Candidates for Co-Chair

Barbara Barry

Candidate for Co-Chair
Hartford Chapter
Email: roseberry3 at cox dot net

Barbara Barry wants your vote to be a co-chairperson for the Green Party of CT.

As a healthcare worker since 1963 and a registered nurse since 1967, I have had 50 years of a variety of nursing careers. I continuously updated my knowledge about: nursing, medical, pharmaceutical, social and legal changes affecting healthcare during these years and acquired a B.S. in Nursing from UCONN. I sought an accredited B.S.N. because of these changes. The study of the complex interplay of sciences, social changes, communications, legal and business practices were integral to my practice to my: patients, employer and myself as I was responsible for human life and health. Such close relationships promoted respect for the diversity of all humans. I had to help people face and make some very difficult decisions. I had to solve complex problems and think “outside the box”, at times, about people of all ages, cultures, races, education, finances and backgrounds. These skills are transferrable to life and to political group goals and problem solving which I brought to the GPCT as a member and as secretary (of the EC) and to the GPUS as one of 10 people invited to be on the GPUS Campaign Coordinating Committee, State Liaison Committee.

• Been a progressive activist since 1976 with Senator Eugene McCarthy and 1980 with scientist Barry Commoner of the Citizen’s Party.
• Became a GPCT member in 1998 with Hartford and New Haven Greens to help develop and promote the GP and get GPCT members, e.g., Elizabeth Horton Sheff, elected to 3 terms to Hartford City Council. Reason: the GP 10 Key Values more closely align with my philosophical and political beliefs than any political party to date.
• Provided dedicated, principled, proactive, reasonable, and ethical leadership whether as a GPCT member or as a GPCT executive committee (EC) officer, i.e., secretary.
• As secretary, complied with U.S. & CT regulations and GPCT bylaws, policies and procedures.
• Promoted the GPCT independence from the two-party political monopoly.
• Promoted internal GPCT growth and independence as a political party by supporting and attending other chapter meetings and supporting municipal, state and federal GPCT candidates.
• Promoted synergy among the GPCT chapters, members, SCC, EC, GPCT committees and candidates. Working together means “the whole is greater than the sum of its parts”. Political party candidates cannot get elected without these groups.
• Promoted liaisons with organizations with similar concerns, e.g., SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), Environmental Justice Network, equal rights for women, ACLU, living wage, Northeast Organic Farm Association (NOFA), and others.
• I and other GPCT members drew up and discussed with CT legislative leaders, members and committees, our GPCT 2015-2016 legislative proposals of: Farm to table movement, regional MUDs (municipal utility districts), CT Public Banking, universal healthcare, change military businesses to renewable energy businesses and ballot access.
• Was a 1st time candidate for any political office in the 11-4-14 election as the GPCT candidate for the CT State Senate, District 1 (5/6 of Wethersfield and southern half of Hartford) and promoted my ideas which align with the GP 10 Key Values.
• I suggested and facilitated ten GPCT candidate telephonic conferences for them and their staffs during the 5 months prior to the November 2014 elections. We shared knowledge, resources and experiences about the unique challenges facing any third party candidate and campaign. I will promote the same for the 2016 campaigns.
• Continue to promote the GPCT 10 Key Values:
• Non-violence: abolish endless wars without the consent of Congress. Abolish the death penalty. Reduce the prison populations, invest in rehabilitation, and end the war on drugs” which would reduce need for private and public prisons. Ensure prison conditions are humane and sanitary e.g. ban solitary confinement. Police Demilitarization includes: eliminate police acquisition of surplus military equipment. Mandate body cameras for all police officers that cannot be turned off while on duty. Form Civilian Review Boards i.e. boards should have male and female representatives of all ethnicities proportionate to the racial makeup of an area. Do Away with Felonies for Nonviolent Crimes which are disruptive for individuals and families. One in six Black children have a parent in prison. Impose Strict Penalties for Racial Profiling. Require Strict Yearly Training for Use of Lethal Force. Ban Ground and Aerial Robotic Surveillance: due to concerns about violations of their civil liberties, spousal abuse, interference with commercial aircraft and drones hitting humans and animals. Ban use of weapon carrying drones.
• Respect for diversity: support for social justice for all those living in this country regardless of their immigration status. All people can freely choose to live in and work in any county he or she desires and for the need of reciprocity between nations. Countries do have a right to know the identity of persons seeking to enter and have the right to limit who can come in to protect public safety. These are consistent with international labor regulations and human rights. Need to overhaul US immigration laws which currently created extreme social injustice. Support SURJ (Showing Up for Racial Justice), Black Lives Matter and Families Fight Back.
• Grassroots democracy: Repeal the 2005 CT Campaign Finance Law which only gives money to the two major political parties. They have enacted campaign regulations for 3rd party candidates which cannot be achieved. Political historians have reviewed the 2005 CT Campaign regulations. They have indicated no third political party candidate (since colonial times to present for any position including U.S. president) has garnered enough valid petitions to gain access to a ballot line. So the significant money goes to the D and R candidates, 50% of whom have no election opponents and who usually are incumbents. Certainly, our elected officials can do more for us with less of our money. Support the ACLU was our GPCT legal attorneys for our lawsuit against the State of CT regarding the 2005 CT Campaign Finance Law. We won at the 1st level, the State of CT won on appeal and the U.S. Supreme Court reviewed it with other campaign challenges but ultimately did not hand down a decision.
• Social justice and equal opportunity: single-payer universal health care and preventive care for all. Health care is a right, not a privilege. I was in healthcare prior to the onset of Medicare and I saw the huge demographic change in the types of people who could then get healthcare. Lack of universal healthcare people die due to lack of affordable and adequate care. The U.S. is the only industrialized nation in the world without a national health care system despite approximately 100 years of health advances. Businesses currently providing coverage would have reduced expenses, while state and local governments would pay less because they would receive reimbursement for services to people with varying degrees of health. Greens supports: traditional medicine and support alternative medicine. I support a woman's right (and by extension a family’s right) to reproductive choice at all financial levels.
• Ecological wisdom: start to close Hartford’s waste-to-energy plant which uses old (1912) technology. Decades of studies have shown it has been polluting the air/water and adversely affecting human/animal health. We can do better. Supported park, land and water clean-up and beautification groups.
• Community-based economics and economic justice: by developing a CT public bank. This banking practice is currently used by 3.5 billion people and has been profitable since it was established in 1919 in North Dakota. A Bank of CT would use our taxes, fees, revenue to promote CT businesses and activities. Fees charged by a CT Bank would stay within CT and not go to an out-of-state bank currently used by the State of CT. A CT Bank could work with CT banks and credit unions, supply low interest loans to them so low-cost loans could be supplied to CT residents and businesses. Examples: 1% loans for 5 years to CT businesses; low-interest student loans and support for in-home healthcare workers/ caregivers. Promote building and repairing of inspected infrastructures. Example: when the Wethersfield Cove (just west and under I-91) needed to be dredged to increase water depth from 4 to 12 feet. Wethersfield taxpayers provided $850,000 and $1.2 million came from CT for this. The work went to a NJ company. This money could have stayed in CT to support jobs and businesses, if a CT Bank was used. This would also have kept our tax dollars within CT instead of it going out to (other states or overseas). Low cost loans would still provide profits to support the Bank of CT. It is not uncommon for Wall Street banking institutions to require 100% interest on infrastructure projects. E.g.: repair of the Oakland Bay Bridge (damaged during the San Francisco 1989 earthquake) cost more than $2billion with more than another $2billion for interest. CT has a significant number of financial workers who could continue to reside in CT and work for a CT Bank.
• Decentralization: Centralization of wealth and power enables social and economic injustice, environmental destruction, and militarization. We need to restructure social, political and economic institutions away from a system which is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few (the top 1% and corporations), to a democratic, less bureaucratic system. While corporations and the top 1% of people with financial wealth are not inherently “bad”, their access to and control of the political processes are disproportionate to the residents of the U.S. and smaller businesses. Therefore, the GPUS and the GPCT and their candidates do not accept donations from corporations. Decision-making should, as much as possible, remain at the individual and local level, while assuring that civil rights are protected for all citizens. E.g. this is why the GPCT does not support cross-endorsement with any other t political parties. This also promotes clarity to voters about what are the bottom line political beliefs of the GP candidate and/or official. These strategies have gotten GPCT candidates elected over the years especially in Hartford and New Haven. Repeal “Citizens United”.
• Feminism and gender equality: Green Key Values of diversity, social justice and feminism, we support full legal and political equality for all persons, regardless of sex, gender, sexual orientation, or gender identity, characteristics, expression. Support individuals rights to freely choose intimate partners; the equal rights of persons who identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, intersex, trans-sexual, queer, or transgender to housing, jobs, civil marriage, medical benefits, child custody, and in equal tax treatment. Support language in local, state and federal anti-discrimination laws that ensures the rights of intersex individuals and prohibits discrimination. Support the rights to access of medical and surgical treatment for assignment or reassignment of gender or sex. Support/promote legislation against all forms of hate crimes. Support U.S. recognition of all international marriages and civil unions.
• Personal and Global Responsibility: individuals need to act to improve their personal well-being and enhance ecological balance and social harmony. The GPCT and its members, executive committee and candidates seek to join with people and organizations around the world to foster peace, economic justice, and the health of the planet. Their actions are reflected in their 10 Key Values, platforms, bylaws, policies and procedures.
• Future Focus and Sustainability: GPCT actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We need to: protect valuable natural resources; safely dispose of all waste; develop sustainable economics that do not depend on continual expansion for survival; lessen the drive for short-term profits without implementing policies for future growth. Make the quality of life, rather than open-ended economic growth, the focus of future thinking. We can do better for…ourselves, our country and our planet.

So, I seek your vote of support for me as a co-chairperson of the GPCT. You may follow me on Facebook: Barbara Barry for State Senate (via the GPCT website). Thank you.

Barbara A. Barry, R.N. (1967), B.S.Nursing (1986) and GPCT member.

Michael DeRosa

Candidate for Co-Chair
Hartford Chapter
Email: smderosa at cox dot net

Dear Green Party of CT Member:
I want your vote for Co-chair of the Green Party of CT. I believe that I and other members of the progressive slate represent the best long and short term interests of the Green Party of CT.
Accomplishments in the Green Party of CT:
• Co-founder of the Green Party of CT in 1995.
• Campaign Manager for six years for the three successful elections of Elizabeth Horton Sheff to the Hartford City Council as a Green. These successful elections stopped the siting of a toxic medical waste dump in Hartford CT.
• I have run as a Green Candidate for State Senate (11% twice), Congress in the 1st district (5500 votes, 1.8%), and most recently in 2014 for CT Secretary of State (over 24,000 votes, 2.5%).
• Litigant (as a Green Candidate) in the lawsuit: Green Party of CT vs. Garfield. This case was about requiring huge signature requirements from third parties for grants under the CT campaign finance law while not applying these same requirements to the major parties. We won a positive decision by Federal Judge Underhill on this case and got a negative decision at the appellate level with a 2 to 1 vote. The US Supreme Court took our case but refused to rule on our lawsuit. We continue to fight this unfair and discriminatory law.
• As Co-chair I have given honest, dependable, and committed activism to our party and have fought for democracy and respect for diversity within our party.
• Help to support and develop 24 candidates that ran for state and state-wide office in 2014 and I continue to support and work with the Greater Hartford Green Party. These included putting in the necessary paper work into the CT SOTS’s office, holding phone campaign seminars for new candidates, and helping people to petition on to the ballot.
• Worked with Green Party of CT members to develop a legislative agenda in the present and last General Assembly that include proposals and bills that supported: a CT Public Bank, urban agriculture, renewable energy, universal health care, municipal energy districts, medical marijuana reform, demilitarization of the police, and ballot access reform. We met with many legislators on these proposals and bills and got a deputy speaker of the house to submit and support a CT Public Bank bill.

I believe that the Green Party of CT’s time is near. The American electorate are tired of the two party monopoly and have shown over the last year that they are tired of a government that is more interested in waging war all over the world than in building a just and fair society for all of our citizens.

Over the next year as your Co-chair I will keep our party independent and Green. There are those who want our party to cross endorse Republicans and Democrats. This is a big tactical and political mistake. One only has to look at what cross endorsement did to the Independent Party of CT and the A Connecticut Party to see that these 3rd parties are either dead, dependent, or moribund. We have won many offices at the local level all over CT and have gotten many votes for state and federal office. I believe we are on the cusp of a great breakthrough if we support the 10 key values of the Green Party and build our party with issues and people and not with back room deals.

I and the progressive slate believe that we must get our Presidential candidate on the ballot. We are now working very hard to get the necessary signatures to get our Presidential candidate on the ballot in CT. We need your help and a vote for us will give us our best chance for this outcome. This will increase our vote totals for all offices during the 2016 election. By running for many offices in 2016 we have our best chance to develop new leadership and new chapters all over our state. 

Building a real Green progressive party is not easy. If it was easy we would have a party that represented the 99% a long time ago instead of having two parties that consistently support the interest of the 1%. We can and will build this real Green progressive party because very soon the citizens of the United States will demand it. That is why we must stay with the issues and build the Green candidacies that will make us relevant and strong.

Please consider voting for me for Co-chair and voting for the entire progressive slate.

If you have any questions feel free to contact me at 860-919-4042.

Emily Garfinkel

Candidate for Co-Chair
Waterford Chapter
Email: emilyg195 at gmail dot com

As a current political science student, I am always learning about new ways of thinking, learning from my peers and scholars. This has given me the opportunity to have a perspective that I believe will create new ideas for the party, and inspire prospective members. I want to bring a point of view to the party that will invite activists to the conversation. As Greens, we have a political conversation that is in dire need to be discussed on a more universal level. We have a demand for our voices to be heard, at the local, state, and national level. It is absolutely necessary that we engage our communities in the political conversation, and I see this as being the upmost importance.

Although I am young, I have had many experiences with getting involved in grassroots politics. I started my involvement with the Green Party my freshman year, when I attended Ithaca College. While there, I worked with my good friend and fellow Green, Joshua Kelly, on grassroots projects on campus. With fundraisers and events raising money for various causes, as well as environmental awareness projects, I learned how to engage with others, and make an influential difference both at a university and in the community. I have had experience volunteering and lobbying for Planned Parenthood, fighting for women’s reproductive rights, which is an issue very dear to me. This semester, I have been interning with a lobbying firm to broaden my perspective about different issues in Connecticut legislature. I have learned about the structure within our government first hand, while seeing multiple sides to issues that I care about. I want to bring a breadth of opinion and discussion to our agenda, because I believe engaging in conversation from all views is essential in politics.

I have new ideas that I want to bring to the table in order to create an effective, functioning Green Party that will engage all of us, and bring new members. The main goal that I wish to focus on with building engagement is outreach, because I feel that growing membership will be crucial to our sustainability. I do not mean sustainability as in the near future, but for today’s youth and future generations of Greens. Because of a substantial shift towards progressivism sparked by the current Bernie Sanders campaign, it is time for us to outreach to those with our shared views, as well as a platform that goes much more in depth than the democratic socialist movement. We are in luck, because of the growing movement of young voters, who are fed up with the way that previous generations have left today’s nation. Millenials are seeking refuge from a corporate, bought-out America that has given too many breaks to corporations and the 1%, leaving us desperate for a true, revolutionary change. As a millenial myself, being titled as “ungrateful”, “lazy”, and “entitled”, we are fed up with the blame that has been placed into our hands. I am not merely speaking of myself, but the millions of progressive youth that are following the potential reforms that Bernie Sanders has brought to the table. However, us Greens have always shared these values, and we have a far more comprehensive, progressive platform than the Bernie campaign. We are currently stuck in the trap that is bipartisan politics, and Bernie’s dramatic campaign is illustrating the audience that we need to address.

I am speaking of Bernie’s campaign not to endorse all of his policies, but to address the fact that people, especially young people, are seeking change. We are sick and tired of the constant language that we are entitled individuals looking for an easy scapegoat, when the reality is that we were placed into a world crumbling from the failure of capitalism. With the timing now in our favor with the Bernie campaign supporters seeking change, my goal as co-chair would be to create a greater emphasis on outreach that would help the party expand and improve.

I want to use social media to our advantage in recruiting and reaching out about our platform and our events. In addition, I believe it would be very beneficial to have more fundraising event opportunities to put us into the public eye, and draw in interested potential members. I would like to activate an outreach committee that focuses on fundraising and activism, that would have appeal to those outside the party. I believe that this would be the most effective way in creating greater support from the public, both attracting new members and increasing our funds.

In order for these goals to happen, it is essential that we focus on collaboration with each other. Although there are many differences in opinion within the party, it is essential for us to work together for our common, shared values as Greens. As co-chair, I want to promote order, cooperation, collaboration, and most importantly, respect for one another. Although my ideas are virtues that we can all agree upon, it is time that we create implementation of these ideas. I am both a dreamer and a practical realist, and I believe that I can bring fresh ideas to the party that will inspire us all to become united within our values, while sharing our values with others through necessary expansion.

Rolf Maurer

Candidate for Co-Chair
Fairfield County Chapter
Email: maurer_rolf at yahoo dot com

This presidential year presents a unique opportunity for the Green Party. Things could turn sweet or sour in a number of ways: Sanders, as Jill Stein-Lite, might anger his followers when he throws his support behind Clinton, which could either whet their interest in a more honest alternative, or alienate them from engagement in genuine grassroots alternatives altogether. Clinton might also garner faux-progressive clout by appointing Sanders as running mate. Then, of course, there’s the ghastly wildcard embodied in Donald Trump and the other fascist Republican candidates.

Whatever the outcome, we have to be ready to position ourselves accordingly—something we won’t be able to do in a climate of continual infighting within the state Party.

It has been demonstrated, from Richard Duffee’s runs for the House to David Michel’s for State Senate, how the major parties have repeatedly tried to co-opt our candidates and their activism, in the same way the Democrats and Republicans have successfully colonized the Working Families’ and Independent Parties, respectively.

For them to go to such trouble (right up to arresting Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala in 2012 for attempting to enter the third presidential debate at Hofstra University) indicates we must be doing something right. What remains is for the voting public to become conscious of what we stand for beyond the gross conditioning of the bipartisan machine.

So, while I will continue to promote the Green Party via articles, promotional material, the organization of public screenings and talks, as candidate for co-chair, I also seek an open and, most importantly, a FRANK dialogue regarding what’s a long-standing and acrimonious divide between chapter- and state-level priorities over bylaws, frequency of SCC meetings and, in particular, candidate cross-endorsement.

Baird Welch-Collins

Candidate for Co-Chair
Waterford Chapter
Email: bairdwelchcollins at gmail dot com

A lifelong member of the Green Party, I am currently the co-chair and co-founder of the Waterford Green Party chapter as well as a past candidate for Waterford District 2 RTM. I am also currently working as a campaign director for a Connecticut General Assembly candidate from Waterford and Montville. I am currently a government major at Connecticut College with a history of activism and political involvement.

The current political environment within the United States is a result of growing dissatisfaction with the ineffective and corporate-dominated policies of the two party system. The wave of anti-establishment politics sweeping the country presents the Green Party with a tremendous opportunity to grow and gain political influence. I am running for co-chair of the Green Party of Connecticut because I believe my knowledge and skills can unify, energize, and grow our party. As co-chair, I would prioritize an agenda that:

  • Organizes statewide support for local and state candidates
  • Encourages a progressive Green Party that makes its presence known through activism
  • Emphasizes outreach to students and youth who are the political future of America
  • Consistently reviews proposed by-laws and platform changes based on their political, scientific, and constructive merit
  • Calls for open discussions and debates that grow our party while maintaining an atmosphere of respect and unity
  • Emphasizes fundraising, public awareness, and candidate support
  • Respects the autonomy of local chapters and encourages communication

In conclusion, I feel that I can bring a new perspective to the Green Party that would foster outreach and support both within the party and to those looking to get involved. I want to emphasize the importance of collaboration and integrity that will bring the Green Party to greater success and a brighter political future.

Candidates for USGP Representative

S. Michael DeRosa

Candidate for CT Representative to the Green Party of United States
Hartford Chapter
(See above)

Joshua Steele Kelly

Candidate for CT Representative to the Green Party of United States
Waterford Chapter
Email: joshuasteelekelly at gmail dot com

Mary Lawrence

Candidate for CT Representative to the Green Party of United States
Hartford Chapter
Email: wellonwheels at hotmail dot com

Candidates for Secretary

David Bedell

Candidate for Secretary
Fairfield Chapter
Email: dbedellgreen at hotmail dot com

I worked on the 1996 Ralph Nader campaign and am a founding member of the Green Party of CT. I have served as Secretary of the Fairfield County chapter, served one year as State Party Treasurer, and am currently webmaster for the party web site I have also run for public office and served as a Green Justice of the Peace.

In a professional capacity, I am an English teacher, teaching immigrants and international students from all parts of the world. I also worked for several years as executive secretary for a nonprofit organization, and I volunteer as vice president for Teachers Against Prejudice. I believe my language, communication, computer, and clerical skills qualify me to fulfill the duties of Secretary.

On the question of candidate cross-endorsement, I think we should stick with the current party bylaws, which require that any candidate running on the Green ballot line must be a registered Green Party member. Because we are still a relatively small party, we need to establish a clear identity and reputation with voters. Until we are as well-recognized as the major parties, with ballot access for most offices, I don't think we can afford to dilute our message by giving away our hard-won ballot lines to other party candidates. (On the other hand, if another party wishes to cross-endorse one of our candidates, then I would leave it up to the candidate to accept or reject the endorsement depending on local conditions.)

Ronna Stuller

Candidate for Secretary
New London Chapter
Email: rstuller at snet dot net

A Green since 2004, I am the current chair and former secretary of the New London chapter and town committee. I'm a producer-host of our long-running public access program “Thinking Green,” and I designed and maintain our website: I am a past member of the New London Board of Education, and currently serve on the Planning & Zoning Commission, as well as on the boards of several local nonprofit organizations.

The Green Party offers a commonsense and humane political alternative to individuals disillusioned with the Republicans and Democrats, but we will have to improve our communication systems to take advantage of this opportunity to grow our party. In 2004, the Green Party of CT had 11 chapters; today there are 5. My goals as GPCT secretary are to improve SCC outreach – with the national party, the state chapters, and all the individual Greens; to build an informal but efficient network that will support Connecticut Greens’ local activities and also allow us to mobilize for statewide efforts when the need arises; and to achieve ballot access for this year’s Green Party Presidential candidate.

Candidates for Treasurer

Chris Reilly

Candidate for Treasurer
Hartford Chapter
Email: cpr101 at hotmail dot com