WASHINGTON, DC -- A record number of Green Party candidates are running for public office throughout the US, with manycampaigning for reelection along with fresh new Green faces.
146 Green Party candidates have announced runs in local and state races, about a dozen more than at this point in 2005 (like 2009, the first year after a presidential election) and nearly 50 more than at this point in 2007.
Some races to watch:
Cam Gordon is seeking reelection to the Minneapolis City Council, Ward 2, in Minnesota. Mr. Gordon has earned the endorsement of his local Green Party, a local Sierra Club chapter, the Minnesota Nurses Association, and other area unions.
In his first term Mr. Gordon led the effort to enact Ranked Choice Voting in Minneapolis for the first time this fall. He pushed the Council to redefine youth violence as a public health issue and draft a widely acclaimed and successful Youth Violence Prevention Plan. As Vice Chair of the Health Energy and Environment Committee he helped set the Cityâ€™s first environmental purchasing policy, require new city buildings to be LEED compliant, and led the Council on a new Homegrown Minneapolis initiative to get residents eating and producing more local food. Mr. Gordon also worked to repeal the city's racist, classist 'lurking' ordinance; authored several renters' rights ordinances; and created the Equity in Employment Work Group to help eliminate racial disparities in employment and poverty.
Also in Minneapolis: Annie Young is running for re-election to the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. Ms. Young has served on the board since 1989 and also brings several major endorsements to the race: AFSCME Council 5, Minneapolis Building and Construction Trades Council, Minnesota Womenâ€™s Political Caucus, and Sierra Club - North Star Chapter.
Allan Brison is running for reelection as Alderman of New Haven, Connecticut. New Haven is a one-party town and Mr. Brison is facing a tough challenge from the ruling Democratic Party.
Performance artist and anti-corporate activist Reverend Billy Talen is running for Mayor of New York City as a member of the Green Party. Rev. Talen's volunteers recently turned in over 18,000 signatures to place him on the ballot. With a steady schedule of colorful events, Rev. Talen has campaigned throughout city neighborhoods. He is the founder of The Church of Life After Shopping and performed recently in a duet with Joan Baez.
Also in New York City: Long-time Green leader and community organizer Lynne Serpe is running for New York City Council in District 22 (Astoria, Queens). Ms. Serpe is hoping to unseat an entrenched 35-year family dynasty.
More 2009 Green candidates to watch will be announced as the November election draws nearer.