Bio of Kent Mesplay Green Party Candidate for President
Dr. Kent believes that sustainability is security: Especially with instability in climate, it is important to enact policies and behaviors encouraging less consumption, promoting local, independence-enhancing solutions and affording people of all levels of training and education to have basic economic well-being. With good governance and some basic changes to our lifestyle, citizens can have a meaningful place within a people-oriented culture where all can feel valued, with their basic needs met, unhampered by bureaucratic bungling.
In short, we need good governance, we need Green values and we need to get the influence of money out of politics. And we certainly need to cut bloated Pentagon spending and waste and enact an independent, trusted system to audit military spending. See, for example, www.notmypriorities.org.
In more detail: On social issues Mesplay
- is a Civil Libertarian: He believes each individual should be allowed, by the government and society, to decide how to live their lives as they wish as long as those decisions do not negatively affect others;
- supports abortion rights — a woman’s right to choose;
- supports same-sex marriage;
- wants to end the “war” on drugs;
- supports reparations for African Americans and wants to end all racial discrimination;
- and holds other “progressive” views typical of the Green Party Platform.
He advocates for personal responsibility,
- taking America off our addiction to prescription and recreational drugs through education and programs designed to heal;
- enacting prison reform in an age when prisons are barbaric and increasingly for-profit;
- ensuring that our military is not misused as, in effect, a mercenary force for corporate interests;
- taking better care of our elderly, our disabled and our veterans;
- getting the corruptive influence of money out of political decision-making;
- ending corporate person-hood;
- creating a basic societal foundation encouraging self-reliance and community and discouraging a culture of dependency on corporations or government;
- pooling our resources efficiently to meet basic needs through volunteerism, sharing, philanthropy and legislation;
- respecting tribal sovereignty and the rights of existence of tribal people and cultures;
- and generally being more conscientious, thoughtful, deliberative and kind in our generation of public policy.
He supports and encourages vegetarianism, and has been vegetarian for up to three years. He is currently an omnivore, but with most meat(s) cut out of his diet. He also respects those on raw food diets, having studied and lived some of that, himself. Eating lightly and lower on the food chain promotes environmental health through wise resource allocation, lessening our impact on the planet.
Kent P. Mesplay, Ph.D. — Biography Factoids:
Childhood in Papua New Guinea:
Kent was born July 19th, 1962 in the coastal town of Madang, Papua New Guinea, and spent the first ten years of his life in New the rainforest environment of New Guinea. Living in the rainforest for the first ten formative years, among a family with a love of the out-of-doors, he grew up with a deep, innate commitment to and respect for the environment and for aboriginal peoples everywhere.
Kent’s parents were Lutheran missionaries, interacting with and learning from tribal “stone-age” people in New Guinea. He was home-schooled for the first three years of school, later attending a British-style boarding school at Wau. At boarding school he was influenced by the international student body and by tales of World War II, as Wau had been one of the busiest airstrips in the world during the war. His closest friends at school were German and Australian, with teachers from around the planet.
During furloughs from New Guinea to the “States” Kent learned to fish and was very influenced by the family stories from both his maternal and paternal grandfathers, Wes and Bebe.
Kent’s mother, Roselyn, is from Ellis Kansas, has German parents and grew up hearing German spoken in the home. Roselyn’s father (Kent’s maternal grandfather), Wes, lived to 100 and worked in construction, building many of the oil “donkeys” in Kansas.
Kent’s father, Kenneth, is from Pueblo Colorado and was brought up with French customs. Kenneth’s father (Kent’s paternal grandfather), Bebe, operated a crane at a steel mill in Pueblo Colorado up until his untimely passing in 1968. Kent’s paternal great grandfather, Timothy Graham, served in the First Colorado Cavalry during the time of the Civil War. Kent knew his paternal great grandmother, Cynthia, who was one of the last surviving Civil War Widows, receiving a pension until her death at the age of 100. Kenneth’s maternal grandparents (Kent’s paternal great grandparents) were a redheaded Irish trapper and a Blackfoot woman.
This means that Kent is 1/16th Blackfoot by “blood” according to the archaic way the U.S. government figures it, but that is only a beginning point for why Kent identifies so closely with indigenous peoples and their struggles around the world. Living in the rainforest among the New Guineans for the first ten years of his life had the largest impact on his concern for a sustainable future for all peoples.
In the United States — 1973 to present:
After grandfather Bebe passed on suddenly in 1968, the family returned from New Guinea to Pueblo Colorado in 1973 to be with Kent’s grandmother and family. Kent went to Middle School in Pueblo.
The family moved to Mira Mesa (San Diego) California in 1977, following his father’s acceptance into graduate school for clinical psychology during his career change. The new part of town where Kent lived, Mira Mesa, had been noted by Pete Wilson for its lack of infrastructure during his run for mayor of San Diego.
Kent graduated Valedictorian from Mira Mesa High School in 1980, where he had captained and lettered on the track team and received a Bank of America Achievement Award in Liberal Arts for his debating skills.
In college, Kent studied engineering at Harvey Mudd College and then went on to earn a Ph.D. in Biomedical Engineering from Northwestern University, with emphasis on prosthetic design and function, largely influenced by his early exposure to amputations caused by war and tropical disease.
After graduate school he searched for a good job match for his specific advanced scientific training in a time of a very tight job market. During his job search Kent volunteered at the Veterans Affairs Medical Center in Long Beach California and taught mathematics in the Grossmont Union High School District.
Kent currently has a San Diego County position as an Air Quality Inspector with the Air Pollution Control District. As an enforcement officer within the Compliance Division he helps ensure, through education and regulation, business compliance with local, state and federal air quality standards. He is exposed, daily, to the effects of our current economic climate on small and large businesses.
As an Emergency Shelter Manager for the County of San Diego, Kent was called to help manage the evacuation shelter in Del Mar during the last fire-storm in San Diego. His issues include emergency preparedness and transitioning toward being more sustainable as a move into community self-reliance with a foundation of basic physical (water, food, energy, shelter, medicine) security.
Green Party Involvement and Candidacies:
Kent is an active Green Party leader locally, on the state level and national level. Kent registered with the Green Party of California in 1995. In 1996, he was a Nader delegate to the Green Party’s national convention. He was elected Treasurer of the Green Party County Council, San Diego, where he served from 1996 to 1997. During the same period, he was the co-chair of the Communications Committee, Green Party County Council, San Diego. Kent has served numerous times as a delegate to the Green Party of California General Assembly. In 2004 Kent became a Green Party of California delegate to the Green National Committee and has served there continuously since. In 2006, he was again elected to the Green Party County Council, San Diego.
Kent sought the Green Party presidential nomination in 2004, announcing at a State Green Party Meeting in Chula Vista, CA, in September of 2003. Entering the 2004 Green convention in Milwaukee, WI with a count of 10 (1.3%) committed delegates, Kent more than doubled his delegate count in Round 1 of the Presidential Nomination Voting, earning 24 (3.1%) delegates. After a number of candidates withdrew or were eliminated Kent entered the second and final round, where he again nearly doubled his count, finishing third with 43 (5.6%) of the delegate votes. David Cobb received the nomination with 408 (53%) delegate votes, beating out no nominee 308 (40%), which was the method the delegates were using to endorse Ralph Nader. Many delegates reported to Kent a dissatisfaction with their final selection, stating that their final decision was based on the expectation that the selection would come down to Cobb or Nader and that, had there been more rounds of voting, Kent would have gained even more delegates. In the final tally Mesplay came in third as the runner-up to Ralph Nader.
In 2006 Kent ran for U.S. Senate in California. This was the first time the Green Party had a contested Senatorial primary in California. With very little organizing and minimal voter outreach, Mesplay received a sixth of the Green votes in the primary.
In 2007 Kent began his run for the 2008 Green Party presidential nomination and partnered “cooptetively” with another Green Party candidate, Kat Swift of Texas. This unique partnering allowed both candidates to share resources and make common arrangements for debates and events. From an initial twelve declared candidates, Mesplay was one of four active contenders at the time of the nomination, placing third at the Chicago convention in 2008 behind his cooptetive partner Kat Swift, with the nominee being Cynthia McKinney.
In 2011 Kent is the first Green Party presidential candidate to announce. Former Green Party Vice Presidential nominee Pat LaMarche and Presidential contenders Kat Swift, Dr. Jared Ball, and Dr. Ball’s campaign manager Head Roc are all supporting his candidacy.