This past Saturday afternoon, in case you haven't heard, the world changed.
The Green Party of the United States officially nominated Dr. Jill Stein and human rights advocate Ajamu Baraka as its presidential ticket.
About 500 people packed into the theater at the University of Houston's student center, with a few dozen more watching the livestream in the overflow room.
Dr. Cornel West delivered the keynote address for the convention.
Julian Assange of WikiLeaks appeared by video conference from his refuge at the Ecuadorian Embassy in London.
The many disaffected Sanders supporters who registered as observers got some sincere love from Jill and other speakers.
And not a single fucking balloon fell from the rafters.
I took the week off work to volunteer at the Green Party's Presidential Nominating Convention. I thought that my contribution would consist of a few four-hour shifts at the registration desk, for which I had signed up, and beyond that I could attend workshops and post daily reports on this blog.
Instead, my ladyfriend and I served on the transportation crew. Along with several other Harris County Greens, we picked up delegates at the airports and the bus station, and delivered them back thereto; on a rented six-person golf cart, we shuttled them between the University Center, dormitories, dining hall, parking lots, and other destinations, particularly those with impaired mobility (or just problems with our infamous heat and humidity). Each day, Thursday through Sunday, those four-hour shifts turned into twelve or sixteen hours. We also made two airport runs on Wednesday afternoon, and as of this very Monday afternoon (8 August), Kayleen is still taking delegates to IAH.
Thursday evening, we got to take Dr. Stein and two members of her team over to KUHF and back for an in-studio interview. That was a big thrill for a recent high school graduate who had just shown up to take a shift with the golf cart. I probably don't need to tell you that she took a selfie with Jill.
This morning, to my great surprise, I was actually able to get out of bed. Not only that, I was willing. As much as volunteering my butt off those four-plus days exhausted me, it also energized me, excited me, pushed me to the next level of anticipation for the next three months.
It will be a very interesting three months.
There is so much to report, not just about the wildly successful convention we just concluded, but about the repercussions and reverberations from that convention.
To give one example, judging from brief scans of various media sources, I can observe that the Clinton campaign has stepped up its rhetoric against the Green Party and Jill Stein. Hillary Clinton herself may not say anything, but her surrogates and media flunkies are actively attacking the Stein campaign on a multitude of fronts. Partly thanks to #demexit defections by Sanders supporters following the Democratic Convention, the Greens have become enough of a nuisance to Clinton and the Democrats to notice and swat at.
In the coming days, I will try to process the parts of the actual convention that I was able to witness while not driving delegates around, and impressions I received from conversations with some of those delegates, and post them here.
Meanwhile, here is an excellent piece from Isabelle Taft of the Texas Tribune. It is factually accurate and in no way judgmental regarding the Greens or what they get up to at their national meetings. The only quibble I have with the article is this: She includes quotes from Texas Green luminaries Laura Palmer and Kevin McCormick, but does not mention that they are also candidates this year. Palmer is running for State Board of Education, District 6; McCormick is a candidate for Congress in District 24 (northern Dallas and Tarrant Counties).
I bring up the issue of candidacies because GPUS is battling this popular perception--completely unfounded in reality—that it appears every four years with a presidential candidate and doesn't bother with state and local races. As somebody who ran for Harris County Judge two years ago, I don't take kindly to that accusation. In each of the last three even-year elections, nearly 50 Texas Greens have run for offices ranging from Precinct Constable and Justice of the Peace to Governor and US Senator, as well as in our nonpartisan municipal races. Dan Savage can bite me.
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.