“Seriously Green” candidates are fighting back, as Greens, Progressives, Democrats, even reformed Republicans. Here are a few of our characters who go up against all the odds to fight for the environment and social justice.
Jesse Johnson, a former Republican, is running for Senator “Bobby” Byrd’s seat in West Virginia’s against a Democrat and a Republican as the sole voice opposed to Mountaintop Removal. The frontrunner, Governor Manchin (D) is pro-life, pro-death-penalty, anti-labor and in bed with the coal companies. Manchin has had his sights on this seat for a long time; a vote that will effect any climate bill legislation. He is also under indictmentJesse thinks he might have a shot, if only the media would take him seriously. Jesse experienced a media blackout during his last challenge of Manchin, but with the shake-up of parties as usual, he finds that he can talk to tea party goers as well as environmentalists. Jesse fights to tell West Virginians they have a pro-environment choice and alerts the nation that “West Virginia is ground zero for global climate change.”
Kat Swift pursues her lifetime goal of running for President as a Green, despite the demands of her 9 – 5 job. Her dreadlocks, unshaven legs and advocacy for non-violence and the environment make Kat a Presidential Candidate like no other. While she does not receive the Green nod for President, she continues to challenge her lone star state’s restriction on ballot access for her party. When she does, the Democratic Party sues her and the party and opens a web of moral decisions.
Malik Rahim became a hero in New Orleans and gained national attention for his efforts during the early days after Katrina, winning the respect of celebrity activists ranging from Brad Pitt, Danny Glover and Bruce Springsteen to journalist Amy Goodman. Malik runs against the notorious incumbent Democrat William “Cash-In-The-Freezer” Jefferson for Congress and loses to a newcomer running on the Republican ticket, the first Republican win of that district since Reconstruction. In the wake of the devastating BP oil spill, Malik returns to his grassroots activism and embarks on a cross-country bike ride to march his urgent environmental message to the halls of Congress.
Ross Mirkarimi is an accomplished Supervisor and a progressive champion in the liberal bastion of the nation, San Francisco. He relentlessly campaigns for an aggressive climate bill in his city and state, effectively challenging PG&E’s monopoly over California. Now, he wants to run for Mayor. Only problem is, the party he helped found, the Green Party, is still reviled for its 2000 run of Ralph Nader for President and has no organizing power to support his run. Does Ross abandon the party he founded in order to run with the Democrats? When he does, what backlash does he face? With California’s new top-two primary rule, it seems he will have to make a choice to be faithful to his old party or switch.