Green Papers Project
from the Media Committee of the Green Party of the United States
The Green Party currently publishes press releases (drafted by the Media Committee and approved by Steering Committee members), policy resolutions (approved by the National Committee), and its national platform (approved by the Presidential Nominating Convention).
Many Greens have also expressed a desire for ‘Green Papers’, a Green Party play on the term ‘white papers’. Green Papers is a project for motivating Greens with knowledge and experience in different fields to write papers that expand upon the party’s basic platform positions and principles.
The GP’s platform is necessarily general in the way it addresses issues, however a Green Paper can cover unfolding current events and emerging political challenges, and present specific and detailed Green ideas, perspectives, solutions, and strategies.
The Green Papers will be published at gp.org, with cross-referenced indices of writers and subject areas similar to that of the GP Speakers Bureau linking to the papers.
The Green Papers will also be made available to outside media to be published as articles and op-ed columns in newspaper and other periodicals, news and opinion web sites, blogs, etc. A major goal of Green Papers is to get Green ideas in front of the public as often as possible and to widen the public debate on major issues, a debate too often limited to a narrow spectrum from moderate Democrat to far-right Republican, with opinions unfriendly to corporate interests and US military goals excluded.
Some papers might require adaptation for a more general audience or to fit guidelines for publication in these media. The Media Committee will assist with submissions.
Greens throughout the party are encouraged to read and circulate the Green Papers. The pages on which the Green Papers are published will allow reader comments at the bottom. GP press releases can cite and link the published Green Papers.
Furthermore, authors are encouraged to create videos of themselves speaking and reading their papers (perhaps an edited version to fit the video format and length), which could be posted on the GP YouTube channel. Creativity will be encouraged in these videos through the use of graphics, interesting location shoots, music, and other effects. The Media Committee can provide some assistance with video production.
Since in many cases there are a range of possible Green opinions that are consistent with the GP’s platform and principles, different authors can address the same topic and provide different ideas and approaches. Debate is encouraged among differing views.
For example, one Green Paper on the recent economic crisis might propose that major “too big to fail” banks be broken up into smaller, less powerful regional entities, while another might advocate nationalizing the banks. Both of these could be seen as consistent with Green platform positions and principles. Internal discussions featuring various, sometimes opposing Green ideas demonstrates a healthy diversity of thought among Greens, skepticism towards ‘one size fits all’ solutions, rejection of authoritarian insistence on intellectual conformity, and willingness to entertain new ideas.
A Green Paper will not have the status of a GP Platform Plank or even a National Committee resolution. The purpose of Green Papers is to expand on basic Green principles and platform positions and to get Green ideas in front of other Greens and especially the public. It will not to decree specific GP positions and courses of action. The Green Papers web page will contain the following clearly visible caveat/disclaimer advising that “The perspectives expressed in the Green Papers are based upon the GP’s platform and principles, but are solely the views of the author(s) and don’t necessarily represent the party’s official position. Green Papers are meant as an outreach and educational tool to stimulate discussion on Green positions on the issues of the day.” However, Greens can use a Green Paper as the basis for a party resolution or can cite a Green Paper in the text of a resolution.
Green Papers Subcommittee
The Green Papers Sub-committee, with three members appointed by the Media Committee and two each by the Platform Committee and the Steering Committee, has been established. Those appointed can be members of those committees, but do not have to be, as long as they are a member of a state Green Party of the US.
Green Papers Authors
Green Papers requires a pool of writers to write the papers. As with the Speakers Bureau, the authors are vetted according to their expertise, experience, and adherence to the GP’s platform positions and principles. The Green Papers Sub-committee conducts the vetting and approval process in a simple and non-bureaucratic way, with an emphasis on encouragement and assistance for writers, with a goal that Green writers emerge as popular representatives of the Green Party, just as many newspaper and online op-ed writers are associated with the Democratic and Republican parties.
Membership in the Green Papers writers pool require that the writers produce — that they write and submit papers from time to time. Conversely, Greens who already write good articles, op-ed submissions, etc. are encouraged to apply for Green Papers membership, especially those with a good track record in getting articles published.
Green Party ‘issue’ committees (e.g., EcoAction, GPAX, International) and national caucuses may have a special interest in working with Green Papers to get position papers published, either collectively written by committees and caucuses or by individual authors. State and local parties will be encouraged to submit position papers and writers with expertise in the same subject area to work together on preparing position papers.
Green Papers Editorial Guidelines and Approval Process
As with the Media Committee’s press releases, a vetting process by the Green Papers sub-committee will occur before publication on gp.org.
Both the substance and the style of a submitted paper are important — the goal is to feature interesting and valuable ideas that are consistent with the GP platform and expressed clearly and persuasively. The Green Papers Sub-committee vets and approves papers according to the following guidelines, which have already been approved of by the National Committee:
– Analysis: Disinterested commentary by qualified writers dissecting in depth particular campaigns or other pressing issues, a greater understanding of which the Editorial Board deems will greatly benefit the party (all analysis must either appear on a marked opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Analysis” logo)
– Reviews: Overviews and evaluations of books and other publications directly concerning the Green Party (all reviews must appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Review” logo)
– Opinions: Argumentative articles taking a position on a particular issue affecting the direction of the Green Party, advocating the party’s adoption of particular positions or using personal experiences to provoke thought in readers, including letters to the editor (all opinions must appear on a marked Opinion page or prominently display a consistently recognizable “Commentary” logo)
– Editorials: Green Pages will not publish signed or unsigned pieces labeled “editorial” if they are intended to represent the opinion of one or all members of the editorial board. The use of the label “editorial” will be restricted to reflect official positions of GP, and will require approval by the editorial board, at least three Steering Committee members, and one Platform Committee member. There should be a consensus of support from the editorial board and Steering and Platform Committees before publication. The Media Committee may be consulted for input during this process.
– Creative Work: Editorial cartoons, drawings and creative writing concerning issues of relevance to the Green Party and/or a Green/progressive perspective on current events (all creative work must appear on a marked Opinion page)
Green Papers Subject Areas
A list of the Speakers Bureau subject areas which could be used for Green Papers can include:
Civil Liberties / US Constitution / Civil Rights / LGBT Issues / Corporate Power / Globalization / Criminal Justice / Drug Policy / Death Penalty / Democratic & Electoral Reform / Development / Environment / Racism / Ecological Sustainability / Global Warming / Population / Economic Justice / Taxation / Budget Policy / Economic Sustainability / Education / Energy / Space Exploration / Foreign Policy / Health Care / Housing / Community / Transportation / Labor / Immigration / Local & State Governance / Peace / Nonviolence / Political Organizing / Messaging / Social Security / Retirement / Women’s Rights