Cynthia McKinney won the Green Party of the United States presidential nomination at the July 12 GP-US Convention in Chicago. McKinney, a former Member of Congress from Georgia, received 313 of 532 first round votes to earn nomination by Greens delegates from across the country excited that she will be their standard bearer this year. Hip-hop activist and journalist Rosa Clemente was selected to be the vice-presidential candidate of the Greens.
McKinney served six terms representing DeKalb County’s 4th Congressional District before moving to California and becoming a Green. About 800 Greens are attending the convention at the Chicago Symphony Center.
Clemente said she accepted McKinney’s invitation to be her running mate because she believes the former Georgia Congresswoman’s platform addresses issues not addressed by Republican John McCain and Democrat Barack Obama.
“I chose to do this, not for me, but for my generation, my community and my daughter,” said Clemente, 35, in the statement. “I don’t see the Green Party as an alternative, I see it as imperative.”
The Green Party Presidential Candidate Forum was held tonight in at the Green Party US Annual Meeting/Convention at the Palmer House in Chicago. It was moderated by former Green Party of Illinois candidate for governor, Rich Whitney.
The large ballroom was packed with Greens, and interest shown by the large amount of media present. All four candidates for the Green presidential nomination were there. Numerous signs supporting the four candidates were present, including signs promoting Kent Mesplay in 2012.
The evening started with a brief speech from long announced VP candidate SKCM Curry. She got the audience going with a chant to paint the White House Green.
The four candidates were then introduced, and took their place on the stage.
Jesse Johnson, a West Virginia native, is an artist, performer and film maker, and was a Green Party United States Senate candidate. In 2004 he was the gubernatorial candidate for the Mountain Party of WV and received over 18,000 votes.
Following Jesse was Cynthia McKinney. Cynthia, from California, served as a Democrat in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003, and from 2005 to 2007, representing Georgia’s 4th Congressional District. She left the Democratic Party in September 2007 and on October 22, 2007, filed paperwork with the FEC creating an exploratory committee for a Green Party presidential campaign.
Next introduced was Kent Mesplay. Kent was a Green Party candidate for United States Senate from California in 2006. He also ran previously for the 2004 Green nomination for president. He currently works as an Air Quality Inspector at the Air Pollution Control District, in San Diego. Kent made it clear that he will be looking for the Green presidential nomination in the next campaign cycle in 2012.
Lastly there was Kat Swift, is a former co-chair of the Green Party of Texas, and spokesperson for the Green Party’s National Women’s Caucus. In 2007, Swift ran for City Council, District 1 in San Antonio, Texas finishing second of three candidates with 1,630 votes for 29.48% of the total vote. She has been an active green since late 1999 (the birth year of Green Party of Texas), and was the top petition gatherer in Bexar County, Texas 2000 & 2006.
Each candidate gave five minute speeches, and answered a number of questions submitted from the audience.
A couple of good lines (more to come).
“We’re the ones that are going to create the change we want to see. ” – Kat Swift
In answer to a question about what the candidates’ energy policy would be, “War is not going to be my energy policy.” – Cynthia McKinney
“We can not consume our way to a sustainable culture.” – Kent Mesplay
Well the Green Party Annual Meeting is underway in Chicago. On Thursday there were workshops and meetings of GP-US committees as well as state caucuses. The Presidential Nominating Convention is all day Saturday at the Chicago Symphony Center.
There are more workshops and caucuses scheduled for today, as well as Platform Hearings this morning (the Convention also votes on the GP-US platform). This afternoon the Green National Committee meets. The main items seem to be committee reports and the election of Steering Committee members (co-chairs and a treasurer).
At 7 pm there is the Presidential Candidate Forum. I had hoped to be able to blog live from there, but with limited phone and wifi access from the Palmer Hotel, this seems not likely (unless something changes). We will see about blogging from the Symphony Center from the convention.
Not a lot of news yet. Rosa Clemente being Cynthia McKinney’s VP pick was creating some buzz. I’m both a GNC representative from NY, and a delegate to the convention, so I’ll post updates of interest. -RS