Green Party Presidential Nominating Convention
Denver, CO   June 23-25, 2000
Copyright 2000 Eric M. Appleman/Democracy in Action.  All rights reserved.

Faces of the Green Party


Concerned about corporate abuses and domination.
Charles Mauch of Houston, TX. 
Mauch, a retired petroleum engineer, says, "I was a yellow dog Democrat most of my life."  His first vote in a presidential election was for Adlai Stevenson.  "I've been losing confidence in 'em (the Democrats) for a long time, but it seems to be accelerating the last few years," he says.  Mauch is a member of a number of progressive and environmental groups; he followed the Greens for some years, and supported the Greens Clearinghouse that ran in the early 1990s.  About the time he retired two years ago, Mauch started getting active with local Green group.  He designed a bumpersticker and a tee-shirt and helped with a weekly cable access show.  Recently he gathered about 400 signatures to help put Nader on the ballot in Texas.  He is making his first run for office as one of two Green candidates competing for two seats on the Texas Railroad Commission. 
Kerrie Dickson of Hiawassee, GA.
A musician/songwriter and community activist, Dickson became a Green in 1991.  "I never was with one of those other parties," she says.  Since 1998 she has been co-chair of the Georgia Green Party.  She ran for Labor Commissioner of Georgia in 1998 and is currently running for state representative (House District 8) and working to pass a Voter Choice Act (HB-672) that would change the number of signatures required for ballot access in Georgia from 5 percent of registered voters to 5 percent of the people who actually vote.

"Corporations are buying our politicians."

"Mainstream politicians are specialists in nothing meaningful; they're specialists in getting elected."
Jeff Johnson of South Kingston, RI.
A high school science teacher, Johnson also works at a Department of Children, Youth and Families group home.  Before becoming a Green in 1994, he would frequently leave much of the ballot blank or write in none of the above.  In 1994 Johnson ran for lieutenant governor, obtaining 6 percent of the vote.  In 1996 he ran for state rep. and in 1998 he made a second bid for lieutenant governor.  At the time of the convention, Johnson was reading State of the World 2000 by Lester Brown, but he noted a number of problems back home in Rhode Island.  "It seems like every other kid has asthma," he said.  He said he is also fighting efforts to build a mall that would destroy a "swamp" area in violation of the town plan.
  Pamela Meidell of Port Hueneme, CA.
Meidell is a nuclear abolition activist (founder of The Atomic Mirror and member of the Abolition 2000 Global Council).  She walked precincts for the McGovern campaign in 1972 and supported Jimmy Carter as an outsider strong on energy issues, but by the 1980s she lost much of her interest in politics.  Living in Washington state, home of the WPPSS and a Trident submarine base, she began getting much more interested in nuclear issues.  She organized people at the Nevada nuclear test site and worked on parallel conferences to the UN conferences.  Her colleagues included many women from France, England and Australia and "the whole Green ethos was kind of permeating" among the group.  In 1992 Meidell signed to get the Greens on the ballot in California, but she remained focused on extending the nuclear testing moratorium.  Reminded of the adage "think globally, act locally," she now serves on the coordinating committee of the Green Party of California.

"End drug prohibition."
Tim Davis of Minneapolis, MN.
Davis, a supervisor in a large warehouse, had been a member of the Grassroots Party and run for office a number of times under that banner.  He resigned from the Grassroots Party in 1996 and officially made the switch to the Greens thsi year.
Amy Vas Nunes of Storrs, CT
Social services worker.  Vas Nunes was a member of Students for a Democratic Society and the Clamshell Alliance.  She worked for Jerry Brown and continued as a Democrat until 1993 when President Clinton signed the welfare bill.  "That's when I became a Green," she said.  Vas Nunes is co-chair of the Connecticut Green Party.


John Atkeison of Conshohocken (Westchester), PA.
Computer programmer.  A Green for less than a year, Atkeison says has "kept trying to find an organization that would actually deal with problems."  In 1969 he became active in the anti-war movement.  In the 1980s he was a supporter of the Peace & Freedom Party in California and until about 1990 he remained in the far left, in the ideological camp of the Socialist Workers Party and the Communist Party.  Then took time off he realized that "that's really not where I ought to be," and took time off to reexamine his political thinking.  In 1992 he turned 40; in 1996 he bought a house.  Over the past couple of years, influenced by Ross Gelbspan's book The Heat is On and by lurking on Green websites, he has come around to a Green point of view. 
Xander Patterson of Oregon.
Patterson got involved in the Green Party through Nader's 1996 campaign, when he went to a few protests.  He stayed involved in the party afterwards and is now a full time professional working for the Pacific Greens.  Previously he had been a Democrat; he was happy when Clinton was elected in 1992, but became a "disgusted Democrat" because of such actions as his backing down on gays in the military" and "tossing Lani Guinier out to dry."  "Seattle [the WTO protests] was a huge watershed," Patterson said.  "We've got a sense of our own power."  He said the lesson of Seattle was, "It's the economic system, stupid."  Patterson said Nader's focus on corporate control "is exactly what's driving everybody."  "You can apply it to everything," he said.  "Even the most mainstream people get it."  He cited examples such as Channel 1 in classrooms, Pepsi monopolizing on campus and health insurance.  "Why don't we have universal care?" Patterson asked.  "Because the pharmacies, HMOs and insurance companies don't want it."

Sees Greens as "the voice of the progressive community."

Thomas Dickerman of Daly City, CA.
Retired civil engineer; consultant.  Formed the American Association for Fuel Cells in 1993.  Dickerman first voted in 1957 and was "a lifelong Democrat like my parents."  He was against the Vietnam War and worked on McGovern's campaign but over time "the Democratic party moved away from me."  He said he "finally jumped ship" when Nader ran in 1996. Active in San Mateo Greens.

Annie Young, elected member of the Parks & Recreation Board in Minneapolis, MN.

Chaz Martin of Lexington, KY, active in the anti-sweatshop movement at the University of Kentucky.

Jana Cutlip of Batesville, Virginia