• Interview with Jen McClellan SPUSA Vice-Chair and Student Organizer

    702766_1050565221653411_169352018_n(1)Jen McClellan

    Radical feminist poet, teacher, and activist
    Special abilities: extradimensional travel and Jedi mind tricks
    Age: 28
    Revolts and skates in: Koreatown

    How did you first get politicized? Radicalized? Active?

    My first boyfriend (seventh grade so we lasted about two weeks) listened to the bands stray cats and the clash and his cousin was into punk and skating. I started skating in fifth grade. My friend Sonja’s dad was a security guard at a local venue so we went to shows.

    So that whole counter culture scene got me reading lyrics and questioning the government and authority right?

    But I’d say learning how to act in a room with a grip of other people practicing modified consensus and direct democracy didn’t happen until I got involved with the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA) and the California Student Union (CASU) in 2013. How I got active with those groups is I heard about them and just dove in.

    I’m a kinesthetic learner so I have to get hands on to get an understanding of how things work.

     

    What are your current positions and roles with student organizing and the Socialist Party USA (and anything else)?

    I’m on the periphery of One Struggle (onestruggle.net) at CSUN (California State University, Northridge.) They just formed as a club. Last semester we were coming up with points of unity and circulating a petition to get CSUN to divest from fossil fuels. Really just establishing some roots, figuring out how we work together, trying to learn more about our campus.

    This semester we’re about to start rallying students in solidarity with the CSU professors strike. I’m reading about it online and scheduling interviews with professors to work up an article to submit to The Socialist (national publication of the SPUSA, www.thesocialist.us.) That way I’ll be informed when talking to students about what’s going on…

    For the SPUSA I’m currently the Female National Vice Chair and Local Organizer Liaison so I’m working with the National Committee and new members across the U.S. who are trying to get locals started. In the L.A. local I’m trying to facilitate an educational program for new members (we’re getting a lot of them lately) and do coalition work with Schools L.A. Students Deserve (www.schoolslastudentsdeserve.com) and Stop LAPD Spying (stoplapdspying.org.)

    But I’m also taking 4 classes and student teaching, so it is a lot to juggle.

    [Read More…]

  • Green Party Ten Key Values–Best Version

    I have seen several versions of the Green Party Ten Key Values.

    I have only seen this version once, on a flyer given to me by the Humboldt Green Party. It’s my favorite version:
    gp 10 key values best version

    Grassroots democracy

    We must increase public participation at every level of government to ensure that our public representatives are fully accountable to the people who elect them.

    Ecological wisdom

    We must maintain an ecological balance and live within the ecological and resource limits of our communities and our planet.

    Social justice and equal opportunity

    We must consciously confront in ourselves, our organizations, and society at large, barriers such as racism and class oppression, sexism and heterosexism, ageism and disability, which act to deny fair treatment and equal justice under the law.

    Nonviolence

    We will work to demilitarize our society and eliminate weapons of mass destruction, without being naïve about the intentions of other governments. We promote nonviolent methods to oppose practices and policies with which we disagree, and will guide our actions toward lasting personal, community, and global peace.

    Decentralization

    We support a restructuring of social, political, and economic institutions away from a system that is controlled by and mostly benefits the powerful few, to a democratic, less bureaucratic system.

    Community based economics

    We support decently owned and operated companies which are socially responsible, as well as co-operatives and public enterprises that spread out resources and control to more people through democratic participation. [Read More…]

  • Participatory Budgeting

    What is participatory budgeting?

    According to participatorybudgeting.org, participatory budgeting  is a democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.

    The student council at California State University (CSU) Chico uses a watered down version of this, and CSU Chico consistently has the highest voter turnout of the 23 CSU campuses, at an average of about 20% voter turnout. This is achieved because every club and organization wants the funding, so they all work to engage students and rally them to vote.

    Though there is much left to be desired, this high voting turn out is achieved not by a top down student council only effort, but a bottom up school wide effort. This bottom up mobilization captures the essence of democracy.

    Many participatory budgeting programs exist that are far more effective than the methods of Chico’s student council.

    I personally like electronic and online participatory budgeting programs the best. [Read More…]