When Margaret Flowers opened up her home for a Jill Stein event, I accepted the invitation excited to meet the Green Party Presidential Candidate face to face. Even though I was a few minutes late, I had a seat saved between Flowers and Stein as the discussion continued. I learned about their passion and their politics as constituents asked questions and important topics were discussed. Foreign policy, the environment, and economics is where I really found the difference, making me more comfortable with my switch. My time with the Green Party, if characterized by one word, can be described as "learning". Listening to white people talk about issues like the environment, really opened up my eyes to some issues I never really considered. Even as I think about the election today, if voting Jill Stein means I'm throwing away my vote, then my vote was trash to begin with. I would never consider voting for Hillary Clinton, but the response from Bernie Sanders voters have thus been disrespectful and condescending. "Oh, you're voting for her? But will she win?", once again reminding me that electoral politics is built on celebrity. But, I digress. Sometimes I felt I was tokenizing myself in these majority white spaces. I often thought to myself, "What is my place, a 20 year old Black man, here around all these non-Black people discussing fracking and charter schools?" But then, I realized that in this space I can bring something back to my peers and, as Marc Lamont Hill said, "change the conversation". I can take what I learn back to my circles where we can have conversations on the privatization of education, the corporate media, and universal basic income. I can take these ideas back to my Black spaces, so that we can talk about structural issues - so that our discussions around Blackness can be less reactionary symbolism and more institutional progressivism. Besides, in the Green Party I join some other great Black activists like - Rosa Clemente, Jared Ball, Cynthia McKinney, Elaine Brown and more. There's no doubt that people of color have more living room in this party. I've seen the limits of the Democrats and how soft "trickle-down economics" works as banks get bailouts while the people continue to get cuts in welfare and social programs. "Pragmatic" neoliberalism continues to sustain businesses and corporations, who already see benefits of wealth. As someone who believes in nonviolence, the Democratic love for war, violence, and empire is one entirely off-putting. Militarization, both globally and domestically, is dangerous as drones and the war on encryption threaten American privacy, and the sovereignty of those abroad. The Green Party, for me, offers a greater alternative of ideas and that's what progressivism is supposed to be about - looking at the future and saying, "What new ideas can we bring to the table?" The Green Party is bringing those new ideas, from the grassroots, to the people. I'm excited for the work that the Baltimore Green Party will do, especially after seeing the work our people have done. I don't want to just tell you. But you can see, here and here, the way that politics is less something our people do, and more a medium of bringing the change we need to see. Our values are consistent. Each day is a new day to learn and open the mind to new ideas and I'm somewhere I can do that. I know I'm in the right place. Jeremy Collins is Co-Chair of the Baltimore Green Party. Visit his website itsjer.com
For over five decades, Baltimore has been ruled by one party. Democrats have held every elected office for the entire life of almost every resident. Political apathy, low voter turnout, and a Democratic primary that is called "the election" have combined to leave a progressive Baltimore represented by a neoliberal Democratic Party. Republicans appeal to some Baltimoreans, but in Baltimore they are a third party, just like the Greens. After last year's uprising in the wake of Freddie Gray's death at the hands of police, and the national media spotlighting all the wrong things about the city, Baltimore is looking for a new path, a Second Party instead of a Third. The Baltimore Green Party has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to provide that. Our voters will vote in the first ever contested Baltimore Green Party Mayoral Primary. Beyond the Mayor's race, the Greens are running candidates for U.S. Senate, U.S. House, President of the City Council, and five additional City Council seats. Baltimore has a real opportunity to end the decades-long rule of the Democrats. The Baltimore Green Party has good candidates and progressive, people-centered solutions. We are recruiting new members, have launched a Young Greens intiative, are sharing a value-driven vision, and reaching the people of Baltimore City with new and future-looking ideas. Democratic insiders realize we could contest this election up and down the ballot and they are starting to take notice and get scared. (See the list of Baltimore Green Party victories at the end of this post.) Greens face many challenges in Baltimore. Though we have ballot access in Maryland we have to run and pay for our own primary. We also need to maintain momentum past the primary when most media outlets and voters think the election ends. We have ambitious plans to reach and engage each of our voters, to hire a part-time volunteer coordinator that we can share with our campaigns, and even to launch a "Welcome Back" campaign to reach out to voters who left the Greens to vote for Bernie Sanders. But we need your help. Today we are asking two things: 1) Donate $5 to the Baltimore Green Party. 2) Sign up for the Baltimore Green Party Email list, like our Facebook Page, and follow us on Twitter. We need to show that we have a movement of Greens around the country who are paying attention to Baltimore and willing to support candidates and the party with money, social media, and most importantly, good Green solutions. We know this won't be easy, but we know that during this election we can show that our values and solutions appeal to a majority of Baltimore residents and that we can change the trajectory of a city thrust into the national spotlight over the last year. In the 2016 Baltimore City Election, Republicans and Democrats will choose their candidates exactly one day shy of the one-year anniversary of Freddie Gray's funeral. The Baltimore Green Party chooses our candidate on May 1st--one year to the day since State Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby brought charges against the officers involved in Freddie Gray's death. From where we stand, there is no better place than here and no better time than now to launch a revolution at the ballot box and we need you, a nation of Greens, to make it work. Andy Ellis Co-Chair Baltimore Green Party *** Baltimore Green Wins So Far This Election Season This election season has already seen some major victories for the Baltimore Green Party. Our Candidates were included in the League of Women Voters Election Guide, The Baltimore Sun Voter Guide and candidate forums all across the city. Green Party candidates have led protests about inequitable development and won major victory's against corporate polluters. In a historical first one of our mayoral candidates won a straw poll including many establishment democrats who are deemed "frontrunner.
Baltimore Green Party Mayoral Candidate Joshua Harris Wins Youth Straw Poll at Baltimore City College In crowded field of 17 Democrat, Republican and Independent mayoral candidate Green Party Candidate Joshua Harris takes 1st Place with 28% of the vote. Baltimore, MD- Yesterday afternoon at the first ever Baltimore City College Mayoral Straw Poll and Youth Summit, Joshua Harris, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Baltimore emerged victorious. Harris received over 28% of the vote among 17 candidates. The event was co-sponsored by three student groups- The BCC Democrats, CityBloc, and SOMOS- and numerous community organizations including CASA de Maryland and the Campaign For Justice, Safety, and Jobs. Over 250 students, educators, and community members attended the event which featured opportunities for each candidate to engage directly with the audience for over an hour followed by a 90 second ”Elevator Pitch” from each candidate. At the conclusion of this process each participant had the opportunity to vote for the candidate of their choice. " This is the purest form of grassroots democracy. This generation does not entertain respectability politics," explains Joshua Harris Green Party Candidate for Mayor. "The youth are educated and aware and they will call you out if they feel you are being dishonest. I believe they recognize that the city needs leadership that is honest, straight forward, and committed to people first, and that's me." Joshua Harris won with 28% of the vote followed by City Councilman Nick Mosby (19.6%), State Prosecutor Elizabeth Embry (14.5%), State Senator Catherine Pugh (11.2%) and Engineer and Harvard Business School graduate Calvin Young (7.5%). Baltimore Green Party Co-Chair Andy Ellis who attended the event as an observer said “Joshua Harris’s victory today shows the power of a new vision for Baltimore based in Green Values. The young people who participated in this event are as engaged as any voters in the city. They know that it is their future that is on the line in this election.” Ellis also added “The Baltimore Green party will continue to work with young voters as we move forward toward our May 1st primary and the General Election in November. For A Green Party candidate to win a straw poll in a city which has only elected Democrats for at least five decades, is a turning point in our efforts to bring democracy back to our city.” Joshua Harris is one of three Green Party Candidates seeking the Mayoral nomination from the Baltimore Green Party. The other two candidates, Emanuel McCray and David Marriott were not in attendance at todays event. Because Maryland does not allow third parties to have tax-payer funded primaries the Green Party runs its own primary process. Early voting occurs during the month of April and in person voting occurs on May 1st. More information about the Baltimore Green Party primary process can be found at www.baltimoregp.org. More Information about Harris can be found at www.harrisforbaltimore.com. A video of Harris’s 90 second speech is available at https://www.periscope.tv/bmoreconnected/1ynKOeDqZnvJR Complete Poll Results Candidate Party Perceent Joshua Harris G 28.04% Nick Mosby D 19.63% Elizabeth Embry D 14.49% Catherine Pugh D 11.21% Calvin Young D 7.48% Patrick Gutierrez D 4.21% Sharon Black* U 3.27% Andre Powell U 3.27% Carl Stokes D 2.34% DeRay Mckesson D 2.34% Frank Logan I 1.40% LaVernn Murray I 1.40% Armand Girard R 0.47% Wilton Wilson D 0.47%
Victory in the Fight for Clean Air in Baltimore Following escalation of protests, Maryland Department of Environment denies Air Quality Permits for Trash IncineratorBaltimore, MD - Today, Margaret Flowers, MD, candidate for US Senate seeking the Green Party nomination in Maryland, applauded a decision by the Maryland Department of the Environment (MDE) to deny the air quality permits for the construction of the largest trash incinerator in the nation in Curtis Bay, a community in Southwest Baltimore. The permit was sought by New York-based Energy Answers International. For the past 4 years, residents of Curtis Bay, led by students at Benjamin Franklin High School and United Workers who together formed a group called ‘Free Your Voice’, have fought to stop construction of the incinerator, which would be located less than a mile from the high school. Over the past year, they have escalated their tactics including occupying the MDE’s Baltimore office and overwhelming the CEO of Energy Answers International with factual information at a recent community meeting. "This is a tremendous victory for advocates with Free Your Voice and the people of South Baltimore who have organized to stop this incinerator from going forward. Maryland already has terrible air quality, receiving an ‘F’ from the American Lung Association in and around Baltimore. This incinerator would have greatly increased air pollution and the resultant cancer, cardiorespiratory disease and asthma in Curtis Bay,” said Dr. Flowers. “Although the O’Malley administration allowed the incinerator to be classified as clean renewable energy, the community saw through that and won through persistence and having the truth on their side.” Baltimore District 10 City Council candidate Amanda Maminski, who is seeking nomination by the Baltimore Green Party, lives in Curtis Bay and organizes with Free Your Voice. She was one of the community members who left the CEO of Energy Answers International speechless at the recent meeting. She studied their 465-page certificate of need request to the Maryland Public Service Commission. It was clear at the meeting that he had not. Maminski explains, “By revoking the Air Quality Control permits that expired in 2013, the MDE is upholding our community’s basic human right to clean air and enforcing the terms of their own agreements.” She added that there is still more to do to stop the construction permit for the project. And she has developed an alternative proposal for the land where the incinerator would be built that includes a solar farm and job training on how to build and maintain it so that community members could be hired. It is the combination of direct action such as the resistance against this incinerator and the development of plans that both move us towards the 21st century clean energy future we require and are based on the needs and desires of the community that set Green Party candidates apart from Democrats and Republicans.
The Baltimore Green Party Primary is coming up May 1st and now is crucial time to learn about your candidates. We have a contested mayoral primary with three candidates vying for the Green Party nomination:Joshua Harris, Emanuel McCray, David Marriott This Saturday March 19th, from 4-7 PM we are hosting the Baltimore Green Party Meet and Greet at our office located at 100. E 23rd St, Baltimore MD. Continue reading
Baltimore's Three Green Party Mayoral Candidates Agree To Participate In Two Forums Open Society Institute Reconsiders and Includes the Green Party
Baltimore, MD: Yesterday, the Open Society Institute and additional co-sponsors and hosts of two upcoming mayoral debates reversed themselves and decided to include the three Green mayoral candidates in their two forums. All three candidates, Joshua Harris, Emanuel McCray and David Marriott have agreed to participate. "We applaud the sponsors decision to take democracy seriously and ensure that all candidates are heard. Democracy cannot work if closed debates are where only two parties are allowed to participate. The sponsors of these two debates, along with the sponsors of a previous debate the Mt. Vernon Belvedere Association looked at the law and reached the same conclusion -- all candidates must be included under the law," said Andy Ellis, co-chair of the Baltimore Green Party. "Baltimore is facing multiple crisis situations and the same old ideas of the Democratic Party will not solve them. We need new ideas and the Green Party will provide those." The schedule of the debates is: February 24th, 7:00 PM at Pleasant Hope Baptist Church, 430 East Belvedere Ave. Hosted by Rev. Heber Brown and moderated by E.R. Shipp and Marc Steiner March 16th, 7:00 PM at Union Baptist Church, 1219 Druid Hill Ave. Hosted by Rev. Alvin C. Hathaway, Sr. and moderated by Karen Houppert and Lester Spence The Green Party primary system is a combination of mailed ballots with in-person voting at a convention on May 1. For more on the Baltimore Green Party candidates see Baltimore City Green Party To Hold Contested 3-Way Mayoral Election
Joshua Harris, Green Party candidate for Mayor of Baltimore has released a statement explaining why he changed his party affiliation and joined the Green Party. You can read the whole statement on Joshua's website. Harris joins Emanuel McCray and David Marriott as candidates in the Baltimore Green Party primary process. Harris will be having a community conversation Saturday 2/20/2016 at 11:00 AM.
Baltimore Green Party Press Release-Green Party US Senate Candidate, Margaret Flowers, Endorses Plan to Prosecute Wall Street
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE FOR FURTHER INFORMATION: Brian Bittner, 443-449-3159 Green Party US Senate Candidate, Margaret Flowers, Endorses Plan to Prosecute Wall Street Dr. Margaret Flowers, Green Party candidate for U.S. Senate in Maryland, has become the first candidate in the nation to endorse the action plan to end Wall Street corruption proposed by Bank Whistleblowers United. The group of financial fraud experts has drafted a 19-point plan that could be fully implemented within 60 days without any action by Congress required. “The Bank Whistleblowers United plan comes at a critical time,” Flowers said. “The U.S. economy -- in fact the global economy, too -- is on shaky ground. Since the beginning of this year, the stock market has been faltering, the fundamentals of the economy are flawed and many economic experts say that a crash is coming, which could be more devastating than 2008. It is just a question of when.” Flowers and Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, who is the first presidential candidate to endorse the plan, make the case for the financial fraud experts proposal in an op-ed for TruthDig. They write, “To create a finance system that works for everyone, the next president needs to commit to taking on Wall Street, restoring the rule of law and rooting out corruption. We invite all presidential candidates to join us in endorsing the 19-point plan.” Among the plan’s proposals are these: Restore the mandatory criminal referral process and Criminal Referral Coordinators at every financial regulatory agency The FBI and the Department of Justice (DOJ) will publicly terminate their “partnership” with the Mortgage Bankers Association Ban DOJ from making deferred prosecution agreements with elite white-collar criminals Reassign 500 FBI agents to the white-collar crime section Revamp the federal treatment of whistleblowers and False Claim Act complainants to encourage their efforts and use them to hold financial elites personally accountable (The full 19 point plan can be found at http://neweconomicperspectives.org/2016/01/announcing-bank- whistleblowers-groups-initial-proposals.html.) “The reality is that there are no ethics on Wall Street. Everyone is playing against each other and using whatever tools there are -- even some they do not fully understand -- to make money without regard to the impact they will have on others,” Flowers and Stein argue. “This behavior occurs because those involved are getting away with it and raking in millions, if not billions, of dollars as their reward. If fraud creates wealth, people will engage in it until they are stopped.” (The full op-ed can be found at http://www.truthdig.com/report/item/heres_a_way_to_hold_wall_street_accountable_20160213.) Green Party U.S. Senate candidate Dr. Margaret Flowers is a Maryland pediatrician and co-director of PopularResistance.org. Dr. Flowers is a board adviser to Physicians for a National Health Program and is on the leadership council of the Maryland Health Care Is a Human Right campaign.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEFebruary 15, 2016 FOR FURTHER INFORMATIONAndy Ellis 240-285-0843 Baltimore City Green Party To Hold Contested 3-Way Mayoral ElectionMeet the Candidates at Green Party Office Opening March 19, 2016 The Baltimore Green Party will be holding a contested “primary”* between three candidates for mayor, Emanuel McCray, Joshua Harris and David Marriott. The primary vote will occur through a combination of mail-in ballots and in-person voting on Sunday, May 1, 2016. “We are pleased to have three qualified candidates running for mayor, all of whom have a history of community service. We look forward to their participation in debates and forums to introduce Baltimore voters to new ideas that will create a democratized economy to build community wealth throughout Baltimore, especially in historically neglected areas. Our candidates will also be putting forward plans to end police violence, reduce crime and ensure community participation in administering law enforcement.” said Andy Ellis co-chair of the Baltimore Green Party. An opportunity to meet the mayoral candidates, and the Green candidates for US Senate, Congress and council districts will be on Saturday, March 19th at the new Green Party offices located at 100 E. 23rd Street. The mayoral candidates each have a history of civic service and come to the primary with plans for a new economy and racial justice in Baltimore. Joshua Harris, who resides in southwest Baltimore, is co-founder of the Hollins Creative Placemaking, which leads initiatives that foster urban revitalization by including the use of art and creative processes to foster an environment of belonging. His community involvement includes serving on the Charles Village Urban Renewal community board, Paul’s Place Community advisory board, Baltimore's Promise Mentoring Task Force, and he is the youngest board member for Baltimore’s Southwest Partnership. Harris served as a legislative aide for Delegate Charles E. Sydnor and assisted with the passing of police body camera legislation as part of his work to rebuild relations between police and communities. His top issues are turning 30,000 vacant buildings into functional assets as a foundation to a new Baltimore economy. Rebuilding will include job training for living wage jobs. He plans to address the many public health issues that plague the city and seeks a new energy economy with clean energy becoming a leading industry to spur job creation in Baltimore. He sees education and investing in our youth as a catalyst to stable careers in a 21st Century urban economy. David Marriott came to Baltimore after he graduated from high school. He joined the US Marines where he went to engineering school. David became a managing partner at nineteen for one of Washington, DC's largest pizza franchises. He went on to become a police officer, resigning after five years because he saw a flawed system that was not serving justice and because of discrimination in the ranks. He later went on to open several successful businesses including a restaurant franchise which also doubled as a night club entertainment. He wants to improve the Baltimore police department with better training and tactics, stop abusive policing, and make citizens a partner in community policing. Reforming education is a high priority, including improvements to school facilities with among other things better heating and cooling systems. Education should serve youth in all of Baltimore’s zip codes and be a path to success. Emanuel McCray is a long-time resident of Baltimore City who served in the U.S. Army and National Guard for 10 years. He has also served as a Leadership Organizer and member of the Leadership Council at United Workers since 2010 where he has worked on giving communities control over development and housing costs through land trusts as well as working on creating living wage jobs. He studied political science at Morgan State University. He will re-focus the Baltimore budget so that it will benefit all Baltimore communities not just wealthy developers. He wants to stop closures of recreation centers, firehouses and community schools; and make sure children do not have to travel long distances to go to school. McCray believes housing is a human right and will encourage community control of housing, through programs like Community Land Trusts. He wants to revamp the Vacant to Values program to benefit low income families instead of developers and put in place rent control laws so landlords cannot unfairly raise rents. McCray is an advocate for a living wage for all people of Baltimore of at least $15 an hour. *Unlike fourteen other states, Maryland does not allow third parties to hold a tax-payer funded primary election. This exclusion is part of the unfair playing field the Democrats and Republicans create for third party candidates. The procedures for how the Green Party votes can be seen on their website, see: http://www.baltimoregp.org/bgp_primary_process_2016. Candidate websites:www.HarrisForBaltimore.com www.MarriottForMayor.wix.com/baltimore www.MccrayForThePeople.com Joshua Harris David Marriott Emanuel McCray
As of the 2/3/2016 filing deadline these are the candidates seeking the Green Party nomination to run in the general election November 8th. Mayor- Emanuel McCray & Joshua Harris & David Marriott President of the City Council- Connor Meek City Council District 3- Andreas SpiliadisCity Council District 6- Richard T White City Council District 9- Jamie FriersonCity Council District 10- Amanda Maminski City Council District 12- Ian Schlakman In addition to the Baltimore City races there are Green Party candidates for US Senate- Margaret FlowersUS House of Representatives 3- Nnabu EzeUS House of Representatives 7- Myles Hoenig Registered members of the Green Party in Baltimore City will have the opportunity to participate in our Baltimore Green Party Primary. Information can be found here http://www.baltimoregp.org/bgp_primary_process_2016