Pennsylvania Greens call for immediate action on ballot access requirements

pennsylvaniaPennsylvania Green Party members are condemning the “utter failure and disregard for the authority of federal courts” concerning alternative party ballot access. Jay Sweeney of Wyoming County said a July 2015 court decision that found two sections of the Pennsylvania Election Code unconstitutional as applied to Green, Constitution, and Libertarian parties determined that “the extraordinary signature requirement, in combination with the requirement that defending candidates pay the costs of validating those signatures, is unconstitutional. Still, the Pennsylvania General Assembly and the Administration [of Democratic Gov. Tom Wolf] have failed to recognize the power of that judgment.”

A bill pending in the state Senate addresses the issue, but there has only been one committee hearing on the bill. Green Party activist Emily Cook of Montgomery County said, “In September, the State Government Committee held a hearing on the Voter Choice Act, yet most of the senators on the committee failed to even show up for the hearing. Since then no further movement has occurred. In the alternative, the Secretary of the Commonwealth can decree a more reasonable standard for ballot qualification until such time as the General Assembly acts.”

On Monday, May 16, a hearing will be held in federal court in Philadelphia on an injunction asking the federal courts to intervene and instruct the Commonwealth to comply with the decision. The injunction seeks to have Secretary Pedro Cortes, under his administrative authority, place the Green, Constitution, Libertarian candidates on the ballot. A second option would be for the signature requirement for the parties to be reduced to the same number that Republicans and Democrats need, which is 2,000. Cortes is insisting that the minor parties be required to achieve a minimum signature level of 21,775.


Green Party of Philadelphia elects new leadership

8d80145ba96929cd541b78b332d8e8a9The Philadelphia Free Press reports the Green Party of Philadelphia “energized their local party by electing a new leadership” at the February 24 meeting.

Galen Jah Tyler, a former member-at-large of the City Committee, was elected chair. Tyler “is director of the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and a founding member of the Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign.”

Charles Sherrouse, elected as a new City Committee member-at-large, said, “My priority will be getting Greens involved with ballot access petitioning across the city, and extending our campaign outreach to campuses. The Green Party’s performance in the 2015 City Council race has earned us state recognition as a political party in Philadelphia, which can help boost our membership.”

Belinda Davis was elected recording secretary, while Hillary Kane “retained her seat as Treasurer, and Julian Robinson was re-elected as Member-at-Large.”


Pennsylvania Greens meet, host presidential candidate forum

pennPennsylvania’s Centre Daily News covers the first day of the Green Party of Pennsylvania annual meeting and nominating convention. Presidential candidate Jill Stein, 2012 vice presidential nominee Cheri Honkala, and Maryland U.S. Senate candidate Margaret Flowers were among the speakers Saturday. The other four recognized presidential candidates — Darryl Cherney, Bill Kreml, Kent Mesplay, and Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry — joined Stein via Skype for a candidate forum later in the day.

State party chair Jay Sweeney told the newspaper that there is “a national slow growth trend among the party. If nothing else, he hopes more people can get involved — if not to join the Green Party, then to become more educated.” He said, “A lot of people agree with the Green Party on the issues, but a lot of people are afraid to make the break. All we are asking is to give Greens a chance.”


Upcoming Green Party conventions in NY, AZ, MA, PA, SC, ME, CA

From p Green Party US new logoGreen Party US:

Spring is the time for annual conventions of many of our affiliated State & Local Green Parties. A partial list of upcoming meetings is listed here, including New York, Arizona, Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Maine, and California.

Conventions have already been held in New Jersey & Illinois. Our hardy Greens in Maine held their annual meeting in January.

Campaign School and Spring Nominating Convention Syracuse, New York
Saturday and Sunday, May 16 & 17th

Saturday, May 30 in Flagstaff

The Arizona Green Party (AZGP) invites all registered Greens & guests to attend our next General Membership meeting & 25th Anniversary Celebration!

Saturday, May 30 in Worcester

Our theme, Healing Our Communities, is intended to set the tone of positive engagement and particularly encouraging and empowering people to run for elected office.

Saturday, May 30 in Swarthmore Continue Reading


Interview with Glenn Davis, Philadelphia Green Party leader

p glenn davisFrom Philadelphia Weekly:

Glenn Davis is just about the only politician you’ll ever meet who doesn’t go out of his way to make sure you know right up front that’s he’s a military veteran. “I’m proud of that, but that doesn’t make me honorable,” he says, chatting over a bite at the McDonald’s at 56th and Vine. “I was a veteran of a foreign war—but I grew up. I realized I was fighting for corporations, and if I’m out in Iraq or wherever, who’s fighting for my family on the street?”

Now, after several post-military careers—including a stint doing maintenance at this very fast food chain—Davis is the chair of the oft-floundering Green Party of Philadelphia, and he’s running for state representative in the 198th District against Democrat Vanessa Lowery Brown. Brown made headlines earlier this year when she was named as one of five Philly pols to take a bribe in a state Attorney General’s office-conducted sting operation, and almost lost her Democratic primary because of it. PW talked with Davis about his campaign and what might lie in the Green Party’s future. Continue Reading


2014 campaigns highlight growing diversity of Green Party

Green Party campaigns in 2014 made a splash, from Howie Hawkins’ historic result in New York to Gayle McLaughlin’s triumph over a Chevron-funded challenge in Richmond, CA. But another remarkable story is the growing diversity of the Green Party and the candidates who are its public face.

Respect for diversity has long been a key value of the Green Party US, but still, Greens have faced charges (from within and without) that the party and its candidates are disproportionately white and male. Yet it’s clear that as people of color are increasingly marginalized by the Democratic and Republican parties, more and more are finding a welcoming home with the Green Party.

p anita riosIn Ohio, Green gubernatorial candidate Anita Rios, a longtime advocate within the Green Party for Latino/Latina issues, earned nearly 100,000 votes for 3.3%, winning a ballot line for the Ohio Greens. In California, gubernatorial candidate Luis Rodriguez, a well-known Chicano activist and author, took 1.5% in the June “Top Two” primary, the top vote-getter outside the Democratic and Republican parties. The Texas Greens’ slate included Emily “Spicy Brown” Sanchez for US Senate, Antonio Diaz for US House, and Martina Salinas for Railroad Commissioner. The Tennessee Greens’ gubernatorial candidate Isa Infante was born in the Dominican Republic. In New York, Attorney General candidate Ramon Jimenez is a “people’s attorney” from the Bronx, and Daniel Vila Rivera took over 10% of the vote for US House.

p brian jones headshotAfrican-American Greens made their impact felt too. In New York, Howie Hawkins’ running mate Brian Jones was crucial to mobilizing NYC activists for the Green Party. Eugene Puryear ran the most dynamic city council race the DC Statehood Green Party has seen in years, building the DCSGP for future success. In St. Paul, Lena Buggs’ run for state representative showed that the Greens are fast overtaking the GOP as the Twin Cities’ second party. Glenn Davis, a veteran and colleague of Cheri Honkala, helped the Greens do the same in Philadelphia. In Oakland, the Greens nominated Jason Anderson, a veteran, artist, and activist, for mayor. And in Texas, the Greens ran Jamar Osborne for Attorney General.

p skip sandmanOne of the most talked-about Green congressional campaigns in 2014 was that of Ray “Skip” Sandman in Minnesota’s 8th district. Skip Sandman is an elder in the Fond du Lac band of Ojibwe, and drew widespread attention for his stand against an ecologically devastating sulfide mining project in the Duluth area (which Democratic incumbent Rick Nolan continues to support). Sandman’s call to protect the water for future generations garnered admiration from Greens across the US, as well as 4.3% of the vote in a hotly contested congressional race. Shortly after Democrat Nolan’s re-election, he voted in favor of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline.

p keiko bonkAlso deserving of special mention is Keiko Bonk, who challenged Hawai’i’s speaker of the house with a run for state representative. A Japanese-American, Keiko Bonk became the first Green elected to partisan office in the United States when she won election to the Hawai’i County Council in 1992. While she wasn’t able to unseat the speaker, Bonk did win 23.3% of the vote, beating a Republican into 3rd place.

These are only some of the candidates showing the growing diversity of the Green Party – there are many other Green candidates, not to mention activists, who are defying the stereotype that all Greens are aging white men. However, Greens still have much work to do if they hope to create a welcoming political party for people of color, and turn the Green Party into a truly diverse multiracial coalition dedicated to winning liberty and justice for all.


Green campaign for Pennsylvania Governor enters final week of petitioning

The Pennsylvania Green Party is in the home stretch of a campaign to gather 17,000 signatures to put Paul Glover for Governor and Wendy Lynne Lee for Lt. Governor on the ballot. Signatures must be submitted by July 25th.

p paul glover 2

It would be quite an achievement to get a Green ticket on the top of the ballot in Pennsylvania, which has become notorious in recent years for its anti-democratic and punitive ballot access laws. The state of Pennsylvania is still attempting to collect a fine of over $80,000 from 2006 Green US Senate candidate Carl Romanelli after throwing Romanelli off the ballot, and the state was cited by the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights (set up by the Helsinki Accords for human rights) for its repression of political rights.

From the Glover for Governor campaign:

The Green Party is required to gather 17,000 signatures to get on the ballot, while Democrats and Republicans needed 2,000 signatures. Continue Reading

Interview with Paul Glover, Green candidate for PA Governor

p paul glover 2Newsworks recently published an interview with Paul Glover, the Pennsylvania Green Party’s candidate for Governor. From the Newsworks interview:

NW: Say I randomly met you out on Germantown Avenue and you have one minute to convince me to vote for you over the established major-party candidates, what’s your pitch?

PG: “When conservatives don’t conserve, and liberals don’t liberate, Greens become centrists looking to solve problems with our schools, create jobs, improve healthcare, clean air and water, secure homes.

“I’m the only candidate who would ban fracking, cancel prison construction and shift that money to schools, and create a half million green-collar jobs statewide without raising taxes, but with progressive taxation.

“I’m also the only candidate who would legalize marijuana and free its prisoners and expunge their records.” Continue Reading


PA Green Party nominates Glover for Governor, candidates for US House, State Senate

From PoliticsPA:

p paul gloverThe Green Party of Pennsylvania made their official nominations last weekend for Governor, PA-12 and State Senate District 20.

At the top of their ticket is Paul Glover for governor, a social entrepreneur from Ithaca.

Glover is founder of more than a dozen organizations and campaigns, including Ithaca HOURS local currency, the Philadelphia Orchard Project, and Citizen Planners of Los Angeles.  He is author of six books on community economic development, and taught urban studies at Temple University.  In 1978 he walked 400 miles across Pennsylvania, from the Delaware Water Gap to its southwest corner.

In a speech to convention-goers, Glover said “I have agreed to stand as the Green Party’s candidate for governor of Pennsylvania so that voters have the opportunity to select a governor who would ban fracking; shift subsidies from nuclear to solar, and from roadbuilding to rail, and from prisons to public schools.”

Glover declared that he would “create 500,000 green collar jobs, promote progressive taxation, clamp down on commercial bank excesses, legalize marijuana and free its prisoners, protect forests and small farms.”

Getting on the ballot as a third party candidate in Pennsylvania is an uphill battle.

Republican and Democratic candidates only need 1,000 or 2,000 signatures to get their candidates on the statewide ballot, Glover’s campaign would need about 16,639 signatures.

The higher requirement comes from a state law that requires third party candidates obtain a number of signatures that is equal to 2 percent of the total votes received by the most popular candidate for statewide office in the previous general election. This is because third parties don’t have primaries in Pennsylvania.

Glover isn’t the only third-party candidate trying to get on the ballot in 2014,Libertarian Ken Krawchuck announced his intent to run for governor last month.

The higher threshold of signatures will also pertain to the Green Party’s other nominations including Tom Prigg from McCandless to run against Rep. Keith Rothfus in the race for U.S. House of Representatives, 12th District.

Prigg is a former 82nd Airborne paratrooper and neuroscientist, recently turned journalist to report stories on our government and the economy.

“It was the frustration of only observing and reporting that incited me on to run for Congress,” said Prigg. “I couldn’t sit back anymore and wait for someone else to come up with a plan for the future.”

Jay Sweeney, from Falls Township, Wyoming County and current Green Party chairman, will attempt to run in the 20th Senatorial District of the General Assembly, represented by Lisa Baker since 2007.

“We’re very excited about the upcoming campaign season,” said Sweeney.  “We are pleased to offer a choice of candidates who are opposed to the direction the Commonwealth and the Country are taking.  We are especially proud to offer candidates who oppose the hydrofracking process and the industrialization of our forests with which voters are increasingly expressing their displeasure.”


Upcoming state Green Party meetings for Spring 2014

green party earthflowerFrom Green Party US:

With elections coming this November, many state Green Parties are holding meetings to nominate candidates, discuss strategy, and get to know new members. If you are near one of these upcoming state meetings, mark it on your calendar!

The Green Party of Pennsylvania is meeting in State College on Saturday, March 1st. Click here for details.

Also on March 1st, the Green Party of Tennessee will hold its statewide meeting in Nashville.

The Green Party of Texas is planning its next state meeting for April 11-13 in Travis County, TX. Details are available on the party’s Facebook page here.

The Green Party of Wisconsin is meeting in Madison on Saturday, April 12th. Click here for details.

On May 3rd, Maine Greens are holding an anniversary dinner in Augusta to celebrate the founding of the state party. Click here for more information.

And don’t forget, the Green Party of the United States is holding its Annual National Meeting in Saint Paul, Minnesota this July 24th-27th. Hundreds of Greens will be there. We hope to see you!

Click here to purchase registration, food, and lodging for our Annual National Meeting.