Green Party of the United States
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Green Party of the United States
Green Party
Chairperson Green National Committee
Founded April 2001; 16 years ago (2001-04)
Split from Greens/Green Party USA
Preceded by Association of State Green Parties
Headquarters 6411 Orchard Avenue, Suite 101, Takoma Park, Maryland 20912
Newspaper Green Pages
Youth wing Young Greens
Women's wing National Women's Caucus
LGBT wing Lavender Greens
Latino wing Latino Caucus
Black wing Black Caucus
Membership (July 2017) Increase 258,683[1]
Ideology Anti-capitalism[2]
Electoral reform[3]
Grassroots democracy[4]
Market socialism[5]
Political position Left-wing[8][9]
International affiliation Global Greens
Continental affiliation Federation of the Green Parties of the Americas
Colors      Green
Seats in the Senate
Seats in the House
State Upper House Seats
State Lower House Seats
Territorial Governorships
Territorial Upper Chamber Seats
Territorial Lower Chamber Seats
Other elected offices 145 (2018)[10]
Part of a series on
Green politics
Sunflower symbol

The Green Party of the United States (GPUS or Greens) is a green political party in the United States.[11] The party, which is the country's fourth-largest by membership, promotes 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.[2]

The GPUS was founded in 2001 as the evolution of the Association of State Green Parties (ASGP), which was formed in 1996.[12] 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.[13] The ASGP had increasingly distanced itself from the G/GPUSA in the late 1990s.[14]

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.[15] The degree of Nader's impact on the 2000 election remains controversial.[16][17]

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.[18] A number of Greens around the United States hold positions on the municipal level, including on school boards, city councils and as mayors.


Early years

The political movement that began in 1985 as the decentralized Committees of Correspondence[19] 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[20] 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 - 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%.[21]


The GPUS follows the ideals of green politics, which are based on the Four Pillars of the Green Party: ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy and nonviolence. The "Ten Key Values",[22] which expand upon the four pillars, are as follows:

  1. Grassroots democracy
  2. Social justice and equal opportunity
  3. Ecological wisdom
  4. Nonviolence
  5. Decentralization
  6. Community-based economics and economic justice
  7. Feminism and gender equity
  8. Respect for diversity
  9. Personal and global responsibility
  10. Future focus and sustainability

Peter Camejo was quoted in 2002 as claiming that he was a watermelon--green on the outside but red on the inside.[23] 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".[24] 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.[25]

Structure and composition


The Green Party has two national committees recognized by the Federal Election Commission (FEC):

Green National Committee

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 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:

  • Disability Caucus[32]
  • Labor Caucus[33]
  • Indigenous Caucus[34]

Geographic distribution

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.[35] 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.[36]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-wise 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.[37][38]

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.[39] One challenge that the Green Party (as well as other third parties) faces is the difficulty of overcoming ballot access laws in many states.

State and District of Columbia parties

The following is a list of accredited state parties which comprise the Green Party of the United States.[40]

In addition, the Green Party has a chapter in the United States Virgin Islands.[41] The Green Party does not currently have active state chapters in The Dakotas, Utah or Vermont.

Office holders

Musician Jello Biafra ran for several offices with the Green Party, including for President in 2000
Malik Rahim, former Black Panther Party activist, ran for Congress in 2008 with the Green Party
Psychiatrist Joel Kovel ran for the Green Party's presidential nomination in 2000
2012 and 2016 Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein

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.[42] 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.[42]

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[43] running as such in the 2000 election.[44]Richard Carroll was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2008, but switched parties to become a Democrat five months after his election.[45]Fredrick Smith was elected to the Arkansas House of Representatives in 2012,[46] but re-registered as a Democrat in 2014.[47] 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.[48]

Gayle McLaughlin was twice elected mayor of Richmond, California, defeating two Democrats in 2006[49] and then reelected in 2010; and elected to City Council in 2014 after completing her second term as mayor.[50] 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.[51]

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.[18]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.

No nominee of the Green Party has been elected to office in the federal government.

List of national conventions and annual meetings

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.

Presidential ballot access

2004 2008 2012 2016
Electoral votes 267 (479) 368 (528) 439 (489) 494 (522)[52][53]
History of ballot access by location:
# Alabama Not on ballot On ballot
# Alaska On ballot Not on ballot On ballot
# Arizona Not on ballot On ballot
# Arkansas Not on ballot On ballot
# California On ballot
# Colorado On ballot
# Connecticut On ballot (write-in) On ballot
# Delaware On ballot
# Florida On ballot
# Georgia (write-in)
# Hawaii On ballot
# Idaho (write-in) On ballot
# Illinois Not on ballot On ballot
# Indiana (write-in) Not on ballot (write-in)
# Iowa On ballot
# Kansas (write-in) On ballot[54]
# Kentucky Not on ballot On ballot
# Louisiana On ballot
# Maine On ballot
# Maryland On ballot
# Massachusetts On ballot
# Michigan On ballot
# Minnesota On ballot
# Mississippi On ballot
# Missouri Not on ballot (write-in) Not on ballot On ballot[55]
# Montana On ballot (write-in) Not on ballot On ballot
# Nebraska Not on ballot On ballot Not on ballot On ballot
# Nevada On ballot Not on ballot
# New Hampshire Not on ballot On ballot
# New Jersey On ballot[54]
# New Mexico On ballot
# New York (write-in) On ballot
# North Carolina Not on ballot (write-in) Not on ballot (write-in)
# North Dakota Not on ballot On ballot
# Ohio Not on ballot On ballot
# Oklahoma Not on ballot
# Oregon On ballot
# Pennsylvania On ballot
# Rhode Island On ballot[56]
# South Carolina On ballot
# South Dakota Not on ballot[54]
# Tennessee On ballot
# Texas (write-in) On ballot
# Utah On ballot
# Vermont Not on ballot On ballot
# Virginia (write-in) Not on ballot[54] On ballot
# Washington On ballot
# West Virginia Not on ballot[54] On ballot
# Wisconsin (write-in) On ballot
# Wyoming Not on ballot On ballot
# District of Columbia Not on ballot On ballot Not on ballot[54] On ballot

Electoral results

President and Vice President

Year Presidential nominee Home state Previous positions Vice presidential nominee Home state Previous positions Votes Notes
1996 Naderspeak (cropped).JPG
Ralph Nader
 Connecticut Lawyer, activist Reception (4099192018) (cropped).jpg
Winona LaDuke
 Minnesota Environmentalist 685,297 (0.7%)
0 EV
2000 Naderspeak (cropped).JPG
Ralph Nader
 Connecticut Nominee for President of the United States (1996) Reception (4099192018) (cropped).jpg
Winona LaDuke
 Minnesota Nominee for Vice President of the United States (1996) 2,882,955 (2.7%)
0 EV
2004 David Cobb at Oct 2016 Berkeley rally for Jill Stein - 3 (cropped3).jpg
David Cobb
 Texas Lawyer
Nominee for Attorney General of Texas
Pat LaMarche  Maine Nominee for Governor of Maine
119,859 (0.1%)
0 EV
2008 Cynthia McKinney.jpg
Cynthia McKinney
 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
(1997-2003; 2005-2007)
NLN Rosa Clemente.jpg
Rosa Clemente
 New York Community organizer 161,797 (0.1%)
0 EV
2012 Jill Stein by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jill Stein
 Massachusetts Nominee for Governor of Massachusetts
(2002; 2010)
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
Cheri Honkala.jpg
Cheri Honkala
 Pennsylvania Activist
Nominee for Sheriff of Philadelphia
469,627 (0.4%)
0 EV
2016 Jill Stein by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jill Stein
 Massachusetts (see above for previous positions)
Nominee for President of the United States
Ajamu Baraka at Oct 2016 Berkeley rally for Jill Stein - 4 (cropped) (cropped).jpg
Ajamu Baraka
 Illinois Activist 1,457,216 (1.1%)
0 EV


House of Representatives

Election year No. of overall votes % of overall vote No. of overall seats won +/-
1992 134,072 0.14
1994 52,096 0.07
1996 42,510 0.05
1998 70,932 0.11
2000 260,087 0.26
2002 297,187 0.40
2004 344,549 0.30
2006 243,391 0.29
2008 580,263 0.47
2010 252,688 0.29
2012 372,996 0.30
2014 246,567 0.30
2016 515,263[62] 0.42?


Election year No. of overall votes % of overall vote No. of overall seats won +/-
2000 685,289 0.90
2002 94,702 0.20
2004 157,671 0.20
2006 295,935 0.50
2008 427,427 0.70
2010 516,517 0.80
2012 212,103 0.20
2014 152,555 0.32
2016 695,604[63] 0.97?

Fundraising and position on Super PACs

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.[64] 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.[65]

See also


  1. ^ Winger, Richard (27 July 2017). "New Registration Data for the United States". Retrieved 2017. 
  2. ^ a b "Green Party of the United States - National Committee Voting - Proposal Details". Retrieved 2016. 
  3. ^ "Platform of the Greens/Green Party USA". "Abolish the disproportional, aristocratic US Senate. Create a single-chamber US Congress, elected by a system of mixed-member proportional representation that combines district representatives elected by preference voting and party representatives seated in proportion to each party's vote".
  4. ^ "Ten Key Values".
  5. ^ "Green Party Pick Gives Democrats Brunt Of Criticism". "Stein laid out her platform, called the Green New Deal, which she says includes a series of emergency reforms. The plans range from declaring a moratorium on foreclosures to forgiving student loan debt and creating millions of community-based jobs in worker cooperatives, public transportation and in clean energy".
  6. ^ "IV. Economic Justice & Sustainability". "We will build an economy based on large-scale green public works, municipalization, and workplace and community democracy".
  7. ^ "Green Party Ten key values". 
  8. ^ "Presidential Hopefuls Meet in Third Party Debate". PBS. 25 October 2012. Retrieved 2015. 
  9. ^ Resnikoff, Ned (23 June 2015). "Green Party's Jill Stein Running for President". Al Jazeera. Retrieved 2015. 
  10. ^ "Officeholders". The Green Party of the United States. Retrieved 2017. 
  11. ^ "Green Party". Retrieved 2016. 
  13. ^ "ADVISORY OPINION 2001-13" (PDF). Federal Election Commission. Retrieved 2016. 
  15. ^ "THE 2000 ELECTIONS: THE GREEN PARTY; Angry Democrats, Fearing Nader Cost Them Presidential Race, Threaten to Retaliate". The New York Times. 9 November 2000. Retrieved 2016. 
  16. ^ Nader, Ralph (2 June 2016). "Ralph Nader: I was not a 'spoiler' in 2000. Jill Stein doesn't deserve that insulting label, either". The Washington Post. Retrieved 2016. 
  17. ^ Moser, Richard (6 June 2016). "The Myth of the Spoiler: Why the Machine Elites Fear Democracy". CounterPunch. Retrieved 2016. 
  18. ^ a b "Lawmaker's party switch gives Greens a seat in the Maine House".
  19. ^ Marks, Jodean (1997). "A Historical Look at Green Structure: 1984 to 1992". Synthesis/Regeneration. 14. Retrieved 2008. 
  20. ^ Kelly, Petra (2002). "On Morality and Human Dignity (excerpts)". Synthesis/Regeneration. 28. Retrieved 2008. 
  21. ^ Winger, Richard. "Green Party Nominee for U.S. House in Arizona Sets a New Record for Green Candidates for Congress - Ballot Access News". 
  22. ^ "Green Party - 10 Key Values". 2015. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  23. ^ Herel, Suzanne. "Multimedia (image)". San Francisco Chronicle. Archived from the original on 15 November 2005. Retrieved 2011. 
  24. ^ "The Avocado Declaration, a statement by Peter Camejo and the Avocado Education Project". Retrieved 2016. 
  25. ^ "Why Register as a Green - Green Party Website". Green Party. Archived from the original on 12 November 2014. Retrieved 2014. 
  26. ^ "The Green Senatorial Campaign Committee". Retrieved 2011. 
  27. ^ Grigsby, Karen (21 October 2010). "Green Party Black Caucus Journal". Retrieved 2011. 
  28. ^ "Latino Caucus of The Green Party of the United States". 2015. Archived from the original on 29 September 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  29. ^ "Lavender Green Caucus". Retrieved 2011. 
  30. ^ "National Women's Caucus: Green Party". Retrieved 2015. 
  31. ^ "About - Young Greens". 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  32. ^ "Disability Caucus of the USGP". Retrieved 2011. 
  33. ^ "Green Labor Network". Green Party of The United States. Archived from the original on 15 June 2012. 
  34. ^ "Indigenous Caucus - Green Party Watch". Retrieved 2017. 
  35. ^ "2010 Election Database". Archived from the original on 6 January 2009. Retrieved 2010. 
  36. ^ "Maine Green Registration Rises Again". Ballot Access News. 26 March 2007. Retrieved 2008. 
  37. ^ Leip, David. "Dave Leip's Atlas of U.S. Presidential Elections". Retrieved 2017. 
  38. ^ "Creating a National Precinct Map - Decision Desk HQ". Retrieved 2017. 
  39. ^ "Green Party Ballot Status and Voter Registration Totals (United States)". Green Party of California. May 2005. Archived from the original on 26 May 2008. Retrieved 2008. 
  40. ^ "Green Party - State Parties". 2015. Archived from the original on 26 September 2015. Retrieved 2015. 
  41. ^ "Vote Green Party in Virgin Islands - Towards a Green Tomorrow". Retrieved 2015. 
  42. ^ a b "Officeholders". Green Party of the United States. Archived from the original on 17 February 2017. Retrieved 2017. 
  43. ^ "Sole Green Party Legislator Makes Switch". RAND California Policy Bulletin. 18 October 1999. Retrieved 2008. 
  44. ^ "Ca 2000 Election Night Returns" (PDF). The Capital Connection. 8 November 2000. Retrieved 2008. 
  45. ^ "Nation's highest-ranking Green switching parties". San Francisco Chronicle. 29 April 2009. Retrieved 2009. [dead link]
  46. ^ Hardy, Ronald. "Fred Smith Elected to Arkansas State House on Green Party Ticket". Green Party Watch. Retrieved 2013. 
  47. ^ Winger, Richard (26 February 2014). "Arkansas Representative Fred Smith, Elected as a Green Party Nominee in 2012, Files for Re-Election as a Democrat". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2014. 
  48. ^ Hardy, Ronald. "Maine Greens Elect Three; Plus Independent to State Assembly". Green Party Watch. Retrieved 2013. 
  49. ^ "Official Results of the 2006 Municipal Election Held on November 7, 2006". Richmond City Clerk's Office. 25 January 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  50. ^ "Results of 2010 midterm elections are mixed bag for Mayor Bloomberg". Daily News. New York. 7 November 2010. Retrieved 2013. 
  51. ^ "Most Greens holding elected office at the same time on a single legislative body". Green Party of the United States. 12 September 2012. Archived from the original on 16 September 2012. Retrieved 2012. 
  52. ^ "Ballot Access". Retrieved 2016. 
  53. ^ "Four Statewide Petitions Filed in Pennsylvania". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2016. 
  54. ^ a b c d e f "As of August 1". Retrieved 2016. 
  55. ^ "Green Party Missouri Petition Approved". Ballot Access News. 23 August 2016. Retrieved 2016. 
  56. ^ "Rhode Island Secretary of State Says Three Independent Presidential Petitions Have Enough Valid Signatures". Ballot Access News. Retrieved 2016. 
  57. ^ Nader was not formally nominated by the party itself, but he did receive the endorsement of a large number of state parties and is considered as the de facto Green Party candidate.
  58. ^ In Iowa and Vermont, Anne Goeke was Nader's running mate, in New Jersey it was Madelyn Hoffman and in New York it was Muriel Tillinghast.
  59. ^ Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo, a Green, ran an independent campaign and received 0.4% of the vote; however, they were not affiliated with the Green Party.
  60. ^ Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez, a Green, ran an independent campaign and received 0.6% of the vote, but they were not affiliated with the Green Party.
  61. ^ While Stein and Baraka did not receive any electoral votes, Green Winona LaDuke received one vote for Vice President from a Washington faithless elector; the presidential vote went to Faith Spotted Eagle, a Democrat.
  62. ^ "U.S. House National Totals by Party, 2016". Ballot Access News. 25 December 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  63. ^ "Democrats Outpoll Republicans in U.S. Senate Races by 10,512,669 Votes, but Republicans Win 22 of the 34 Seats". Ballot Access News. 22 December 2016. Retrieved 2017. 
  64. ^ Garecht, Joe (8 December 2011). "7 Creative Political Fundraising Ideas". Retrieved 2015. 
  65. ^ "Long Shots". The Huffington Post. 9 February 2012. Retrieved 2015. 

External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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