Rural Greens Caucus—GPUS

Rural Greens are a diverse group with much intersectionality but we have in common a unique set of difficulties not shared so much by residents of cities and towns. Let’s carve us a place in the GPUS so we can find ways to talk about our experience and advocate for our needs, concerns, and evolving ideas and strategies. [We need, minimum, 100 greens (names and addresses) that are members of the Green party, across 15 states.]

Contact C.J. Sellers CynthiaJSellers@gmail.com

Connect at the Facebook page: @ruralgreencaucus

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INITIAL OVERVIEW

Rules

“5: Criteria for Identity Caucus Membership in the GPUS

The Caucus must:
5.a: Accept of the four pillars of the international Green Party movement [ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, non-violence], or the GPUS’s Ten Key Values, as guiding principles.
5.b: Be organized and run in accordance with these values.
5.c: Be open to and reflective of natural members of the Identity Caucus.
5.d: Have held at least one meeting and will continue to hold such meetings not less than annually.
5.e: Have elected its leadership and delegates in a democratic and transparent manner.
5.f.: Agree to support national candidates selected at the national Green Nominating Convention.
5.g: Maintain a current list of at least 100 members in 15 state parties with name, address and their state party membership.
5.h. Represent a historically disenfranchised or underrepresented and significant sector of the population.”

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Logic & Justification for a “Rural Green Caucus”

My (C.J.Sellers’) standpoint on why a Rural Green Caucus should be approved:

The need for a rural Greens caucus is caused by the GPUS itself.

Historically disenfranchised: rural Greens have been disenfranchised in their area since the start of the GPUS. Most GP members are concentrated in cities. In rural areas, we deal with more Republicans who see us as extremists and treehuggers. It’s sometimes very difficult for a rural green to connect to any other green in their area. In my county council district, my Republican councilor has run unopposed many times. This very same area has tried to secede from the county and failed over a Supreme Court ruling. The county just voted to take away our right to vote for our sheriff and defunded the sheriff department by 50%. We already had a severe lack of coverage. If theft happens where I live, if it’s under 10k, they won’t come. That means someone can steal my car, robbing me of my means to earn a living, basically destroy my life and it’s not their problem. On top of that preexisting situation, they defunded the sheriff. I live in Seattle metro area and it’s almost an hour to the nearest hospital. I have to drive at least a half hour to buy a stitch of clothing… How do I survive without a car, now compounded by no income to buy a new one or move…

Historically underrepresented: It’s harder to get on a state council because what would you have to show as a win as a green? If you accomplish anything at the local level, it was probably something you joined, not started or led. It’s farther distance to the nearest Green event or meeting. You may have to pay tolls to get there but others don’t. Sedinam Moyowasifza-Curry told me she’s a fifth generation farmer. On one level, it’s a lifestyle choice, on another level, it’s who you are and your community and tradition. People can’t always toss that aside for whatever pays most anywhere in the world. We end up where we are for lots of reasons, but choice should not be a criteria that disqualifies rural Greens from forming a legitimate caucus. Women are among the caucuses and many women are very well off. The bar is set by those that are harmed by their identity: in this case being a Green in a rural area. There’s no good in pretending it doesn’t matter. We who live in rural areas face it every day and the accompanying pressure to belong to our rural communities and not be an outsider just because we’re greens. That’s pressure to abandon the GP and take those values to the Democratic Party, which is less of a minority.

Significant sector of the population: We’re in every state in mostly unincorporated areas of counties where we have less say in how our taxes are spent or what rules and laws are made that affect us. Rural people in general may have hardships. Some may be intersectional like unemployment, water and air quality, and poverty, but some are just rural (like no public utilities, food deserts, no internet…)

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Here’s an opportunity to change our tack as a party from being seen as the “extremists” in the region: Rural areas are where our food comes from, except Americans can’t get a living wage doing it unless subsidized and are they fairly allocated? Factory farms seem to win. Remember Farm Aid? The concert for drawing attention to the plight of family farms? When is the last time anyone talked about that? Like the wars, newer generations accept it as a normal. Our food is produced and shipped from far away to arrive on the produce aisle even while it’s in season and grown by neighbors. The shipped food is usually GMO and lacks genetic diversity. Rural farmers were even pushed out of the organic food industry by similar economic machinations. What can we advocate for to bring food back to locally/family farm produced? That’s just one thing. Once this list of members gets larger, we’ll have a lot more to say.

C.J.Sellers
Candidate for
King County Council,
District 3