Green Party County Council elections filings open January 4, 2016


Green Party members across California are eligible to run for the Green Party County Council in your countyan opportunity to act locally, while thinking globally!

The County Council is the legal body of the state Green Party (GPCA) on the county level. It is generally responsible for organizing and coordinating Green Party activity within the county, including party building, internal and external communications, supporting local Green candidates and representing county Greens to the state Green Party.

County Councils are elected in the June presidential primary election every four years by registered Greens. County Councils hold public meetings and are governed by their own county bylaws, and have their own email lists for internal business and social media for public outreach

To run for County Council, one must be a registered Green in the county (and district where applicable) in which one seeks election, and have been registered Green at least three months prior to the opening of the nomination filing period, which begins in 2016 on January 4th.

To qualify for the ballot, a potential County Council candidate must gather twenty nomination signatures from registered Greens in the district (fewer in counties with less than 1,000 registered Greens). These nomination signatures are then checked for validity by the County Registrar. If enough are valid, one's name is placed on the ballot for a public vote of registered Greens in the June 7, 2016 primary. (If fewer candidates qualify for the ballot than the number of seats, all are declared elected, and the election does not appear on the ballot.)

The 2016 signature gathering period is between January 4 and March 11. To begin the process, one must go to the County Registrar's office to fill out the declaration of candidacy, obtain the official signature gathering forms and then later, hand them in upon completion. Some counties also allow for electronic filing of the declaration of candidacy, with authorization for someone else to pick up your nomination papers. Contact your county registrar here for more information.

How many County Council seats are up for election in your county? The number is determined in each county Green Party's bylaws. Most counties have seven, a few of the smaller have five, and the two largest have more: Alameda (9) and Los Angeles (44). All counties elect their County Council members at-large county-wide, except Los Angeles elects its from 12 State Senate Districts within the county.

If you qualify for the ballot, we also encourage you to post a campaign page for yourself on the League of Women Voters Smart Voter website, which they offer for free to all candidates, even for County Council. For more information:

If you are also considering running for State Legislature or the US Congress in 2016, the signature gathering period for both starts at the same time as for County Council, so you can gather signatures for both at the same time – the successful result of a 2012 change in state law that the Green Party lobbied for.

It is also possible to gather signatures for a group of County Council candidates on the same petition, this the result of additional Green Party lobbying efforts, which led to the state legislature's 2015 passing of a Green Party section in the state Elections Code.  Ask your county registrar about this option.

We hope you will consider getting active in the Green Party on the county level through your local county council -- and help build a strong and independent Green electoral alternative in California.


Sanda Everette, Alex Shantz, Co-coordinators, GPCA Coordinating Committee
Pamela Spevack, Rich Stone, Co-coordinators, GPCA Campaigns and Candidates Working Group
Michael Feinstein, Spokesperson, Green Party of California

Donate to the GPCA (we don't take corporate donations and are funded by people like you)

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GPCA general contact: • 916-448-3437

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