Update on the organizational process!
We know you have a ton of questions about how this all works, so let's break it down a bit.
- We need a non-profit organization formed to protect our members and Board of Directors from any liability associated with party events AND so that we can form agreements with other organizations. Without this, we can't rent venues in the name of the Forward Party, write checks, form agreements with National Forward Party or any of the other stuff you might expect to do as an organization. This will take a bit of time to hammer out the by-laws, decide on positions, and get the paperwork filed/approved with the State and with the Feds.
- We also need a formal affiliation agreement with the National Forward Party. As you might expect, they have invested a lot of time and energy in the Forward Brand and want to protect that and we want to protect that for them, so there will be a formal agreement outlining all that and how interactions between State and National will take place. There are lawyers involved here, so it will take a bit of time, but we hope to have it done in the next month.
- We also need to talk to the Board of Elections of the State of Maryland and get our petition for new party status officially approved. This seems like a small step, but the nuances are many and we're hoping that by talking with them we can initiate some sort of electronic petition collection as was done during COVID for other new parties.
- An obvious need is to collect petition signatures - this will entail events, door-to-door canvassing, and hopefully direct to signatory interactions. This is where we need our army of volunteers - So consider signing up today! We need 10,000 signatures, but we know that the existing structures will try to invalidate those so we're aiming for 17,500 - that should be enough to get us over the hump.
- To be brutally honest, we also need cash - donations are what fund us to rent venues for signature collection (say at an event like Pride Day - these things don't come free), provide water/snacks to our volunteers who are there for 3-8 hours, print flyers and make t-shirts/buttons, etc. You'd be surprised how much cash is needed just to do signatures, but we promise to spend it responsibly and be transparent about it. Consider donating today!
All of these things are running concurrently and you can see that there's a lot to do - we need your help!
Now, assuming we get all that done, we obviously want to run candidates. Why you say? Can't we just petition for Ranked Choice Voting, Non-Partisan Primaries, and Independent Redistricting Commissions? Actually, no, we can't. There's no way for a citizen petition to be initiated to create a new law in Maryland. All laws originate with a Delegate or Senator of the Maryland Legislation. Could we ask existing members to sponsor our legislation? Sure - but do you really think that's in their best interest? To give away the power of a 2-party system to 3, 4, 5, or more parties? We don't think so either, so it's up to us to stand up candidates and run campaigns and get elected to office so that we can move ahead with the changes we want. We really want to run candidates in the 2024 election and the deadline for that is June 1, 2024, so we fee that if we get our signatures done by Dec. 31, 2023, we'll be in a good position.
Let us know your thoughts on the plan.