LETTER from Greg Gerritt of the Green Party of the United States Presidential Campaign Support Committee

Dear Candidates and Potential Candidates seeking the Green Party nomination for President of the United States,

This is an informal update on what will be happening of great relevance to you at the upcoming Green Party of the United States Annual Meeting that will take place in Reading Pennsylvania between July 12 and 15, six short weeks away. At some point the Presidential Campaign Support Committee will send you a formal letter describing the forum, but the committee has progressed enough in its development of the Presidential Candidates Forum, and it is close enough to the Reading meeting that you need to be planning your appearance and can use the update.

The PCSC is still in close communication with the Annual National Meeting committee to work out the venue for the event, and it still being worked out, so I can not offer much beyond that it will be held after dinner on either Friday or Saturday evening, prior to an evening’s entertainment, and at a time when no other events are happening. The best spot possible during the weekend, as this is a central point of the weekend.

In order to participate in this official forum you will need to turn in to the PCSC a Letter of Intent, responses to the PCSC questionnaire, and a statement from at least 3 delegates to the National Committee stating they are willing for you to speak. As I will sign for each and every candidate of sound mind, You really only have to find two other National Committee member signatories, and that should be very easy, merely a formality as just about any delegate tot he NC will sign once you have had a 5 minute conversation.

While the PCSC would prefer to have this documentation as soon as possible, and some of you have already turned it in, as long as it is turned in at least 5 minutes before the forum starts, it will be accepted. The committee has requested a forum of 90 minutes, so the length of time you get to speak will be determined by how many candidates show up, figure you are not getting more than 5 minutes. Those participating can also be introduced for 2 minutes by a person of their own selection, so you should be thinking about who you want to introduce you. All of the candidates may bring literature and their will be a table to display it on.

There will be an MC, the MC will open the forum telling the audience what is going on, all of the candidates will have equal time at the podium, timed, with 2 minute warnings and a fairly rigid cut off process. If there is time there will be questions. Questions will be submitted on cards (no grandstanding by the audience) that will be read by the MC. Each candidate will have equal time to answer the questions. Depending on time, 2 or 3 is the most we can expect to get through. The committee has arranged for the forum to be videotaped, and eventually it will be posted on the web. I expect that each of you will be able to get access to your speech so that you can use it for your campaign.

The Candidates Forum is important, and a good showing will give your campaign a boost, but what is really going to help your campaign more, probably much more, is the networking you will get to do in Reading. The leading Green activists in every state will be there. These are the people with the best rolodexes in their state party, the most knowledge of and experience in campaigns, access to lists of who really can help a candidate, and how to contact them. You should be working every Green in Reading for contacts for your campaign, lists you can fundraise from, potential campaign leaders in each state.

In fact one of the best reasons to announce early is the opportunity to start your conversations with state parties NOW, so you can arrange meetings in Reading with key activists. Yes, you will find plenty of time to have lots of conversations, but the more you can schedule in advance, the better off you are going to be. Plan on spending the whole 4 days in Reading if you can, and register for the event ASAP, as hotel rooms are filling fast.

Besides the Presidential candidates forum there will be a number of other events you may wish to attend. You should at least consider attending some segment of the National Committee meeting, if for no other reason to gain a better understanding of the Green Party and how it operates. There will be a mini campaign school put on by the Coordinated Campaign Committee, with “how to” workshops by recognized masters and successful candidates. The workshops are directed towards local campaigns, but nearly everything will be applicable to your current undertaking. There will be a whole series of issue workshops on topics ranging from Buy Nothing Day to Nuclear War. You will have an opportunity to participate in party wide strategic planning sessions and gauge where the party is going, and what you can do to influence it. But mostly you are going to have the best opportunity you will ever find to network with Greens and develop an on the ground presence for your campaign in every state, which will be the key to gaining the nomination.

I have been in touch with each of you previously, so you know I am always most happy to answer questions and be a sounding board. Looking forward to meeting all of you in person in Reading PA July 12.

Greg Gerritt