Monthly Archives: March 2011

Local Green Party leaders on Reston TV Channel 28 – Reston Impact

John Lovaas, host of Reston Impact, hosted three local Green Party leaders, including the head of the Northern Virginia Green Party, Paul Hughes. A wide range of topics were discussed, from what the Green Party stands for, to local electoral activity, values, issues, and policy challenges facing Northern Virginia.

The entire show is available below. You can learn more about Reston Imact via this link.

Reston Impact – The Real Green Party from Comcast Channel 28 on Vimeo.


John Lovaas is the host and producer of Reston Impact. He is a retired Senior Foreign Service Officer in the US foreign aid program and a long time Reston homeowner and resident. In addition to having served on the Boards of Directors of the Reston Association, the Reston Community Center and as President of the Reston Citizens Association, Mr. Lovaas is a founder of the Reston Farmers Market at Lake Anne. He has worked in Reston community television also since 1998 and created Reston Impact in 2002. He and his wife Fran Lovaas have been homeowners in Reston since 1978 and now reside in Lake Anne. Mr. Lovaas was selected as a Best of Reston Award winner in 2007.

Air Times : Tuesday 10pm , Wednesday 8:30pm, Sunday 8pm

Arlington Greens co-sponsor public forum April 3rd about ending plastic bag and styrofoam use.

The Arlington Green Party, along with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Sierra club are holding an important public forum about ending the use of plastic bags and styrofoam boxes/containers at local retail businesses and restaurants.

Plastic bags and styrofoam containers are an ongoing pollution threat to our local, regional, and national environment. Discussion about the impact of this pollution, and sensible real-world solutions will be featured at this forum.

Full info on this event, open to the public:


Public Panel and Discussion on Plastic Bags and Styrofoam Used in Arlington Supermarkets and Retail Stores: April 3, 2011, 4 PM, Arlington Central Library Auditorium

The Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), the Arlington Green Party (AGP), and the Mt. Vernon Chapter of the Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a panel discussion at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Sunday, Sunday, April 3, on banning the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam from Arlington County retail stores and restaurants. Whole Foods and Ted’s Montana Grill Restaurant, two businesses that use alternatives to single use nonbiodegradable plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers, will discuss alternatives.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 300 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. annually, including about 100 billion single use plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers $4 billion each year.

Plastic bags are not biodegradable, but ultimately break into small toxic particles that end up in the world’s oceans and marine life. Similarly, Styrofoam is a plastic product that is not biodegradable, cannot be recycled, and ends up in solid waste, or spews toxics into the air when incinerated. Styrofoam and plastic bags are among the most commonly found contaminants in the world’s oceans, streams and lakes.

In early 2010, the District of Columbia imposed a 5 cent per bag tax on plastic bags given away at many retail stores. The tax reduced the number of plastic bags used in retail stores in DC from 22 million monthly during 2009 to 3 million bags used in January 2011, according to press reports. This represents an 80 percent reduction in plastic bags potentially ending up in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

The panel will be held at the Arlington County Central Library auditorium starting at 4 PM; light refreshments will be served and all are welcomed and attendance is free.


Upgrade your Democracy: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

Cross-posted from


So you vote, right?


Everyone talks about who to vote for: the best man, woman, for the job – the smartest or the toughest or the most peaceful or the least peaceful or the tallest or the best looking. People use many different methods to determine who they vote for.

But have you ever thought of how we vote?

For presidential campaigns, each state has a number of votes in the electoral college, so whether you vote for the Green Party candidate, the Republican candidate, or the Libertarian candidate, you’re not actually voting for the candidates, you are choosing electors.

So, whichever candidate gets the most popular votes in a given state, gets all of that states electors (with the exception of a couple of states). There is no prize for second place, and if you vote for a third party candidate, you are often mocked for “wasting” your vote.

 If voting for the candidate of your choice is such a big problem, then the Green Party of the United States presents:

Solution time!

Option 1: All independent candidates and political parties who are not the Democratic and Republican Party should be banned! Well, not constitutional, and rather mean-spirited.

Option 2: How about a parliamentary system with proportional representation? Not a bad idea, but it would take one (or more) amendments to the U.S. Constitution, plus possibly amendments to various state constitutions, and other constitutional legal headaches. President Obama taught constitutional law, we could ask him….

Option 3: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) – now here’s an idea whose time has come! Instant Runoff Voting allows you, the voter, to rank your candidates in order of preference when there are more than two candidates running for a single office (1992 Presidential campaign: Clinton, GHW Bush, Perot – 2000 Presidential campaign: Gore, GW Bush, Nader) WITHOUT “WASTING” YOUR VOTE.

How does it work?

The short version is: You rank your candidates in order of your preference, 1. Jane 2. Bob 3. Pete
Then, the votes are counted. If a candidate receives a majority (50%+1) then they win and the election is over. However, if none of the candidates get a majority, the Instant Runoff happens. The candidate with the least amount of votes is dropped, and if you voted for that person, then YOUR vote transfers to YOUR SECOND CHOICE. So, it’s impossible to waste your vote – your vote only supports candidates you support, and never ends up accidentally helping candidates you oppose.

Looking back, my “short version” is way too long. IRV is so simple and easy to use the liberal Hollywood elite use it to decide the winner of Best Picture in the Academy Awards!

Here is an animated clip from the good folks at FairVote that breaks it all down.:

The Green Party supports your right to a better way of voting! We support Instant Runoff Voting as a way to broaden political participation, and enrich the political culture of our country.

Greens are fighting for a more vibrant democracy. You, the citizen and voter, deserve nothing less.

Like pictures? Here’s the flow chart of an election using IRV/Instant Runoff Voting. Pretty……


Daryl Northrop

Photo’s from the 50-State Rallies to Save the American Dream

Great post from the folks at – 50 great pictures from each state capital taken at the Rallies to Save the American Dream.

From across the political spectrum, Americans turned out in support of the middle class and the right of workers to collectively organize.

The Northern Virginia Green Party stands shoulder to shoulder with all Americans who dream of a better life for them and their children, fueled by jobs, healthcare, and education. Why? Because our American values allow for nothing less.