Green Independent Party opens primary election to all Maine voters

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

May 23, 2021

Green Independent Party opens primary election to all Maine voters

MAINE--Members of the Green Independent Party decided unanimously to allow all Maine voters to participate in its 2022 primary election. The vote, taken at the party's annual convention marks the first time a qualified political party in Maine has done so.

Since 2016, the Greens have allowed unenrolled (often referred to as independent) voters to participate in its primaries. The party's bylaws require a decision in every odd-numbered year on which voters may vote in its primary the following year.

The party's electoral committee chair, Justin Beth, celebrated the unanimous decision. “Most Mainers, including many state legislators, are currently unaware that Maine’s qualified parties may decide on their own who is eligible to participate in their primaries”, he said.

“Our party's decision shows we are committed to grassroots democracy. We trust the input of all registered voters on who should be our candidates and would ask why have the Democratic and Republican parties not taken this step themselves?"

According to Maine statute, each political party may notify the secretary of state of the enrollment qualifications to vote in that party's primary. If no notification is received by February 1, then only that party's members may vote in that primary.

Ben Meiklejohn, who chaired the party's convention said a unanimous vote is a strong indication of members' support.

"This is really important to Greens. We've partially opened our primaries before, but to decide in unison that it's time to open it the whole way, that's significant," he said.

Party Co-Chair Lyn Maravell said the decision is important to Maine's voters. “It’s all about letting the people decide and giving people more choice in who they can vote for.”

Jake Kulaw, also the party's co-chair, said “It’s not rocket science, we want to give people a chance to have their say in our elections. It's not hard to have open primaries. We’re just giving Maine voters what they’ve been asking for.”

Greens endorse citizens initiative on health care

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Greens endorse citizens initiative on health care

April 12, 2021

AUGUSTA--The Maine Green Independent Party endorses a citizens initiative to establish a publicly funded health care system for all Maine residents.
The party's state committee voted unanimously to support the initiative, which was launched several months ago by Maine Health Care Action, a campaign group organized by Maine AllCare.
The party will promote the petition campaign and encourage members to collect signatures to place the measure on the ballot.
If 63,000 signatures are submitted to the secretary of state by December, the referendum will be on the ballot in a 2022 election.
The Maine Green Independent Party platform calls for a "health care system with comprehensive healthcare for all, including vision, hearing, mental and dental health, regardless of ability to pay."
The party has supported universal health care coverage in its platform every year since approving its first platform as a qualified Maine political party in 1996.
In 2006, Green Independent nominee for governor, Pat LaMarche, made universal health care a cornerstone of her policy proposals, arguing that it would become an engine for the state's economy.
The party plans to rally its membership to help get the required signatures to place the referendum on the ballot.
For more information, visit the party's website at www.mainegreens.org

Greens oppose trans sports ban

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

March 30, 2021

 

Greens oppose trans sports ban

 

MAINE--The Maine Green Independent Party opposes LD 926, a bill that would exclude transgender women from participating in interscholastic sport in all Maine public

schools and universities, including intramural sports.

"When we tell transgender girls and women that they can’t play girls sports, it sends the message that they don’t belong," said Jake Kulaw, co-chair of the party. "This bill violates the Green values of social justice, equal opportunity and respect for diversity."

The bill mirrors efforts in other states to ban trans girls from participating in school sports.

"This bill puts the humanity of transgender people up for public debate," Kulaw said. "This is an attack on the very existence of transgender girls and women."

Kulaw said laws targeting transgender girls violate the US constitution and Title IX, and override sport governing bodies.

Lyn Maravell, also co-chair of the party, said the bill attempts to politicize transgender people’s lives.

"Maine transgender youth should not be used to advance hatred, fear and bigotry," she said. "This bill is bad for all Mainers."

In 2014 Maine’s Supreme Court affirmed the right to equal educational access for transgender girls in schools.

"The Green Independent Party stands in solidarity will the transgender community and will not support a bill that is harmful to any person, especially trans youth," said Maravell. "An injury to one of us is an injury to all of us.

 

Maine Greens host Jill Stein, 2020 presidential hopefuls

Maine Greens host Jill Stein. 2020 presidential hopefuls

Augusta -- The Green Independent Party, Maine's largest third party will hold its annual convention on Sunday, May 19 at Viles Arboretum, 153 Hospital St., Augusta. Candidates for the 2020 presidential nominations, Sedinam Kinamo Christen Moyowasifza-Curry and Dario Hunter, have confirmed their attendance in person at the convention. Other candidates will be presenting their campaigns via Skype.
Jill Stein is expected to speak about how to best organize and grow the political party in an age of climate change, and a real plan for a Green New Deal to improve the economy, opportunity for all and social justice while transitioning toward an environmentally-positive society.
While Green New Deal has become a popular subject of public discourse, Stein was the first presidential candidate to present a Green New Deal solution: her plan to invest in people and the environment for a better economy and healthy society.
According to a February Politico/Morning Consult poll, 31% of Democrats and 25% of Republicans would support a third-party candidate for president in 2020. 45% of Democrats and Republicans think a third party is needed.
Representatives of the Green Party of Quebec, a provincial party of Canada, will attend the convention to present information on Hydro-Quebec and the proposed Central Maine Power corridor.
The Maine party, with more than 43,000 enrolled voters, will celebrate the 35th anniversary of its inception in 1984. The party also celebrates the 25th anniversary of first earning official recognition by the state as a qualified party in December, 1994. The party will hold its annual elections for state party officers, set goals and decide whether to allow unenrolled (Independent) voters to participate in the party's 2020 primary.
Registration cost is by donation, what people can afford, or $20. "We do not accept corporate donations," said Niomi Larrivee, party co chair. "We count on the good people of Maine to help fund green change. We welcome people to be a part of this change, a party with moral values that stands for real beliefs. Now more than ever, a third party is needed to represent people in Maine, our nation and internationally."

 

For more information, including program schedule:

https://www.mainegreens.org/convention

Greens oppose CMP corridor, endorse buyout bill

Greens oppose CMP corridor, endorse buyout bill

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

March 14, 2019

 

Augusta, ME--The Green Independent Party has taken a position opposing a Central Maine Power proposal to create a 145-mile transmission line corridor that would deliver electricity from Canada to Massachusetts.
Central Maine Power, which would distribute power provided by Hydro-Québec, has failed to provide evidence that the proposal would reduce climate-changing emissions and has admitted that it does not know what the sources of energy will be.
The Green Independent Party is an ecologically-focused political party that has been on Maine's ballot for more than 20 years and initially formed in 1984.
In addition to redistributing electricity from greenhouse gas-producing sources and adversely impacting the development of clean renewable energy, the corridor would damage hundreds of miles of Maine's natural environment and lead to the seizure of personal properties.
The states of New Hampshire and Vermont have both rejected proposals for a transmission line corridor.
"CMP is not listening to the will of Maine's people, towns and businesses," said Niomi Larrivee, co-chair of the party. "CMP is trying to buy us out. We are on the losing end. Property rights would be lost via eminent domain. This will impact our tourist trade: destroying valuable trusts, sanctuaries, ancient Native American treasures, parks and our personally owned land."
John Rensenbrink, a co-founder and advisor of the party, said the proposal is an example of a corporation failing to work for the public good.
"The top leadership of Central Maine Power has consistently put their own money and control ahead of what is good for the company as a whole and well ahead of what is good for the people of Maine," Rensenbrink said.
Kimberly Pfusch, chair of the Lewiston Green Independent committee, said, "Residents are asking why a foreign owned company can do this. We want our power to be owned by local citizens."
The proposed corridor would cut through Lewiston and more than 30 other Maine towns and cities.
As well as opposing the corridor, the party endorses "An Act to Create the Maine Power Delivery Authority".
Jon Olsen, senior co-chair of the party, said the bill would benefit Maine because revenue would remain in Maine instead of being "siphoned off to Spain for the benefit of CMP's parent company."
Olsen said the newly-created power delivery authority would be "accountable strictly and only to the people of Maine," and would be created without an additional tax burden on ratepayers if CMP were purchased over time with a bond.
"The new entity, which can be run nearly non-profit if desired, would be far more willing to invest in alternative, sustainable energy not dependent on foreign-sourced fossil fuel products, provided that this entity has the authority to deliver and produce electricity for the use of Mainers," Olsen added. "This means more good jobs."

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