Greenline Interviews Eugene Platt
GL: Congratulations on being the first Green elected official in South Carolina. As a former Democrat, what attracted you to the Green Party?
EP: I have been leaning toward the Green Party for a while now. My son, Paul became very involved with the party when he moved to San Francisco about 10 years ago. He's been sharing the Green philosophy with me ever since, and he was recently nominated for a seat on the council. Paul has been an inspiration to me to join the Green's, but it has also been a natural progression in my own political career. When I lost the Democratic Primary in South Carolina earlier this year, it was a sort of blessing in disguise. This event opened the door for me to make the switch. I had always thought of myself as a "Green Democrat," but now I think of myself as a "Pure Green." I found that my personal political philosophy is more in tune with the Green Party's philosophy, and I feel that the Green Party is where I need to be.
GL: What issues are you currently working on?
EP: Last Thursday I made my first official appearance as the Low Country Coordinator of the Green Party of South Carolina. The event was a public hearing in Johns Island, S.C. about the plan to build a toll road across the island where workers often travel to their jobs on affluent Kiawah and Seabrook Islands. However, this toll road would be disastrous for Johns Island residents because it would encourage development and separate communities. Johns Island has been able to retain its rural character, which is distinctive of few remaining small southern towns. But, this rural flavor would be destroyed by a toll road being financed by those who could least afford it.
GL: What excites you most about this next political phase in your life?
EP: I am encouraged because there seems to be an awakening to the merit of Green Party values in this country. This shift in ideals is happening nationwide, and it is particularly apparent in the move toward environmental values which the Green's have always supported. I give a lot of credit to former Vice President Al Gore for his well-recognized work making people aware of global warming's impact, and I think we will continue to see a shift in consciousness. It can be difficult to be an idealist in our society; in fact I often imagine the song, "The Impossible Dream," would be a fitting theme song for the Green Party as we continue to move toward the values we believe in. But, we can have plenty of hope, and I am the quintessential example of how one's values can lean further to the "left," or to a more socially just ideal. I am 69 years old, and I am still leaning!
More information, as well as some poetry by Mr. Platt, can be found at www.voteplatt.com.