Thursday, July 31, 2008

Petitioners BOOTED off New Haven Green Petitioners Booted Off Greenby Paul Bass July 23, 2008 1:00 PM Permalink Comments (40)The Squirrel Nut Zippers had the mic. The cops told Ralph Ferrucci andhisband of petitioners they had to exit the Green stage right.Or, if they preferred, given their political leanings, stage left.Ferrucci - a New Haven political activist who has run for mayor and U.S.Senate and Congress on the Green Party ticket - is no stranger toflyeringand collecting signatures on petitions at public events, such as lastSaturday's city-sponsored Squirrel Nut concert on the Green. He didn'tthinkhe was breaking any rules when he brought a team of six petitioners togather signatures of voters to place presidential candidate Ralph Nader'sname on the state's November ballot.The cops thought otherwise.Ferrucci said the "lieutenant in charge" approached him "and told me I'llbearrested if I didn't get the petitioners off the Green."Ferrucci said he protested that he had a right to be on public land."This isn't owned by the city," the cops told him, according to Ferrucci.(It's true; a not-for-profit organization known as the Proprietors of theGreen controls the space.)"But this is a public space," Ferrucci said he (correctly) pointed out."Myrights apply."For at least three decades, volunteers and staffers from politicalcampaigns - including those of Mayor John DeStefano and Democraticcandidates like U.S. Senate hopeful Ned Lamont - have routinelycirculatedpetitions or handed out flyers at summer events on the Green.Which lieutenant was it who threatened the arrest?"I should have gotten his name," Ferrucci said. "But I was more concernedabout getting arrested. I didn't mind taking the bust," but he worriedabouthis crew of volunteers. So he sent them off the Green, to surroundingsidewalks (uncontested public space), where they harvested signaturesfrom asmaller, less compact field of passersby.Ferrucci said he remained by the middle of the Green, where he received"nasty looks" from five cops on duty.Since the weekend, Ferrucci brought his complaints to the mayor's chiefofstaff, Sean Matteson.According to Ferrucci, Matteson confirmed that the petitioners should beallowed to work the Green. Matteson promised to investigate the matter,Ferrucci said. Ferrucci asked for a letter confirming the permission topetition. "That way if the cops bother us I have a letter saying we'reallowed to be there."Matteson didn't return repeated phone calls to confirm the conversation."There is no letter," mayoral spokeswoman Jessica Mayorga said. "There'snodiscussion about a letter."Mayorga said Matteson "has had a discussion" with Assistant Police ChiefStephanie Redding about the matter. She said Redding "has agreed to lookinto it."Mayorga said that while it's Matteson's "personal opinion" that the Nadercampaign should be able to petition on the Green, the city does not yethavea position on whether it can at another concert this coming weekend. Shesaid she wants to wait to hear back from Redding."I don't know what the turnaround will be on that," Mayorga said."We're not trying to make things difficult for anyone. We're trying tomakesure we're on the same page."Mayorga said it would not be possible to identify the lieutenant whothreatened Ferrucci with arrest.(Update: Reached at a press event at City Hall Wednesday afternoon,Mattesonsaid he plans to make clear to the cops that the Nader campaign maypetitionat Saturday's concert.)One member of the Proprietors of the Green, Anne Calabresi, was surprisedthat a petitioner would be removed or threatened with arrest."How could they?" she asked when told of the incident Wednesday. "TheGreenis dedicated to free speech. It's that simple."A TrendThis is the latest in a string of embarrassing cases of city governmentflouting the constitution or the public's right to know.Some incidents have occurred at the hands of mid-level or lower-levelemployees who acted on their own (though in the spirit of higher-ups).City government lawyer Dinella Dodd, for instance, last month booted thepress from a public hearing on parking ticket appeals.The city's elderly services chief suspended an employee for, in part,speaking to the press on off hours, without first checking in with themayor's spokeswoman.The mayor has implemented a press policy - blasted as flagrantlyunconstitutional by the ACLU - which forbids thousands of city employeesfrom speaking about anything with reporters at any time without expressprior authorization from his press office; that has set a chill overgovernment.The DeStefano administration has also subverted the intent of a ruling bythe State Freedom of Information Commission that required that jobevaluations of top administrators be publicly available. Theadministrationhas basically stopped doing written evaluations as a result.He's BackRalph Nader is running as an independent in this year's presidential racerather than as a Green. Nader ran in 1996, 2000, and 2004 as well. Hedidn'twin.Ferrucci said the campaign technically needs 7,500 valid signatures ofvoters to make the Connecticut ballot. In actuality it probably needs tocollect more like 12,000, he said, because election officials ofteneliminate many signatures as invalid. The deadline is Aug. 6."We're at 5,500 signatures," Ferrucci reported. He said he's confidentthecampaign will make its goal.Assuming the law doesn't shut them down.(Nader, a former Green candidate, is running as an independent thisyear.)

Wednesday, July 30, 2008

McKinney announce campaign manager

McKinney/Clemente Campaign Appoints Campaign ManagerGreen Party McKinney/Clemente“Power to the People” Presidential CampaignAppoints Campaign Manager, 24 July 2008 17:16[Washington] /Former six-term Congress Member from Georgia, Cynthia McKinney and running mate Rosa Clemente were nominated by the Green Party at the Green National Convention in Chicago on July 12, 2008. The newly nominated Green Party candidates Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente have chosen Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowaifza-Curry (SKCM Curry) as the national campaign manager for their 2008 “Power to the People” presidential campaign, the first all-female and African and Latino heritage ticket for the White House.Presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney noted "Our candidacy marks several nationally significant historic events, especially the 160th anniversary of the Equal Rights Party nomination of the first female American presidential candidate Victoria Woodhull, which was also the first party to nominate a Black man, Frederick Douglass, for Vice President. I stand proudly as the 45th female American to also seek the presidency.”Ms. Curry brings a lifetime of political skills to the Green Party's all-woman presidential ticket. She is a social justice historian and activist from South Central Los Angeles, where she grew up in the Pueblo Dio Rio Housing Projects, in a family dedicated to peace and justice. A 46-year-old woman of African descent, Ms. Curry calls herself a "product of the battles won during the 1960 Civil Rights Movement,” including the Voting Rights Act, Head Start, and expansion of public higher education.Ms. Curry has years of experience training others in “popular education”, a program for social change pioneered by Brazilian educator Paulo Freire, author of /Education as the Practice of Freedom/ and /Pedagogy of the Oppressed/. SKCM Curry has had a long involvement in civil rights struggles, including voter registration and ballot access drives, as well as organizing around the need for universal health care, an end to current wars, environmental issues. and other campaign priorities.She has been involved with the Green Party for six years at local, state, national, and international levels. "Party affiliation is like a vote, only more powerful and cumulative, as it doesn't begin and end with an election. I joined the Green political party because it stands for my values -- I'm no longer willing to settle for something less. The McKinney-Clemente 2008 Green Party Campaign will promote a national long-term Green vision with policies and programs, and new visionary female leadership that will serve the interests of all Americans and members of the human family," Curry said.Curry thinks that “We Greens must combine our energy on all levels to create winning strategies that synergistic promote a national long term Green vision supported by measurable policies, programs and laws appealing to the varied interests of all Americans and members of the human family.” Her objective in joining the Green Party was and is about building a permanent non-corporate funded political party here in the United States of America.*MORE INFORMATION*Cynthia McKinney 'Power to the People' Campaign for Presidenthttp://www.allthingscynthiamckinney.comRosa Clemente, candidate for Vice Presidenthttp://www.rosaclemente.comGreen Party of the United States