FROM RICHARD K. 215-563-2866
Kristin Combs is a sharp young likeable public school teacher, active in the protests over the school funding cuts. She joined the Green Party and is in the midst of a professional campaign to actually win a Minority City-Council-at-Large seat away from the Republican incumbent, after talking the local Green Party unanimously to vote for her before the general Green Party nominations and election was scheduled. The only obvious flaw being she tends to dominate things the way Rocky Anderson dominated the Justice Party,
She has good outside funding from the start, and a no-nonsense well-designed campaign business card with a clear color photograph. There are 5 circles with letters in them, “@”, “w”,for web, “picture of a phone receiver” with phone number following, and an “f” circle for Facebook, without looking cluttered. She majored in Physics, was on the Dean's List then switched in Graduate School to Education at the University of Pennsylvania. She has been a tremendous asset to the US Social Forum, that Cheri Honkala and other Greens are very involved in. Her Internet signature is on not only activist activities, but as a school teacher improving the teaching about the Environment and Global Warming, A slight disappointment is that she never mentions the Green Party on her campaign card, and where one would expect the word Green Party, it says “putting people first”. However Charles Sherrouse mentioned that avoiding the word Green was also done by a couple of candidates in the past (not recently).
However, I was shocked that she pushed avoiding talking about the Green Party to the entire Philadelphia Green Party Chapter. Somehow she managed, at the last monthly Green Party meeting, to suggest that the Greens should have only one candidate for office and not support Glenn, making it easier to collect signatures from her supporters who never supported a non-Democrat before, something totally different then past Green Party strategy all over the world. Being a professional seems to give her the power to only have to suggest to make her positions happen. This prevented another Green candidate Glenn Davis, who has made extensive efforts to improve the local Green Party, active in Decarceration and the Black Lives Matter activities, who surprised the experts with almost five percent of the vote for State Rep. in the last election. Glenn has an amazing number of friends, almost all as poor as him. Quickly organized a protest at Burger King for a homeless person who was told, “We don't serve feed the homeless,” the elderly victim appreciated the protest. Glenn asked for a pre-general election endorsement joining Kristin when Kristin suddenly talked about needing only one election candidate to prod Democrats who never voted for a non-Democrat before, Glenn interpreting it as a slap in the face for all the contributions he had made to the local Green Party. Glenn would have had to have at least a two thirds vote to bypass the rules like she did. The NY Green Party cheered about their candidate Howie Hawkins getting 5% and the coveted third place ballot position. The Inquirer-Daily News and Metro didn't even report that there was a race in the 190th Philadelphia State House District between Glenn and State Rep. Vanessa Brown. They reported Glenn's creative signs at $15 an hour Minimum Wage demonstrations and the Decarceration, (instead of new prisons) march without mentioning the Green Party, or his then running for State Rep. office. However, both the Republicans and Democrats begged Glenn to join their party, and in the future run for office with them.
Besides the Tea Party on the right, there is another new party that is more progressive, the Working Families Party with deep funding that tries to serve the same function, only with Democrats, not Republicans. The Working Families Party has a policy of only being in states where one can cross file, and places where there is guaranteed minority representation like Philadelphia. They are pushing Elisabeth Warren to seek the Presidency whose progressive policies sometimes stop at the national border. The pubic teachers unions are very much involved with the Working Families Party,
I don't know if Kristin Combs who is campaigning for Minority City Councilor in the Green Party column is in the Working Families Party
or has been heavenly lobbying them for support, and to have them change their plans to run for both minority seats on Philadelphia City Council.
At any rate she is doing almost everything they would have wanted. They, and Kristin Combs, have nothing to say when it comes to Privacy Rights Issues, World Peace or Drone Warfare, something the Greens highlight. Nothing against long prison sentences for non-violent offenses.
When it comes to marijuana she mentioned Kenney for Mayor, suggesting State Stores selling pot. I think this cleverly appeals to both sides which is good strategy. I would like to add the suggestion that State Stores sell the Oxycontin prescriptions that doctors fill out, so that being a pharmacist would no longer have to be a dangerous occupation. Kristin's fundraiser, a play about Japanese internment during World War II, relates to privacy rights without making a commitment on current issues. If the Working Families Party is channeling money and effort in the direction of Greens it is good news only if Greens are aware of it and carefully maintain our integrity such as nominating a Green Party candidate for Mayor that if Glenn goes through with his plans of many of his supporters to change to Independent and run for Commissioner that way. If he does I hope the Green Party endorses him that way.
I hope Kristin changes her mind realizing that if she helped Glenn design and print and distribute his his campaign literature, Glenn like her could also emphasize people first and how many votes it would be required to overtake Republican Al Swartz for Minority Controller. The Greens could stop insulting Democrats and woo them instead like she wants without chasing Glenn away.
I and another active Green are so far the only ones begging him not to switch If Kristin is with the Working Family Party as well as with the Greens it would rain less on her parade if she suddenly supported Glenn as Minority City Controller, if that would stop someone from running as a Green in the Mayor's race. Glenn, with her help, could run with professional material that does not emphasize Green, but putting people first, and with her help, having another candidate on the ballot would not drag down her campaign. If Glenn by February 25 already changed his registration to Independent we could agree on a special meeting to decide to have a special voting meeting in a week, if he is a Green again. However, the Working Families Party likely already has a candidate lined up for Minority City Controller. Whether or not Kristin is involved with the Working Family Party, it complicates things where two parties cover the same ground when it comes to domestic issues like poverty except one accepting corporate contributions and the other doesn't. Some noted how strange it is that someone like Kristin wants to run as Green Party Treasurer and Minority City Commissioner at the same time. However, there is no chance of her being a thief, fudging on accepting corporate contributions would be more likely. However, contributions would come from unions relating to teachers and public employees which after some discussion Greens might not end up having a problem with, if everything was done openly. Refusing corporate donations is putting Greens in more and more of a corner, perhaps acception only less than $100 would still be keeping corporate undo influence out of Green politics. The fact that the Greens have zero relationships with employers gets in the way of poor Green activists seeking jobs.
Philadelphia is lucky to have a former mathematician as majority reform City Commissioner, Stephanie Singer. A former physics grad and honor student on City Council would also be an asset for the future. Wherever Kristin gets her donations transparency is important. One thing that is clear is that everything in Kristin's campaign Facebook page is skillfully, and carefully written and well thought out. In her Feb 3 posting she subliminally lashed out at the Carpenters Union pickets at the Civic Center. We need to carefully examine it as to figure out why?
Thank you convention center and unions for bringing all of this to our city and our economy! http://www.selectgreaterphiladelphia.com/…/new-bookings-he…
Again Kristin Combs is a wonderful skilled person that will hopefully go far in combining social service and politics, but Green foreign policy and privacy concerns are important to maintain as well as the Green Party being a party that transcends national boundaries. All Green Parties in jurisdictions where there is cross-filing, and/or minority representation need to meet and together deal with the Working Families Party and related issues such as whether opposing corporate contributions include union contributions.
I will do what I can to make sure that we have another candidate for office so that the Green Party Philadelphia won't become too similar to Working Families Party the way the Justice Party with Rocky Anderson. There are a lot of Legal Aid and or Immigration Lawyers with an international touch please let us urge one of them to run for a court position under the Green Party banner, not so much as the one in a million chance to win like winning the lottery but to keep the Green party as a multiple issues' party alive. If no one else is willing to run for something I will nominate myself for Mayor or Sheriff and hope I don't screw it up my campaign too bad. We don't need a good progressive City Councilperson to replace a functioning local Green Party, which would actually be the working families party with a temporary new name.
The Green Party's international reach is not something to throw away to seek one local city electoral victory. The candidate election event is February 25, 7pm @ the Philadelphia Ethical Society 1906 Rittenhouse Square off Locust St. Philadelphia, only those willing to register Green a head of time can vote, recent Greens should have their registration card with them.