Category Archives: Announcements

Is Occupy Wall Street transforming into an electoral movement?

By: Daryl Northrop

Maybe so.

Occupy the Ballot

 Occupy Wall Street, and its related regional and local movements, have captured the attention and imagination of American’s everywhere who fight for the rights of the 99% (in simple terms, that everyone who isn’t a millionaire). The current political system serves the needs of the top 1% of income earners and wealth-owners quite well. They and their corporations fund the candidates, and the PAC’s, and the think tanks, and the research instutions that support their system of greed. The “Occupy” movement has been characterized by a populist, non-partisan orientation. Meaning, they support values and policies that lift up the poor, the middle-class, and the small business owners, while standing against huge corporations that buy off our politicians, and send our jobs and profits overseas.

So the question on the lips of jaded political pundits and consultants everywhere is “What’s next?” Will the Occupy movement become another pressure group like the NRA or the Sierra Club and lobby for change within the framework of the status quo? Or, will they become an independent political movement, similar to the “Tea Party” before they were co-opted by the GOP establishment?

Some in the Occupy movement have started an electoral wing to recruit and support candidates who stand with the 99%. Here is what Occupy The Ballot says about itself.

The problem isn’t that people don’t vote; the problem is that candidates are in debt to the top 1%. When people see both parties as the same, why should they vote? Instead of just encouraging people to keep voting for the lesser of two evils, we need to get the 99% to run for office! We know what needs to be done – let’s elect ourselves to office and fix Wall Street!

This country was founded on the idea that the people are qualified to decide what is best for them, and that everyone has the ability to run for public office and represent their neighbors. You don’t need to be in politics for years to know that pollution is poisoning people, that everyone deserves a fair shot at a healthy, prosperous life and that corporations and the top 1% can afford to give back to society!


Here in Northern Virginia, there is already a group that stands with the 99%, it is the Green Party. Our party and our candidates take zero funding from corporations, PAC’s, and other special interest. We represent the needs of people first! Fairness, decency, respect, grassroots democracy, and equal justice for all are our values that we form policies and solutions on. Occupy The Ballot makes an excellent point – you do not have to be an expert on politics to know the system is rotten, and that it needs to be changed.

To join the Northern Virginia Greens and take a stand for the 99% in our region, click here.

Audrey Clement, Green candidate for Arlington County Board, on “Smart Growth.”

Audrey Clement is the Green Party candidate for Arlington County Board. Sustainable economics and sensible, transparent, and democratic urban planning are hallmarks of her campaign and the Green Party.

(Originally posted here.)


It seems Arlington County is obsessed with development. Having approved plans to increase the density of Crystal City by 50 percent, construct a 600,000 sq. foot high rise on the EFC Park and Ride lot and redevelop Columbia Pike at triple density, County Board will soon approve plans to construct a 532 unit apartment complex on Wilson Blvd. between Kansas and Lincoln Streets in Ballston (Virginia Square Towers) and a new six story headquarters for Lockheed Martin in North Crystal City (Monument View). Also on the drawing boards are plans to construct a 22 story office tower (Penn Square) behind Costco’s in Pentagon City. County Board touts these projects as proof of its commitment to “Smart Growth,” i.e. dense development along transit corridors. The idea behind Smart Growth is to coax people out of their cars from the nether world of sluburbia and into so-called walkable communities.Yet most of the planned additions to Arlington’s landscape include large scale parking facilities and will have major impacts on the county’s limited school and transportation infrustructure.

The question whether Arlington County can absorb the influx of people attendant with high density development was answered for me on October 11, when due to an incident at Clarendon Metro all westbound trains were offloaded at Rosslyn Station at the height of rush hour. Thousands of westbound passengers pushed and shoved to the escalators as hundreds of eastbound passengers entering the station blocked their exit. This crisis situation, which could have easily have resulted in a stampede, was directly attributable to the inadequacy of Metro infrastructure. If Metro isn’t safe now, how can it possibly handle the hordes that move into the county when County Board’s plans to double or triple the density of the Crystal City and Rosslyn-Ballston corridors are realized? Development isn’t smart if the infrastructure can’t support it, and Metro is woefully inadequate right now.


Green, accountable, and transparent representation is what Arlington, and all of Northern Virginia deserves. What real change and progress? Vote Green Party!

Daryl Northrop

Northern Virginia Green Party



Dominion Energy vs Clean Power in Virginia

Hello Northern Virginians! 

The good folks at Sierra Club and Beyond Coal are holding a public even for all Northern Virginians who are interested in a clean-energy future. Dominion Viriginia Power is heavily dependent on coal to generate our electricity, and it is time to transition away from dirty, polluting fossil fuels like coal. Dominion needs to hear from all of us!

The Northern Virginia Green Party is in favor of Green Jobs and Renewable Energy as a way forward for our region and the country. We all deserve representation that moves us in this direction.



Care about clean, healthy air? How about creating local green jobs? Then please join us for…

Dominion Beyond Coal Campaign Kickoff Meeting!
Tuesday, September 20th
7:00 – 8:00pm
2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria (next door to Dairy Godmother)
Upstairs in Suite #206
**Refreshments provided**
RSVP  at

Virginia is at an energy crossroads. We are dependent on coal,  a dirty and dangerous source of energy. Coal power plants pollute our communities with deadly toxics that contribute to serious health problems,  like asthma and cancer,  and massive environmental damage. We all have the right to safe, healthy air and water.

Right now,  we have a chance to take the road to renewable energy and transition from coal to wind and solar. Dominion Virginia Power plans to phase out 2 of the dirtiest coal plants in Virginia,  which is great news, but the plan has no real commitment to clean energy.

Currently,  Dominion’s long-range energy plan is going before the State Corporation Commission for review and approval. This is our opportunity to demonstrate overwhelming public support for smart energy solutions: efficiency,  solar power, and offshore wind. These investments would create tens of thousands of local green jobs for Virginians.

We need your help to make sure they listen to ratepayers and protect our health and environment.

Come to the Dominion Beyond Coal Campaign Kickoff Meeting to learn more about clean energy how you can help! All are welcome so please bring your friends. Please RSVP at

Tuesday, September 20th
7:00 – 8:00pm
2312 Mt. Vernon Avenue, Alexandria (next door to Dairy Godmother)
Upstairs in Suite #206
**Refreshments provided**

To learn more about how you can get involved before the meeting, please contact Patrick Stelmach at or 571-312-8878. Thanks, and looking forward to seeing you on September 20th!

Public meeting 07-30-11 1pm George Mason Regional Library

Hello fellow Northern Virginians!

We are having a public meeting Saturday July 30th 1pm at George Mason Regional Library (George Mason Conference Room) 7001 Little River Turnpike – Annandale. Feel free to come by and learn what we have been doing to get our voices heard and bridges built here in the area. If you are a long-time Green Party supporter, or someone new who has just expressed interest, we look forward to your presence and input.
The agenda:
  •  Introduction – Paul Hughes
  •  Update on meeting and activities with local union leaders
  •  Election analysis – we will be taking a look at state senate and house of delegate races that we can get involved in and make an impact.
  •  Technology platform – review of our new website, Facebook, and Twitter activity. Discussion to follow on submission of content for website and Facebook.
Looking forward to seeing you there!
Daryl Northrop – technology and policy guy


Rally for the employees of American Water, June 9th 10:45am – King Street Metro, Alexandria



American Water, the largest for-profit water utility in the nation, has filed in Virginia for a rate hike of 22%.  At the same time, it is trying to CUT union employee health benefits even though the company made a 10% profit in 2010.  The company seems to be trying to follow the lead of Republican governors in Wisconsin, Ohio, Florida, New Jersey, and other states in curtailing workers’ income, pension and health benefits, and job security – even while the recession continues for most working families continues.  Join members of the NOVA Green Party as we support the union employees of American Water preserve their hard-earned benefits against corporate greed.  

As Greens, we stand shoulder to shoulder with workers and labor unions in their drive to get a fair deal with their employers. The key word is fair. In these current economic times, government agencies and private companies are using the recession as an excuse to cut workers benefits, pay, and right to organize, all under the guise of balancing the budget or belt-tightening.

The fairness issue comes into play when the cause of the current economic crisis is not the workers, it was greed at the top levels of some of the largest US and multi-national companies. Big profits were not enough, only huge would do. So greater and greater risks were taken until the inevitable crash came.

Now, they are coming after the workers.



Taxes: Myth vs Reality

From the Alternet article

The GOP, and much of the DNC have created a web of myths, half-truths, and outright lies about taxes, and what Americans think about them. Remember, taxes are not a goal in and of themselves, they are the way we fund the activities we want the government to do. In short, taxes are the dues we pay to live in a society governed by morals, values, and the rule of law.


13 Conservative Myths About Taxes — Debunked

By Terrance Heath, Campaign for America’s Future
Posted on May 1, 2011, Printed on May 5, 2011–_debunked



“What do we think? What do we know? What can we prove?” That’s a quote from “And the Band Played On,” HBO’s adaptation of Randy Shilts’ book about the beginnings of the HIV/AIDS epidemic. It’s the mantra of Centers for Disease Control epidemiologists searching for the cause of the epidemic, using empirical evidence. In that context, what you think, what you know, and what you think you know is meaningless unless you can prove it.

In Washington, D.C., it gets turned around: How can we prove what we think we know? When it comes to conservatives and taxes, this couldn’t be more true.

The problem is, all the evidence disproves what conservatives think they know about taxes. The latest example a study (PDF) that debunks the conservative talking point that rich people will run for the borders if their taxes go up.

The rich didn’t leave  New Jersey, when the state imposed a “millionaire’s tax” in 2004.

The study, by sociologists Cristobal Young at Stanford and  Charles Varner at Princeton, studied the migration patterns of New Jersey’s millionaires before and after 2004, when the state imposed a “millionaire’s tax” that raised rates on those earning $500,000 or more to 8.97% from 6.37%.

The study found that the overall population of millionaires increased during the tax period. Some millionaires moved out, of course. But they were more than offset by the creation of new millionaires.

The study dug deeper to figure out whether the millionaires who were moving out did so because of the tax. As a control group, they used New Jersey residents who earned $200,000 to $500,000–in other words, high-earners who weren’t subject to the tax. They found that the rate of out-migration among millionaires was in line with and rate of out-migration of submillionaires.  The tax rate, they concluded, had no measurable impact.

Wait a minute. Not only did the population of millionaires not plummet, but it actually increased due to the creation of new millionaires? But, but, but…That can’t be. New Jersey should have seen its economy collapse by now, as the wealthy leave the state and take their job-creating investments with them. (It’s not just New Jersey, either. The same holds true for New York.)

Actually, the study dug deeper and found that the millionaires most likely to leave were those who were over 65 and living off their investments. Millionaires who own their own businesses or make their money close to home tended to stay put. That accounts for the large share of New Jersey’s millionaires.

I’m going to go out on a limb here and suggest that maybe business owners are more likely to stay put because, among a number of other reasons, taxes pay for stuff that make the state more attractive to businesses owners. Or maybe it’s just that revenue is how the state pays its bill, and either purchases or provides goods and services that support business directly or indirectly. (Healthy, educated workers, for example, are good for business.)

So, let’s add this item to what we already know about taxes:

We now know that:

  1. The wealthy don’t leave when their taxes go up. In fact, not only don’t their numbers dwindle, but you can even end up with more of them than you had before.

We already knew that:

  1. Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t stimulate the economy. Tax cuts can’t jumpstart a flagging economy, because they’re a “supply-side remedy for a problem caused by lack of demand.”
  2. The wealthy don’t spend their tax cuts. Tax cuts don’t create demand because the wealthy will save the money instead of spend it. The saving rate among the rich went up after Bush’s tax cuts in 2001 and 2003. The rate fell under Clinton, when taxes went up.
  3. Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t create jobs. Instead of producing job growth and prosperity, the Bush era tax cuts resulted in an era of zero net job creation.
  4. Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t result in higher revenue. In fact, economists say tax cuts do not spur enough growth to pay for themselves.
  5. Tax cuts for the wealthy reduce revenue. The Bush tax cuts reduced revenue significantly.
  6. Tax cuts for the wealthy mostly benefit the wealthy. Their taxes fell and their incomes increased dramatically after the Bush tax cuts, while the gap between rich and poor widened.
  7. The middle class end up paying more taxes. U.S. taxpayers with the very highest incomes pay income taxes worth only 18 percent of their income on average, compared to 25 percent for the typical American.
  8. Tax cuts for the wealthy don’t spread prosperity. Between 1992 and 2007, a time in which income for the average household grew 13% and that of the top 1 percent grew 123%, the income for the top 400 households grew fully 399%.
  9. Taxes are really low for the wealthiest. The average federal income tax rate for the 400 richest Americans was 17 percent in 2007, down from 26 percent in 1992.
  10. The cost of tax cuts for the wealthy exceeds the value of budget cuts. The estimated cost to the government of the tax deal extending the Bush tax cuts for the wealthy, $42 billion this fiscal year, exceeds the stated $38 billion value of the savings from the federal budget cuts lawmakers approved last week.
  11. Some patriotic millionaires want to be taxed. One group of millionaires is saying that they are more than willing to pay more for the good of their country. The “Patriotic Millionaires” penned a letter to President Obama, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and House Speaker John Boehner urging them to “increase taxes on incomes over $1,000,000.”
  12. Most Americans support higher taxes for the wealthy. A full 72% of adults approve of increasing federal taxes on households making more than $250,000 starting in 2013, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News poll.

As my dad used to say, when making a convincing case for something he thought I should or shouldn’t do, “I’m not telling you what I think. I’m telling you what I know.” What he mean was that he was giving me the benefit of his own empirical research, his knowledge gained “by means of direct observation or experience”

By now the empirical evidence on tax cuts — what we know base on observation and  experience — should make what to do regarding taxes and tax cuts a “no brainer.” What we know goes a long way towards proving what progressives have long thought on the subject, and disproving what conservatives have long thought they knew.

That brings me back to the quote from “And the Band Played On.” I said earlier that in Washington, “What do we think? What do we know? What can we prove?” becomes “How can we prove what we think we know.”

Actually, I think the screenwriters got it right. The reality in Washington is closer to the frustrated response of one doctor to the oft-repeated mantra: “The only thing we know for sure is that we don’t know anything, which also happens to be the only thing we can prove.”

Northern Virginia Green Party public meeting 04-30 3pm George Mason Regional Libary



What: Public Meeting of the Northern Virginia Green Party

When: Saturday, April 30th, 3pm-5pm.

Where: George Mason Regional Libary 7001 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA – Conference Room

Why: Because democracy matters! We will be showing a DVD featuring commentary related to local policy and values here in Northern Virginia. This meeting is open to the public – feel free to come by and learn more about the Northern Virginia Green Party.

We are an informal bunch – bring your questions, ideas, observations, and voice. The Northern Virginia Green Party represents people, not the powers that be.

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.