The Illinois Green Party is collecting signatures through June 22nd to get their statewide candidates on the ballot, including Omar Lopez for US Senate and Scott Summers for Governor. From the Illinois Green Party:
The technical requirement to get our slate of candidate on the ballot is 25,000 signatures from registered voters, but because of the punitive and anti-democratic election laws in Illinois, we require a significant overage of signatures. Our goal is 40,000 signatures by Sunday, June 22nd. With everyone’s help, this is possible. Plus, if you need motivation, we can pay you.
The Illinois Green Party has been hiring paid petitioners to help us with our ballot drive. Two of our unpaid volunteers, Rita Maniotis and Sheldon Schafer, have collected over 2,000 signatures each. Scott Summers, our candidate for Governor, has personally collected over 1,000. Dozens of other volunteers have freely given up their evenings, weekends, and time away from their families to put the Green Party on the ballot in 2014.
In order to respect that level of effort from our volunteers, so that their efforts are not in vain, the Illinois Green Party allocated significant money to ensure we get on the ballot this year. We are currently hiring petitioners Continue Reading →
Cynthia McKinney’s Power to the People Campaign hits Illinois with just a week to go before the election, returning to where her campaign kicked off at the Green Party National Convention in July. Illinois, which is running a record 54 candidates from Congress down to local races, has demonstrated its Green voting potential after Green Party Gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney took over 10% of the vote in 2006.
McKinney will campaign in Chicago, Naperville, Springfield, and Alton, alongside Illinois Green Party candidates for Congress. See the below press release for details. Continue Reading →
Omar Lopez, Green Party Candidate for Congress in Illinois’ Fourth District, is profiled in this piece in The Chicago Reader: “The Browning of the Greens”:
The most impressive thing about the Green Party’s national nominating convention, held at Symphony Center July 10-13, might’ve been how multiracial it was. In the crowd, black nationalists and young activists of all colors mingled with white hippies. Fiery former congresswoman Cynthia McKinney, who’s African-American, was named the Greens’ presidential candidate, and Rosa Clemente, a Latina hip-hop activist and journalist from New York, was slated for vice president.
But when keynote speaker Omar Lopez took the podium, it became clear that there’s more to the browning of the Green Party than just putting nonwhite candidates up for office. There’s a move, especially in Chicago, to incorporate immigration rights as a central issue for progressive Greens, whose focus on environmentalism has sometimes pitted them directly against immigrants.
Lopez, a Mexican-American and longtime immigrants’ rights organizer, is running for the Fourth District congressional seat against incumbent representative Luis Gutierrez, who has represented the mostly Latino district for almost 16 years and is known for his own advocacy of immigrants’ rights. A leader of the March 10 Movement, Lopez was part of the coalition that staged the massive downtown immigrants’ rights marches in 2006 and smaller May Day marches in 2007 and 2008. He’s run unsuccessfully for political office twice as a Democrat—both times against Gutierrez.
Lopez and his supporters say Gutierrez isn’t doing enough for the cause, and they’re calling on Latinos to make the Green Party their route to change.
Much of the article juxtaposes past ‘incompatibilities’ between the Environment Movement and the Immigrant movement, and portrays Lopez as a bridge between them. At the 2008 National Convention there was tension over the proposed 2008 platform, partially focused on the Immigration planks among other things, leading the Platform to be rejected.
Does Omar Lopez represent (yet another) new direction for the Green Party?
A better question might be whether Omar Lopez may be one of the most potentially successful Green Party candidates for Congress this year, with a chance of defeating his Democratic opponent and becoming the first Green in Congress.
The video below is from a press conference at the Chicago Convention.
WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party leaders said today that antiwar voters will not get an end to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by voting for presumed Democratic nominee Barack Obama on Election Day.
Green leaders urged Americans who oppose the wars started by the Bush Administration with bipartisan support in Congress to vote instead for Green nominee Cynthia McKinney, running mate Rosa Clemente, and Green congressional candidates.
“Millions of voters plan to vote for Barack Obama in the hope that he’ll bring peace to Iraq and other nations in the region,” said Omar N. López, Green candidate for the US House in Illinois (4th District). “But his positions are really ‘McCain-Lite’ — he’ll continue many of the same belligerent foreign policies as the Bush-Cheney Administration that John McCain would. Mr. Obama supports a larger military in terms of both spending and personnel. We want to stop the US from being the world’s bully, and instead fund a peace dividend to deal with the economic, energy, and global warming crises.”
“We appeal to voters to take a look at the Green Party’s ‘Peace Slate’ of candidates, with Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente on the Green presidential ticket. A vote for a candidate who doesn’t represent your own ideals is a vote wasted,” said Mr. López. Continue Reading →
Huge thank yous to Kim Wilder for putting these videos together!
From the video description: Omar López has a bio that includes being a founder of the Mexican Teachers Organization in 1973; being a principal leader and convenor of the March 10 and May 1 2006 historic mega-marches in defense of undocumented immigrant workers; and being the director of C.A.L.O.R. which provides services to Latinos affected by HIV/AIDS and other diseases. Omar López is running for the House of Representatives in Illinois, 4th District. http://www.omarlopez2008.org. This is one of the key note speeches from the 2008 Green Party Presidential Convention in Chicago. More coverage of the Green Party of the United States Annual Meeting and Presidential Convention can be found at http://www.onthewilderside.net. Videographer: Ian Wilder. Editors: Kimberly Wilder and Ian Wilder.