At length, The Green Party is about creating a new societal & political paradigm through direct democracy, heterarchal organizing structures and a post-scarcity economic model of egalitarian collectivism; but first, we must get Green candidates to run and then win offices. But before we do that, we need to make sure that the hurtle of simple ballot access for our candidates is not so insurmountable that we fail to even gain equal political access. To do this, we must become an officially recognized political party in the state of Kansas. According to the Secretary of State’s civics website:
“To obtain official recognition in the state of Kansas, party organizers must submit a petition that contains signatures of voters registered in the state and abides by the petition regulations outlined in Kansas law. The total number of valid signatures required for a successful petition is equal to 2 percent of the total votes cast for all candidates for governor in the most recent general election for governor. “
Sparing everyone some math, that is 17,391 signatures which sounds like a lot; but Jill Stein got 23,000+ votes in Kansas in the 2016 presidential election. Furthermore, there are more than just Green Party voters who want to see the elective process open to more than just Democrats & Republicans. On top of all that, if Greens believe that our policies can solve many of our challenges, there is no reason to believe we are permanently relegated to the “third party” category. The Democrats are in complete disarray and the Republicans are led by incompetence at essentially every level of government. The ground is fertile for a Green blossoming; but if we want our seedling to grow to its full potential, we as a political organization will have to grow and mature, just like all other organic entities.
We must become more organized, professional, streamlined and targeted in our efforts. We don’t have the numbers in terms of volunteers or donors that our competition does, so we must use the ethos of ‘chess; not checkers’. We’ll have 180 days from the date of the first signature to successfully complete our goal and most of our actions in 2017 should be focused on the planning and the execution of this project. If we can become an officially recognized political party, our candidates will not have the large ballot access thresholds that independent candidates face and we will be able to run candidates as actual Green Party representatives for offices from county commissioner to governor.
This will require planning, strategy, regional coordination and the efforts, talents and capabilities of all Green Party members & supporters.
Examples of this may include instead of randomly setting up tables, we need to look at calendars and find large events to attend. We must also think about what events would be good. While Kansas Speedway may have 100,000 people there and the Sporting KC game across the street has 15,000, we are more likely to find friendly soccer fans than helpful NASCAR spectators (this is not to universally brand anyone as one or the other and we welcome any interested NASCAR folk, but simply statistically speaking…).
It will involve using social media to outreach and inform people of when & where we will be. We need desperately to strengthen our position on college campuses, reach out to disenfranchised rural voters as well as impoverished and discriminated against minority groups. We need to be brave enough to ask the recently reliable Democratic supporting African-American churches for a chance to earn their support. We must not let our Chicano hermanas y hermanos face the anti-immigrant tide alone.
We will need to put on our own benefits and fundraisers. We will need to be creative in our approaches and not be tethered to conventional methods. We will need to talk to our friends and families, reach out to and find sympathetic media, make smart choices about good lobbies such as the Sierra Club, Wind Coalition & public school boards to work with and not be afraid to make our support for grassroots groups known and offer our assistance to them. We will need to challenge and change the public perception of Greens as ineffective “stoners” & “hippies” while embracing the fact that we are the artist and musicians; the farmers & blue-collar workers; teachers and professors, but also the citizens of a state that has for far too long gone down the wrong road.
And yeah; we also support of legal weed.
But you know what else the Green Party has done?
We looked at how much tax revenue and how many new small business and new jobs have been created by the legalization and regulation of marijuana. Image what will happen when we start learning how much is saved on police, prisons and the simple costs to the families torn apart by this failed multi-decade long “war on drugs”. Anyone seen any good Budweiser, Cialis or Abilify commercials during any of the Chiefs games?
Maybe its all those just dismissively pointing fingers that should start pondering their own public perceptions.