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Reitter, May 2018
|Leader of the Green Party of Brazoria|
Assumed office |
Ocotber 20, 2019
|Preceded by||Angel Gomez|
|Member of the Diet of Brazoria for Northcentral Llano Area (Brazos's 10th district)|
Assumed office |
August 5, 2019
|Preceded by||Laura Jennings|
|Member of the Grand Llano City Council|
for the 2nd Ward
November 14, 2016 – August 5, 2019
|Preceded by||Matt Williams|
|Succeeded by||William Bean|
John Thomas Reitter
April 12, 1984
Nacogdoches, Sabine Province, Brazoria
|Political party||Green Party|
|Domestic partner||Peter MacGregor (since 2007)|
|Education||Bachelor of Commerce|
|Alma mater||Grand Llano National University|
John Thomas Reitter (born 12 April 1984) is a Brazorian community organizer, businessman, and politician serving as a member of the Diet of Brazoria for Northcentral Llano Area since 2015 and as Leader of the Green Party of Brazoria since 2019. Reitter was first elected in 2015 and has risen in prominance since 2019 as a vocal environmentalist and anti-capitalist green socialist. Before entering politics, he was the head of a mairjuana company and served in the Grand Llano City Council between 2016 and 2019 before entering politics.
Born in Nacogdoches, Sabine Province, in 1984, Reitter spent his earliest years in the nearby small town of Carthage. At the age of four, in 1991, Reitter moved with his family to Round Rock in Brazos Province. His mother worked at the Provincial Court, while his father worked as a coach and teacher at a local high school. In 2006, after graduating from high school, Reitter went on a foreign exchange to Central America, where he became fluent in Spanish. After his exchange, Reitter attended the Grand Llano National University, from which he graduated in 2013 with a Bachelor of Commerce in Entrepreneurship. Reitter co-founded Hill Country Kush with his partner Peter MacGregor, one of the first successful legal marijuana growing companies in Brazoria.
Reitter entered into politics in 2016 by running for the Grand Llano City Council where he represnted the 2nd Ward and most notably aided in the legalization of marijuana in the city. His youth, national notability because of his successful marijuana business, and highly popular public speaking events helped to win the position as Leader of the Green Party during the leadership election in 2019 despite having been elected to parliament during the general election in August.
Early life and education
John Thomas Reitter was born on the morning of 12 April 1987 in Nacogdoches, Sabine Province to Mary Helen Reitter (nee Carlson) and Wayne Patrick Reitter. He was the middle child of three siblings. The first four years of Reitter's life were spent in Carthage, a small town located approximately 45 miles to the northeast of Nacogdoches. In 1991, Reitter's mother Mary got a job at the Provincial Court in Austin, and so the family moved to Round Rock, a satellite city to the north of Austin. It was in Round Rock that Reitter went to elementary, middle, and high school. Reitter was described by his teachers as "above average but lethargic." In 2006, after graduating from high school, Reitter went on foreign exchange as a gap year to Ecuador, where he became fluent in Spanish.
After returning from exchange, Reitter attended the National University of Austin. Originally he was enrolled in the Journalism programme at NUA, but after his first year as an undergraduate he decided to change to a Bachelor of Commerce. After marijuana was legalised in Brazoria in 2011, Reitter decided to pursue entrepreneurship as a major and start his own marijuana growing company. Reitter had met his current partner Peter MacGregor at NUA in 2007, and they decided to move in together that same year. In 2013, upon Reitter graduating from college, he and MacGregor pooled together their financial resources and bought a greenhouse in western Austin. They began cultivating and distributing marijuana under the trade name Hill Country Kush that winter.
Hill Country Kush
By the summer of 2015, they had already expanded to a dozen new locations thorough central Brazoria and become one of the largest distributors of marijuana in the nation. Reitter and MacGregor had been cultivating their own personal plants since 2009, and their own small modifications had lead to a product which became highly desirable among many recreational marijuana users. HCK received widespread media attention in 2015 for its rapid growth into a large company, and with this, Reitter became known nationally for his business. Reitter decided to put this media attention and financial success to his personal desire to influence the world for the better. For this reason, Reitter decided to finance his own campaign to become the leader of the Green Party. Although he held socialist views, he did not wish to join a large party, as he felt that in a smaller party he could wield a greater degree of influence because of his national prominence. In early 2016, Reitter used a great deal of his earnings from Hill Country Kush to wage as large of a campaign as he could to become the leader of the Green Party in time for the 2016 elections. His campaign successfully won him leadership of the party.
Leader of the Green Party
Having won the leadership of the Green Party, Reitter shifted his focus towards accruing as many votes as possible in the upcoming general election that November. Reitter focused a great deal spending on the use of auditoriums and stadiums at universities around the country, holding high-attendance rallies which garnered a large amount of media attention. Similar to the campaign of Democratic Socialist Robert Whitmore, Reitter had been a private citizen before his election in the leadership contest, and he used his distance from other previously elected politicians to his advantage by focusing on a grassroots campaign. By September, Reitter's college rallies were attracting crowds of, on average, around 30,000 people. Reitter's popularity and mainstream attention were heightened by the 2016 leadership debates, in which he was said to have performed well by "taking the attention away from the three big party leaders and focusing on issues close to home for many students throughout the country." The Green Party gained four seats in the Diet in the 2016 general election because of Reitter's campaigning, giving it a party record high of seven seats.
During his first two years as leader of the Green Party in the Diet, Reitter stirred controversy multiple times for breaking with standard Diet protocol. In February of 2017, he caused significant national controversy by comparing the Long Little War to the Holocaust. His comparison won a great deal of support from indigenous rights groups and many social liberals throughout the country, though he attracted criticism from a great deal of conservative and even moderate news outlets and pundits. Reitter almost caused an incident of violence on the Diet floor in June of 2017, when he called National Dietmember Franklin Mooney "living proof as to why we must expand access to contraception among Brazorian students." Mooney had been speaking in the Diet immediately before Reitter on the matter of banning the hand-out of contraceptives at public schools; Mooney's first child was born when he was only 17, and he has openly talked about how he felt no shame for having a child in his teenage years "as God intends man to do." Reitter's comment caused Mooney to angrily approach him on the Diet floor, and Mooney then grabbed Reitter by the collar. However, Speaker Annalise Pflatz called for order and a return to seating, with which both Reitter and Mooney returned to their respective seats with a ban on speaking for the rest of the session. The Reitter-Mooney incident brought condemnation to both individuals involved, though neither Reitter nor Mooney have ever apologised to one another.
In October of 2017, Reitter lead a protest of some 700 people, mostly university students and indigenous rights activists, at the construction site of the BrazLink XL Pipeline in north-central Comanche Province. The Pipeline would be Brazoria's largest, most used pipeline, designed to connect oil fields in central Rainier and northern Brazoria with refineries on the Gulf Coast in Houston and Beaumont. After attracting a large amount of media attention, protests against the pipeline swelled from 700 to 3,000 people by the end of the month. Protestors remained until a cold snap hit the area in December, forcing both protestors and labourers to seek real shelter elsewhere. A small number of protestors remained, however, occupying the site until they were detained by policemen in February of 2018. The next month, Progressive Chancellor Eva Delaney resigned following the 2018 BNDT crisis, and a snap election was planned to be held later in the year. Reitter jumped on the opportunity to increase the vote share of his party by appealing to former Progressive voters with environmentalist sentiments and encouragement of attendence at rallies. Reitter began to successfully hold large-scale rallies across the country, surpassing his previous record with an average attence of some 50,000 people per rally. Reitter famously and energetically attacked National Party leader Rafael Cruz multiple times throughout his campaign for the Nationals' neoliberal economic policies.
Reitter has viously described himself as a green socialist, a feminist, an anti-fascist, an anti-racist, and an anti-homophobe. Reitter has been called a "social justice warrior" in both a positive and negative sense, and throughout his leadership of the Green Party has been involved in many street protests, sit-ins, and informal rallies. Reitter has stated that the ultimate goal of a government that he ran would be the transition of society into full socialism with a strong emphasis on sustainable development and opposition to presently perceived neoliberal globalisation with preference instead for alter-globalization. Reitter has been described as a soft Amerosceptic, as he believes that CAS, in its current form, serves only to entrench the capitalist elite of North America.
Reitter is openly homosexual, and he is the first homosexual to serve as a political party leader. Reitter has been with his current partner, Peter MacGregor, since 2009 when Reitter was a freshman in college while MacGregor had just graduated. The two have lived together in Austin for the entirety of their relationship, and it was there that they founded their joint marijuana-growing company Hill Country Kush. Reitter has called the idea of marriage an "outdated institution built on the oppression of women," and he and his partner have maintained common law partnership status since 2010. Reitter has been seen as a principle advocate for LGBT+ issues in Brazoria since his election as leader of the Green Party.
Reitter has publicly made known his love of animals, especially dogs and cats. Reitter and his partner have two dogs together, a border collie named Scout and a Shiba Inu named Pogo, as well as one cat, a tuxedo-coated black and white tabby cat named Mr Cat.