Some Allegheny County residents say Health Department hasn't taken enough steps to improve air quality

As the Allegheny County Health Department attempts to improve the county's air quality, environmentalists say enough isn't being done and communication between them and the department is lacking. "While we have made some progress, Allegheny County residents still suffer unhealthy air quality far too often for officials to take a victory lap," Patrick Campbell, the executive director for the Group Against Smog and Pollution, said during the Board of Health meeting last Wednesday. Continue reading

Protecting voting rights, not wrongs

The U.S. Senate is expected to vote soon on the Freedom to Vote Act, in response to increasing restrictions upon voting rights passed by Republican-controlled state legislatures. In 2021, at least 19 states passed 34 laws restricting access to voting. Over 100 more such bills are scheduled to be heard in 2022. The Freedom to Vote Act is a pared-down version of the Democrats’ For the People Act. The newer bill was negotiated by Sen. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., to address his concerns. Manchin’s compromise legislation even includes a voter ID provision in the hope of gaining at least 10 Republican votes to avoid an unbreakable 60-vote filibuster. Continue reading

Leaders must figure out climate solutions now

In the Netflix movie “Don’t Look Up,” politicians chasing dollar signs tell voters to think about “jobs” and ignore all the evidence suggesting impending disaster because of their corporate-friendly decision-making. Allegheny County Executive Rich Fitzgerald tells us to not look up at the county’s nation-leading toxic air quality and lung disease rates while referring to clean air advocates as “extremists.” Continue reading

Maine’s ballot-access laws ruled unconstitutional. What will we do about it?

We all know that Maine is peculiar in all sorts of ways, so it should be no surprise that we are out on an island in terms of the way we allow access by political parties to our ballots: “Maine’s statutory scheme is almost entirely unique in the nation,” says Oliver Hall, legal counsel for the Center for Competitive Democracy, “in that the only way to become a ballot-qualified party is to have enough enrolled members.”  Specifically, you need to launch your political party and get to 10,000 members within two elections. Before recent legal revisions, it was even worse: You had to have 10,000 enrollees actually vote in that election!  Continue reading

The Green Party of Philadelphia denounces corruption of local elected officials

Philadelphia City Councilmember Bobby Henon joined the long list of local elected officials who have been convicted of corruption. In 2015, Councilmember Henon was in discussions about renewing an agreement between Comcast and the City of Philadelphia. The agreement would, among other things, increase internet access for low-income Philadelphia residents and students. Continue reading

Occupy Biden: Day 3 – Demanding Executive Action

Seasoned activist at the occupation site from the fracking front lines in Western PA tells his story I live in the shale fields of western Pennsylvania. Butler County is one of the most heavily fracked counties in one of the most heavily fracked states in the country. We have fence line communities that have suffered health and financial hardship due to the industry. Continue reading

Pa Green Party endorses shut down of berks county detention center

Meeting virtually on November 14, elected delegates to the Green Party of Pennsylvania (GPPA) unanimously endorsed the Shut Down Berks Coalition. The coalition is a group of organizations and individuals demanding the closure of the Berks County Family Detention Center (BCRC) in PA and an end to the practice of imprisoning immigrant families in the U.S. The endorsement was requested by Jay Walker (Allegheny County), a member of the GPPA Steering Committee. Continue reading

Montana ballot access law unconstitutional

HELENA, MT — Part of a Montana election law that states how many signatures minor parties must gather for their candidates to appear on ballots is unconstitutional, the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled. The Montana Green Party in 2018 challenged the rules that require minor parties to gather signatures equal to at least 5 percent of the total votes cast for the winner in the most recent gubernatorial election in at least 34 of 100 state House districts. Continue reading

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down Montana’s Unequal Distribution Requirement for the Petition to Create a New Party

The above quote is taken verbatim from a court recording during a hearing held by the Montana First Judicial District County of Lewis and Clark on May 17, 2018. On November 8, the Ninth Circuit issued an opinion in Montana Green Party v Jacobsen, 20-35340. It struck down the unequal distribution requirement that has existed for Montana petitions for new party recognition ever since 1981. The unequal distribution requirement was responsible for the Green Party’s petition failure in both 2018 and 2020. It requires signatures from one-third of the State House districts. The fatal flaw is that it requires almost three times as many signatures from some districts as from others, even though all districts are approximately equal in population. Continue reading

Nevada Green Party starts petitioning for 2022

The Nevada Green Party has launched its party petition for the 2022 election. It needs 13,557 signatures. If it can get the job done before January 1, 2022, the old law will be in effect. The old law does not require a distribution requirement. Continue reading