Big Green Party win

Nathan Newman nathan.newman at
Sun Apr 4 09:34:21 PDT 1999

Well, it's confirmed. The Greens now have their first elected official in a state legislature. I am a bit surprised that the third party advocates on the list have not commented more on this. Being from Oakland, I am happy just because Bock is a good progressive person and beat the former Oakland mayor, who was your basic establishment-type liberal and rather conservative for the district.

But do others with a more anti-Dem perspective see this as important or just a blip?

--Nathan Newman ---------------------------------------------------------------------------- --

April 4, 1999 NEW YORK TIMES

Victory by California Assembly Candidate Is First for Greens By BILL STAGGS

IEDMONT, Calif. -- When fellow Green Party members persuaded Audie Bock to run for the state Assembly last December, they told her she had a choice. She could run a symbolic campaign by putting her name on the ballot -- or she could campaign seriously.

Ms. Bock, 53, chose to run a real race, and she won -- making her the first member of the Green Party to serve in a state legislature anywhere in the nation, and the first third-party candidate to serve in the California Assembly since 1914.

The Green Party, which was born in Germany in 1979 and made its way to the United States in 1984, originally focused on environmental issues, but in recent years it has embraced other causes, including health care, social justice and education.

Ms. Bock, a film distributor and junior college ethnic-studies instructor, won 50.5 percent of the vote in Tuesday's runoff election to squeak by Elihu Harris, the former two-term Oakland mayor. Harris had previously held the Assembly seat from 1978 to 1990. Ms. Bock won by 327 votes of a total of 29,000 cast.

Although he had been heavily favored to win in the February election, Harris, one of three Democratic candidates, failed to get 50 percent of the vote. In the absence of a Republican candidate, Ms. Bock, with 8.6 percent of the vote, landed in the runoff with Harris. The former mayor spent a reported $550,000, while Ms. Bock spent $33,000.

Voter registration in the 16th District, which includes the cities of Piedmont and Alameda and a large part of Oakland, is 65 percent Democratic, 33 percent Republican and 1.3 percent Green. So solid has the Democratic Party's hold been on the district that Ms. Bock's win is the first by a non-Democrat since 1970.

"People really want politicians to pay attention," Ms. Bock said as she prepared for her new $99,000-a-year job in Sacramento, her first elective office since she was voted senior class secretary at nearby Berkeley High School.

More information about the lbo-talk mailing list