The Green Party of Sonoma County, or GPSC, is an informal association of Green Party activists working on local political initiatives and candidate campaigns, helping to build the Green Party in Sonoma County, and supporting statewide, national, and international Green Party issues at a grassroots level. We are affiliated with the Green Party of California.
The Green Party started in West Germany in 1979 when a group of civic organizations united in opposition to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Petra Kelly, one of the founding members of the Green Party, became Germany's first female political party leader in 1980. Activists soon started organizing for Green politics around the world. In 1984 Charlene Spretnak authored the Green Ten Key Values, which continue to be the guiding values of Greens in this country. In the next few years, Greens began meeting in small groups across the state of California. Early in 1985, leaders in the peace, environmental, labor, social justice, and spiritual movements in Sonoma County met to discuss the formation of a local organization which they saw as "neither left nor right in philosophy, but articulating values and programs to move beyond these traditional divisions to a positive, long-range future." The Green Party qualified as an official political party in California January 1, 1992. It was the first state Green Party formed in the United States. In 1996, consumer advocate Ralph Nader became the party's first candidate for president. When Greens Sam Spooner and Craig Litwin joined Larry Robinson on the Sebastopol City Council in 2000, Sonoma County made history for being home to the second-ever Green Party governing majority in the country. Most recently, Green Party candidate for governor of California, Peter Camejo, became the first third party candidate ever to appear in a televised debate for a statewide office. The Green Party is making history as the only political party committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, and environmental sustainability.
The GPSC is an independent, consensus-based group. Projects of the GPSC are led by self-appointed volunteers with the support of the active membership. Every two years voters who are registered Green and living in Sonoma County may elect representatives to the Sonoma County Green Party County Council. The County Council is the equivalent of the Central Committees of other political parties, representing the GPSC in an official capacity and making legally binding decisions on behalf of the GPSC if necessary. The County Council consists of a minimum of seven seats, with the maximum depending on total registration of Greens in the County.
There are many ways to be involved in local Green Party organizing. At the simplest level, you register to vote with the Green Party, become informed on important issues, vote regularly, and encourage the people you know to do the same. You can make a donation to support local Green Party organizing or volunteer your time. Signing up on our email list is a good way to find out about upcoming volunteer opportunities. If you are interested in becoming involved at an organizational level, you can attend the GPSC's monthly business meetings and help coordinate an existing project or one of your own invention. For the most committed, running for a public office is another way to get involved in local Green politics. Contact us for more information on getting involved.
The GPSC Business Meeting takes place once a month. The location and date will be announced on our website meeting page. Please contact us in advance to confirm the meeting date or add an item to the agenda. Special meetings and events occur throughout the year—check the website or subscribe to our email list for announcements.
We currently do not have an office (though we're always interested in free or low-cost space for meetings, storage, etc.)
The GPSC endorses the key values and the platform of the Green Party of California. The platform of the party is reviewed and developed at the state General Assembly (aka Plenary) twice a year by delegates from each active county.
Please go to the website of the California Secretary of State to register as a member of the Green Party.
You must re-register every time you move, change your name, or wish to change your party affiliation. Current law mandates that your registration must be received by the Registrar of Voters no later than fifteen days before the next election to be able to vote in that election. For more information, contact the Sonoma County Registrar of Voters.