I've come to talk to you about women---women in the Green Party. I have a very short time to speak about this enormous topic.
A very curious sequence of events has marked my entire experience with the Green Party, especially since my time on the State Steering Committee. At every one of the many local and state Green Party meetings I've attended, there would be one or two men who would make impassioned pleas for more women in leadership positions within the Green Party. At the Portland Caucus in March, after all the women nominated for co-chair declined their nominations, including myself, a man I didn't know at the time, by the name of Bruce Webber, announced that he wouldn't vote unless there was a woman to vote for. After the vote, with no women to vote for, this quiet man spoke up and made his own impassioned and haunting plea. He asked, "Without female leaders as role models, how will women in the Green Party ever advance into leadership?"
For the Green Party to grow and achieve its mission to become a major party, it has to attract more women---many, many, more women.
There are four interwoven elements to consider. First, women are needed in large numbers. Second, they are needed in committed leadership positions. Third, their voices must be heard. And fourth, the platform and bylaws of the Maine Green Independent Party must contain strong and precise language favorable to women and reflective of their concerns across the vast and complex spectrum of their lives. Each one of these elements is needed to make it work. For instance, without a large number of women registered as Green voters, there will not emerge a large enough pool of active women who can run as candidates and move into or be elected into positions of leadership within the Party.
I am here to announce three new developments that together will help to move the Party forward with respect to women. The first is that I will be the Steering Committee contact for concerns relating to women in the Green Party. Anyone in the Green Party, male or female, can contact me regarding this. Second, I founded and organized Women in Green Politics, open to all women within the Green Party. Third, Women in Green Politics has written and submitted the first-ever women's content for the Maine Green Independent Party Platform. Women in Green Politics members are Jane Scease, Jane Livingston, Karen Mayo, Leslie Lichko, Charlene Decker, Susan Murch, Pat LaMarche, Doris Nuesse, Sydney Mackey, Casey Paine, Lori Stone, and myself, Morgen D'Arc.
Does this sound like an amazing group of women? It is. But I would like to believe that many more amazing women will emerge. There are incredible Green women in Maine, but they've never before organized and knit together their talents and energies and applied them toward common goals.
The problems relating to women and girls in the world, in the country, and in Maine are every bit as serious as what faces us with the environment. The platform for the Maine Green Independent Party should reflect this. I am appealing to you to support the women's platform content to make sure it gets in there. The platform is the first step toward articulating, expressing, and solidifying the Green Party commitment to women and girls. And it is a vital step, along with a Steering Committee contact and Women in Green Politics, in attracting more women to the Green Party as voters, activists, leaders, and candidates.
Please support the women's content in the platform.