FIRST GREEN PRECINCT COMMITTEEPERSONS FILE IN CHAMPAIGN COUNTY
Jen Walling, email@example.com, 217-493-9455, Prairie Greens Media Contact
Ken Urban, firstname.lastname@example.org, former 2004 candidate for County Board District 7
Susan Rodgers, email@example.com, 619-985-3553, former 2004 candidate for County Board District 8
Zach Miller, firstname.lastname@example.org, 217-621-6768, former 2004 candidate for County Board District 9
Over twenty members of the Prairie Green Party of East Central Illinois will be appointed to Precinct Committeeperson positions on Friday, February 25, 2005 at 9 AM at the Champaign County Clerk's Office by Green Party officers and former Green Party county board candidates. Following the November 2004 elections in Champaign County, the Green Party has achieved established party status in County Board Districts 7, 8, and 9.
Green Party County Board candidates Susan Rodgers, Ken Urban, and Zach Miller, who ran in the 2004 General Election, garnered 19%, 17%, and 14% of the vote in their respective races, far more than the 5% necessary to become an established party. Under Illinois Election Code, established parties have significantly lower ballot access requirements, the ability to appoint precinct committeepersons, and are entitled to party primary elections.
Susan Rodgers expressed her satisfaction with the results of this race: "I'm proud of how well the Green Party candidates did in this race. We had a lot of obstacles to overcome and in the end, we achieved one of our goals - established party status under Illinois Election Law, which allows us to appoint precinct committee persons and hold primary elections. I think that this valuable opportunity to organize by precincts will help us to achieve our goal of seating Green Party members on the County Board."
The Prairie Green Party of East Central Illinois would like to see the County Board offer fairer voting systems for Champaign County elections. Zach Miller said, "The Green Party County Board candidates offered the voters of Champaign County an unprecedented opportunity by increasing their voting choices. The Green Party is only going to grow in Champaign County and it is time to institute a ranked voting system for county elections. Ranked voting gives voters the ability to fully specify their preferences. Ranked voting ensures that the winning candidate is preferred by a true majority of voters and eliminates any 'spoiler effect'. It is in the best interests of all voters - Democrats, Republicans, Greens, and all others - to reform the voting methods used in Champaign County, and right now the Democrats on the County Board have the power to make this change."
This is not the first time the Green Party has filed for precinct committee positions in Champaign County, but this will be the first time Green Party members are successfully appointed. "In December of 2004, Al Weiss, John Paul Schmit, Ken Urban, and myself applied for precinct committee person positions, assuming that the 9% of the vote that Carl Estabrook, our former Congressional Candidate got in Champaign County would more than satisfy the 5% requirement for established party status in Champaign County," said Jen Walling, convener of the Prairie Green Party of East Central Illinois. "The County Clerk, Mark Shelden, removed us from the ballot and we sued him in circuit court. Rather than appeal, we decided to engage in the arduous petitioning process to gain ballot access with candidates in various county offices."
Illinois Green Party candidates for 8th, 88th, and 115th State Representative, Union County State's Attorney, and Fayette County Board also established their districts. In the primary elections of 2006, over 150,000 voters in the state - including 30,000 in Champaign County - will be able to choose a Green primary ballot in these districts. Under state law, a voter will be able to choose a hybrid ballot with a Green primary ballot for County Board and a Democratic, Republican, or Independent ballot for every other race.
The Prairie Green Party of East Central Illinois is a political party committed to the Ten Key Values: Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community-based Economics, Feminism, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility and Future Focus. For more information visit http://www.prairiegreens.org/