December 19th, 2005

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Champaign County Board District 9

I am excited to announce that Nick Mann has decided to run his first political campaign as a Green for Champaign County Board District 9. He has my full and enthusiastic support. Nick just turned 18 and this will be his first opportunity to vote in an election, but I have known Nick since he was 13 and he has been energetically involved in electoral and activist politics in Champaign County for that entire time. I think Nick will bring a real vision of social justice to the County Board which is currently mired in the cheap power brokering of the status quo.

You may recall that I ran for county board in 2004 as a Green Party candidate. When I ran I had to gather about 300 signatures to get on the ballot and I had to face a frivolous month long court challenge to my legitimate right to run for office. I got on the ballot and ran a campaign on the principals of bring human rights to all residents of Champaign County (including GLBT folks), establishing a citizen's police review board, preventing out of control urban sprawl, and expanding the living wage to include outsourced contract workers as well as direct county emlpoyees. At the height of campaign season I came down with mono and it knocked me out when I needed energy the most. Despite my crippled campaign, I received very positive comments from the News-Gazette editorial board and I went on to get 14% of the vote.

14% of the vote means that the Green Party is now an Established Party under Illinois Law for that particular county board district election. That means that the Greens get a primary election this year. A primary election means that voters can go to the polls and say "I want the Green Party ballot for County Board, and the Democrat (or Republican) ballot for everything else." They get to do this because we're only an established party in the county board races. There isn't any contest in the Green Party primaries but there isn't any contest in the Democrat or Republican primaries for those offices either.

The act of taking that ballot will put you on record as supporting the Green Party. This primary is the easiest way to vote for the Green Party's progressive values and philosophy without having to even consider whether it is the "strategic" thing to do or not. Put the Democrats and Republicans on notice this spring by choosing the Green Party primary ballot for County Board and casting your vote for Nick Mann!