• Next Meeting--Thursday, Nov. 6 7:00 PM at the Community Room of the Ballston Firehouse Station (located at Wilson Blvd and N. George Mason Drive).

October 6, 2014

Arlington Greens Vote to Oppose All Four Arlington Bond Questions on the November Ballot

Arlington Greens Vote to Oppose All Four Arlington Bond Questions on the November Ballot

October 6, 2014

The Arlington Greens voted unanimously at their October 2nd meeting to ask Arlington voters to deny the four bonds on the ballot on November 4: the four bonds total $218 million, the largest being $106 million for Arlington Public Schools.

The Greens indicated that the bond questions on the ballot for voter approval or denial were too broad and non-specific, and were essentially blank checks to the Arlington School Board and to the Arlington County Board to spend money for undefined purposes and without any cost or engineering plans.

John Reeder the Arlington Greens chairman said, “Arlington parents distrust the school board, and many feel duped by the School Board’s failure to approve a detailed CIP (Capital Improvement Plan). South Arlington parents were promised years ago a new elementary school, now proposed to be built on scarce parkland next to TJ Middle School.” He added, “Arlington parents should remember that critical on-going school programs were put on the chopping block in the past spring; and now a confused school board and a superintendent propose to rush spending $106 million on plans that are less than educationally optimal for our students.”

Reeder said the County Board similarly failed to specify for its three bond questions exactly where and how it will spend $61 million on transportation infrastructure, $13 million for local parks and recreation, and $39 million on “county facilities, information technology, and infrastructure.” He said, “voters should be wary of allowing the county board to spend over $100 million without detailed engineering and vetted plans because of these past abuses.”

Reeder added, “This county board built a million dollar bus stop on Columbia Pike, diverted many millions of park bond dollars approved by voters for park land acquisition to remodeling a failed Artisphere, and now proposes to spend over $300 million on a doomed trolley.”

The Arlington Green Party has run candidates for the Arlington County Board for the past 8 years. This year it has endorsed, independent county board member John Vihstadt for election in the November election.

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June 19, 2014

Arlington Green Party Endorses John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board on June 16

Candidates — @ 11:27 am

Press release: Arlington Green Party Endorses John Vihstadt for Arlington County Board on June 16

The Arlington Green Party AGP) at a special June 16 meeting voted to endorse independent county board member John Vihstadt for reelection on Nov. 4, 2014.

Arlington Greens had previously endorsed Vihstadt in April,
and he was elected to complete the remaining term of a vacant county
board seat. The November election is to fill that seat for the next
four years.

AGP chair John Reeder said,” that Greens believed that Vihstadt’s
policies are already making a difference on the County Board and are
consistent with many of the Green’s positions over the years, such as
opposition to a trolley on Columbia Pike and to other wasteful,
white-elephant projects, and support for environmental programs in
Arlington.”

Said Vihstadt in welcoming the endorsement, “The Arlington Green Party endorsement means that we are well on the way to replicating our fusion coalition that brought victory on April 8.”

The Arlington Greens had nominated candidates in county board elections for 7 consecutive years (2006-13,) but in 2014 decided to endorse fusion independent Vihstadt rather than nominate a Green member.

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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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