John Rensenbrink, co-founder of the American Green Party, dies at 93 | Region

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — John Rensenbrink, a Maine political scientist and environmentalist who co-founded the Green Party of the United States, has died. He was 93 years old.

Rensenbrink, from Topsham, died in a hospice, surrounded by his family, the National Green Party said. An obituary in the Bangor Daily News said Rensenbrink died of an illness on July 30.

Rensenbrink helped call the first meeting of the Green Party in the United States, which took place in Maine in 1984, the national party said in a statement. He also helped form the Maine Green Party, which was the first statewide green party and is now known as the Maine Green Independence Party, party members said.

Rensenbrink taught political philosophy and history at Bowdoin College in Maine for decades and helped found the new political party out of frustration with the Democratic Party and a desire to crusade for peace and the environment.

Past and current members of the Green Party remember him as a tireless activist and central figure in the development of green organizing.

“John Rensenbrink has for decades embodied the best of progressive American politics connecting thought to action and motivating Greens from the local to the national and international levels,” government reform advocate Ralph Nader said in a statement. who ran twice for president on greenbacks. .

Rensenbrink was born in Pease, Minnesota to a family of dairy farmers. He earned a doctorate from the University of Chicago and settled in Maine in the 1960s.

He ran for the U.S. Senate in 1996, winning about 4% of the vote in an election won by Republican Senator Susan Collins, who continues to serve today. He also led political campaigns and was elected as the first co-chair of the Green Party of Maine, the state party said in a statement.

“Not only did he revolutionize third-party politics in the United States, but he also showed us how to recontextualize our view of ourselves outside the conventional structures of politics and economics,” said Fred McCann, Co-Chair. of the Maine Green Independent Party. today.

Rensenbrink’s obituary says there will be a memorial rally in his honor in September.

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