By Richard Gomez
“Apathy isn’t it. We can do something. So flower power didn’t work. So what. We start again.”
The California Greens continue to run and win local elections—10 out of 19 this spring—led by Dan Hamburg (Mendocino County Board of Supervisors), who is one of 53 Greens currently holding elected office.
I’m fortunate to have been re-elected [Mendocino] county supervisor for one of the most beautiful and politically progressive districts in California… I’ve translated the Green Party’s 10 Key Values into clean energy, water conservation and high-speed Internet initiatives. I’ve worked to instill operational efficiencies in local government that are difficult but necessary in the highly skewed economic circumstances in which we live. With large units of political and economic power becoming ever more neglectful of basic human needs, our challenge is to create alternative models that are vibrant and sustainable.
In the June 2014 California Primary, the Green Party failed to advance any of its statewide candidates. However, the five Green Party candidates collectively received more than 788,560 votes, led by Ellen Brown for treasurer (270,388 votes, 6.6 percent of the total in her race) and Laura Wells for controller (231,352 votes, 5.7 percent). As Luis Rodriguez said while running for California governor, “This is only the beginning.”
Already, Rodriguez is working with grassroots leaders from the eastside, westside and San Fernando Valley areas of Los Angeles, as well as Salinas, Merced, Fresno and San Jose, to plan the next stage of his campaign and beyond. He wants to inject the ideas that will be left out of the fall gubernatorial campaign between Democrat Jerry Brown and Republican Neel Kashkari as a voice and organizing center around the issues of poverty, inequality and social and environmental justice.
Furthermore, Rodriguez seeks to establish a Network for Revolutionary Change, a new movement to empower the disfranchised millions of Californians for fundamental systemic change. As the author told Rodriguez many months ago when he started his campaign for Governor, all of the things he is fighting for are with us in Fresno County.
Locally, the November candidates must be pressured to address the issues that they wish to avoid such as the homeless, police killings of citizens, a living wage and the privatization of local resources. Although the community’s voting power has been limited, the ability to revolutionize the local community to a better world starts anew.
The Fresno County Green Party will meet on Aug. 10 at 7 p.m. at the Hugh M. Burns State Building in downtown Fresno.
Richard Gomez is a council member of the Fresno County Green Party. Contact him at 559-408-3320, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com or via the Green Party Web site (http://FresnoGreens.localgreenparty.org).