Howard County Greens Weblog

The Green Party Local in Howard County, Maryland.

27 May 2006

Posting from the Caucus

Here I am, at the library, posting from the caucus.

So far, we've had four votes cast, so from that viewpoint it has not been terribly successful. On the other hand, we've collected 20 signatures today, and made many connections and contacts. Not bad for three and a half hours of sitting.

If you're reading this today, we're here until 4, at the Elkridge library. Come out and cast your vote. There's still time.

We've also got absentee ballots for the Assembly next week, in Towson.

21 May 2006

Faerie Festival

I spent yesterday at the Maryland Faerie Festival, collecting signatures along with Nathan Bahn and Mary Rooker (of the Montgomery Greens). It was a very good location.

The event, for those of you who haven't heard of it (and that's probably a great many of you, since this is only the second year it's been around), is a mixture of fantasy, entrepreneurship, spirituality, child's play and people looking fabulous. The Green Party pavillion was shoved off to the side, next to other 'educational' booths. Our neighbors represented the local Pagan community, a newly formed theatre company, the Maryland Organic Food and Farmers Association, a group looking to host a faerie festival at a children's hospital. a local private (Sudbury) school, and an innovative game design company.

So, why was it such a good location for us to petition?

First and foremost, it was a fun location. The people walking by were all where they wanted to be, doing what they wanted to do. That put them in a good mood (always a plus when you're starting a conversation with a stranger).

Secondly, it was a sympathetic crowd. Contemporary Faerie lore is very ecologically conscious, which is always a good starting point. Even the less than politically conscious revellers were open to the 10 Key Values, and the vast majority of those we spoke to signed the petition and stayed to chat for at least a few minutes.

The link between spirituality and Green values is one I would dearly like to explore some day. From my own standpoint, my own sense of values informs both my political and my religious journey. For many within the party, religious and spiritual values (whether pro or anti theistic) have lead them to the Greens, and yet, as Mary pointed out, there is a highly vocal contingent within the movement which distrusts any expression of spiritual or religious expression whatsoever. Perhaps this is in reaction to the religious right, which so vocally attacks any school of thought which doesn't match their own. It would seem a shame if the whole Green party would turn it's back on the principle of diversity of thought simply to avoid one particular philosophy.

In any case, the Festival continues today, in Upper Marlboro (a few miles outside the Washington beltway). Come out if you have a chance, it's worth the trip.

19 May 2006

Caucus notices mailed

I spent last night at Mike Cornell's house, preparing the post cards announcing the Caucus location and time. This afternoon I stamped and mailed them (409 from the East Columbia Branch Library mail box - 3 delivered by hand).

Reminder - the Caucus will be on Saturday, May 27, from 11 - 4, at the Elkridge Branch Library. Come by and cast your ballot!

It takes a fair chunk of time to stamp 409 post cards, and it gives plenty of opportunity to think about things.

All sorts of things.

Like the fact that, should either of the two major parties want to post a mailing to their entire constituent list in the county, they have the machinery to do it much more efficiently, and they wouldn't have to rely on volunteer labor. Like the fact that I would have a very hard time having my voice heard within either of the major parties. Like the fact that there are a great many people within the Howard County Green Party who may feel that they're not getting their voices heard within the party, simply because we haven't let them know when or where we're meeting. (Even though I, and others, have tried to spread the word...). It occurred to me tha our meetings typically equal or exceed 1% of the party membership in the county. That's pretty extraordinary.

It's also no where near enough.

American politics were built on a revolutionary model. The idea that any group of people can get together and have their voice be heard, and can actually influence how their government works, is still a revolutionary concept today. It leads to a chaotic, often contentious, even messy, form of government. Sometimes it gets too messy. At the moment, most people agree that the system needs to be cleaned up. For most of us, that means getting rid of corruption and big money interests. For some people, it means getting rid of opposing voices. It means getting rid of us.

Come out. Vote. Network. Create that critical mass. Sign the petition. Stand up and be heard. I want to meet you in person.

15 May 2006

On lameness...

First, and foremost, the time and place for the Caucus has been changed:

The Howard County Green Party Caucus will be held on Saturday, May 27th at the Elkridge Branch Library, from 11 - 4.

The regular meeting will be held at the same time.

Now, on to the discussion of lameness, and why there has been no activity on this blog for the past month.

First of all, it is entirely my own fault. I have allowed 'real life' to get in the way of my Green Party duties. In the past month I've been dealing primarily with family issues (wedding anniversary, a birthday, illness in the family and the death of a pet, to be specific), and haven't grabbed the few minutes it would have taken to post.

...and there certainly have been things I should have posted about, the difficulty with the scheduled caucus date for one (to be fair, I only heard about that within the past week, and put my efforts into securing another date and location). I haven't posted about tabling events (and there are several. PLEASE let me know if you can spend some time working at the Faerie Festival on May 20th and/or 21st, or if there are other events you are looking for volunteers for).

There has been a lot of activity state wide about the BG&E rate hike. There has been frighteningly little discussion of the national 'security' database of phone numbers (but my wireless and long distance service Working Assets spontaneously e-mailed to assure me they do not give away any personal information without a legal warrant, so if you're considering changing your phone service...).

I know that there are many, many concerned voters in Howard County. I know that many of you are already active, and many more are looking for easy ways to be active and to make a change. Please, come to the meetings, meet and support other Greens. If you're not a Green, then come out and meet other progressives (because, you never know, we might just be the perfect fit).

Especially come to this meeting - the Caucus. Just drop by and cast your vote (even though there are now only two offices being voted on). Be counted. Then go back and spend the rest of the day with your family.

I hope to see you there.