For Immediate Release
Wednesday, June 1, 2016
On Wednesday, June 1, 2016, the North Carolina Green Party will present over 10,000 petition signatures to the North Carolina State Board of Elections. The petition, which states that the signatories agree to allow the Green Party to be recognized in North Carolina as a ballot-qualified political party, is still far short of the 89,366 verified signatures required by law.
“Eighty-nine thousand signatures is the equivalent of getting every man, woman, and child in the city of Asheville, North Carolina, to sign our petition,” said Wayne Turner, a co-chair of the North Carolina Green Party. “Why should any party or independent candidate need to gather that many signatures just to run for office? These signatures were gathered with enormous effort on the part of dozens of people, including paid contractors,” said Turner. “But it seems the opinions of over 10,000 of North Carolina’s registered voters simply are not important to the state’s political leaders. Given that state and local elections are easily swayed by much smaller numbers of voters, one would think that 10,000 voters’ wishes would be heard in a democratic society.”
Many states, even conservative ones, have much lower requirements. In Florida, party recognition is dependent on filing prescribed paperwork with the Florida Division of Elections. In South Carolina, 10,000 signatures qualifies a party, and continued recognition depends on nominating candidates for federal, state, or local office at least once in every two general elections. In Wyoming, 3,400 signatures would suffice for party qualification, and an equal number of votes would retain party status. In Louisiana, the party pays a registration fee, submits a notarized registration statement, and registers 1,000 voters who identify with the party on their voter registration forms.
“This same process must be followed by independent candidates for statewide office as well,” said Jan Martell, ballot-access coordinator for the party. “Past court rulings have challenged this requirement for presidential candidates, but North Carolina remains staunchly opposed to political competition outside of the two-party system. We are pretty much the most restrictive state in the union when it comes to the number of signatures required.”
Dr. Jill Stein, who is seeking the Green Party nomination for president, said she was exploring litigation against North Carolina’s ballot-access laws. “Political leaders in North Carolina are denying local residents the most basic aspect of democracy—namely, the right to vote for the candidate of their choice. Our politicians send our military forces to die in foreign lands in an effort to impose the politicians’ version of democracy, but here at home they conspire to make sure the most basic element of democracy—the freedom to vote for a candidate of your choice—is suppressed.”
The North Carolina Green Party 2016 Spring Gathering will be held at the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) office, Dan Pollitt Center building, on Saturday, May 14, 2016. RAFI is located at 274 Pittsboro Elementary School Road, Pittsboro, NC 27312.
The meeting will last from 9:30 AM to 4:00 PM. Breakfast foods (bagels, toast, fruit, coffee and tea) will be available. Lunch will be ordered from a local restaurant. Please RSVP below and indicate whether you prefer vegetarian or vegan fare. Our agenda will be as follows:
9:30–9:45: Welcome and Introductions
9:45–10:15: Local, State and Treasurer reports
10:15–11:00: Summary of 2016-2017 Plans (co-chairs)
- 1. Reorganization to dues based structure—increased accountability to membership
- 2. Re-emphasis on community involvement—community issue support and grassroots organizing
- 3. Independent and non-partisan candidate support
- 4. Local organizing—formal vs. informal chapters and possible by-law alterations to accommodate new forms of organizing
- 5. Ballot access—public awareness and specific event planning
11:00–11:20: Break—place lunch orders
11:20–12:15: Discussion of plan—member ideas and suggestions (lunch orders at 11:15)
12:15–1:00: Lunch. If possible, we will schedule a speaker or presentation
1:00–1:30: Selection of delegates and alternates to GPUS national convention in Houston, TX
1:20–2:00: Election of officers—all positions are open for nominations
2:00–2:45: Breakout groups on plan elements
- 1. Issue and action recommendations
- 2. Independent and non-partisan candidate support
- 3. Local organizing
- 4. Ballot access plans and procedures
2:45–3:30: Report back from breakout sessions
3:30–4:00: Wrap up and adjourn. Facility cleanup
North Carolina Green Party
For Immediate Release
The North Carolina Green Party (NCGP) stands with the LGBTQIA+ community in condemning HB2, a sweeping ordinance that pretends to legally assign gender based on the bias and prejudice of the GOP-controlled legislature and governor’s office. In an expansive special session, the legislature pandered to the most regressive elements of the state in an election year to undo Charlotte’s municipal ordinance (and eight other municipal ordinances), highlighting the GOP’s contempt for trans and gender non-conforming citizens, workers, and local control.
“Behind the nonsense of protecting women from supposed predation, the real purpose of the special session was to avoid scrutiny of this odious and amoral bill,” said Stefania Przystanski, NCGP co-chair. The smoke screen of the “bathroom issue,” used to provide grounds for the arrest of queer and trans citizens in schools and government buildings, also disguises the bill’s reach. It strips citizens of rights against discrimination based on gender identity or expression and sexual orientation in employment and housing.
“This is a continuation of institutionalized discrimination. Trans and queer youth are already struggling to survive in our education system. LGBTQ persons already experience higher rates of unemployment, homelessness, and violent assault. The rates are even higher for LGBTQ persons of color,” said Michael Dennis of the Green Party’s Lavender (LGBTQIA+) and Youth Caucuses.
HB2 increases the burden on workers as well. It takes away the right of municipalities to set minimum-wage standards higher than the federal minimum. “Many North Carolinians—especially black and brown women—are already being paid poverty wages,” said Jan Martell, co-chair of the Triangle Greens chapter of the NCGP. “Raleigh has stolen the ability for local governments to provide a living wage for working-class communities.”
Additionally, North Carolina workers will no longer be able to sue employers for discrimination based on age, religion, and disability in state courts. This now must be addressed in more costly federal courts that have drastically shorter windows in which to file (6 months versus 3 years). As a final injustice, municipalities also can no longer regulate child labor.
“The legislature apparently feels it must pander to the ugliest and most hateful segments of society to maintain power. Seizing control from local governments and targeting oppressed populations are demonstrations of their intolerance and, ultimately, inability to govern,” said Wayne Turner, NCGP co-chair.
For more information, please contact:
Wayne Turner (919) 491-3186 or Jan Martell (919) 682-2472
Here's the notice in Ballot Access News: http://ballot-access.org/2016/03/17/u-s-district-court-invalidates-georgia-petition-requirement-for-president-imposes-temporary-standard-of-7500-signatures/.
You can't vote for an antiwar candidate, a peace and justice candidate, if state laws keep peace and justice candidates off the ballot. You can't vote for a candidate opposing Common Core and school privatization if those are not allowed on the ballot. Up till now, Georgia's Democrats and Republicans have colluded to restrict the choices of voters by keeping other parties and candidates off the ballot. —Bruce Dixon, co-chair of the Georgia Green Party
Ballot access barriers were enacted with the exact intentions which drove poll taxes, literacy tests, all-white primaries and lynchings for those who would integrate them. Today Judge Story has helped us dismantle another of the bricks left standing in Georgia's Jim Crow legacy; one which has silenced the voices ready to offer a path forward from the crisis we face while the legacy parties squander resources on immoral wars of foreign aggression, sacrifice our health for the profits of the insurance, pharmaceutical and agriculture industries and our policy makers continue to bury their heads on the impact of global warming. —Hugh Esco, co-chair of the Georgia Green Party
Until March 17, 2016, the state of Georgia had the second-highest signature requirement in the nation, behind North Carolina. North Carolina now stands very, very far ahead at about 90,000 signatures required for a third party or independent to get on the ballot. Indiana is now second most restrictive at about 26,000 signatures.
In 2006 the North Carolina Green Party sued the state over the undemocratic signature requirement, but the case was decided in the state's favor.
On presidential Primary Day, Tuesday, March 15, 2016, we will stage a political intervention.
The Democrat-Republican corporate duopoly does not serve our needs. Over 28% of North Carolinians do not identify with either party. North Carolina needs more choices—choices that are not addicted to corporate money and the cycle of havoc it has caused.
The North Carolina Green Party will intervene by mobilizing 100+ activists to collect signatures on presidential Primary Day 2016 at polling stations to get the Green Party on the ballot. These activists will be:
-Green Party members
-Supporters of Dr. Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for president
-Libertarians, who'd rather have a real debate against Greens than a staged duopoly debate
-Other third parties, who know that if Greens can do this, then they will be able to as well
-Supporters of fair elections such as Free the Vote North Carolina
-Anti-capitalists who know the system is rigged for the 1%
-People who believe in peace and oppose the military–industrial complex and funding of war criminals
-Opponents of police militarization, private prisons, and the police state
-People of color who know the two-party corporate system is complicit in institutional racism
-LGBTQIA+ people who know the Green Party has stood up for their rights before the Republicrats
-Environmentalists who know we must act now to save the planet from human-induced climate change
-People who want clean, green, stable jobs
-Laborers who want the right to unionize in North Carolina
-Students who want to abolish student debt and get rid of a homophobic UNC president
-Persons with disability who want access to better coverage and equal paying jobs
-People that know drugs are a medical issue not a criminal issue—that pot should be legal
-Supporters of "home-rule" who understand the Democrat-Republicans in Raleigh don't know what's best for our communities
-And so many more
Together, the Green Party will get on the ballot and stay there, allowing radically different candidates to run for office.
North Carolina will have four options in 2016. We look forward to debating the Libertarians on the many significant things that we disagree on. The Green Party looks forward to running candidates to speak up for the people of North Carolina, and how the duopoly of Republicans & Democrats have not best served the people.
Until then we are all staging an intervention on this broken two-party system that has not worked, is not working, and will not work.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein was recently interviewed by Larisa Karr of Asheville, North Carolina, for the UNCA Blue Banner newspaper. The story is here.
Supplementary video interview below.
The International Socialist Organization has been organizing discussion panels across the country on whether socialists and the broader left should be supporting the Bernie Sanders campaign or backing the Green Party. The following panel, titled "Socialism, Bernie Sanders, and the Democratic Party: Debating the 2016 Election," was held in NYC in mid-December. See the full video below.
Green Party of New York State co-chair Gloria Mattera speaks beginning at minute 20:45 and argues that the left needs to support Jill Stein and the Green Party now, rather than later. Mattera is also a senior staffer with the Jill Stein campaign.
Coordinator and organizer for the Democratic Socialists of America’s "We Need Bernie" campaign and leader in DSA’s Philadelphia Local
Member of the International Socialist Organization and author of Socialism . . . Seriously: A Brief Guide to Human Liberation (Haymarket Books, 2015)
Co-chair of the NY State Green Party, ran for Brooklyn Borough President in 2005, ran for New York Lieutenant Governor in 2010
Editor of Jacobin Magazine
On November 16, Governor Pat McCrory, in concert with other Republican governors and congressional members, called for the federal government to cease accepting refugees from Syria and vowed to stop accepting Syrian refugees into North Carolina. In light of the complicity of the United States and its allies in the creation and arming of ISIS, and in particular the role of Republican and Democratic lawmakers in creating the refugee crisis, this action cannot be viewed as sincere concern on the governor’s part.
ISIS is a creature of the United States that came into being to fill the political vacuum created by the US wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Our clumsy attempts at regime change in Syria created a new space for ISIS to occupy. Arms that were intended for “moderate” rebels in Syria and for Kurds in Iraq have ended up in the hands of ISIS. Our allies in the region, Saudi Arabia and Qatar, pretend to fight ISIS while providing material support to them. Saudi Arabia is the source of Wahhabi Islam, the repressive fundamentalist ideology that ISIS espouses. Turkey, a NATO member country, freely allows militants and arms for ISIS to cross its borders, while closing the border to Syrian refugees and Kurds fighting against ISIS.
The Syrians who have been displaced by the ongoing war are not terrorists. They are ordinary citizens whose homes, jobs, and neighborhoods no longer exist. McCrory and his conservative cohort present them not as people displaced by war but as primitive and dangerous outsiders. Like citizens of the United States, Syrian refugees want peace and prosperity, and the United States has played a primary role in denying those conditions in their homeland.
McCrory has no authority to deny them entry into North Carolina—refugee resettlement decisions are made only on the federal level—and he knows that the United States already has stringent background checks in place. The North Carolina Green Party calls on Governor McCrory to stop promoting distrust and fear against Syrians, and to make North Carolina welcoming to all political refugees and asylum seekers.
For more information, contact Wayne Turner, North Carolina Green Party co-chair, at (919) 491-3186 or [email protected]
Dr. Jill Stein just finished a whirlwind tour of North Carolina November 14–17, stopping for events in Charlotte, Asheville, Greensboro, Raleigh, and Durham.
During Stein's visit, she and Bruce Dixon (of Black Agenda Report and the Georgia Green Party), as well as North Carolina Green Party co-chair Wayne Turner, Michael Dennis of the Triangle Greens, and I talked to many people about ballot access in our state and laid out a new plan for mobilizing supporters and achieving it. Stein’s tour got ample media coverage, relatively speaking, appearing in at least 9 media outlets we know of. And we signed up many people to help with our ballot access effort.
Our goal: obtain 200 volunteers committed to collecting 500 signatures in the next 6 months.
These numbers might seem high, but they are completely doable—as long as we all understand that it’s possible to collect 100+ signatures in one day’s work. Example: In the Triangle, NC Green Party member Jan Martell collected 188 the other day. I collected 110. And Wayne Turner collected 37 in a matter of an hour and a half. We simply need your commitment and camaraderie in this effort. We’ve already had 33 people sign up to help in just a few days.
We will kick off this initiative with a BALLOT ACCESS PLEDGE. Michael Dennis of Durham has built this new North Carolina Green Party website on the NationBuilder platform to launch the initiative. It is a powerful tool to help us get this work done—to keep us connected to each other and to emphasize the shared nature of this work.
Please go to the website http://ncgreenparty.nationbuilder.com/ballot_pledge to read and sign the pledge. Forward this link to other people in your networks that might be interested.
When you take the pledge, you won’t be alone: We’ll follow up with you, answer your questions, and provide you with resources both for gathering signatures and enlisting new petition carriers. (We don’t merely want people to sign. We want to turn signers into people who collect signatures.) And we’ll notify you of venues and events in your area that are prime venues for gathering signatures.
We are also working to get other organizations on board as allies in our petition drive. Already the International Socialist Organization chapter in Asheville has committed to gathering signatures for us. They are very impressed with Jill Stein and helped bring out about 80 people for her talk at UNCA last Sunday, November 15. If that non-Green group has committed to helping us, I would hope that our own Green membership will also commit. We will continue to keep you informed as more organizations and individuals come on board.
Let’s start meeting locally and start talking seriously about getting a ballot line for 2016. Unless each one of us commits now, there will be no alternative to Hillary Clinton and the GOP in 2016.
Triangle Green Party
Register Green, Vote Green?
Help us get the Green Party on the Ballot in NC
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein's campaign broke records for the Green Party from coast to coast in 2012-- but she was not on the ballot in North Carolina! You can't register Green, you can't vote Green. It's time to get riled up about that, and then get it fixed.
The country needs the Green Party to be a viable alternative, as progressive and independent voters have nowhere to turn in this bought-and-paid-for electoral landscape. If we don't step into this breach NOW, we will lose the moment forever. Climate change, our eroding rights, our collapsing economy will not wait for us to find the time to do the work.
We've done about all we can do to get fair ballot access rules in this state -- now it's time to do it the long way. We have to get all those petition signatures, and we have to raise the funds to support that petitioning campaign. There can hardly be a more pressing priority for Green Party members.
We are a small group in this state, and none of us have the time, energy or wherewithal to make this happen. No core group of activists is going to go out and do this on your behalf. If you do not pull your share of the load, we will not get there. It is only doable if everyone does it. That means you. You have to make a commitment.
I plan to be in touch with each one of you individually to discuss how you can be a part of this campaign. All of our circumstances are different, but all of us are committed to the same goal -- as Rosa Clemente said, "The Green Party is no longer the Alternative, the Green Party is the Imperative."
Ballot Access Coordinator