DC Statehood Green Party

Friday, June 2, 2000

Arturo Griffiths, (202) 265-2659


Popular Latino activist joins a list of DC Statehood Green candidates

WASHINGTON, DC—Arturo Griffiths, a popular neighborhood activist for Latino rights,

housing, health care, and other causes in the District of Columbia, will announce his candidacy for the At-Large seat on DC City Council on June 7. His name will appear on the DC Statehood Green Party (DCSGP) slot in the September primary and November election.

With “unity, diversity, and a voice for all DC residents” as his theme, Arturo will introduce his campaign at Haydee’s Restaurant, 3102 Mt. Pleasant Street, NW, near the corner of Irving Street in the Mount Pleasant neighborhood, at a kick-off party, 7-9 pm on Wednesday, June 7.

Arturo joins several other declared DCSGP candidates in 2000: Martin Thomas for “Shadow” Representative; Renée Bowser for the Ward 4 Council seat; Tracey Joyner for the Ward 8 Council seat; Thomas E. Smith for At-Large member of the DC Board of Education. Ralph Nader, now seeking the Green Party’s presidential nomination, will also appear on the DC ballot, with running mate Winona LaDuke.

DCSGP, product of the 1999 merger of the DC Statehood and DC Green Parties and a member organization of the Association of State Green Parties, is also working to defeat a June 27 referendum to make the Board of Education a partially appointed body, calling it an assault on the democratic rights of DC voters.

Arturo has made the issue of democratic rights and civic involvement the cornerstone of his run: “The elected school board is a vital democratic institution that must not be weakened or eliminated. All parents must have meaningful participation in the issues that affect their children’s education.”

The same principle underlies his pledge to “give a voice to unrepresented communities—Latinos, immigrants, and others need a voice on the City Council. The Council needs a member who will build bridges across all the diverse communities of the District, to build a coalition that will work cooperatively to improve living conditions for all residents.”

Arturo sees the campaign as part of the larger movement for DC statehood, in the Statehood Party tradition, “so that residents truly have local authority, complete autonomy over the DC budget, full Congressional representation, and no more federal interference.”

Arturo Griffiths was born in Panama and immigrated to Washington, DC in 1964. Arturo has been a long-time activist in youth organizations, and helped found the Latin American Youth Center. He served for three years as President of the Latin American Festival. As a community activist and labor organizer, he planned and coordinated the Citywide Multicultural Leadership Summit in 1992.

Arturo currently works as consultant for the Center for Community Change. He has most recently taken leadership roles in the Health Care Now Coalition, the Greater Southeast Coalition, and the DC Coalition for Housing Justice, which opposes threatened tenant evictions in Columbia Heights and other neighborhoods.

The Committee to Elect Arturo Griffiths (Lisa Ranghelli, treasurer) will organize the campaign. A web site with further information will be announced soon; information about DCSGP can be read at <www.dcstatehoodgreen.org>.


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