Category Archives: Announcements

Important meeting 10/7 City of Fairfax Public Library


The Northern Virginia Green Party suffered a loss recently. Party Chairman Paul Hughes died suddenly on September 15th (click Paul’s name for a link to the obituary). His energy and dedication for social justice, sustainable development, and creating a truly citizen-oriented political party are the hallmarks of his legacy.

The Northern Virginia Green Party is part of that tradition. To that end, we are holding a meeting to elect temporary officers to preside over the party until a full election can be held in January or February. Also, we will be discussing ways to support the Jill Stein for President campaign, and the Joe Galdo for Congress campaign here in the area.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday, October 7th from 2:30pm to 5pm
Location: 10360 North Street Fairfax, VA Room 214

Officer positions open:****(see note below for more information)

Co-Chair: two positions open. The Co-Chairs are responsible for organizing meetings, setting general policy based on input from the membership, formulating strategy, recruiting members, recruiting and assisting local, state, and federal candidates for elected office, maintaining party financial accounts, and maintaining contact/coordination with the Green Party of Virginia and the Green Party of the United States. Co-Chairs are the public face of the Northern Virginia Green Party and will be expected to interface with the press and other media outlets if needed. Daryl Northrop, Northern Virginia Green Party member since 2009, and strategy advisor/technology volunteer has thrown his hat into the ring for one of the openings. Daryl has been active with the Green Party since 2000. Serving as a county organizer and later co-chair of the Iowa Green Party, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2004 (Iowa), delegate to the national party. In 2010, Daryl completed his Masters in Political Management from The George Washington University. Daryl and his wife April live in Annandale.

Secretary: In charge of administering membership lists, email list, and merging membership updates from the Nova Greens website, the state Green Party, and the Green Party of the United States

Technology Coordinator: produce content and help administer the website, along with associated Twitter account (@NovaGreens) and Facebook group.

****IMPORTANT: If you are interested in assisting in one of these elected positions, please send a short bio about yourself to NO LATER than 11:59pm 10-01-12, telling us why you are running, and what you experience and capabilities are. Candidate bio’s will be forwarded to the membership via email on 10-02-12.

Remembering Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes

Paul Hughes, Former Chair of the Northern Virginia Greens and Founder of the Rebuild Warehouse

1943 – 2012

The Green Party of Virginia joins environmentalist activists across the Commonwealth in mourning the passing of Northern Virginia Green Party chairperson Paul Hughes, who died this past weekend from a heart attack. “Paul was a “gentle warrior” who had a clear understanding of how the American promise of a democratic Republic was being thwarted by a small ruling elite,” said David Cobb, former 2004 Green Party Presidential candidate and current organizer. ”He will be sorely missed.”
A long time resident of Fairfax County and retired government consultant, Hughes chaired the Northern Virginia local of the Green Party of Virginia. He also owned several environmentally friendly businesses that specialized in salvaging construction materials from demolition sites (Deconstruction Services) and selling them from his Springfield warehouse (Rebuild Warehouse). His business legacy includes the hiring and training of ex-prison convicts and former drug addicts and channeling them into productive careers.
As an activist, Hughes was well regarded as a Sierra Club volunteer and an early supporter of the work of the Program on Corporations, Law & Democracy POCLAD). He was one of the first organizers for the Move coalition in Virginia. Throughout his life, Hughes worked tirelessly for Virginians and all Americans, and served as a mentor and inspiration to many.
The Green Party of Virginia wishes to extend its deepest sympathies to the Hughes family for the loss of this great Virginian.
Green Party of Virginia

Paul along with Arlington Greens Don Rouse and John Reeder just recently appeared in an hour long interview on Reston public tv program, Reston Impact, that was hosted by Reston activist John Lovass who along with Paul started an environmental group Sustainable Reston that worked to preserve Reston’s water, trees and natural environment. the direct link to the show is
Paul mentored other Arlington Greens including Miriam Gennari in understanding how better technology, recycling, and energy conservation can improve our world and local community.

Rest in peace, our friend Paul.

Posted by Beth on 10/07/2012 08:38:00 AM
In Memory of Paul Hughes 
Environmental Activist and Visionary
Founder and President, DeConstruction Services, LLC
and ReBuild Warehouse
by Beth Herman
At 7 p.m. on the bone-chilling evening of December 23, 2010, when Washington had long since gone for the holidays, and though he had a persistent cough, fever and raging bronchitis, Paul Hughes gave me an hour of his time. It was a phone interview and try as I might to postpone it to another day, when some semblance of his strained, raspy voice would have returned, Hughes was intent upon keeping the appointment. Though I pictured the then 67-year-old environmental activist huddled over eucalyptus-infused steam, swaddled in a polar fleece wrap on the sofa of a dimly lit room, in reality I learned he was sitting upright at his desk, multitasking, computer humming, lights blazing, as though it was just another day (or night) at the office.
True to his deep sense of humanity and character, something revealed to me not so much by his robust bio and hard-won list of achievements but rather by the unrelenting credit and opportunity he gave to everyone else, Hughes was a quiet revolutionary. Cuirassed in earth-friendly prose and practices, he soldiered on, in fact early on, long before concepts like “renewable” and “sustainable” became as commonplace and easy to swallow as butter and toast.
In addition to harvesting old materials and making them available at supremely reduced rates to the public through his 501(c)(3) organization ReBuild Warehouse, the former nonprofit grant and environmental services consultant gave dozens of nonviolent ex-offenders a chance to turn their lives around. With valuable training and full-time employment offered through his businesses, Hughes invested in human dignity as much as anything else.
“Most contractors are trying to get away from employing a lot of people…so they can offload liability costs, worker’s comp and matching social security. They contract everything out to subcontractors and let them worry about where to get laborers—often just day laborers to whom fewer laws apply, and who have little hope of pulling themselves up.”
His life
Born and raised in Toledo, Ohio, and marrying his University of Toledo sweetheart, Linda, Paul Hughes “…had his fingers in so many pies—he just had so many different interests,” according to his wife. Following their 1967 marriage, Hughes was instrumental in setting up Hospice of Northern Virginia in a former school building—the region’s first hospice. With an eye to environmental issues, he also vehemently resisted the Lorton incinerator project, though sadly lost the battle.
When ReBuild Warehouse, established in Springfield, Virginia 2008, suddenly lost its lease three years later, in typical fashion and wasting no time, Hughes diligently acquired a smaller space as an interim measure to continue to serve and educate the community. Staff (largely volunteer), hours and convenience were cut back, but he kept moving forward.
Hughes’ good friend Hank Blakely called him “a force of nature.” A lay minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Fairfax in which Hughes was also active, Blakely is also on the board of directors of the Reston Citizen’s Association, vice president of Sustainability Reston and also of parent company the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth—an organization started by  the visionary Hughes.
In his spare time, Hughes spent weekends canvassing flea markets and farmer’s markets, handing out brochures about the environment. “He was so far ahead of everyone else in his environmental thinking—particularly in the beginning— it could be frustrating when people couldn’t comprehend his vision and sense of urgency,” Linda Hughes said.
According to Blakely, Hughes was the “Johnny Appleseed of nonprofit organizations in Northern Virginia. He put his heart and his money where his voice was on these issues. He absolutely backed the things that he believed in,” he said about his friend, who was also Northern Virginia Green Party chairperson.
Toward the end of our phone interview on that pre-holiday evening, I recall making a note to myself to meet Paul Hughes, but like many of us I simply put it off, content to keep myself updated through ReBuild Warehouse’s e-newsletters about their many challenges and achievements. He died on September 15 from cardiac arrest following a bicycle ride with his wife.
With all he had accomplished, Linda said there were many more things he wanted to do. He could still see ahead. The economy was changing and things were opening up again.
Said Blakely, “It never struck us that Paul would go away. It just felt like he would always be here.”

Deconstruction services still available
We would like to announce that our sister for-profit business, DeConstruction Services, LLC is open and fully operational. If you are planning on renovating or know of someone who is, please call Daryl at 703-280-1719 for more information. Although you pay for this service, the items donated are considered a tax deduction and often times the donation greatly will help to offset the cost of the deconstruction project. ReBuild receives most of its donated items in this fashion. Please pass the word to keep this environmentally sustainable method of disassembly of homes viable.

Death of Paul Hughes, original member of Sustainable Reston and founder of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth

posted Sep 19, 2012, 5:57 PM by Diane B



September 19, 2012


It is with great sadness that we at Sustainable Reston share with you the news of the sudden and unexpected death of Paul Hughes, one of the original members of Sustainable Reston.  In addition to helping to found Sustainable Reston, Paul was the founder of the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth, parent of Sustainable Reston.

Paul was a tireless champion of sustainability in all areas of our lives.  He promoted renewable energy, green jobs, recycling and reuse of building materials, and sustainability education through workshops at ReBuild Warehouse, which he founded to keep used but reusable building materials out of our landfills and trash incinerators.  These were just a few of Paul’s passionate activities in our region.  Now that we face the impacts of climate change in our daily lives, external economic disruptions to our local economy, and the impacts of resource depletion, we will have to forge ahead with our mission without Paul’s leadership and vision. He will be sorely missed by all who had the privilege of knowing and working with him.

Paul’s death leaves a hole that cannot be filled, but it leads us to redouble our efforts to find solutions to the problems we face.  We hope you will join us as we carry on Paul’s life mission of creating a sustainable world.


Diane Blust

President, Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth

Sustainable Reston™


On Sept. 15, our region lost a longtime leader of the green movement and a dynamic activist in many progressive causes.  Paul S. Hughes died of a sudden heart attack after returning from a bike with his wife of 44 years, Linda. Mr. Hughes was born in Jacksonville, Florida, but his family soon moved to Toledo, OH,  where he attended elementary school, high school, and college.  In fact, he and Linda went to the same school, before finally getting together and marrying while attending the University of Toledo.  Political science and public
policy were his principal areas of study as an undergraduate.

Once he graduated, he focused his life on the environment, and making the planet a better place to live.  For a while, he had his own environmental consulting business and he worked for a company seeking to convert homes and business to CNG, compressed natural gas, and away from oil.  But, he soon discovered that work in the corporate world was not only limiting, but all too often conflicted with
his goal of environmental improvement rather than continued deterioration.

He dedicated himself to businesses and non-profits to further that goal. He was active in organizations such as the Sierra Club at the forefront of the
environmental movement. Paul also branched into political action for the same
reason.  He dived into Green Party activism, where he found a far deeper commitment to the environment than he’d experienced with the Democratic Party. Paul became the Green Party leader in Northern Virginia and recently played a major role in the successful effort to get Green Party candidate Jill Stein on Virginia’s 2012 presidential ballot.

His first green business enterprise, DeConstruction Services, LLC, was a for-profit demolition and salvage firm designed to keep building supplies out of landfills.  About 40 percent of U.S. municipal landfills are loaded with such building materials according to the Environmental Protection Agency.  DeConstruction did
well and Paul used it to hire and train people from the difficult to employ category—e.g., people who’d served time in jail or in drug rehab and could few
opportunities to put their lives back together.

The materials from older houses — such as granite surfaces, windows, electrical fixtures, appliances of all kinds — that his crews removed were well received by nonprofits like Habitat for Humanity, but there was far more coming out than these modest users could absorb. Paul then created the non-profit ReBuild Warehouse, a place to which homeowners could contribute their gently-used materials from their de-constructed homes and get a tax deduction, and could go to buy used, sometimes vintage, materials for construction along with the general public.

Perhaps the most satisfying impact of DeConstruction and ReBuild is that the proceeds from ReBuild go to train hard-to-place workers in the hopefully growing field of “green collar” jobs as Paul liked to call them.

One of the more recent accomplishments of this amazing man was closer to home in Reston.  Paul worked with creative Reston folks like Diane Blust, Hank Blakely and Diane Lewis merge to the Sustainable Reston Committee of the Reston Citizens Association with the Fairfax Coalition for Smarter Growth.  Thanks in part, to the resources from the coalition, Sustainable Reston is already having an impact through educational programs and the community garden at Cedar Ridge, in cooperation with other Reston community organizations.

Paul’s family asks that anyone wishing to remember Paul’s work make a contribution to ReBuild Warehouse. Donations can  be made online at

Public meeting! Saturday April 28th 10am-12pm City of Fairfax Regional Library

Hello Northern Virginians!

We will be having a public meeting at 10am on Saturday, April 28th at the City of Fairfax Regional Library (10360 North Street, Fairfax).

On the agenda will be:

Ways to support Joe Galdo – Green candidate for Congress 11th district

Ways to support Jill Stein – candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination.

Current issues: ALEC, Move To Amend, and more!


Looking forward to seeing you there!

Who is writing all the right wing legislation moving through state legislatures?

Across the country, and right here in Virginia, state legislatures have been passing out favors to big corporations, gutting the rights of workers to organize unions, erecting barrier after barrier to letting people cast their ballot, and rolling back environmental protections.

Where does this legislation and expertise come from?

The answer is: ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Funded by big business and wealthy right-wing foundations, it’s goal is turning the legislature of a given state into the lapdog of big business. The NY Times has an excellent piece on it.

The Big Money Behind State Laws

It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.

The American Legislative Exchange Council was founded in 1973 by the right-wing activist Paul Weyrich; its big funders include Exxon Mobil, the Olin and Scaife families and foundations tied to Koch Industries. Many of the largest corporations are represented on its board.

ALEC has written model legislation on a host of subjects dear to corporate and conservative interests, and supporting lawmakers have introduced these bills in dozens of states. A recent study of the group’s impact in Virginia showed that more than 50 of its bills were introduced there, many practically word for word. The study, by the liberal group ProgressVA, found that ALEC had been involved in writing bills that would:

¶Prohibit penalizing residents for failing to obtain health insurance, undermining the individual mandate in the reform law. The bill, which ALEC says has been introduced in 38 states, was signed into law and became the basis for Virginia’s legal challenge to heath care reform.

¶Require voters to show a form of identification. Versions of this bill passed both chambers this month.

¶Encourage school districts to contract with private virtual-education companies. (One such company was the corporate co-chair of ALEC’s education committee.) The bill was signed into law.

¶Call for a federal constitutional amendment to permit the repeal of any federal law on a two-thirds vote of state legislatures. The bill failed.

¶Legalize use of deadly force in defending one’s home. Bills to this effect, which recently passed both houses, have been backed by the National Rifle Association, a longtime member of ALEC.

ALEC’s influence in the Virginia statehouse is pervasive, the study showed. The House of Delegates speaker, William Howell, has been on the board since 2003 and was national chairman in 2009. He has sponsored or pushed many of the group’s bills, including several benefiting specific companies that support ALEC financially, like one that would reduce a single company’s asbestos liability. At least 115 other state legislators have ties to the group, including paying membership dues, attending meetings and sponsoring bills. The state has spent more than $230,000 sending lawmakers to ALEC conferences since 2001.

Similar efforts have gone on in many other states. The group has been particularly active in weakening environmental regulations and fighting the Environmental Protection Agency. ALEC’s publication, “E.P.A.’s Regulatory Train Wreck,” outlines steps lawmakers can take, including curtailing the power of state regulators.

There is nothing illegal or unethical about ALEC’s work, except that it further demonstrates the pervasive influence of corporate money and right-wing groups on the state legislative process. There is no group with any comparable influence on the left. Lawmakers who eagerly do ALEC’s bidding have much to answer for. Voters have a right to know whether the representatives they elect are actually writing the laws, or whether the job has been outsourced to big corporate interests.

Moving forward – The Green Party is building the ideas that fuel the economy of the future

What is the new normal as it applies to the economy? There is no answer to that question, but the ideas are coming together in a new political reality. Cooperative economics, based on ideas, connections, relationships between business, community, consumers, stakeholders, and the environment – these are all Green Party ideas that we can all work on. The change in our economy that can benefit all of us, and make our communities wealthier will not come from Wall Street, it will come from main street.

Multiracial Hands Making a Circle

Sara Robinson tells us more via her article.


Why Going ‘Back To Normal’ Is No Longer An Option for the American Economy — And Where We’re Headed Now

By Sara Robinson, AlterNet
Posted on February 7, 2012, Printed on February 14, 2012


Former IMF chief economist Joseph Stiglitz has a message for everybody who’s sitting around waiting for the economy to “get back to normal.”

Stop waiting. ‘Cause that train’s gone, and it ain’t coming back. And the sooner we accept that “normal,” as post WWII America knew and loved it, will not be an option in this century, the sooner we’ll get ourselves moving forward on the path toward a new kind of prosperity. The only real question now is: What future awaits us on the other side of the coming shift?

In a don’t-miss article in this month’s Vanity Fair, Stiglitz argues that our current economic woes are the result of a deep structural shift in the economy — a once-in-a-lifetime phase change that happens whenever the foundations of an old economic order are disrupted, and a new basis of wealth creation comes forward to take its place. The last time this happened was in the 1920s and 1930s, when a US economy that was built on farm output became the victim of its own success. Advances in farming led to a food glut. As food prices plummeted, farmers had less money to spend. This, in turn, depressed manufacturing and led to job losses in the cities, too. Land values in both places declined, impoverishing families and trapping them in place.

We remember this as the Great Depression. It lingered until the government stepped in — largely through the war effort — with unprecedented education, housing, transportation, and research investments that created new pathways for all those surplus farmers to come in off the farm, for the factory hands to get back to work, and for both groups to move into the modern industrial middle-class.

Stiglitz thinks that we’re going through much the same kind of process again now, as the postwar manufacturing-based economy that saved us 80 years ago moves offshore, leaving our manufacturing workforce just as surplus and idle as those 1920s farmers were. In his view, the current phase shift is taking us away from industry-as-we’ve-known-it, and on into an economy that will have us relying more and more on many different kinds of knowledge work. (This isn’t a new thesis; Daniel Bell was writing about it back in 1973.) But Stiglitz goes on to point out that because people are misunderstanding the moment, we’re investing in the wrong things.

Austerity and debt reduction will get us nowhere, in this view. In particular: it won’t change the fact that we have too many manufacturing workers and too few information workers. Stiglitz argues forcefully that this gap is likely to remain open until our governments make a long-term commitment to do what they did in the 1940s — that is, fund the kind of aggressive education, research, and infrastructure investments that will finally get us fully transitioned to the new phase. The current economic crisis is doomed to last exactly as long as we delay put off building that necessary to the new information economy. When we come out the other side, there will still be farmers and manufacturers — but even they will be leveraging the power of the Internet to create new wealth. Everybody will.

But Stiglitz is far from the only theorist who’s trying to look beyond the phase change, and figure out what new form wealth might take when we get to the far side of it.

Another one is Thomas Homer-Dixon, a Canadian economist who wrote The Upside of Down. Homer-Dixon marshals evidence that all great empires rise and fall by controlling the dominant energy supply of their age. The Romans used roads and aqueducts to harness solar energy (in the form of food) from around the Mediterranean basin, and used that surplus to fund the most complex society of its time. The Dutch empire rose on its superior ability to master wind technologies — the windmill and the ship — to extend its land holdings, run early manufacturing industries, and extend its trading reach around the globe. The British empire rose on coal-powered steam engines, which gave it more productive industries, railroads, electrical generators, and faster ships. The US eclipsed the Brits due to its vast wealth in oil — a far more concentrated and fungible fuel — and inventions from cars and planes to plastics and fertilizers that allowed it to make the most of its advantages. And the Chinese are now making huge investments in renewable energy and safer, more efficient second-generation nuclear power, which they can use to fuel their ascent to global primacy.

The bottom line in Homer-Dixon’s theory is this: Everything that Americans understand as “wealth” under the current paradigm comes from oil. It’s the foundation of our entire economy, and the ground our superpower status stands on. Our cities are built on the assumption of cheap, plentiful oil. Our consuming patterns are made possible by a fleet of oil-burning trucks, ships, and planes that bring us goods made in oil-driven factories. Our warmaking machine, which is largely tasked with protecting our oil interests around the world, is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet. Even our food is created with vast oil-based inputs of fertilizer and pesticides; and we enjoy a year-round variety of foods (bananas! chocolate! coffee!) that is unprecedented in human history because oil makes cheap transport and refrigeration possible.

And the pain and fear caused when we’re forced to face this fundamental fact explains quite a bit about why ideas like climate change and peak oil are so viscerally terrifying to so many Americans. (In many right-wing circles, denial about the American oil addiction is now a core piece of their political identity. It’s considered anti-American to even suggest that getting off oil is necessary or possible.) We are so deeply invested in oil, in so many ways, that it’s almost impossible for us to envision a world beyond it. We stand to lose so much that it’s hard to fathom it all.

And this, says Homer-Dixon, is why no empire has ever survived an energy-related phase shift with its full power intact: the reigning hegemons are always too deeply invested in the current system to recognize the change, let alone respond to it in time. And so they are always superceded by some upstart that’s motivated to put more resources and risk into aggressively developing the next source. The decline of oil as the energy reality of the world has deep implications for every aspect of American life in the coming century. It’s a phase shift at the deepest level.

Other theorists, including Gar Alperovitz, Jeffery Sachs and Umair Haque, agree that there’s a phase shift happening under our feet — but they believe the real shift lies in the changing structure of capitalism itself. Forming markets is a core human activity that we’re not any more likely to abandon than eating or breathing. But our understanding of the purpose and value of markets — and the role of capital within them — is overdue for a profound change. Haque argues that “twentieth-century capitalism’s cornerstones shift costs to and borrow benefits from people, communities, society, the natural world, or future generations.” But, he continues, “both cost shifting and benefit borrowing are forms of economic harm that are unfair, non-consensual, and often irreversible.” The result is a great imbalance that we are finally being forced to fully reckon with, one that will call us to radically change our focus, creating a totally new kind of capitalism.

Haque makes a distinction between “thin” and “thick” value. Things with “thin” value tend to be artificial, unsustainable, and meaningless to anyone but the people who produce and consume them. Hummers, McMansions and Big Macs are all examples of thin value items. They’re produced without any recognition of our larger values context or the externalized costs to the community, and consuming them tends to add to the overall imbalance in our economy. Thin value, he writes, is “profit that is in many ways a financial fiction, because it fails to exceed a fuller, truer economic cost of capital.” And the phase shift is evident in the fact that the companies that are falling hardest right now are the ones whose past profits have relied most heavily on monetizing our common wealth for private profit.

“Thick” value — produced by companies that practice “constructive capitalism” — is value that is sustainable, that has a moral component that matters, and that multiplies itself. Companies that practice it tend to win because they produce things that have a deeper meaning to people. Their real wealth isn’t what they’re able to extract from the rest of us, but in their long, deep, trusting relationships with their customers. The world is shifting from the economics of a game reserve to those of an ark, says Haque. The companies that are thriving now are the ones that increasing their focus on “constructive advantage” — “how free a company is of deep debt to people, communities, society, the natural world, or future generations.” While this focus-shift is far from complete, the current economy abounds with firms that are showing us a new way forward. (Apple is a prime example of a company that creates “thick value,” but we’ve seen recently that its commitment to this ideal has some rather glaring thin spots.)

Alperovitz’ vision extends this by revamping how wealth flows in society. He points to a quiet revolution that’s already much further along than anybody realizes — the move toward worker- or consumer-owned cooperative businesses, in which distant shareholders are replaced by local stakeholders who have a deep personal interest in how every aspect of the business is run. Already, four in 10 Americans belong to some type of co-op business (if you have a Costco or a credit union card in your wallet, you’re already on board here); and America’s 30,000 cooperatives provide over 2 million jobs. (Many, many more fun facts here.) The UN has declared 2012 to be the Year of the Co-Op, in recognition of the fact that nearly half the world’s population now belongs to cooperatives. Co-ops are already forming a formidable challenge to Wall Street-driven 20th-century capitalism, and their expansion through the coming century would represent a massive redistribution of labor and wealth — a phase shift that favors the direction Haque suggests.

These are just a handful of the many serious theorists out there describing the deep structural changes we’re undergoing. Not all of them, to be sure, are this cheery (and I’ve made my own contributions to the dystopian canon in the past). There are so many now, in fact, that their very numbers might taken as evidence that we’re going through something uniquely new and deep. Our government is broken. Our economy is broken. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our major institutions — education, religion, culture — are inadequate to the tasks at hand.

These are all signs of an old world passing away, clearing the way for a new one to arise in its place. And the sooner we let go of our assumption that going back is desirable, or even possible, the sooner we’ll be able to fully embrace the new things that lie ahead.


Sara Robinson is Alternet’s senior editor in charge of the Visions page. A trained social futurist, she’s particularly interested change resistance movements. She does foresight and strategic planning consulting for a wide range of progressive groups.

© 2012 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at:

Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate to release People’s State Of the Union 8:30pm EST

Jill Profile

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, called today for a Green New Deal to counter the “trickle down economic agenda” laid out by President Obama last night in his State of the Union address.Stein plans to release her alternative at 8:30pm Eastern Time in a “People’s State of the Union: A Green New Deal for America” that will be given via her campaign website:

After viewing President Obama’s address, Stein commented that “It is startling how the candidate who four years ago promised to be an agent of change has morphed into the candidate of more of the same. The key features of the President’s State of the Union address were drawn from the centrist Republican agenda. He’s glorifying militarism, calling for more business tax cuts, promoting offshore oil drilling and hydrofracking, pushing trillions in cuts to discretionary Federal spending, promising cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and putting American workers into a struggle for survival in a global economy dominated by big corporations.”

“The President has subverted the progressive ideals of the New Deal. He’s imposing his vision of a ‘grand bargain’ that represents the effective philosophical merger of the Democratic and Republican parties. “

“The President presented a rosy picture of the current state of the economy by tossing out a few anecdotes and cherry-picked statistics. He seemed almost oblivious to recent news that 48% of Americans are living in poverty or near poverty, the greatest number in 50 years of record keeping. If he thinks things are going so well, maybe that’s why he sees no reason to change course.”

“America needs to go in a new direction. We are calling for a Green New Deal that would decisively end high unemployment and make a massive investment in solar, wind, energy efficiency and mass transit. We reject the President’s assertion that “all of the above” is the right answer when it comes to energy. We need to wean ourselves from the fossil fuels that pollute our land and water, motivate wars for oil, and which are pushing us to a climate catastrophe.”

“An honest analysis shows that most of the president’s proposed solutions are just band-aids on the status quo and do not represent a serious attempt to end the crises we face. His mortgage foreclosure reforms will reach only a tiny fraction of homeowners in crisis. And his proposed commission to investigate bank fraud is hamstrung from the outset by the packing of the commission with big bank-friendly regulators. Furthermore it ignores the enormous inequity and economic damage that Wall Street does without committing prosecutable fraud. Contrast that with the Green New Deal that would impose an immediate moratorium on home foreclosures, would write down the principals of inflated mortgages to market rates, and would break up the big banks that caused this crisis and replace them with decentralized and democratized financial institutions.”

Regarding education, Stein noted that “Obama’s plan for the student loan crisis basically preserves the status quo. His solution is to keep interest rates the same and to cut Federal funding to colleges that are in financial crisis. The Green New Deal would end the crisis by taking over the student debt and implementing tuition-free higher education.”

“America needs decisive action to get us out of the current economic slump. Most of all we need jobs — tens of millions of them — not the puny numbers that will result from President Obama’s attempts at top-down stimulus. The unemployment office needs to become the employment office. The bold actions that worked to end the Great Depression can work again. The tax giveaways and corporate welfare that the President advocates are inefficient, take too long, and don’t create the right type of jobs in the places where they are most needed. We can and must do better.” 

“This election is a turning point. We can continue with the failing corporate-serving philosophy represented by Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and the other establishment politicians. Or we can stand up for a rededication of our nation to the public interest. As I have traveled around the nation in the past two months, I’ve found that people are hungry for real change and are excited to see something like the Green New Deal put on the table.”

Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President, is coming to NOVA

Jill Stein for President

Great news! Jill Stein, a candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination, is coming to Arlington!

Details below:


Dr. Jill Stein, GPUS Presidential Candidate, will be in the Northern Virginia/DC area, mid-January.  We have scheduled a house party so people can get to know Jill better.  We’ll meet at the home of John Reeder.   We’ll have snacks and drinks.    If you can, please rsvp to   Even if you haven’t let us know, come anyway.  We’re just trying to get a rough estimate of attendance.

When:    Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 7:30pm
Where:    1812 N. Huntington Street, Arlington, Va 22205Contact:   Tamar Yager, 703-534-2187 or 502-296-3849

Metro:  Orange line to East Falls Church.   Need to call Tamar for a pick-up (advance notice please).

Driving directions:  from Lee Highway and Harrison Street go south on Harrison Street to 18th Street; go right onto 18th Street and go 3 blocks to a right onto Huntington Street.  The house is the third house on the left.

Tamar Yager
GPUS Steering Committee Co-Chair
Virginia Delegate


Public Meeting of the Northern Virginia Green Party – December 10, 1PM

Hello – we have an upcoming meeting! All are welcome to attend!
What: Public Meeting of the Northern Virginia Green Party
Where: George Mason Regional Library – Conference Room 7001 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA
  1. 2012 congressional races – local
  2. Ballot initiatives we can support/oppose – local (state?)
  3. Analysis of state legislative races/school board/county board/city council races that were hotly contested.
  4. Membership renewal or initial membership dues
  5. Call members to touch base with them (Starting with newest to oldest – Paul’s suggestion)
  6. Labor Union updates
  7. National Green Party volunteering opportunities
  8. Support Occupy DC/Occupy The Ballot
See you there!