By the Green Party of Colorado

Hailing the passage of a new state law encouraging local governments to use Instant Runoff Voting, Colorado Green Party members have called on cities and counties around the state to implement ranked voting methods in upcoming elections.

In May, Governor Bill Ritter signed into law HB08-1378. It was championed by state Representative John Kefalas (D-Fort Collins) and former Green. The Voter Choice Act permits cities and counties to use ranked voting methods, and requires the Secretary of State to create rules for conducting such local elections.

“If politics is the art of the next step, than Rep. Kefalas’ election reform measure is a Picasso,” said Art Goodtimes, San Miguel County Commissioner and Green Party member. “Instant Runoff Voting will save taxpayer money, guarantee majority wins, and allow citizens to vote for multiple candidates of their choosing—that means more candidates, more choice, more democracy. It’s darn exciting.”

“It is long past time to extend this form of voting to all elections held in Colorado,” said Bob Kinsey, Green Party candidate for Colorado’s U.S. Senate seat. “Voters deserve a broader range of choices than what the so-called two-party system provides. Money, name recognition and image will become less significant. Voters will feel more empowered and become more active in the process.”

Dr. Ron Forthofer, former Green Party candidate for governor is also a member of the 2007 Voter Choice Task Force. The task force was instrumental is laying the foundation for the new law. Forthofer said the momentum for voting reform is growing.

Ranked voting methods have been used in dozens of American cities over the years. In Colorado, Basalt and Aspen have already adopted ranked voting, while cities like Grand Junction and Boulder have used these methods in the past. Minneapolis (MN), Oakland (CA) and Burlington (VT) are among cities that recently switched to ranked voting methods.

Poudre Valley gives 2008 Green Giant Awards

By the Green Party of Colorado

Poudre Valley Green Party has announced the winners of its 2008 Green Giant Awards. This award is given occasionally to individuals and groups in the community who exemplify the 10 Key Values of the Green Party. This year’s winners are Coloradoans Against Resource Destruction (CARD), Save the Poudre, Gailmarie Kimmel and Maury Alberston. Although winners do not need to be members of the Green Party, they all have expressed the essence of Green principles.

CARD has led the fight to protect groundwater, air quality and property rights from the possibility of uranium mining in Weld County.

The Save the Poudre coalition works to defend the endangered Poudre River from overuse and habitat destruction, focusing right now on the proposed Glade Reservoir that would take over half the river’s flow through downtown Fort Collins in an average year.

Gailmarie Kimmel has been a long-time leader in community-localization efforts, from working on the board of the Rocky Mountain Sustainable Living Association, and starting the Local Living Economy Network, to producing the Be Local coupon book, among many endeavors.

Maury Alberston, Colorado State University professor emeritus, is best known as one of the founders of the Peace Corps, but continues to work on sustainable development into his late 80’s through organizations such as Village Earth, which he also co-founded.

The Green Giant awards were presented at the second annual Red, White, Blue and Green Party held July 4 at Avogadro’s Number in Fort Collins. “We celebrate on July 4th for two reasons,” said local green organizer Eric Fried. “First, renewable energy is national security, meaning Green is the new red, white and blue. Second, it’s time to put the party back in the Green Party.”

For information on the awards or Poudre Valley Green Party, please call 970-214-4548.