11.20.2004

reintroduction 11.20.04

Introduction 11.20.04


I found this Blog option at the Progressive Review home page and thought I could collect my google hits in one place.

The title of my blog refers to my having grown tired of state-based green parties and my wondering what exactly a green without borders would be.

My story is simple, I was born in San Francisco, went to school and have worked as a gardener for most of my adult life, with a few interludes; one time as a historical research assisitant and a while in the local Stagehands Union, IATSE. Now I am employed in the grounds department at UC Berkeley.

My Green Party involvement includes;

membership on the GPCA media committee, my work collecting, sorting and cataloguing the California Green Archives which I founded in 1991(cagreens.org/archives/), and this fall, campaigning against proposition 62(Louisiana primary). The Archives is funded and endorsed by the GPCA and the Green Network. I have been an active participant on the national CC discussion list since the founding convention of the USGP in 2000 and was an observer on the national voting list until signing off last year. I've joined the Labor Greens to help "green" the labor movement through my position as media spokesperson for my Union, local 3299, AFSCME. Due to time, financial and physical constraints, and my belief that all good green leaders should take time off, I have avoided meetings for the past few years. I am on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Green Institute, but haven't heard from them lately. Historically, I am a founder of the San Francisco Green CoC, SF and California Green Parties, and was a member of the national CoC's and G/gpusa until the state party movement began to flourish. In the early 90's. I sat on the GPCA Organizing(later Coordinating) Committee, from 1991 until 94, where I established the first media committee and acted as the first northern California spokesperson. In 1992, I was elected and served two-terms on the Alameda County County Council and was the first partisan Green candidate in the Bay Area, standing for the 14th Assembly District in 1994, and again in 1996 and 98.

As an early member the Green Politics Network(now Green Network) working to establish a national party, I was one of the only California Greens supporting the Association of State Green Parties(ASGP) in the wilderness years before California joined in 1998. As a member of the Green Politics Network, I coordinated the New Politics '94 conference in Oakland and was co-coordinator of Third Parties 96 conference in Washington DC and was one of the people who recruited Ralph Nader to the California ballot that year. One of my more notorious acts was to author the letter to the FEC opposing the G/Gpusa's false national committee filing in 1995 that held open the possibility of FEC recognition until the state parties were ready. My college degree is in Ecology and Systematic Biology.

San Francisco - Potrero Point pollution

Potrero Point pollution

State agencies are holding final hearings on Mirant Corporation's expansion of the Potrero Power Plant at 22nd and Illinois Street. The State Energy Commission (CEC) is lead agency, but concerned agencies include the Bay Conservation and Development Commission, Dept. of Toxic Substances Control, Fish and Game, the Regional Water Quality Board, NOAA, The National Marine Fisheries Service, the U.S. EPA and Army Corp of Engineers.

Within the compartmentalized myopia of government review where each department concerns itself only with the letter of it's mandate, none of these agencies has examined the cumulative effects of one hundred thirty years of industrial activity in the Potrero, for decades the largest and most important heavy industry waterfront in the west, location of the oldest continually running private shipyard in the country , and founding facilities of PG&E.

Beginning in the 1870's, the manufactured gas plants, iron foundries, steel mills, naval and civilian shipyards, steam generating plants, powder magazines, allied maritime manufacturies and surprisingly, a sugar refinery in the Potrero burned tons of coal, coke, lampblack and later millions of gallons or cubic feet of crude petroleum, refined oil and natural gas in dozens of open hearth furnaces, forges, steam boilers, retort kilns, coke ovens, gas generators and sugar boilers.

These industrial concerns, especially the manufactured gas plants(MGPs) that produced gas for gaslight and power, steam and electricity, poisoned the air and bay waters, the soil and the surrounding communities for decades, leaving behind huge quantities of hydrocarbons, sulphur, acids, powdered carbon, ash, slag, manganese, mercury, lead, copper, cadmium, zinc and other heavy metals. The facilities and their outdoor coal and ,lampblack stores, tar and fuel oil tanks and industrial processes polluted vast acreages of bay mud, artificial fill and millions of gallons of fresh and salt water. Constant dumping and dredging of polluted fill spread the problem to the entire Potrero shoreline while approximately two square miles of Potrero Hill was dynamited and dumped into the bay.

The PG&E plant produced millions of cubic feet of manufactured gas per year from coal and later oil and natural gas. By 1878, it was consuming nearly 300,000 pounds of coal each day and had an ash pit 200 feet long to catch flyash and cinders. By 1905 they produced 4 million cubic feet of gas per day. By 1911, they had a capacity of 20 million cubic feet per day. The first method of manufacturing gas for urban users utilized coal gasification(1870 t o 1907), then oil-gas generators(1888 to 1907), water-gas generators from 1904 to 1915, newer oil-gas generators from 1906 to 1924 and still newer oil-gas generators from 1915 until natural gas was discovered and imported into the Bay area in 1930 and the gas plant was placed on standby. The last time it was fired up was in 1953 and the entire MGP was dismantled in the late 1950's.

The MGP's were built on unpaved soil, their waste stream of coal dust, unburned carbon and lampblack were reused as fuel, dumped into the bay to the east or sent south by the trainload where it was mixed with soil and quarried stone to fill Islais Creek and build new land on bay mud from Cesar Chavez street to Candlestick Point east of what is now Third street. Standard practice of the day was for cinders and ash from the furnaces to be given away or sold for road grading.

And people in the Potrero and Hunter's Point wonder why they are sick.

The PG&E property lacks a continuous seawall, allowing bay tidal action to twice daily flush the polluted fill. The underground remnants of the shipyards, steel mills, sugar refinery and coal and oil gas production at the mills and the two MGP's, unmentioned in CEC documents, is very likely a labyrinth of highly polluted buried coal tramways, distribution tunnels and conduit, remains of huge ash, coal and coke storage pits, coal bunkers, foundations from fuel oil holders, acid and boneblack storage, wooden catchments, fuel lines, underground storage tanks, concrete vaults ïand sumps. Many were abandoned in place and simply filled in. Analysis will find petroleum hydrocarbons, kerosene, gasoline, deisel fuel, asbestos and PCBs.
These industrial artifacts lie among thousands, if not tens of thousand of treated wooden piles railroad ties, abandoned wharves and piers. The piles are a reverse porcupine of Douglas fir poles, many up to one hundred feet deep, contaminated with a wide array of wood preservatives from arsenic to lead to creosote to crude oil, providing a study in the history of wood preservation technology. Removal will create a direct vertical channel to the deepest bay muds and leaving them in place will continue the downgradient flow of tainted ground water into the bay.

The Mirant proposal includes demolition of the historic Station A, the huge 1910 Brick edifice visible from the surrounding neighborhood, once a state of the art oil fired electricity generatin g facility, evidence of the constant rebuilding in the area as technologies changed. Station A was abandoned in 1979 and if it has not been sand blasted inside, remains saturated with PCB's and other pollutants, but the CEC's mitigation plans recommend no more special treatment than hosing the dust as the wrecking ball dismantles the pollution tainted brick and concrete.

Previous dredging at the shipyards during 1970's was required to be deposited at sea beyond the waters of the state of California but dredged fill from the Mirant project is slated to be transported to the Altamont landfill, not unlike the contaminated dirt from the Pac Bell Park which was first taken the Altamont in unlined trucks then removed to a landfill in Nevada. The environmental legacy includes pollution from the Navy's tenure during both world wars through the 1960's and illegally dumped wastes in < the pier 70 - 72 landfill.

On top of the historic pollution, more recent insults in the Potrero include sandblasted lead paints in the shipways, leaking waste barrels and underground diesel oil storage tanks. In 1986, the shipyard was sued by the city for mishandling PCB laden electrical equipment and periodic discharges of raw sewage. Currently the city uses the area for storage of towed and abandoned automobiles that leak fluids onto broken pavement that drains toward the bay. The Pick Your Parts Auto Dismantler resided on dirt lots adjacent to the power plant and illegal toxic dumping into the bay occurred at what was called the Wilson Warehouse to the north.

Numerous trucking concerns and a truck marshaling yard, covered by test wells, lie directly north of the power plant on former Naval ship building ways ¨that were filled in 1970 with construction rubble, soil, concrete and non-permitted wastes. Chemicals found in limited testing in bay mud and the old Navy slips include hydrocarbons, benzene, toluene, ethyl benzene, chlorobenzene and xylene. Other wastes identified include paint, oil, batteries, thinner, adhesives, herbicides, acids, and unknown 55 gallon drums.

The two major owners of the filled land in the Potrero are the Port of San Francisco and PG&E, before selling out to Mirant. The environmental liabilities still belong to PG&E but are virtually ignored in the Mirant application beyond the statement that 4000 cubic yards of contaminated sediments will be dredged. Very little hard data is currently available to the public.

Potrero Hill, Dogpatch and Hunters Point neighbors should place little faith in official watchdogs. By example, consider the mitigation efforts in excavated fill from the current Mission Bay Project ∫. The excavations for the new University of California campus are covered under local, state and federal regulations, but on a recent walk through, open piles of polluted fill reeking of hydrocarbons lie only partially covered, exposed to wind and rain. Plastic coverings and hay bail berms are incomplete, a constant flow of water from what appears to be a broken water main spews into the center of the mitigation yard, leaching toxic soils directly into open city storm sewers(since December at least). Homeless people live amidst the exposed piles of railroad ties, construction debris, wooden piles, rubble and old pipe. Bottle diggers and scavengers pick through exposed hills of unknown nineteenth century garbage and fill, remnants of "Dumpville".

One final issue beyond the pollution might color public interest in the Potrero. The Port of San Francisco has completely failed in it's responsibility to preserve remnants of this once thriving … industrial village, for a hundred years the most important heavy industry site in the west. The first locomotive, typewriter, printing press, cable car equipment and track, the famous battleship Oregon and steel for many of San Francisco's great 19th century buildings came from the Potrero. Already identified as worthy of historical landmark status by the San Francisco Landmarks Board are the 1917 Frederick Meyer Renaissance Revival Bethlehem office building, the Charles P. Weeks designed 1912 Power House #1, the 1896 Union Iron Works office designed by Percy & Hamilton and the huge 1885 Machine shops. All comprise the most endangered group of historical properties in California and all suffer from vandalism, earthquake risk, exposure to the elements and official neglect. The Port claims they cannot landmark a working shipyard, but the San Francisco Drydock Company has relinquished all of the historic properties and most of the land back to the Port.


Digging through Dumpville

Digging for Dumpville

by Hank Chapot Feb 2002

Driving through the Mission Bay detours around the Third street sewer and light rail project on Christmas day 2001, I noticed huge piles of fill and rubble excavated for the Mission Bay UC project.

I knew instantly that I was looking at excavated fill from the 1906 earthquake. I returned the following Sunday and picked through the piles left from the excavation for a set of light poles along Terry Francois boulevard, not thirty feet from the seawall at Pier 54. Research tells me that after the 1906 earthquake, the city had to find dumping grounds for an extraordinary quantity of rubble, scorched brick, concrete, wood, iron and glass left in piles on every street in what was euphemistically called, "the burned district," all of San Francisco east of Van Ness and out into the Mission to twentieth Street.

After the 06' earth quake, San Francisco needed dumping ground for the massive debris in the burned district and contractors were engaged to remove the rubble. In less than a month, the contractors and railroad operators were at odds over hauling charges. The road operators wanted to rate the fees based on the location of the dumps but contractors were fearful that they would be cut out of the project. Railroad owners decided to charge three dollars a carload to dump into SP land below twenty-fourth and beyond Army Street (Cesar Chavez). Into his controversy stepped the Board of State Harbor Commissioners who offered space behind the seawall planned for the north side of Mission Creek but they asked land owners to keep the rubble on their lots until the Seawall construction be gin later that summer.

All over San Francisco there are building facades with occasional inclusions of melted brick as design elements, few understand that these are recycled from the earthquake. I found numerous pieces of this smooth, polished brick, scorched and melted by the raging inferno that followed the earthquake.

After picking through the dislodged earthquake rubble for a few visits, on a Sunday in January I trespassed into UC property and along with a small cadre of bottle diggers, began digging through the blue bay mud and fill piles within the mitigation company's yards, deeper into San Francisco's past, eventually digging into the remains of "Dumpville," a permanent village along the shores of Mission Bay that existed from the 1850's until 1895. Dumpville was San Francisco's refuse site, albeit on southern Pacific land, a loosely structured community of mostly men, not unlike dumpsites across the planet. It was on the shore of Mission Creek, the waters called "poverty lake." When city fathers needed more land and less crime and poverty near town, a murder was all that was needed to instigate a police crackdown. On November 9, 1895, a troop of twenty police from the southern district under the command of Captain John Spillane, marched down sixth street late at night and burned the shanties and evicted the scavengers from the site, which was quickly filled and became a part of the huge southern Pacific railroad yards.

Though much of the material is broken up, I have been finding some remarkable stuff and a few intact items; bottle, old shoes, broken pottery, glass, glass buttons, bits of children's toys, lots of bone, cloth, leather, etc.

Article: defeat of prop 62 and Green electoral reform alternatives By Hank Chapot 11.11.04

Article: defeat of prop 62 and Green electoral reform alternatives
By Hank Chapot
11.11.04
After November 2nd, electoral reformers in California have one reason to cheer; third parties will continue to have a place on the ballot with the defeat of proposition 62. This bipartisan plan went down to defeat, 46 to 54 percent, but may have fallen to the “I always vote no on anything I don’t understand” group of voters over those who informed themselves about the initiative. In Washington State, they weren’t so lucky and now face a top-two style primary.
The initiative was placed on the ballot by a paid signature gathering campaign funded by wealthy business interests and would have amended the state constitution. Presented to the public as an “Open Primary” by its authors and signature gatherers, it would have allowed voters to choose any candidate regardless of party in the primary, but 62 was more correctly called a “top-two” or Louisiana primary because it would eliminate from the November general election all but the top two-vote getters, regardless of party. There would have been no other route to the November ballot besides coming in first or second in the March primary.
One lesson for reformers from proposition 62 is that electoral reform can go either way. While I believe Ralph Nader’s lawsuits against restrictive ballot access laws could be one of his greatest reform efforts, they could result in a wave of legislation tightening ballot access against independents and third party candidates.
Greens have been remarkably successful in a very short time promoting Instant runoff voting, trading the possibility of “spoiling” for the chance of becoming competitive. IRV is an excellent teaching tool that gets voters used to choosing more than one candidate, an important step down the road toward Proportional Representation.
Our next steps will be to expand our efforts in electoral reform with most of the work taking place on a state by state basis. The California Green party has sued the Secretary of State in the past seeking prompt access to voter roles and when we defended NOTA. House candidate Terry Baum in San Francisco will soon argue against unfair barriers to participation before the Supreme Court. (Baum ran a strong write-in campaign to challenge Nancy Pelosi and sued the San Francisco Registrar for his his overly restrictive interpretation of statutes).
Arguing the associational rights of political parties has helped keep the state from dictating party procedures, and defending the rights of voters (a protected class) to vote for the candidate of their choice, to have their beliefs represented and their votes counted in the electoral process are other legal avenues for defending small parties. The Supreme Court used the 14th amendment in Bush V. Gore but denied they were setting a precedent. However, lawyers can cite that decision if third parties and their voters try to prove discrimination by restrictive electoral laws. Other legal arguments emerge from the implied right to be heard. Political speech is given the highest level of first amendment protection, and the right of candidates and ideas to be heard may have merit in ballot access challenges. The 1976 Supreme Court decision Buckley v. Vallejo that gave us the “money equals speech” concept, might be challenged on these grounds; freedom of speech does not mean you can drown out your opponent. This could be a positive argument for public financing and spending limits.
Choosing a party label when registering to vote has become a concern to Greens after problems of state vote allotments at the 2004 nominating convention. California parties are lucky that voters may choose party identification which helps us find our members because the Secretary of State keeps voter roles up to date. This brings up another issue before California greens; should we allow “decline-to-state” voters to cast a vote in our primaries
The San Francisco election proves the value of IRV and must continue to push for it. Next, we must decide how much political capital to spend on other electoral reforms. A short list of recommended initiatives will include; creating multi- member districts, promoting proportional representation, public financing, standardized voting technology with paper trail, voter registration reform including same day registration, elimination of unfair ballot access rules for third party and independent candidates, equal access to media coverage and independent and open debates for all legitimate candidates, an election day holiday or two election days, abolition of the electoral college and more controversial ideas, None-of-the-Above, non-citizen voting and to increase turnout by providing a small tax deduction for proof of voting on state tax returns.

letter to editor Berkeley Daily Planet 7.2.04

IN NEED OF AN EDITOR

Editors, Daily Planet:

In the June 29 issue, Albert Sukoff offers 20 observations after 40 years in Berkeley. He needs an editor, or he needs my unified field theory of Berkeley ethnography that explains everything, even our struggles over questions like “you want coffee?” or “who lives, who dies and whose deck view has monetary value?”

For more than a hundred years, eager students from across the U.S. and the world have completed their studies at UC Berkeley. All were blessed. Some never left. Rather than just basking in the rarified air of western imperial education and then going out in the world or back home to make it a better place, these ingrate graduates, seduced by the climate no doubt, bought real estate and settled down to the great and good goal of making Berkeley heaven on earth, with excellent property values.

Attending a City Council meeting is like going to an experts convention. The guy on your left is a PhD, the woman on his left is an “alternative realtor,” the next concerned citizen over is a doctor, next speaker is a lawyer, a government rep, a university rep, a technician from the Lab, and yes, a lot of activists making themselves useful. But contrary to Mr. Sukoff’s observations, it’s not always how hard your butt to sit past midnight, it’s also how thick your wallet and it’s not just a bunch of dilettante activists, Berkeley includes plenty of wannabe town burghers.

The town suffers from the opposite of a brain drain—just too many darn smart citizens for good order. So, I’m suggesting a repatriation campaign. I will offer 10 dollars to the first Berkeley graduate still on the voter rolls after 20 years who goes forth, back to Iowa or Hillsborough or Bali or wherever in the provinces you came from to perform Berkeley’s good works where they’re needed.

Then maybe this place built for the university can get back to its real job of gouging students.

Hank Chapot

Central Campus Gardener

letter to editor re: duck hunting 1.24.99 SF Chronicle

Regarding letters to the editor on hunting (Jan. 17): While it may be true that duck license fees contribute to the cost of protecting wetlands, it does not automatically convey ownership of the resource. With friends like these, ducks don't need enemies.

While working for California Fish and Game at Los Banos in the '70s, I often came upon piles of dead waterfowl stomped into the mud by hunters who shot at anything and picked out the best for their bag limit.

The lead pollution from decades of shooting in the wild makes it hard to defend this blood sport.

Hank Chapot Oakland

Federal Election Commission Advisory Opinion #1996-35

I was heavily involved with the Green Party in the mid '90s. At that time, there was an attempt by a small membership organization calling themselves Greens/Green Party USA that tried to gain national party status. Their FEC application asking that they be considered the national committee of a national party was rejected because Ralph Nader was not considered a candidate for the purposes of an FEC opinion and there was not enough federal activity. In my own small way I hope I helped stall the decision until the national party idea could be hashed out by the actual state parties who would be included.

the url is: http://herndon3.sdrdc.com/ao/no/960035.html

hc

Oops, my bad... Green Institute, wannabe think tank

Oops, my bad...


All this time I thought I was on the Board of Directors of the Green Institute, and upon closer inspection it appears I am really only a lowly member of the Advisory Committee.

Well, you can check out this "Green Think Tank" at:

http://www.greeninstitute.net/about.html

Are Gays the new Nader?

from the Progressive review Blog 11.6.04;

HANK CHAPOT - When San Francisco Mayor Gavin Newsom issued marriage licenses to queer couples last winter, I suggested to a bunch of gay friends that Newsom was running interference for the Massachusetts Court, the Democrat party and especially John Kerry. I based my opinion on the fact that Newsom reported he'd had lots of phone conversations before he acted, and one was with Terry McCauliffe, chair of the DNC. That was a red flag that suggested Newsom, who had nothing to lose and achieved mid-level sainthood for his actions, was more calculating than saintly.

Newsom admitted as much on the local NPR chat show yesterday. When a caller blamed him for Kerry's loss because the marriage issue was too far out front for the Democrat party and offended America, Newsom said "I took the sting out of the issue for the Massachusetts court and for a candidate named John Kerry." The same caller said to Newsom "We can't blame Nader this time, so, I blame you." In the past three days, the punditocracy, the media and the Democrats, including Diane Feinstein, have all said the "values voter" defeated Kerry. That's code for people stampeded by the Republicans against gay civil rights in the guise of gay marriage.

Regardless of what you think about the issue or the timing of the gay marriage debate, it is once again obvious that the Democrat party will not take responsibility for its own defeat, even after a decade of failures, and will cast blame outside its own house. They've settled on a scapegoat; this time it's the homos who had the temerity to ask for a little inclusion.




9:29 AM   3 comments




3 Comments:


At 4:51 PM, Anonymous said...



Look in the mirror. You have nothing to blame except the Democrats' own spinelessness. Kerry didn't even fight for Ohio, the same way Gore (who won Florida) abandoned his supporters who won in 2000. You had a majority of the population against the war in Iraq, yet all you could do was scapegoat principled voters who supported Nader. Next time try focusing on your strongest opponent, instead of the weakest. You don't deserve my vote unless you'll fight for it: before, during, and after election day.


At 6:56 PM, Anonymous said...



I second and third what the first poster said. Democrats need to look at there own party and quit trying to blame thier own internal problems on others.


At 12:17 AM, Anonymous said...



Be more sensitive to feelings of bigots?

Since the great Hate Election(s) of 2004, many persons have been advising us "San Francisco liberals" (code for queers and our allies) to understand and placate the bigots who voted for hate amendments, and who boosted Bush into a second term.

Like, we should become more sensitive to their "cultural"
(code for fundi-fanatic) concerns?

Like, we should stop mocking their obsolete backwardness?

Should African-Americans, in the Sixties and Seventies,
have been more sensitive to the bigots who brutally attacked them, from Birmingham to Boston?

To promote understanding, should black and brown and native citizens have postponed their struggles for freedom and equal rights?

Well, if others wish to reach out and make dialog with fundi bigots, that's nice. I don't object.

But I have nothing to say to fascists, beyond this prophesy:

"Your great-grandchildren won't approve and won't respect what you did in 2004."

-- Carl Cole,
alive and queer in San Francisco,
November 9, 2004
......................................
PLEASE REPOST.

Safe for whom?

from the Progressive Review Blog;


HANK CHAPOT, CA - David Cobb and his supporters in the Green party have a plan to sit out the election by concentrating on non-battleground states, but they have been unable to answer one simple question about their so-called "safe states" strategy, "safe for whom?" I have been unable to get them to explain to me, as an informed Green voter, why, in a state where my vote could have an impact, they don't want it, and in a state where my vote won't matter, they want it.

Sadly, this is a result of the two-party lock on the electoral system and the failure of nerve in some Greens exhausted by the current drumbeat against third party politics in the media and by the Democrat party. But the "safe states strategy" will do the work for the opposition. It is a good way to destroy a third party because the spoiler threat is the only cudgel Greens currently wield. Heck, we might as well endorse William Jennings Bryan.

California Green Archives

I am volunteer archivist for the California Green Party and started collecting stuff in 1990.

Here is the URL: http://www.cagreens.org/archives/

The California Green Archives and special collections was formally established in 2000. The archives exists to identify, collect, preserve and make available records of enduring value to green activists, scholars, writers, historians and journalists, and for future generations.

The original plan was made by me, Archives founder Hank Chapot, to collect and preserve minutes and reports on the Early effort to establish the Green Movement/Party in California. A voluntary offer was made when I was a member of the early coordinating committee of the Green Party Organizing Committee in 1991. From that original offer I began to save everything I could as the Greens grew from a the CoCs to the Green Party of California. As an Activist in the San Francisco Bay Area, I had access to traveling Greens from other States and Nations, and I was an early participant in the effort to establish a National Green Party through membership in the Green Politics Network and as an early proponent of the Confederation/Association of State Green Parties. Since its formal establishment in the year 2000, I have used two small grants from the Green Network and The GPCA.

There are no restrictions on accessing the materials except that they do not leave the premises, currently my home office in Oakland California.

1. Archives will hold any documentary materials relating to the founding and establishment of the Green Committees of Correspondence, the Green Party of California and the wider Green political movement in the USA and beyond.

2. Archives will seek special collections from individuals involved in the founding and early development of the American Green Movement and Parties.

3. Archives will survey available collections and contact current and former Green Party activists and campaigns. Transfers and acquisitions will be made in accordance with a written policy statement, supported by adequate resources and only when consistent with the mission of the archives.

4. Archives will provide accessioning, preservation, description and management of the collection for eventual deposiytion at a legitimate public Archives.


hc

The Great San Francisco Bicycle Protest of 1896

For anyone who has ridden in or heard of the Critical Mass bike rides, read this. Though I participated in CM early on and thought we were pretty cool, I found out later that ours was not the first time bicycle activists have taken over the streets of San Francisco.

Check out this URL; http://www.processedworld.com/Issues/issue2001/toc_2001.htm
My article is number 15, in pdf format

From The San Francisco Chronicle; 1.3.2000

"A GLANCE BACK"
How revolutionary is Critical Mass?

Hank Chapot forwards a copy of the front page of the San Francisco Call, July 26, 1896, describing a parade of 5000 bicycle riders intent on lobbying the city to repave Market Street, thereby creating a thoroughfare on which they could cycle. A hundred thousand spectators watched the Folsom Street Parade;

"The turnout last night was, as it were, a test of the political strength of the wheelmen, and it showed how great that strength really is. It is said that the wheelmen vote will amount to something like 30,000, and, with such a balance of power, they are quite likely to effect a change in the policy that has long prevailed in street improvements....leaving the principle thoroughfares of the city in a condition of comparative impassibility"

"The wisdom shown by the wheelmen in cooperating thus to secure the one desired improvement seems very likely to be rewarded with success. The very fact that they stand together as a body instead of being divided by each one working some local improvement affecting his neighborhood proves that their prominence as a public factor will be considerable."

LEAH GARCHIK'S PERSONALS
Monday, January 3, 2000 ©1999 San Francisco Chronicle

Introduction 11.20.04

I found this Blog option at the Progressive Review home page and thought I could collect my google hits in one place.

The title of my blog refers to my having grown tired of state-based green parties and my wondering what exactly a green without borders would be.

My story is simple, I was born in San Francisco, went to school and have worked as a gardener for most of my adult life, with a few interludes; one time as a historical research assisitant and a while in the local Stagehands Union, IATSE. Now I am employed in the grounds department at UC Berkeley.

My Green Party involvement includes;

membership on the GPCA media committee, my work collecting, sorting and cataloguing the California Green Archives which I founded in 1991(cagreens.org/archives/), and this fall, campaigning against proposition 62(Louisiana primary). The Archives is funded and endorsed by the GPCA and the Green Network. I have been an active participant on the national CC discussion list since the founding convention of the USGP in 2000 and was an observer on the national voting list until signing off last year. I've joined the Labor Greens to help "green" the labor movement through my position as media spokesperson for my Union, local 3299, AFSCME. Due to time, financial and physical constraints, and my belief that all good green leaders should take time off, I have avoided meetings for the past few years. I am on the Board of Directors of the non-profit Green Institute, but haven't heard from them lately. Historically, I am a founder of the San Francisco Green CoC, SF and California Green Parties, and was a member of the national CoC's and G/gpusa until the state party movement began to flourish. In the early 90's. I sat on the GPCA Organizing(later Coordinating) Committee, from 1991 until 94, where I established the first media committee and acted as the first northern California spokesperson. In 1992, I was elected and served two-terms on the Alameda County County Council and was the first partisan Green candidate in the Bay Area, standing for the 14th Assembly District in 1994, and again in 1996 and 98.

As an early member the Green Politics Network(now Green Network) working to establish a national party, I was one of the only California Greens supporting the Association of State Green Parties(ASGP) in the wilderness years before California joined in 1998. As a member of the Green Politics Network, I coordinated the New Politics '94 conference in Oakland and was co-coordinator of Third Parties 96 conference in Washington DC and was one of the people who recruited Ralph Nader to the California ballot that year. One of my more notorious acts was to author the letter to the FEC opposing the G/Gpusa's false national committee filing in 1995 that held open the possibility of FEC recognition until the state parties were ready. My college degree is in Ecology and Systematic Biology.

I've done a lot of organizing for my union AFSCME at my place of employment, UC Berkeley.