My name is Teri Ulm. I’m the outgoing Interim Chair of the Indiana Green Party (INGP) for 2020-2021, former Chair of the Circle City Greens 2018, and current member of the Indiana Green Party1 and Circle City Greens2.
I write to share my report on autocratic actions of the Indiana Green Party. Our allies in the Emergency Committee to Save the Green Party say our situation is not unique; that apparently similar shenanigans have been reported in as many as nine state parties, where dissent on these issues has surfaced. This list includes multiple states with large enough delegate counts to meaningfully reflect the diversity of views on the underlying issues at the heart of this controversy. I assure you that two YES votes from Indiana on GNC #1062 misrepresent the opinions of Indiana Green party's membership which were evenly divided when we actually discussed the matter and took a vote on the question several months ago.
An Indiana Green Party National Delegate Alternate, Jeff Sutter, was undemocratically removed from his elected position. Jeff Sutter should be on the national committee listserv and specifically in the conversation in regard to proposal #1062. Jeff Sutter should still be serving his one year term, which ends in mid August based on the date of his election last year. At that point he should continue to represent the concerns and perspectives of Indiana Greens for the coming year as an Alternate to the Green National Committee based on his election at our state party Congress held at the end of June.
Dissent has been silenced in both our state and national parties which each tell us that they oppose silencing dissent. The Minority Report linked below recounts some piece of the history we are busy writing of the destruction of our party. My own report, which you are reading now, provides another chapter to this volume. But for the rest of the story it is important that we listen to the many other voices being silenced within our ranks.
As Greens we all care about the environment, democracy, diversity, feminism, social justice, and so much more. However, the mutually recognized need to lift up oppressed voices has backfired in the case presented in #1062. It has backfired because the oppressed don’t know where their dogmatic ideology ends and the thoughts and convictions for the rest of us begin. We all want a party which hears the oppressed, lifts us up, and ensures we each have a place in society. But compelled thought and speech is itself oppressive and anathema to Green values.
It seems redundant to have to reiterate, as Jeff Sutter did in the Minority Report3, that "Greens are all united by our support for trans folk to be able to do and be the way they want & not to be mistreated for their gender non-conformity or self-presentation. Indeed, all people should be free to dress and express themselves as they wish without discrimination, stigma, or violence. Members of the Georgia party believe this just as other Greens do. The disagreement that led to the LC's complaint therefore has nothing to do with actual bigotry or prejudice on the part of Georgia.”