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Green Party of New Mexico records

 Collection
Identifier: MSS-761-BC

Scope and Content

The New Mexico Green Party records consists in large part of correspondence, flyers and brochures, newspaper clippings, newsletters, agendas, budgets, meeting minutes, and audio/video recordings. The collection is divided into 6 series. The largest series, "New Mexico Green Party," contains the bulk of material pertaining to political activism of the Green Party in New Mexico, and here is where the researcher can get a good sense of the strides made by the New Mexico Green Party. The other series also provide insight into the New Mexico Green Party and its connection to national politics, environmental activism, and social and ecological negotiations. The video and audio recordings are an important compliment to all the series, but most specifically to the political campaigns.

This collection was amassed via several Green Party sources: Robert L. Anderson, Ted Cloak, Abraham Gutmann, Alberto Perea.

Series 1: Organizational Documents and Newsletters. This series consists of New Mexico and National Green Party constitutions, platforms, bylaws, resolutions and amendments from 1992-2000. It also contains New Mexico Green Party grievance reports, general documentation on uniform rules and organizing, articles about building a third party, and academic papers about the Green Party. Green Party newsletters will also be found in this series.

Series 2: New Mexico Green Party. This is the largest series in the collection, encompassing party status, campaigns, general operations, and issues of interest. Included are petitions for major party status in New Mexico, and statutes on major party recognition 1994-2001, as well as campaign materials for Abraham Gutman, Roberto Mondragón, Pat Wolf, Jack Urich, Sam Hitt, Carol Miller, and Tom Udall (1992-2000). Materials pertaining to Bob Anderson's race for state representative of district 18 in 1996 and his 1998 district 1 congressional race against republican incumbent Heather Wilson and democrat Phil Maloof are contained in a separate subseries, and include questionnaires, ephemera, endorsement letters, invitations to conferences and speaking events, and documents about his opposition. The series also contains documents from the UNM Green organization and Progressive Coalition.

Series 3: National Green Party. This includes documentation of 1996 and 2000 presidential campaigns from national headquarters and New Mexico. This series contains a large number of e-mail correspondences from New Mexico for a People's President, election results from 2000, and Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke platforms, biographies, and documentation of their visits to New Mexico.

Series 4: Environment and Social Justice. This series contains organizational documentation of activities of the Forest Guardians (state recommendations, testimonies, campaigns they spearheaded and publications) from 1995-2000. This series also includes materials relating to New Mexico Green Party's involvement in environmental issues (wilderness advocacy, logging, ranching, pollution, nuclear and toxic waste, global warming and energy concerns), as well as information from national organizations on these matters. Additionally, this documents New Mexico and National Green Party involvement and interest in issues of globalization, economic and social justice, labor party, and anti-militarization. Native American concerns important to the Green Party, mainly the New Mexico Petroglyph Monument protection from 1995-1998, the Makah Tribe Whale Hunting Dispute from 2000, and general indigenous concerns from the U.S. and British Colombia from 1987-1998 form a unique subseries.

Series 5: Oversize consists of campaign maps and posters, labor party advertisements, a collection of campaign buttons and banners from 1998-2000.

Series 6: Video/Audio includes video and audio recordings from 1993-2000. The bulk of these recordings pertain to the campaigns of Bob Anderson, Jack Urich, Carol Miller and Ralph Nader. They include debates, rallies, promotion spots, home footages, speeches, interviews, and candidate profiles. Additional recordings concern nuclear power in space (1994-1995), and the Zuni Salt Lake/Coal Mine Controversy of 1996.

Dates

  • 1987-2002
  • Majority of material found within 1994-2000

Language of Materials

English

Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research. Audio and video recordings in boxes 8-10 must be duplicated prior to viewing. Available duplicates are in box 11. Advance notification is required for duplication.

Copy Restrictions

Limited duplication of CSWR material is allowed for research purposes. User is responsible for compliance with all copyright, privacy, and libel laws. Permission is required for publication or distribution.

Background Information

The Green Party of New Mexico is a statewide political group that was formed between 1990 and 1992. Like the world-wide Green political movement, the New Mexico Green Party has its roots in democratic, social and ecological principles and professes as its motto "a politics based on values." Born out of the disillusionment over the Democratic and Republican Parties - whom Green Party founders and current members believe were and continue to be corrupted by corporate interests - the Green Party of New Mexico dedicated itself to following a grassroots model in hopes of creating economic and political renewal. As part of its platform, the Green Party looks to change the way the government operates by introducing alternative, independent politics that focus on empowering citizens and communities, eliminating corporate control of government policies, and protecting the environment. Thus "value-based politics" represents the ten key values outlined in the New Mexico Green Party's platform, in contrast with politics of exploitation, consumption, and non-sustainable competition, which New Mexico Greens associate with Democratic and Republican Party principles.

The New Mexico Green Party shares core values with the National Green Party and has in its short history worked with the national organization on major presidential elections. However, founders consider New Mexico's Green Party to be an autonomous entity not bound by decisions of Greens outside of New Mexico, thus allowing for political concentrations on the concerns and needs specific to New Mexico.

In 1994 the Green Party left its first triumphant mark on New Mexico by gaining major party status. Former democrat and Lt. Governor, Roberto Mondragón switched his political affiliation to Green and ran for Governor of New Mexico on the Green Party ticket alongside Green Lt. Governor candidate Steven Schmidt. Together, they won 10.4% of votes, an accomplishment that granted the New Mexico Green Party political status equal to that of the Democratic and Republican Parties and placed the New Mexico Green Party on the national political map. The Green Party provided an alternate choice for frustrated voters while also inciting fear in democratic leaders who blamed Mondragón and every other Green thereafter for stealing votes from democrats, resulting in the loss of democratic seats to republicans

The success that the 1994 campaigns brought the New Mexico Green Party allowed its members to launch their political agendas in full force in 1996, as Bob Anderson ran for New Mexico State Representative, Jack Urich for U.S. House of Representatives, and Abraham Gutmann and Sam Hitt for U.S. Senate. The key issues highlighting the New Mexico Green Party's strengths and struggles were economic rights and sustainability, the livable wage campaign, and restructuring the educational system. Less in the spotlight at this time but equally important to the candidates were limiting campaign donations, instant runoff voting, and reforming the health care system.

The 1997 and 1998 campaigns exposed the internal and external difficulties members faced while trying to reach out to voters, gain public support, and build an electoral base. The effects of being pegged as electoral spoilers became real and challenging as several socially progressive and environmental organizations, as well as the media joined democrats in speaking out against Green Party candidates in an attempt to discredit their political agendas and silence them. This became evident in the media coverage Bob Anderson received in his 1998 congressional campaign against republican incumbent Heather Wilson and democrat Phil Maloof. Negative campaigning also reared its ugly head in Green Party rebuttals and attacks on democratic candidates, and the Democratic Party in general.

Internal struggles and conflicts reveal the difficulties in building a political party, especially one positing itself as "the party of the people," priding itself in its grassroots platform. The New Mexico Green Party has, from its inception, encountered conflicts between Party ideals and the reality of New Mexico communities. For example, the "spoiler party" debate is consistently present within the Green Party itself. During the 1997 congressional election, founding member Abraham Gutmann elected to endorse democrat Tom Udall instead of fellow Green, Carol Miller, stating that he did not believe Carol Miller could win and the Green Party must be selective in choosing their battles. He maintained that this particular battle would be best left to the democrats. Carol Miller countered that democrats were losing votes as a result of their failure to connect with and keep their constituents and that blaming the Green Party was symptomatic of the democrats' refusal to take responsibility for their failures.

Furthermore, when addressing social justice and environmental concerns, Greens were challenged with the conflict between their commitment to environmental protections and the needs of northern New Mexico Hispanic communities relying on cattle ranching and logging for their livelihoods. These situations illuminated the ethnic, cultural and educational differences between the predominantly Anglo representatives and rural New Mexico Hispanic communities. The incongruity between Green Party beliefs about environmental safety and cultural and economic practices of rural sectors of New Mexico were unforeseen to Green Party members and to this day, the New Mexico Green Party is trying to find a balance between the environment and community needs.

1996 was an equally important year for the National Green Party. Their presidential candidate, Ralph Nader, focused his campaign on corporate wealth, the disempowerment of citizens, and destruction of the environment. These issues become more nuanced during the 2000 presidential election as Ralph Nader built his campaign on the importance of civic participation and the weakening of democracy as a result of the concentration of wealth in the hands of a few. The New Mexico Green Party took a leading role in the Nader 2000 campaign, actively campaigning for him statewide, fundraising, and hosting the national convention. During the 2000 campaign, New Mexico for a People's President was formed, which concentrated solely on the presidential campaign and networking with the National Green Party.

Green vice-presidential candidate, Winona LaDuke also addressed certain issues that are at the heart of Green Party values, mainly environmental policies and their impact on poor communities, especially Native American reservations, as well as their impact on women. However, her presence and concerns took more of a backstage role in the two presidential campaigns as media coverage concentrated on Ralph Nader and the impact of a third party candidate on the elections.

Extent

10 boxes (7.5 cu. ft.), plus 1 oversize folder

Abstract

The New Mexico Green Party records consist largely of correspondence, flyers and brochures, newspaper clippings, newsletters, agendas, budgets, meeting minutes, and audio/video recordings. Materials document the political activism of the Green Party in New Mexico and its connection to national politics, environmental activism, and social and ecological negotiations.

Arrangement

The collection is divided into six series:
  1. Organizational Documents and Newsletters (Sub-series: New Mexico Green Party, National Green Party, Green Party Newsletters)
  2. New Mexico Green Party (Sub-series: Party Status, Campaigns 1992-2000, Bob Anderson Campaigns, General Operations, Issues of Interest)
  3. National Green Party (Sub-Series: National Interests, Ralph Nader Presidential Campaigns)
  4. Environment and Social Justice (Sub-series: Forest Guardians, Environmental Protection-New Mexico and National, Social Justice-New Mexico and National, Native American and Green Party Concerns)
  5. Oversize
  6. Video/Audio

Related Archival Material

Center for Regional Studies and the Center for Southwest Research Fellows presentation, Lavinia Nicolae

Bruce Trigg papers. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico. Citizens for Alternatives to Radioactive Dumping records. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico. Albuquerque Center for Peace and Justice records. Center for Southwest Research, University of New Mexico.

Separated Material

The following publications were transferred to CSWR General Collections: in New Mexico Politics: A Report by Re-Visioning New Mexico January 20, 1995 Enchanted Times: Fall 1995, Fall 1996, Spring 1996, Spring 1997, Spring 2000, Summer 2000 Chile Verde: Progressive/Populist News and Opinions in New Mexico nos. 3-5 The Workbook: Southwest Research and Information Center: vol. 17 (1), vol. 18 (1-3), vol. 19 (1) vol. 22 (3), vol. 23 (2), vol. 24 (4), Spring 1992

General

Contact Information

  1. University of New Mexico
  2. MSC05 3020, 1, University of New Mexico
  3. Center for Southwest Research
  4. Albuquerque, NM 87131-0001
  5. Phone: 505-277-0487
  6. Fax:
  7. Email: cswrref@unm.edu
  8. URL: http://elibrary.unm.edu/cswr

General

Processing Information

Inquire with reference staff for access to unprocessed addition - 2 boxes, B3-11A.
Title
Finding Aid of the Green Party of New Mexico records, 1987-2002
Status
Approved
Author
Processed by Lavinia Nicolae
Date
©2006
Language of description
English
Script of description
Code for undetermined script
Language of description note
Finding aid is in English
Sponsor
Funding provided in part by Center for Regional Studies, University of New Mexico, Dr. Tobías Durán, Director

Revision Statements

  • Monday, 20210524: Attribute normal is missing or blank.

Repository Details

Part of the UNM Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections Repository

Contact:
University of New Mexico Center for Southwest Research & Special Collections
University Libraries, MSC05 3020
1 University of New Mexico
Albuquerque NM 87131
505-277-6451