Maryland Green Party Responds to Supreme Court Decision on Gerrymandering Redistricting Should Serve Democracy Not Partisan Politics The Maryland Green Party deplored the decision by the US Supreme Court that it would not prevent political gerrymandering. This decision allows political parties to draw boundaries for electoral districts that protect the party in power. It turns democracy on its head by allowing parties to pick their voters, rather than voters picking their elected officials. In Maryland where Democrats have a decades-long veto-proof majority in both houses of the legislature, the Supreme Court overruled a district court ruling that had struck down the map for Maryland’s sixth district which runs from the DC beltway to the West Virginia, Pennsylvania, Maryland Border. Democratic governor Martin O’Malley intentionally drew this district to disenfranchise Republicans, and now presidential candidate John Delaney served in the seat as one of the top ten richest members of Congress from 2013-2018 and is now running for president. In a deposition challenging the partisan redistricting in Maryland to ensure more Democratic Party seats, former Governor Martin O’Malley said “ "It was also my intent to create ... a district where the people would be more likely to elect a Democrat than a Republican."A consultant hired by the Democratic members of the congressional delegation said the objectives of redistricting were, "No. 1, incumbent protection. And No. 2, trying to see if there was a way that there was another Democrat district in the state." Maryland Democrats are fond of saying that complying with the lower court ruling finding Maryland voting districts to be in violation of the law would amount to “unilateral disarmament”, vowing to not draw constitutional districts until North Carolina does. Maryland Green Party Co-Chair Andy Ellis said “ In Maryland, a Democratic Attorney General sided with North Carolina Republicans in appealing to the conservative justices on the supreme court to defend the right to draw explicitly partisan districts” he continued “In Maryland it’s Democrats who abuse the constitution and the voters for political gain.” Maryland Greens support taking the politics out of redistricting by creating an independent commission as an immediate step toward a broader set of democracy reforms. Districts should be determined by an independent commission with the intent of fair representation of voters. Redistricting needs to serve real democracy, it should not be used to thwart democracy.
The Maryland Green Party celebrates Juneteenth - the United States’ real Independence Day - a holiday that commemorates the end of legal slavery and simultaneously asks all of us to focus on the continued work that needs to be done in order to pay back the debt owed for slavery and ongoing white supremacy. We are encouraged that in the United States Congress the Democratic-led House of Representatives has called hearings on HB 40, and hope that this indicates an ongoing party-wide commitment to this cornerstone and prerequisite of racial justice. We know reparations will only become a reality if a popular movement builds power to demand it and the Green Party will be part of that movement. The Green Party understands that the damage and legacy of slavery did not end with emancipation and continues today. Since our founding nearly 20 years ago the Green Party of the United States' platform has demanded reparations for the debt owed to African-descended people in the United States: “We commit to full and complete reparations to the African American community of this nation for the past four hundred plus years of genocide, slavery, land-loss, destruction of original identity and the stark disparities which haunt the present evidenced in unemployment statistics, substandard and inadequate education, higher levels of mortality including infant and maternal mortality and the practice of mass incarceration. We recognize that reparations are a debt (not charity) that is owed by our own and other nations and by the corporate institutions chartered under our laws to a collective of people. We believe that the leadership on the question of what our nation owes to this process of right ought to come from the African American community, whose right to self-determination and autonomy to chart the path to healing we fully recognize.” After more than 150 years since the abolition of slavery and 60+ years after the official end of Jim Crow laws, the systematic impacts of racist policies are still apparent. In Maryland, the Green Party continues to advocate for solutions to these systemic injustices. The party has called for an end to the War on Drugs which fuels mass incarceration including adult legalization of marijuana that uses tax revenue to repair the economic and social damage to the people and communities destroyed by the war on cannabis; elimination of racist environmental policies like waste incineration; a state of emergency to compensate the victims of lead poisoning; fair and just housing policy; and the Maryland Higher Education Equity Act, which would increase educational resources to communities that have been traditionally underfunded by state education policies and make up for consistent undermining of Historic Black Colleges and Universities. We look forward to the 2020 election season where we expect each of our candidates to offer their own vision of reparations and ending systemic racism in line with the values espoused in our platform since our founding.
This week, the Board of Elections in counties throughout Maryland began notifying Green Party members that the party has been temporarily de-certified and asked if you'd like to change your party affiliation. We hope you won't! We have begun the process of regaining ballot access and plan to be a ballot-qualified party once again by the end of the year. In the meantime, you can maintain your affiliation with the Green Party! You don't have to do anything! You are still registered to vote and still identified as a Green. When we regain our party status, you will automatically be registered with the same ballot-qualified Green Party again. You can help us get back on the ballot! We need to collect 10,000 valid signatures of Maryland voters this year to regain our status. Click here to download the petition and instructions on how to collect signatures. As long as you are 18 years old, anyone can collect signatures. Even if you can only collect a few from your family and friends, every signature helps!
Joint statement from the Baltimore County Green Party and the Maryland Green Party on Del. Lisanti The Baltimore County chapter of the Green Party and the Maryland Green Party call for the resignation of Del. Mary Ann Lisanti following her use of racist language to describe Maryland residents. It is simply unacceptable for a person who works on behalf of the citizens of Maryland to casually describe Marylanders with racist language the delegate used. It is no coincidence that a person who would use such racist language would also put forth policy that would continue to disproportionately harm people of color. Specifically, the economic harm that she seeks to inflict would keep thousands of Maryland workers from earning anywhere near a living wage for years to come. Discriminatory, substandard wages that disproportionately impact people of color have never been acceptable, nor has the language and policy put forth by Lisanti. Around the same time that the Washington Post was planning on revealing Delegate Lisanti’s racism she was suggesting amendments to the state’s $15/hr minimum wage legislation which would have exempted a majority of the workers making less than $15/hr. She has clearly demonstrated, through word and deed, that she cannot adequately serve the interest of her constituents, nor the residents of Maryland that would be impacted by her hateful political agenda. While it is important to point out her policy positions, we make this call regardless of how she legislates. The language itself should be reason enough for Delegate Lisanti to resign, and as a value based party we would make the call even if she were fully in line with our policy. Nonetheless we think it is important to point out the way that words translate into work. We acknowledge that Del. Lisanti is not alone in this, nor is she alone in unacceptable behavior that can and should merit resignation or expulsion. The Baltimore County and Maryland Green Party call upon all those who are aware of these behaviors to bring them out of the backrooms and smoke filled clubs of Annapolis and into the light of public scrutiny. We condemn the sexual abuse (i.e. Del. Curt Anderson who also should resign or be expelled), financial improprieties, and sexist, racist, and other demeaning language we know is often used in our state capitol. The policy that follows those heinous acts and language does real harm to real people. While resignation is warranted in this situation, we ultimately believe that the people, not the Central Committee should have the ability to remove and replace legislators who defy the public trust. We call on the Maryland General Assembly to allow for elected officials to be recalled, and to end the process of allowing the Central Committees of the same parties responsible for the culture of putting profit over people to simply appoint an unelected person to fill the vacant legislative seats. We call upon the MGA to initiate and pass legislation to require special elections to fill these vacant seats in a democratic process.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Tim Willard 240-533-2399 email@example.com Montgomery County Green Party Stands With the Bethesda African Cemetery Coalition Kensington, MD Jan 10, 2019 — Two Green Party activists were arrested on Wednesday in an act of civil disobedience at the Housing Opportunities Commission in Kensington, MD. The Housing Opportunities Commission owns a parcel of land in Bethesda where a historic African American cemetery was covered over by a parking lot in the 1960s. The HOC, after initially agreeing to meet with the Cemetery Coalition and the Regency Centers Corporation that is planning the redevelopment of the Westbard area of Bethesda, abruptly backed out of their agreement and has refused any communication with the Coalition. Montgomery County Green Party co-chair, Tim Willard, expressed the Party’s “dismay that even in this day our authorities can delay, deny and obfuscate, refusing to meet with the broad coalition that has formed to right this historical injustice.” Former co-chair Mary Rooker told supporters that “We stand with these ancestors; we will ensure that their memory and their lives are honored and not forgotten.” Both Willard and Rooker were cited for disorderly conduct along with with Marsha Coleman-Adebayo, chair of the Macedonia Baptist Church’s Social Justice Ministry, who declared the demonstration “an act of conscience”, and Lynn Pekkanen, a long time activist with the Coalition. Around 50 other supporters also packed the meeting, sang and chanted in support. The Coalition vowed to return in February during Black History Month. ### See also: MCM MEDIA: https://www.mymcmedia.org/four-arrested-protesting-hocs-lack-of-action-on-african-cemetery/ Bethesda Beat: https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/government/police-cite-protesters-for-disrupting-public-meeting-over-cemetery-site/ Tempers Flare at HOC – Bethesda Beat https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/development/tempers-flare-at-housing-opportunities-commission-meeting-over-cemetery-site/ Elrich Offers His Help as Montgomery County Executive – Bethesda Beat https://bethesdamagazine.com/bethesda-beat/development/elrich-offers-his-help-as-future-county-executive-to-settle-bethesda-cemetery-debate/