My sister has been a leading Green Party vote getter in California, but the distance plus being raised with emphasis more on independence than close family ties, is likely why that didn't affect me. Besides, I've been involved in many causes of my own choosing. While I was running for local "nonpartisan" office here in Ferndale, a "big white guy" came up to my supporter and I after he'd voted in that precinct. "Are you related to..." I interrupted with a "No." Wells is not an uncommon name and everyone else in the family left me back in Michigan alone. "...Laura Wells of the Green Party in California?" My jaw dropped. "Yes." Doug had met my sister--before he met me that day--at the national convention of the Green Party of the U. S. I went home, looked up the Green Party of Michigan and read the Ten Pillars. "I could live in a world like that." And I can do what I can to make it become a world like that. Sherry A Wells
I attended my first Green Party meeting and was surprised by many things. Like many organizations, things started late, people sometimes debated minutiae and missed the bigger issue. I heard members admit that they were Greens because of just one issue that was their focus, I heard long time leadership debate who was the secretary and finally admit they did not know who it was anymore and I saw meeting rules agreed on and then promptly be tossed by the wayside.
I paid my money up front and you might think a reasonable person would be demanding a refund after witnessing such dysfunction. I did not, and here is why: I also witnessed a group of strangers welcome me with warmth and without question. I heard honesty from people in positions of leadership (when is the last time you heard that from an R or D in a position of leadership?), I heard people speak with passion about the things they believed in, I was given the gift of being heard and listened to, respectfully, no matter if my views were the same or different than those listening, I heard tales of grass roots successes, and learned about needs for grass roots efforts that were struggling. I witnessed a group of people trying to find solutions to benefit every citizen without being concerned about whether it would help their personal cause, personal ambition, or personal gain. I saw people hold their own anger and frustration in check, just so that someone else could be heard fully, and to learn if maybe there was something in the view being expressed that they hadn’t caught earlier. In short, I saw first hand, people trying their best to help assure that this nation really can have a government of, by, and for the People!
So that is why I will call myself a Green. That is why I will offer my views on how to make the party grow and become more effective at creating the change that will promote those values that are shared among not only Green party members but many of the citizens of Michigan, the United States and the world.
The short story of how we got involved with the Green Party starts with our son, Tommy. He was diagnosed with leukemia early in 1987, when he was six years old. He died in 1991. in those years we had an intense and prolonged experience with hospitals and were surprised at how much we had to fight with health insurance to get coverage for treatment he needed.
We were both on-and-off political activists from the very early 60's. Before 1987, we both agreed with the idea that universal health care would be preferable to private health insurance, but it was not something which gave us a lot of concern. We learned from our experience with Tommy just how right we were in principle and how wrong we were not to have done more to make universal health care a reality in this country.
By the mid-90s, I was an active member of MichUHCAN (Michigan Universal Health Care Access Network). As the election of 2000 approached, Linda and I favored Ralph Nader as the only Presidential candidate who made universal health care part of his campaign platform. Linda and I participated in petitioning to get him on the ballot in Michigan, by getting the Green Party of Michigan ballot-qualified. I was surprised when MichUHCAN refused, in a close vote, to endorse Nader. As a result, I withdrew from MichUHCAN and got more involved with GPMI.
There is, of course, much more that could be said. We're both pushing 70, so nuclear bomb testing was part of the culture when we were growing up. Vietnam and the Civil Rights movement were part of our college years. Our son made us realize how much better it is to work for a better world than just to hope for it.
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