The Green Party of the United States (GPUS) is a green federation of political parties in the United States. The party promotes green politics, specifically environmentalism; nonviolence; social justice; participatory, grassroots democracy; gender equality; LGBT rights; anti-war and anti-racism. On the political spectrum, the party is generally seen as left-wing.
The GPUS was founded in 2001 as the evolution of the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP), which was formed in 1996. After its founding, the GPUS soon became the primary national green organization in the country, eclipsing the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA), which formed in 1991 out of the Green Committees of Correspondence (CoC), a collection of local green groups active since 1984. The ASGP had increasingly distanced itself from the G/GPUSA in the late 1990s.
The Greens gained widespread public attention during the 2000 presidential election, when the ticket composed of Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke won 2.7% of the popular vote. Nader was vilified by many Democrats and even some Greens, who accused him of spoiling the election for Al Gore, the Democratic candidate. Nader maintains that he was not a spoiler in the 2000 election.
The GPUS has had several members elected into state legislatures, including in California, Maine and Arkansas. In September 2017, independent Ralph Chapman, member of the Maine House of Representatives, switched his affiliation to the Green Party. In November 2018, outgoing Democratic Delegate Shane Robinson switched his party affiliation, becoming Maryland's first Green Delegate. A number of Greens around the United States hold positions on the municipal level, including on school boards, city councils and as mayors, though neither Chapman nor Robinson are still in their respective state legislatures.
Green Party of the United States
|Chairperson||Green National Committee|
|Split from||Greens/Green Party USA|
|Preceded by||Citizens Party|
Association of State Green Parties
|Headquarters||6411 Orchard Avenue, Suite 101, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912|
|Youth wing||Young Ecosocialists|
|Women's wing||National Women's Caucus|
|LGBT wing||Lavender Greens|
|Latinx wing||Latinx Caucus|
|Black wing||Black Caucus|
|International affiliation||Global Greens|
|Continental affiliation||Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas|
|Seats in the Senate|
0 / 100
|Seats in the House|
0 / 435
0 / 50
|State Upper House Seats|
0 / 1,972
|State Lower House Seats|
0 / 5,411
0 / 6
|Territorial Upper Chamber Seats|
0 / 97
|Territorial Lower Chamber Seats|
0 / 91
|Other elected offices||171 (2019)|
The political movement that began in 1985 as the decentralized Committees of Correspondence evolved into a more centralized structure by 1990, opening a national clearinghouse and forming governing bodies, bylaws and a platform as the Green Committees of Correspondence (GCoC) and by 1990 simply The Greens. The organization conducted grassroots organizing efforts, educational activities and electoral campaigns.
Internal divisions arose between members who saw electoral politics as ultimately corrupting and supported the notion of an "anti-party party" formed by Petra Kelly and other leaders of the Greens in Germany vs. those who saw electoral strategies as a crucial engine of social change. A struggle for the direction of the organization culminated a "compromise agreement", ratified in 1990 at the Greens National Congress in Elkins, West Virginia and in which both strategies would be accommodated within the same 527 political organization renamed the Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA). It was recognized by the FEC as a national political party in 1991.
The compromise agreement subsequently collapsed and two Green party organizations have co-existed in the United States since. The Green Politics Network was organized in 1990 and the National Association of Statewide Green Parties formed by 1994. Divisions between those pressing to break onto the national political stage and those aiming to grow roots at the local level continued to widen during the 1990s. The Association of State Green Parties (ASGP) encouraged and backed Nader's presidential runs in 1996 and 2000. By 2001, the push to separate electoral activity from the G/GPUSA issue-based organizing led to the Boston Proposal and subsequent rise of the Green Party of the United States. The G/GPUSA lost most of its affiliates in the following months and dropped its FEC national party status in 2005.
In 2016, Mark Salazar set a new record for a Green Party nominee for Congress. Running in the Arizona 8th district against incumbent Republican Congressman Trent Franks, Salazar received 93,954 votes or 31.43%.
The Ten Key Values, which expand upon the Four Pillars, are as follows:
Peter Camejo was quoted in 2002 as claiming that he was a watermelon—green on the outside, but red on the inside. In January 2004, he initiated the Avocado Declaration, which compares Greens to avocados. "An avocado is Green on the outside and Green on the inside". The Declaration goes on to explain that Greens have a vital role in bringing democracy to the otherwise undemocratic two party system of the United States; that the Greens have a unique and independent identity as a third party, which cannot be subsumed into the Republican or Democratic parties; and that they cannot be dismissed by Republican or Democratic critics by implying that they are merely socialists or communists.
The Green Party does not accept donations from corporations, political action committees (PACs), 527(c) organizations or soft money. The party's platforms and rhetoric harshly criticize corporate influence and control over government, media and society at large.
The Green Party calls for providing tuition-free college at public universities and vocational schools, increasing funding for after-school and daycare programs, cancelling all student loan debt, and repealing the No Child Left Behind Act. They are strongly against the dissolution of public schools and the privatization of education.
The party favors the abolition of the death penalty, repeal of three-strikes laws, banning of private prisons, legalization of marijuana, and decriminalization of other drugs.
The party supports same-sex marriage, the right of access to medical and surgical treatment for sex reassignment, and withdrawing foreign aid to countries with poor LGBT+ rights records.
The Green Party calls on the United States to join the International Criminal Court, and sign the Comprehensive Nuclear-Test-Ban Treaty and Non-Proliferation Treaty. Additionally, it supports cutting the defense budget in half as well as prohibiting all arms sales to foreign countries.
The Green Party advocates for the right of return, cutting all U.S. aid to Israel, and a one-state solution. It has also expressed support for the international Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions (BDS) movement.
The Green Party has two national committees recognized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC):
The GNC is composed of delegates elected by affiliated state parties. The state parties also appoint delegates to serve on the various standing committees of the GNC. The National Committee elects a steering committee of seven co-chairs, a secretary and a treasurer to oversee daily operations. The National Committee performs most of its business online, but it also holds an annual national meeting to conduct business in person.
Five Identity Caucuses have achieved representation on the GNC:
Other caucuses have worked toward formal recognition by the GNC:
The Green Party has its strongest popular support on the Pacific Coast, Upper Great Lakes, and Northeast, as reflected in the geographical distribution of Green candidates elected. As of June 2007, Californians have elected 55 of the 226 office-holding Greens nationwide. Other states with high numbers of Green elected officials include Pennsylvania (31), Wisconsin (23), Massachusetts (18) and Maine (17). Maine has the highest per capita number of Green elected officials in the country and the largest Green registration percentage with more than 29,273 Greens comprising 2.95% of the electorate as of November 2006. Madison, Wisconsin is the city with the most Green elected officials (8), followed by Portland, Maine (7).
The 2016 presidential campaign of Jill Stein got substantive support from counties and precincts with a high percentage of Native American population. For instance, in Sioux County (North Dakota, 84,1% Native American), Stein gained her best county-wide result: 10.4% of the votes. In Rolette County (also North Dakota, 77% Native American), she got 4.7% of the votes. Other majority Native American counties where Stein did above state average are Menominee (WI), Roosevelt (MN) and several precincts in Alaska.
In 2005, the Green Party had 305,000 registered members in states allowing party registration and tens of thousands of members and contributors in the rest of the country. One challenge that the Green Party (as well as other third parties) faces is the difficulty of overcoming ballot access laws in many states.
The following is a list of accredited state parties which comprise the Green Party of the United States.
As of October 2016, 143 officeholders in the United States were affiliated with the Green Party, the majority of them in California, several in Illinois, Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, Oregon, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin, with five or fewer in ten other states. These included one mayor and one deputy mayor and fourteen county or city commissioners (or equivalent). The remainder were members of school boards, clerks and other local administrative bodies and positions.
Several Green Party members have been elected to state-level office, though not always as affiliates of the party. John Eder was elected to the Maine House of Representatives, re-elected in 2004, but defeated in 2006. Audie Bock was elected to the California State Assembly in 1999, but switched her registration to independent seven months later running as such in the 2000 election. Richard Carroll was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008, but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election. Fred Smith was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012, but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014. In 2010, former Green Party leader Ben Chipman was elected to the Maine House of Representatives as an unenrolled candidate and was re-elected in 2012 and 2014.
Gayle McLaughlin was twice elected mayor of Richmond, California, defeating two Democrats in 2006 and then reelected in 2010; and elected to City Council in 2014 after completing her second term as mayor. With a population of over 100,000 people, it was the largest American city with a Green mayor. Fairfax, California; Arcata, California; Sebastopol, California; and New Paltz, New York are the only towns in the United States to have had a Green Party majority in their town councils. Twin Ridges Elementary in Nevada County, California held the first Green Party majority school board in the United States.
On September 21, 2017, Ralph Chapman, a member of the Maine House of Representatives, switched his party registration from unaffiliated to Green, providing the Green Party with their first state-level representative since 2014. Henry John Bear became a member of the Green Party in the same year as Chapman, giving the Maine Green Independent Party and GPUS its second currently-serving state representative, though Bear is a nonvoting tribal member of the Maine House of Representatives.
No nominee of the Green Party has been elected to office in the federal government.
The Green National Convention is scheduled in presidential election years and the Annual National Meeting is scheduled in other years. The Green National Committee conducts business online between these in-person meetings.
|Electoral votes||267 (479)||368 (528)||439 (489)||494 (522)||TBD (+241)|
|History of ballot access by location:|
|#||Alabama||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Alaska||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Arizona||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Arkansas||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Connecticut||On ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|#||Illinois||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Indiana||(write-in)||Not on ballot||(write-in)||TBD|
|#||Kentucky||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Missouri||Not on ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|#||Montana||On ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Nebraska||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Nevada||On ballot||Not on ballot||TBD|
|#||New Hampshire||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||New Jersey||On ballot||TBD|
|#||New Mexico||On ballot|
|#||New York||(write-in)||On ballot|
|#||North Carolina||Not on ballot||(write-in)||Not on ballot||(write-in)||On ballot|
|#||North Dakota||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Ohio||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Oklahoma||Not on ballot||TBD|
|#||Rhode Island||On ballot||TBD|
|#||South Carolina||On ballot|
|#||South Dakota||Not on ballot||TBD|
|#||Vermont||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||Virginia||(write-in)||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||West Virginia||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|#||Wyoming||Not on ballot||On ballot||TBD|
|#||District of Columbia||Not on ballot||On ballot||Not on ballot||On ballot|
|Year||Presidential nominee||Home state||Previous positions||Vice presidential nominee||Home state||Previous positions||Votes||Notes|
|Connecticut||Nominee for President of the United States (1996)||
|Minnesota||Nominee for Vice President of the United States (1996)||2,882,955 (2.7%)
Nominee for Attorney General of Texas
|Pat LaMarche||Maine||Nominee for Governor of Maine
|Georgia||Member of the Georgia House of Representatives
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 11th district
Member of the United States House of Representatives from Georgia's 4th district
|New York||Community organizer||161,797 (0.1%)
|Massachusetts||Nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
Nominee for Massachusetts's 9th Middlesex State House of Representatives district
Member of the Lexington Town Meeting (2005–2011)
Nominee for Massachusetts Secretary of the Commonwealth
Nominee for Sheriff of Philadelphia
|Massachusetts||(see above for previous positions)
Nominee for President of the United States
|Election year||No. of overall votes||% of overall vote||No. of overall seats won||+/-|
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
0 / 435
|Election year||No. of overall votes||% of overall vote||No. of overall seats won||+/-|
0 / 34
0 / 34
0 / 34
0 / 33
0 / 33
0 / 37
0 / 33
0 / 33
0 / 33
In the early decades of Green organizing in the United States, the prevailing American system of money-dominated elections was universally rejected by Greens, so that some Greens were reluctant to have Greens participate in the election system at all because they deemed the campaign finance system inherently corrupt. Other Greens felt strongly that the Green Party should develop in the electoral arena and many of these Greens felt that adopting an alternative model of campaign finance, emphasizing self-imposed contribution limits, would present a wholesome and attractive contrast to the odious campaign finance practices of the money-dominated major parties.
Over the years, some state Green parties have come to place less emphasis on the principle of self-imposed limits than they did in the past. Nevertheless, it is safe to say that Green Party fundraising (for candidates' campaigns and for the party itself) still tends to rely on relatively small contributions and that Greens generally decry not only the rise of the Super PACs, but also the big-money system, which some Greens criticize as plutocracy.
Some Greens feel that the Green Party's position should be simply to follow the laws and regulations of campaign finance. Other Greens argue that it would injure the Green Party not to practice a principled stand against the anti-democratic influence of money in the political process. Candidates for office, like Jill Stein, the 2012 and 2016 Green Party nominee for the President of the United States, typically rely on smaller donations to fund their campaigns.
The 2000 Green National Convention was held on July 23–25, in Denver, Colorado. The convention was convened by the Association of State Green Parties, which was later to be renamed the Green Party of the United States. The convention nominated Ralph Nader for President and Winona LaDuke for Vice President of the United States.2004 Green National Convention
The 2004 national convention of the Green Party of the United States was held at the Hyatt Regency and the Midwest Center in Milwaukee, Wisconsin on June 23–28, 2004.
Ralph Nader, the Green Party nominee for president in 2000, did not seek the nomination of the Green Party, but instead sought the endorsement of his independent candidacy by the party. An endorsement of Nader's campaign would have allowed for each state party affiliated with the national Green Party to choose their own candidate. On the opening day of the convention, Nader's running mate and former Green Party nominee for Governor of California Peter Camejo debated David Cobb of Texas, who was seeking the Green Party's nomination against the Nader candidacy.In that interview, Camejo called on the Green National Convention to endorse both Nader and David Cobb and allow individual parties to choose which candidate to put on their primary ballot. Cobb criticized the Nader-Camejo ticket for not seeking the Green Party's nomination and running independently of the party.2008 Green National Convention
The 2008 Green National Convention took place on July 10–14, 2008 in Chicago, Illinois at the Palmer House Hilton and Symphony Center. This served as both the venue for the Presidential Nominating Convention and the Annual Meeting of the Green Party of the United States.2008 Green Party presidential primaries
The Green Party of the United States held primaries in several states in 2008. Cynthia McKinney won most of the primaries and was formally nominated as the party's nominee during the 2008 Green National Convention.2012 Green National Convention
The 2012 Green National Convention took place on July 12–15, 2012 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Annual National Meeting of the Green Party of the United States occurred at the University of Baltimore (William H. Thumel Sr. Business Center), with the Presidential Nominating Convention on July 14 being held at the Holiday Inn Inner Harbor (Chesapeake Room).2016 Green National Convention
The 2016 Green National Convention, in which delegates of the Green Party of the United States chose the party's nominees for President of the United States and Vice President in the national election, was held August 4–7, 2016 in Houston, Texas. In August 2015, Houston was chosen over a competing proposal from Toledo, Ohio. The Convention was located at the University of Houston with the theme, "Houston, We Have A Solution: Vote Green 2016".
The convention formally nominated Jill Stein as the party's nominee and Ajamu Baraka as her running mate.2016 Green Party presidential debates and forums
The Green presidential debates are a series of political debates between the Green candidates for president in the United States 2016 presidential election.2020 Green Party presidential primaries
The 2020 Green Party presidential primaries will be a series of primaries, caucuses and state conventions in which voters elect delegates to represent a candidate for the Green Party's nominee for President of the United States at the 2020 Green National Convention. The primaries, to be held in numerous states on various dates from early Spring into early Summer of 2020, will feature elections publicly funded, concurrent with the Democratic and Republican primaries, and elections privately funded by the Green Party, to be held non-concurrently with the major party primaries.
There will be 400 delegates, plus or minus two, elected to the Green National Convention. A candidate will need a simple majority of these delegates to become the party's nominee for president in the 2020 presidential election. In addition, formal recognition is a requirement to be the Green Party's nominee.David Cobb 2004 presidential campaign
The 2004 presidential campaign of David Cobb, a Texas attorney, was Cobb's second overall election campaign, having run for State Attorney General in 2002. Prior to seeking the presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States, he was involved with Ralph Nader's campaign in 2000 and was an activist for the Green Party.Green National Committee
The Green National Committee is the central governing body of the Green Party of the United States. The GNC is composed of delegates from each of the affiliated state party organizations and from recognized caucuses. The GNC oversees all national party functions and elects a steering committee to oversee day-to-day operations.Green National Convention
The Green National Convention is the Presidential nominating convention of the Green Party of the United States (GPUS). Though the Green National Committee meets annually in a "national meeting", the convention is convened by the GNC once every four years in order to nominate an official candidate in the upcoming U.S. Presidential election, and to officially adopt the party platform and rules for the election cycle.
The convention signals the end of the primary season for Greens, and the start of campaigning for the general election of that year; as such, prominent Greens in state and local races are also spotlighted in order to give them the publicity that the convention affords. In contrast to the Republican and Democratic National Conventions, however, the convention is not merely a formality which endorses the will of the electorate in the primaries, but the final determinant for the nomination. This is because ballot access laws in many states prohibit the Green Party from holding a state-sponsored primary election—only five states were able to meet the requirements in 2004—and others prevent voters from actually registering into the party, thus making it difficult to credential Greens.
As such, Green conventions often have a degree of contentiousness which was seen only in past conventions of the Democratic and Republican Parties, prior to reforms in 1968 and 1972, respectively.Green Party of Colorado
The Green Party of Colorado (GPCO) is the affiliate of the Green Party of the United States for the state of Colorado.Greens/Green Party USA
The Greens/Green Party USA (G/GPUSA) formed out of the Green Committees of Correspondence in 1990 and was recognized as a national political party by the FEC from 1991 to 2005. It is based in Chicago. Synthesis/Regeneration, an affiliated journal of green social thought, is published in St. Louis. The now predominant Green Party of the United States split from the G/GPUSA in 2001.Idaho Green Party
The Green Party of Idaho is the state party organization for Idaho of the Green Party of the United States.
They have been put on inactive status by the Green Party of the United States since 2010.List of United States Green Party presidential tickets
This is a list of the candidates for the offices of President of the United States and Vice President of the United States of the Green Party of the United States.Lorna Salzman
Lorna Salzman (Lorna Jackson) has been an American environmental activist, writer, lecturer, and organizer since the mid-1960s. She was a candidate for the 2004 presidential nomination of the Green Party of the United States.
Salzman is a graduate of Cornell University. She is a member of the New York Academy of Sciences, and in 2000 she received the international Earth Day Award from the Earth Society Foundation for her committed environmental work.
She was married to Eric Salzman until his death in 2017. Their two daughters are poet Eva Salzman and composer/songwriter Stephanie Salzman.Mountain Party
The Mountain Party is a state-level political party in West Virginia. It is the West Virginia affiliate of the Green Party of the United States. The party was headed by Jesse Johnson, State Chairman.
It is a progressive and environmentalist party whose party platform primarily focuses on "Grassroots Democracy", "Social Justice & Equal Opportunity", "Ecological Wisdom" and "Non-Violence".Pat LaMarche
Patricia Helen LaMarche (born November 26, 1960) is an American political figure and activist with the Green Party of the United States; she was the party's vice-presidential candidate in the 2004 U.S. presidential election, with David Cobb as its presidential candidate, and was one of seven co-chairs of the party's national committee, the Green Party of the United States, elected to that position on July 24, 2005.LaMarche is also a two-time former candidate for Governor of Maine (1998 and 2006).Rosa Clemente
Rosa Alicia Clemente (born April 18, 1972) is an American community organizer, independent journalist, and hip-hop activist. She was the vice presidential running mate of 2008 Green Party Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney in the 2008 U.S. Presidential election.