I've gone and got myself elected co-chair of the Harris County Green Party. Last night at the monthly meeting, Bernadine Williams got the nod for a two-year term as co-chair, and I got one year of an incomplete term left vacant by a resignation. This will require some adjustments in my regular activities in order to devote more energy to giving Houston (and Texas) the Green Party it needs and deserves.
Like me, Bernadine has taken time away from Green meetings to focus on other projects and re-evaluate the effectiveness of the movement. She's a Green veteran who once chaired the GPUS Women's Caucus. Currently she brings her talent and energy to the GreenwatchTV crew. I'm thrilled that she has jumped back in and taken a leadership role, because she is very adept at spotting what needs fixing, proposing solutions, and getting people to apply those solutions.
Long-time co-chair Dr. George Reiter gets some time away from Steering Committee meetings and other duties. I fully expect that George will continue as a treasured Party member and an advocate for various causes, because he is a Deep Green and that's what he does. Nothing and nobody will stop him from standing up for Green and Progressive values. I commend him for his service at various levels of Greendom.
I don't consider myself an insurgency candidate, but I ran for the position (despite some misgivings) because HCGP needs to get serious about doing the things for which parties are designed, and doing them better.
We need to get more people actively involved and raise general awareness of the Green Movement and its principles.
We need to mobilize and motivate a critical mass of alienated and pissed-off voters.
We need to build the infrastructure for running legitimate campaigns.
We need to make all this happen by the November 2016 election, because we will never get a better opportunity than now.
Realizing all this was very much like the epiphany I had last August, when Ahmad Hassan quit the County Judge race, and I felt suddenly compelled to earn the votes I was bound to get. Up until August 2014, I was content to be a name on the ballot, with no chance of winning, too much else to do, no money, and no reason to campaign actively. In the end, I was much more gratified with the personal encounters I had in campaigning than with receiving 80,000 votes (about one-sixth of the total vote count in that race).
In previous posts, I have run the numbers, so to speak: total vote turnout, undervotes due to straight-ticket voting, people who will vote Green when there is a Democratic candidate in the race, people who will vote Green when there is no Democratic candidate in the race, Green voters and habitual non-voters who we believe can be cajoled into becoming Green activists.
The numbers boil down to this: I am pushing for 100 new active members in Harris County, 500 statewide. I believe that Bernadine and the other current members of the Steering Committee are on board with me there. The lingering question concerns the best combination of strategies to achieve those goals. I plan to focus large portions of our monthly meetings on recruiting and fundraising: strategizing, planning events, exercising social media, and even making phone calls to Green-friendly acquaintances.
Applaud these lofty goals all you want, but then take a moment to think.
Think about what kind of future you want.
Think about how you can achieve it.
Think about who is working to make that future happen, both in the trenches and in the ivory tower of policy formulation.
Once you have thought out all your thinks, get active. If your positions on issues are truly progressive, the Green Party may be your political home.
The Democratic Party has proven repeatedly that it doesn't want you or your progressive ideas, and that attempts to change their party from within are futile.
The Green Party is your connection to a host of advocacy groups working for peace, for justice, for the environment, for restoring democracy—working every day to make life better for the 99%.
"Democracy is not a spectator sport!"—attributed to Lotte Scharfman.
So it's been almost two weeks since my last blog activity. Some writer, eh?
Very soon I should receive a new set of cover mockups for the upcoming novel. I imagine that they will include assembled bits of the photos that I sent to iUniverse, rather than an assemblage of stock photos. I took a picture of some Texas prairie land back on 28 February, while my HAUSmates (1) and I were holding our Annual General Meeting (2) at Sky Farm (3). I also took a photo of a UU flaming chalice, which in this case is actually the heavily patinaed oil lamp used at First UU Church, Houston.
I took both photos with my phone, a Samsung Galaxy S4. The photos are blurry, especially at 300 dpi, but there's an artistic blurriness about them. I didn't get the sunset that I wanted, because there was no sun that day, and hardly for a week in either direction.
Once the cover design is set, I imagine that the next step is galley proofs, but I don't know for sure, and I don't currently have access to the material that iUniverse sent to outline the whole process. When they send the galley, I'll have some time to look it over & probably catch some errors that I've managed to miss over the past two years.
Footnotes (getting my Infinite Jest on):
(1) HAUS stands for Houston Access to Urban Sustainability, which is Houston's only housing cooperative, as far as I know. We have two houses inside Loop 610, within fairly easy reach of the MetroRail Red Line. It is not a student co-op, but some of our residents are students, some are working in the service industry, and some have office jobs.
(2) Annual General Meeting is what it sounds like: a meeting of the general membership of HAUS that occurs every year. We managed to get 20 of our 25 current resident members, plus several HAUS alums, to this year's AGM. I got to give a presentation on taking public transit as sustainable transportation, including how the new Metro route structure will change (for the better, I earnestly hope) the whole public transit picture in our beloved H-Town.
(3) Sky Farm is the rural Austin County outpost of the Crossley family, the leading lights of Houston Tomorrow. Its postal address is in New Ulm, Texas, but it is closer to the town of Industry. The house at Sky Farm, where we had our unspeakably wonderful meals, is a marvel of contemporary architecture (oddly, no photos on the Facebook page). The meeting portion of the AGM took place in the Conference Center, a repurposed temporary classroom structure with composting toilets.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.