The Indiana Green Party (INGP) held its annual congress meeting through Zoom, on June 26th 2021. Members elected officers for the coordinating committee and two national delegates.
The congress meeting
At the annual congress meeting, members of the INGP discussed vacant positions, explained their goals once elected and listened to a number of guest speakers.
They heard from Keyan Bliss, Grassroots Director of Move to Amend which aims to end corporations’ personhood. They further listened to keynote speakers such as Peter Schwartzman, the mayor of Galesburg.
Members also voted and elected officers for the INGP Committee and delegates to the national party.
Officers and Delegates of INGP 2021
Chair: John Shearer
Vice-Chair: Cassiday Moriarity
Treasurer: Michael Cooper
Documentarian: Ken Saylor
Communications Director: Byron Holmes
- Sarah Dillon
- Jacob Peterson
Sarah Dillon’s Platform
Sarah Dillon has been re-elected as one of two national delegates. She has been a member of the Green Party since 2005. Dillon has worked closely with the Howie Hawkins – Angela Walker, campaign to increase ballot access. Dillion is also a member of the US Green Party’s fundraising committee and is heavily involved in Indiana Green’s fundraising.
Dillon explained in an interview with Global Green News that once Covid-19 restrictions loosen up with the roll-out of vaccines, the Indiana Green Party will be campaigning and setting up booths at events more often. She hopes that this term the Greens will be able to make big gains in gathering support for the party
Many of the elected members are new this year, as one of the long-time members Dillon noted, “We just had our congress, which is our annual convention, and a lot of young people are getting involved, especially on our coordinating committee, which is a very good thing we need a lot of fresh ideas“.
Jacob Peterson’s Platform
Jacob Peterson is new to the Indiana Green Party. Having studied music in university, Peterson made the switch to politics after being inspired by fellow musician George Wolfe. Wolfe ran for Secretary of State in the 2018 election also came from a music background. Encouragement from friends and Green Party members pushed Peterson to move up from the general member position and to run for national delegate of the Indiana Green Party.
Peterson has categorized his goals as a candidate into three pillars; solidify the Left, strategize a new party path and stand up for the trans community.
Peterson believes that in a red state like Indiana, the left should be collaborating and not dividing votes. He suggests that independent campaigns and smaller left parties, like the Green Party, select one candidate who stands for shared ideas. His biography on the Indiana Green Party website clarifies this idea:
In an interview with Global Green News, Peterson explained the importance of putting the time and effort into winning over communities where they stand a chance. He said: “I know a lot of people focus on the big city centres but we can actually get pretty far just from smaller municipalities.”
Peterson wishes to stop the debate about trans people’s rights and their gender identity. He told Global Green News that “We [Indiana Green Party] can’t be discussing right-wing debates as a left-wing party.” He calls upon all members of the Green Party to stand as allies to minority groups.
The fight to gain ballot access
As the midterms approach next year, the INGP plan
s to run more candidates. Dillon explained in the same interview with GGN that the biggest obstacle that they will face is obtaining ballot access. Trying to obtain ballot access in Indiana is no simple feat and the Green party will have to push hard to compete in the ballot line race.
Both delegates explained in interviews with Global Green News that there need to be changes made to the Indiana ballot access laws. Sarah Dillon states “We have one of the most restrictive ballot access laws in the US”. To gain ballot access, the party needs 2% of the last secretary of state’s vote, equating to roughly 45,000 signatures. Whereas in other states, the number can be as low as 4,000. Furthermore, the party has only one year (until June 2022) to collect these signatures. Both national delegates wish to get that number lowered in order to reduce obstacles. The Green Party of Indiana and its two delegates are also pushing for ranked-choice voting as a solution to fighting against the two-party dominated system. Dillon explains that
Becoming a visible option
Both delegates agree that the Green Party needs to have a more updated online and social media presence. COVID-19 has shown that these forms of delivering information are effective when in-person gatherings are not possible. However, Peterson and Dillon are both eager to return to old-school methods like knocking from door to door. Peterson told GGN, “It’s always important to get our faces out there so that people know who we are”.
More news from US Green Party: Green Party’s Founder Asserts That Greens Need to Refocus Their Environmental Agenda
To watch the congress meeting: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tAO1QeKtR7s
the Indiana Green Party website: https://www.greenpartyin.com/