Growing the Green Party in New Jersey

Growing the Green Party in New Jersey 2012-2013:

During the past 2 years GPNJ has grown steadily if gradually. Being from a blue state, it is a challenge to pull people away from the false hope of the ones with the silver tongues and silver spoons. We have only 1,300 registered green voters, whereas Maine, a red state with a much smaller population, has over 20,000 registered green voters.

Growing the Green Party in New Jersey 2012-2013:

During the past 2 years GPNJ has grown steadily if gradually. Being from a blue state, it is a challenge to pull people away from the false hope of the ones with the silver tongues and silver spoons. We have only 1,300 registered green voters, whereas Maine, a red state with a much smaller population, has over 20,000 registered green voters.

 

We started the year 2012 with a 1,000 piece snail-mail appeal to subscribe to our modernized GreenGram newsletter by email. We did not ask for donations, we just wanted to build our email list so we could refer members to our new website for info, events and meetings.

 

Thanks to a fine new webmaster, Lora, we revamped our website, www.gpnj.org, and used NationBuilder to help build our data base. Some of this is automatic but you have to have knowledgeable, skilled volunteers to follow up on contacts, joiners, voters and donors. It requires a lot of work from a dedicated crew and we are still working on that.

 

Due to a great Presidential Ticket and 5 local candidates, including Ken Wolski for Senate, we garnered over 45,000 NJ green votes in the 2012 elections, a good increase from recent years. This year we are running a gubernatorial candidate, Steve Welzer: http://www.welzerforgovernor.org/about. Governor Christie thinks he is going to win by a landslide despite high unemployment, foreclosures and serious social, health, economic and environmental problems (like dumping of toxic frack waste and dangerous, aging nuclear power plants). We will be calling him to task for his failures and false promises. We will not be called spoilers in this 2013 election.

 

We held several events including a large activist gathering with over 20 green and progressive groups, and followed this with our 17th annual State GPNJ Convention at Rutgers University. This event featured Chris Hedges as keynoter and was live-streamed and later put up on Youtube. This helped, but the live-streaming may have reduced the number of people who came to the convention. Over 400 watched from home, with less than 100 at the venue. Never-the-less, we reached over 500 attendees and viewers. More than ever before. Also, we made a concerted effort to reach out to youth and students this year and had our first Youth Panel at our convention. Many said it was the best part of the day-long event.

 

But it is not just numbers we are looking for: Through more activism and engagement we want to join with other progressive groups to make a difference on the issues. Otherwise, why should people vote for us? Good ideas are not enough. We must show that we care about the urgent issues of catastrophic climate disasters and corporate control and corruption of government, and loss of our freedom, our voice, our healthcare, our jobs, our homes and our privacy.

 

Social media has played an important role in our efforts to grow the Green Party in New Jersey. We have over 500 Likes on our Facebook page and an active Twitter. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Green-Party-of-New-Jersey/207258739284281, and https://twitter.com/GreenPartyofNJ.

 

I don't yet have the exact figures but I think we have increased our membership and green voters by about 200 during the past year. It is an ongoing struggle and difficult challenge, especially in a blue state where "hope" in the status quo is still attractive to many voters as the lesser of two evils...even with a Republican Governor in office. That is why we are working to have a strong campaign: Vote Green in '13!

 

We are already working on a new plan, goals and strategy for 2014, and look forward to continued growth in the new year: A Green New Deal for New Jersey.

 

Bill Reitter, GPNJ Chair


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