Greens are people from your community, not career politicians. Many are activists who run to bring attention to specific issues that affect you. They all share a commitment to the Green Party's 10 Key Values. If we want a government of the people, for the people, by the people, then we need our community members to step up.
If you are ready to step up, either by running as a candidate or supporting a candidate that will, find out details of how to get involved by contacting our GreenWave Team.
Several people are taking action this year and are advancing Green policies in Legislative races. As we grow our down ballot Legislative slate in 2020 we will share more details about our local candidates below.
Jay Walker and is running as a Green Party candidate in November 2020 to be District 23’s next state representative. His top goal in office is to end gerrymandering in Pennsylvania. Jay's background is in transit and environmental advocacy and he would take on those fights head-on in Harrisburg. Jay is looking to create a new model of civic engagement where everyone’s voice is heard and not just those who can attend meetings, make big donations, or have the right friends.
Jay is the son of an immigrant single mother. Like so many other single parent households, his was a working poor family. Jay was always the kid who loved reading and asked tons of question. His politics developed in college with exposure to environmental activism and Democracy Now. Jay has been a strong believer in racial justice from an early age due to amazing public school teachers and from his own personal background. This combination of a working class perspective, exposure to progressive values, and a strong sense of racial justice have led to who he is today.
He (like many others) got a major civic engagement wake up call after the November 2016 election. Having been involved with environmental and transit activism groups, Jay heard the lamentations that elected representatives don’t listen. It feals like nothing ever changes. This became readily apparent when Jay learned about gerrymandering from Fair Districts PA. He decided that instead of having our words fall on deaf ears, he would step up and drive the change he believed in. Link to Jay's website.
Garret Wassermann has an M.S. in both Mathematics and Applied Physics, and currently works in computer software security research at Carnegie Mellon University. Garret previously taught college-level courses in mathematics and computer science at several colleges in the Pittsburgh area. He enjoys gardening and casual hiking in nearby state parks with his wife Amanda. They have lived in Coraopolis for more than 7 years.
Garret's campaign has a very simple goal: NO ONE goes hungry, homeless, or without life-saving medication or healthcare ever again. Poverty and healthcare rationing are signs that today's government and businesses are failing the people. And we've got to stop pollution and climate change before all of these problems get much worse. Corporations haven't saved us, politicians haven't saved us. We clearly have to save ourselves -- we can, and we will.
The common thread of all these issues -- poverty, pollution, climate change -- is a lack of real democracy and freedom in this state. The people deserve a direct say in how their government and their economy works, to create a new economy that works for everyone and not just a few, to create a government that is actually rooted in real democracy instead of an easily-corruptible representative system. Garret's campaign is about taking the steps necessary to reclaim a government of the people, for the people, by the people, that puts people and planet over profits.
Garret believes that every resident of Pennsylvania deserves an equal say in the rules, laws, and general decisions that affect their lives and their communities. He fully supports reducing the power of money in our elections and ending political bribery, so that equal power and dignity may be restored. Wealth inequality is what breeds the power imbalance, so any full long-term solution must look at removing private wealth from the system. Link to Garret's website.
Michael Bagdes-Canning is, first and foremost, husband (Karen, 42 years), father, and grandfather. He is a retired teacher; he spent 36 in the classroom. He was President, Vice President, and building representative of his union local. He has held elective office since 1989, serving on the Cherry Valley Borough Council. He is currently Vice President. For the past 10 years, he has been involved as a frontline organizer in the climate and anti-fracking fight. He serves on the Planning Group of Marcellus Outreach Butler (a local anti-fracking group) and the Better Path Coalition (he is one of the founders). He has also served on the Coordinating Committee of the PA Poor People’s Campaign (statewide) and a direct action campaigner with Beyond Extreme Energy (national). Link to Michael's website.