Steve Greenfield’s resignation from the Green Party

The full text of Greenfield’s statement made outside the Ulster County
Board of Elections concerning his resignation from the Green Party (see
following story for more.).

A little over a
year ago my work led me to election by the New York State Green Party
to serve on the National Committee, along with my friend and colleague
from New Paltz, Deputy Mayor Rebecca Rotzler. The time of this election
coincided with the onset of the peak of the presidential election
season, September 2004.

The state of affairs I discovered upon arrival at my new post was
shocking. There was nothing so much as resembling democracy being
practiced in the internal affairs of the national party. Low-population
states with little or no party membership held voting advantages over
larger states in some cases by as much as 300 to one. The entire
decision-making process was controlled by a Steering Committee of 9
people who, although only assigned administrative roles by party
bylaws, had somehow appropriated executive powers.

Delegations from New York and California held only 16% of the National
Committee votes, although they represented over 2/3 of the national
Green membership. The bylaws made little sense, contained numerous
conflicting clauses, no provisions for due process whatsoever, and
wherever clear were regularly ignored. Rising protests over this state
of affairs swiftly led the ruling directorship of the Green National
Committee to institute draconian rules of censorship and even expulsion
against dissident voices struggling to establish the democratic
principles written about so eloquently in the party platform.

Further aggravating the situation was a severe ethical shortfall in
party finance stemming from the diversion of $15,000 dollars raised
privately for the Ohio Recount into the Green Party national treasury
last February, questions about which the party still refuses to answer
to its own delegates, let alone the recounts donors. The aimless and
clueless central directorship has formally adopted a position that the
national party’s primary role will be to facilitate local elections in
its member states rather than take a meaningful role in the national

The “Safe States” strategy” AKA selling out to the Democrats. Some
major Green Party players here got grants of $250,000 from a Democratic
donor to setup nonprofits after the 2004 election.

They have chosen as a matter of policy to relegate any presidential
nominees and federal candidacies in general to fringe party status, and
have removed any mechanisms through which the grassroots party
membership of over 300,000 enrollees can challenge this policy. I also
found the majority of the delegates and standing committee heads to be
inadequately competent to attend to the challenges of their positions.

In general I found myself unable to support the policies, practices,
and personnel of the entrenched directorship of the national Green
party, and powerless to change them. In other words, on all counts
precisely the opposite of my wonderful experience with the New Paltz
Greens since I first changed my party enrollment from Democrat to Green
in 2001.

This is a terribly painful crossroads for me, since, as you are all
well aware, the building and promotion of the Green Party has been the
central theme of my life in the Mid-Hudson Valley since moving to New
Paltz in January of 2001. While the local and state Green Parties here
in New York are thriving and operating admirably, the controlling
directorship of the national Green Party does not have the principles,
the willingness or the competence to fight the current battles for
peace, economic and social justice, environmental protection and
democracy that are the foundation of the Green agenda.

Unfortunately, at this time, the critical decisions of our time
affecting these societal needs, even at the local level, are being made
in the national arena, and that is where my personal sense of duty
requires my energies be directed for the foreseeable future. So on this
day, the 12th of October, 2005, I have officially entered a change of
enrollment from Green to Democrat with the Ulster County Board of
Elections, a time-stamped copy of which I hold in my hand, and announce
at this time that I will be entering the Democratic Party Primary for
United States Senate against Hillary Clinton.

I resigned as Co-cordinator of the Green Party of Los Angeles County a few years ago for many of the same reasons.