March 24, 2015
A talented group of young black Mississippians conversed with one of the Green Party’s most dynamic and articulate speakers during a teleconference March 20 with Rosa Clemente, 2008 Vice Presidential candidate of the Green Party of the United States.
A black Puerto Rican professor, journalist and hip-hop artist, Rosa Clemente connected with about 75 Canton High School Concert Choir members who sang at Tougaloo College at the 10th Annual Conference of the Veterans of the Mississippi Civil Rights Movement.
Known for declaring, “The Green Party is no longer the alternative – the Green Party is the imperative,” Clemente told the students and veterans that knowledge of the social justice emphasis of the Green Party platform, and its rejection of control by corporate powers, would lead them to make no other choice. “Everything we said we wanted, the Green Party is about,” she said.
She spoke of the disenchantment of the 99% with the Democratic and Republican parties, noting that the Green Party aims to get 5% of the vote in a presidential election so it can be permanently on U.S. presidential ballots.
Ballot access is very difficult in many states, but the Green Party of Mississippi was organized in 2002 and Sherman Lee Dillon received almost 4,000 votes for governor in 2003. Three GP MS candidates ran for county election commissions in 2004, and John Wages was elected to the Lee County Election Commission. The GP MS looks forward to working with young Mississippi activists on the issues facing us in schools and colleges, workplaces, protection of air and water, and the many other local, national and international challenges of today and the future.
“Grassroots organizing keeps us moving forward,” Clemente said, urging the choir members and veterans to join the Green Party and help make it stronger and more effective, especially in local, state and Congressional arenas, by an influx of black and Latino members. “Go after every person not registered to vote,” she said, because they are the most disaffected.
After Clemente laid out the importance of the Green Party and the need to think through what people vote for, an audible gasp was heard from the students when she said she’s 46. It was clear that they continued to be engaged and to appreciate her answers to their questions. In a tweet following the teleconference, she thanked the young man who arranged her appearance for “one of the best conversations I have had in a very long time on the Green Party, electoral politics, Black and Brown solidarity and #blacklivesmatter with young folks from all over Mississippi! Want to do it again!”
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