Greens first organized as an anti-nuclear, pro-peace movement at the height of the Cold War, the
progressive New Values Party in the South Pacific, and the sixties/seventies student and
environmental movement. The late Petra Kelly, a founder of the German Greens, attended American
University in Washington, D.C., and was greatly influenced by the U.S. environmental movement of
the early 1970s.
In 1984, the first U.S. Green organizing meetings were convened. These meetings eventually led to
the formation of a national membership organization of Green locals and individuals. By 1992, state
parties had organized and gained ballot access. In 1996 Greens became the majority party of the
Arcata, California city council, claiming three office seats.
In August 1996, State Green parties held their first national nominating convention in Los Angeles.
Earlier, in November 1995, as a result of Green national organizing efforts, Ralph Nader had set in
motion the Green Party's first presidential campaign by officially announcing he would enter the
California Green Primary.
His decision sparked a reaction from Greens across the conntry. By election eve, Greens had placed
Ralph Nader on 22 ballots nationwide, with another 23 states qualifying him as a write-in candidate.
Nader was joined on the ticket by Native American Winona LaDuke.
When the results were in, Nader came in fourth place, behind Bill Clinton, Bob Dole and Ross
Perot, polling nearly 700,000 votes, approximately 1 percent of the vote nationwide. The third-party
candidates denied Bill Clinton a clear majority. Nader surpassed third-party candidates who
appeared on all 50 states ballots. The Nader/LaDuke vote in Oregon was the best nationwide -
more than 4 percent. Greens spent about a penny a vote, which was the best return per vote in the
Greens are now organized on all the inhabited continents of this planet, with elected officials working
for a future based on our 10 Key Values.
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