Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Flint voters OK legalizing medical marijuana

With a decisive 62%, Flint supports medical marijuana. Look for a state-wide effort this summer. Sharpen your pencils for petitioning!

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Elaine Brown to Seek Green Party Presidential Ticket

Former Black Panther Party leader, noted author, community and prison justice activist Elaine Brown announced this week that she intends to seek the Green Party¹s nomination for a presidential bid in 2008. "The 2006 elections signified a mass rejection of Bush¹s policies--not a shift to the Democrats. We have arrived at a powerful moment when the majority of the country is seeking a political alternative, toward embracing progressive values and realizing a progressive agenda. I haven¹t seen this potential since the 1960s."

Brown, who ran as a Green in the 2005 Brunswick, Georgia, mayoral election where Republicans succeeded in illegally removing her name from both the ballot and the voter roll, intends to run on a platform that addresses the interests of poor and working families, in terms of living wages, free healthcare, decent housing and increased funding for public education and higher education; ending the war in Iraq; restoring the environment and bringing about economic parity. Strategically, she intends to target non-voters, specifically women under 30 and African Americans, constituencies she believes are not represented by the nearly identical agendas of the Democrat and Republican parties, stating these crucial constituencies "have the power to build up an alternative party to truly challenge the status quo."

"I believe I have the ability to raise consciousness among disaffected and disenfranchised poor and working people, women and blacks, to galvanize them to vote for a real second party. Such a broadening of the Green Party base will allow us to start winning big time, at the state level and nationally, so that we can overturn some of the most egregious policies and laws (like the three strikes crime bill which has so devastated black communities) and introduce progressive legislation. There are a lot of great community organizations working for change, performing Sisyphean tasks that cannot address the fundamental problems. I believe the time is right to use the ballot to make the kinds of changes we know must be made to serve the people we represent."

Brown stated she is running as a Green because: "Not only does the Green Party support reparations for slavery, but the party¹s ten key values represent the values and interests of poor and working people. Only the Green Party offers clear positions on the needs of the people, in terms of a living wage, decent housing, food, education, and medical care. The Democrats and Republicans offer black and poor people nothing."

When asked what she hopes to achieve with her run, Brown said: "I know the party can earn a significant increase in votes and membership, which will increase our viability to take congressional seats, state house seats, and local offices; so that we can really start changing the way government operates."

The Green Party will nominate our Presidential and Vice-Presidential candidates at our 2008 Convention. Anyone interested in seeking the Green Party nomination should contact Greg Gerritt, on behalf of the Presidential Campaign Support Committee, at (401) 331-0529 or

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Monday, February 19, 2007

Preaching the 'inconvenient truth' to the choir?

The Free Press covers the training of 1000 people to deliver the message of Al Gore's movie. Strangely, it uses religious language throughout the article. Are they trying to equate global warming with creationism, er, I mean intelligent design?

Perhaps more interesting are the comments on the article. Why do I get the feeling that those who don't buy the inconvenient truth all bought WMDs in Iraq?

The Metro Times covered the story over 2 months ago. Why pay for old news?

Friday, February 16, 2007

Not One More Penny for the War - Cut Off All Funding for the War Now



SATURDAY, FEBRUARY 17, 2007 , 1:00 PM , CENTRAL UNITED METHODIST CHURCH , 23 E. ADAMS (at Woodward, Grand Circus Park ), DETROIT

CALL: JERRY GOLDBERG, 313-319-0870

A Town Hall meeting will take place this Saturday, February 17, 2007 , 1:00 PM , at Central United Methodist Church , Woodward at Adams in Detroit .

The meeting will demand, “Not one more Penny for the War”. It will demand that Congress immediately cut-off all funding for the Iraq war and Bring the Troops Home Now. We don’t need symbolic resolutions that will do nothing to stop the war. Instead, the Town Hall meeting will organize support for HR 508, a bill sponsored by 34 House members, which would cut off funding for the war and bring all the troops and military contractors home within 6 months. The Detroit Town Hall meeting is part of a national day of action to demand a cut-off of funding for the war sponsored by the Troops Out Now Coalition.

The Town Hall meeting will also demand that the hundreds of billions of dollars being spent for the war be used instead to fund human needs at home. For example, according to the National Priorities Center , thus far the Iraq war has cost the people of Michigan $9.7 billion. Despite leading the nation in poverty and unemployment, Michigan is among the hardest hit states in the new budget being proposed to Congress. Bush’s new budget request of $640 billion for the Pentagon, is to be funded with deep cuts in desperately needed programs for poor and working people in Michigan , including cuts in Medicaid, Home heating assistance, community block grants, special education grants and social service grants.

At the Town Hall meeting, poor and working people facing evictions, utility shut-offs, lay-offs, school closings and foreclosures will have the opportunity to testify as to the devastating impact of war spending on the people of Michigan. Testimony from the meeting will be submitted to Congress in support of HR 508, for the immediate cut-off of funding for the illegal and immoral war in Iraq , and cessation of the equally damaging war on the poor here at home.

For more information call 313-319-0870 or visit

Friday, February 09, 2007

FEC Approves Green Party Senate Campaign Committee

This is an historic moment.

The Green Party of the US is the first 3rd party to establish a Senate Campaign Committee.

The FEC approval allows individual donors (the Green Party and its candidates do not accept money from corporations or PACs) to contribute aditional funds above that given to candidates.

More info on the Senate Campaign Committee can be found here.

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

One Green's View of the State of the State

I have a slightly different view of the state of the state.
I’m a member of the Green Party of Michigan.

The party that agreed with the people about not shooting doves – the bird of peace.

The party that wants real protection for the Great Lakes, too.

The party that would support our troops -- our people -- by bringing them home to help rebuild Michigan.

The party working on tax plans to sustain our economy, our environment, and the public-policy programs supporting both.

A party that fights for the rights of all citizens and voters -- of any party, or no party -- to take full part in their government.

A party based on values -- values we share with each other . . . and with you. Because Green values are American values. Don’t believe it? Just listen to some of our ideas. (Haven’t heard much about them before? Ask your favorite news media why not.)

Greens know Michiganders shouldn’t have to die in Bush’s war. We shouldn’t have to pay $12 billion a year for it, either. (That’d cover the Single Business Tax!) We need to bring our sons and daughters, husbands and wives, friends and neighbors in the National Guard back home -- to do good and necessary work here in Michigan.

And we need them home to help rebuild a healthy, sustainable economy for our state. For Greens know Michigan continues to lose jobs. We have the highest rate of foreclosures in the nation; schools have been closing even before the basic-grant cuts they now face. Our people face hunger and homelessness and utility cut-offs.

It was unsustainable and irresponsible to wipe the Single Business Tax off the books without a replacement ready. To sustain needed government programs in the short term, Greens propose replacing the SBT with a straight tax on business income. If corporations are going to claim they’re legal persons, they should pay income tax like the rest of us. And the tax should be fair: gently progressive, with basic exemptions to assure a living income for small business owners – and a cap on gigantic giveaway deductions from taxable income for mega-salaries and other excessive compensation.

Greens also believe in looking at the long term -- though some problems aren’t as far off as folks used to think. Global warming, for example. We’re working on designing a carbon tax that can sustain our economy and our environment and encourage our auto industry to move in the right direction for the future, without burdening our poorer citizens who have less choice in their transportation.

Energy is a crucial connection between our economy and our environment – Greens know we can’t sustain one without the other. A wise, sustainable energy policy starts with conservation and energy efficiency. It doesn’t rely on more unthinking consumption of oil . . . or on corn grown using petrochemical fertilizers and turned into “alternative” fuel that costs consumers more and gives us fewer miles per gallon -- while car companies get false CAFE credit for higher mileage! To thrive in future markets, the “Big Three” must learn to live with the fact that burning our seed corn is no more sustainable than eating it -- and use truly clean and efficient technologies.

Nor can we go on letting other corporations pump, bottle, and export millions of gallons of Michigan water a day -- for free! -- before it can bubble up into trout streams and swimming ponds, and replenish the Great Lakes. Greens support real protection for our state’s namesake wonders -- and for all Michigan’s natural resources, whether privately owned or held in public trust for us all.

A sustainable economy must be founded on economic fairness and social justice. Our government has been ignoring the cracks in that foundation for too long -- and too many of our people have fallen through those cracks. All the citizens of Michigan deserve food, water, and housing; livable wages; universal health care; healthy homes, schools, communities, and workplaces. Greens will keep working to ensure that people aren’t unjustly deprived of these basic necessities of life.

But we do without something other parties see as an absolute necessity: Greens don’t take PAC money. We don’t believe in the Golden Rule of campaign finance and government -- the one that says those who have the gold make the rules. We believe in grassroots democracy -- government for the people because it’s government by the people. All the people, of any party -- or no party. That’s also why we support election reforms to make sure all voters count and all votes are counted: equal equipment and fair treatment for all communities, so we really do help Americans vote . . . Instant Runoff Voting to make sure winners have majority support, even if they have to be nice to other candidates to get it . . . verified voting with recounting of paper ballots if there are any problems or questions.

If you have any questions about the Green Party of Michigan -- if you’d like to know more about us -- please visit our Web site at or call 734-663-3555.

Peace. Non-violence. Ecological wisdom, sustainability, focus on the future. Social justice, feminism, respect for diversity; personal and global responsibility. Decentralization, community economics, grassroots democracy. If you believe in these values -- you may already be a Green. Join us. Help make Michigan a Green and growing place.

John Anthony La Pietra
386 Boyer Court
Marshall, MI 49068

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Rally to Defend Our Water Department From Suburban Takeover!


Detroit Community & Union Members:

Rally to Defend
Our Water Department
From Suburban Takeover!

Wednesday February 7, 4:30 PM
Federal Court Building
W. Fort at Washington


Federal Judge John Feikens is misusing his federal
oversight of the Detroit Water & Sewerage Department
(DWSD) to facilitate a suburban takeover of the


Over the last year, Feikens has paid lawyer Thomas
Lewand, Sr. over $350,000 of rate payers’ money to
meet secretly with representatives from the Detroit
Mayor’s office, regional county governments, the
Governor’s office, the Republican and Democratic
Parties and the Ford family.


Lewand is also researching ways to get around tax
complications and the Detroit City Charter’s
requirement that a referendum of Detroit voters must
be held before selling DWSD assets.


The Mayor and City Council have pledged never to give
up Detroit’s Water Department. They must join us
condemning this take over now, before Lewand releases
his public report this spring!

City Council will discuss this issue with AFSCME on
Thursday February 8, 10:30 AM, in the Committee Room
on the 13th floor of the Coleman A. Young Municipal
Center. At 4:00 PM that day, City Council will hold
hearings in the 13th floor auditorium on DWSD’s
proposed increases in water and sewerage rates. Pack
these meetings! Let them know that Detroit won’t give
up the Water Department. Detroit won’t go to the back
of the bus!

For information or to endorse: AFSCME 207:
313-965-1601. AFSCME 2920: 313-964-8605

Saturday, February 03, 2007

Benton Harbor's Rev. Pinkney Hearing: Summary & Report

Benton Harbor is the poorest city in Michigan. Ninety
(90%) percent of the people live below the poverty
level and seventy (70%) percent are unemployed. Almost
all of the citizens are black. The land is very
valuable real estate. Whirlpool, already dominant in
the area, wanted much of this land for a small price.
It needed approval of six (6) of its commissioners.
BANCO (the Black Autonomy Network Community
Organization), led by Rev. Pinkney , succeeded in a
recall election of a key commissioner. A suit was
brought to set aside the election alleging fraud.
Without sufficient evidence Judge Paul Maloney (who
has been nominated by President Bush to the federal
bench in the Western District) set aside the recall
election and scheduled a new one. With serious money
from local political forces the recall was defeated
and the commissioner retained. Thus, the sale went
through. Whirlpool detached the property from the City
of Benton Harbor and attached it to mostly white
Benton Township. It plans to build a $100,000,000
gated community, marina and Jack Nicklaus – designed
golf course. Seeing Pinkney as a danger, corrupt
politicians cooperated with the Prosecutor to produce
bribed and coerced witnesses to say that Pinkney had
improperly handled absentee ballots and had bought
votes (people were paid $10 to say Pinkney paid them
$5). Pinkney went to trial in the spring of 2006.
There were two minorities on that jury. The trial
ended in a hung jury. He is to be tried again.

January 25, 2007 you could feel the tension in the Berrien
County Courtroom of Judge Alfred Butzbaugh as friends
and activists of Rev. Edward Pinkney from across the
nation gathered for a hearing in his support. The
hearing was to argue two motions. One motion to argue
the constitutionality of the Michigan Absentee Voter
statute, which makes it a 5 year felony to possess
without knowledge or bad intent, an absentee ballot,
but only a misdemeanor to actually buy a vote. The
second motion was to challenge the racial composition
of the juries in Berrien County where, although blacks
are 15.5% of the population, rarely is more than 1 in
30 potential jurors black.

Rev. Pinkney’s legal counsel, Attorney Timothy
Holloway presented argument for the first motion. He
argued that statutes that involve a malum prohibitum
crime were not criminal at common law. The person had
to have knowledge that it was illegal to handle the
absentee ballots. The prosecution, Aaron J. Mead and
Gerald L. Vigansky, argued back that one only had to
have knowledge that they possessed an absentee ballot
belonging to someone else. They argued that the
Legislature wanted criminal intent to be an element of
a criminal offense. They compared the handling of an
absentee ballot and being charged with a felony as the
same as someone that drove their pick-up truck across
state line with possession of a gun, who is stopped
and prosecuted for carrying a concealed weapon. The
prosecution argued that everyone knows it is illegal
to possess a concealed weapon without a permit and
argued that possession of an absentee ballot falls
under the same interpretation. Attorney Holloway
cited the Michigan Supreme Court case People v Osborn
(1912) as well as several other cases that ruled a
guilty mind was necessary in order to prosecute. Judge
Butzbaugh said he would try to have a ruling within
two weeks.

Attorney Elliot Hall came to present argument for the
motion challenging jury composition. In the motion, he
asked that the court move to discovery in the
selection of juries for the circuit court in Berrien
County and striking the selection procedure as
discriminatory and exclusionary with regard to
minority jurors and delay Rev. Pinkney’s trial until
the system can be reformed and provide him with a
non-discriminatory list of jurors called to serve. The
prosecution, however, did not respond to this motion
in writing before the hearing telling the judge that
he thought that discovery would be done while the
attorneys were present. The judge then told Attorney
Hall to gather the material from the clerk and ordered
a continuance. Then Judge Butzbaugh called for both
the prosecution and defense attorneys to join him in
his chambers. While in chambers it is my understanding
that the judge informed the parties that going through
the discovery process on jury selection would not
delay the trial. Attorney Elliot Hall responded that –
we would see about that.

Afterward, Rev. Pinkney said “We gave them a spanking
today!” He was confident of his attorneys handling of
the motions, stating that we will go to Federal court
if we have to appeal these motions. The prosecution
presented arguments to the malum prohibitum issue that
didn’t hold water for the audience in attendance. Many
felt it was ridiculous to compare the handling of guns
with the handling of ballots. It was an eye opening
experience of a judges going through with a hearing
when the prosecution hadn’t followed through with a
written response to the defense. Those who have
continued to observe the court in operation felt that
the judge was trying to appear to be listening to both
sides by asking for further clarification. However,
information about Judge Butzbaugh’s comment about the
jury composition motion not having to be answered
before trial blew that perception out of the water.

Contact: Rev. Edward Pinkney, 269-925-0001

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Pro-Choice Activists Meeting


Pro-Choice Activists Meeting
Saturday, February 3, 2007, 5:00 p.m.
5920 Second Avenue, Detroit
With Dinner! (donation: $5-working/$1-students unemployed, fixed income)
Meeting Hall is north of WSU, one block west of Cass, at Antoinette

See two short documentary videos:

“Abortion for Survival” and

“Killing in the Name of Life:
Terrorism Against Abortion Clinics”

Hear some talks and join in discussion on:
State of the Pro-Choice Struggle (speaker: Katey Aquilina of Planned Parenthood)

Reproductive Freedom and the Cost of War: Making the Links - hear about upcoming demonstrations and activities Area Clinic Pro-Choice Escorting (speaker: Wendy Richardson, Eastpointe city council candidate and escort organizer)

For more information and to get involved, contact
Email us at:
or call: (313) 378-2369