Candidates

Candidates for the 2016 Steering Committee elections are listed below. As individuals nominate themselves for the 2017 election, this page will be updated. To nominate yourself for a position on the steering committee, click here.

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Candidates for Co-Chair (4)

Joshua Bruce, 17 – Dozier, AL

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I would like to be on the Young Greens Committee because I, as a young adult, want to make a difference. And that difference has to start somewhere.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I am a member of a few minority groups. These include: LGBTQ+(POC included); Non-neurotypical(ADD); Agender community; Pansexual/Panromantic. On top of all of these I am well acquainted with various other minority groups. This means that when i approach any social policy I will ask questions, I will care for everyone’s needs, and I will try my hardest to include everyone.i am well familiar with politics, though I lack experience in office we all must start somewhere. And finally I will contribute my voice, any money I can afford to give, and my support for everything Green stands for.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I am a member of The Green Party because I see that we want change. We want to make the world a happier, healthier, more sustainable place than ever before. We want to improve our economy through localization and Democratic-Socialism. And we look to the future. That is why I am a Green.

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Christopher Cariad, 26 – Paducah, KY

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I think the biggest opportunity the Green Party of the US has is reaching the youth of America and inspire them to vote green.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I’m a former chairman of the Kentucky Green Party, former delegate from Kentucky and CCC delegate for Kentucky. I’d like to help organize college events, youth rallies and help the caucus reach youth across the country.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I touched base on the question in the previous question. I came to the Green Party when I was 18 seeing the corruption of both parties, through online searching I found the Green Party and it fufilled what I believed in. My political passions and beliefs.

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Michael Kozak, 31 – Pittsburgh, PA

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I’ve been a vocal Green since before I was even old enough to register to vote. I believe that Young Greens like us are not only vital to a successful future for our party, but also to politics in America. An active and vocal youth caucus can help to ensure that the Green Party is the most relevant party for so many of our peers who have become disenfranchised with the political process and believe that there is no option in our current political system for them.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

As I mentioned, I’ve been a Green since before I could register to vote. While this is important, I hope to offer my professional skills as well as somebody who has worked in marketing and communications so far in my career to help spread the message and build the Young Green caucus.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I am a member of the Green Party because I believe it’s the only party that offers a way forward for America today. Neither of the two main political parties offer anything close to what that vast majority of Americans actually need. I was initially attracted tMo the Green Party because of its stance on environmental issues, but I have since come to embrace its position on social justice, the economy, world affairs, etc. I hope that the Young Greens can build their visibility in the next year not only in the party, but among our peers as well. I hope that the Young Greens can become a gateway to the Green Party for our peers who have become completely disenfranchised with our political system.

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Ursula Rozum, 31 – Syracuse, NY

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

The Young Greens has the potential to play a very constructive role for the Green Party, developing resources for Young Greens to understand Green politics and to build the party where ever we are, on campuses and in our towns, cities and states. Since its formation, the Youth Caucus has not successfully been able to become a resource for Young Greens, as it should be according to our bylaws. I was on the original Steering Committee in 2012, when many of our officers were relatively new in our involvement with our state and national parties and over-extended in our responsibilities (as candidates, campaign managers, state committee members). I would like to work with the 2016 Steering Committee officers to re-vitalize the Youth Caucus in the lead up to the Summer 2016 GPUS Presidential nominating convention and as the 2016 Presidential election heats up. What would this revitalization look like? At the very least, improved resources available on the website for Young Green activists, simple things such as Green Party FAQs and fliers and organizing toolkits with best practices for hosting events, documents like signup sheets available to support their local organizing.  I am interested in the Steering Committee Co-Chair role because I recognize the names of other skilled individuals for other positions, like Josh Kelly, Billy Gunger, and Michael Trudeau.  I have lots of ideas for the Caucus, some really basic, like developing resources. Also, I would also like to see the Young Greens communicating more frequently with our membership, to solicit ideas and opinions but also to share information about national issues, campaigns, and Green politics. As Greens, while we run in elections and want to win them, I think one of our roles in US politics is to change how people think and understand issues.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

Since I got very involved with the Green Party in 2010, I have done most jobs in my state and local party (web admin using Nationbuilder and WordPress, Party Secretary, graphic design, event organizer, media work, candidate, campaign manager, phone bank coordinator, training facilitator, intern supervisor). I would bring this range of skills to the Steering Committee and would want to work with other SC members to move quickly to begin fulfilling some of the basic requirements of the Caucus, like providing resources to Young Greens. My priority for the Caucus would be to establish a timeline of achievable goals that take us from the election of the new SC, to the Presidential Convention in Texas, to the 2016 Election and into the next Steering Committee in 2017.  Also, I am very active in my local peace movement (I work at the Syracuse Peace Council, the country’s oldest peace organization). Peace and war issues were one of the main reasons that I joined the Green Party. I would like to bring my understanding of US militarism and imperialism as a resource to the Steering Committee. The anti-war and peace movement are relatively weak right now nationally, and I think the Young Greens can play a role in helping to revive this important movement by educating and organizing for diplomacy, disarmament, and a foreign policy centered on human rights. I would like to work with other Young Greens, not necessarily just those on the Steering Committee, to develop resources that can be used by Greens across the country for outreach in our communities about the issues that are important to us, especially those where the Green Party differs dramatically from the Democrats and Republicans (like the bipartisan national consensus that supports endless war).

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

The US two-party system of corporate rule has failed the overwhelming majority of people in the US and around the world. I am a member of the Green Party because we are a party committed to justice and human rights. Human rights is a concept sorely missing from US politics. I outlined some of my ideas for the Young Greens above. In the coming year, I would like to work with the Steering Committee to engage Youth Caucus members to develop the resources we need across the country to build the Green Party from the bottom up into a fighting political organization, of skilled activists with a fire in our belly. There is a lot of work to do and our Steering Committee will need to be diligent to support Young Greens across the country to be the skilled and articulate Green Party leaders that we need to be in order to fight for the better world we know is possible.

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Robert Smith, 19 – Frederick, MD

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

Ever since I discovered and joined GPUS, I have helped to spread the word about Green Politics, progressively becoming more and more active within the party. As a co-chair of YGUS, the first responsibility (as stated in YGUS Bylaws Article 7 § 1) is to be a spokesperson of the caucus. I know with full confidence that I can effectively do this in addition to fulfilling the rest of the roles of co-chair.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I have a great work ethic and a creative mindset that is ideal for trying to grow and improve YGUS. I have contacted people and websites to make sure they include the Green Party in their coverage of elections (most successfully with Ballotpedia)- I feel obligated to make sure the Green voice is heard.  What I bring to the table is my experience of having lived in Europe, where Green Politics is thriving, and for having been to parts of the world such muslim states in North Africa. Having a global perspective in ANY organization is very important. I also bring along diversity as a gay man (heck and with my Brazilian ancestry I guess I technically could be considered as Latino, however often I leave that omitted). My “”race”” is arbitrary, but can be known by simply asking me if it is that important. As a believer in Green Politics, I would do just about anything (obviously within the realm of legality) to better promote the Party. And since our young and largely indebted population will determine the future of our nation, it is critical that we grow the number of Young Greens that belong to the Party so that we can live in a sustainable country. I will help bring the strategy needed to do this!

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

Ideologically, I fall into the realm of Green-Libertarianism. Essentially I am fiscally Green and socially Libertarian. The Libertarian Party falls short on income inequality, the poor, the environment, healthcare, and transportation to name a few. So consequently, I belong to the Green Party largely due to its critical focus on the ecological wisdom- which is so so important to achieving a sustainable world. In addition, our relatively libertarian stance of non-interventionism, in terms of military action, is probably the most appealing thing about GPUS. I support the GPUS platform as amended in 2014 and all the articles that it contains. My vision for the Young Greens is to be prepared to educate and spread the word on why it is so important to vote Green Party in 2016 and not for centrist, corporatist, warhawk Sec. Clinton. This means convincing the young supporters of Democratic Socialist Sen. Bernie Sanders not to support Clinton, but to support Stein or whoever the GPUS Presidential Nominee is. In order to do this, a massive social media campaign has to be coordinated to get the message out to young progressives that we must “”paint the whitehouse green””, as said amazingly by Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza Curry. Regardless of my position- whether I’m a co-chair or just a simple member of YGUS, I will do my part to make the Green Voice heard. I’m already doing it in my local circles and can’t wait to do more!

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Acray Turner, 22 – Frederick, MD

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

Every year millions of high school students graduate, which means every year there will be 1,000,000 new potential green supporters. With this role, I will aim to recruit every single one to the Green Party. It is important to raise awareness among the youth about the horrendous political climate they are in today, and why it is important that they vote Green. We can show that we as Greens are truly fighting for their interests and their future.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

Creativity, Leadership, Relationship Building, Political Awareness

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

The same reason we are all Greens, to fight to make a world a better place.

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Candidates for Treasurer (1)

Joshua Kelly, 20 – Waterford, CT

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

First and foremost, I have a keen interest in promoting the Young Greens as an organization, as I believe that we have an opportunity and an obligation to promote environmentalism and other Green values within younger generations. Additionally, as a member of the 2014-2015 Steering Committee, I believe that my past experience with the organization as a Co-Chair will be instrumental in helping transition the group to becoming a truly proactive and positive influence on a national scale. Furthermore, I believe that my experience as a delegate to the National Committee from Connecticut, my experience as a founder and Co-Chair of the Waterford Green Party, and my experience with starting a Campus Greens group at Ithaca College has provided me with wisdom and experience that I wish to share with my fellow members of the YGUS Steering Committee in the year to come.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I am running for the position of Treasurer because I have witnessed this position be neglected for too long within this Caucus, and I believe that this neglect has harmed the Young Greens as an organization. I believe that I will provide much-needed organization skills in this role, and I believe that I will also be able to share wisdom based on my past experience as a YGUS Co-Chair, as a leader in local and campus groups, and more.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I am a member of the Green Party because I believe in the Ten Key Values, and I believe that the Green Party is the only Party that is taking the issue of climate change seriously. I also believe that democracy is improved when more ideas are shared, and thus I think it is important to support third-parties. This year, I hope to help the Young Greens develop their presence on college campuses by creating a formal process by which Campus Greens chapters may apply to be a chapter of the YGUS, and by creating materials for college students to help them organize Campus Greens chapters at their college or university. I believe that this agenda item is of utmost importance, as it will help increase the size of the YGUS, spread information about the Green Party in a systematic way, and increase or level of organization as a caucus.

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Candidates for Secretary (1)

Emily Garfinkel, 20 – Farmington, CT

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

Because I feel that I have very strong organizational skills that would benefit the committee. I currently serve as the secretary for my local party, and I believe that I would be very capable of this position.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I will contribute strong organizational skills as well as enthusiasm that will be beneficial to the party. I want to further enforce bringing about new membership and diversity in the group, as well as keeping organized notes of what the party is currently working to stand for.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

Because  I feel that the 10 key values are essential to effective political implementation. I currently serve as the secretary to the Waterford, Connecticut Green Party, which has further developed me as a practicing green. I believe that the dogmas between the two party system do not well represent the people, where the Green Party appeals to the direct interests of citizens.

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William Gunger, 22 – Alfred, NY

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

Being a part of the Young Greens Steering Committee would allow me the chance to speak to radical people of my generation on a national platform. There’s so much potential for the Left in America, and young people have an opportunity to carry the momentum through the Green Party. I would excel as Secretary of the YG Steering Committee because I am a good listener with strong organizational skills. I want this role because I have experience with record-keeping for the Green Party of Onondaga County. I’d like to observe the restart of this committee from within and help to further its goals in years to come.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I have experience from Frank Cetera’s campaign for Syracuse City Council, and have worked closely with key members of the Green Party of Onondaga County. Though the stated mission of the Secretary of the YGSC is that of a record-keeper, I would actively participate in discussion of policy with the Co-Chairs and the National Delegate. I will help the Committee organize outreach efforts to young greens to the best of my ability.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I am a proud member of the Green Party because I believe the Ten Key Values and our dedication to non-corporate political efforts. I am an activist, an intersectional feminist, and ally to many different causes including Black Lives Matter. The Green Party is the only political party that I feel affirms my equal rights as a gay and queer male. I want to see the Young Greens involved in promoting the Green Party to our peers through on-campus and community involvement across the country. The Young Greens Steering Committee should be communicating the needs and goals of young people to the National Committee. I want the Young Greens to uphold our party as an integral part of the leftist political and environmental movements in this country and globally.

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Candidates for National Committee Del. (1)

Jose Trinidad Castaneda III, 25 – Fullerton, CA

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I am currently a member of the Green Party of California Coordinating Committee. I feel that I can dutifully carry out the responsibilities of this committee and encourage young greens to become more involved.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I have succeeded at organizing many events, forums, rallies, and conferences with people of color, students, Greens of older age, and LGBTQ folx. I live by my values and can provide great insight into organizing skills.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

My personal vision is to build aquaponic farms at every school to feed future generations. My vision for Young Greens is to successfully strategize how we can attract more of our fellow “Millennials,” especially young people of color, and carry out those plans.

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Jonathan Newby, 16 – Chesterfield, VA

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I want to be a NC delegate because it is an opportunity to work with both the caucus and the national party as a link between both, which will be needed as we grow in the future.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I can contribute in gathering members and working on our caucus organization, which should be our top priority. I can work on getting the national party to support us and give us resources we may need to expand.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I am a member of the Green Party because  we need a diversified field of political parties, and GPUS is the best place to start, as I am very concerned with social and economic justice caucuses. Though I am still fairly new to the Greens, I believe that I can be of much help to YGUS in the future. I envision that YGUS can gather at least 3k members by the end of 2016 and participate in several rallies relevant to America’s youth.

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Michael Trudeau, 35 – Cary, NC

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee, and why would you like to represent the YGUS as a delegate to the National Committee?

I’d like to be a voting member of the GPUS National Committee (NC) and to make decisions and analysis on that committee that reflect the thinking of young Greens. For instance: specifically, in 2016 I want to be able to vote for an anti-capitalist platform amendment this spring that I wrote and submitted to the Platform Committee.

I see the Green Party’s relationship to capitalism as something that is, unfortunately, currently unclear in our platform and often avoided by Green candidates. And I think we Greens need to be explicit in providing an alternative system to capitalism, both because it’s the right and correct thing to do and because doing so will attract more young people to our party—more radical young people.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I voted for Ralph Nader in 2000 (when I was 19 years old) and have supported Green candidates ever since. But only in the last 2.5 years or so have I become committed to actually building the Greens locally, statewide, and nationally. Since then, I have become the vice chair of my state party (North Carolina), I observe the GPUS National Committee as an alternate delegate, and I’ve become the state coordinator for the Jill Stein presidential campaign. As an elder young Green, I’ll bring my experience and some guidance to the Youth Caucus.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

I’m a member of the GP because I think we need a radical party independent of the two parties to effect serious change. The GP is the only ecologically sound party in the USA. Young Greens will help build the GP on college campuses by tapping into movement activity there and will influence the aging GPUS National Committee to become more radically green.

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Candidates for National Committee Alt. (1)

Michael Dennis, 28 – Durham, NC

Why would you like to be on the Young Greens Steering Committee?

I strongly believe that strong caucuses will be a key part of spreading the Green Party to a larger audience. The Young Greens need to be more active in helping the party to reimagine a path forward–including policy positions, social media, and outreach to minority groups (youth included). I’ve been an observer of the National Committee for the Lavender Caucus for the past 6 months and become familiar with the sort of debates that happen on the Listservs. I believe that as an Alternate Delegate, I will be able to contribute to these debates by articulating the fresh breath of the YGUS alongside the YGUS NC (voting) Delegate. Also, no one else had yet announced for this position, and I think it’s important that we have two strong voices for Young Greens interacting with the National Committee.

What do you believe you will contribute to the organization?

I excel at facilitating idea brainstorming and guiding overall vision paired with the necessary logistical constraints. I’m a realist but one who–especially for the Young Greens caucus–thinks we need to get outside of our boxes.

Why are you a member of the Green Party, and what is your vision for the Young Greens in the coming year?

Having worked for Republicans on Capitol Hill and Democrats in the PA legislature, my first-hand experience of the duopoly drove me to third party politics. The Greens align with my personal beliefs more than the Libertarians. // My vision for YGUS is that we do some serious brainstorming on how to become an active voice among youth on campuses and social media, how we interact with other GP caucuses, and how we create an internal caucus dialogue of ideas that spills over into the National Committee. I think we can become a functional exemplar for the party of having good discussion while making things happen. We should look at our social media presence. We should think through how to outreach on campuses or other youth/young adult arenas (physical or online). We should look at what issues we can make an impact with–especially progressive issues that others are not standing up for. And then perhaps see how we can pair on some of these with other GP caucuses or state/locals in a way that is mutually beneficial and not encumbered by the deeply passionate but often lengthy and draining GP debates and processes. I also believe that we need to look towards helping the eventual GP presidential candidate.

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