ILGP Endorses Legalization of Cannabis Bills (HB2353 & SB316)

2017-04-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Legalization of Cannabis Bills (HB2353 & SB316).

Much of the U.S. prison-overcrowding problem stems from our society's misguided attempt to legislate morality by criminalizing the use of drugs. It is senseless to punish people for using a relatively benign substance like marijuana while the use of more harmful substances like alcohol, tobacco, and many pharmaceutical drugs is encouraged through mass advertising.

The prohibition of more addictive drugs such as cocaine or heroin only ensures that the price remains so high that many addicts must turn to theft or prostitution to feed their habit.

We advocate a more sensible policy: Cannabis should be legalized, with legal use restricted to adults. The penalties for simple possession and use of other drugs should be greatly reduced.

Serious substance abuse problems of all kinds, including alcohol and tobacco, should be dealt with as a public health matter, not as a criminal matter, with more resources devoted to drug education, treatment and social intervention.

A sensible policy on drug abuse and crime should also eliminate the hypocrisy, double standards and injustices that permeate the criminal justice system today.

For the Illinois Green Party's complete position on drug legalization and decriminalization, see Section R. (Crime and Criminal Justice) of the Illinois Green Party Platform.

ILGP Endorses Eminent Domain - Trial by Jury Bill (HB2532)

2017-04-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Eminent Domain - Trial by Jury Bill (HB2532).

HB 2532- House Amendment 1 - Fact Sheet

1. Why do we need this bill? What prompted its introduction? HB 2532 protects private landowners when private companies attempt to seize land through the use of eminent domain.  The Eminent Domain Act in Illinois prevents the use of eminent domain to seize private property for public use without just compensation.  It also grants the owner of the property the right to have the amount of that just compensation determined by a jury.  However, in 2015, a judge in McLean County allowed a private company to seize private property after determining the amount of the just compensation himself. By allowing the private company to seize the land immediately, the court removed the eminent domain protections and power specifically granted to private property owners by the Eminent Domain Act.  Thus, the court essentially eliminated a substantial portion of the Act.

2. If this bill becomes law, will it prevent governmental bodies from expediting infrastructure projects that truly need to begin immediately, such as roads?  No. Two sections of the Act, Quick-take Procedure and Express Quick-take Powers allow the Illinois Legislature to grant specific bodies and projects to proceed without the completion of a jury trial.  For example, Sec. 25-7-103.1 states, “Quick-take proceedings under Article 20 may be used by the State of Illinois, the Illinois Toll Highway Authority or the St. Louis Metropolitan Area Airport Authority for the acquisition of land or interests therein for highway purposes.”  In addition, HB 2532 specifically exempts Quick-take Procedure and Express Quick-take Powers from the jury verdict requirement.

3. What is the purpose of the inclusion of “Section 8-406.1 of the Public Utilities Act” in the bill?  The Illinois Future Energy Jobs Bill contains specific targets for renewable energy.  To allow for potential electrical grid modernization, in addition to specifically exempting the Quick-take sections of Eminent Domain Act, HB 2532 also exempts high voltage electric service lines.

Other supporters:

350 Chicago Frack Free Illinois 
350 Indiana-Calumet  Fox Valley Citizens for Peace and Justice
 350 Kishwaukee  Illinois People’s Action (IPA)
 Chicagoland Oil By Rail  National Nurses Organizing Committee
 Earthseed  National Nurses United
 Elgin Green Groups350 (EGG350)  Save Our Illinois Land (SOIL)
 Food and Water Watch - Illinois  Sierra Club – Blackhawk Group
 Forest City 350  Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our Environment (SAFE)

ILGP Endorses Minimum Wage Increase Bill (HB198)

2017-04-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Minimum Wage Increase Bill (HB198). This bill calls for raising the Illinois minimum wage to $9 per hour in 2018, effective Jan. 1, 2018 and then $10 in 2019, $11.25 in 2020, $13 in 2021 and $15 in 2021.

ILGP Endorses Ranked Choice Voting Bill (SB780)

2017-04-16: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Ranked Choice Voting Bill (SB780)This bill calls for members of the General Assembly and the offices of Governor, Lieutenant Governor, Attorney General, Secretary of State, Comptroller, and Treasurer to be elected by ranked choice voting. 

Ranked choice voting eliminates the so-called "spoiler effect" because it uses a method of casting and tabulating votes in which voters rank candidates in order of preference, tabulation proceeds in sequential rounds in which last-place candidates are defeated and the candidate with the majority of votes in the final round is elected.

Ranked choice voting eliminates the necessity for voting for the lesser evil.  Citizens can finally vote their values, not their fears.

ILGP Endorses Financial Transaction Tax Bill (SB1970)

2017-03-19: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee has endorsed Illinois General Assembly Senate Bill SB1970, a new version of the proposed "LaSalle Street Tax." This would place a tax of $1 or $2 on trades of options, futures, and other derivatives (average contract value: aprox. $285,000 per trade) at the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, Board Options Exchange, and Board of Trade.

If enacted, the tax would raise an estimated $12 billion a year, which would eliminate Illinois' structural deficit and allow us to adequately fund our schools, higher education and vital services, while paying down the state's public pension debt.

ILGP Endorses Criminal Forfeiture Procedures Bill (HB689)

2017-03-19: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Criminal Forfeiture Procedures Bill (HB689). This bill will make it easier to reclaim civil forfeitures when if a person is found not guilty.

ILGP Endorses Accessible Abortions Bill (HB40)

2017-03-19: The Illinois Green Party Coordinating Committee endorsed the Illinois General Assembly Accessible Abortions Bill (HB40). This bill will guarantee that abortions cannot be denied to those who cannot pay.

2017 Unofficial ILGP Election Results as of April 5, 2017

Seven out of eleven (64%) of Illinois Green Party 2017 endorsed candidates across the state from McHenry County to Carbondale won their April 4, 2017 races!  Three of the winning candidates finished first and two finished second. The Illinois Green Party continues our trend of winning the majority of our campaigns for local offices.

Congratulations to all of the candidates and their volunteers for a tremendous effort and these inspiring results!

Here are the per race details:

- Jessica Bradshaw for Carbondale City Councilperson – Incumbent  – ELECTED – 1,037 votes (24.39%) – finished 2nd in a 4 person race for 3 seats

- Don Crawford for St. Elmo Library Board Trustee – Incumbent  – ELECTED – 494 votes (70%) – finished 1st in a 3 person race for 2 seats

- Steve De La Rosa for Villa Park Library District Trustee – ELECTED – 2,026 votes (24.65%) – finished 3rd in a 4 person race for 4 seats – only 3 votes short of 2nd place

- Michael Drennan for Ridgeville Park Board Commissioner  – Incumbent  -  Defeated – 902 votes (25.03%) – finished 2nd in a 3 person race for 1 seat

- Charlie Howe for Carbondale Township Trustee – Defeated – 887 votes (16.74%) - finished 5th in a 5 person race for 4 seats

- Russ Kramer for Carbondale Township Highway Commissioner – Defeated – 681 votes (35.84%) - finished 2nd in a 2 person race for 1 seat

- Bruce Samuels for Oak Park Library Trustee – Incumbent  - Defeated - 2,390 votes (7.63%) – finished 6th in a 10 person race for 4 seats

- Holly Scholz for Fox Valley Park District Commissioner, District 3 – ELECTED – 2,874 votes (35.67%) – finished 1st in a 4 person race for 2 seats

- Gary Shepherd for Carbondale Elementary School Board Member, District 95 – ELECTED – 700 votes (12.33%) – finished 4th in a 8 person race for 4 seats

- Scott Summers for McHenry County Regional Board of School Trustees – ELECTED - 15,807 votes (49.03%) – finished 2nd in a 2 person race for 2 seats

- Kyle Taylor for Kane County Regional Board of School Trustees, St. Charles Township – ELECTED – 24,506 votes (65.37%) – finished 1st in a 1 person race for 1 seat

Green Party Calls for a Vote on Equal Ballot Access

ILGP_sunflower_thumbnail.pngThe Illinois Green Party urges all its members to speak out in support of Illinois Senate Bill 0063, an electoral fairness bill that would require the same number of ballot access petition signatures from all candidates in a given election. 

Currently, under Illinois law, members of the Democratic and Republican parties must submit a certain number of petition signatures to be listed on ballots as candidates, while independents and members of other parties must submit a substantially larger number of signatures to be listed as candidates for the same office. 

The Green Party's full statement, below, urges all Green Party members and supporters of democratic fairness to contact the Senators currently preventing the bill from coming to a Senate vote:

Read more

ILGP Elects First Black Woman Chair

ILGP_sunflower.jpgZerlina Smith Becomes First Black Woman Chair of Any Illinois Party

On Saturday, March 25th, the membership of the Illinois Green Party at their statewide Membership Meeting elected Zerlina Smith as party Chair. Ms. Smith will be the first Black woman to lead the Illinois Green Party, and the first Black chairperson of any established political party in the state of Illinois. 

"This is the face of the Green Party right now," said Ms. Smith, immediately following her election. "This is a vibrant, diverse, and growing party, with people from all walks of life and all colors of skin."

A longtime resident of Chicago's Austin neighborhood, Ms. Smith's extensive activist résumé includes service as a school board member, the founding of neighborhood non-profit Increase the Harvest, and a run for Alderman in the 29th Ward in 2015. Ms. Smith served as the Illinois State Coordinator for the Stein/Baraka 2016 Presidential campaign. 

Read more