April 9, 2014

Green endorsed independent Vihstadt wins county board seat

John Vihstadt, an independent candidate for Arlington County Board, won election to an open seat in a special election held on Tuesday, April 8. The Arlington Green Party endorsed John in January, and provided volunteers and other help to him in an effort to get him elected as the first non-Democrat on the county board in 15 years.

Vihstadt was called a “fusion candidate” since he received support from the Arlington Greens, Republicans, Democrats, Libertarians, and independents. Arlington Greens felt that he championed some of their local policy issues, in particular ending two huge proposed wasteful vanity projects, a trolley up Columbia Pike scheduled to cost taxpayers more than $300 million, and an aquatics center in Crystal City projected at more than $60 million in taxpayer funds.

Arlington Greens chairman John Reeder said he and other Greens enthusiastically supported Vihstadt, and believe that his election may bring in more transparency and fiscal accountability in Arlington where the Democratic Party till now had a monopoly on all elected positions. Reeder said that Arlington has more pressing needs for public funds, particularly for building more affordable rental housing, more school classrooms, and fixing aging public infrastructure in Arlington. Greens supported a public housing authority referendum last year in Arlington in an effort to finance more affordable rental housing.

For more information, read Patricia Sullivan’s article in the Washington Post

http://www.washingtonpost.com/local/virginia-politics/polls-open-in-arlington-for-election-to-fill-chris-zimmerman-vacancy-on-county-board/2014/04/07/8537211a-be87-11e3-b195-dd0c1174052c_story.html

John Reeder
chairman the Arlington Green Party

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April 4, 2014

Vote for John Vihstadt on Tuesday, April 8 for Arlington County Board

Arlington Greens endorsed independent John Vihstadt for election to the vacant seat on the Arlington County Board on Tuesday, April 8. We urge all Arlington voters to support John: we feel he supports many of the same issues that Greens have for many years and will be a welcome addition to a county board with only Democrats.

Early Voting
If you are not going to be able to make it to the polls on Tuesday, April 8th, or even if you work outside the County, you can vote absentee early now. You can go to 2100 Clarendon Blvd., Suite 320, Arlington, VA 22201 and vote 8 a.m. – 7 p.m. today, 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. tomorrow or 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m. Saturday. There is NO early voting this upcoming Monday. This will be a close, low turnout, special election, so every vote matters a lot.

It’s now less than a week out – remember to vote Tues., April 8th at your normal polling place, 6 a.m. to 7 p.m

For more information on John Vihstadt, go to www.voteforvihstadt.com

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January 17, 2014

Arlington Greens Endorse independent John Vihstadt for County Board Mid-term Election

Candidates — @ 3:29 pm

vote1Arlington Greens Endorse Vihstadt for County Board Mid-term Election
January 17, 2014

Arlington Greens voted on January 16 to endorse independent candidate John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board election to be held this spring to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of Chris Zimmerman.

Arlington Green Party Chair Steve Davis noted, “The Arlington Green Party endorsement of John Vihstadt shows that people across the political spectrum can find common ground in supporting independent-minded candidates like John who have a positive, inclusive vision for Arlington’s future. We look forward to working with John on his election campaign.”

This is the first county board election in the past seven years in which the Arlington Greens have not nominated their own candidate. This year the Greens have chosen to endorse Vihstadt who shares the Greens’ opposition to expensive vanity projects, such as the Columbia Pike trolley and the Long Bridge aquatics center, at the expense of funding core county programs such as schools, safety net spending, and affordable housing.

In 2013, the Arlington Greens nominated Audrey Clement who received about 32 percent of the votes cast against Democrat Jay Fisette. The Arlington Greens also supported in 2013 the creation of a housing authority to keep more affordable rental housing in the county.

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December 6, 2013

Arlington Greens want YOU to run for county board in 2014!

Candidates — @ 11:15 am

Press Release: Arlington Green Party Begins Candidate Exploratory Outreach to Encourage Candidates for Arlington County Board Vacancy Election in March

Dec 6, 2013

Steve Davis, chairman of the Arlington Green Party, announced today that the Arlington Green Party will begin actively seeking new candidates for the upcoming election to fill an expected vacancy on the Arlington County. Greens will vote at their next scheduled meeting on January 8 on a nomination or endorsement of a candidate.

The Greens voted at their December 4 meeting to seek new candidates for the county board vacancy created by the announced resignation of incumbent Democrat Chris Zimmerman. The election, depending on the date of the resignation, will likely be held in March 2014. The Greens will also consider endorsing an independent or other candidate if they choose not to nominate a Green candidate.

The Green Party Exploratory Committee (composed of Kirit Mookerjee, Marie Pellegrino and Jim Lowenstern) would like to meet or interview any Arlington resident who might be interested in seeking this public office. For more information, email Info@greensofarlington.org or call 703-386-6919 to schedule an interview.

Arlington Greens have nominated a candidate annually for the Arlington County Board for the past 7 years. In 2012, Green candidate Audrey Clement got about 31 percent of the votes cast for county board, and has run for that office in four consecutive elections.

Davis said that this year that Greens will consider prospective candidates to run for the county board, including independents, disaffected Democrats and Republicans and others who support Green values and positions on such issues as preserving affordable rental housing, eliminating wasteful vanity projects like the Columbia Pike trolley, and insuring that public dollars are spent wisely on our community needs rather than subsidizing developers.

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September 6, 2013

Arlington candidates debate schedule, fall 2013

Candidates — @ 11:39 am

vote1We encourage everyone to attend a candidates debate and to support our Green candidate for county board Audrey Clement. Below is the tentative schedule for the so far announced candidate debate forums:

10/09/13 7:30 pm Ashton Heights/Lyon Park Civic Association
Lyon Park Community House, 414 N. Fillmore Street

10/16/13 7:30 pm Cherrydale Civic Association Candidates Night Cherrydale Volunteer Fire Station, 3900 Lee Hwy

10/21/13 8:00 pm Lyon Village Candidates Night Lyon Village Community
House at 1920 N. Highland Street

10/23/13 7:00 pm Rosslyn/Ft. Meyer Heights Civic Association (RAFOM)
Candidates Night, location to be announced

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December 1, 2012

Our November election: This Isn’t What Democracy Looks Like, by Robert W. McChesney

Robert W. McChesney, professor at the University of Illinois, has written in the Monthly Review magazine (available on line) a cogent analysis of the last election in context of the U.S. economic and political system which explains in part the problems that U.S. Greens have faced in proposing an alternative vision to the American people. Excerpted below (with permission of the publisher) are three paragraphs of McChesney’s article that summarize the relationship of the corrupted political system in the U.S. to the interests of the economic elites. Readers are urged to read the full article on the Monthly Review website: http://monthlyreview.org

This Isn’t Waht Democracy Looks Like, by Robert W. McChesney, Monthly Reivew November 2012, On the brink of the 2012 presidential election, and without considering that electoral contest itself, it is useful to comment on the state of U.S. democracy. The most striking lesson from contemporary U.S. election campaigns is how vast and growing the distance is between the rhetoric and pronouncements of the politicians and pundits and the actual deepening, immense, and largely ignored problems that afflict the people of the United States. The trillion dollars spent annually on militarism and war is off-limits to public review and debate.1 Likewise the corporate control of the economy, and the government itself, gets barely a nod. Stagnation, the class structure, growing poverty, and collapsing social services are mostly a given, except for the usual meaningless drivel candidates say to get votes. The billions spent (often by billionaires) on dubious and manipulative advertisements—rivaled for idiocy only by what remains of “news” media campaign coverage—serve primarily to insult the intelligence of sentient beings. Mainstream politics seem increasingly irrelevant to the real problems the nation faces; or, perhaps more accurately, mainstream politics is a major contributing factor to the real problems the nation faces.
…..
Depoliticization” is the term to describe this phenomenon; it means making political activity unattractive and unproductive for the bulk of the citizenry. This is, to varying degrees, an important and underappreciated issue for all democratic societies where there are pronounced economic inequalities. It moved to the fore when all the great battles over suffrage were won and there was universal adult suffrage. Scholars have pointed out that some, perhaps much, of the impetus for the creation of the field of “public relations” a century ago was to lessen popular understanding of and opposition to corporate power, and to discourage informed popular participation in politics. The idea was to “take the risk out of democracy” in a society where the majority of potential voters may not be sympathetic to the idea that government’s job was first and foremost to serve the needs of big business and the wealthy few.59 An omnipresent commercial culture that emphasizes consumption over civic values, and a lack of organized political power, go a long way toward greasing the wheels for depoliticization. Twentieth-century voting turnout among eligible adults in the United States has been low compared to much of the rest of the world and its own nineteenth-century standard. It has been a generally depoliticized society, even before Dollarocracy.

…..
The United States of the past generation is a classic example of a depoliticized society: most people know little or nothing about politics and are estranged from it except at a superficial level. Young people are constantly reminded it is not “cool” to be political, and the point of life is to take care of number one. The evidence suggests that most people, especially working-class and poor people, have no influence over politicians and policy, so to the extent people understand their real status they will lose incentive to participate. Regardless of which party wins it seems like nothing ever changes that much, at least for the better; elections are often fought over symbolic issues only loosely related to actual policies or actual political values. It is a game played by and for elites, where tangible issues of import can be in play. But it is a spectator event for others, who are seen by the elites as objects to be manipulated. http://monthlyreview.org/2012/11/01/this-isnt-what-democracy-looks-like

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November 19, 2012

Arlington Sun Gazette article: “GREEN PARTY GETS A BOOST FROM [Arlington] VOTERS, BUT CAN IT GO HIGHER?”

Arlington Sun Gazette, November 15, 2012 Political Notes……………….(part of a larger article)

http://www.sungazette.net/arlington/news/political-notes-edition/article_be320002-2d9c-11e2-90a8-001a4bcf887a.html

GREEN PARTY GETS A BOOST FROM VOTERS, BUT CAN IT GO HIGHER?
Green Party County Board candidate Audrey Clement wasn’t catapulted into office on Nov. 6, but her double-digit showing in the race did raise the bar for future Green candidates.

While Clement’s 12.4-percent share of the vote was well below Democrat Libby Garvey (58.2 percent) and Republican Matt Wavro (28 percent), it roughly doubled the percentage of the vote Green candidates have received in previous County Board races when both Democrats and Republicans were on the ballot.

The better-than-before results for the Greens lead to two questions: Who is voting for the party’s candidates, and can the Greens take that vote percentage higher?

Conventional wisdom suggests that, barring some anomaly in a given race, Democrats in Arlington usually can count on between 57 and 63 percent of the vote in general elections, with other parties splitting the rest.

Garvey’s victory was on the lower end of that spectrum, so some of Clement’s votes probably came from disaffected Democrats. But with Republicans held to less than 30 percent of the vote in the race, Greens also may have picked up votes there, too.

“Clearly, most of my votes came from independents rather than Democrats, as Libby Garvey actually increased her margin of victory by 9 percentage points over the March special election,” said Clement, who was making her third bid in 12 months for County Board.

“I believe most of my vote came from those who are unhappy with the status quo, specifically the county’s reckless and irresponsible capital-spending program. So the question is, why the independents didn’t vote for Wavro?”

Clement said. “I think the answer lies in the uneasiness of many voters over the lack of affordable housing, and their general agreement with me that neither the Republicans nor the Democrats are addressing the issue adequately.”

While their candidates’ fortunes have been trending upward, challenges facing the Arlington Green Party include the lack of significant political infrastructure and lack of “bench strength” from which the party could draw future candidates.

The Arlington Green Party largely has focused its efforts on County Board races; when there have been no Republicans challenging Democratic County Board candidates, the Green Party has won up to 32 percent of the vote. The party occasionally has supported candidates for School Board and House of Delegates.

The national Green Party did have a presidential candidate on the ballot in Virginia, but Jill Stein received just 0.23 percent of the vote statewide and just 0.31 percent in Arlington. The vote for Stein in Arlington was about one-third the total received for Libertarian Gary Johnson, representing a party that doesn’t have a significant local presence in Northern Virginia.

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November 17, 2012

Stein gets about 8,000 votes statewide; Clement gets 9,400 votes in Arlington County race (12%), Galdo gets over 1,200 votes in 11th Congresssional district race

Thank you to all Virginia Greens who supported our three candidates on the ballot this year. I thank everyone who got signatures for the candidates to get on the ballot; for helping distribute campaign literature, and who gave of their own money and time to help them.

Jill Stein for President got about 8,000 votes (0.3%) statewide, fairly well distributed across the state with slightly more in the 8th, 11th and 1st Congressional Districts. Audrey Clement got 9,400 votes in Arlington County Board of Supervisors election or 12 percent of the total votes cast. Green Joe Galdo in his first campaign for office for the 11th Congressional seat in Fairfax area got about 1,200 votes.

Arlington Greens have had a Green candidate for county board for six years straight. Audrey got the highest percentage of the vote for any Green facing both a Republican and Democratic candidate. In 2009, the Green candidate got about 32 percent of the vote against only a Democratic candidate for County Board in Arlington.

Unfortunately, Jill Stein only got about 350 votes in Arlington County, despite Audrey’s excellent vote results. Many, many Green voters for local candidates showed they would NOT vote for our national Green presidential candidate.

Jill Stein got nearly three times the number of votes our 2008 Green candidate Cynthia McKiney received. Nationwide, Stein is expected to get over 1 million votes, the highest for any Green candidate since Ralph Nader in 2000. The Stein campaign did well and was organized, despite widespread media blackout and considering its lack of funding.

The two major parties spent a reported $2 billion directly for the presidential race, plus independent political campaign comittees funded largely by rich people and corporations spent probably another $2 billion. With about 135 million votes cast, the two major parties and their corporate allies spent about $35 per vote cast.

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November 3, 2012

Arlington Greens Post-Election, Chili Celebration, Tues, Nov. 6, 7 PM; No meeting on Nov. 7

Candidates — @ 4:23 pm

After you vote on Tuesday, November 6, join us at our post-election Green Party celebration this year at the home of Don Rouse, at 5010 11th St N, Arlington, VA 22205, starting around 7 PM on Tuesday, Nov. 6. Win, lose or draw, we Greens have won already presenting our hopes for a better country and better county through our two candidates Jill Stein for President and Audrey Clement for Arlington County Board. Vegetarian chili, corn bread, hot and cold drinks.

Driving Directions: from N. Washington Blvd and N. George Mason Drive, go south on George Mason Drive to 11th Street (next to Lacey Woods Park), and go left (east) on N. 11th Street about two blocks to 5010 N. 11th Street.

Location: 5010 N. 11th Street
Arlington, VA 22205

Time: Beginning around 7 PM, Tuesday, Nov. 6

We hope to see you there. Thank you for all the people who have donated their time and talents and resources to our Green Party candidates. As Jill Stein has said, “we are voting our hopes, not voting our fears.”

Note–our regular November meeting on Nov. 7 is cancelled owing to the Election. See you at the regular December meeting.

John Reeder
chair – Arlington Greens

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October 27, 2012

Voting Green in a Swing State–op editorial

Voting Green in a Swing State
By B. Sidney Smith (Page 1 of 4 pages)
OpEdNews Op Eds 10/26/2012 at 06:05:15

http://www.opednews.com/articles/Voting-Green-in-a-Swing-St-by-B-Sidney-Smith-121025-298.html

(Preface: This article isn’t really meant for everyone, so I might be able to save you some time. If you think climate change isn’t a serious electoral issue, this probably wasn’t written for you. If you think American presidents should conduct wars on their own authority and that it’s okay if they secretly assassinate whomever they (secretly) decide are bad people who might hurt us then you needn’t concern yourself with what follows. If you think the Bill of Rights of the Constitution doesn’t necessarily apply when terrorism is involved, or that letting gays have civil rights should be decided on a state-by-state basis like slavery before the civil war, or that the health of the environment isn’t more important than economic growth, or that whistleblowers who expose governmental and corporate crimes should go to prison but that privileged lawbreakers shouldn’t, or that whether a candidate is electable should depend on how much she pleases wealthy donors–if any of these approximates your own take on the issues, please read no further. You’ll be bored. Honestly.)

I live in a purple part of the country (Virginia) and move in academic circles, so of course I know many, many people who will be voting for Obama. If that doesn’t strike you as funny, then you are the person I have written this for.

Of course it is impossible to know, but if I murdered Santa Claus in front of their children, the look on my Obama-voter friends’ faces could scarcely be much different than the look they get when I say I am voting for Jill Stein.

“But this is a swing state…you have to vote for Obama…what if Romney wins?!?”

The pain in their voices tugs at my sympathies; their fear is very real. I want to reassure them, but I was cured a few presidential elections ago. I won’t be drinking from that cup again.

At first they assume I don’t understand what’s at stake. They tell me about the Romney/Ryan agenda. They tell me about Obamacare. They tell me about DOMA and the Fair Pay Act. But the conversation wanes when I am not only unsurprised by the information but able to supply amplifications and corrections. I’ve read the (detailed summary of) the Affordable Care Act. I know about Romney’s probable agenda. I even know the age and bodily afflictions of key members of the Supreme Court. In short, I know what’s at stake.

This is awkward, and for some there is no plan B, but experienced partisans know where to take it next. There is something wrong with me. I’m a purist, a liberal elitist who won’t be satisfied, arrogantly “engaging in a form of rhetorical narcissism and ideological self-preoccupation.”1 I indulge in a “pernicious idealism that wants the world to be perfect and is disgruntled that it isn’t.”2 I trade the common good for private conceit.

Fortunately my friends are mature people with trained minds, so for most it is enough to mention the ad hominem fallacy, to remind them that my personal faults–which I stipulate are legion–aren’t relevant to the validity or otherwise of my position in this debate. Usually we can agree to leave that brand of “discourse” to the professional bloviators.

So at last we come down to it. What are the arguments? There seem to be only two reasons for a progressive (you’re still reading, so I suppose that includes you) to vote for Obama. Either (1) you think Obama is not so bad, really, and has done a lot of good and could do more, or (2) Obama’s record makes you green about the gills, but the thought of Romney winning is intolerable.

Obama enthusiasts have by heart a widely-circulated3 list of his achievements: The Fair Pay Act, the auto bailout, legislation for credit card reform and hate crimes and student loans, some tax cuts, repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell, raising fuel efficiency standards, and ending the war in Iraq. Some also add killing bin Laden, the stimulus, and a new Start treaty with Russia. Everyone adds Obamacare.

Some of these really are achievements. The Fair Pay Act is a no-brainer, for one. Others are marginal. Credit card reform stopped some abuses but left millions imprisoned by usurious interest rates on their debt, with their homes and futures at the mercy of predatory lenders. If you are drowning it is definitely better to have fewer stones around your neck. You still drown though.

Editor’s Note–we generally only publish one page articles on Greens of Arlington; this is only page one of four pages; please go to website above for the remaining three pages.

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