Greens Promote Ballot Access, Call for Withdrawal of US Troops from Iraq
Friday, July 22, 2005
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Rachel Jackson, Co-Chair of the Green Party of Oklahoma (on site)
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AT NATIONAL MEETING IN TULSA, GREENS STRESS BALLOT ACCESS EFFORTS IN OKLAHOMA AND OTHER STATES, CALLS FOR WITHDRAWAL OF U.S. TROOPS FROM IRAQ
Media Credentialing: Members of the press attending the meeting may register on site at the University of Tulsa, Media Room, Allen Chapman Activity Center (2nd floor, in the Gallery).
Press conference: Saturday, July 23 at 11:00, featuring national meeting updates and Green candidates from around the U.S., in the Media Room.
Schedule of meeting events: http://www.gp.org/meeting2005/agenda.shtml
TULSA, OK. -- Green Party delegates, organizers, and other members from all over the U.S. arrived in Tulsa, Oklahoma, during the past two days for the national meeting of the Green Party of the United States on the campus of the University of Tulsa.
Speaking before members of the press on Friday morning, Oklahoma Green Party co-chair Rachel Jackson spoke of the party's efforts to achieve ballot access in her state, calling Oklahoma's rules "among the most restrictive in the country." The Green Party of Oklahoma is the most recent affiliate of the Green Party of the United States.
Marc Sanson, co-chair of the national party, noted that 13 Greens have already been elected to public office so far in 2005. Mr. Sanson stressed the party's assistance for state Green Parties, especially in their bid for ballot access -- one of the reasons for the choice of Oklahoma for the national meeting site. (The early 2005 victories raises the national total to 221 Greens holding elected office in 27 states and the District of Columbia.)
Pat LaMarche, 2004 Green nominee for Vice President of the United States, announced Maine's record number of Green registrants. 24,155 Maine voters were reported registered Green in November, 2004, up 50% from 16,169 Green registrants in November, 2002. At 2.3%, the 2004 number is the highest per capita percentage of registered Greens in any state. Maine, Ms. LaMarche's home state, also has the oldest state Green Party in the U.S.
Ms. LaMarche also discussed her Left Out Tour, part of her 2004 vice presidential campaign. From September 21 to October 4, Ms. LaMarche undertook an unprecedented two-week journey, spending nights in homeless and domestic violence shelters across the U.S. to draw attention to those left out of the election year debate -- the homeless, victims of domestic abuse, people without health insurance, and the working poor -- and to collect donations of essential items for homeless shelters.
Jeff Peterson discussed a statewide voter referendum, introduced by the Wisconsin Green Party, calling for immediate troop withdrawal from Iraq . Mr. Peterson, an elementary school teacher from Luck, Wisconsin, whose 1998 campaign for Secretary of State first gained Wisconsin Greens their ballot access, noted that Greens intend to place the nonbinding advisory referendum on the ballot in a spring 2006 nonpartisan election. Wisconsin Greens are encouraging other state Green Parties to launch similar efforts.
On Friday afternoon, the National Committee of the Green Party began its plenary session.
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