Pacific Greens met in convention to discuss whether to give more weight to consensus or grassroots activism. Should small local chapters be able to use the party name in COVID-related protest events, and should chapters be as small as three persons?
Party members at the convention voted for consensus and larger groups. Elected to the State Coordinating Committee (SCC), Amanda Trujillo.
[00:00:22] Amanda Trujillo: Well, my paying job is in healthcare. I’ve worked in healthcare for 25 years. I’m a quality improvement consultant. I’m also, because of short staffing, managing a clinic out in Canby. I also own a gym, so I’m a small business owner. And then in my free time I run a bail fund, Portland Freedom Fund in the Portland Metro area, mostly. So I do a lot of abolitionist work. I work with Portland ABC, the anarchists here, all the way to Oregon DA For The People that did campaigns to educate folks on the role of the DA and making sure people vote for that. So I have a lot of organizing experience across different areas, and with different kinds of groups where it feels successful, and I’m hoping that the Green Party is ready to do that.
[00:01:05] John Q: A champion of small chapters, Dan Pulju asked her position on consensus.
[00:01:10] Dan Pulju: Hi Amanda. Sorry to ask a tough question, but I want to suss out your position on what the SCC’s role is and whether the SCC has “authority” to be appointing admins for local chapters, and under what conditions is it appropriate to start threatening to disaffiliate a chapter or to remove supporting membership, et cetera, et cetera.
[00:01:35] John Q: Amanda said the party name should be used only for consensus positions.
[00:01:39] Amanda Trujillo: I think there should be a process where people or chapters can be censored to an extent of like, we don’t agree with this and we are censoring you. Like publicly, ‘This is not what PGP stands for or the Green Party nationally,’ or whatever. I’m just going to go to the mandates because it sounds like that seems to be the biggest thing right now. I’m not for mandates. However, especially since I work in healthcare and we deal with many, many sick patients, if you’re going to work at our facilities, you will be vaccinated. That’s been my life for— I’ve had to do Hep B. I have to do flu every year. Those sorts of things. That’s the part of protecting our patients. You can choose to do another job if you’re not going to do that. Same with school vaccines.
[00:02:19] John Q: Another top vote-getter was incumbent Justin Filip.
[00:02:23] Justin Filip: I just want to help guide the party, ‘cause that is what the SCC is tasked with. We’re there to provide some guidance for the party statewide. I’m pretty proud of the decision-making of the SCC in my time there, I feel the current group has been good to work with, and that’s what we should be looking for in any candidate. If we want to get anything done, it will require some teamwork. I think our decision making has been sound and we’ve really only endorsed or attached the party name to causes that we all agree on and we have consensus.
[00:02:51] With people that I don’t agree with, I think I can be trusted to be fair and let them have their voice. I don’t always agree with Chuck Fall, for instance, but I respect him and I think he deserves to have his issues heard just as anyone else would. So we want to make sure that he has his time in this convention and I would do the same for anybody.
[00:03:10] Randy Prince: What would you identify as a top issue that would set the Greens out as leaders in creative political thinking?
[00:03:19] Justin Filip: A couple of things are already gaining traction, campaign finance reform, The people’s rebate, these are things that we have been pushing for a while so I think we could put our efforts into that to push it over the top with the legislature.
[00:03:31] The housing issue, definitely a huge one down here in Eugene, where I live. I volunteer with Egan Warming Center and I’ve used our Facebook page to promote that here. Obviously we need to be pursuing some more systemic solutions to these problems, but in the meantime, if we can build some goodwill and help out the community by being a stop gap mutual aid, I think we owe it to the community to do that. We as Greens need to do what we can, where we can.
[00:03:59] Connor Salisbury: I’ve previously served on the SCC and I volunteer and have a political science background. I was originally attracted to join the Greens to help with voting reform because of the problems that voters have with the two-party system.
[00:04:17] Randy Prince: What issue do you think Greens should advance and what strategies should we take in the now vacant Fourth Congressional District?
[00:04:25] Connor Salisbury: Certainly I would look at the Oregon People’s Rebate 2022 effort. That kind of kitchen table economics I think would really do well with people in places like Coquille and these little towns and it would also play well definitely in larger cities, like Coos Bay proper and Eugene. Universal public health care. Both of those things I think would be good unifying issues to act as a sort of a point of the campaign.
[00:04:53] Denise Massey: I joined the Pacific Green Party in 2016 and you know, I just couldn’t cast a vote for the lesser of two evils one more time. But the Green Party values align strongly with mine. I was not willing to compromise my beliefs anymore. And that’s where I’m at these days.
[00:05:18] I was a teen parent in 1990-1991. I was forced to drop out of high school because I was pregnant. And I found a high school that would let me finish, they had a teen parent program. So whether you were a boy or a girl that had a child, you were welcome at this high school, which at the time, it was Churchill High School here in Eugene, Oregon, so that young parents wouldn’t be, um, ostracized from, you know, the rest of society and the less marginalized. And we had to fight really hard for funding for that program. So my program coordinator and teacher asked me to come with her to the state Capitol and make some statements to help get funding for another year at our school and to help other schools open up programs across the state that were like Churchill’s, that were modeled after that.
[00:06:15] And later in life, I did start college to go into advocacy for abused children and so on, but I didn’t get to finish. I’m supporting myself as an adult. And it’s a hard road and myself and children. I don’t have a lot of family support and so on. So I’m just trying to get back into it and make the change that this world needs to just bring about more equality for everybody across the board.
[00:06:45] John Q: Addressing the conflict over COVID-related policy, Chuck Fall.
[00:06:49] Chuck Fall: I am interested in being on the SCC to work with people but my passions really are the media and, to heal this divide and find a way to get the Green Party moving forward in a strong way. I have this issue of a Green Liberty Caucus and that is what I’m going to put energy into. I want to foster dialogue and getting us to understand where we agree to disagree and where we don’t agree, but finding ways around this so we’re not blocked and so we can grow the movement. So I have a lot of ideas about that, mostly embedded in the idea of building out a Green Liberty Caucus.
[00:07:26] Randy Prince: Chuck, how do you feel about the income tax— federal, state tax on incomes, and how do you feel about a carbon tax?
[00:07:36] Chuck Fall: Thumbs up on carbon tax. Thumbs up on super-rich 0.0001 percent tax. There’s a great committee at the national level, the Banking Monetary Committee, their guys are fantastic. We need to be strongly aligned with them. They speak to these issues of monetary reform. And so I’m definitely pro-carbon tax. I do believe in using that to direct the economy away from carbon stuff.
[00:08:01] John Q: Amanda, Justin, Connor, Denise, and Chuck will help lead the Pacific Green Party into the 2022 elections. For more, see PacificGreens.org.