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Monday, July 18, 2005

Local Greens

No, this post isn't about how important it is to support farmers in your area by buying their produce so that we can get away from industrial farming.

It's about the efforts of Green Party folks in Frederick to get someone on the ballot for local government, specifically the board of aldermen. Beyond the obvious need to do something about the word "aldermen", this writer applauds the local Greens for starting at the grassroots as a way to push public policy in a progressive direction.

In focusing on trying to get a broad national or statewide message out through candidacies for president or senate (see my recent post about the potential independent effort of Kevin Zeese for Senate in Maryland), activists sometimes miss the opportunity to organize locally. Local organizing, whether on an issue or for an electoral contest, can give smaller parties and grassroots movements an opportunity to build credibility and strength for the future. And since local elections are not so dominated by big donors and wild spending on media, polls, etc. they are a real opportunity for less business-oriented candidates to make a mark and develop their bases. Add that to the complacency and lack of grassroots work by dominant parties, and chances abound locally.

In local municipalities, like Takoma Park, we have a progressive electorate, non-partisan elections, and a great crop of activists. We just have to bring them together.