Green Imagination

Your Blog for Sharing Green Ideas.

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Time for Reflection

As some of you may know, I've just had a baby (well, my wife and I had her). Since becoming a dad, I've stepped down from all of my responsibilities for the Maryland Green Party. With time away from state party politics, I've had a chance to reflect on my experiences with the MGP over the past two years.

Recently, there's been a few comments on the Village Green, the MGP's main listserve. I've responded to them and am reposting the response here:

After 2 years of working w/in the MGP in various functions, I have to say that people are very quick to say "The MGP should do (insert action)" but very slow to say, "I can do (insert action) for the MGP." For those less involved in the state party, it's sometimes easy to have an inaccurate idea of what is or should be going on at the state level.

Just like some of our locals, the state party is strapped for cash. And, just like some of our locals, the state party is also strapped for human resources. In my 2 years of attending CC meetings almost every month, only a few times did Greens from Frederick or other outlying areas of MD attend (sorry Whitney).

The result is a real dearth of activism at the state level. The MGP has about 10 different committees. Sadly, only a few of them are active and the ones that are active are not fully staffed. Ideally, it'd be great to have at least one person from each local on each committee. Having convened a committee myself, it is next to impossible to get volunteers from locals to assist (for those who don't know me, I convened the Public Relations committee for approximately one year).

Not only are committees understaffed, but it makes it very difficult for the state Coordinating Committee to, well, coordinate. If locals are not reporting back to the CC, the CC cannot help locals grow. It's a symbiotic relationship (or should be IMO).

Another result of being short human resources is being short of fundraising. It takes time and energy to do this. We can spend plenty of time coming up with great fundraising ideas, but if no one takes the lead they are just thoughts going out into the ether of the universe.

So, the next time someone is tempted to say that the MGP should be doing fundraising, that person should instead be thinking, "How can I do fundraising for the MGP?"

This doesn't even touch on the issue of some members' attitudes about money or how the MGP can maintain its ethical beliefs about money and politics and still be a functional political organization. Frankly, it doesn't even matter which side of that debate you fall on. Why? Because there's not enough money coming into the MGP for it to really matter (at least, since my last CC several months ago--Beth, feel free to correct me if I'm wrong).

And on that note, I'd like to encourage everyone to make a donation of either time or money! With another record breaking year of candidates on the ballot and a monstrous amount of petitioning in front of us, the MGP needs YOUR HELP!

So, what are you waiting for? Donate time and/or money!


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