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Hugh Esco Resigns Staff Role With GA Green Party

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
December 31st, 2004

Esco Resigns Staff Role with Georgia Green Party
A Founding Member, Former Candidate Looks to New Challenges

Hugh Esco, a founding officer of the Georgia Green Party and three time Green candidate for public office in Georgia, announced today that he would tender his resignation as the Party's Political Coordinator on January 1st.

"Hugh Esco has been a great asset to the Green Party and I'm sure he will be a great asset in whatever future jobs he may undertake," said Minister Velmon Allen, director of a Brunswick based community development corportaion and Co-Chair of the Georgia Green Party. "I look forward to seeing what contributions he has yet to make to our state."

Esco was named by the Party's Coordinating Council as the Party's Executive Director in the wake of the 2000 election. A staff reorganization in 2003 renamed his position, Political Coordinator. In spite of some controversy within the Party, the Georgia Party's executive committee twice renewed his contract most recently in early 2004 for a two year term. Esco's resignation will serve as his two week notice to terminate that contract. He was already scheduled to depart on a two week vacation on the 1st.

"Hugh has taught me a great deal. What I have learned from him has served to fuel me and my continued interests in progressive politics," said Denice Traina, physical therapist from Augusta and Minister Allen's Co-Chair for the state Party. "He has served as an amazing mentor to so many of us committed to building a Party that truly reflects trust, fairness and respect for all peoples. As Congress prepares to consider the objections to the Ohio Electors, those Hugh leaves behind continue to search for a true expression of our collective aspirations for a real, not merely a so-called, democracy."

Esco's responsibilities for the Party included representing the Party before the Georgia General Assembly where he advocated on behalf of the Party's Priority Agenda, most notably organizing and chairing the Voter Choice Coalition, advocating since 1999 for open access to the ballot for emerging political parties, in support of proportional representation and for an auditable paper ballot to restore public confidence in the integrity of Georgia elections and the legitimacy of our representational form of government, work that seems prescient given the concerns now being raised by the Party's recount in Ohio.

"This is heartbreaking. Our hearts are still with Hugh, as we know his is still with our Party. While his contributions will be missed, I'm confident that our Party is ready to move this project forward so we might offer Georgians meaningful choices in future elections," said Brunswick native Harry Lyde, retired New York City police officer, resident of St. Simons Island and Treasurer of the Georgia Green Party. "There are no words to honor the sacrifices that Hugh has made to build this Party. He did so much to bring together folks from across this state and across the color line to strike out for political independence together."

Esco participated in some of the earliest Green Party organizing meetings in Georgia dating back to April 1st, 1989. He was the founding Secretary of the state Party, signing the filings in 1996 which registered the Party with the Secretary of State, making it eligible to nominate candiates for public office on a Green Party ballot line. He has travelled the state extensively, supporting community struggles and working to build local Party affiliates. He ran as the Green Party nominee for Lieutenant Governor in 1998 and 2002 and for State Representative in the Eighth District in a 2003 Special Election. He was also a Green Party candidate for Presidential Elector in 2000 and 2004.

"I want to be clear, that I am not resigning from activism with the Georgia Green Party or with the Dekalb affiliate. I intend to continue to be active to build this Party," said Esco. "But after a full or nearly full time focus on building this Party for the past decade, it is time that I explore other opportunities for my work. And our Party is now mature enough, can now offer sufficient leadership in depth, that it can survive this transition and demonstrate that we are still Green and Growing."

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