At the Green Party Debate held on Sunday, January 13 in San Francisco, the DC based activist Jared Ball announced that he would give up his campaign and fully support Cynthia McKinney. This came as a surprise to the other candidates who had all come there to introduce themselves to the Bay Area Greens and beyond.
The debate is experiencing a life beyond a sunny Sunday. Recorded live with commentary by Pacifica’s KPFA, it was later rebroadcast with a call-in hour following it. There were also a smattering of videographers. Link TV and Polidoc Productions teamed to provide the footage for the party’s archival purposes which has been posted.
So why, at the point where Dr. Ball would receive a national ear did he turn over his campaign ? Having interviewed him several times, it was evident that he was brooding over something throughout the debate. He is normally a vibrant, generous and warm powerhouse.
All of the candidates have come from activist backgrounds, working with their local Green parties to highlight the issues affecting their own communities. Dr. Ball’s message is not one about environmentalism as many understand it. However, the lack of voting rights for residents of Washington D.C. is both one of social and environmental justice. Residents of that political enclave cannot vote for who the next President will be, yet they are very much affected by whomever is in office. The last 7.5 years have been particularly bad for them.
Cynthia McKinney’s platform includes one of Dr. Ball’s main concerns, which is the systemic imprisonment of black men. Perhaps her evident strength among California constituents was enough to persuade him to relinquish at the venue. After the debate, Dr. Ball had a private meeting with Ms. McKinney, presumably to discuss how they will work together in her continuing campaign.
While campaigning in California in mid-December Dr. Ball and Head-Roc stopped in for an interview with Dave Brooksher of KHSU 99.5 FM Public Radio in Northern California.
To understand Dr. Ball’s campaign, it is well worth listening to the following radio program provided courtesy of Head-Roc in two parts: