Monterey, San Benito, Santa Cruz Counties, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Voter education

By E. Craig Coffin

Candidate for United States Representative; District 17

This information is provided by the candidate
The vision of the Green Party of California
The Political Vision Of The Green Party Table of Contents

Because the Earth community is imperiled and the current political system has proved ineffective, Green politics has arisen worldwide through Green parties and kindred grassroots movements.

The Green Party of California was formed in 1990-91 when more than 103,000 pragmatic visionaries changed their voter registration to "Green" and thereby qualified the new party for the state-level ballot in California. The Green Party of California stands on two legs: one in electoral work (initiatives, referenda and candidates), and one in community projects and grassroots social-change movements that are compatible with the Green vision. That vision is based on Ten Key Values adopted by the U.S. Green movement.

Through political application of these values, we seek to repair and create bonds of community that have been weakened or destroyed by economic, political and social dynamics.

This document is divided into five categories of issues:


As Greens we understand humans are but one part of the ecosystem with a unique responsibility. That responsibility is to develop an understanding of environmental sustainability and to live and promote those practices which support it. Ecologically sound principles of living can guarantee protection for the Earth and all its people.

Our commitment to ecological wisdom leads us to take natural systems as a model for human interaction. The interconnectedness of all things has helped us to realize that our practices of generating "waste" separate us from natural systems; in nature degraded matter is decomposed and returned to the web of life as nutrients. Our commitment to environmental justice has helped us to understand that in a closed system we all live downstream and downwind. Of special importance is the need to rectify the practice of "toxic racism."


The society Greens are creating sees an intimate connection between our rights as individuals and our responsibilities to our neighbors, our communities and the Earth. The balance between our rights and responsibilities grows out of processes that promote the maximum participation of everyone in the decisions that affect our well-being, our economic security, our social and international policies, and the way we live our lives.

While much must be done in many areas to provide a decent and secure life for everyone, the key to these improvements lies in creating real social justice for all in a manner that will endure. We are committed to establishing relationships that honor diversity and that support the self-definition and self-determination of people. We will work to confront the barriers of racism, sexism, heterosexism, class oppression, ageism, and the many ways our culture separates us from working together to define and solve the common dangers we face.


This category of our political program addresses a broad spectrum of the causes and effects of violence: from individual acts of violence to institutionalized acts of violence, and beyond, into our foreign policies that, too often, lead to armed conflict. The Green Party advocates a fundamental change in the way we socialize our citizens, structure our institutions, and relate to the planet and its people.

Means and ends are not inseparable. If a nation, and a people, prepare for violence, they will create a violent world. Conversely, if they prepare for peace, that is what they will achieve. Peace is not just the absence of violence, it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will and respect.


We are committed to mobilizing the participation of large numbers of people at the local level and we challenge the notion that only experienced politicians and expert bureaucrats are needed in Sacramento and Washington.

Grassroots democracy, one of the Green Party's 10 Key Values, is a type of democracy in which we, as individuals and as communities, create our own futures, design our own lives, determine our own priorities and, thereby, exercise the fullness of our humanity. Our goal is direct, participatory, grassroots democracy centered around a deeply democratic community and neighborhood assemblies, and bioregional confederations. To accomplish this goal, our current focus is on proportional representation. It will give voters more choice, allow more voters to vote for winners, and break up the two-party monopoly, which discourages participation.


The keystone of the Green Party's economic program is community-based economics. As an alternative to an economy owned by either government or gigantic corporations, Greens favor a Jeffersonian model with ownership and control spread as widely as possible among Californians.

Another key value for establishing our economic program is ecological wisdom. We stand in contrast to the dominant political perception that our nation can have either economic vitality or ecological sanity. It is our firm belief that these entities are not mutually exclusive.

We welcome all Californians who share the Green vision. Join us in creating a new politics.

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