Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Green Party Missing Out on Farming and Rural Issues?

The Green Party has never exactly felt like home, and here is one more reason.

Looking over the national party's "Speakers Bureau," a list of speakers and topics available for events across the country, I startled at what was missing from the list of topics.

The Green Party can send someone to your event to speak on women's rights, non-violence and militarism, civil liberties and constitutional issues, labor, immigration, health care, and even foreign policy.

But agriculture? Nothing. The closest we get to agriculture is sustainable economic development (which, one would hope is clear by now, has to include agricultural reform).

If there is any mention of the food sovereignty movement anywhere on the Green Party website, I missed it. One would think the Green Party would find common cause with the IFDP (aka "Food First!") and be speaking on this important matter.

Indeed, there is a swath of rural outreach that the Green Party might be doing as an advocate for small food producers and local food systems. People who live in rural areas are often suffering the 'downstream' effects of commodity extraction, and here, too, the Green Party could be an important organizer of people.

My communications with the Party about this have been slow -- it is not a wealthy political party, so they have no full-time staffers. I got a reply from someone at national referring me to the New Mexico Green Party, but not responding to the substance of my comment.

Come on, Greens. Take a trip out of the cities, come into the country and meet folks. There is a lot of work to be done.

1 comment:

Nathan said...

This is a key point. I've voted for a fair number of Green candidates over the years, but have wondered a lot about focus, goals, and strategies of the party.