Friday, November 10, 2006

Election highlights

[This was cross-posted at the Los Angeles Greens website. See all U.S. Green election results here.]Illinois gubernatorial candidate Rich WhitneyFifty-nine Greens were on the ballot in California on Tuesday, and 18 of them were victorious. Perhaps the largest victory was in Richmond, CA, where Gayle McLaughlin was elected Mayor. According to the GPCA press release, "McLaughlin, who first ran for public office in 2004 when she won a Richmond City Council position, defeated the incumbent mayor of Richmond, although McLaughlin was outspent by about 10-1...Richmond, a working class suburb of San Francisco with a population of about 104,000, becomes the biggest city in the U.S. where a Green is at the helm, and the first in California where a Green was directly elected as mayor."

As former presidential candidate David Cobb pointed out, Tuesday was also a good day for election reform. Instant Run-off Voting was passed in Oakland, CA. Davis, CA voted to adopt choice voting, the proportional voting version of IRV. California Democrat Debra Bowen, an advocate of IRV, was elected Secretary of State.

In California, four propositions endorsed by the Los Angeles Greens passed (1C, 1D, 1E, and 84), while two opposed by the Greens (1B and 83) also passed. Two ballot initiatives strongly supported by Greens failed, however. Prop 87, which would have taxed oil production in the state to fund alternative energy, and Prop 89, the campaign finance initiative, both failed by wide margins.

Nationally, Greens won at least 35 races. In Illinois, gubernatorial candidate Rich Whitney (above) received an impressive 11 percent of the vote. Joyce Robinson-Paul of the DC Statehood Green Party won 14% of the vote for "shadow" Senate. Colorado Green Tom Kelly received 21% of the vote in his race for Congress.

From the GPUS press release:
8.7 million voters across the U.S. voted for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Iraq and for impeachment resolutions on local and state ballots that were promoted or supported by Greens. Troop withdrawal initiatives won in all ten localities in Wisconsin, including Milwaukee, and all 11 communities in Illinois, including Chicago. Of 139 cities and towns in Massachusetts voting on the troop withdrawal measures, only a handful voted nay on initiatives demanding that Congress and the White House end the war immediately. In California, San Francisco voters supported a local impeachment measure by 59.41%. In Berkeley, a similar resolution won the support of 68.56% of the electorate. Greens supported and led the initiative campaigns; in April, 24 of 32 communities voted in support of the 'Troops Home Now' resolutions that were promoted by Greens.

On the whole, Tuesday was a very good day for progressives, as Republicans lost their majority in both houses of Congress. But Greens and other progressives must continue to monitor the Congress and advocate for our values, including peace, universal healthcare, and environmental protection.