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November Monthly Meeting Minutes
Montrose Library, Nov. 19, 6:30-8:45 p.m.
Facilitator: Ana Malinow
Explanation of Meeting Structure
B. Summary of HCGP Principles
C. Individual Introductions
A. National Committee Status: David Cobb reported that the FEC has
recognized the Green Party of the United States as the National Committee
of the Green Party. He also mentioned that Jim Hightower has agreed
to speak at a Houston fund-raiser for the Green Party. Nathalie Paravicini
reported on interesting and hopeful developments in Green parties in
Mexico and Colombia.
B. Election Results: Barbara Ashley won an impressive 17 percent of
the vote in her race for an at-large seat on the Houston City Council.
C. Election Results: Ted Weisgal won 12 percent in his race for the
Houston school board.
D. Election Results: Ada Edwards won 40 percent of the vote in her race
for the Houston City Council and is in a Dec. 1 runoff with Gerald Womack.
Ada Edwards Campaign
After helping Ada Edwards to an unexpected first-place showing in her
campaign for the Houston City Council, Green Party volunteers could
spell the difference in a runoff that has "gone negative with a
vengeance," Edwards' campaign manager, Tamara Jones, said Monday.
Edwards received 40 percent of the vote on Nov. 6, to Gerald Womack's
32 percent, and she has since won the endorsements of three other candidates
in the race. Desperate Womack supporters have begun spreading race-,
gender- and gay-baiting flyers and rumors. What the campaign has really
come down to, Jones said, is an attempt by U.S. Rep. Sheila Jackson
Lee and other establishment politicians "to control black politics
in Houston" by promoting real-estate developer Womack over longtime
grass-roots activist Edwards. Womack's insider backing and financial
advantage make the contributions of volunteers from the community, the
Shrine of the Black Madonna, and the Green Party that much ore critical.
"That grass-roots activism will win out is a huge lesson we need
to teach" the political establishment, said HCGP liaison Earl Gerhard.
has been instrumental in the campaign's success, with 66 Greens producing
1,136 identified voters for Edwards. EVERY POSSIBLE VOLUNTEER IS NEEDED
during the next two weeks for blockwalking, phone-banking, and other
activities. If Ada Edwards wins, we have a progressive City Council
member and proof that the Green Party has arrived in Houston. Let's
not miss this opportunity. Call 713-528-8037 to schedule a shift. Please
also vote early and sign up to work Election Day, Saturday, Dec. 1.
Maria Jimenez, director of the Immigration Law Enforcement Monitoring
Project, a branch of the American Friends Service Committee, outlined
her group's pioneering work in organizing communities to document human-rights
violations in the enforcement of immigration laws along the U.S.-Mexico
border. "We decided it was not enough to describe incidents of
human-rights violations," said Jimenez, a 30-year veteran of community
organizing. "We needed to build power to challenge the organizations
that were committing these violations." Those organizations include
the Border Patrol, the INS, local law enforcement agencies, the National
Guard, and the U.S. military. The project helps communities organize
to make themselves heard in Austin and Washington, and it can claim
a number of policy changes among its successes. An important focus is
on recognition of a human right to mobility, to free passage across
borders. Immigration restrictions invariably reflect and protect the
moneyed interests, she said. The right to mobility exists only for political
and economic elites, she said, from Ferdinand Marcos to millionaire
investors. NAFTA extended mobility rights to a limited number of corporate
executives and administrators. Immigration laws are aimed at controlling
workers and the poor, she said. INS/Border Patrol agents are the only
armed force whose purpose is to enforce labor relations, she said, citing
as a historical parallel the slave patrols of the American South. Crossing
into the U.S. from Central America has become harder in recent years,
she said; when she started her work on immigration issues, it took an
average of 3-4 attempts to get across; now it's taking 12-16 attempts.
to questions, Jimenez said her group planned a protest against Houston
mayoral candidate Orlando Sanchez because of his consistent anti-immigrant
stands. A news conference was planned for noon Tuesday, Nov. 20, outside
his new campaign office on Wayside off I-45 South; a vigil was planned
for 5:30-7 p.m. Asked about her experience with La Raza Unida, Jimenez
noted that the party had been so successful in the 1970s that frightened
Democrats passed laws severely restricting access to the ballot by alternative
parties - laws that ensured a two-party stranglehold until the arrival
of the Green Party. La Raza started in rural Zapata County and eventually
controlled the county government, invoking home rule and barring Texas
Rangers (known for violence against Latinos) from entering the county,
Josh Darr reported that our balance is $4,922.
Chris Jarzombek noted that most of the party's work gets done in work
groups, and he encouraged members to find a group in which to work.
Most work-group coordinators have served at least for the past year,
and some would welcome replacements with new ideas and energy. Please
consider stepping up.
Committee Report: Chris Jarzombek said the SC is working on a policy
for endorsing issues, public statements, outside coalitions, and the
like. If you're interested in working on this, please contact him at
B. Political Reform
1. Campaign: Shelly Fitzgerald said the Campaign Work Group is developing
goals and strategies for 2002 campaigns. Its next meeting will be at
7:30 p.m. Dec. 6 at 818 W. 31 St. Call 713-688-0893 for information.
2. Candidates: Steve Agan reported that information packets have gone
out to prospective Green Party candidates for 2002. He encouraged members
to recruit or propose potential candidates. Any candidate must file
his/her intent to seek the GP nomination with Steve between Dec. 1 and
Jan. 2; nominations will be made at the state convention next June.
David Cobb reported that Jennifer Harbury is among several well-known
Texans who are seriously considering becoming GP candidates. For a candidate
packet or for more information, contact Steve Agan at 713-529-3513.
3. Peace Workgroup: Maureen Haver will coordinate a new work group on
peace and justice issues. Five members signaled interest in joining
the group. Maureen can be reached at siobhan574@a... <mailto:siobhan574@a...>
4. Legal Greens: Barbara Ashley said her City Council campaign's stance
on ending the drug war and legalizing marijuana got great response from
young people, getting some of them interested in politics.
1. Green Watch: Rupert Hazle invited anyone interested in the GP's biweekly
TV show to join the work group at its next meeting at 7 p.m. Tuesday
(Nov. 20) at Schlotzky's, 2929 Kirby, or to contact him at ruha@w...
1. Greenbacks: Josh Darr suggested a major GP fund raiser in connection
with Earth Day. Anyone interested in working on it should contact him
2. Merchandise: Big GP acid rain umbrellas are for sale for $25.
E. Community Outreach
1. Phone Tree: Charlie Mauch is pursuing automation.
After discussion, the following policy was approved by consensus: "The
Harris County Green Party will not share database information with anyone
except Green Party candidates, Green Party-endorsed candidates, and
the Green Party of Texas." Concerns included whether the policy
would hinder GP support for Green issues and affinity groups; who would
be authorized to override the policy (the general membership); and the
fact that the proposed policy was not presented in writing.
A. Vote Early: Nov. 17-27
B. Work the Polls Dec. 1. Call 713-528-8037.
C. HCGP Elections: In February, we will elect a male co-chair (Chris
Jarzombek's position) and two at-large steering committee members (Jerry
Larson's and Ruby Alvarado's positions). We encourage members to serve.
Selection of Co-Facilitator: David Collins
A. Juergen's Sale and Green Party Fund-Raiser: GP member Juergen
Dankwort has moved to Vancouver but will return to Houston to sell his
household possessions and car, donating 10 percent of proceeds to the
HCGP. The sale will begin at 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Dec. 16, at 614 W. Polk
in Montrose. He has a ton of nice stuff: beds, desks, computer furniture,
bookshelves, dining-room furniture, TV, stereo, appliances, boom box,
skis, a 1989 Toyota Camry wagon, and on and on. For information, call
B. Pacifica: Duane Bradley reported on the compromise under which the
current Pacifica board will resign and be replaced by an interim board
that promises to have a 9-5 majority representing the views of listeners
Rice debate: Ruby Alvarado announced the debate for City Council runoff
candidates in Rice University's student center at 7 p.m. Tuesday, Nov.
Website: http://www.harriscountygreenparty.org or http://www.hcgp.org
Co-Chairs: Jennifer Beazley (firstname.lastname@example.org
713-630-0634) and Chris Jarzombek (email@example.com