Steve Alesch is the social media coordinator of the Illinois Green Party and the Chair of the DuPage Green Party. He joined formally around 2006 during the Rich Whitney campaign. He remembered he had watched Ralph Nader on CSPAN on election day in 2004 and everything ‘just made sense’. Alesch said he didn’t know much about the Green Party until then. He was libertarian because of the social issues, but the regulations and economic issues didn’t match his beliefs and the direction he felt we needed to go as a country.
Alesch himself ran for congress in 2008 capturing 2.78% of the vote loosing to Judy Biggert (R). He says he doesn’t believe in choice voting and works hard to try to change the mindset of a two party country. There are currently 3,450 ILGP members and 12,600 supporters (which includes members). In 2006 our Governor candidate, Rich Whitney, received 361,336 (10.4%) votes. More recently in 2016 Jill Stein received 76,802 (1.4%) votes in Illinois. After Jill Stein ran for President local chapters and membership was reignited. There are two new chapters: Lake County and Prairie Greens in Champaign. There are also several officially applying and inaugural meetings are happening. The inaugural Will County meeting will be Tuesday, March 14th.
“Jill stein raised a lot of money for a recount and must spend on election reform,” Alesch noted. “She still has fireside chats weekly and will be present at the conference on election reform in Washington, DC.”
Regardless of party affiliations, many of the members are active in their communities, attending rallies like the Women’s March and also hold positions as elected officials. They also want to make Illinois a sanctuary state and has been working with Immigrant Solidarity DuPage. They approached the sheriff’s office to discuss making DuPage a sanctuary county, but were not received. Sanctuary cities and states have been in the media recently as Trump has threatened to crack down and cut funding of cities that provide sanctuary.
Another outside organizations Alesch has been active in is Move to Amend who’s mission is to abolish corporate personhood.
“Many greens are still active on this,” he says. “It is for the We the People amendment and we are adding sponsors year over year. We approach elected officials to ask they endorse it and last year got a question poll on the ballot in Illinois in several geographic areas. 1.3 million people out of the 3 million voters. We want to pass a resolution to abolish corporate personhood and money as speech. There are eleven or twelve states across the country that are doing this.”
The Illinois Green Party will be having their state meeting March 25th at the Oak Park Library.
For more information about the Illinois Green Party, please go to ILGP.org
To read the article on San Diego as a Sanctuary City, click here.
To learn more about Move to Amend, click here.
To learn more about Immigrant Solidarity DuPage, click here.
A Lasting Peace will be partnering with Alive Center in Naperville, Illinois on March 5th from 5:30-8:30pm for a special event and vegan potluck. U.S. Congressional Candidate and Professor of International Human Rights in Chicago, Benjamin Wolf will be the main speaker and proceeds from this event will support Hesed House, World Relief and Reclaim 13.
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Diana Piedra feels she has always been an activist. Her heritage is half hispanic, the other half being a mix of German, Irish and English. Being hispanic made her feel she was not quite the same regardless of her family’s outward good fortune or popularity at school.
“I learned I could be popular and still be an outcast; made to feel inferior in some way,” she recalled. “I decided, I can be an outsider and it’s okay. I don't want anyone to have to feel this way. I’m not going to back down when it isn't fun anymore and I’m not going to just shove things under the rug. It’s going to take some bad ass warriors to make a difference in the world because we can’t just continue to gloss over controversial issues.”
Because of this heightened awareness coming from a multicultural family, she had a desire to fight for fairness. Spirituality had always been a strong force in her life, but still, became an unclear journey for her until she found yoga. Yoga gave her a space where she could pray with her whole body and everyone, from all different backgrounds, could come practice together and be accepted.
After the elections, Diana created A Lasting Peace. A Lasting Peace is virtual community based on an idea. It is the desire to create something sustainable and real in our society. Here especially in this part of the world there is a false sense that everything is perfect, she says.
“It isn’t perfect and it doesn't have to be. It is our rough spots and our differences that create the character of our culture and I believe we should celebrate all that,” Piedra states. “But there is animal abuse and sex trafficking and all kinds of real issues that need to be addressed. Refugees are not what we should be attacking at this time. Refugees are escaping places where these issues and worse are rampant. We need to stand behind the refugees and provide a safe place. I am compelled to bring forth injustices to create awareness and get people to act. Not to just throw money at a problem, but to humanize the issue. We call it a problem, but they are people.”