Young Greens Censure Rob Sherman for Objections to Remove Candidates From Illinois Ballot

Young Greens Censure Rob Sherman for Objections to Remove Candidates From Illinois Ballot

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: August 24, 2016

Contacts:
Sean Friend, Young Greens Secretary, sean.m.friend@gmail.com
Michael Trudeau, Young Greens Co-Chair, mdtrudeau@gmail.com

The Young Greens caucus of the Green Party of United States strongly censures Green Party member and congressional candidate Rob Sherman for his recent legal objections challenging ballot access for the Socialist Party USA (SPUSA), the Constitution Party, and independent presidential candidate Mary Vann. We call on Mr. Sherman to retract his objections by August 26th, and we support any measures that may be taken within the Illinois Green Party to remove Mr. Sherman from voting membership in that party if he fails to do so.

As members of a so-called minor political party, we recognize that ballot access laws in many parts of the country are written to discourage ballot access for any but the two largest corporate parties, and that this is particularly true in the state of Illinois, where that state’s Green Party was forced to spend a great deal of time, energy, and funds to collect over 50,000 signatures to gain ballot access in 2016. “This unreasonable and unjust threshold should not exist,” argues Sean Friend, a Young Greens Steering Committee member. “Mr. Sherman’s argument that anyone not meeting it should be disqualified from ballot access is undemocratic and only serves to support the dominance of the Democratic and Republican parties in Illinois. We stand in solidarity with so-called new and minor political parties in states like Illinois that must devote such a huge portion of their time, energy, and funds to something as basic as being on the ballot, and we also support acts of defiance to these undemocratic ballot access laws, such as the act of submitting one petition signature in protest.”

While we recognize the right of private citizens to file objections, we believe that as a Green Party member running for legislative office, Mr. Sherman has a responsibility to reflect the values and intentions of the Green Party of the United States. We believe that Mr. Sherman’s actions are not in the spirit of our Ten Key Values, most especially that of Grassroots Democracy. We affirm the right of all people to vote for the candidate who most closely matches their values, and this includes supporting the many political voices traditionally disenfranchised in our electoral systems.

Furthermore, one of Mr. Sherman’s stated justifications for his objection to the SPUSA’s attempt to get on the ballot is “that of a Capitalist who strongly opposes the scourge and plague of communism and socialism, which would surely destroy our country if it were to infect our nation on a widespread basis,” which is not a position in line with the Green Party’s 2016 platform, which explicitly rejects capitalism and the private ownership of production as “not ecologically sound, socially just, or democratic.”

Delé Balogun, an activist with years of involvement in social justice work, was excited to join the Green Party because of what he sees as the tremendous potential the party has in our current political climate. “The Green Party is poised to become a vibrant political alternative especially with the influx of excited youth in the past months. Members such as Sherman are a threat to the party and represent the type of ego-driven, establishment personalities that new members have fought against from the other corporate parties. Sherman’s behavior is an embarrassment to the party and it creates hurdles for coalition building.”

In solidarity with the SPUSA, the Young Greens caucus of the Green Party of the United States affirms SPUSA’s call “for the abolition of every form of domination and exploitation” and supports “social ownership and democratic control of productive resources, for a guarantee to all of the right to participate in societal production, and to a fair share of society’s product, in accordance with individual needs.” We believe these values are in line with our own as the Green Party of the United States and support especially SPUSA’s efforts to gain greater ballot access across the country.

For more information on the Young Greens caucus, see ygus.org.
For more information on the Green Party, see gp.org or ilgp.org.

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