Visit your county Green Party directory to find contact information for your county council.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are County Councils?
The County Council is the legal body of the GPCA on the county level and is generally responsible for organizing and coordinating Green Party activity within the county, including party building, internal and external communications, and representing the county to the state party. Green Party County Councils are elected in the primary election every two years by registered Greens. County Councils hold public meetings and are governed by their own county bylaws.
All political parties in California are governed by the California Elections Code. The Code specifies the duties and qualifications of all political parties, including their state and county organs. Each ballot-qualified party must hold a county organization election in the state primary election every two years. The Green Party calls its elected County organizations ‘County Councils’. Other parties call theirs ‘Central Committees’ or ‘County Central Committees’.
How does one qualify for the ballot? Who is eligible to run?
To run for County Council, one must be a registered Green in the district in which one seeks election. (E.C. § 201), have been registered Green at least 3 months prior to filing nomination documents and have not been affiliated with any other qualified party for 12 months immediately prior to filing. (E.C. § 8001(a)).
To qualify for the ballot, a potential County Council candidate must gather a given number of nomination signatures from registered Greens (usually twenty). These 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. (If the number of candidates is less than the number of positions available, all of the candidates will be declared winners, and you will not see the position on your ballot.)
The signature gathering period is between February and March in even numbered years on dates that correspond to E-112 and E-88, indicating the number of days before the County Council election. (E.C. €€ 8020 & 10407). One must go to the County Registrar's office to fill out the declaration of candidacy, obtain the official signature gathering forms and to hand them in upon completion.
How to calculate the official size of your County Council
Per E.C. §5005, when a new party qualifies for statewide ballot status, it must adopt the elections code of another qualified party until it can get its own elections rules adopted by the state legislature. When the Green Party of California qualified for the ballot in 1992, it agreed to adopt the elections code of the Peace and Freedom Party (Code §§7700-7999). E.C. §7752 addresses the size of the county council:
"7752. The number of members of central committees to be elected in a county shall be the greater of either of the following: (a) The number seven. (b) The integer nearest the resulting quotient obtained by dividing 400 times the number of Peace and Freedom Party [e.g., Green Party] registered voters in the county by the number of Peace and Freedom Party [e.g., Green Party] registered voters in the state. However, the number of members of central committees to be elected in a county shall be five if the number of Peace and Freedom Party registered voters in the county is less than 150. "
Based on the above statute, if the number of Greens in your county is less than 150, then the county council consists of 5 members. Otherwise, the county council is the larger of 7 or the number calculated by this formula:
(Number of registered Greens in your county) x 400 = Number of county councilmembers
(Number of registered Greens in the entire state)
The latest Voter Registration statistics on the California Secretary of State's webpage for all counties may be found on-line at: http://www.ss.ca.gov/elections/elections_u.htm
Other California Election Code provisions affecting County Councils
E.C. §7753 states that the councilmembers are to be elected "at-large" if the size of the council is 12 or less. Once the council reaches 13 members, councilmembers are to be elected by supervisorial district. It also provides special rules for the counties of Los Angeles and San Francisco, due to their population density. E.C. §7850 gives the elected county council the power to appoint additional county council members at its discretion. E.C. §7852 mandates that county councilmembers must be registered members of the Green Party and a resident of the county. E.C. §7857 provides for the GPCA state Coordinating Committee to appoint a county council if there has been no county council election at the preceding direct primary election.