On Saturday, July 10, the Wayne County Caucus of the Green Party of Michigan unanimously selected Lisa Weltman to be their candidate for the U.S. House of Representatives in the 14th Congressional District.
Weltman, 40, is a longtime resident of Detroit and a well-known activist among working people in the area. She is currently an adjunct instructor at Mott Community College in Genesee County, Mich.
Weltman was chosen to be the Green candidate after she made a passionate statement about why she feels it is necessary to present a clear, progressive challenge to the incumbent, 20-term Representative John Conyers Jr.
“In the past, Conyers has put forward many progressive ideas,” said Weltman, “but in the last period he has sought to accommodate the Bush agenda of wars for profit and attacks on democratic rights.”
Weltman points to Conyers’ votes in support of laws that restrict the democratic rights of American citizens under the guise of the “war on terror,” his support for Bush’s “No Child Left Behind” legislation, and his co-authorship of a bill, with Rep. Charles Rangel (D-NY), to reinstate the military draft as examples of this shift.
“I want to present a real alternative for working people to the politics of war and repression. The people of this district deserve a Representative who will be consistent in opposing the policies and practices of the Bush regime.”
Weltman says she intends to run a grassroots campaign, designed to “empower working people to stand up for themselves.”
However, according to the Weltman campaign, the goal is not simply to siphon off votes from the Democratic Party. According to a spokesperson for the campaign, voter education and outreach — especially to those who have never voted before or have not voted in a long time — is a central part of the effort.
“About half the eligible voters in this country don’t bother to come to the polls,” said Martin Schreader, spokesperson for the Weltman campaign. “The main reason for many of these people is because they do not think any of the candidates represent their interests. We want to change that.”
Schreader added that if traditionally Democratic voters decided to switch to the Greens, he would welcome it. “If a Democrat thinks they have more in common with the vision and principles of the Green Party, then they should by all means vote Green.”
“But we want [Weltman’s] campaign to be the one to reach out to and mobilize those people who have felt disenfranchised by the two-party system.”
Currently, the Weltman campaign is planning out its schedule for the next three months, including campaign appearances, interviews and other events. The schedule, when it is completed, will be listed on her website: [link].
Those interested in scheduling interviews or seeking comment from Weltman can call (313) 535-4234, or send an e-mail to LAN_EMAIL_SUBS.