Humboldt Greens for Democracy and Independence

Humboldt Greens for Democracy and Independence (Humboldt GDI) is a primarily formed campaign committee to support the election of Greg Allen, Heidi Calton and Xandra Manns to the Steering Committee of the Green Party of Humboldt County (GPHC).

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Green Power - North Coast Journal - 5/25/2006

Green Power

The Weekly Wrap by Luke T. Johnson
North Coast Journal
5/25/2006

For the first time in recent memory, the election for seats on the local Green Party's steering committee has become a bitter and heated battle. County election officials cannot even remember the last time there was any competition between candidates, let alone one as divisive and emotional as the current race. The divide stems from conflicting opinions about where Humboldt's Green Party should stand on Measure T, which would forbid outside corporations from contributing to local political campaigns. The measure was put forward by Democracy Unlimited, a Eureka-based watchdog of corporate behavior that is often in step with Green Party ideals. But some members of the current steering committee feel the measure is unconstitutional and that it is against the values of the Green Party. Others are very supportive of Measure T and believe that most local Greens feel the same way. As June 6 approaches, committee consensus has hardly been reached.

Greg Allen, an incumbent on the steering committee who is running for re-election, has been vocal in his opposition to Measure T. He believes that the "slate of seven" committee candidates who support the measure have "chosen to divide the Green Party" and are trying "to get a monopoly on power in Humboldt County." He said that opposition to his views has turned into personal attacks and that other candidates are intolerant of dissent within the Green Party. "It started out with all sorts of defamatory statements, accusing me of having special interests, of being racist and against women suffrage...the record is clear: These folks don't tolerate any sort of disagreement with their platform."

Hannah Clapsadle, who works for Democracy Unlimited and is also running for a seat on the Green steering committee, believes that Green Party members who oppose Measure T are "definitely" in the minority. She refutes the notion that she and the rest of the so-called slate of seven are trying to divide the party. "We need to be more accessible to the party as a whole," she said. "What I'm doing is the opposite of monopolizing power." She said a lack of participation and a weak infrastructure are the main issues dividing the party. "Just a few people have been doing most of the work and steering the party," she said. "They are not necessarily representing majority opinion."

Heidi Calton, another incumbent up for re-election is not among the slate of seven. But she agrees that party unity is in the best interest of everyone. "I hope whoever is elected will have people in mind, and not bring any personal issues into it," she said.

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