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Jerry Kann

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Jerry Kann was born in 1960 and brought up in suburban Cleveland, Ohio, the son of a businessman and a homemaker. A graduate of Cleveland State University with a B.A. in English Literature, Kann moved to New York City in 1987 with his long-time companion, Anna Erdelyi. (The couple separated in 1995.)

Kann was active in the theatre during his twenties, both in Cleveland and in New York. He toured the country with the National Shakespeare Co. in 1989. He has worked both as staff and as a freelancer in publishing and advertising in New York over the past two decades.

Starting up political activity in earnest in the '90s, Kann joined Labor Party Advocates in 1994 and was active in the Labor Party until 2000, running for chair of the New York Metro Chapter of the LP in 1998, and losing a fairly close race to the incumbent.

A registered but dissatisfied Democrat during the '80s and '90s, Kann joined the Green Party in 2000 to volunteer for Ralph Nader's first major campaign for President. He worked for Nader's 2004 campaign and volunteered for Nader's 2008 campaign, and he was a Nader delegate to the Green Party national convention in Milwaukee in 2004.

As secretary and later as treasurer of the Green Party Office in Manhattan from 2002 to 2006, Kann worked with a very fine group of Green activists trying to build the GP in the biggest city in the country. He was also a volunteer for the Greens' 2002 gubernatorial campaign in New York and a paid petitioner for the party's statewide campaign in 2006, collecting over 3000 signatures for the GP slate.

Kann ran a brief campaign for the GP's nomination for President during 2007. He ran, for all practical purposes, not so much as a candidate for the presidency as for leadership of the Green Party. An early member of Greens for Democracy and Independence, under the leadership of Peter Camejo, Kann was very active in trying to get the Greens to become more democratic in their internal affairs and to pull away completely from any association with the two major parties.

It was only after a long fight on these basic questions of the Greens' identity and long-term goals that Kann finally quit the GP in June 2009, registering as a Populist. (The Populist Party represented the ballot line on which the Nader/Gonzalez presidential ticket ran in New York State in 2008.) On that line, Kann ran for New York City Council on a very small budget and won a nominal percentage of the vote.

Kann ran his first campaign for New York City Council in 2001, running as a Green that year and again in 2003 and 2005. In 2003 he won 20 percent of the vote on contributions totaling about $2500 (compared to the incumbent's $200,000). He won a smaller share of the vote in 2005, still running as a Green (with an endorsement statement from Ralph Nader) but with the incumbent running on *both* Democratic and Republican lines.

Kann is still dedicated to independent politics totally outside of the two major parties, or for that matter also outside of those minor parties that don't yet seem willing to break away from the suffocating embrace of the Democrats and Republicans. He remains ready, willing, and able to debate this essential question of political independence in all public forums.

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Thursday, October 10, 2013      Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
The "Affordable" Care Act: The Best Illustration Yet of Why We Need a New Major Political Party
(48 comments) I will argue here that the two major parties are very much the same in terms of their long-term goals--that they primarily aim at serving big banks and corporations--but that they want to give the voters the impression that they fundamentally oppose each other. I will show how the wrangling over the Affordable Care Act demonstrates that the real goal seems to be to make the big insurance happy, one way or another.

Friday, March 22, 2013      Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
We Need a New Political Party
(27 comments) This article is my argument for establishing a new major political party of working people to replace--or at least to seriously compete with--the two existing major parties. I argue that the Democratic and Republican parties have outlived their usefulness

Sunday, May 27, 2012      Add this Page to Facebook!   Submit to Twitter   Submit to Reddit   Submit to Stumble Upon   Pin It!   Fark It!   Tell A Friend
Why I Left the Democratic Party (a Long Time Ago)
(18 comments) This article was written in response to Rob Kall's May 3 piece, "I'm Dumping the Democratic Party, Personally," in which he asks for readers' thoughts about why they gave up their registration inthe Democratic Party. As I state right upfront, in the ti