Ban on Plastic Bags

gpf Plastic Bag Ban in Fla20 years ago the question was “Paper or Plastic.” This fight was won by the plastic industry. The question in our supermarkets changed to, Is plastic OK?

But Plastic is not OK. Plastic bags are an incredible waste of resources.  The average bag is thrown away after 10 minutes of use, many often ending up in our oceans – in Florida only 12% of plastic bags are recycled. They fill our landfills where they are blown away to our waterways. Once in the water and exposed to the sun, plastic breaks down relatively quickly but the plastic particles, toxic chemicals such as bisphenol A (BPA) and PS oligomer, can survive 100’s of years. Of these particles, only 30% stay at the surface,  with the majority of the waste falling below the surface or to the ocean floor or ingested by marine life. Continue reading “Ban on Plastic Bags”

GPF Supports Amendment 2 for Medical Marijuana

medic marij 1For Immediate Release:
Sept. 15, 2014

Contact:
Didier Ortiz:  (954) 709-6172
https://www.gpfl.org/

Green Party of Florida Supports Amendment 2
The Medical Marijuana Initiative

“The fact that the medicinal benefits of cannabis are being increasingly understood and documented by the scientific community flies directly in the face of FDA’s refusal to remove the herb from its Schedule 1 most dangerous classification of drugs,” stated Cathy Gilbert, co-chair of the Green Party of Florida (GPFL). Powerful interests like it just that way, having benefited from cannabis prohibition, from big agriculture, the chemical and textile industries, big pharma, to sectors of law enforcement and the profit-driven prison-industrial complex.

“The Florida State legislature has acted to approve the use of one strain of cannabis for specific medical conditions, Charlotte’s Web, which has been approved by the FDA. Beyond that, it will take the will of the people of Florida to get full Medical Marijuana here,” added Gilbert.

Therefore, the Green Party of Florida unequivocally supports Amendment 2, the Medical Marijuana initiative.  Beyond that, we strongly support all steps toward decriminalization and legalization of cannabis/hemp, and our party’s support for the initiative has to be understood in that context.  This extremely narrow and somewhat flawed measure does not address the massive problems that have been created by Prohibition, such as mass incarceration and the profit-driven prison-industrial complex that feeds off our draconian drug laws.

The Medical Marijuana amendment is to drug laws what the Affordable Care Act is to health care.  It is a band aid that is designed to maintain the status quo while providing some opportunities for corporations and special interests to profit from minor changes in law that will benefit a small sector of the population.  Yes, Amendment 2 is a small step in the right direction, and most of all it is an opportunity for Greens and others to open up the debate and advocate legalization of industrial hemp (which will benefit family farms in Florida) and recreational use (like beer and wine) which will benefit those who prefer it to alcoholic beverages.

YES on Amendment 2

YES to building a popular movement to END PROHIBITION NOW and LIBERATE/LEGALIZE HEMP & CANNABIS!

# # #

The Green Party of Florida (GPFL) is the Florida branch of the Green Party of the United States with affiliates in the counties of Alachua, Bay, Broward, Hernando, Miami-Dade, Orange, St. Pete, and Tampa.

3rd Party Gubernatorial Candidate: Forum or Jail

On July 10, the 2014 Convention of the Florida Press Association/Florida Society of News Editors will be holding its gubernatorial candidate forum at the Biltmore in Coral Gables.  In an all too familiar story, the Libertarian candidate for governor, Adrian Wyllie, will be denied his rightful place at the rostrum.  The sponsors claim he lacks public support, even though he is polling between 5% and 6% of the vote.  Lacks public support? Catch 22: how can a candidate gain support when he or she can’t be heard?

Over the years, minor party candidates have been systematically excluded from the public dialogue by the two-party system, but Libertarian candidate Adrian Wyllie is fighting back.  In his statement below, he declares, “I refuse to accept your rules, and I present you with the following ultimatum. I will attend the FPA/FSNE Gubernatorial Forum on July 10th in Coral Gables. You may either allow me to participate in the forum, or you may have me arrested.”

In fighting for his right to speak, he is fighting for all minor party candidates who have been shut out of the public eye for so many years.  The Green Party of Florida therefore insists that his voice be heard on an equal footing with all the gubernatorial candidates.

Continue reading “3rd Party Gubernatorial Candidate: Forum or Jail”

SB Candidate Forum

Green Party Candidate for Florida Representative, District 6: Henry Lawrence

I had the distinct pleasure of attending the Small Business Forum for Florida Representative Candidates – District 6. This forum was a first outing for the eight candidates running for the seat held by Jimmy Patronis, who is term limited and can not run for the seat this election cycle.

Henry Lawrence, co-chair of the Green Party of Bay County was among the candidates at the forum, and guests got to hear a little about Henry, and about what a Green Representative will bring to Bay County. Other candidates speaking at the forum were: Tho Bishop, Melissa Hagan, Thelma Rohan, Jamie Shepard, Jay Trumbull, Ryan Jack Singletary, and Jerry Wyche.

henry at sb forum1
Henry Lawrence speaks at the Small Business Association Candidate’s Forum.

Each candidate got two minutes to share some information about themselves, and tell the audience why they felt they would be the best person to represent the citizens of Bay County. Then the moderator, Don Arias, asked a series of question, three per candidate, and each person got 90 seconds to answer the question asked of them.

Henry Lawrence performed well in representing Green values as he introduced himself to the audience. Having lived in northwest Florida most of his life, Lawrence is aware of the issues facing this area, and as a small business person himself, he knows how important small business is to Panama City. Promoting jobs, and economic growth is vitally dependent on education at all levels, and providing good jobs is key to keeping young people in Bay County after they have graduated from high school or college – good quality job candidates will not stay in an area that does not offer the high paying jobs they seek in order to make a decent living.

Continue reading “SB Candidate Forum”

Florida Greens’ Annual Membership Meeting Elects New Chairs, Sets Goals for Coming Year

The Green Party of Florida successfully concluded its annual membership meeting the weekend of June 7, meeting at the Quaker Meeting House and Latino Leadership Center in Orlando. Presentations related to Green issues also took place.

The Green Party of Florida successfully concluded its annual membership meeting the weekend of June 7, meeting at the Quaker Meeting House and Latino Leadership Center in Orlando. Presentations related to Green issues also took place.

Josh Pritchett of Hernando County and Cathy Gilbert of Miami-Dade County were elected as male and female co-chairs for the coming year, respectively. DJ Chandler of Alachua was voted Secretary, and Harry Patterson of Alachua was voted Treasurer.

The meeting began with county local representatives updating the assembly on party building initiatives and local actions. Following this, the outgoing male co-chair Steve Showen, in his State of the State talk, outlined issues in which the Green Party could impact policy on its core issues, including medical marijuana, climate change and fracking. In discussing goals for the coming year, state level fundraising was discussed as a means to improve the state party’s ability to send delegates to the National meetings, send out quarterly or yearly mailings and pay for candidates filing fees.

  • Changes to the state website and strategies for better utilization of the site were presented by Kelly Duncan and Cathy Gilbert on behalf of the website committee.
  • Dr. Farid A. Khavari, economist, and Independent candidate for Governor of Florida, gave a short lecture based on the idea of creating a state bank for Florida, and showed how it could benefit the state, and its citizens.
  • Randy Toler, Green Party candidate for the District 6 School Board seat, gave an update for his campaign, and answered questions about his views of the educational system, mostly related to the Common Core program.
  • Various speakers described means by which U.S. and international groups have brought attention to their agendas. These groups included The Light Brigades for their use of social media, Florida’s Jennifer Sullivan who hosts a local access TV show, Nelson Betancourt’s work with Prometheus Radio in the Orange County area, Michael Canney’s work with WUBA, a full powered radio station in the High Springs area, and the swarm tactics of the Swedish Pirate Party.

This post was based upon reporting by Harry Patterson.

Why Americans Must Demolish the Political Duopoly and Create a New Progressive Alliance

The United States is experiencing a serious crisis and most Americans know it. Our government and the Washington establishment is disintegrating at near breath taking speed. A Unified Progressive Movement or Coalition: Periodic efforts have made to create and launch “third party” efforts by small groups around the nation but few achieve any kind of significant national recognition. The Green Party has made a gallant effort but generally fails to get more than a fraction of the national vote in presidential elections though their platform is appealing to many of us. In order to mount a significant challenge by a progressive movement, I believe a coalition of organizations must agree to cooperate to represent common values. This requires both a suppression of individual egos and a willingness to work together on common causes.

by Thomas Baldwin. Copyright 2013-2014. Reprinted by permission from Progressive Activists Voice.

The United States is experiencing a serious crisis and most Americans know it. Our government and the Washington establishment is disintegrating at near breath taking speed. It could well be the most serious situation in at least a hundred years. For years now several authors have described our government in Washington as being “broken” or “dysfunctional”. But these words seem inadequate now.

It is much more like a “living” entity which is dying and is in a critical state; all vital signs are poor. Crises are generated in Washington from incompetence and corruption. Little or nothing gets done; few if any serious problems are addressed. Everything is addressed as “partisan.” But that is a delusion because as I will mention later there is really only one party with two different factions serving the corporate fascists. When the two factions finally agree on something, then it is called “bipartisan” because the two political parties appear to be constantly fighting over power and money. What, if anything, is to be done about this evil charade?
Continue reading “Why Americans Must Demolish the Political Duopoly and Create a New Progressive Alliance”

Green Candidate: Henry Lawrence

 UPDATE: Henry Lawrence Qualifies!

Master Gardner, Henry Lawrence, tending sunflowers, the symbol of the Green Party.The Green Party of Bay County is proud to announce that Henry Lawrence has successfully collected the required number of signatures needed to qualify for the ballot on November 4, 2014! Lawrence is running as the Green Party candidate for the District 6 Florida House seat to represent the residents of Bay County, Florida.

Despite having a broken neck from a near fatal car crash on March 1, 2014, Lawrence was out daily collecting signatures, and has been busy promoting a greener Bay County – something that will not only help local residents, but will bring in tourists and businesses looking for an environmentally friendly community in which to vacation and do business. Lawrence sends a heart-felt thank you to the staff at the Bay County Public Library and the Government Complex at 898 West 11th Street for allowing him to collect signatures throughout the month of May, and is grateful to the citizens of Bay County for having faith in his ability to speak on their behalf in Tallahassee.

Having been active in local transportation issues since 1995, Bay County has benefited from Henry Lawrence’s activism in the form of the positive changes that have been fought for and won on behalf of bicyclists and pedestrians. A direct result of his bicycle advocacy with the Panama City Flyers Bicycle Club has been the creation and implementation of a Comprehensive Bicycle Plan with results that can be seen throughout Bay County – it was Lawrence’s hard work that was instrumental in spearheading the drive for bicycle lanes on 11th Street and North Lagoon Drive bicycle lanes.

Lawrence was recently awarded the Pioneer Award from the Florida Bicycle Association for his pet project – the Share The Road specialty license plate (1999). His dedication and service in helping to pioneer the Share the Road license plate have helped generate funds for much needed funding bicycle projects and education over the past 14 years, benefiting the bicycling community all over Florida, including two local projects. The Cove signed Bicycle Route and the new bicycle racks in St. Andrews have both been supported with funds generated by the specialty plate funds, and both projects have contributed to the revitalization of our community.

The original sparkle of the idea that later became known as the Gail’s Trails System, a system of walking trails and bike trails originating in Frank Brown Park on Panama City Beach, initially occurred years ago when Lawrence encouraged Gail Oberst and Paul Casto to tour the Blackwater Heritage Trail in Milton, Florida. The trails have expanded into Conservation Park, an undisturbed patch of native Florida beauty, and have become very popular with local residents and tourists alike. In an area with towering condominiums and tourist attractions, Conservation Park and Gail’s Trails treat residents and visitors alike to a taste of natural Florida.

Henry Lawrence talks about the ecology of St Andrew Bay.
Earth Day Bay County, which Lawrence re-birthed in Panama City, along with his political involvement with the Green Party, have been his inspiration since 2004 when Lawrence made his first effort at campaigning for a local political office by running for District 3 County Commissioner in Bay County . This local effort to bring the environmental community together with local craftsman and artists and musicians just marked its 10th Annual Earth Day Celebration in McKenzie Park on April 19th of this year.

To stay current on events and functions where he will be appearing, follow Henry on Facebook.

Make a donation today!

Henry Lawrence Campaign
1725 Palmetto Avenue
Panama City, Fl. 32401
Or you can go to http://www.newmenu.org/votehenry to make a donation via Paypal.

Email:  hnlbicycle@yahoo.com

South Miami Mayor Stoddard Wins 3rd Term in a “Mudslide”!

They called it a “mudslide” because of the exceptionally dirty attacks that had been leveled against incumbent South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard. But those smears only gave the hoots and cheers from the exuberant gathering of neighbors, supporters and volunteers (including a contingent of Greens) at Stoddard’s victory party a more special meaning. Commission meetings have been notorious for divisive bickering, with some factions being backed by special interests. In a more positive vein, the city is also noted for intense citizen engagement at its commission meetings. With Stoddard’s progressive majority growing from 3-1 to 4-1, they now have a mandate to build on that work of moving the city ahead, independent of special interests. Stoddard now plans on holding a series of public workshops to develop a strong agenda for the city.

— Submitted by Steve Showen
Miami Green, and Co-Chair of the Green Party of Florida
February 15, 2014

stoddard02SOUTH MIAMI, FL, February 15, 2014 — They called it a “mudslide” because of the exceptionally dirty attacks that had been leveled against incumbent South Miami Mayor Phil Stoddard.  But those smears only gave the hoots and cheers from the exuberant gathering of neighbors, supporters and volunteers (including a contingent of Greens) at Stoddard’s victory party a more special meaning.

Continue reading “South Miami Mayor Stoddard Wins 3rd Term in a “Mudslide”!”

Greens Support Re-election of South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard

Residents of South Miami are fighting to maintain the small town character of their fair city of some 12,000 residents nestled between Pinecrest and Coral Gables. The largely residential, racially-mixed city is under heavy pressure from developers who would threaten its family-friendly character. A leading champion for the city has been FIU Professor Philip Stoddard, who is running for his third two-year term as Mayor of South Miami. Overall, Stoddard has used his “bully pulpit” to reach broader audiences about the myriad concerns over FPL’s nuclear power ambitions, as well as other environmental concerns. He has organized other mayors along the US Highway 1 corridor. Stoddard was quoted at length last June in a startling feature article in Rolling Stone magazine about Miami being ground zero for sea level rise.

— Submitted by Steve Showen
Miami Green, and Co-Chair of the Green Party of Florida
January 31, 2014

stoddardResidents of South Miami are fighting to maintain the small town character of their fair city of some 12,000 residents nestled between Pinecrest and Coral Gables.  The largely residential, racially-mixed city is under heavy pressure from developers who would threaten its family-friendly character.  A leading champion for the city has been FIU Professor Philip Stoddard, who is running for his third two-year term as Mayor of South Miami.

Continue reading “Greens Support Re-election of South Miami Mayor Philip Stoddard”