Minutes for the January 5, 2012 General Assembly Meeting. Click 'Read More' for the full minutes.
Minutes from the January 2012 General Assembly of the Green Party of Allegheny County
Minutes taken by: Robert Piemme, Secretary
Meeting Chaired by: Tim Jones, Vice Chair
Number in attendance: 9 (7 members)
Meeting Began at: 7:05 PM at the Citizen Power building
Meeting Ended at: 8:15 PM
February Party Officers Election
The meeting opened with information on the party officers and delegates in election in February.
Robert read a brief description of each office and summarized the election process. It was decided to use paper ballots for this election (in the past elections votes were cast verbally).
Vice Chair Tim and Secretary Robert announced that they planned to seek re-election.
It was announced that Chair Katrina and Treasurer Robin, who were not present, also planned to seek re-election.
It was encouraged that all members consider running for party office or making nominations if they wished. All members and friends were encouraged to attend the February meeting.
March GPPA State Committee Meeting in Lancaster
Information on the upcoming March 3-4 Green Party of Pennsylvania convention was given. A summary of the agenda was given as was information on hotels. Further information was to be given at the February meeting.
Discussion was held on actions for 2012. Local and statewide races where discussed. We are waiting to see the redistricting results. Ideas for Earth Day included a picnic and inviting speakers from various ecological organizations. It was decided to take part in the Pride Awareness March once again. Members talked about the occupy movement and shared their own experience with occupy Pittsburgh. It was stressed that the party should more thoroughly be involved in the movement, not to get people to become Greens, but to support green ideas. Many other ideas were presented and discussed.
2012 Presidential Race
Brief biographies on Mr. Kent Mesplay and Dr. Jill Stein, two candidates for the GP presidential nomination, were read. The national convention was discussed. PA would need to collect around 35,000 signatures to have a Green appear on the ballot for president.
An update on the progress of the gpoac’s new website was given. Ideas for the site were given.
Ideas for topics in the new and upcoming green newsletter were given. Including: member interviews, reports on local actions, occupy Pittsburgh and much more.
The passing of Ms. Edith Wilson was announced by Ed B. Ms. Wilson passed away on December 31, 2011 of cancer. She was a long time Green party member, peace movement activist and was involved with the occupy movement.
_ Pennsylvania has some of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the United States. These laws require independent and third party candidates to obtain large numbers of signatures to appear on the ballot, whereas their Republican and Democratic counterparts need only a few hundred or thousand (depending on the office, the signature requirement varies).
For example, in 2006, independent and third party candidates were required to collect over 67,000 valid signatures simply to get on the state-wide ballot in Pennsylvania on Election Day. Democratic and Republican candidates required only 2,000 signatures. In a true democracy campaign laws should be equal, or at least fairer.
These laws hinder a “minor party’s” ability to run candidates. Is it any wonder that third parties are succeeding? The current laws make it impossible for any party other than Republican or Democrat to take part fully in state elections.
We urge all Pennsylvanians to support Senate Bill 21 Voters Choice Act which would ease many of the unequal restrictions on independents and third party candidates. This bill is supported by the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition.
The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition, founded in 2005, is an organization of various political parties and individuals working together to support free, fair and open elections in Pennsylvania. The Green Party is a member.
For more information please visit: http://www.paballotaccess.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=frontpage&Itemid=53
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