Oklahoma Green Party Encourages Independents to Vote Bernie Sanders for Oklahoma Democratic Party Nomination

February 22, 2016
Rachel Jackson, GPOK State Facilitator
(405) 205-6048; rcjackson@ou.edu

Eric Smith, GPOK State Treasurer and GPUS National Delegate
(918) 760-4413; sericm012@gmail.com
Party leaders cite Sanders’ values and refusal to take corporate donations as well as repressive ballot access laws that will not allow their party nominee to receive a line on the state ballot as reasons for endorsement.
Norman, OK—This afternoon, the Green Party of Oklahoma’s Cooperative Council unanimously voted to encourage Independents to vote for Bernie Sanders for President of the United States in the upcoming Oklahoma Democratic Primary based upon social media survey results. During the meeting, council members compared Sanders’ positions on issues involving the economy, social justice, feminism, education, and the environment to their party platform.
They also agreed to survey GPOK members and other left-leaning voters for their opinion via social media before making the endorsement official. Because registered Independents can now vote in the Oklahoma Democratic Primary, the GPOK believes supporting Sanders is the best way to participate electorally while representing Green Party values. Party leaders sent out a social media survey asking if the party should endorse Sanders. The results showed overwhelming support for the endorsement.
“The platform of the Green Party of Oklahoma contains what we call our “10 Key Values,” said Green Party of Oklahoma State Facilitator Rachel Jackson. “These values are grassroots democracy, social justice, ecological wisdom, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, global responsibility, and a focus on the future. Bernie Sanders is the only candidate who will appear on Oklahoma’s ballot in the primaries that will truly advocate for most of those ideals.”
The GPOK acknowledges some Greens believe parts of Sanders’ platform, such as his stance on military drones and Israel, do not reflect Green values.
Given the lack of options for Oklahoma Greens on the Oklahoma ballot, however, Greens believe Sanders to be the best possible option for those Greens casting votes in Oklahoma’s Democratic Primary. Oklahoma’s ballot access laws, amended by the legislature in 2014, still require approximately 25,000 valid petition signatures for a third party to place a candidate on the presidential ballot. These signatures do not insure the party will retain ballot access after the election. Oklahoma Greens believe the number of petition signatures required for ballot access should be lowered to 5,000.
The Green Party is perhaps best known for one of their previous presidential candidates: Ralph Nader. Some Democratic Party leaders continue to cite Nader as the reason Al Gore lost to George W. Bush in Florida during the 2000 presidential elections. When asked about the shadow of Nader’s influence over that election, Green Party of the United States National Delegate Eric Smith embraced Nader’s 2000 presidential run.
“During his 2000 campaign, Nader wanted to give voters a chance to vote for a progressive. That should be celebrated. People who blame Nader for Gore’s loss should instead blame Florida’s flawed electoral system. Let’s not forget about Florida’s history of problems around the voting booth. It’s time to move beyond partisanship and forge an alliance among progressives. This is about sending a message of support for the political revolution taking place in our country. If we want to see real democracy in America, we have to unite around the goals we share. Voting for Sanders is a short term tactic to support a long term strategy.”
“We will continue to fight for ballot access for Green Party candidates in Oklahoma,” Jackson says. “In the meantime, because Oklahoma’s Democratic Party decided to allow independent voters an opportunity to vote in their primary, we are excited to participate. Progressive independents and Democrats need to make the most of this opportunity, and we ask that they vote for Bernie Sanders on March 1st.”

The Green Party of Oklahoma was formed in 2002 and received its accreditation from the Green Party of the US in May 2005. For more information about Green Party of Oklahoma, visit http://www.okgreens.org.

Pictures from the Green Party’s 2005 National Meeting in Tulsa – Part 2

These pictures were taken by Serena Blaiz and myself (James M. Branum)on Saturday of the GPUS annual national meeting in Tulsa.

(click here to see the first installment)

Huti Reynolds and James

Serena Blaiz (GPOK EC member) with David Cobb (2004 Green Party presidential nominee)

James giving Oklahoma’s state report to the body

The Oklahoma delegation, from L-R: James Branum (alternate), Huti Reynolds (delegate), Joni LeViness (delegate), Ben Alpers (alternate)

The very divided California delegation during discussion on the GDI proposals

Ben speaking against the GDI proposals

Joni sitting at the delegate table

Huti, Jean McMahon and Serena at the Saturday night GPUS fundraising party

David Cobb speaking at the Saturday night GPUS fundraising party

Pictures from the Green Party’s 2005 National Meeting in Tulsa

These pictures were taken on my camera by Rebecca Weber (a reporter for Green Pages) of the press conference on Saturday of the Annual National Meeting. (Here’s a GPUS Press release that gives a good summary of the event.

These first few shots are of Rachel Jackson (ANM Coordinator and Oklahoma GP Co-Chair) and Pat LaMarche (2004 Green Party Vice-Presidential nominee) speaking about the Green Party’s service project during the Tulsa meeting, and the importance of female leadership in the party…

The next picture is of me (James Branum, GPOK Co-chair and Alternate Delegate) speaking about ballot access reform

The next few shots are of Nan Garrett speaking about Elaine Brown’s run for Mayor in Brunswick, GA

The next picture is of Rebecca Rotzler, Deputy Mayor of New Paltz, NY

The last picture is of all of us together (Brent McMillan, GPUS political director is on the left-hand side)