Monday, May 28, 2007
Civic Center Weekend 3: Green Party Convention
During the dot-com gold rush in the late 1990s, the California state treasury was filled to brimming and quite a number of ornate state government office buildings were constructed...
...including a huge addition to an already existing historical building that takes up an entire block in Civic Center, bounded by McAllister and Golden Gate, and Polk and Larkin.
From its swank, open lobby there is a set of vertiginously steep stairs descending into the Milton Marks Conference Room...
...which is where the California Green Party had set up shop for a plenary session over the weekend to vote on policies, procedures, positions, and possibly candidates.
I asked Mark Salomon (above), a political analyst who works with the local Green party, to explain what was going on and he laughed.
"The Green Party on a local level is often effective and functional and creates real change," he said.
"Once you get to the state level of the Green Party, things get a little cuckoo-land, more and more divorced from any reality."
"Once you get to the national level, it gets completely surreal."
"People run around in tall, funny hats convinced that they are actually important powerbrokers leading a viable national party, and most of them are insane," he concluded.
It's the people who show up to long, boring, lightly-attended meetings who do tend to make a difference, though and more power to them.
Sitting through a lot of meetings would personally drive me to serious drink.
And from the look of the signage dotting the fancy State of California lobby, I'm not the only one.