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Very often, we here at GPCO  fielding messages and calls, asking whether we’re going to endorse Bernie Sanders.  Therefore, we need to clearly state that we will not be endorsing Sanders, for both electoral and political reasons, which we will outline here.

Colorado is a closed-caucus state for presidential races (and primaries for other races).  What does that mean?  In Colorado, independents may not vote in partisan caucuses or primaries.  The Green Party of Colorado is one of the many recognized political parties in this state, and we have permanent ballot status.  This means that our candidates do not have to get petition signatures to appear on the ballot, whereas independent candidates do.

Additionally, we are affiliated with the Green Party of the United states.  One of the requirements of accreditation with GPUS is that we must support only the presidential nominee from our national party.  We do not intend to do anything but that.  We have five different presidential candidates, and from among them, we will choose our nominee at our national convention in Houston on August 3-7, 2016.  Colorado will send five delegates to that convention.  At present, Dr. Jill Stein is recognized as the front runner, but the other four candidates are also very thoughtful and forward thinking, much more than anything the Democratic slate has to offer.

The Green Party candidates. From left: William Kreml, Kent Mesplay,Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry, Darryl Cherney, Jill Stein

The Green Party candidates. From left: William Kreml, Kent Mesplay,Sedinam Kinamo Christin Moyowasifza-Curry, Darryl Cherney, Jill Stein

This leads us to our political reasons for supporting Green candidates.  We do agree that Sanders is the most progressive option available to registered Democrats, and we encourage them to do everything they can to skew the corporate Democratic Party leftward.  It is no longer the party of the working class or the person of color.  It no longer stands for people, planet and peace over profit, and if the Democratic Party is to survive, its voters must push leftward.

However, we do have stark differences in our platform from even the Sanders campaign.  Because we are a global party as well, we are very concerned about our country’s destabilization of peace around the world and perpetuation of wars for oil.  We believe it’s time to finally de-fund the military industrial complex and instead redirect those funds toward things like a guaranteed minimum income, jump-starting a green economy and providing free education from preschool through graduate school.

Instead, Sanders has voted over and over for continued funding of the Iraq war, even though he initially voted against its authorization, for increased funding every year of Israel’s apartheid regime…and in 2014, he even voted to gut “food stamps” by $8 billion, all decisions which punish the most vulnerable people on the planet.  Additionally, after an auspicious start in 1963 with civil rights activism, Sanders has neither sponsored nor co-sponsored any civil rights-related legislation during his entire congressional career, missing the bus on racial justice completely.

Even just with these few issues, we find the prospect of Sanders as president just as untenable as a Hillary Clinton as president.  We believe the American people, and the entire world, need something different.  The Democratic Party has been the party where grassroots movements go to die, and we see the Green Party as the electoral tactic for these movements, when they choose to use that tool.

Colorado’s election laws do not allow for “fusion voting,” or parties endorsing the same candidate on their ballot line.  We will be holding a state nomination convention on April 3 to decide our delegates and preference for a Green Party presidential nominee.  The meeting is open to the public, though only registered Greens will be allowed to make remarks or participate in voting.  Endorsing Bernie Sanders will not be on the agenda.

State Nomination Convention
Sunday, April 3, 2016
1 p.m. to 5 p.m.
Koelbel Library
5955 S Holly St
Centennial, CO 80121
Click here to RSVP

Moving leftward toward a Green future,

Andrea Mérida
Co-Chair, Green Party of Colorado

Sean Friend
Secretary, Green Party of Colorado