The Maine Greens and Maine Green Independent Party have a long and storied history, plentiful in electoral successes and significant contributions to the formation and development of a national Green Party. We hope to collect and compile our rich past as a resource to newer members, students, historians and our tenured members who may find nostalgia in recalling the excitement that filled the air in our earliest days, our developing years, and our entrance onto the political stage with members getting elected to office. The energy continues in the present as we build on the successes of our past as the foundation to our empowerment in the future.
This section is under development and will be updated throughout the coming months, and years even, as we continue to make future history with the work we do now.
Check out Early History of the United States Green Party, by Mike Feinstein and John Rensenbrink.
Check back here on occasion to see what gems we dig up to share with you.
This website is designed and formatted, starting in 2017, by the MGIP Communications Committee under the direction of MGIP Secretary Benjamin Meiklejohn, using a modified version of the Joomla 2.5 Forest v5 template design, originated by Webdesign aus Tirol and Joomla 2.5 Templates by pc-didi.at, and Joomla 2.5.14 CMS: predesign by Webdesign PC-DIDI - SEO Suchmaschinenoptimierung SEO - Hundefriseur Irene Hundefriseur
MGIP Communications Committee at time of website development:
Benjamin Meiklejohn, committee chairman
Alan Brown, Gil Harris, Fred Horch, Sam Smith, and ex-officio members, MGIP Co-Chairs Jon Olsen and Riva O'Rourke
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Welcome to the Maine Green Independent Party, the first and oldest state Green party in the United States of America. With 44,569 enrolled Green Independents, or 4.2% of total voters, as of the 2016 state election, the Maine Green Independent Party is the largest state Green Party per capita in the U.S. We almost always deliver the highest percentage of votes in the nation to our presidential nominee every four years.
We have won nearly 50 elections at all levels of Maine government -- municipal, water district, county and state. There are currently nine elected officeholders in Maine.
The Maine Green Independent Party is an affiliated state party of the Green Party of the United States, committed to a set of 10 Key Values.
We are a party that represents planet, people and peace before profit.
Many of you are Green already, although you may not realize it yet. For those of you who have already declared your affiliation with us, we urge you to run for office to advance our ideals or support other Greens who will.
For more information, please contact us using the contact link in the menu bar.
Join, like and follow us at our social media sites:
Enrolled Maine Green Independents are welcome to join our discussion forum:
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The Maine Green Independent Party (MGIP) was founded in 1984, six months before the establishment of a national Green Party. We are the first and oldest state Green party in the United States of America, and home of John Rensenbrink, principal founder of what is now the Green Party of the United States (GPUS).
We first became a qualified political party in 1994, after independent candidate Jonathan Carter received 32,695 votes, or 6.4% of the total votes cast for governor. We were officially called the Maine Green Party until we were scheduled to become disqualified in 1998 after 1996 presidential candidate Ralph Nader did not garner 5% of the vote in the 1996 presidential election -- a requirement at the time which has since changed.
In 1998, independent candidate Pat LaMarche for governor with the attribution "Green Independent" on the ballot, to help re-qualify the party. Since the Maine Green Party had appealed to the Maine Supreme Court for an injunction to challenge our disqualification, LaMarche was unable to use the descriptor "Green" as an independent candidate, because technically, the Maine Green Party was still qualified while awaiting judgment -- hence, "Green Independent."
When LaMarche received 28,722 votes, or 6.82% of the votes cast, our party re-qualified as the "Maine Green Independent Party." Although our name change occurred by happenstance, it is an accurate descriptor of who we are. Maine is known for political independence. As Greens, we are independent from corporate control that permeates the major parties, and we assert our independence as a state party to remain focused on issues important to Maine.
In 2002, Carter ran again for governor, this time as the Green Independent nominee -- our first nominee for governor as a qualified party -- receiving 46,903 votes, or 9.3%. In 2006, LaMarche, like Carter, ran a second time -- also her first run as a qualified party nominee -- receiving 51,922 votes, or 9.56%. This is the largest number of votes ever received by a Green candidate in Maine.
In 2001, the first Green was elected to office in Portland, after which Greens have won 20 more elections in our largest city. Among them, Rep. John Eder (G--Portland) became the highest ranking elected Green in the nation in 2002, serving for four years.
With 44,569 enrolled Green Independents, or 4.2% of total voters as of the 2016 state election, the Maine Green Independent Party is the largest state Green Party per capita in the U.S. We almost always deliver the highest percentage of votes in the nation to our presidential nominee every four years.
The MGIP is an affiliate of GPUS. We are committed to 10 Key Values (in alphabetical order, all of equal importance):
Feminism and Gender Equality
Future Focus and Sustainability
Personal and Global Responsibility
Respect for Diversity
Social Justice and Opportunity
Collectively, we represents planet, people and peace before profit.
We promote longterm interests of Maine people and aspire to leave Mainers a state that is healthier, safer and more just. As Greens, we believe the quality of our natural environment is intrinsic to a prosperous economy, healthy populous and quality of life for all.
Our goal is to improve democracy toward these ends -- to elect officials who uphold our values, and hold elected officials accountable to our Green vision.
The longstanding alternation between two political parties indebted to corporate interests has served neither people nor environment. We call upon Mainers to break free of attachments to "two-party" democracy and build a democracy where no single interest is afforded majority control of government that should be working for a diverse society.
We welcome you to MGIP!. Many of you are Green already, although you may not realize it yet. Those of you who have already affiliated with us, please run for office to advance our ideals or support other Greens who will.
For more information, please contact using the contact link.
The Platform of the Maine Green Independent Party sets forth a vision for a future based on the Ten Key Values of the international Green movement.
Our vision is focused on a peaceful and prosperous community life characterized by value-based grassroots democracy, equal treatment and equal access for all people, environmental and economic sustainability, fulfilling and gainful work and leisure, and interdependence of individuals and their environment.
This Platform is an evolving document, originally envisioned by the Maine Green Party of 1996, and changes in response to events and developments.
The Maine Green Independent Party shall use this document as a guide to develop strategies and policies for moving our values forward.
This 2016 Platform of the Maine Green Independent Party sets forth our vision of a new democracy, one which recognizes that ecological balance in the new millennium is a priority for the betterment of humanity, in the State of Maine and worldwide.
As an affiliated member of the Green Party of the United States, we recognize and endorse the national platform as our own, and offer this state platform as our specific green vision for the State of Maine. This platform focuses on state issues and politics, deferring to the national platform for issues of national scope. The Maine Green Independent Party reserves the right to differ in opinion on particulars of the national platform if it so chooses, and will note such differences in its own platform in the future should such differences occur.
Ten Key Values
Feminism and Gender Equality
Future Focus and Sustainability
Personal and Global Responsibility
Respect for Diversity
Social Justice and Opportunity
The Maine Green Independent Party seeks to achieve:
A Basic Income
Jobs with living wages
Equitable pay for men and women
Health care as a human right
Housing with Dignity as a Human right
The creation of accessible regional and statewide energy-efficient public transportation systems.
Nurturing care and stewardship of the environment and natural resources.
PLANK ON ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT
The Maine Green Independent Party realizes that N.A.F.T.A., G.A.T.T., F.T.A.A., and the W.T.O. drive international policies that place corporate greed above human needs. We oppose any international trade agreements that do not enshrine environmental, labor, and human rights above profits or the rights of corporations. Economic measurements must include pollution and the depletion of resources into the full accounting of production costs, are Green goals in economic development decisions.
If elected, Maine Green Independents will pursue these policies:
Foster regional economic self-sufficiency
Establish a state bank to hold all deposit dollars of Maine agencies.
Establish regulatory controls that prevent monopolistic practices and price gouging in essential markets, such as heating oil, electricity, and gasoline.
Change tax and incentive policies to reward businesses that provide a living wage and employ sustainable resource practices.
Subsidize the creation and retrofitting of industries to an intermediate technology that accommodates more jobs and/or spares the environment or saves energy.
Institute tax penalties for businesses that allow unfavorable employment conditions such as unsafe work places, low wages, or increased automation that reduces jobs.
End all non-sustainable forest practices
Ensure safe, healthy living and working conditions for migrant laborers.
Capitalize programs that support employee buy-out and ownership of businesses as well as support for peer group lending and business skill assistance for micro business.
Provide economic development assistance and tax code changes that favor Maine owned and based businesses and self-employed persons.
Institute tax penalties for pollution and resource depletion.
Promote development and use of renewable and non-polluting heating systems and fuels, Support community based cooperative centers, daycare centers, community currency, bartering, alternative banks and credit unions.
Support community-supported and cooperative agricultural ventures.
Support efforts to develop rural economy through production and consumption of locally produced organic food, and promote agricultural diversification.
Legalize the cultivation of hemp, and promoting the development of new hemp-based industries.
Redirect turnpike revenues from tolls and taxes on highway freight to the development of interstate rail and alternatives to car and truck use.
Promote education and advocacy on how population growth must reflect a sustainable growth model.
Maine Green Independent candidates will attempt to purchase publicity/other materials wherever possible from within state of Maine.
PLANK ON POLITICAL DEMOCRACY
The Maine Green Independent Party believes that grassroots democracy is the best way to organize a civil and just society. We therefore intend to:
End corporate dominance of politics by overturning Citizens United, and amending the US Constitution to say that "Money is not free speech, and corporations are not people."
Encouragement of a multiplicity of political parties in Maine.
Greater civic participation and awareness, especially among women and minorities.
Elections of a diverse legislature including women proportionate to their percentage in the population.
If elected, Maine Green Independents will pursue these policies:
Promote women in leadership roles
Institute instant runoff voting for all statewide elections
Enact a system of proportional representation, reflective of the views of all people.
Ban PAC, corporate and "soft" party contributions from all political campaigns in Maine.
Set campaign spending limits.
Mandate free political programming in place of paid television and radio advertising.
Protect the Maine Clean Elections law.
Provide easier ballot access
Maintain and improve the referendum process.
Make Election Day in November a state holiday.
Require the Secretary of State to enforce the National Voter Registration Act by mandating that municipalities use only the most recently approved voter registration application, which includes a complete list of all legally qualified political parties in the State of Maine available to residents for enrollment.
Ratify in Maine, an amendment to the constitution of the United States to allow for national citizen initiatives and referendums
Prohibit contributions to initiative and referendum campaigns from entities that are not natural persons.
Amend the State Constitution to lower the voting age to seventeen.
PLANK ON EDUCATION
We expect public education to provide the following to all:
A learning environment free of corporate and military advertising.
Awareness of the individual's inherent rights as residents of the state, country and world.
Skills to use the tools and resources required to function in modern society.
Knowledge about the laws that govern communities.
Freedom to explore areas of interest.
A connection to the larger community.
A sense of personal, social and global responsibility.
The Maine Green Independent Party supports alternative healthy eating options in Maine public schools, including vegetarian/vegan, organic, locally grown. The Maine Green Independent Party is committed to:
Curricula and instruction equal to today's complex challenges.
Restricting military recruiters from our public schools and putting opt-out language on mandatory emergency cards.
Dual emphasis on achieving individual potential and cooperative problem solving.
Universal access and equity of education opportunity in a life long context.
Since sorting students based on perceived ability results in learners being segregated by class and race, the Maine Greens support de-tracking our school systems.
Organizing our schools as democratically run educational institutions in which students, teachers, administrators, parents, and the community, share responsibility.
End high stakes testing, and provide funding to schools based on need.
Community based decision making with neighborhood involvement.
Support for lifelong learning for all people.
Safe and healthy learning environments.
Support universal access to state public post-secondary institutions for Maine residents.
Greater awareness in schools about gender-based societal pressures and their effects upon individuals, both male and female.
Equitable distribution of public funds among public schools.
55% or more of the cost of elementary and secondary public education to be funded by the State.
Amend the State of Maine Constitution to eliminate the "unfunded mandate" which allows the State to set educational standards but requires local communities to be responsible for funding their implementation.
Support elementary school foreign language education.
Eliminate the D.A.R.E. program, which has been found wasteful and counterproductive in national studies, and integrate substance abuse awareness education into the curriculum with community and schoolwide involvement.
Institute diversity, civil rights, and conflict resolution programs at all levels in grades K-12.
PLANK ON HEALTH
The Maine Green Independent Party believes that the health of all people is both a personal and a community responsibility. Human health is affected by the health of our physical environment and by our personal behavior. It is the community's responsibility to provide a system that supports health maintenance for all, and promotes healthy behavioral patterns and preventative health practices. If elected, Maine Green Independents will pursue these policy goals:
Establish a state-funded single payer health care system with comprehensive healthcare for all, including vision care, hearing care, mental health, and dental health, regardless of ability to pay.
Strict pollution standards, with the goal of "zero pollution," a healing ecosystem, and clean and efficient renewable energy.
Increase financial support for public health, with an emphasis on community-based and preventive health care.
Eliminate the emission of toxins and environmental pollution,
Train health care providers to recognize and diagnose toxic-caused illnesses, including environmental, workplace and drug reaction illnesses.
Improve identification and regulation of agricultural pollutants.
Improve nutrition education.
Eliminate the use of herbicides.
Improve access to medical marijuana.
Ensure access to dental services in rural areas.
Protect a woman's right to choose whether or not to have an abortion and ensure the availability of free abortion services.
Provide access to a broad range of services and complimentary therapies.
Support the training and services of alternative health care practitioners.
Ensure individual access to regular monitoring of health, with special attention to individuals in high risk groups.
Mandate the labeling of all foods that have been genetically-engineered, irradiated, or to which chemical pesticides have been applied.
Provide access to prescription drugs, regardless of ability to pay.
Fund research into cause, prevention and treatment of disease, including the ways by which toxic chemicals cause disease.
Legalize the right to death with dignity.
Support methadone clinics being open all hours, seven days a week, so that patients may be treated within the facility instead of being granted prescriptions for "take-home" methadone, which leads to misuse and abuse.
Make Narcan and Narcan administration training freely available to save lives
Legalize all drugs and make addiction treatment freely available, without cost at point of service.
Provide free and comprehensive elder care services, including nursing care, death and dying counseling, physical and occupational therapies, orthotic care, and medical equipment and assistive devices
PLANK ON ENERGY
The Maine Green Independent Party believes in the development of strategies and practices of energy use that do not waste our resources or cause harm to our environment. In a world of finite natural resources that can be used for energy production, we will not survive if we continue to consume them without regard for conservation and sustainability. Individuals, communities, government and industry share the responsibility for making these changes. We believe in striving for a no-waste policy of energy production and use. If elected, Maine Green Independents will pursue these policies:
Support standards for energy efficient buildings and appliance technology in new construction and retrofitting.
Support the conversion to primary reliance on renewable energy use in all public buildings.
Replacement of the state fleet and public transport with hybrid, electric or fuel-efficient vehicles.
Provide incentives for homeowners and businesses who follow energy conservation practices, and invest in new and retrofitted use of renewable energy sources.
Provide incentives for the purchase and use of fuel-efficient and fossil-fuel alternative vehicles.
Promote new construction standards, use of non-toxic materials, natural lighting in commercial and public buildings, and siting for optimum solar gain.
Promote the development and use of alternative energy technologies, including active and passive solar, hydrogen, wind, low-head hydropower, alcohol, tidal, geothermal, bio-energy, methane and fuel cells.
Support municipal access to Gulf of Maine wind energy turbines, with emphasis on vertical axis wind turbines facilities,
End subsidies for fossil and nuclear fuel use and production.
Abolish nuclear energy technology in Maine.
Support research efforts for increased efficiencies in wood and fossil fuel burning technologies.
Support the development of public transportation, as well as accessible and strategically arranged bike and walking paths.
PLANK ON NATURAL RESOURCES
The Maine Green Independent Party believes that we are dependent on the health of our natural resources. How we treat our natural resources is a paradigm for the health of our society and of ourselves. Ecological wisdom, diversity, interdependence and a long-term focus will heal our planet and our communities. We must reassert our authority over what is allowed into our air and water. No individuals or companies should be allowed to destroy and poison our natural resources for any form or gain. We must encourage and support stewardship of the Earth. By our examples we will teach others that not only can we make our natural systems sustainable, but our social and economic systems as well. The Maine Green Independent Party believes that the following actions must be taken:
Eliminate toxic chemical emissions and solid waste pollution.
Develop and promote the idea of ZERO TOXIC EMISSIONS for all businesses and forms of transportation.
Phase out completely the use of chlorine and chlorine-based chemicals.
Charter only corporations that abide by their agreements to use our resources in a sustainable manner, and revoke the charters of those that do not.
Eliminate the production and use of pesticides.
Mandate recycling/safe disposal of computer equipment.
Stop all burning of plastics and related materials, including hospital incinerators.
Recycle all recyclable materials including batteries, compost all compostables, and forbid the importation of all radioactive waste.
Manage all wildlife and plant species based on biodiversity and the overall health of Maine's woods and waters, not on the pressures of special interests.
Phase out all dragging, drift-netting and gill-netting.
Conserve and protect common fish-breeding and fishing grounds from coastal development.
Encourage training and hiring of out-of-work fisherman to patrol our shores and inland waterways for sources of pollution and illegal fishing.
Require accountable waste disposal from contained salmon farms.
Encourage fully sustainable, labor-intensive and chemical-free forestry practices.
Consider broader offsite impacts in governmental reviews of developments proposed for environmentally sensitive areas of the state.
Recognize Maine's offshore marine environment as a precious and threatened natural resource, and consider the risks imposed upon it by human development.
Publicly purchase available lands for the purpose of conserving it in perpetuity as an undeveloped natural resource.
Support endeavors to protect and conserve Maine's groundwater resources.
Support the principle that access to clean water is a human right and support democratic control over decision making on water control by local officials.
PLANK ON SUSTAINABLE AGRICULTURE
The Maine Green Independent Party believes that food grown in a sustainable way is a fundamental right of the people of the state of Maine. We believe in supporting the use of locally grown food and supporting those small family farmers who provide us with this basic necessity of life. To that end we propose the following:
Providing governmental supports to small family farms and eliminating bureaucratic paper work whenever possible.
Develop financial incentives to support the transition of farms from traditional farming to organic agriculture.
Encouraging the adoption of high end Integrated Pest Management (IPM.)
Taxing farm land at present use not "best use" (make farming a "best use.")
Adopt European standards for organic, GMO-Free, hormone free agricultural products.
Markedly reducing the use of pesticides with mandated sales reports from the State Board of Pesticide Control.
Increase fines for pesticide trespass. Add landowners to the category of responsible parties in a pesticide trespass.
Changing the make up of the Pesticides Board to include 4 public representatives (1 from the University and 1 medical professional) with the remaining 3 members being users.
Pushing for institution of the IPM board created by the legislature in its last session.
Supporting the adoption of the IPM model for use of pesticides in schools. As well as mandatory reporting of pesticide use to all families whose children attend a school.
Regulation and notification regarding the use of pesticides inside buildings, especially in rental properties and public buildings.
Encouraging the appointment of someone with a background in organic agriculture as the Commissioner of Agriculture.
Outlawing the practice of labeling toxic industrial waste as "fertilizer", and authorizing the Department of Environmental Protection to craft regulations on this subject.
Right to Know labeling for all GMO containing food.
Banning persistent herbicides in fertilizer and compost.
Legislating a better system for chain of custody of those components of commercial compost.
PLANK ON SOCIAL JUSTICE
The Maine Green Independent Party believes in the equitable, respectful, and humane treatment of all people. The Maine Green Independent Party believes that the following actions must be taken:
Ensure meaningful access to the courts and administrative recourse for low-income individuals by increasing the availability of free and affordable legal representation, advice, and information materials.
Promote the expansion of drug courts and other innovative means of dealing with criminal - and, in particular, youthful - offenders.
Improve the response to child abuse and overhaul the foster care system.
Continue to support legislation and referenda that seek to protect citizens of Maine from discrimination based on sexual orientation.
Legalize same-sex marriage and adoption by same-sex couples.
Continue to oppose the death penalty in Maine.
Eliminate racial profiling.
Strengthen and enforce laws against hate crimes of all types, domestic violence and child abuse.
Continue to advocate for and create support systems that provide basic needs to the people of Maine.
Oppose prejudice and discrimination in all its forms and increase the awareness of, and sensitivity to, differences among people.
Support the sovereignty of the indigenous people of Maine, including the Penobscot and Passamaquoddy Nations and work with them to provide viable, cooperative economic ventures.
Advocate for the demilitarization of police and the implementation of citizen review or democratic oversight of police forces.
Support the development of community policing and rapid response social work programs to replace traditional police-use wherever possible.
Uphold and expand civil liberties and human rights.
Oppose the use of state National Guard forces from being used in illegal foreign military operations according to international law, so that they can be available for emergencies.