Partisan Number 26
PFP going national
Since 1992, the Peace and Freedom Party candidates for President and Vice President appeared on the ballot only in California. In 2008, that has changed. Ralph Nader and Matt Gonzalez, this year's nominees, are on the ballot in 45 states, a record for the party. And while they are listed without a party name in many states, and under the names of various local parties in others, "Peace and Freedom Party" appears under their names in three states: California, Iowa, and Utah.
The party's National Organizing Committee is working on plans for a broad national campaign in the 2010 congressional elections, and for the first time people from outside California have been added to the committee. Drafts of rules, affiliation agreements, and national decision-making procedures are being drawn up.
There has been some discussion of possible national conferences, but in the near future the meetings are expected to be through conference calls, supplemented by e-mail communications.
Some of those in other states interested in developing local Peace and Freedom Party organizations are supporting presidential tickets in 2008 other than the Nader-Gonzalez ticket, including the Moore-Alexander ticket and the La Riva-Puryear ticket.
"We could only pick two people for our national ticket this year, but in 2010 there are hundreds of congressional seats and thousands of state and local legislative and executive positions up for election," says Kevin Akin, the new California State Chair and convenor of the National Organizing Committee. "We think we can build a broad and united national ticket, and we will start intensive work on it the day after this presidential election."
The National Organizing Committee was set up in March by the California State Central Committee of the party, and assigned the development of a multi-state "multi-tendency non-sectarian organization committed to socialism, democracy, feminism, environmentalism and racial equality."
While new organizations are planned in some states, in others the NOC hopes to work out affiliation agreements with existing parties and coalitions.
Kevin Akin describes the Peace and Freedom Party organizational model as "a broad Left umbrella organization that does both electoral and non-electoral work, and enables many on the Left to obtain ballot status with relative ease."
Subcommittees of the NOC are working on reviewing ballot status requirements in different states, approaching possible affiliates, and developing minimum standards and procedures for affiliation.
Individual voters across the country who want to help build the Peace and Freedom Party are urged to send in supporting membership applications, which will put them on the contact list and help them get in touch with others in the same areas. An application is printed next to this article in this issue of the Partisan.