Organizing Notes

Bruce Gagnon is coordinator of the Global Network Against Weapons & Nuclear Power in Space. He offers his own reflections on organizing and the state of America's declining empire....

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Location: Brunswick, ME, United States

The collapsing US military & economic empire is making Washington & NATO even more dangerous. US could not beat the Taliban but thinks it can take on China-Russia-Iran...a sign of psychopathology for sure. We must all do more to help stop this western corporate arrogance that puts the future generations lives in despair. @BruceKGagnon

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Lisa Savage to take independent route to ballot

Our deadline to reach 2,000 signatures of registered Green party members in Maine is fast approaching.  An honest evaluation of our situation indicates that we have no chance of getting the required signatures for Lisa Savage's US Senate race by the March 15 deadline.  The two-party control of Maine's state government has ensured that they have crafted a ballot access law that makes it virtually impossible for us to succeed.

Maine's Secretary of State Matt Dunlap told the Bangor Daily News last week that moving to presidential primaries (rather than the traditional caucus) produced an “unforeseen consequence” for third parties. “I think it’s just circumstantial, not intentional,” he said, “but it does make it much harder for a statewide third-party candidate.”

In the past month we've been hearing from several past and present leaders of the Maine Green Independent Party urging Lisa to switch to Independent (called 'unenrolled' in Maine) so that she could continue to run.  By making such a switch Lisa could gather signatures from any registered voter - Greens, Democrats, Republicans, or Independents.  We would have to gather 4,000 signatures by June 1 which everyone believes will be much easier.

Because we could previously only get registered Greens signatures in Maine we were collecting at the average rate of one signature per hour.  Maine is very rural and we had to take our Green lists and drive from here to there in the snow and ice hoping we found someone at home.  We got over 900 signatures basically doing that.

Under the new 'Independent' designation we can stand in front of the post office, library or at some spring festival and gather signatures by the scores as people pass by.  So that is what Lisa has decided to do.

Former two-time Maine Green Party candidate for governor Jonathan Carter was one of those who has been encouraging Lisa to switch to Independent.  After hearing the news he wrote:

Lisa's decision to run as an independent is a smart move. The system makes it next to impossible for a Green to get on a statewide ballot. Lisa's message for People, Planet , and Peace is far too important to not have it as part of the US Senate race. Lisa has laid the foundation for a fantastic campaign. Let's keep this campaign going all the way to victory on election day! Thank you Lisa.

As Lisa and others have been alerting volunteers to this new decision the vast majority have responded with understanding and pledges of continued support.  Here is one story Lisa shared with me about one of her hometown (Solon, Maine) friends who has been helping on the campaign.

Anecdote: Mark [Lisa's husband] spoke with Solon volunteer and very old friend Sarah when she returned my call. What she told Mark was that she was deeply moved by the conditions she witnessed while canvassing in our area. Extreme poverty beyond anything that she was really aware of. "I live in a castle" was her comment (she and her woodworker husband live in a nice yurt he built & she has a separate studio for her artwork). She is even more fired up to support our campaign now.

Lisa has decided to stay in this race because she feels that she must give voice to the many in our state who are forgotten by the system - and its two corporate-controlled political parties.  She often speaks about the young students at her K-5 school.  She talks about their poverty, one of their parents being locked up in jail, having no food or heat in their homes.  No medical care to speak of.  No future.

This past week Lisa spent most of her vacation week off from school driving all over the state to meet students at various colleges.  The other night at Unity College a group of students attended a talk by Lisa where among others things she called for the erasing of student debt.  In the Q & A a young man shared how he was 'scared' about his future because of huge college debt.  You could just see the experienced teacher in her as she calmly and confidently responded to him with love and compassion.

The campaign strategy now is to send volunteers to primary voter polling stations across the state on March 3 - Super Tuesday.  We will be asking people to sign her ballot access petition and any registered voter will be able to do so.  It is possible we could come away from that one day with nearly half of the needed signatures.

I will need to return to my job at the Global Network on March 16 but will continue to volunteer in this campaign during my free time.  I believe in Lisa - as a friend and as someone who cares deeply about the future generations and all life on our Mother Earth.  The message she is delivering is important for the public to hear.

It's an honor to be with her on this path.  We must all find ways to speak these needed truths - now more than ever.

See Lisa's campaign news release here



Blogger Lisa Savage said...

Thanks, Bruce. Ranked choice voting in Maine offers such a powerful opportunity to bring the voice of working class people to the U.S. Senate. Climate crisis, student debt crisis, medical care crisis aren't taken seriously by the corporate parties.

Working together, we're in it to win it!

2/27/20, 11:28 AM  

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