On Thursday, Sept. 14, the local Green Party in Bowling Green held an event to introduce the party’s new candidates for city council.
Joe DeMare, a chairperson in the Green Party, said, “The Green Party holds four main principles, which they call the four pillars: ecological wisdom, social Justice, grassroots democracy, and nonviolence.” In accordance with their environmental mindset, the party is opposed to the Nexus pipeline and supports more alternative, environmentally-conscious energy sources than fossil fuels.
The two featured candidates — plus a bonus guest, Constance Gadell-Newton, the party’s gubernatiorial candidate for Ohio — introduced themselves and took the podium.
Carolyn Kawecka said, “I’m running because I’m hoping that we can make a difference in making decisions and changing the dialogue and priorities (of the council).” Kawecka said one of her main concerns is the lack of bike lanes in Bowling Green. She said she is hoping the city will be able to transform some of the narrower streets in Bowling Green into one-way streets with bike lanes. She said this would be the first issue she would bring up if elected to council.
Beverly Keeling Elwazani is the second Green Party candidate and a mother of four. She said she is running because, when she started to attend council meetings a few years back, she was often displeased with their process.
She said she hopes to make some environmentally-friendly changes to the city of Bowling Green by proposing a tax on plastic bags. This idea is one held by each member of the Green Party, as they say it would be environmentally conscious and provide some funding for the city.
Elwazani also said she is very passionate about the relationship between landlords and students from the University. She said students are often taken advantage of by their landlords and, due to her experience as a mother, she will try all she can to keep this from happening.
The final speaker was Gadell-Newton, who is also a lawyer from Columbus. She said she is running for governor in 2018 and currently works with activists. Gadell-Newton’s main areas of focus are defense work for children in abuse and neglect situations and the abolishment of prisons that aim to profit off incarceration.
She also said she works with local activists to speak out against police brutality, especially in the Columbus area.
“The Green Party is basically a political party, but with principles,” Joe DeMare said.
A Green Party member also said they hold more collaborative elections: “We build each other up instead of tearing each other down,” Helen Dukes, co-chair of the Green Party, said.
All the comments from the candidates were people-focused, and both candidates said they hope to be elected into the council so they can fight for what is best for the citizens.