Green Party of California at the US Social Forum

The Green Party of California endorses the US Social Forumencourages Greens to attend and is co-sponsoring these USSF workshops, open to all USSF attendees. On June 27-28, also in San Jose, is the next GPCA General Assembly (only open to GPCA members.) 

Thursday, June 25 - King Library room 255,  150 E. San Fernando, San Jose 

Fair Taxation, Land Value Taxes and Proposition 13 Reform in California, 1-2:30pm

How can land be valued and taxed in a way to promote greater equity, social justice and ecological sustainability for society as a whole?​

    - Mike Feinstein, Former Mayor/City Councilmember, Santa Monica
How land value taxation could work to preserve affordable housing and confront gentrifcation 
    - Fred Folvary, Lecturer in Economics, San Jose State University
What is land value taxation and how it can be enacted within existing California law
    - Ben Grieff, Campaign Director & Spokesperson, Evolve CA
Update on prospects for Proposition 13 reform
The value of land is one of society's greatest assets. But how it is pricedand who benefits from its value is one of the greatest undiscussed social justice issues. Expensive land prices makes it hard to provide affordable housing, parks, schools, hospitals and other community services and assets. Privatizing the socially created value of land is a major transfer of wealth from the many to the few. This workshop will explore can land be valued and taxed in a way to promote greater equity and justice for society as a whole, though the enactment of a Land Value Tax.

• Electoral Reform & Fair Represenation: Overturning Top Two Elections and enacting Proportional Representation in its place, 3-4:30pm
How can we give more voice and fair representation to California's diverse population by changing from single-seat winner-take-all elections to multi-seat districts with Proportional Representation?

     - Richard Winger, Editor, Ballot Access News and Gautum Dutta, Election law attorney
Status of legal challenges to Top Two elections in California and around the U.S.
     - Steven Hill, Senior Fellow, New America Foundation, author of "10 Steps to Repair American Democracy" and "Raw Deal: How the 'Uber Economy' and Naked Capitalism are Screwing American Workers" (forthcoming, October 2015)
California's diverse population deserves fair and full representation in our elections and government. The current Top Two, winner-take-all electoral system in California reduces voice and restricts voter choice. Find out how a 21st century democracy based upon a system of proportional representation can empower voters, expand democracy and provide meaningful representation for all Californians - leading to better public policy that meets real social, economic and environmental needs.

Friday, June 26 - First Unitarian Church Classrooms, 160 N. 3rd St., San Jose

• Challenges and Succcesses in Richmond: Richmond Progressive Alliance, 1-2:30pm
How grassroots activists in Richmond have enacted elected progressives to the City Council, enacted progressive reform, and beat back efforts by the Chevron corporation to buy local politics
     - Gayle McLaughlin, Richmond City Councilmember and former Mayor & Mike Parker, Co-Coordinator, Richmond Progressive Alliance
It takes years of persistent, skillful organizing to win against the 1%. After ten years of community organizing, the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) has helped elect a progressive Mayor and several City Councilmembers, and enacted progressive public policies at the local level, all while opposing the Chevron corporation's efforts to buy local city government. The RPA has successfully promoted programs to reduce crime, promote environmental justice and bring Green jobs to Richmond, while opposing policies that pit the Latino/a community against African-Americans.  
RPA members organized and campaigned for Measure T which won in 2008.  While the courts overturned the measure, Chevron was forced to come to the table and negotiate a 114 million dollar settlement in new taxes.  Progressives fought for strict regulations on pollution and safety at Chevron's refinery, including supporting a current lawsuit filed to hold the oil giant accountable for criminal, willful neglect leading to the ​horrific ​2012 refinery ​fire. The RPA successfully opposed a Las Vegas-style casino slated for a scenic peninsula on its shoreline. Instead, progressives have supported efforts for sustainable development, preservation of the shoreline, bike trails, park renovations and community gardens.The RPA has also mobilized for immigrant rights, and opposed ICE raids and police checkpoints that target immigrant communities. And in response to the nationwide housing foreclosure crisis, the RPA-based Mayor successfully introduced a local Foreclosure Prevention Program to aid the city's underwater borrowers.  

Governing Green - California Green officeholders talk about their experiences governing and running successfully for public office, 3-4:30pm

     - Bruce Delgado, Mayor, Marina (Monterey County)
     John Keener, City Council, Pacifica (San Mateo County)
     - Alex Shantz, Board of Trustees, St. Helena Unified School District (Napa County)
     - Dana Silvernale, Governing Boardmember, North Humboldt Union High School (Humboldt County) 
     - Chris Kavanagh, former Rent Stabilization Boardmember, Berkeley (Alameda County)

Greens can win and govern effectively on the local level. Since the founding of the Green Party of California in 1990, over 325 California Greens have been elected to local office, and there have been Green city council majorities in Arcata, Fairfax and Sebastopol. The Greens strategy is a practical and successful way of building an electoral complement to social movements from the bottom up.