this secretive trade deal among the US, Canada, and Mexico ( Canadian and US Green Parties blast secretive NAFTA-Plus trade-security deal). This workshop will educate Greens on the specifics of this pact and the growing impact of NAFTA especially in Canada, and discuss ways we can continue to oppose these two undemocratic trade deals.

Participants: International Committee members; representatives of the Green Party of Mexico; international trade critic Janet Eaton, PhD., Green Party of Canada, Threats to Our Water: NAFTA, SPP, Super-Corridors, Atlantica and other international Green Party guests.

The Law of Diminishing Returns as a Principle for Deciding How to Deal with the Need to Reduce Consumption to Restore the Environment -- Clark 3

The average US citizen consumes 32 times as much as the average world citizen. A billion people must at least double their consumption in order to live as long as we consider normal. Because we have already exceeded the world's carrying capacity, without environmental collapse, they cannot increase their consumption unless we decrease ours. We need a rule to determine how much we should decrease our consumption so that they can be lifted out of malnutrition. The Law of Diminishing Returns provides insight into the problem.

Presenter: Richard Duffee is a former professor of Law and Poverty and Philosophy of Law in Hyderabad, India. He is the Green Nominee for Congress, 4th Congressional District, CT.

Organizing Online for Everyone -- Clark 7

Learn 10 great ways to use the power of the Internet to create a Green world. Online organizing is the cheapest and most effective way to build the Green Party and winning Green campaigns. We will cover a variety of topics including writing, design and free Internet tools you can easily use. This workshop is appropriate for beginning and experienced online organizers.

Presenter: Marnie Glickman, Executive Director, Green Change,

Grass Roots Fundraising for Candidates: You Know All The People You Need to Know, To Raise All The Money You Need To Raise -- Clark 8

This dynamic workshop will guide you in an exploration of different fundraising techniques to raise your budget and then some. Ultimately, the best person to do fundraising for a campaign is the candidate. Comment from a participant when this workshop was delivered in Tulsa was, "I which I had know this stuff the first time I ran, it would have been a much stronger campaign." This workshop is for both those that are considering running for office for the first time and those who have run before. Please bring samples of fund appeals for your project or organization, if available!

Presenters: Theresa El-Amin and Brent McMillan, Political Director, Green Party of the United States. Theresa El-Amin is director of the Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) based in Durham North Carolina. A veteran of the Civil Rights Movement and the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC), Theresa is building the Ella Baker Tour to culminate in an April 2010 celebration of the 50th anniversary of the founding of SNCC at Shaw University in Raleigh North Carolina

Workshops on Friday, 2:30 pm – 3:45 pm

Messaging Workshop -- Clark 1

We will review the principles of messaging, choose some key messages for all Green candidates to use, and strategize ways of disseminating the results to all Green candidates. We will ask your reasons for choosing this workshop and spend time on the principles of promotion such as targeting your audience and repetition. We will break into small groups for discussion on messaging ideas and come back together for a full group discussion to see if we can: settle on a message; decide how to disseminate the results of the workshop to candidates; and finalize a report to the plenary.

Presenters: Colia Clarke, NY Power to the People Committee; Gini Lester, Will County, IL Green Party; and Carol Wolman, MD, Green Candidate for Congress, CA District 1,, Coordinator, New Broom Coalition,, Co-Chair, Impeach Bush-Cheney.

Making Green Food Choices – How our diet affects animals and the environment -- Clark 3

Join us for an informative lecture on animal-based agriculture's impact on the environment. Learn how a plant-based diet conserves water, land, and fossil-fuels, while preventing air and water pollution and the destruction of rainforests. Also, discover how a vegetarian diet is one of the single most important actions you can take to fight global warming and prevent cruelty to animals.

Presenter: Nathan Runkle, Executive Director of Mercy For Animals

Democratizing the Electoral College -- Clark 7

This programmatic lecture/workshop will provide the historical context and develop a planned strategy the Green Party and the party's presidential electors can implement to redress contemporary voter disfranchisement and enforce the most effective reconstruction era constitutional remedy for democratizing the Electoral College.

Presenter: Asa Gordon is the chair of DC Statehood Green Party's Electoral College Task Force, and the founder and executive director of the Douglass Institute of Government. His work covers studies on democratizing the Electoral College, the constitutional penalty for voter disfranchisement, the 14th Amendment right to vote provision, and neo-confederate culture in American politics

Workshops on Friday, 4:00 pm – 5:15 pm

Endless War and the Military-Industrial-Governmental Complex -- Clark 1

Bruce Gagnon will discuss Pentagon plans for endless war, the use of space technology to direct modern warfare, Bush's new offensive space policy directive, the current takeover of our government by the weapons industry, and a transformative vision for ending America's addiction to militarism - the economic conversion of the military industrial complex.

Presenter: Mike DeRosa, Co-Chair, GPCT and Bruce Gagnon, Coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space, has been organizing on space issues for 25 years. He is a Vietnam-era veteran and has a new book called Come Together Right Now: Organizing Stories from a Fading Empire.

Red, Black, Brown and Green: Positive Solutions to the Issues of Poverty, Immigration and Environment Destruction -- Clark 3

Omar López will address some of the chief causes for immigration and his specific work on organizing the immigrant community in Chicago; while Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma'at will focus on several important efforts for economic and political justice in and between communities of African, Indigenous, Latino and Asian ancestry here in the U.S. This workshop will also discuss the economic opportunities provided by green collar jobs.

Presenters: Omar López is a teacher and longtime Chicago community activist, who has co-founded numerous organizations working on labor, tenant, immigration rights and bilingual education. For the past 14 years, he has been the director of C.A.L.O.R., an organization that provides services to Latinos impacted by HIV / AIDS and other diseases. He is the Green Party candidate for Congress in the 4th district of Illinois. Jahahara Amen-RA Alkebulan-Ma'at serves on the staff of the California-based GRID Alternatives, whose mission is to make solar and energy efficiency available to low-income and communities of color; and to help train these same communities for green collar jobs. Jahahara is also a former National Co-Chair of the National Coalition of Blacks for Reparations in America (N'COBRA); and a past African Initiative Coordinator with the American Friends Service Committee. He has just released his newest book, Reparations Sasa!

A Democracy Movement for The U.S.A. -- Clark 7

Campaigns to democratize elections, defense, education, communities, work, law, media, culture, and many other areas of society are well underway. And a good thing too: We might survive by demanding table scraps, but we'll only thrive once we run the kitchen. Even so, the U.S.A. today is not yet home to a democracy movement. This session will highlight the need for, and some exciting ideas about, building a U.S. democracy movement.

Led by Ben Manski, Attorney at Law, Liberty Tree Fellow and former chair of the Green Party of the U.S. and John Nichols, author, The Genius of Impeachment, and others.

The Basic Income Guarantee — and the Power of Green Economics -- Clark 8

We can achieve rapid progress on ending homelessness, slowing global warming, strengthening democracy, and achieving peace in Iraq by enacting a guaranteed basic income. The Green Party platform already calls for basic income, which is the most direct and effective way to promote the general welfare. By highlighting basic income in their campaigns, Green candidates for local, state, and national offices will attract more voters from across the political spectrum and win elections.

Presenter: Steven Shafarman is president of Citizen Policies Advocates and the author of Peaceful, Positive Revolution: Economic Security for Every American.

Workshops on Sunday, 10:45 am – noon

Agrarian Revival at the End of Cheap Oil -- Clark 1

Peak oil and the prospect of global warming will curtail the industrial food system. As the monetary and ecological costs of energy rise, food from our energy-intensive food system will become too expensive for most of us. Local organic food systems will continue to thrive, and a back-to-the-land movement can be expected. The ecological emphasis of Greens already provides a critique of agribusiness, but more expensive energy will require policies of land reform and redistribution, along with revisions of current tax and subsidy policies.

Presenter: Maynard Kaufman, author Adapting to the End of Oil: Toward an Earth-Centered Spirituality (2006), has been active in Green Politics on local, state and national levels from 1987 to 1991 is a member of the Van Buren County Greens

What to say when you're called a spoiler: instant runoff voting & proportional representation -- Clark 3

Ranked choice voting systems which allow voters to rank the candidates in their order of preference (1,2,3…) without fear of "spoiling" or vote-splitting are gaining in popularity. Learn the strategies, messages and organizing techniques used in the successful campaigns for instant runoff voting (IRV) in Oakland (69% voter support) and Springfield, IL for overseas absentee and military voters (92% voter support) as well as efforts in the U.S and around the world for the proportional representation system call the single transferable vote (STV). Panelists will also touch upon campaign finance reforms such as clean money/full public financing and address voting equipment issues.

Presenter: Lynne Serpe and a representative from the successful Springfield, IL campaign. Lynne's experiences include: New York Choice Voting Project Director, FairVote; Communications Coordinator, Ontario Citizens Assembly referendum on proportional representation (2007); Deputy Director of the Political Reform Program of the New America Foundation where she advocated IRV for the City of Los Angeles and advised the Oakland IRV campaign (2006); consultant to the British Columbia Citizens Assembly STV referendum (2005); Ohio Recount Manager (2004); National STV Coordinator, New Zealand Parliament (2002-2003).

LGBT Activism: Recent Victories and Future Goals -- Clark 5

Two years ago the Gay Liberation Network (GLN) torpedoed the Illinois Family Institute's attempt to write marriage discrimination into the Illinois constitution, and last month the Berwyn United Neighborhood Gay and Lesbian Organization (BUNGALO) successfully lobbied the Berwyn City Council to pass a human rights ordinance in this blue-collar Chicago suburb. Learn from these grassroots activists how they did it, where the LGBT rights movement is headed next, and what the Green Party can do to help secure equal rights for all.

Moderator: Jerome Pohlen, Green Party 3rd Illinois District Congressional candidate.

History of US-Iranian Relations and Its Impact on Current Tensions Regarding Iranian Nuclear Power -- Clark 7

This workshop will examine the history of US-Iranian Relations from World War II to the Revolution (including the Iran-Contra Affair, US policy on the Iran-Iraq War) with an emphasis on looking at political, strategic, and economic interests of both countries, as well as how the relationship between the two has affected internal politics in Iran (attempts at reform/perpetuation of dictatorship), as well as led to current tensions over Iran's nuclear policy, drawing in others like Russia and the EU.

Participants: members of the International Committee (e.g., John Miglietta, Bahram Zandi, Janet IC Advisor/anthropologist who has worked in Iran) and international Green guests, especially European Greens.

Strategic thinking for campaigns -- Clark 8

This workshop will focus on campaign development and building skills (especially outreach skills) to reach a specific goal. Participants will practice campaign planning to win an election for public office or to change public policy. Carol Wolman's run for Congress in CA District 1 will be used as an example.

Presenters: Theresa El-Amin is a member of the North Carolina Green Party, and director of the Southern Anti-Racism Network (SARN) based in Durham. Carol Wolman, MD, is the Green Candidate for Congress, CA District 1,, and Coordinator, New Broom Coalition,

Elections for Radicals -- Clark 9

Many social change agents seem to believe either that voting is irrelevant as a tactic for pursuing systemic change. Others seem to believe that casting and counting votes is the sum total of democracy. Current U.S. elections are profoundly undemocratic, and if we want to ensure that people are able to participate in a meaningful way in making the decisions that effects their lives then we must demand fundamental reforms of the election process. This session will explore ways for Greens and other social change agents to engage in electoral politics in a smart, ethical, and strategic manner.

Led by David Cobb, Esq., Liberty Tree Fellow and the Green Party's 2004 presidential nominee and others.