Greens from around the country get together in person every year in different locations. State parties put forward proposals to host the meeting, which are approved by the National Committee (NC).
Every four years, we have a Presidential Nominating Convention (PNC). State parties send delegations carrying votes for various Presidential candidates, which may have been chosen through a primary or, for states without official ballot status, some other internal process.
In non-Presidential years, we hold an Annual National Meeting (ANM). We generally don't make decisions at this meeting. Most of our internal business is conducted through online votes.
It's important to us that people of all income levels can attend. Registration for our meetings is always low-cost, there are generally low-cost housing and food options, and we offer waivers to some low-income members.
At both the PNC and the ANM, there are many opportunities for Green activists and people who just want to learn more about the Party. Activities include:
- Skill-building workshops
- Issue-oriented workshops
- Keynote speakers
- National delegate meetings
- Space for committees and caucuses to meet
- Participation in local activist events
- Visits from international Greens
Annual National Meetings of the Green Party of the United States
2021 Virtual Annual National Meeting
2020 Virtual Annual National Meeting & Presidential Nominating Convention
2019 Annual National Meeting Salem, MA
2018 Annual National Meeting Salt Lake City, UT
2017 Annual National Meeting Newark, NJ
2016 Annual National Meeting & Presidential Nominating Convention Houston, TX
2015 Annual National Meeting St Louis, MO
2014 Annual National Meeting St. Paul, MN
2013 Annual National Meeting Iowa City, IA
2012 Annual National Meeting & Presidential Nominating Convention. Baltimore, MD
2011 Annual National Meeting Alfred, NY
2010 Annual National Meeting Detroit, MI
2009 Annual National Meeting Durham, NC
2008 Annual National Meeting & Presidential Nominating Convention Chicago, IL
2007 Annual National Meeting Reading, PA
2006 Annual National Meeting Tucson, AZ
2005 Annual National Meeting Tulsa, OK
2004 Annual National Meeting & Presidential Nominating Convention Milwaukee, WI
2003 National Conference Washington, DC.
2002 National Midterm Convention Philadelphia, PA
2001 Founding meeting of the Green Party of the United States Santa Barbara, CA
Meetings of the Association of State Green Parties
2000 Association of State Green Parties Haiwassee, GA
2000 Association of State Green Parties Presidential Nominating Convention, Denver, CO
1999 Association of State Green Parties Moodus, CT
1998 Association of State Green Parties Santa Fe, NM
1997 Association of State Green Parties Topsham, ME
1997 Association of State Green Parties Portland, OR
1996 Association of State Green Parties Founding Meeting, Middleburg, VA
Meetings before the founding of the Association of State Green Parties
1996 Green Party Presidential Convention, Los Angeles, CA
This manual has been assembled to provide participants with a common basis for developing effective group decision-making techniques.
It is hoped that it will be useful both as a means of orientation for new participants and as a reference for veterans. This manual is intended to provide a point to develop from.
Input and suggestions are needed and requested. Modification and improvement of this manual should be an ongoing process. Most of the concepts presented herein originated in other groups. The democratic consensus method of group problem solving has a long history. Quakers have used it for over 300 years. John Dewey developed a more scientifically oriented approach in the 1930s. Recently, the Movement for a New Society has developed some very useful guidelines and the Center for Conflict Resolution has also done some excellent work.
The following text is divided into two parts: Functionaries and Process. The first deals with duties the members of the group may perform to help make the meeting run more smoothly.
The Process section is mostly a menu of techniques to be used as needed to make decisions in a large group.
Nothing is "set in concrete." Everything presented herein can and should be modified when necessary to make it more useful in any given situation.
The Greens have traditionally used four types of functionaries: facilitators, co-facilitators, notekeepers, timekeepers, and process observers. Their roles are reviewed below.
Basically, they act as a conductor for the meeting. Orchestrating the flow of input is their primary task.
Other tasks include: calling the group back to the agenda, keeping member comments short and to the point, restating comments for clarity as needed, applying various processes and rules when appropriate, being attentive to the needs and input of the timekeepers, notekeepers, process observers, starting and stopping the meeting on time, and generally keeping things moving along at a timely pace.
In some situations (large meetings, highly charged issues, inexperienced facilitators, etc.), it is helpful to have a backup facilitator. The two co-facilitators can then divide the duties and stress to make a difficult situation more manageable.
Facilitators must remain non-partisan and objective. If they percieve a conflict of interest or become emotionally charged by a particularly intense exchange or agenda item, they should relinquish to a co-facilitator for a "cooling-off" period.
They do exactly what you would expect them to do. Occasionally, they may have to keep track of several things at once. For example, timing a general agenda segment, a subsegment's overrun period, and the length of a speaker's comment. Or, if the sense of the meeting is more informal, they may only be keeping track of an agenda segment's starting and stopping time.
Generally, the use of visual signals to indicate how much time remains is best since it does not interfere with the spoken information flow. A gentle sound the group recognizes is a fairly unobtrusive way to let the group know when a time limit has been reached. If that signal is ignored, the timekeeper may need to become vocal.
These functionaries are objective observers. They are not directly part of the discussion so they are in a position to catch things those more closely involved may miss.
They are attuned to the emotional climate of the meeting and should keep track of moods, point out "hidden agenda", individual power struggles, role playing, extrinsic conflicts (conflicts not related to the discussion item), etc. when they become impediments to the group's progress.
Often when groups go awry and the atmosphere becomes tense, it is because the agreed upon process has subtly broken down thereby creating frustrations. An outside observer can sometimes more easily spot these breakdowns and bring them to the attention of the group.
Process observers inject their comments when necessary and are called upon during the evaluation phase of a meeting to present their general observations.
If meetings are recorded on audiotape, the tasks for the notekeeper become more focused as a result. The facilitator should indicate when the group has reached a decision by consensus or vote and this decision should be recorded by the notekeeper. These decisions can then be read back as needed during the meeting. The general content of major discussions should also be so noted.
The minutes should be typed up (best on disk) and sent to the appropriate local, regional, or state GPA organization in a timely manner.
As an aid to the notekeeper, a proposal that is adopted by the group should be written up in its final form and submitted to the notekeeper for inclusion in the minutes by the delegate making the proposal. This guarantees that all agreed upon items get included and frees the notekeeper for other duties.
Notekeepers, in whatever format is most appropriate, list ideas generated during brainstorming, list names during "stacking" (see Process), and post other relevant data so it is visible to the entire group during discussion. The co-facilitator may more efficiently provide some of these functions, if one is present.
There are a variety of process mechanisms that groups using consensus decision making may apply. The appropriateness of each is unique to each group and each situation. They should be selected and applied only as need dictates.
Assuming a suggested agenda has been assembled by a working group prior to the meeting (a recommended procedure), a copy of that agenda should be posted on large sheets of newsprint or on a blackboard so it is easily visible to everyone at the meeting. The entire agenda should then be reviewed by the group with presenters providing clarification as needed. The facilitator should then call for limited discussion to arrive at: the appropriateness of the initial items on the agenda, those items to be added or deleted, the order of the items, the amount of time each item should be allotted, and, if necessary, the priority of the items.
Everyone should position themselves wherever they feel most comfortable in a circle (the preferred configuration for effective communication) and introduce themselves, stating their names, the group they belong to, and their status at the meeting, ie, voting member, delegate, observer,etc.
In a large group format, several formalized processes have been used successfully to help make the discussion process workable. The process of stacking is a means of ordering members' input. Those wishing to speak raise their hands. The facilitator generally uses body language to acknowledge them, and either logs the order mentally or, perhaps with assistance from the notekeeper or co-facilitator, records them on a list and they are called in that order. This helps equalize participation. Periodically, the facilitator may wish to state the order of the stack or inform the group of the number of people in the stack.
There are variations and exceptions. Generally, no participant should speak twice on an issue until all participants wishing to do so have had an opportunity to speak. However, when discussion is heated, people often become too eager to speak or respond to allow proper attention to be paid to other's input. In this instance, "limited exchange" can be allowed afer the person in the stack has spoken. The facilitator, however, must carefully guide it so that it doesn't get out of hand. When a "limited exchange" should be terminated, the facilitator so indicates and calls on the next person in the stack.
Other allowed interruptions in the stacking process or in general discussion include "point of information", "point of clarity", and "point of process." If a participant has information unknown to the rest of the group that is immediately relevant and necessary to what a speaker is saying, that participant should interrupt by saying, "point of information". The facilitator should then allow that participant to briefly and concisely present their strictly informational, non-opinionated input. Following this interruption, the regular sequence of discussion is resumed.
If a participant is unclear about what has been said or what is going on and interrupts with "point of clarity", the facilitator may suspend discussion briefly to respond to that participant's question. If the facilitator is unable to clear up the confusion, another participant may be recognized to briefly offer the necessary information. This allows the participant seeking clarity to be brought up to speed so their input can be included in the ongoing discussion. Once the issue is resolved, or reasonable effort has been expended trying to do so, the facilitator should direct the group back to the regular sequence of discussion.
The call for "point of process" should come from any participant who sees a problem developing due to the process breakdown. Once recognized by the facilitator, the participant should briefly indicate what "point of process" is involved (such as an impending time limit, straying from the topic, dealing with a non-agenda item, etc.) and offer a proposed solution.
When an issue is hot and everyone wants to address it, the facilitator may need to impose time limits. Generally, limiting each speaker to one or two minutes forces speakers to be concise, emphasize only the most important ideas, and not dwell on long, rhetorical arguments or rebuttals.
Proposals may come complete from a single author, group, committee, or may be formed through discussion and brainstorming during the meeting.
During discussion of a particular item, a "sense of the meeting" often emerges that can be put into words. When a participant feels that it would be helpful, s/he should state their
understanding of the "sense" as a proposal. A proposer should have the proposal written out for clarity.
CALLING THE QUESTION
When the facilitator or any participant of the meeting feels that discussion is complete and no new input is forthcoming, s/he may say "call the question." The facilitator should briefly restate the proposal or decision at hand, check to see that there is general agreement on calling the question, and ask, "Is there any call for clarification?" If there is no call for clarification, the facilitator will ask, "Is there any call for concern?" Participants should clearly indicate their position either with body language or vocally so that the facilitator has no difficulty determining the sense of the meeting. If there are no questions or concerns, consensus has been reached and should be so recorded. The facilitator should then move the group on to the next item. If there are questions and concerns, discussion should continue.
CALL FOR CLARIFICATION
The facilitator will state the proposal and ask if there is any call for clarification. Questions about the proposal are answered during this part of the process, concerns are saved for later discussion. Once the group is satisfied that the proposal is clearly understood, the facilitator will ask if there is any call for concern.
CALL FOR CONCERN
The facilitator will re-state the proposal and ask if there is any call for concern regarding the proposal as stated.
A concern is a statement of how the proposal as stated might conflict with the group's stated purpose and shared values.
The facilitator will recognize those with concerns, distill the concerns into short phrases and list them on a blackboard or large easel.
Listing concerns in this manner helps the group focus on the concern, not the presenter or the person raising the concern.
Concerns should be impersonal.
After all the concerns have been listed, the facilitator will deal with each in turn to resolve the concerns through group discussion and friendly amendments.
Concerns are resolved as the proposal is explained or changed to address them.
To make consensus more easily attainable, it may be possible for a participant having difficulty accepting a proposal decision to offer a "friendly amendment" that expands somewhat on the original idea or changes it to a minor degree in a manner that satisfactorily addresses their concerns without altering the "sense of the meeting" on that issue. If accepted by the group, the friendly amendment should be worded into the proposal being discussed.
If, after further discussion, the proposal seems satisfactory, it should be carefully restated and the facilitator should call the question. The accepted proposal should then be written down by the proposer in its final form and submitted to the minute-taker for inclusion in the minutes.
STAND ASIDE / WITHDRAW
If, after reasonable discussion and exploration, the group cannot resolve the concerns through friendly amendments, then the facilitator should try to determine the depth of the concerns. The facilitator will ask if those with concern will stand aside to allow the proposal to pass. If not, the facilitator will ask the proposer if they will withdraw the proposal or the part raising concern to allow the proposal to pass. If not, the proposal shall be delegated to a committee of resolution.
COMMITTEE OF RESOLUTION
This smaller group should include skilled representatives of all sides of the issue who are acceptable to all members of the larger group. They may meet during a break or temporarily withdraw from the larger group, which should then occupy itself with some other relatively minor issue, and attempt to come to consensus. The resolution they develop is then carried back to the larger group and introduced for discussion and approval. It may be necessary to reconvene the smaller group for further attempts at achieving a workable solution before consensus can be reached.
If the committee of resolution or group absolutely cannot reach consensus, then it should be determined if a decision must be made at this particular meeting. The facilitator will call for the group (voting members only) to vote on whether or not to defer the issue. If the vote to defer passes (2/3 for substantive issues, 50%+1 for procedural issues), the item should be postponed for consideration at a future meeting. If the vote to defer does not pass, the facilitator then calls for a vote, in place of the consensus process, to decide the issue. If the delegates vote to accept or reject the particular proposal (2/3 substansive, 50%+1 procedural), that decision becomes binding and is entered into the minutes. This process should be a last resort.
If the process is to improve, there must be an opportunity to review what went on and why and a time to suggest ways to make it work better next time.
A suggestion for a large group is for the Notekeeper to make a list on a blackboard or a large sheet of newsprint that the whole group can see. These headings should be placed at the top: a "-" on the left side, and a "+" on the right side. Then, in brainstorming fashion and without argumentation or discussion, list those things that did not work out well under "-" and those things that did go well under "+". After listing, the group should briefly discuss how to improve those items listed under "-" and, where necessary, ways of maintaining the "+" items. Suggestions and listings should be included in the minutes.
Consensus and voting
There are ongoing controversies in the Greens over the use of consensus versus voting. It is up to your local to decide your own decision-making processes. Here are some brief pros and cons for consensus voting.
Arguments for Consensus Arguments against Consensus Produces the highest-quality, most-acceptable decisions one person can hold a large group back from doing what it wants to decisions will be implemented more quickly and thoroughly because they are universally acceptable decisions get made by those who stay and talk the longest fully respects the rights of the minority favors the status quo in a group especially appropriate for groups or organizations with strong emphasis on cohesion or the status quo, or for decisions where the risks and consequences are extreme (major organizational changes, financial commitments,the Plowshares-type civil disobedience) dangerous illusion that unanimous decisions are perfect decisions—impossible in social change organizations where results of decisions can never be completely known beforehand a small minority of power-hungry people can manipulate the process and disempower the grassroots Arguments for Voting Arguments against Voting quicker, more efficient majority rule is totalitarian and coercive people can register their disagreement without being pressured to change their minds unhappy minorities will sabotage implementation more familiar to poor people, trade unionists, people of color often overlooks possible “win- win” compromises best way to decide questions where there is no status quo a small minority of power- hungry people can manipulate
the process and disempower the grassroots
best way to decide minor questions that won’t split the group
Everything we do is based on our four pillars.
We are grassroots activists, environmentalists, advocates for social justice, nonviolent resisters and regular citizens who’ve had enough of corporate-dominated politics. Government must be part of the solution, but when it’s controlled by the 1%, it’s part of the problem. The longer we wait for change, the harder it gets. Don’t stay home on election day. Vote Green!
Our country's long wars and worldwide military presence are immoral and unsustainable. Our military budget must be cut dramatically.
The human cost of climate change is too high. We need to get off fossil fuels and on to renewable energy.
Falling wages and rising bills are hitting most of us, and the most vulnerable are hit the hardest. We demand a living wage and a real safety net.
We demand public financing of elections, open debates, and more representative voting systems.
1. Grassroots Democracy
All human beings must be allowed a say in decisions that affect their lives; no one should be subject to the will of another. We work to improve public participation in every aspect of government and seek to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them. We also work to create new types of political organizations that expand the process of participatory democracy by directly including citizens in decision-making.
2. Social Justice And Equal Opportunity
As a matter of right, all persons must have the opportunity to benefit equally from the resources afforded us by society and the environment. We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, any discrimination by race, class, gender, sexual orientation, age, nationality, religion, or physical or mental ability that denies fair treatment and equal justice under the law.
3. Ecological Wisdom
Human societies must function with the understanding that we are part of nature, not separate from nature. We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet. We support a sustainable society that utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture that replenishes the soil, move to an energy-efficient economy, and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems.
It is essential that we develop effective alternatives to society's current patterns of violence. We will work to demilitarize and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naive about the intentions of other governments. We recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in danger. We promote non-violent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community and global peace.
Centralization of wealth and power contributes to social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. We seek a restructuring of social, political and economic institutions away from a system controlled by and mostly benefiting the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all.
6. Community-Based Economics
We support redesigning our work structures to encourage employee ownership and workplace democracy. We support developing new economic activities and institutions that allow us to use technology in ways that are humane, freeing, ecological, and responsive and accountable to communities. We support establishing a form of basic economic security open to all. We call for moving beyond the narrow 'job ethic' to new definitions of 'work,' 'jobs' and 'income' in a cooperative and democratic economy. We support restructuring our patterns of income distribution to reflect the wealth created by those outside the formal monetary economy – those who take responsibility for parenting, housekeeping, home gardens, community volunteer work, and the like. We support restricting the size and concentrated power of corporations without discouraging superior efficiency or technological innovation.
7. Feminism And Gender Equity
We have inherited a social system based on male domination of politics and economics. We call for the replacement of the cultural ethics of domination and control with cooperative ways of interacting that respect differences of opinion and gender. Human values such as gender equity, interpersonal responsibility, and honesty must be developed with moral conscience. We recognize that the processes for determining our decisions and actions are just as important as achieving the outcomes we want.
8. Respect For Diversity
We believe it is important to value cultural, ethnic, racial, sexual, religious and spiritual diversity, and to promote the development of respectful relationships across the human spectrum. We believe that the many diverse elements of society should be reflected in our organizations and decision-making bodies, and we support the leadership of people who have been traditionally closed out of leadership roles. We encourage respect for all life forms, and increased attention to the preservation of biodiversity.
9. Personal And Global Responsibility
We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal wellbeing and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet.
10. Future Focus And Sustainability
Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We seek to protect valuable natural resources, safely disposing of or 'unmaking' all waste we create, while developing a sustainable economics that does not depend on continual expansion for survival. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions. We must make the quality of all lives, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking and policy.
Diana Brown published Statement On Immigration Rights and Familiy Separations in Press Room 2021-09-04 21:00:19 -0400September 04, 2021
Latinx Caucus of the Green Party Statement on Immigrant Rights and Family Separations
July 18, 2018
The Latinx Caucus of the Green Party joins the chorus of condemnations of the egregious human rights violations that continue to be perpetrated at the US Mexico border and which have spread throughout America. Through his administration’s hateful policies towards people of color President Donald Trump has shown himself unfit to govern. In removing kids from their mothers and fathers to incarcerate them in “tender age” shelters as a “deterrent” to immigration the Trump administration ignores basic principles of human rights.
The very notion that the government of the United States of America would create an infrastructure for the mass removal of children from their parents is a profound human rights violation and a reprehensible affront to the dignity and morality of all Americans.
Despite the fact that the practice of removing children from their parents has supposedly ended, the Trump administration has failed to reunite thousands of children with their parents and continues a message of fear and hate by conducting immigration raids throughout the US. In June ICE conducted two immigration raids in Ohio where 264 workers were arrested. Some of these workers have already been deported, others are incarcerated many miles away from their kids. Over 60 underage children have been left without at least one parent.
While acknowledging the particular viciousness and hate being employed by the current administration we remind the American people of the long history of immigration abuses and of the decades of inaction on the reform of immigration laws by both democrat and republican administrations. President Trump has taken us to a new low but decades long U.S. policies of imperialism throughout the Americas has destabilized various countries and forced immigrants to seek safety here. In addition, Congress has failed repeatedly to create practical immigration policies that serve both workers and employers. Just immigration policies would acknowledge the right of migration of all peoples of the Americas and respect the unity of families as a fundamental human right.
The Latinx Caucus of the Green Party stands in support of the activists throughout the southern border states, and throughout the country who have launched grass roots efforts to stand in opposition to the heinous policies of the Current administration. These groups are serving all of us by protecting American values as they provide support and assistance to undocumented immigrants and their families. There are many Green activists of many races and ethnicities among these groups including members of the Harris County Green Party People of Color caucus which links Issues faced by all people of color.
September 04, 2021
Statement On The Shootings In El Paso, Texas
The Latinx Caucus of the Green Party expresses our deepest sympathy to the victims of the deplorable shooting in El Paso Texas and their families.
This shooting, yet another senseless act of violence that is part of an ongoing epidemic of gun violence, was focused towards Latinx who have repeatedly been vilified by President Donald Trump. The rhetoric of the President made the terrible violence that occurred in El Paso not just likely but inevitable. This was the inevitable result of a relentless dehumanizing of Latinx including those seeking safety at our southern border, those seeking to rebuild and strengthen their communities in Puerto Rico, and those seeking to share in the "American Dream" through fair access to education and jobs.
It is reported that the shooter, who like most mass shooters in the US is a young white male, stated that he "wanted to kill as many Mexicans as possible". Not surprising when the leader of the free world refers to Mexican immigrants as "rapists and murders" that eventually some weak minded bigot would act on the Presidents words. This heinous attack was a culmination of a mindset that pulls children away from their parents and puts them in cages. The rhetoric and blatant racism of the Trump administration puts an accurate face to the repugnant immigration policies of successive US administrations.
Each Senator and Congress Person must also take responsibility for the continued American carnage. Both Democrats and Republicans in Congress allow the NRA to dictate gun policy. In other words, politicians are trading the lives of our children for campaign contributions from the gun lobby. Congress must step up and institute comprehensive background checks and gun control. Congress must also put an end to racist US immigration policies and institute common sense immigration reform that respects and protects asylum seekers, allows workers to cross the border and return to their home countries as they choose, and provides a path to citizenship for Dreamers.
For more information contact:
Co-Chair Diana Carolina Brown (CA)
Co-Chair Alejandro Ortega Morales (TX)
Co- Chair Manuel Pintado (MA)
Colony: Puerto Rico
Secretary Anita Rios (OH)
Colony: Puerto Rico
At Large Member Richard Gomez (CA)
National Committee Delegates
Delilah Barrios (TX)
Alternate National Committee Delegates
Manuel Aranda (TX)
Manuel Pintado (MA)
Term: August 2021 - August 2023