I'd like to think that Dario Hunter's near-unanimous approval vote at last night Harris County Green Party's Consolidated Precinct Conventions had nothing to do with his showing up at Midtown Bar & Grill. But I'm fairly sure that it helped.
Fourteen Greens showed up, eleven of whom cast votes, and all ten put an x in the box next to the lawyer/rabbi's name. The others in attendance, for a variety of reasons, did not vote. Howie Hawkins placed second, with seven approvals.
Among those present were HCGP OG's, some veteran Greenies more recently arrived, some who have joined only within the past year, and one attending her first-ever Green function.
The vote totals have no immediate meaning or impact. They become meaningful only at the Green Party of Texas State Convention 18-19 April. However, most of the eleven who voted will likely participate in the GPTX Convention, all of whose choices will help determine the delegation to the GPUS Presidential Nominating Convention, set to take place in Detroit this July.
While I am earnestly and eagerly anticipating the state and national conventions, for now I'm happy to bask in a local convention well run, with only minor hiccups. Turnout may have been small, but this is a rebuilding year for the Party, and I can envision bigger and stronger attendance by 2024.
For me, the Precinct Convention was as notable for who did not show up as for those who did. It took a while to get used to a function of this sort lacking George Reiter (RIP) and Deb Shafto. We didn't see state co-chair Janis Richards, nor current HCGP Steering Committee officers Bernadine Williams and David den Boer. Remembering George reminded me also of the absence of the recently deceased Jerry Larson, who like George lost a battle with cancer within the past year.
While George's absence was keenly felt, we had no need to worry about losing his experience running local conventions. Laura Palmer, a former GPTX co-chair, was the best qualified to handle the logistics of the event, both before and during, and she did an admirable job of it. Current HCGP co-chair Mary Hendricks processed all the paperwork that delegates from the various precincts submitted, including ballots, with assistance from relative newcomer Raffi Caloustian.
Conversation with Dario
While we waited for results, a few of us took an opportunity to converse, and Hunter to an opportunity to jump right in. Among other tidbits, he mentioned that Jewish congregations in California, his new home, are much more likely to be receptive to his position on Israel/Palestine—i.e., that Palestinians are entitled to the human rights that Israel systematically denies them—than his former synagogue in Youngstown, Ohio. This is not to say that there aren't staunchly conservative congregations in California, but there are plenty with members who share Hunter's controversial position.
Hunter's life story comes across like something from fiction: Working-class kid from Iranian and African American parentage in New Jersey earns multiple degrees, works overseas, becomes a rabbi and an activist, etc. Having packed so many lives into his one life, he must have got the Time Turner from Professor Dumbledore when Hermione Granger was finished using it. But a brief conversation with him reveals that, yes, he's that smart, that driven, and (most remarkably of all) that preternaturally serene despite his various passions.
The Other Votes
Oh yeah, we cast our approval votes on some other offices as well, all of them statewide. katija gruene and I both received nine approvals for Railroad Commissioner and US Senator respectively. Charles Waterbury, candidate for Supreme Court Chief Justice, received seven votes, also defeating None of the Above. I expect most of those who voted have at least met kat, but knew nothing of Waterbury, whom I myself haven't seen in about a decade. (He practices law up in Collin County and Greater DFW.
For the record, I bear absolutely no ill will toward the one person who voted against me, whoever it was. Even if the state convention eventually rejects me, I'll understand. I did not pay the $5,000 or collect the 5,000 signatures that Texas requires. Even if the filing fee provision is overturned, I'll be quite OK with not actively running for office. The limited campaigning I did in 2012 was a blast, but 2020 is a very different scenario: Democrats more hostile than ever to third parties, plenty of Greenfolk panic-voting for whichever Democratic savior they think will help avert the catastrophe of a second term for The Donald.
None of last night's delegates live in Congressional District 36, so we did not get to approve or reject Hal J. Ridley, Jr. Alfred Molison has withdrawn from the race in TX-8, so his name should not have even appeared on the tally sheet (it wasn't on the ballots).
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.