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

GREEN PARTY OF OKLAHOMA ENCOURAGES INDEPENDENTS TO VOTE FOR BERNIE SANDERS IN OKLAHOMA DEMOCRATIC PRIMARY
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
February 22, 2016
Contact:
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
THE POLITICAL PARTY KNOWN FOR ITS PURSUIT OF SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC JUSTICE BELIEVES SANDERS IS BEST CANDIDATE ON STATE BALLOT TO REPRESENT PROGRESSIVE OKLAHOMANS
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.”

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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.

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ATTENTION ALL GPOK SUPPORTERS

The March 1 deadline to file petition signatures to get the Green Party on the 2016 ballot is right around the corner!

By law, all petitions must be submitted to the state election board at the same time – in one, big bundle. So if you have collected ANY signatures for this effort, please mail your petition forms to the following address:

GPOK
3375 E. Lindsey St.
Norman, OK 73071

Please note that every line of your form does not need a signature for the petition to count. We can accept forms containing a single signature.

If you haven’t petitioned, you can still grab a few before March 1. Just ask your family and friends!

Download form here and remember to write “Green Party” in the blank at the top-left of the petition form. In the blank at the top-right, put the county where the voter is registered. Then sign your name as “circulator” at the bottom of the form. (NOTE: Circulators are permitted to sign their own petition.)

With sincerest appreciation,

Micah Gamino, Secretary
GPOK Cooperative Council

Oklahoma County Green Party endorses Fannie Bates in special election for County Commissioner

Support for local mass transit initiatives key to Party’s support

The Oklahoma County Green Party decided at its July 17 meeting to endorse Fannie Bates for county commissioner in the special election on August 14.

The election is being held to fill the seat vacated by Jim Roth upon his appointment by Gov. Henry to the state Corporation Commission. Five candidates are vying for the spot, and the one who receives a plurality of votes in the election will serve out Roth’s term.

Noting her long history of grassroots activism around issues of civil rights, social justice and environmental sustainability, Party members were unusually enthusiastic about the endorsement.

“We’re proud to endorse Fannie Bates,” said James M. Branum, OCGP spokesperson. “We are looking forward to seeing a grassroots activist get elected to office and then continue to fight for the people.”

“In particular, we hope that she can bring attention to the pending needless destruction of the Union Station Railyards.”

Ms. Bates has made preserving and utilizing Union Station and associated rail infrastructure the central issue in her platform. She believes, like a majority of metropolitan area citizens in a 2005 MAPS 3 poll, that mass transit should be a priority in the long-term planning of the area, and that existing resources should not be destroyed.

In order to bring attention to this timely issue, Oklahoma County Green Party members are working with other activists and groups to organize a “Save the Rails!” rally at 10 AM on Saturday, August 11 at Union Station, 300 SW 7th, Oklahoma City.

The Green Party of Oklahoma consists of four party locals. In addition to the Oklahoma County party, there are established parties in Tulsa (Green Country Greens) and Cleveland County, as well as the Rural Greens of Oklahoma, which includes the rest of the state.

The Green Party does not have ballot access in Oklahoma and the state Green Party and locals have endorsed progressive Democrats, as well as independent candidates, in the past.

For more information about the Oklahoma County Greens, see http://www.okgreens.org/locals/ocgp or call (405) 445-5408.

MORE INFORMATION:

Oklahoma County Districts map

Fannie Bates campaign web site

Oklahoma City Railways

OKC’s MAPS3 survey shows strong support for mass transit by Brian Brus, Journal Record

A System in Transit by Bryan Dean, Daily Oklahoman (as published by MassTransitMag.org)

Branum gets 5% of the vote in H.D. #99, comes in 2nd place in home precinct!

Taken from: JMBranum.com campaign website. Branum was the first Green Party member in Oklahoma to run for office.

Here’s the results from the the Oklahoma State Elections Board:

FOR STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DISTRICT NO. 99 30 OF 30
ANASTASIA PITTMAN DEM 4,886 76.85%
WILLARD LINZY REP 1,166 18.34%
J. M. BRANUM IND 306 4.81%

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J. M. Branum launches campaign as first Oklahoma Green to run for state House

NOTE: J. M. Branum will be seeking the Oklahoma Green Party’s endorsement at its convention this summer.

J. M. Branum is a 30-year old candidate for House District #99. He is running on the Independent ticket but is a Green Party member.

“My campaign will focus on the most important issues of our day: ending the racist, classist and immoral practice of the death penalty, fighting to provide genuine relief to those oppressed by poverty, promoting means of independence from high gas prices, and working to reform Oklahoma’s undemocratic ballot access laws,” said Branum.
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