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ILGP Endorses the Fair Tax Amendment

2020-08-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee Endorses the Fair Tax Amendment

ILGP_sunflower.pngThe Illinois Green Party believes the proposed change in the State Constitution to allow a graduated income tax structure is an idea that is long overdue and should be supported by the voters.

Today, only about one third of the states have a flat income tax as now exists in Illinois.  Such taxes impose the same percentage tax on a multi-millionaire as on a janitor.  Furthermore, the legal deductions and credits that are usually available to those in higher income brackets often make tax rates for the wealthy actually lower than those of the middle income and poorest citizens. 

In the spring of 2019, the General Assembly passed, and the Governor signed, legislation that would leave it up to the voters to approve fairer tax rates.  When you vote on November 3rd, 2020, vote “Yes” to allow this change to become legal.

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Cook County Green Party Stands With Peaceful Protests

The Cook County Green Party stands in solidarity with peaceful protesters and joins with them in condemning the horrific murder of George Floyd at the hands of police. We acknowledge the festering pain and rage that this killing brought to the surface and the vital need to vent and voice the unbearable frustration that little has changed.

We recognize civil disobedience as a powerful tool to gain attention and awareness, as well as to demand change in a criminal justice system that displays such remarkable injustice.

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Meet the 2020 Illinois Green Party Candidates

The two corporate parties never make it easy for Greens to get on the ballot, and Illinois has some of the worst ballot access laws in the nation. Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, it was extremely difficult for third-party candidates to satisfy the high petition-signature requirements that the duopoly parties had established to qualify for the November ballot. After the pandemic, it went from extremely difficult to impossible -- until the Green and Libertarian parties successfully sued state officials to lower those requirements and allow electronic petitioning in this election cycle.

Even after our legal victory, it was still quite a challenge to meet the lower requirements. But thanks to a lot of hard work by our candidates and volunteers, voters in Illinois will be able to cast a ballot on November 3rd for candidates who stand for real social progress -- not just for President and U.S. Senate, but, in many parts of the state, Congress, State Rep and local candidates as well.

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Green Party US Nominates Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker as 2020 Presidential Ticket!

Today the Green Party US nominated Howie Hawkins and Angela Walker as our presidential and vice presidential candidates!
 
Howie, a Green Party co-founder, retired teamster, and the first candidate to run on a Green New Deal in the US, in 2010, carried the Illinois primary in March with 73% of the vote, receiving 20 of the 27 IL Nominating Delegates at today's Green Party US Presidential Nominating Convention. Angela Walker is a long time organizer and activist, mother and grandmother, and truck driver from South Carolina. She was the 2016 Socialist Party USA Vice Presidential Candidate. The campaign is pushing for a #LeftUnity ticket, having already received the endorsement of Socialist Party USA and Solidarity: a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization.
 
We are excited for this brilliant and dynamic campaign to bring real solutions to the life and death issues of the climate crisis, spiraling econmic and racial inequality, and a new nuclear arms race accelerating towards destruction!
 
Donate, volunteer, and learn about the campaign's Ecosocialist Green New Deal, their plans for community control of the police, a National Health Service, or their call for an Economic Bill of Rights at howiehawkins.us/

Follow the campaign on social media!

Facebook     Twitter     Instagram     Twitch     YouTube

Help Our 2020 Candidates Get On the Ballot!

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Sign the following e-petitions if you are a registered voter and live in the districts where the following candidates are currently petitioning to get on the Illinois 2020 November ballot. Not sure if you are a registered voter and/or what district you live in? No problem. Any of the links below will help you figure that out:

While a recent decision by the US District Court placed the Green Party candidates for President and Vice President, US Senate, and select other down ticket races on the Nov. 3, 2020 ballot, many Green candidates will still have to collect petitions in order to appear on the General Election ballot.  But there was some good news for candidates not placed on the ballot, the ruling also made some changes to their petitioning requirements.  Those campaigns that will have to petition have their petitioning requirement cut to 10% of the normal number of signatures, the petitioning deadline has been extended to July 20, 2020, and electronic signatures have been allowed for the 2020 election cycle. 

We need your help to put life and death issues like the climate crisis, spiraling wealth inequality, and racial and social justice on the table in 2020.  We can't wait on the Republicans and Democrats to bail us out, we need to build a working-class political power of our own!

Ballot Access Victory!

Justice is something for which we constantly struggle but only occasionally obtain in the U.S. legal system. Once in a while, though, we get a measure of it. And we are pleased to announce that this just occurred in the lawsuit we recently filed in the Northern District of Illinois.

As many of you know, Illinois has among the most repressive ballot access laws in the nation, requiring so-called “new” parties to gather 25,000 petition signatures from registered voters, in just 90 days, in order to get their candidates’ names on the November ballot.  We have achieved that monumental task a number of times in the last 20 years. However, the public-health measures now in place in response to the COVID-19 pandemic made petitioning virtually impossible.

Accordingly, on April 2nd, the Illinois Green Party joined with the Libertarian Party of Illinois and two independent candidates seeking ballot access in a lawsuit filed against Illinois governor J.B. Pritzker and the Illinois State Board of Elections, seeking emergency injunctive relief from the petitioning requirement during the 2020 election cycle.

Thanks to great legal work by attorneys Oliver Hall of the Center for Competitive Democracy and Ohio attorney Mark Brown (with an assist by our own Scott Summers), we not only persuaded the court, but even the defendants, that the petitioning requirements were unconstitutional under the current conditions. After some negotiating, the parties came to an agreement that was entered into this preliminary injunction order, accompanying an opinion and order by Judge Rebecca R. Pallmeyer, explaining the legal basis for the injunction.

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Join the Presidential and US Senate Ballot Petitioning Drive

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We have less than 3 months (March 24th – June 22nd) to collect 50,000 signatures from registered Illinois voters. Due to the coronavirus pandemic, we are taking legal action to seek relief from these petitioning requirements. In the meantime we are circulating the petition following social distancing guidelines.

You can go to the following webpage where you can do many things to help with the ballot petition campaign, but at least please click on the link to download the petition. Then, please follow the instructions on how to sign the petition, circulate it within your home, scan the petition or take a picture of the petition with your signatures, email it to us, and what to do going forward to eventually get the notarized original to us. Here’s that link.

Illinois Green Party Ballot Petition Drive

Also, check out these repeating events during the petition drive at ilgp.org/events:

  • - Petitioning Questions and Online Training - Saturdays at 3pm

This petitioning process is like no other. Stop on by the meeting via zoom on Saturdays at 3pm to go over any questions. We will also have online training.

  • - Ballot Access Coordination Meeting - Every other Tuesday at 7pm

Ballot access coordination, strategy, and updates.

Illinois Green and Libertarian Parties File Suit for Ballot Access Relief

The Illinois Green Party and Libertarian Party have jointly filed suit in US District Court, requesting that the petition signature requirement for the statewide ballot be waived or suspended for the current election cycle due to the COVID public health crisis. 

Read the full complaint here

ILGP Ballot Access Drive Begins

ILLINOIS GREEN PARTY 

PETITION DRIVE BEGINS TODAY

But Greens Demand Emergency Relief Due to Coronavirus Pandemic

Wheaton, Illinois (March 24, 2020). The Illinois Green Party (ILGP)  has placed its presidential candidate on the statewide election ballot in every presidential year since 2008, with over 117,000 Illinois voters choosing Green Party Senate candidate Scott Summers in 2016. Yet oppressive ballot access laws in Illinois -- among the worst in the nation -- repeatedly force the Greens to collect tens of thousands of petition signatures from registered voters in each election cycle just to get their candidates’ names on the ballot. 

For the statewide general election ballot, these laws require Green petitioners to gather 25,000 petition signatures from registered voters – and to collect those signatures in just 90 days (March 24th through June 22nd). In practice, this requires petitioners to collect over 50,000 signatures, in order to safely survive legal challenges. Democratic and Republican presidential candidates only needed 3,000 signatures, with petitioning taking place last Fall. 

Even under normal conditions, such a petition drive requires Herculean effort. Now, however, due to restrictions on public gatherings, “social distancing,” stay-at-home requirements and other essential public health measures, normal petitioning has been rendered impossible. The ILGP plans to follow best practices during the COVID-19 public health crisis and will adhere to governmental restrictions.

“Even where public encounters still occur, we cannot ask petitioners to risk their health by approaching strangers to get their signature, nor can we ask people to come within close physical proximity of our petitioners,” said ILGP co-chair Rich Whitney. “We strongly support emergency public-health measures. Defeating the pandemic is priority number one. But these measures also make the petitioning requirements of the Election Code even more patently unfair than they already were. Even the ridiculous requirement that circulators must have each of the 5,000 petition sheets notarized now poses highly problematic health risks.”  

 Accordingly, last week, the ILGP sent letters to Governor Pritzker, legislative leaders, and the State Board of Elections requesting that the petitioning requirement be waived or suspended for the current election cycle for ILGP candidates, due to the current public health crisis. As of this writing, the Governor has not responded to the letter.
 Without such relief, the ILGP is forced to start the petitioning process today, but under conditions that virtually limit “petitioning” to members of the same household. Illinois law does not provide for on-line petitioning or any substitute for voters signing a hard-copy petition that is handed to them by a petitioner. 
 

The Illinois Green Party is a political party that stands for economic, social, racial, environmental, and democratic justice for all of the people of Illinois. Neither the Green Party or their candidates for political office accept corporate contributions. For more information, please visit www.ilgp.org.

Letter to Governor Pritzker Regarding Ballot Access and COVID-19

Dear Governor Pritzker, President Harmon, Speaker Madigan, and Director Sandvoss,

For months, the Green Party has been preparing for the start of the petitioning period applicable to “new” political parties, which begins on March 24, 2020, and ends on June 22, 2020. The Illinois Green Party has held its nominating convention and has nominated Green Party candidates for the 2020 Illinois statewide ballot. (Under the Election Code, the Green Party was not eligible to participate in the state's Primary Election this year for statewide offices.)

The Green Party has successfully completed Illinois statewide petition drives in the recent past (including 2012 and 2016), and we are confident that, without the recent turn of events involving COVID-19, we would have successfully completed the petition drive this year as well.

According to current state law, a new political party must file 25,000 valid petition signatures to get ballot access for this year's Illinois statewide General Election ballot.  Experience teaches us (and other electoral candidates) that it is wise to gather twice the number of required signatures, in order to account for problems with voter registrations. Given past response rates, this would translate into well over half a million public contacts.

However, because of the COVID-19 outbreak and the Governor's responsive Executive Orders, as well as the national state of emergency, local restrictions, and related health-care protocols regarding social distancing, the Green Party's ability to obtain the necessary signatures here in Illinois this year has been essentially nullified. We acknowledge that the actions taken to limit gatherings and ensure social distancing are appropriate for containing and controlling the virus, but they also make it literally impossible for the candidates of minority political parties, as well as independent candidates, to be placed on the general election ballot.

Current circumstances make petitioning extraordinarily difficult, if not impossible, for the party and its candidates, as well as make it risky, health-wise, for the petitioners and the potential signers. 

Any efforts at gathering enough signatures for the statewide ballot depend on face-to-face contact with as many potential petition signers as possible, and large crowds—now banned by law—normally provide the primary source for signers. Even where registered voters may be found in smaller gatherings, or may be passing by on a sidewalk, current health-care protocols advising that a distance of at least six feet be maintained between unfamiliar persons make petitioning all but impossible.

Moreover, few people remaining in the security of their homes are likely to open their doors to petitioners in this environment, let alone agree to have a close conversation and handle a clipboard and pen being handed to them by a stranger. Likewise, most prospective petitioners, including the many volunteers who have assisted us in the past, are understandably going to be reluctant to handle a clipboard and pen that has passed through the hands, and within close proximity of the nose and mouth, of large numbers of unknown persons.

Accordingly, we respectfully request that the Governor, General Assembly, and the Board of Elections take account of these radically changed circumstances and take immediate emergency action to honor the right of our political party and its candidates for President, Vice President, and U.S. Senate to appear on the general election ballot.

We ask that the petition signature requirement for the statewide ballot be waived or suspended for the current election cycle for the Illinois Green Party’s statewide candidates. We understand that the Libertarian Party of Illinois may be making a similar request and we would be supportive of that party being granted a waiver as well.

We would also ask for similar relief for Green Party candidates planning to petition to attain ballot status in county-level races in Jackson County, Illinois.

We can be contacted expeditiously at chair@ilgp.org. Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,

 

Rich Whitney

Sheldon Schaefer

Co-Chairs, Illinois Green Party