Green Party: Demilitarize the Police, End Racial Disparities and Bring Justice to the Criminal Justice System

Green Party leaders and candidates are calling for the demilitarization of civilian U.S. police departments, asserting that military police tactics have created an "occupation mentality" in many communities. Greens said that abuses of police power and disregard for the lives of young black people were on display in the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white police officer, threats against reporters, and a display of force that turned peaceful protest into a violent confrontation in Ferguson, Missouri. Greens expressed support for the protesters. "The murder of Michael Brown by officer Darren Wilson must be investigated and prosecuted aggressively, but the crisis won't end with the punishment of an individual police officer," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for governor of New York. "Out-of-control police who respond to minor violations with overwhelming force, toleration of racist cops, siege-like conditions in some cities and city neighborhoods, and record-high incarceration - all of these are evidence of a growing police state." Read the Green Party's full statement here...

Anne Arundel Green Party Deliver Letter to City Leaders in Response to False Allegations by Crystal Springs Developers

Anne Arundel Green Party Delivers Letter to City Leaders in Response to False Allegation by Crystal Springs DeveloperContact:  Robb Tufts 443-370-6857 or robb.tufts@yahoo.comAnnapolis - Today the Anne Arundel Green Party delivered letters to the office of Mayor Pantelides and to each of the City Council members in regards to a false allegation made by the developers of the Crystal Springs project in an August 5th, 2014 blog posting. In the statement published by Crystal Springs, the Green Party was described as a "self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development."“We have never described ourselves as anti-development on our website, brochures, or other communications. Nor have we ever passed any sort of resolution or issued any statement in regards to all out stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development,” stated Robert Smith, acting co-chair of the Anne Arundel Green Party.The Anne Arundel Green Party, along with several community and environmental organizations, signed a letter July 31 regarding the Crystal Spring project. The letter called for scaling back the project to preserve priority forest, wildlife corridors, and wetlands. Since its inception in 2001, the Anne Arundel Green Party has advocated for smart growth principles, supporting local businesses, and most of all protecting the environment and the water ways of the Chesapeake Bay.Mike Shay, the party's nominee for County Executive in 2010, cites the Green Party's stance on development as one of the reasons he sought the nomination. "As a community organizer in South County we have actually been fighting in favor of development -- the type of development that builds communities, supports our local economy, and doesn't damage the environment and our waterways.”Members of the Anne Arundel Greens were also concerned about the tone of the statement in regard to its members’ participation in civic commissions. "Because of this misconception that the Green Party is ‘anti-development,’ members of our political party are being unfairly singled out on city commissions and as a city employee," said Robb Tufts, the party's 2006 candidate for the County Council. "Annapolis is still a democracy, and there should not be a political party litmus test when it comes to volunteering for the city or for civil service employment.”###Dear Mayor Pantelides and City Council,The Anne Arundel Green Party wishes to address misstatements made by the developers of Crystal Spring on their blog, www.crystalspringannapolis.com, and forwarded to the Annapolis Mayor and City Council.In their statement against the Annapolis Environmental Commission posted on Aug. 5, 2014, the developers stated, "The AEC and/or individual members of the AEC have ... been organizing members of The Green Party, a self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development."First, the Anne Arundel Green Party (AAGP) is not a "self-proclaimed anti-development organization with a stated agenda of stopping the proposed Crystal Spring development." AAGP has not published any materials claiming to be anti-development, nor published any materials advocating completely stopping the Crystal Spring development. If the developers cannot produce such materials, they should apologize on their web site and to the Annapolis community for publishing potentially libelous mistruths.The Green Party, of which AAGP is a local chapter, is a political party recognized by the State of Maryland. Greens are not "anti-development"; they support sustainable development that minimizes environmental impacts, recognizing the right of future generations to grow up with sufficient natural resources. Mike Shay, AAGP's candidate for Anne Arundel County Executive in 2010, ran on a platform of "more efficient government, responsible development, less crowded schools and a cleaner environment," and stressed "balancing a healthy business environment with the critical need to protect the [county's] natural resources." One of the Green Party’s elected leaders in Maryland, Michael Cornell, has been advocating the redevelopment of downtown Columbia to be more pedestrian and bike friendly and to better serve the residents there.AAGP signed on to the joint letter submitted by Gerald Winegrad, the Sierra Club, and others on July 31 regarding the Crystal Spring Preliminary Forest Conservation Plan. This letter does not argue for preventing the development; rather, to limit its impact by preserving priority forest, wildlife habitat, and wetlands. This letter reflects AAGP's official position on Crystal Spring thus far.Finally, we are alarmed that members of our political party who serve as volunteers on city commissions or are employed by the City of Annapolis are being singled out solely due to their political affiliation. Freedom of association is one of the bedrock principles that this country was founded on. We respectfully request the City of Annapolis provide assurance that the political rights and freedoms of its volunteers and employees will be protected.Sincerely,Robb Tufts On behalf of the Anne Arundel Green Party

Green Party: No New U.S. Military Action in Iraq

From the Green Party of the United States: The Green Party of the United States is calling for no new U.S. military action in Iraq, including on-the-ground troop deployment and airstrikes. Greens are urging President Obama to resist demands by belligerent politicians and pundits for a U.S. assault in Iraq against ISIS (Islamic State of Iraq and Syria). "Those who want peace in the region should prepare to resume the protests that answered President Bush's drumbeat for war. Americans should resist propaganda claiming that U.S. military assaults lead to peace and liberation. The 2003 invasion caused the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Iraqi civilians, as well as 4,486 U.S. service members, and destruction of Iraqi society and infrastructure," said Cheri Honkala, the Green Party's 2012 nominee for Vice President. Read the complete statement here...

Green Party: Obama's New EPA Rules are a Modest Start, U.S. Must Convert to a Clean-Energy Economy

From the Green Party of the United States:  Green Party candidates and leaders said that President Obama's new EPA regulations on carbon dioxide emissions from electricity generating power plants represented no more than a modest step forward against global climate change. Greens reiterated the party's call for conversion to an economy based on clean renewable energy, with the added benefit of millions of new jobs. The president's plan also promotes more nuclear energy and natural gas extraction (fracking), which the Green Party opposes because of the danger they pose to public health and security. "Reducing carbon pollution from electric power plants is a good start, but the goal must be phasing out coal, oil, and natural gas as our energy sources," said Howie Hawkins, Green candidate for Governor of New York. "The EPA remains vulnerable to industry lobbies, with a negotiation process that will make enforcing emissions reduction difficult."  Greens joined environmentalists in criticizing the new plan's reliance on an inflated 2005 baseline for the 30% reduction, calling it far too modest and a capitulation to industry lobbies. Reducing greenhouse gas emissions only 7% between now and 2030 is extremely inadequate, given the current level of knowledge about the effects of climate change, which include the Arctic melt and increasing extreme weather events: "Relative to 2030 emissions projected from current trends, the drop in that year's U.S. CO2 emissions sought by the President is a painfully modest 355 million tonnes (metric tons). That equates to just 7% of total actual emissions from all sources last year (5313 million tonnes)... [A]s of last year, demand and supply steps by industry, household and government had already wrought a 15% reduction in U.S. power plant emissions from the president's 2005 base year (a drop of 361 million tonnes from 2414 million). By calling for only a second round of 15% cuts (355 million tonnes) from 2014 to 2030, the Obama plan in effect takes twice as long (16 years) to cut as much carbon pollution as the country just did (in 8 years, from 2005 to 2013)." (link) "The energy debate is too important to be left to Democrats, who prefer industry-friendly ideas, versus climate-change-denying Republicans. In comparison to the appalling irresponsibility of the GOP, President Obama's EPA rules are a godsend. In comparison to what we need to do, the new rules are a drop in the bucket," said Tim Willard, Green candidate for Montgomery County Council in Maryland. "We can't ignore the health and infrastructure costs related to these emissions - the costs of storm, drought, and flood damage caused by an increasingly destabilized climate. Instead of modest and ineffective regulations, Greens are offering smarter and more effective solutions than our industrial cash-dominated government is capable of," said Mr. Willard. Read the complete release here...

Our Annual Assembly is Tomorrow!

The Maryland Green Party Assembly will be held tomorrow, May 31, at the Takoma Park Presbyterian Church, 310 Tulip Avenue, Takoma Park from 10 am to 4 pm.Complete details are available here.Registration will be open from 9:30-10am. We are suggesting a $20 donation to help cover the costs of the event but registration costs are on a sliding scale according to your income and no one will be turned away for inability to contribute.Morning sessions will include a business meeting and party officer elections from 10-10:30 and a panel of Green Party candidates running in this November's election from 10:30-11:30.You can bring a lunch or visit one of several options nearby in Takoma Park. Click here to read more about lunch options.In the afternoon we will have two panels.Confirmed panelists for our 1-2pm panel on party cooperation with labor unions include Nick McDaniels, a building rep for the Baltimore Teachers Union; Virginia Rodino, a communications specialist for the Service Employees International Union; and Darryl Moch, former director of the Labor Heritage Foundation and co-chair of the Green Party of the United States. From 2-3pm, Sam Pizzigati will discuss solutions to income inequality in America. Sam is an Institute for Policy Studies associate fellow and the nation's chief proponent of the maximum wage concept. Sam edits the weekly newsletter Too Much. From 3-4pm we will conclude our assembly. We hope to see you in Takoma Park tomorrow!If you can't make it but still want to support our event, please make a contribution to help defray the cost. As our members are our sole source of funding, your financial support is critical to our success.