Green Party Welcomes Pope Francis to the U.S. and Praises his message on climate change

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Green Party of the United States has published a message welcoming Pope Francis I to the U.S. The welcome, written by co-chair Andrea Mérida with help from other Catholic Greens, is appended below.

Greens have praised the Pope’s statements on the need for global action to fight climate change and the damage caused by capitalism and corporate greed.

In his address outside the White House on Wednesday, Sept. 23, Pope Francis said, “Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation. When it comes to the care of our common home, we are living at a critical moment of history. We still have time to make the changes needed to bring about a sustainable and integral development, for we know that things can change. Such change demands on our part a serious and responsible recognition not only of the kind of world we may be leaving to our children, but also to the millions of people living under a system which has overlooked them.”

The Green Party enthusiastically agrees.

Statement of Welcome

The Green Party of the United States welcomes His Holiness, Pope Francis I, to our country. We see Pope Francis as our strong ally in the struggle against the decimation of our environment. We join our voices with his as we also call for “a new dialogue about how we are shaping the future of our planet” (Encyclical Letter: “Laudato Si,“).

The Green Party’s platform calls for the right of all people to live, work, learn, and play in safe and healthful environments and for their right to influence decisions that affect environmental quality in their communities. We believe that His Holiness is right in calling out “[t]he failure of global summits on the environment make it plain that our politics are subject to technology and finance. There are too many special interests, and economic interests easily end up trumping the common good and manipulating information so that their own plans will not be affected.”

We also call upon the leader of the world’s largest Christian denomination to take this powerful encyclical’s message and begin the process of rescinding the canonization of Junipero Serra, the Franciscan priest of California canonized on Wednesday. Serra oversaw the California mission system and the atrocities committed against California’s Native American nations. We hope that with thoughtful meditation on this history, he will be inspired to begin a path toward reconciliation with our country’s indigenous populations.

As Greens we honor the principle of diversity, including social and economic justice for the LGBTQ community, for people of many different cultures, and for people of many belief traditions, including atheism. The U.S. system of Common Law is different in principle and in practice from the Roman Law tradition that informs traditional Catholic thinking on such matters as women’s reproductive rights, marriage, and human sexuality. We may differ from the Vatican on the correct way to implement social and legal norms to promote justice and freedom, even as we agree on the moral imperative to do so.

As Green Catholics, we recognize that our love for the natural world and our thirst for justice for the oppressed was born deep within the bosom of our faith. It informs our actions even today. Pope Francis’ words have inspired many of us to reconnect with that tradition. In that spirit, we invite him to maintain this dialog and collaboration as we seek economic systems that value people over profit and work to end the global climate crisis, for the good of all humankind.

Your Holiness, welcome to the United States of America!

Solar Energy for the Sunshine State

On June 24, 2015, four Greenpeace activists climbed to the roof of the parliament building in New Zealand and installed eight solar panels. This was done to bring more awareness to the issue of climate change and just what climate action means. This question becomes complicated (and at times, hopeless) when we look at the various factors contributing to climate change.

The reality is that the majority of carbon dioxide released into the air comes from only 90 entities. This is not some strange coincidence. It is a fact which easily demonstrates that climate change is a systemic issue that touches many facets of our society and personal lives. Even if we all chose to recycle, we would still be on our way to climate catastrophe. Concerned citizens are often left wondering what they can do in the face of neoliberal waste production and politicians unwilling to take any measures to stop the oil barons from sucking us dry. The answer to the riddle is that we need a profound change in how we systematically collect and use energy. Lobbyists and corporate lawyers have bought out our legislatures and neutralized our courts. What is there left to do? Should we react violently to open corruption and disdain for our environment or is there another way?

South Florida could soon become one of the most energy efficient regions in the country!

Today, us Floridians, have a more accessible and impacting way to open the pathway to the energy source of the future; solar energy. A ballot initiative, entitled “Limits or Prevents Barriers to Local Solar Electricity Supply,” has been making the rounds. The initiative is for an amendment to the Florida constitution that would prevent local governments from curtailing the use of solar panels by everyday people. You can read the full text here. The organization that is promoting the ballot initiative is called Floridians for Solar Choice.

The petition has a wide range of support from different organizations throughout the political spectrum. The Libertarian Party of Florida and the Green Party of Florida are supporting it. Other groups include the Christian Coalition of America and Greenpeace USA.

If all goes well, Floridians will be able to vote in favor of this constitutional amendment in 2016. Last year, disillusionment with the corporate parties was made evident with record-low turnouts. Another thing to note was that the constitutional amendment received 57% of support from the voters. That’s more than any gubernatorial candidate received in that election day. Yet, unlike gubernatorial elections, the amendment needed 60% of the vote to pass. We hope that a more diverse and open-minded electorate will be made present in the 2016 presidential elections. To do this, we need to get the word out. Floridians for Solar Choice is currently recruiting volunteers to canvass for signatures. You can sign up with them right here.

Old Florida Power & Light plant being demolished in Hollywood, FL.

Florida Power & Light has already attacked initiatives like this. They will, unless outed, keep toting the same line. They will claim that solar energy is too unreliable and that they do not want to be expected to provide emergency energy without being payed to provide backup energy. Americans for Prosperity (AFP), has not missed the scaremongering beat. The AFP is funded by David H. Koch of the infamous Koch Brothers. The AFP has launched a war against solar energy in other places like Georgia. Claiming that Georgia would suffer blackouts if solar energy was expanded, they have sought to plant fear in the hearts of the general population. Their main purpose being the perpetuation of American dependence on oil; a commodity that the Koch Brothers have a significant interest in. With this in mind, we need a healthy sense of urgency when advocating solar panels to voters. It is up to us to set the narrative for the public: solar energy is a clean, reliable, and cheap source of energy.

Feminism is for Everyone, Miami

feminismMiami-Dade and Broward Greens have been actively participating in a new Facebook group,  Feminism is for Everyone, Miami, and now the group will meet in person for the first time–a new women’s liberation movement has arrived!  We’ll discuss how to support the ACLU and the Center for Reproductive Rights’ lawsuit to block Rick Scott’s newly signed law requiring women wait 24 hours after a first visit to an abortion clinic and we’ll discuss a Yes Means Yes policy for Florida regarding sexual assault. RSVP for the exact location:

Where: Miami

When: Thursday, June 18 at 7:30 PM

Facebook Event Page

Rally in Solidarity with Khader Adnan

Khader Adnan is engaging in a hunger strike to win his freedom back as he nears his 40th day. He’s a Palestinian baker from the village of Araba striking against his prolonged detention with no indictment after being arrested and placed in Israeli jail in July 2014. Adnan’s 2011 hunger strike, in which he refused food for 66 days, helped him get released. He was re-arrested last summer during the IDF operation in the West Bank. We will rally in solidarity with him and some of are also hunger striking in solidarity.

When: Wednesday, June 17 at 4:30 PM

Where: Israeli Consulate, 100 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33132

Facebook Event Page

Miami-Dade Green Party Annual Membership Meeting: 5/31/15

We invite you learn about the Green Party at our annual membership meeting. We’ll discuss the JIll Stein 2016 presidential campaign, we’ll follow up on the March Against Monsanto, and we’ll elect our new party officers. We’ll also be gearing up for the Green Party of Florida’s annual meeting in Tampa next month.

When:  Sunday, 5/31/2015 from 2:30 PM to 4 PM

Where: Earth N Us Farm Community Forum, 7630 NE 1st Ave, Miami, Florida 33138

If you’re on Facebook, please join our event.

Meet Jill Stein this Sunday!

Please join us for a meet & greet with Dr. Jill Stein at 2PM this Sunday at The Lab Miami in Wynwood.

Americans deserve real solutions for the critical economic, social and environmental problems we face. But the broken political system is only making things worse. Jill speaks about the urgent need for independent Green Party politics in America, not beholden to corporate interests. Jill doesn’t accept corporate money, and neither does the Green Party.

It’s time to declare our independence from the failed bipartisan establishment, and build a people’s movement for real democracy and real solutions: to protect our environment, address climate change, protect civil liberties, protect wages and create new green jobs, provide free higher education, and end racism and discrimination. Together we can do this – it’s in our hands.

A New Society. A New Economy. #ItsInOurHands,