Help States achieve Ballot Access
Summer is here and its time to hit the streets to
get the Green Party on the ballot! Now is the time to gather signatures
and dollars to help our ballot access efforts.
Virginia is working hard. They need to collect 10,000 signatures by August 22 and they have about half in hand. Check out http://vagreenparty.org/petitions.html to download petitions, get in touch with the petition drive coordinators, and HELP THE Green Party of Virginia achieve Ballot Access.
The Ballot Access Committee continues to try and raise funds to make more grants to Virginia and other states. Greens can make on-line donations at http://www.gp.org/committees/ballot/fundraising.shtml. You can also find a volunteer link to help with your State's petition drive or a neighboring state. The Green Party relies on word of mouth advertising so please use the "Spread the Word" link on the same page.
Other states currently petitioning include:
Pennsylvania (25,000 signatures needed by August
If you can contribute anything - any thing at all - to these state petition drives please contact the Ballot Access Committee co-chairs: Brian Bittner (email@example.com) or Phil Huckelberry (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Green Party Officeholder Interview:
GL: What was the hot topic of last night's City Council meeting?
DR: The budget. It's not necessarily fascinating but passing a budget has to be done. We've been meeting with residents to try and figure out what people really want. I'm working with staff to look at sustainability issues. We have people scouring the streets
of Takoma Park looking for ways to save energy.
GL: What made you decide to run for City Council?
DR: I'd done a lot things - served on committees, local activism, worked with Takoma Park businesspeople. I got to know a lot of people. I wanted to find a way to hear all sides on important issues, not just my own side.
GL: What do you do professionally and how did it help you run for office?
DR: I followed an entrepreneurial path. I've been a computer programmer and business manager for many years. I sold my computer programming business to my employees and built a small office building. It's definitely a green building - it's as low-impact as I could make it. I was exposed to the realities of government while organizing the
construction of the building. I had to work through probably 25 different bureaucracies.
GL: Tell us a little bit about your campaign.
DR: I had a lot of help from Greens, friends, and acquaintances. My ward is small - only about 3,000 people - and I was able to knock on every door. I held a number of coffees and meetings a few times a week. Raising about $2,000 was enough to send a mailing to every household and post yard signs.
Two years ago, Takoma Park initiated Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) for city elections. Unfortunately, none of the races in November had more than two candidates. I thought about recruiting another candidate just so we could see IRV in action.
GL: What has the hardest part of the experience been?
DR: People put a lot of expectations on you - some people project their own frustrations onto you. You have to be realistic about responding to that. With city matters on my mind all the time, sometimes my work suffers. My city council salary is $10,000 for what is basically a half-time position. Some people believe that City Council members ought to be willing to work for free. In some ways I agree, but for people who have to make a living that would be hard. If they had to do it for free, only wealthy people could afford to hold office. That's not the Green way.
Q: What advice do you have for Greens thinking of running for office?
DR: Get involved with community affairs. It need to be done - just do it. Find a way to serve on committees as a volunteer, start something new in town, and get to know as many people as you can. Push for change however you can. Examine the budget. Try to understand people's motivations for why they ask for things. People come to the council all the time with problems they are dealing with. We try to point that person toward the appropriate staff member to get things resolved. The question we ask is "What can we do as a staff to make this person's life a little easier?"
Two more Electoral Victories in May . . .
. . . bring Win-Rate to 61% for Year
Don Langrehr won his re-election to Blacksburg Town Council in Montgomery County.
He finished second of five candidates for three seats with 1,100 votes or 22.28%. This brings us to 18 wins out of 30 races for the year maintaining a 60% win rate for the Spring cycle.
In Lancaster, MA David Spanagel was elected as Town Moderator, . He ran unopposed and received 328 votes or 97.04%. He used his modest $95 of campaign contributions to send informative postcards out to about 25% of the town's active voters. Every Postcard had the Green-Rainbow logo above his name.
The Green Party has had 19 wins out of 31 races for the spring cycle with a win rate of 61% so far this year. The Green Party currently has 230 elected officeholders.
Feedback wanted on New/Revised Platform Planks
The Green Party is different from the corporate parties and the difference becomes obvious when reading the Platform. The Platform is a dynamic document voted on at the quadrennial convention and reveals the heart of the party including further illumination of the ten key values. Efforts have been underway to revise and improve the 2004 Platform.
. Please examine and submit to your State Committees for further consideration. All comments or objections can be submitted to the Platform Committee until the final deadline of July 6th.
There are 4 chapters to the Platform. One of the Platform Committee's aims was to produce a tight Platform that candidates can use as a handy reference, distribute at campaigns and give to other Greens. Also, when Greens go to events, forums, protests, etc. they can use the Platform to recruit new Greens.
Some suggested new additions to Platform 2008 are 1) Labor - Greens support the EFCA (Employees Free Choice Act) bill - passing through the Congress; 2) Foreign Affairs. - Military. See under Nuclear Weapons: Greens strongly oppose research and development of the US RRW (Reliable Replacement Warhead). In reality the RRW is a new nuclear weapon and not in compliance with NPT; 3) Energy - (see in column 2 under Chapter III) an upgraded as well as updated Energy plank; 4) Population - first time we have had a plank on population other than Women's Right to Choose. Some of the changes have already proven to be controversial so please check on the platform amendments to make sure you and your State can support the revisions.
The editors of the draft are:
Gene Hunter email@example.com
You are encouraged to review the proposed changes and send comments or objections to the Platform Committee editors listed above. Also, please distribute this article widely.