What is the history of the Green Party of Sonoma County?

The Green Party started in West Germany in 1979 when a group of civic organizations united in opposition to nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. Petra Kelly, one of the founding members of the Green Party, became Germany's first female political party leader in 1980. Activists soon started organizing for Green politics around the world.

In 1984 Charlene Spretnak authored the Green Ten Key Values, which continue to be the guiding values of Greens in this country. In the next few years, Greens began meeting in small groups across the state of California.

Early in 1985, leaders in the peace, environmental, labor, social justice, and spiritual movements in Sonoma County met to discuss the formation of a local organization which they saw as "neither left nor right in philosophy, but articulating values and programs to move beyond these traditional divisions to a positive, long-range future."

The Green Party qualified as an official political party in California January 1, 1992. It was the first state Green Party formed in the United States. In 1996, consumer advocate Ralph Nader became the party's first candidate for president. When Greens Sam Spooner and Craig Litwin joined Larry Robinson on the Sebastopol City Council in 2000, Sonoma County made history for being home to the second-ever Green Party governing majority in the country. Most recently, Green Party candidate for governor of California, Peter Camejo, became the first third party candidate ever to appear in a televised debate for a statewide office.

The Green Party is making history as the only political party committed to grassroots democracy, social justice, and environmental sustainability.