Formed in 2001, the United States Green Party is dedicated to renewing democracy without the support of corporate donors. Prior to that year, the party existed as a federation of state green parties, sponsoring such candidates as Ralph Nader (with running mate Winona LaDuke) in 2000. In 2004, David Cobb and Pat LaMarche ran on the Green Party ticket, to few votes.
This year, Cynthia McKinney will be running on the Green Party ticket. On July 9, the former member of the House of Representatives selected Rosa Clemente, a community organizer, journalist and hip-hop activist, as her running mate. Clemente, who is from the South Bronx, New York, is a strong supporter of Puerto Rican independence and founded La Voz Boriken during her time at Cornell University. On her own website, Clemente says:
I hope that my Vice Presidential run will inspire all people to recognize they have more than two choices. The time has come to stop talking about what we have to do, but do it by building a 3rd party. I hope you join me on this journey. Feel free to contact me at any time. I look forward to hearing your thoughts and opinions.
Vivir Latino (Puerto Rico) is excited about the announcement:
Whether they are in it to win it (and I would argue that any run for presidency should be with winning in mind, no matter how remote the possibility), Rosa got it right when she said that her running will be inspiring. I know I can't wait to tell my daughter when she wakes up this morning, that two women of color, one Rican like her, are running to run the nation.
Mexican-American blogger Meandering Matrix is also pleased:
Just heard the Green Party presidential running candidate has chosen her VP, Rosa Clemente. What an awesome ticketâ€¦just wished more US citizens knew the other stronger, better, and quicker thinking candidates running for the Executive Branch.
In regard to a survey distributed to presidential candidates by The Sanctuary, Para Justicia y Libertad, a blog which addresses “issues of working class struggle, Xicano/Latino identity” (and presumably deals with the issues of people both with and without votes), says:
My message to Barack Obama and John McCain. We will no longer take part in this viscus political â€œChristopher Columbus Syndromeâ€ phenomenon where politicians happen to rediscover us Latinos every four years, only to forget about us all over again for the next three years. This survey has also been sent to Green Party candidate Cynthia McKinney, which I am sure she and her running mate Rosa Clemente are more than willing to fill it out. While I may not have the luxury to vote for her this November here in Texas, I am sure Ms. McKinney will be able to pick up a good number of Latino voters in other states with the right outreach coordinator by her side.
For another perspective on McKinney and Clemente's bid for president, check out Earl Ofari Hutchinson's article on The Huffington Post.