Thursday, 4 August 2016, the Green Party US's Presidential Nominating Convention and Annual National Meeting commences.
The convention, entitled Houston, We Have a Solution—Vote Green 2016, will occur about three miles from my dwelling, at the University of Houston's main campus.
This year, unlike 2012, and 2004, I am not a delegate to the convention. However, I will be staffing the registration desk.
While typing this entry, I am filled with a very positive mixture of excitement and anxiety. This could be the convention that launches the Green Party into the national consciousness to stay. On the other hand...nope, not gonna say it.
Also, I have seen live streams of the events surrounding the Bernie Sanders delegates' walkout in Philadelphia, which went all but ignored in the major media. Reports I have seen from Greens on the ground indicated that at least 300 delegates left the floor in protest.
Months ago, when Hillary Clinton's nomination began to look like a certainty, Green Facebookers began suggesting to each other that Greens should be in Philly to embrace the herd of Sanders delegates likely to march in disgruntlement out of the Wells Fargo Center. It was like a prayer with no particular destination. There was never an organized effort for Greens to travel to Philly and give the Sanders contingent a big "there, there."
Like the answer to that prayer, Jill Stein did the Green Movement one better, and then one better than that, and then several betters than better. When she spoke, marched, and assembled her crew on Broad Street, flanked by comrades such as Chris Hedges and Dr. Cornel West, Sanders delegates and supporters flocked to her. That flocking hasn't been reflected in the national polling yet, but that's only a matter of time.
Facts Worth Knowing about the Convention
- Those who would like to attend the workshops and speeches may still register. Full registration costs $150; Saturday observer registration is $50.
- Why does the GPUS charge a registration fee? No corporate sponsors. None whatsoever. Delegates may apply to GPUS for financial assistance toward that fee, as well as their state parties to cover travel costs.
- Of the five recognized presidential candidates, Dr. Jill Stein has enough delegates to claim the presidential nomination.
- As of today, Stein's choice for vice-presidential running mate is human rights activist Ajamu Baraka, who has served as Public Intervenor for Human Rights on the Green Shadow Cabinet that Stein assembled in 2013.
- Saturday's nomination proceedings, 1-5 pm, will be broadcast on C-SPAN and Pacifica Network News. In addition to the roll call votes for presidential and VP nominees, this segment will include a speech by Cornel West.
- These highlights are open to the public and all take place at UH:
- Thursday: The Global Corpocracy Pop-Up Art Revolution, featuring works by Houston artists, M.D. Anderson Library, 3-5 pm.
- Thursday: The Opening Reception at the Student Center Ballroom, 6:30-8:30 pm, with appearances by Keli Yen of Global Greens and YahNé Ndgo of Bernie or Bust—free admission, with snacks and a cash bar.
- Friday: Ruthi Engelke of Move to Amend gives a talk on The Role of Art in Revolution, at the Global Corpocracy Show (see above), 4:00-5:15 pm.
- Friday: The Green Party US "Greens Got Talent" Fundraiser, 8:15-10:15 pm in the Student Center Ballroom. Bring your checkbook and be ready to bid on some cool stuff.
- Saturday: Party for the Revolution, 8 pm in the Ballroom, sponsored by Jill Stein's presidential campaign.