The Dutchess Greens
What is the History of the Dutchess Greens?
- The Green Party obtained ballot access in New York State in
the 1998 elections. A Local chapter of the New York State Greens
was started in Dutchess County in August 1999.
- Since then, The Dutchess Greens have been busy establishing a
grassroots, progressive movement in the Mid-Hudson area. For the
November 1999 elections, the Dutchess Greens ran three candidates
and cross endorsed two. The Dutchess Greens ran two candidates in
the 2001 elections and cross endorsed four.
- The Dutchess Greens have worked on many different issues since
these local elections, including PCB cleanup, genetically modified
foods, campaign finance reform, the WTO demonstration in DC, and
more recently a number of antiwar protests.
- Since 2000 the number of Greens registered in Dutchess County
has increased from less than 100 to over 800 people.
In 2003 local Democrats and Greens got together to form the
Coalition. The coalition works closely with the Dutchess
Greens on peace and justice events.
What Challenges Are Facing the Dutchess Greens?
- Since Nader's run in 2000, the Green Party has been under a
lot of media attack, especially in the liberal press. The party
was blamed for single handedly defeating Gore. Attacking Nader and
the Greens did nothing to change the Democratic Party, and they
went on to lose again in 2004.
- In the last gubernatorial election, the NY State Green Party
did not get 50,000 votes, losing the party's ballot line. State
residents can still register as Greens, but they have to write in
the party name on their voter registration forms. In addition,
Green candidates must now collect a large number of signatures to
- The 2004 presidential election saw two Green candidates. Cobb
was nominated at the Green Party Convention. But many Greens
remained faithful to Nader and collected signatures for him to run
in New York on the Peace and Justice line. Cobb did not get enough
signatures to run at all.
What About the Working Families, the Liberal and the Marijuana
- The WFP does supports progressive candidates in Democratic
primaries, but their funding is a problem. They have lots of money
for full time workers, for mailings, etc., as long as they always
funnel votes to Democratic candidates in the general election. The
WFP keeps progressives, union members and left leaning minority
voters busy while not endangering the two party system.
- The Liberal Party has long ago given up any pretense of
progressive politics and tries to support winning candidates so
they can get patronage jobs. The Marijuana Reform Party advocates
most of the reforms that the Green Party does. There may be a way
in the future for some of these parties to merge with the Greens
so as not to fragment the progressive vote.