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GPSC responds to Jeff Sessions's presence in Memphis

posted May 26, 2017, 4:58 AM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated May 26, 2017, 5:00 AM ]

The Green Party of Shelby County adamantly opposes the minimum sentencing memo written by Attorney General Jeff Sessions and his presence in Memphis, which he has singled out in his crusade against the poor and disenfranchised.

The memo suggests that “prosecutors should charge and pursue the most serious, readily provable offense.”  He defines the most serious crimes as those which have the greatest statutory sentences.  This memo nullifies existing Justice policy that enabled prosecutors to show a degree of leniency to low-level nonviolent offenders.  The original memo in no way endorsed the restriction of sentencing for violent offenders, so the only change made by the Sessions Memo is the increased criminalization of poverty already underway in the current presidential administration.

This sentencing policy will turn back the clock on municipal and state policies intended to increase the quality of American lives.  Even though the efforts were ultimately undone by a conservative legislature in Nashville, the city of Memphis passed a marijuana decriminalization ordinance that would have unbound the hands of many low-level nonviolent offenders in Memphis.  The Sessions Memo will do nothing but aid our state legislature in its oppressive crackdown on the city of Memphis.

Every argument that AG Sessions has used to support his memo could just as well have been used to support the Obama-era Holder Memo, which laid out very clear conditions under which a prosecutor could seek a more lenient sentence.  AG Sessions is using the violence of drug dealers as a red herring to distract from the true intent of his sentencing guidelines.

The Green Party of Shelby County supports the legalization of marijuana and the treatment of drug addiction as a health issue and not a criminal one.  As AG Sessions himself noted in Memphis, there is an opioid crisis in the United States, and those addicts require help and treatment, but so do addicts of heroin, cocaine, alcohol, tobacco, and even marijuana users who have lost control of their consumption.  

Furthermore, the Green Party of Shelby County endorses a policy of eliminating poverty through a robust public works program, thereby raising the floor under the whole of the citizenry and increasing personal and communal wealth.
 

City Council Platform Committee

posted May 9, 2017, 8:46 AM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated May 9, 2017, 8:47 AM ]

Hey folks.  We're working now to get ready for a massive move on city council in 2019.  To do this, we need to work on a platform so we can identify specifically what our goals are and how we can move them forward.  

We are having our first work session this Saturday, May 13th at 1pm.  243 Adams.  Free parking.  RSVP here.  

If you are unable to attend the committee meeting, you can join us virtually by submitting your ideas to the city council crowdsource form located below.  You don't need to include your name or email address if you don't want to, but you are welcome to.

In completing this form, it is important to think in terms of solutions, not just problems.  Ideally, you would also think of a source of funding for any solution you come up with.  Here's an example:

Category: Housing
Problem: Poorly kept rental houses
Solution: Rental licensing and registration
Funding: License fees and noncompliance assessments

Memphis City Council Platform Crowdsource


Party Recognition Petition

posted Feb 24, 2017, 11:31 AM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated Feb 24, 2017, 11:34 AM ]

The Green Party of Tennessee is pursuing official recognition by the state of Tennessee.  This requires a petition and, according to current law, about 37,000 signatures.  There is, however, a bill in the legislature now that would lower that requirement to 5,000 signatures.  So, right now, contact your state representative and tell them to support HB0662 and your state senator to support SB0770.

Afterwards, download one of the files at the bottom of this page.  GPTNPARTYRECOGNITION is for any county in Tennessee and GPTNPARTYRECOGNITIONSHELBYCOUNTY is just for, you guessed it, Shelby County.  For each page of the petition, all signatures must be of registered voters from the same county.  Pay close attention to the lines and make sure all signatures are legible.  This is not the time to practice your calligraphy.  Both the signed name and the printed name must be legible, as must be the addresses.  Notice the second address line is City/COUNTY/Zip.

Don't worry about the Page ______ of _______ stuff.  We'll take care of that when we have all the pages in.

Here's an example.



When you have your signatures, send me an email at info@greenpartyofshelbycounty.org and I'll let you know the next steps.

You don't need to fill out the whole page, though that'd be great.  If you can only get a few signatures, or even one, that's fine.

Senators Alexander and Corker: Release your call data

posted Feb 6, 2017, 11:35 AM by Aaron Fowles

The Green Party of Shelby County calls on Senators Lamar Alexander and Bob Corker to release the tabulated results of the constituent contacts they’ve received over the past three weeks pertaining to the nomination of Betsy DeVos.

One of Senator Corker’s DC staffers, first name Lauren, stated that the majority of phone calls received by Senator Corker have been in opposition to the nomination of DeVos, yet Senator Corker continues to express his support for her and ostensible plans to vote in favor of her nomination.

One of the four pillars of the Green Party is Grassroots Democracy, meaning that citizens should have a voice in how their government is run.  It is clear that even though Senator Corker was elected in Tennessee the constituency now wishes that he vote not with his conscience but with the public interest and therefore to vote against her nomination.  

The Green Party of Shelby County is dedicated to the pursuit of justice through political and nonpolitical means.  All Tennesseans are encouraged to call Senator Corker’s Memphis and DC offices to express their opinion on the nomination of Betsy DeVos.  The vote is scheduled for 11am Central Time on Tuesday, February 7th.  

Solidarity with Arkansas Rising

posted Jan 19, 2017, 11:16 AM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated Jan 19, 2017, 12:23 PM ]

The Green Party of Shelby County expresses its solidarity with and support of the Arkansas Rising water defenders and other activists who joined in their direct action at the Valero Refinery in Memphis on January 16th during the celebration of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

The Diamond Pipeline, a joint venture between Texas corporations Plains All American Pipeline and Valero, is designed to carry unrefined oil from Cushing, Oklahoma to the Valero Refinery on Presidents Island in Memphis.  Construction began in 2016, and plans call for the pipeline to be operational by 2017.

Arkansas Rising conducted a nonviolent act of civil disobedience by blocking access to the refinery using large barrels filled with concrete and their own bodies.  This action resulted in the arrest of 12 of the activists.  The activists, described as water defenders, guardians, or protectors, were protesting the impact of the pipeline on various water supplies in Oklahoma, Arkansas, and Tennessee where the pipeline crosses existing waterways, creating the potential for contamination in the event of a leak.  Such a leak in the section nearest to the Valero refinery could ultimately results in the contamination of the Memphis Sand Aquifer.

The Green Party of Shelby County recognizes that the sustainable future of Memphis, the Midsouth, the United States, and indeed the very world lies not in the passive embrace of fossil fuels as the means to an end but instead in the immediate transition to renewable energy to be completed by the year 2030.  Therefore, the Green Party of Shelby County officially stands with Arkansas Rising.

Republicans pushing through wild agenda

posted Jan 9, 2017, 11:30 AM by Aaron Fowles

The Republican congress has wasted no time in gutting consumer protections in the USA.  A bill is zipping around Congress called Regulations from the Executive in Need of Scrutiny Act of 2017, which Congressman Collins wittily reduces to the REINS act, as in it's an attempt to rein in the Executive Branch.

Here are some of the actions the Republicans (mostly) in Congress doesn't want the Executive Branch (the President and the host of agencies whose leaders he picks) to be able to take:



First Informational Meeting

posted Dec 1, 2016, 10:59 AM by Aaron Fowles

The time has come for the Green Party of Shelby County to step into the limelight (no pun intended, even though the lime in limelight has nothing to do with the color). 

I do not need to tell you that the 2016 election was an emotional roller coaster ride for everyone, and the result is certainly disappointing for multiple reasons: the President-elect is creating an outlandishly plutocratic cabinet,  the popular vote was overwhelmingly in support of a different candidate, and any progress towards justice initiated over the past 8 years looks like it's going to be rolled back.  This is not to mention the fact that our current president has all but ignored the violence perpetrated upon the water protectors in North Dakota.

So what can we do?

This has become a bit cliche in the past weeks, but it has done so for a reason and thus I will employ it here:  Don't mourn--Organize.

Jill Stein received nearly 2000 votes in Shelby County last month, meaning there are at least 2000 people who are interested in a progressive future for the country, the state, the county, and the city.  If we can capture just a fraction of that voting bloc, we can start something big that will eventually capture that whole bloc and eventually capture whole districts.  We need to start now to increase our visibility, sharpen our message, and gather new members interested in creating a Shelby County we can be proud to call home.

We take our first steps on this journey on Saturday, December 10th from 2-4pm at The Phoenix (1015 S. Cooper St).  A flyer is attached to this email.  Print it and distribute it liberally.  Put a copy at your favorite coffee shop.  Leave one at a bookstore.  Staple it to an electrical pole on your street.

There is a facebook event if you'd like to see who else might be coming: https://www.facebook.com/events/1143933612309562/

We'll be talking about our leadership structure, membership, dues, plans, and mission.  We need you to add your voice to this conversation.  We'll record the meeting and make that video available to anyone who is unable to attend the meeting.

There is a flyer attached at the bottom of this page.  Please print and distribute, in color if possible.

See you next Saturday.

Jill Stein Didn't Win

posted Nov 9, 2016, 10:30 AM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated Nov 9, 2016, 11:14 AM ]

As we all know by know, we have a president-elect who doesn't support universal healthcare, free and public education, climate renewal, clean energy, or immigration reform.

That was going to be the case either way.  We knew that going into election night.  As horrifying as it is to know that the president-elect of the United States is the one caught on tape describing his abuse of women and who was endorsed by the Ku Klux Klan, we knew that this election was going to be the beginning of a productive struggle, not the end of one.  

Someone soon is going to say that Jill Stein "spoiled" the election for Hillary Clinton because of the tight margins in Michigan and Wisconsin.  It's malarkey for several reasons:
  1. Third parties may have saved Maine and Colorado for HRC.  Gary Johnson may have saved New Mexico.
  2. It is impossible to tell for whom those voters would have voted had their candidate not been on the ballot, or if they would have voted at all.  
  3. The entire notion of votes defaulting to one candidate completely belies the democratic promise of the Constitution.  There are not very many requirements in the Constitution for the President.  A president must be 35, born in America, and capable of fulfilling the duties of the office.  Nowhere is it written that a president must be wealthy or even have a political party behind them.
  4. Last and not at all least, blaming the Greens for the outcome of this election is nothing more than a cheap attempt at self-exculpation.  I'm going to riff on Nader here a minute.  Disenfranchise voters - blame the Greens.  Closed primaries that don't let independents have a voice - blame the Greens.  Purge of voter rolls - blame the Greens.  Collude with the media and get caught - blame the Greens.  Collude with your own Super PACs to smear the candidate whose supporters you want - blame the Greens.  Talk to bankers about public and private positions - blame the Greens.  Hire a sleazy campaign director who can't handle his emails - blame the Russians first, then the Greens.  Accept dark money from whoever's offering it - blame the Greens.  Maintain closed debates - blame the Greens.  Elevate Donald Trump - blame the Greens.  Hold an election without the full protection of the Voting Rights Act - blame the Greens.  Fifty-five percent turnout - blame the Greens.

So where do we go now, friends?  It is our job now to Get Involved in making this country the kind of place we want it to be.

When I was younger I remember hearing that one of the benefits of voting was being able to complain afterwards if the election did not favor your candidate.  I disagree.  We must move beyond disenchantment, beyond anger, beyond doubt and move into action.  Click on the Get Involved button above and get started.

The rally was an astounding success

posted Oct 4, 2016, 1:07 PM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated Oct 4, 2016, 1:10 PM ]

Jill Stein comes to Memphis


Rally update

posted Sep 22, 2016, 7:59 PM by Aaron Fowles   [ updated Sep 22, 2016, 8:00 PM ]

Hello everyone -

We are 11 days out from Jill Stein being in Memphis.  As such, we have got a few things we need for you all to do.

1.  Flyers

I am attaching to this page several different versions of the flyer.  You can find them way at the bottom.

a.  Rally Poster Letter Simple Print.pdf - This is pretty simple and can be printed at home, though there is a picture on it.  I scaled the picture down so it won't shred your ink cartridge.  This has the QR code for RSVP.

b. Rally Poster Letter Fancy Print.pdf - This has lots of colors, but it only 8.5x11.  There's a margin you'll have to cut out.  It's good if you have a fancy printer at home. This has the QR code for RSVP.

c.  Rally Poster LARGE PRINT.pdf - This is a full sized poster.  It needs to be printed on a large-format printer (or on a regular printer using the poster print setting).  FedEx can handle this sort of job, as can any commercial printer. This has the QR code for RSVP.

d.  Rally Poster LARGE ONLINE.png - This is an image file of the poster.  Since it's meant to be online, I did not include the QR code for RSVPing.  You'll have to link people to the RSVP site (https://www.eventbrite.com/e/jill-stein-presidential-rally-tickets-27908676603) or even better to the front page of the GPSC site, which also has the RSVP stuff (http://www.greenpartyofshelbycounty.org)

e.  ONLINE header.png - a smaller image you can use

We want posters at the following locations:

Otherlands
Muddy’s Grindhouse
Student Unions
Young Ave Deli
Java Cabana
Smoke shops
2nd floor of Local
Amurica
Hi-Tone
Rhodes campus
Memphis College of Art
Cafe Eclectic
Whole Foods (Germantown and East Memphis)
Any starbucks we can find with a community board
Highpoint Terrace
Garibaldi's pizza (or any UofM student hangout)
Any college campus bulletin board we can find

If you live near one of these locations, print out the flyer in the best way you can, post it, and check on it every few days to make sure it's still there.  These WILL get taken down so we must keep our eyes open.  You can put these posters anywhere you want, just make sure the owner of the space is ok with it.  Email me to let me know where you're putting the flyers. info@greenpartyofshelbycounty.org

2.  Outreach

We need to reach out to people, especially the following groups:

Faith leaders
Citywide nonprofits
Neighborhood Association leaders
Government leaders

Start making connections with the people in your network who fit into the above categories (and not only those).  Ask them to bring 10 people to the rally and to RSVP.  Email them the image version of the flyer.

3.  WORKERS

That's right, we need YOU to work on the day of the rally.  These are the chores:

a.  Catering pick-up
b.  Set-up at Amurica
c.  Crowd control during rally
d.  Clean up at Amurica
e.  Sound lackey to follow our videographer around (this is an all-day gig 8am-11pm).

I'm going to try to get a private room for breakfast with Dr. Stein to which all volunteers will be invited.  You'll be on your own for food, but at least you'll get some time with Dr. Stein.  Details to follow.

4.  Bus RSVP or carpool

We can get a charter bus for people who want to ride down to Oxford instead of drive.  Total cost is about $720, which comes to $30 per seat.  Donations are welcome.  If you want to ride down on a charter bus, fill out this form: https://goo.gl/forms/NBG7IJfG5KHObPyz1

If you are set on driving down and have space in your car, let us know.  If we can't bus down, we can at least carpool.


THANK YOU everyone.  I know we're all going to come together to make this a great day for the Stein campaign.

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