Green Party of the United States
|Governing body||Green National Committee|
|Split from||Greens/Green Party USA|
|Preceded by||Association of State Green Parties|
|Headquarters||6411 Orchard Avenue, Suite 101, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912|
|Youth wing||Young Ecosocialists|
|Women's wing||National Women's Caucus|
|LGBT wing||Lavender Greens|
|Latinx wing||Latinx Caucus|
|Black wing||Black Caucus|
|Membership (February 2020)||246,377|
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|Continental affiliation||Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas|
|Seats in the Senate|
0 / 100
|Seats in the House|
0 / 435
0 / 50
|State Upper House Seats|
0 / 1,972
|State Lower House Seats|
0 / 5,411
0 / 6
|Territorial Upper Chamber Seats|
0 / 97
|Territorial Lower Chamber Seats|
0 / 91
|Other elected offices||130 (Mar. 2020)|
|Appointed offices||6 (Nov. 2019)|
|This article is part of a series on the|
politics and government of
the United States
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The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a federation of Green state political parties in the United States. The party promotes green politics, specifically environmentalism; nonviolence; social justice; participatory, grassroots democracy; gender equality; LGBTQ rights; anti-war; anti-racism and ecosocialism. On the political spectrum, the party is generally seen as left-wing.
The GPUS was founded in 2001 as the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) split from the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA). After its founding, the GPUS soon became the primary national green organization in the country, eclipsing the G/GPUSA, which was formed in 1991 out of the Green Committees of Correspondence (CoC), a collection of local green groups active since 1984. The ASGP, which formed in 1996, had increasingly distanced itself from the G/GPUSA in the late 1990s.
The Greens gained widespread public attention during the 2000 presidential election, when the ticket composed of Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke won 2.7% of the popular vote. Nader was vilified by many Democrats, who accused him of spoiling the election for Al Gore, the Democratic candidate. Nader maintains that he was not a spoiler in the 2000 election.
The political movement that began in 1985 as the decentralized Committees of Correspondence evolved into a more centralized structure by 1990, opening a national clearinghouse and forming governing bodies, bylaws and a platform as the Green Committees of Correspondence (GCoC) and by 1990 simply The Greens. The organization conducted grassroots organizing efforts, educational activities and electoral campaigns.
Internal divisions arose between members who saw electoral politics as ultimately corrupting and supported the notion of an "anti-party party" formed by Petra Kelly and other leaders of the Greens in Germany vs. those who saw electoral strategies as a crucial engine of social change. A struggle for the direction of the organization culminated a "compromise agreement", ratified in 1990 at the Greens National Congress in Elkins, West Virginia and in which both strategies would be accommodated within the same 527 political organization renamed the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA). It was recognized by the FEC as a national political party in 1991.
The compromise agreement subsequently collapsed and two Green party organizations have co-existed in the United States since. The Green Politics Network was organized in 1990 and the National Association of Statewide Green Parties formed by 1994. Divisions between those pressing to break onto the national political stage and those aiming to grow roots at the local level continued to widen during the 1990s. The Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) encouraged and backed Nader's presidential runs in 1996 and 2000. By 2001, the push to separate electoral activity from the G/GPUSA issue-based organizing led to the Boston Proposal and subsequent rise of the Green Party of the United States. The G/GPUSA lost most of its affiliates in the following months and dropped its FEC national party status in 2005.
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The Green Party of the United States follows the ideals of green politics, which are based on the Four Pillars, namely:
The Ten Key Values, which expand upon the Four Pillars, are as follows:
- Grassroots democracy,
- Social justice and equal opportunity,
- Ecological wisdom,
- Community-based economics,
- Feminism and gender equality,
- Respect for diversity,
- Personal and global responsibility, and
- Future focus and sustainability.
Peter Camejo was quoted in 2002 as claiming that he was a watermelon—green on the outside, but red on the inside. In January 2004, he initiated the Avocado Declaration, which compares Greens to avocados. "An avocado is Green on the outside and Green on the inside". The Declaration goes on to explain that Greens have a vital role in bringing democracy to the otherwise undemocratic two party system of the United States; that the Greens have a unique and independent identity as a third party, which cannot be subsumed into the Republican or Democratic parties; and that they cannot be dismissed by Republican or Democratic critics by implying that they are merely socialists or communists.
In 2016, the Green Party passed a motion in favor of rejecting both capitalism and state socialism, and instead supporting "alternative economic system based on ecology and decentralization of power". The motion states the change that the party says could be described as promoting "'ecological socialism,' 'communalism,' or the 'cooperative commonwealth'".
The Green Party does not accept donations from corporations, political action committees (PACs), 527(c) organizations or soft money. The party's platforms and rhetoric harshly criticize corporate influence and control over government, media, and society at large.
The Green Party calls for providing tuition-free college at public universities and vocational schools, increasing funding for after-school and daycare programs, cancelling all student loan debt, and repealing the No Child Left Behind Act. They are strongly against the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education.
Green New Deal
In 2006, the Green Party developed a Green New Deal that would serve as a transitional plan to a one-hundred-percent clean, renewable energy by 2030 utilizing a carbon tax, jobs guarantee, tuition-free college, single-payer healthcare and a focus on using public programs.
The Green Party advocates for "complete and full" reparations to the African American community, as well the removal of the Confederate flag from all government buildings.
The party supports same-sex marriage, the right of access to medical and surgical treatment for transgender and gender-nonconforming people, and withdrawing foreign aid to countries with poor LGBT+ rights records.
The Green Party calls on the United States to join the International Criminal Court, and sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and Non-Proliferation Treaty. Additionally, it supports cutting the defense budget in half, as well as prohibiting all arms sales to foreign countries.
The Green Party advocates for the Palestinian right of return and cutting all U.S. aid to Israel. It has also expressed support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
Structure and composition
The Green Party has two national committees recognized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC):
Green National Committee
The GNC is composed of delegates elected by affiliated state parties. The state parties also appoint delegates to serve on the various standing committees of the GNC. The National Committee elects a steering committee of seven co-chairs, a secretary and a treasurer to oversee daily operations. The National Committee performs most of its business online, but it also holds an annual national meeting to conduct business in person.
Five Identity Caucuses have achieved representation on the GNC:
- Black Caucus
- Latinx Caucus
- Lavender Greens Caucus (LGBTQIA)
- National Women's Caucus
- Young Ecosocialists
Other caucuses have worked toward formal recognition by the GNC:
The Green Party has its strongest popular support on the Pacific Coast, Upper Great Lakes, and Northeast, as reflected in the geographical distribution of Green candidates elected. As of June 2007[update], Californians have elected 55 of the 226 office-holding Greens nationwide. Other states with high numbers of Green elected officials include Pennsylvania (31), Wisconsin (23), Massachusetts (18) and Maine (17). Maine has the highest per capita number of Green elected officials in the country and the largest Green registration percentage with more than 29,273 Greens comprising 2.95% of the electorate as of November 2006[update]. Madison, Wisconsin is the city with the most Green elected officials (8), followed by Portland, Maine (7).
The 2016 presidential campaign of Jill Stein got substantive support from counties and precincts with a high percentage of Native American population. For instance, in Sioux County (North Dakota, 84,1% Native American), Stein gained her best county-wide result: 10.4% of the votes. In Rolette County (also North Dakota, 77% Native American), she got 4.7% of the votes. Other majority Native American counties where Stein did above state average are Menominee (WI), Roosevelt (MT) and several precincts in Alaska.
In 2005, the Green Party had 305,000 registered members in states allowing party registration and tens of thousands of members and contributors in the rest of the country. One challenge that the Green Party (as well as other third parties) faces is the difficulty of overcoming ballot access laws in many states, yet the Green Party has active state parties in all but a few states.
As of October 2016[update], 143 officeholders in the United States were affiliated with the Green Party, the majority of them in California, several in Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with five or fewer in ten other states. These included one mayor and one deputy mayor and fourteen county or city commissioners (or equivalent). The remainder were members of school boards, clerks and other local administrative bodies and positions.
Several Green Party members have been elected to state-level office, though not always as affiliates of the party. John Eder was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, re-elected in 2004, but defeated in 2006. Audie Bock was elected to the California State Assembly in 1999, but switched her registration to independent seven months later running as such in the 2000 election. Richard Carroll was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008, but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election. Fred Smith was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012, but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014. In 2010, former Green Party leader Ben Chipman was elected to the Maine House of Representatives as an unenrolled candidate and was re-elected in 2012 and 2014. He has since registered as a Democrat, and is serving in the Maine Senate.
Gayle McLaughlin was twice elected mayor of Richmond, California, defeating two Democrats in 2006 and then reelected in 2010; and elected to City Council in 2014 after completing her second term as mayor. With a population of over 100,000 people, it was the largest American city with a Green mayor. Fairfax, California; Arcata, California; Sebastopol, California; and New Paltz, New York are the only towns in the United States to have had a Green Party majority in their town councils. Twin Ridges Elementary in Nevada County, California held the first Green Party majority school board in the United States.
On September 21, 2017, Ralph Chapman, a member of the Maine House of Representatives, switched his party registration from unaffiliated to Green, providing the Green Party with their first state-level representative since 2014. Henry John Bear became a member of the Green Party in the same year as Chapman, giving the Maine Green Independent Party and GPUS its second currently-serving state representative, though Bear is a nonvoting tribal member of the Maine House of Representatives.
Though several Green congressional candidates have topped 20%, no nominee of the Green Party has been elected to office in the federal government. In 2016, Mark Salazar set a new record for a Green Party nominee for Congress. Running in the Arizona 8th district against incumbent Republican Congressman Trent Franks, Salazar received 93,954 votes or 31.43%.
List of national conventions and annual meetings
The Green National Convention is scheduled in presidential election years and the Annual National Meeting is scheduled in other years. The Green National Committee conducts business online between these in-person meetings.
- 1996 – Los Angeles, California
- 2000 – Denver, Colorado
- 2001 – Santa Barbara, California
- 2002 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
- 2003 – Washington, D.C.
- 2004 – Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- 2005 – Tulsa, Oklahoma
- 2006 – Tucson, Arizona
- 2007 – Reading, Pennsylvania
- 2008 – Chicago, Illinois
- 2009 – Durham, North Carolina
- 2010 – Detroit, Michigan
- 2011 – Alfred, New York
- 2012 – Baltimore, Maryland
- 2013 – Iowa City, Iowa
- 2014 – Saint Paul, Minnesota
- 2015 – St. Louis, Missouri
- 2016 – Houston, Texas
- 2017 – Newark, New Jersey
- 2018 – Salt Lake City, Utah
- 2019 – Salem, Massachusetts
- 2020 – Virtual Online (originally planned for Detroit, Michigan prior to COVID-19 pandemic)
Presidential ballot access
|History of Green Party ballot access by state or territory|
|States & D.C.||22 (14)||44 (4)||28 (14)||33 (10)||37 (6)||45 (3)||24 +|
|Electoral votes||239 (200)[b]||481 (32)||294 (201)[c]||413 (68)||439 (47)[d]||480 (42)||305+|
|Alabama||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Alaska||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Arizona||(write-in)||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|Connecticut||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|District of Columbia||On ballot|
|Georgia||Not on ballot||(write-in)||TBD|
|Idaho||Not on ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|Illinois||(write-in)||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|Kansas||(write-in)||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|Kentucky||(write-in)||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Mississippi||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|Missouri||(write-in)||On ballot||Not on ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|Montana||Not on ballot||On ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|Nebraska||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Nevada||On ballot||Not on ballot||TBD|
|New Hampshire||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|New Jersey||On ballot||TBD|
|New Mexico||On ballot|
|New York||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|North Carolina||(write-in)||Not on ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|North Dakota||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Ohio||(write-in)||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|Oklahoma||Not on ballot||TBD|
|Pennsylvania||(write-in)||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|Rhode Island||On ballot||TBD|
|South Carolina||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|South Dakota||Not on ballot||TBD|
|Tennessee||Not on ballot||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|Texas||(write-in)||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|Utah||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|Vermont||On ballot||Not on ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|Virginia||Not on ballot||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot||TBD|
|West Virginia||Not on ballot||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|Wyoming||Not on ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
- 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns were prior to formation of GPUS but campaign was endorsed by existing state Green Parties and predecessors ASGP and G/GPUSA.
- Electoral vote allocation for 1996 and 2000 based on 1990 census.
- Electoral vote allocation for 2004 and 2008 based on 2000 census.
- Electoral vote allocation for 2012, 2016 and 2020 based on 2010 census.
President and Vice President
|Year||Presidential nominee||Home state||Previous positions||Vice presidential nominee||Home state||Previous positions||Votes||Notes|
|Connecticut||Nominee for President of the United States (1996)||
|Minnesota||Nominee for Vice President of the United States (1996)||2,882,955 (2.7%)
Nominee for Attorney General of Texas
|Pat LaMarche||Maine||Nominee for Governor of Maine
|Georgia||Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 11th district
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 4th district
|New York||Community organizer||161,797 (0.1%)
|Massachusetts||Nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
Nominee for Massachusetts's 9th Middlesex State House of Representatives district
Member of the Lexington Town Meeting (2005–2011)
Nominee for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
Nominee for Sheriff of Philadelphia
|Massachusetts||(see above for previous positions)
Nominee for President of the United States
- Nader was not formally nominated by the party itself, but he did receive the endorsement of a large number of state parties and is considered as the de facto Green Party candidate.
- In Iowa and Vermont, Anne Goeke was Nader's running mate, in New Jersey it was Madelyn Hoffman and in New York it was Muriel Tillinghast.
- Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, a Green, ran an independent campaign and received 0.4% of the vote; however, they were not affiliated with the Green Party.
- Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez, a Green, ran an independent campaign and received 0.6% of the vote, but they were not affiliated with the Green Party.
- While Stein and Baraka did not receive any electoral votes, Green Winona LaDuke received one vote for Vice President from a Washington faithless elector; the presidential vote went to Faith Spotted Eagle, a Democrat.
House of Representatives
|Election year||No. of overall votes||% of overall vote||No. of overall seats won||+/-|
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
|Election year||No. of overall votes||% of overall vote||No. of overall seats won||+/-|
0 / 34
0 / 34
0 / 34
0 / 33
0 / 33
0 / 37
0 / 33
0 / 33
0 / 33
0 / 33
Fundraising and position on Super PACs
In the early decades of Green organizing in the United States, the prevailing American system of money-dominated elections was universally rejected by Greens, so that some Greens were reluctant to have Greens participate in the election system at all because they deemed the campaign finance system inherently corrupt. Other Greens felt strongly that the Green Party should develop in the electoral arena and many of these Greens felt that adopting an alternative model of campaign finance, emphasizing self-imposed contribution limits, would present a wholesome and attractive contrast to the odious campaign finance practices of the money-dominated major parties.
Over the years, some state Green parties have come to place less emphasis on the principle of self-imposed limits than they did in the past. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that Green Party fundraising (for candidates' campaigns and for the party itself) still tends to rely on relatively small contributions and that Greens generally decry not only the rise of the Super PACs, but also the big-money system, which some Greens criticize as plutocracy.
Some Greens feel that the Green Party's position should be simply to follow the laws and regulations of campaign finance. Other Greens argue that it would injure the Green Party not to practice a principled stand against the anti-democratic influence of money in the political process. Candidates for office, like Jill Stein, the 2012 and 2016 Green Party nominee for the President of the United States, typically rely on smaller donations to fund their campaigns.
State and territorial parties
The following is a list of accredited state parties which comprise the Green Party of the United States.
- Green Party of Alaska
- Arizona Green Party
- Green Party of Arkansas
- Green Party of California
- Green Party of Colorado
- Connecticut Green Party
- Green Party of Delaware
- D.C. Statehood Green Party
- Green Party of Florida
- Green Party of Montana
- Green Party of Hawaii
- Idaho Green Party
- Illinois Green Party
- [[Indiana Green Party]]
- Iowa Green Party
- Kansas Green Party
- Kentucky Green Party
- Green Party of Louisiana
- Maine Green Independent Party
- Maryland Green Party
- Green-Rainbow Party (Massachusetts)
- Green Party of Michigan
- Green Party of Minnesota
- Green Party of Mississippi
- Green Party of New York
- Nebraska Green Party
- Green Party of New Jersey
- North Carolina Green Party
- Green Party of Ohio
- Green Party of Oklahoma
- Pacific Green Party (Oregon)
- Green Party of Pennsylvania
- Green Party of Rhode Island
- South Carolina Green Party
- Green Party of Tennessee
- Green Party of Texas
- Vermont Green Party
- Green Party of Virginia
- Green Party of Washington State
- Mountain Party (West Virginia)
- Wisconsin Green Party
- 2020 Green Party presidential primaries
- List of state Green Parties in the United States
- List of political parties in the United States
- Progressivism in the United States
- Ajamu Baraka
- Ellen Brown
- Peter Camejo
- Rosa Clemente
- Mike Feinstein
- Paul Glover
- Matt Gonzalez
- Daniel Hamburg
- Howie Hawkins
- Angela Walker
- Dario Hunter
- Ben Manski
- Cynthia McKinney
- Brent McMillan
- Ross Mirkarimi
- Kent Warner Smith
- Charlotte Pritt
- Dona Spring
- Charlene Spretnak
- Jill Stein
- Kevin Zeese
- Margaret Flowers
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