Run for Office
The Green Party of Allegheny County will be accepting applications for 2020 Green candidates starting in Fall 2019!
Stay tuned for more information on how to apply!
Some offices have modest time and financial requirements and are an easy way to get involved in government. If interested or you have any questions, please Contact Us.
Why Run for Office?
While activism and direct community efforts can often effect the change we want to see, many issues require more formal backing to solve. For example, laws may need to be changed, or we may wish to fund projects through taxes.
Why run as a Green?
We hope you'll consider joining the Green Party for your campaign for many reasons, including the following:
First, your campaign has an immediately recognizable set of progressive values that can excite voters. Greens all around the country and even the world, support our 10 Key Values. This helps voters quickly understand where you stand on a variety of issues. Green values include a unique a combination of grassroots democracy, decentralization, social justice and diversity, and ecology and sustainability that sets us apart from other parties.
Secondly, your constitutients will appreciate your commitment to being directly accountable to our members and voters, not corporations and lobbyists. Greens refuse corporate sponsorship and funding and instead rely on individual donors, allowing Green candidates to speak their mind freely as part of a truly independent, grassroots party.
Third, you can spend all your time focused on winning in November. Since Greens do not participate in the primaries, you effectively get an extra 6 months of campaigning compared to primary candidates, giving more time to reach more voters. Furthermore, your campaign can reach out to independent voters that can’t vote in primary elections due to Pennsylvania’s closed primary laws, potentially giving you a bigger base.
Lastly, you won’t be running alone! Some progressive candidates try to run as independents, but this can be a difficult road to go alone, and even if successful, only gets one person elected rather than building a larger movement. While we are currently a small party, we do support our candidates as much as possible and can provide access to Green Party resources like our voter database and mailing list. You can also run on a ticket with other Greens and fundraise together, sharing infrastructure and helping build the party for even stronger future runs.
How do I run?
The exact details depend on the office you are seeking, but generally speaking it only takes a few forms and a small fee (some local offices are free to file though!) to become an official candidate on the ballot.
To get started, consider the following:
- What is the message of your campaign? Think about issues affecting the community that you would like to see addressed. What level of government is most appropriate to deal with those issues? For example, improving your local school district is most likely best handled at a local level, while pollution, fracking and climate change might be best dealt with at a state or federal level.
- What's your time and money commitment? Depending on what your message is, next consider how much time you intend to devote to the campaign. Some offices might require less time and money, but may not get as much media attention if raising awareness is a major goal of your campaign. Also consider what happens if you win the election: would you have time to perform your elected duties? Most local offices only require a couple meetings per month in the evening after work, whereas state or federal representatives are expected to serve full-time.
- Does your message fit well with the Green Party? Take a look at our Platform and 10 Key Values to determine if you'd feel comfortable running as a Green Party candidate. We require all of our candidates to be registered with the Green Party before receiving the nomination. State law typically requires you to be registered a Green at least 30 days prior to the primary election that year, too.
Once you've answered these questions and determined you'd like to run as Green, the next steps are typically the following:
- Contact Us, and let us know you're interested in running of office. If you're not sure which one, let us know you're undecided and we'll help talk you through the options.
- Ensure you meet the requirements for the office you seek. Some offices require that you have lived in the district for so many years, or be above a certain age, for example.
- We'll provide you with a Candidate Questionnaire form and then schedule an opportunity to speak with Green Party representatives about details of your run. Your questionnaire and interview information will be shared with our members. Party members will then vote on your endorsement for the Green nomination.
- If approved by the local and/or state party, you must sign a Candidate Agreement agreeing to uphold the 10 Key Values and support the Green Party platform during your campaigning and while in office if elected, and agree to run a grassroots campaign that refuses all corporate and super PAC money. The Green Party will then provide you with a signed statement of nomination to include with your paperwork.
- Now that you are endorsed, you may petition for ballot access by gathering signatures from registered voters in the district your are running for. Your nomination papers are filed with the county and/or state and/or Federal Election Commission (FEC) prior to August 1st. Signatures are not needed if you are a special election candidate.
- You are now an official candidate on the ballot and can continue campaigning for office until November! Be aware of any campaign finance laws and report your fundraising and expenditure activities as necessary to the appropriate government office.
Most local offices have low ballot access and time requirements and do not require much, if any, money to run and campaign. We encourage everyone to consider at least running for local office, especially those with no prior experience. Local office is a great way to give back to your community and advance the Green Party platform. However, there are also county, state, and federal offices, all of them doable if you are interested! Talk with us about your ideas.