Illinois Green Party Needs Your Help Gathering Signatures And Entering Data

This article also @ wigp.org
For more info on the nation wide ballot access effort see http://www.gp.org/2012/ballot-access.html

Selections from a recent letter from Phil Huckleberry @ phil.huckelberry@gmail.com
Full letter below these three paragraphs, which are selections from it.

"I also know that Illinois is far from alone in needing help. But Illinois is the largest outstanding state, and also, among states where there is a serious ballot drive underway, it is also the state with the highest requirement, and it also has one of the earliest deadlines. Illinois is therefore a major domino – win it, and serious momentum can come from it. Lose it, and it can have a chilling effect on things going on elsewhere."

"One thing I want to stress is that we are trying very hard to "keep the money in the family" here. We're avoiding using paid petitioners who can charge $1 or more a signature and are instead trying to focus on taking erstwhile volunteers and stipending their petitioning and offsetting their travel expenses. With semesters ending all over the country, we're hoping that maybe there are some college students out there – maybe you, maybe your kids, maybe your grandkids, you tell me!
– who don't have much in the way of summer income, but might like spending a week in the big city, even making a little money along the way. Our single biggest problem is lack of people, and anything which can be done to ratchet up the number of _people_ here, especially if we're talking rank and file Greens, is what we're looking to do."

"Finally, in another week, we will begin our massive transcription effort. We will literally transcribe all of our signatures into a
massive database. Illinois is a "challenge" state, where signatures can be challenged individually, and then must be defended
individually. We've pioneered a model here of proactively defending those signatures by matching them against the voter rolls – we just have to get them all into the database. Some of you helped with this effort in 2006, and I'm hoping we can get more help this time."

Full Letter:

"Illinois is the largest state where we do not currently have the presidential ballot line. Our state party is not in good shape right now. In the last 10 years we ran about 140 candidates for partisan office. All of them lost. A lot of our locals have disintegrated. We have stalwarts who are keeping things going, but it's really rough right now. There's been no infighting here or anything like that. The bottom line is that after we lost our ballot status in 2010, the combination of exhaustion and burnout, and the inability to replenish our ranks – especially with younger members – has led us to the very flat place we are right now. Exacerbating the problem is that the state screwed us over, ruling that we no longer held ballot lines in
down-ticket districts, even ones where we had exceeded 30% of the vote, because the districts no longer existed due to redistricting. Losing those districts was like a gut punch to an already reeling state party.

We are nevertheless still fighting.

To regain the state ballot line – which this year is only for President – we need 25,000 valid signatures. That means about 40,000 raw signatures. Simultaneously, we have tow congressional candidates, Paula Bradshaw and Nancy Wade, who each need to collect 5,000 valid signatures, which means about 9,000 raw signatures. You all may not yet know Paula, but you certainly know her husband, Rich Whitney. And you may not yet know Nancy, but I think you all will.

Our deadline is June 25 – a month away. We have about 10,000 statewide signatures. Nancy has about 2,000 and Paula has about 3,000. We are having a hard time getting people out on the streets, but those of us who are going out there are working hard to get all of this done.

The bottom line is that we need help. More than anything, we need more people out there. But there are a lot of different forms in which help can come.

I know there are other things which may distract some attention, like platform amendments, and whatever bickering may be happening at any given time about internal rules. My rather blunt opinion is that none of those things – not even our platform – especially matter if we're not on the ballot.

I also know that Illinois is far from alone in needing help. But Illinois is the largest outstanding state, and also, among states
where there is a serious ballot drive underway, it is also the state with the highest requirement, and it also has one of the earliest deadlines. Illinois is therefore a major domino – win it, and serious momentum can come from it. Lose it, and it can have a chilling effect on things going on elsewhere.

The Ballot Access Committee and Finance Committee have been working on getting Illinois some financial help, but to all of you on the National Committee, I want to lay out some additional ways that help can be provided.

First, one thing we're looking to do is bring some top-notch petitioners in from out of state. To that end, if anybody has any
airline miles or the equivalent which they could give, that could be extremely helpful.

Second, if you're in a nearby state where you already have a ballot line or where there's an easy requirement waiting – say, Wisconsin or Michigan or Ohio – we could really use a couple vans full of people coming over the line one of these weekends.

Third, if you've been holding off on giving money to the party, now is an excellent time to do so. If you prefer to give directly to ILGP, you can certainly do that – go to http://www.ilgp.org/donate/ for that. But you can also make a difference by giving to GPUS, and by organizing people in your state to give more to GPUS. One of the obstacles we've been running into is that the $27,000 budgeted for ballot access hasn't been available. You can help make that money available.

Finally, in another week, we will begin our massive transcription effort. We will literally transcribe all of our signatures into a
massive database. Illinois is a "challenge" state, where signatures can be challenged individually, and then must be defended
individually. We've pioneered a model here of proactively defending those signatures by matching them against the voter rolls – we just have to get them all into the database. Some of you helped with this effort in 2006, and I'm hoping we can get more help this time.

One thing I want to stress is that we are trying very hard to "keep the money in the family" here. We're avoiding using paid petitioners who can charge $1 or more a signature and are instead trying to focus on taking erstwhile volunteers and stipending their petitioning and offsetting their travel expenses. With semesters ending all over the country, we're hoping that maybe there are some college students out there – maybe you, maybe your kids, maybe your grandkids, you tell me!
– who don't have much in the way of summer income, but might like spending a week in the big city, even making a little money along the way. Our single biggest problem is lack of people, and anything which can be done to ratchet up the number of _people_ here, especially if we're talking rank and file Greens, is what we're looking to do.

Please share this with your state parties. And of course remember, once the drive is done in Illinois, there are a lot of other drives where they'll need major help too. They need 20,000+ valid signatures in Pennsylvania, and thanks to an absurd court ruling this week, they suddenly need thousands more signatures in Maryland (maybe you can think of taking an extra-long trip to Baltimore and pitch in with that effort.)

Almost everywhere we go, people are happy to sign. When we have people out there we're getting the signatures. It bodes really well for us doing well and building the party this year. But at our core we're so burnt out – I know how many of you understand what I'm saying. Well, I'm also saying, I see the light at the end of this tunnel, and if we do a better job of collaborating and pitching in, we're going to get there, and we're going to be in good shape come the end of 2012.

Thank you for anything any of you all can do.

Phil Huckelberry
Co-Chair, GPUS Ballot Access Committee
Chair and GNC Delegate, Illinois Green Party"

Monte Letourneau – Necedah WI
WIGP Corresponding Secretary, GPUS NC Delegate,

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s