(The following was originally posted on the Green Party of California’s website.)
On the heels of a record number of California Greens elected in an odd-numbered year (20), the Green Party of California (GPCA) announces its official endorsements for the June 2014 primary: Luis Rodriguez, Governor; Laura Wells, Controller; Ellen Brown, Treasurer; and David Curtis, Secretary of State.
In 2012, the L.A. Weekly named Luis Rodriguez one of the 60 most fascinating people in Los Angeles, citing his history of art, activism and ‘fighting his way through the mean streets of East L.A.”
“This campaign is an imaginal poetic journey,” said Rodriguez in a speech to the GPCA’s recent state meeting in Santa Rosa. “But we also aim to win.”
“Winning is addressing poverty, justice and the environment,” Rodriguez told GPCA delegates. “Solutions come from aligning resources to meet human needs, by providing livable and meaningful work or income, healthy and clean communities and free quality health care for all. We must also address the massive inequities of the criminal justice system, and ensure arts, culture and expression outlets in every neighborhood.”
Also solution-oriented, Laura Wells and Ellen Brown advocate “banking in the public interest”, to address the state’s ongoing fiscal crisis and infrastructure funding shortfalls, by establishing a publicly-owned state bank for California.
“Our legislators pride themselves on balancing the budget, but they’ve done it on the backs of the poor; by robbing Peter to pay Paul; and by shoving a wall of debt into the future,” says Brown, the GPCA’s candidate for Treasurer.
“There is another way to fund the state budget besides cutting services, raising taxes and selling off assets. That’s through a publicly-owned state bank that generates new revenues for states, lowers debt costs for local governments and public infrastructure, and creates new jobs and spurs economic growth.”
Wells adds, “As a State Controller who takes no corporate money, I will stand up to the Wall Street banks with the intention of replacing them with a State Bank for California, a bank that will partner with local banks and credit unions, and provide good loans to homeowners, students, and small businesses. We will keep the interest low, and keep it here to invest in California, not Wall Street.”
In a crowed field for Secretary of State, David Curtis is the lone voice highlighting the negative effects of the new top two primary system upon democracy. ”Fair elections are when voters can vote for and elect someone who represents their views. The Top Two primary takes us in the opposite direction, by reducing voter choice and political voice, while increasing the cost of elections. The Top Two should be overturned and replaced with a system of proportional representation within multi-seat districts, so that California’s great diversity can have a real voice in the decisions that affect them.”
Under the new Top Two system, Green candidates must each submit at least 10,000 nomination petition signatures from registered California voters to appear on the June 2014 statewide ballot. Previously the total was only 150. The GPCA will launch its signature drive upon the opening of the filing period on Friday, December 27, and provide a link on its state website where anyone can download and print the petitions and gather signatures (www.cagreens.org/elections/2014).
“Despite the unnecessary obstacles to democracy created by the Top Two system, we believe voters definitely want to see a Green alternative on the 2014 ballot,” adds GPCA spokesperson Michael Feinstein. ”The Green Party rejects the austerity approach in fashion in Sacramento and Washington. Another California and another United States is possible, and our endorsed candidates will carry forth that message in 2014.