Douglas Rooks’ column on Sept. 3 asked, “Are Maine Greens really accomplishing anything?” The answer is a resounding “yes.”

Members of the Maine Green Independent Party serve their communities through elected seats on local planning boards, school boards and city councils. They shape policy by spearheading statewide initiatives and referenda.

Rooks belittles our 40,000 registered Greens compared to Democrat and Republican enrollment numbers.

Yet, despite the overwhelming financial advantage of the two corporate parties, Maine’s largest electoral group is un-enrolled. Nationwide, our current 4 percent of registered voters makes the Maine Green Independent Party one of the largest independent parties in the country.

State government rolled back the Clean Election laws that had helped level the playing field for non-corporate-funded candidates. However, in 2014 the Green party ran 14 candidates for statewide office, and most received more than 4 percent of the votes cast.

In Portland, where Greens are the second largest political party, members have championed initiatives including ranked-choice voting, marijuana legalization, protection of public parks, and a $15 minimum wage. Many of these have now expanded statewide.

Greens do have a keen interest in environmental issues. We are currently looking for riders to join Greens from across Maine in a climate ride to the Common Ground Fair. We invite Mr. Rooks to join us, and learn that we are passionate about all of the 10 key values of our party, which include social justice, grassroots democracy, community-based economics and, yes, environmental sustainability.

The Maine Green Independent Party is a vital and growing political party and an increasingly popular alternative to corporate-sponsored politics. We hope Rooks will rethink his outdated perspective on Maine’s “other” party.

Maybe we’ll see him at the fair.

Patricia Jackson and Gil Harris

State party co-chairmen

Maine Green Independent Party

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