Welcome to the October 2016 issue of the Sunflower Seed! In this issue you will find out how to become a sustaining donor, hear about local candidates and party news, get the scoop on the Jill Stein campaign, and welcome a new state party coordinating committee member! Enjoy!
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Wednesday, October 26
Jill Stein Visit in Saint Paul!
John B. Davis Lecture Hall
1600 Grand Ave
St. Paul 55105
Saturday, November 19
GPMN Coordinating Committee Meeting
Rochester, MN (location to be determined)
Important Information Regarding Green VP on Ballot
Please note: In Minnesota your ballot will say "Jill Stein/Howie Hawkins" -- due to restrictive ballot access laws, we were forced to use a stand-in on our petitions to get Jill on the ballot.
The petitions were due only two weeks after our nominating convention. Despite no law saying he cannot, Secretary of State Steve Simon refused to replace our stand-in with our endorsed candidate. Please vote Stein/Hawkins! Our electoral college voters know to vote for Stein/Baraka in the event Jill wins Minnesota.
Contact Steve Simon and let him know how you feel about him keeping the only person of color running on a presidential ticket off your ballot.
(Photo Credit: Ajamu Baraka 2016)
New Rochester Green Party Seedling
The Rochester area Green Party Seedling membership is growing, with weekly meetings and Stein campaign activities scheduled several times per week between now and election day!
Planning meetings are held every Wednesday evening from 7-9PM. In the upcoming weeks they will be dropping literature door-to-door and at local shops and restaurants, will have an information table with literature and video clips in the Atrium at Rochester Area Technical Institute, sign-waving on street corners in downtown Rochester, carpooling to help at the upcoming Stein rally in the Twin Cities, and gathering on election night.
After the election, they will be busy forming the 1st Congressional District Green Party chapter and partnering with like-minded organizations and activist groups to bring Green Party values to life in southern Minnesota, and encouraging prospective progressive candidates to run as Greens!
Find event details here: www.rochestermngreens.com/upcoming-events
Join Rochester area Facebook Group: www.facebook.com/groups/RochesterMNGreens
For more information, contact: Barb Huning [email protected] (608) 518-8190
6th CD Green Party Elects Deanna Murphy to GPMN Coordinating Committee
The Green Party of Minnesota is excited to welcome a new 6th Congressional District Green Party representative to the state party’s governing body, the Coordinating Committee!
Deanna Murphy, St. Cloud, is a “very happily single” parent who just completed her Bachelor of Arts in Leadership and Organizational Communication, with a minor in Applied Relational Conflict Management, at St. Cloud State University, and is pursuing further graduate studies there in the social justice arena. She has been a member of the lay Buddhist organization, Soka Gakkai International, since 2007. Previous community activities involve outreach and support while an active member of this organization, volunteering at a Domestic Abuse shelter in Eagan, Minn., and volunteering with a local neighborhood community service organization.
Murphy is new to the Green Party and is very enthusiastic about helping to promote the goals of the Green Party in the coming years.
“I am attracted to the Green Party’s slogan of ‘People, Peace, and Planet over Profit’, as this fits right in with the mission of my Buddhist practice, whose main goal is one of World Peace and teaches that the happiness of oneself and others is central to this goal,” she said.
“I look forward to working with and supporting the green Party in every capacity, the only progressive party left out there which takes making a difference to heart.”
(Photo Credit: Deanna Murphy)
Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka Participate in Presidential Debates
What would it have been like if Jill Stein had been invited to the Presidential debate, and Ajamu Baraka to the Vice-Presidential debate? Wonder no longer! Jill (first debate, second debate) and Ajamu have posted video responses on their campaign Facebook pages, in which the broadcast debate is paused so that the Green Party ticket can respond to the posed questions.
For a stronger dose of Jill and Ajamu, there is also video available of a C-Span Third Party Candidates Forum in which the dynamic duo answer caller questions. All these videos are good resources for Greens and non-Greens who want to learn more about the candidates and what the Green Party stands for. Their depth and range of knowledge is impressive and quotable. As Ajamu says, "We are the only peace candidates on the ballot."
The Jill Stein campaign will again livestream her responses during the third and final Presidential Debate this Wednesday at 8pm CT. You can watch on her campaign Facebook page by clicking here.
(Photo Credits: CSPAN; Jill 2016)
Green Candidates Debate in Anoka County
Steve Laitinen and Sharon LeMay, Green-endorsed candidates for Soil and Water Conservation District Supervisor seats in Anoka County, took part in a candidate forum sponsored by the Anoka-Blaine-Coon Rapids League of Women Voters in late September. Laitinen is running in District 1 and LeMay in District 5 of the five-district board.
LeMay praised the Anoka Conservation District (ACD) for raising public awareness of water issues and inviting people to participate in protecting this essential resource. “Saving the water is going to start at the grassroots level, and that’s what the ACD is and why I want to serve there,” she explained. Laitinen pointed particularly to the impact of urban development on aquifers and water resources in the county that were already depleted from heavy agricultural use. “My biggest passion is to figure out how we’re going to replenish our aquifers and make sure we don’t lose these waters again,” he said, noting that the decline in the water table is not anyone’s fault but is the result of not paying enough attention to the water.
Both Green candidates demonstrated their knowledge of the particular issues facing soil and water in Anoka County and shared their commitment to water protection and developing policies that address those issues, including working with all levels of government to cooperate in protecting watersheds and obtaining grants.
Almost every county in Minnesota has a Soil and Water Conservation District board. LeMay and Laitenen are two of six Green Party candidates running for these seats. Others are Lena Buggs and Ianni Houmas, Ramsey County; Mel Thoreson and Linda Ward, Itasca County, and Wayne Pauluk, Hennepin County Commissioner (Soul and Water Board has been incorporated into the County Commission in Hennepin County).
(Photo Credit: Sharon LeMay)
In the News: Green Candidate Dennis Barsness for MN House District 5B
Dennis was recently highlighted in the Duluth News Tribune for his stances to work for the greater good:
“I refuse corporate and political action committee contributions, allowing me to work for the welfare and benefit of Minnesota and its citizens, putting people over profits.
I am not a member of the status quo and will boldly say that big money in politics and a fixed two-party system are choking the life out of many. Enough is enough.
My focus is on what I can do for Minnesota today with a positive effect on the future.”
Read the full article by clicking here.
Minnesota Green Party Minnesota Chair Interviewed by MPR, Star Tribune
As the Presidential race reaches a fevered pitch and record numbers of voters are rejecting the corporate party candidates, local media are finally paying attention to the Green Party after mostly ignoring Green candidates and campaigns. GPMN Chair Brandon Long was recently asked by MPR about whether Bernie Sanders supporters were coming into the Green Party, and what impact this might have at the ballot box.
"Bernie Sanders was somebody that really ignited a lot of interest," Long said. "A lot of people who particularly were independent in the first place, he brought them into the [Democratic] Party. And then they're not really feeling appreciated or wanted, and so a lot of people are saying, 'Look, we need another option,' and Jill Stein and the Green Party is it."
Long was also interviewed by the Star Tribune, which just last week left the Green Party out of its Voter Guide. Long had this to say about the impact the Greens may have on the presidential race this year:
“Unless we demand more and better from our candidates, we’re not going to get it,” Long said. “Progressive third parties have pushed important things into larger progressive movements — the 40-hour workweek and Social Security, for starters.”
(Photo Credit: Brandon Long)
Winona County Green Party Organizes Trip to Pipeline Protest
From the Winona Daily News: The Dakota Access Pipeline is planned to run through the Dakotas and Iowa to Illinois, though several areas are being protested, including the largest in North Dakota on federal land.
The protests, starting by the Standing Rock Sioux, have grown rapidly with an influx of other tribes and protesters over the past two months. The protesters argue that a portion of the pipeline would threaten their drinking water and land. The federal government halted the construction in the end of September.
The Winona group includes a number of supporters of Green Party candidate Jill Stein, who was charged with both criminal trespass and criminal mischief following her spray painting of a bulldozer at the protest. Several of those going from Winona said they originally supported U.S. senator and former presidential hopeful Bernie Sanders, but have moved to Stein.
Brian Mueller, the facilitator of the Winona County Green Party, said that the protest is well-aligned with the party’s priorities, one of which is environmental protection.
“The Dakota Access Pipeline is a very real danger to the future of the watershed, which affects everyone in the Midwest and Great Plains,” Mueller said. “We really are grateful and support what (the protesters) are doing to keep the water clean for future generations.”
The Winona County Green Party will be holding a Jill Stein 2016 sign/banner rally at the intersection of Hwy 43/61 in Winona on Wednesday, October 19th from 4pm to 6pm. They will meet on the corner in front of Perkins restaurant. Please bring a sign, if you have one! Homemade signs are encouraged. They will meet briefly after the rally and set our next meeting time.
If you are interested in joining the Winona County Green Party, of if you have any questions, please contact Brian Mueller at 507-429-7368, or email [email protected].
(Photo Credit: Getty Images)