this is a work in progress
please contribute your experience and expertise
justifying the risks
Most election cycles, a primary concern in our qualifying question recommendations is with not wasting our own time and energy. This year, compelled by the Courts and state law to conduct this activity under pandemic conditions, we have an added concern of limiting our exposure, and the exposure of our family and friends and the exposure of the large number of the general public this process requires that we interact with, to viral infections.
We are taking a calculated risk that the cost of our inaction, of leaving the field yet again to the corporate parties is greater than the risk of taking the actions necessary to offer Georgia voters an opportunity to vote for Green Party candidates.
These are the corporate parties which defunded our nation’s capacity to respond effectively to global pandemics. These are the corporate parties which ignored the threat of catastrophic climate change. We are talking about the same corporate parties which created the policies which gave us mass incarceration. These are the very same corporate beholden parties which told us they were reforming health care only to enrich the insurance industry at our expense. These corporate parties shifted the tax burden from those with onto the backs of those without. We discuss here those who have ignored the rising rates of homeless. These are the corporate parties which undermined democracy in multiple ways including with international so-called free-trade agreements. These are the same corporate parties which in this election campaign project no intention to change the suicidal direction of this nation’s public policy.
Its true we argued in court that petitioning under pandemic conditions poses a threat to public health. Judge Ross made noises as if she agreed with us while crafting a remedy making it clear that either she did not, or that she was indifferent to the risk.
Its also true that Greens not getting on the ballot poses a larger long-term threat.
In any other year, the qualifying questions we recommend are intended to improve the efficiency of our work. In 2020, they are also intended, along with our personal protective equipment, to limit our exposure and to protect the health of ourselves, our families and of everyone we interact with.
Experienced petition circulators from other states are advising us that besides losing our best petitioning opportunities altogether (fairs and street festivals and other large public gatherings in traditional public fora are not happening at all), that even when they do find opportunities to petition, they are collecting signatures at 40% of the rate they have in years past.
Those engaged in the petition drive in other states are also telling us that they get much better response when they suit up and take seriously the fears instilled by our government’s response to the pandemic. Volunteers wearing face shields, masks and gloves, who carry and visibly use hand-santizer, offering it to folks who interact with their pens and clipboards are getting much better responses than those who flaunt the risks we are told we face.
personal protective equipment (PPE)
interacting with the public
protecting your family
What the health care professionals are telling us is that when they return home from the hospital, they avoid interactions with their family, take a disposable plastic bag to the shower, strip off their clothes, seal them in the plastic bag and shower before getting dressed, laundering their work clothes and practicing social distancing inside their homes.
Of course, the paragraph above describes health care workers who are are providing care to covid19-infected patients. Already, many of us, including some who interact regularly face-to-face with presumably un-infected customers have already returned to work. Not all of us work jobs conducive to remote work from home arrangements. With proper precautions, as described elsewhere on this page, it is possible to limit our risks, even if, out of an abundance of caution, we adapt health-care worker like protocols before hugging our kids.
Our petition drive ends on August 14th. We are not asking of our petition circulators the long term sacrifice that our health care system asks of its workers.
But for many reasons, some of which are listed above, we do think these are risks it is necessary for us to take.
what if I am unwilling to put my family at risk in this way
If your family includes members who are particularly at risk (infants, the elderly, the immuno-compromised); and you are not in a position to quarantine yourself from your family for the duration of the petition drive plus two or three weeks afterwards, you can still contribute to the effort in the following ways:
- ensure you are supporting our work financially with your membership dues or at least a one time contribution;
- particularly if you have carried our petition in the past, write and share with the party a declaration we might use in Court describing your circumstances and explaining why you are unable to put your family at risk circulating a petition for ballot access for your party’s candidates;
- share our materials with folks in your network and urge that they get involved, in your stead.