MAINE GREENS MAKE A GOOD TURN
First was a planning meeting for the campaign of Lynne Williams who is running for governor in 2010 as a Green. Lynne is a well-known attorney in the state who has over the years represented communities fighting on environmental issues, represented people in the peace movement arrested for civil disobedience, helped Native Americans in the state, and a whole lot more. People all over Maine have benefited from her legal expertise and she has a solid base of support to build a campaign around. She is a highly respected activist and for the past year, before declaring her candidacy, was president of the Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP).
It was a good meeting where we spent some time reviewing key campaign issues and discussing the nuts and bolts of building a solid statewide campaign. She has already been going from one end of this big state to the other to meet with local people about her candidacy.
Following the campaign meeting there was a dinner to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the MGIP, which was the first state Green Party in the US that was created - in fact it was founded even before the national party was formed. Former Bowdoin College professor and activist John Rensenbrink is credited with the founding and last night he made a fine speech where he outlined the need for any successful party to come from the grassroots movements of our day. Just to make the point he asked all those who were peace activists to stand up, then environmental activists, those working on health care, those working on this or that issue, etc..... He well illustrated the point.
Closing the dinner Lynne Williams made an excellent speech about the need for corporate capitalism, and its ravenous and deadly growth ethic, to die a timely death. In its place Lynne suggested we need to see growth in organic farming, the use of alternative forms of energy creation, local control of our schools and our natural resources (water for one). The state, Lynne said, should help the citizens in our local communities, not dominate them with edicts and laws that are designed to benefit multi-national corporations like Nestle and others.
During the giving of awards I was quite surprised to get an award they called "Maine Green of the Year". I think much of the reason for the award was my work leading the committee in our state in support of Cynthia McKinney's presidential bid during the last election.
I've not always been impressed by the Green Party in Maine's organizing expertise. It appears though that the candidacy of Lynne Williams is bringing needed life into the party and last night's dinner celebration was the best event I'd witnessed since I joined the party after arriving in Maine six years ago.
One friend excitedly told me on my way out the door, "Lynne is the best candidate for governor we've had yet." From what I can see I think he may be right.