Every Vote Must be Counted - Our Support of the Recount

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Our campaign supports the Stein's campaign efforts to enact a recount. This action has nothing to do with party politics. It's about a principled position that every vote should count. Elections need to be transparent and audit-able.

Back in October I actually gave an interview to a Swedish national radio station about our election system. The interviewer was surprised to learn that we don't have a mechanism in our legislative branch to make a vote of no confidence and vote in a new government at any time. This means we don't have a way in the middle of a term to declare that our government isn't working, out of line, or just generally needs to be dissolved and revoted in.

You'd think in a system like ours the right to vote would have quite a few safety measures built in to make sure that our votes are tabulated properly. In reality this isn't the case. (see the links below for more information)

I echo the call to have a recount done in as many battleground states as possible. I'm disgusted that an automatic recount isn't called for in WI, MI and PA and I applaud Dr. Jill Stein and her team in their effort to pay for one. I've let Jill know that as long as she has support from state chapters and election law experts then she has my support in taking this action.

Furthermore, I think it's shameful that the other political parties haven't taken this action. In particular the Republican party is known for protracted legal battles after a Presidential Election. Yet becuase their party won they're completely silent about this. The Democratic party once again repeats history in not calling for a recount or audit, even though they clearly have the most to lose. I urge all other candidates and parties to join us in making sure every ballot is counted and this election audited.

My party, the Green Party, has stood by the amazing work of Greg Palast over the years. Palast has repeatedly shown us that election purges of voter rolls were happening and they were only growing over years. Yet Greg Palast stood with Jill Stein outside of this years DNC while the Democrats and the other parties paid no attention to him. Shame on the other political parties for ignoring the years of voter purges and lack of accountability, transparency, and audit-ability of elections.

For more information on what an audit / recount looks like click here. https://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2016/11/e-voting-machines-need-paper-audits-be-trustworthy

For more information on Greg Palast's amazing work and his take on the recount click here. http://www.gregpalast.com/

To contribute to the recount that the Stein / Baraka campaign are initiating click here. http://www.jill2016.com/

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Why CASA in Action Supports our Progressive Campaign

From: Elizabeth Alex of CASA in Action
Date: November 3, 2016 at 1:16:07 PM EDT
To: Owen Andrews, Labor & Immigration Outreach for Ian Schlakman for Baltimore City Council District 12
Subject: testimonial

I first met Ian Schlakman in the trenches of the Fight for 15 movement. He stepped up as a small business owner to unequivocally endorse a living wage for all Baltimoreans. At CASA in Action we were impressed with the depth of Ian's platform to harness the economic power of Baltimore's growing immigrant population through policies to ensure that Baltimore goes beyond being a welcoming city to immigrants, to a city that fully embraces and recognizes our diversity as one or our greatest strengths. His stance on immigrant rights reflects our shared understanding that the success of immigrants and Baltimore are intertwined and mutually reinforcing.

That’s why I’m proud to announce CASA in Action is endorsing Ian Schlakman for Baltimore City Council. His deep respect for the diverse residents of the 12th district and City of Baltimore and his clear vision for progressive solutions to systemic challenges faced by our city's diverse residents make him the best choice for the 12th district.

--
Elizabeth Alex
Regional Director
CASA in Action


Sierra Club Has Endorsed Us!

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I am overjoyed to announce that we have officially become the first Green Party Candidate in Maryland history to be endorsed by the Sierra Club. The Sierra Club is one of the oldest environmental groups, founded in 1892, and is now the nation's largest grassroots environmental organization with more than two million members and supporters.

As you're probably aware, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe in North Dakota is desperately fighting to stop the Dakota Access Pipeline from being built. If unsuccessful, this oil pipe will destroy sacred sites and contaminate their water. What you might not know is that crude oil from the same area in North Dakota, known as "Bakken Crude", is actually shipped through Baltimore. Oil tankers take it right through our residential neighborhoods.

We actually had an oil train derailment this past summer right under MICA, the Maryland Institute College of Art! Thankfully the oil tanks didn't explode and hurt anybody. Did this near-catastrophe motivate our government to take action? Of course not. 

And Baltimore is no stranger to contaminated water either — our infrastructure can’t handle more than a few inches of rain at a time. In 2015, nearly 5,000 reports of raw untreated sewage flooded and destroyed residential basements. On February 23, 2016, a single storm caused 12.6 million gallons of wastewater to be released into streams and streets, ultimately ending up in our Inner Harbor.

Our city’s incompetence is responsible for this immeasurable environmental damage. It's time to elect leaders that understand how neglecting our infrastructure and our environment is unacceptable.


CASA in Action Endorses Ian Schlakman

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We are thrilled to announce CASA in Action's endorsement of the Ian Schlakman campaign. CASA in Action is a 501(c)4 organization that engages in educational, legislative, and political activities in support of immigrants. Their efforts have proven to promote greater civic and electoral engagement among New Americans. "I am extremely proud of CASA in Action's endorsement," says Ian. "Together we will bring about the changes that our community deserves."

This endorsement builds on the momentum of the Sierra Club's endorsement. We call on environmentalists and immigrant / human rights activists to help us on election day to ensure that we bring our platform of environmental and social justice to city hall.



Estamos encantados de anunciar la aprobación oficial de CASA en Acción hacia la campania de Ian Schlakman. CASA en Acción es una organización 501(c)4 que se involucra en actividades educativas, legislativas y políticas en apoyo a los inmigrantes. Sus esfuerzos han comprobado aumentar la participación cívica y electoral de los nuevos americanos. “Estoy extremadamente orgulloso de la aprobación de CASA en Acción,” dice Ian. “Juntos lograremos el cambio que tanto merece nuestra comunidad.”

Esta aprobación oficial le da impulso a la campania, después de la aprobación también del Sierra Club. Hacemos un llamado a los activistas del medio ambiente y también de derechos humanos/inmigrantes que nos ayuden el dia de las elecciones, para asegurar que podamos llevar nuestra plataforma de justicia medioambiental y social al cabildo de la ciudad.

http://casainaction.org/2016/10/2016-casa-action-candidates/


Another Baltimore Politican Who Thinks They are Above the Law

When running for office everyone needs to abide by the same rules as spelled out in the law. When individuals try to manipulate things behind the scenes and change or bypass the rules, we have a responsibility to fight back.

My opponent, Dan Sparaco, failed to meet the filing deadline that every other candidate in our city had to follow. You'd think not filing on time would disqualify you from seeking public office. Well not if you're my opponent. My opponent filed to get on the ballot at least four months after the deadline that all other candidates had to adhere to. We were shocked to learn that the Board of Elections had mysteriously let him bypass the rules and get on the ballot.

When we found out about this we immediately fought back. We filed a lawsuit against the Board of Elections for allowing someone onto the ballot who didn't follow the law. We couldn’t let the Board of Elections get away with this level of corruption.

In May, Dan filed a lawsuit to get himself on the ballot, arguing he didn’t agree with the election law deadlines. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with a candidate fighting what he perceives to be an unjust law. But instead of waiting for a judge to make a ruling, he cut a deal with the Attorney General of Maryland and the Board of Elections that allowed him to just add himself onto the ballot. My opponent then quietly withdrew his lawsuit specifically because he got what he wanted and didn't want a judge to weigh in anymore.

What’s even more bizarre about this case is that in previous cases where candidates have sued the BOE to fight what they perceive as injustices, the BOE fights back! In the case of Greg Dorsey just last year, Mr. Dorsey fought to reduce the amount of signatures needed to run for US Senate in Maryland. The BOE didn’t just give him what he wanted, they actively fought against it and tried to get the case dismissed. But that’s not what happened with my opponent. He decided rather than getting a judge to make a ruling he would collude with the Attorney General and BOE to simply get himself on the ballot nice and quietly.

Did the BOE make some sort of announcement about Dan being let on the ballot? Did they publicly announce that others could now get on the ballot? Nope, not at all. In fact, when I contacted the Baltimore BOE they told me they had “No idea what was going on” and the state BOE said “We’re not required to inform anyone about changes like these”. So if you were thinking, well at least this helped others who wanted to file late, apparently that’s not the case either.

It gets worse. So the Attorney General and/or the Board of Elections allowed my opponent on the ballot without any judge weighing in. The deadlines for our elections are written into our state law. This means that the Attorney General and/or the Board of Elections and my opponent colluded to actually change the law without any authority to do so. No judge, and certainly no lawmaker, signed off on this.

I didn’t take this lying down. I reached out to my activist colleagues who work on voter rights issues. In particular two individuals that were in the VOICES group that protested the terrible handling of Baltimore City’s primary elections. For those that don’t know, we had memory cards full of votes mysteriously locked in storage closets and lots of other Election Day chaos in the primary.

What really upset my activist colleagues though is the precedent this sets. If Mr. Sparaco is allowed on the ballot in this fashion it means that in the future the Attorney General, who himself is a political actor, again can change the deadlines that are hard written into the law. This is a dangerous precedent that can’t stand. Imagine starting your run for office with the BOE claiming there’s one set of rules for you to follow that spell out all the deadlines you’ll have to follow and then being told that the BOE simply changes the rules on you midway through your run for office. And of course, the BOE never notifies you of these changes. Good luck trying to figure out if the changes to the law are made because “they’re not required to notify you” as I was told by the state BOE.

Of course I called up my opponent, Mr. Sparaco, to hear why he did this. What he said was shocking!

My opponent said that he was AFRAID of losing the Democratic primary, so that's why he INTENTIONALLY missed the deadline everyone else had to follow. I wouldn't blame you if you didn't believe me. It sounds insane, but he actually wrote that in his original court case. Check out the story on this, it's unbelievable.

After admitting that to me, my opponent then bragged about how rich and well connected he is, and then told me to drop out of the race. Well my team checked, and where does the majority of his money come from? His mommy and daddy back home in New Jersey, of course!

This guy is the Ryan Lochte of political candidates. He thinks he is above the law and he believes that he can manipulate any law or rule as long as it benefits him. We cannot let him get away with this kind of behavior. Candidates should not be able to rewrite election law behind closed doors with BOE. Have your day in court and have the courage to fight for your convictions in front of a judge and in front of the public who have to live with your selfish decisions for many elections to come.

Stand with us as we fight with everything we have until November 8th.

Court Case Updates: Federal -

Our federal court case was submitted and our lawyer asked for an emergency injunction. To be fair to our opponent, Mr. Sparaco, we notified him of these events and invited him to intervene and state his case. In effect, we did the work of re-opening this federal case for him. So now instead of bureaucrats at the BOE deciding if they can re-write laws, a judge in federal court can finally weigh in.

Unfortunately, the judge in the federal case told my lawyer, who is qualified to litigate in federal court on a “Pro Hac” basis, that she’s not qualified to litigate this particular case. So our case was dismissed “without prejudice” meaning it can be brought back to court. My federal court lawyer is working to update her status with the federal bar so she can again litigate cases like this in the future.

Court Case Updates: Maryland –

We found a new lawyer who is willing to take the case in MD court. Let me take a moment to explain why we filed in MD court. There is a period of time to ask for the MD ballots to be reviewed by a judge. This is known as judicial review. I personally called the MD BOE and asked them to give us judicial review. They practically laughed at me and explained that in order to receive judicial review I had to file a lawsuit in MD court. There was no way to simply “request it”.

So our MD lawyer filed for a judicial review and for a TRO (Temporary Restraining Order) showing that Mr. Sparaco is not a qualified candidate. The circuit court judge saw the order immediately and agreed to sign off on the Temporary Restraining Order. So at that point Mr. Sparaco was not allowed on the ballot.

One day later the Attorney General went to court on behalf of the BOE and filed several motions in the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the highest court in MD, to get the TRO thrown out / dissolved. Thankfully the case was not dissolved but simply stayed. This means the Court of Appeals choose to suspend the decision of the lower court and will want to be involved in the case to some capacity.

We will continue to litigate this case vigorously.  However, given the fact that the General Election is only less than seven weeks away from now and early voting begins on October 27, it is possible that the courts may not be able to review our litigation fully and finally before citizens must cast their votes.  If Dan’s name remains on the ballot, please keep in mind that his name should not be there and he only got on the ballot by violating the law and convincing the Attorney General and BOE to look the other way.


Judge Orders Removal of District 12 Council Candidate from Ballot

Judge Orders Removal of District 12 Councilmanic Candidate from Ballot

Ian Schlakman (Green - District 12) and Frank Richardson (Unaffiliated - District 12) obtained a court order forcing the Maryland Board of Elections to follow the election law deadlines. Intentionally late filing by Dan Sparaco ordered removed from the November ballot by judge.

 BALTIMORE, Sept. 22, 2016 – Anne Arundel County Circuit Judge Paul F. Harris Jr. has entered a Temporary Restraining Order directing Linda H. Lamone, in her official capacity as State Administrator, Maryland State Board of Elections, and Armstead B.C. Jones Sr., in his official capacity as Election Director, Baltimore City Board of Elections to remove the name of Dan Sparaco from any and all ballots to be distributed to voters in Baltimore City Councilmanic District No. 12 for the 2016 General Election.

Dan Sparaco is a former city lawyer who knowingly and intentionally missed the state’s deadline to file for candidacy because “he feared he might have to run against the incumbent Councilman from District 12.” After learning that the incumbent was not re-running for office, Mr. Sparaco sought to avoid the consequences of his intentional failure to file by the Februrary 2016 deadline by filing a Federal lawsuit.

After the Maryland Board of Elections placed him on the ballot, he voluntarily dismissed his pending Federal lawsuit.

Ian Schlakman and Frank Richardson believe that the State Board of Elections entered into a non-public and legally impermissible agreement in which Mr. Sparaco’s failure to meet the deadline was overlooked by the State Board in exchange for Mr. Sparaco voluntarily dismissing his federal lawsuit that he had filed over the constitutionality of Maryland Election Law Title 5.

According to the Board of Elections, the overseas ballots which are sent to our military abroad are due to be mailed tomorrow September 24th.

Click here to see our complaint to the MD court.

Click here to see the signed order from the MD Judge Paul F. Harris.

CONTACT: Eric Tien, Director of Communications, 410.802.8863, ericttien@gmail.com

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Update: Friday morning we were excited to announce that we had received a Temporary Restraining Order (TRO) preventing Dan Sparaco from being on the Ballot in the 12th District City Council Race. Friday afternoon the appellate court notified us that they had issued a legal stay (a temporary halt of a judicial proceeding) on that TRO and all further proceedings in the case. The stay was one among many of the legal documents that we received on Friday afternoon from the appellate court and from Attorney General Brian Frosh. We will be consulting with council over the weekend and plan on proceeding with further litigation. Our campaign will make further statements in the coming days.

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Green Party Candidate Ian Schlakman: Top Fundraiser in District 12

Green Party Candidate Ian Schlakman: Top Fundraiser in the District

The Pre-General Campaign Finance Reports are out and Ian Schlakman received more donations and raised more money than all his opponents combined, with an average donation of $35.29.

BALTIMORE, Sept. 1, 2016 – With the release of the first Pre-General Campaign Finance Reports, Ian Schlakman pulls ahead as the clear winner. His enormous success serves as proof to the power of grassroots movements and provides strong evidence to his electability and to the challenges Robert Stokes will face.

A review of Schd 1, Col A contributions is as follows:

  1. Schlakman:     358 Donations;            $12, 634.20 raised;      $35.29 Average Donation
  2. Stokes:            8 Donations;                $3,100.00 Raised;        $387.50 Average Donation
  3. Sparaco:          12 Donations;              $3,205 Raised;             $267.08 Average Donation
  4. Richardson:      5 Donations;                $1,190.00 Raised;        $238.00 Average Donation

More details Ian Schlakman's campaign:

  • 91 donations under $10
  • 41 donations of $20.16
  • $8342.49 raised in the last eight days
  • Just under $27,000 raised to date


Ian Schlakman's campaign is quickly growing and he is endorsed by Jill Stein, Margaret Flowers, and just recently, the Sierra Club. His report also clearly shows that he has a full professional campaign team working in the district every day.

You decide, who's winning?


We Must Continue to Fight for 15$!

The movement to raise the minimum wage to fifteen dollars an hour has been picking up steam, passing its first barrier in the labor committee and a vote in the full council is has now advanced to a final vote.  This is largely thanks to a grassroots movement and the valiant effort of Baltimore’s labor unions and activist organizations which have introduced and fought for income justice.

However, the latest victory was only narrowly won for the workers of Baltimore, because the usual champion of progressive issues, Carl Stokes, the 12th district’s exiting councilperson, decided to change his vote from an affirmative one to an abstention in the eleventh hour.  While Councilman Stokes was an early supporter, his decision to abstain from the vote calls for an exploration of behind the scenes influences and dubious politicking with his political compatriot of over 20 years, City Council President Jack Bernard Young.

 City Council President Jack Young was previously the councilman in the 12th district before Carl Stokes, and the two are known good pals, both in government and in the casual world.  In fact, the two have been known to take lavish trips such as a recent jaunt to Las Vegas together (trips that many working class residents of the 12th district could never dream of taking because of the poverty minimum wage Young supports).  They joined the democratic party establishment in the east side of the 12th district decades ago together, and in fact Robert Stokes, my opponent, also joined their political circle, creating an East Side Democratic Establishment trio.

 

Read more

Ian Stands with Housing For All Baltimore on Charter Amendment

Baltimore is currently in an unstable housing situation, and likewise, so are Baltimoreans.  Over fifty percent of renters and forty percent of homeowners pay a third of their monthly income for housing, and this creates a situation in which many of Baltimore’s working and middle class residents are under constant risk of eviction, or foreclosure, given the difficulty of payment.  This situation is not helped by the greed of banks or the relative parsimony of many landlords, who tend to deal with a situation in a manner which makes sense for their bottom line, but is greatly harmful to the individuals they are dealing with.

            As a socialist, Ian Schlakman believes in a transition towards greater community ownership of land and resources.  He believes this because such a transition will give low-income residents both in our city and elsewhere greater determination over their lives by giving them both housing they can afford, and a tangible role in the management of their housing and their community.  Therefore, he supports the Charter amendment proposed by Housing for all Baltimore, which aims to create more affordable housing through establishing a fund for affordable housing initiatives, known as the Affordable Housing Trust Fund.

 The amendment is revolutionary for affordable housing in Baltimore, and is effectively a socialization and democratization of housing.  If the amendment is successful, for the first time in the history of the city, affordable housing residents, activists, and nonprofits will be making decisions regarding their housing, rather than a massive federal, state, or municipal bureaucracy.  Furthermore, the amendment will provide low income residents with newfound opportunities to home ownership through the creation of community land trusts.  Community Land Trusts have been extremely successful elsewhere, such as in Burlington, Vermont (where Bernie Sanders worked to establish what is now the country’s second largest community land trust).

Ian Schlakman is excited to endorse this amendment, and is looking forward to greater opportunities for housing equality and security that it will open up.  This amendment is the first step towards low income communities determining what goes on in their homes and neighborhoods.  Ian will support this amendment, and will fight on for a Tenant’s Bill of Rights, and housing for all of Baltimore’s homeless residents.  There is enough housing for all, but capitalism structurally forbids this housing to be given to all.  Amendments like this are the solution, and candidates like Ian will bring about the solution!


Our Statement on the Corner Store Ordinance

From the office of Ian Schlakman - Green Party Candidate for City Council District 12 - July 20th 2016

For Immediate Release: 

            Corner stores are very important to communities.  They provide a place where neighborhood residents are conveniently able to pick up food and get services on the way to or from work or school.  But these spaces also provide an anchor for communities.  Residents meet each other throughout the course of the day, exchange information about going-ons in the community, and build community ties and solidarity with each other.  In short, they not only provide economic benefits to a community, and needed resources, but they also empower neighborhoods to build and feel an enhanced sense of community.

            Vacancies of corner stores are a community issue throughout the 12th District, especially in the Remington neighborhood.  To counteract the issues brought up by these vacancies, the Greater Remington Improvement Association (GRIA) has been working to achieve the passage of the Cornerstore Ordinance.  GRIA members and other Remington residents tirelessly organized for the ordinance, collecting signatures and educating the community about the project, which would rezone 12 vacant corner properties for new commercial use.

            To the dismay of Remington residents, and Ian Schlakman, the ordinance for rezoning has been reversed due to a challenge in the city’s Circuit Court for reversal.  This reversal means that the small businesses that benefit from this ordinance will be not be able to open and begin serving the residents of the Greater Remington area.  Consequently, the continued absence of the corner stores will continue even though there are local entrepreneurs from the community ready and waiting to serve the community needs.

            Ian Schlakman actually testified in favor of the ordinance when a hearing was held at City Hall. As a small business owner and someone that counseled small businesses in the Remington area he saw the grave need for affordable retail space. Often times it was Remington residents themselves seeking to open a business or community space in their own neighborhood. In order to encourage entrepreneurship of locals who don't have the massive capital needed to rehab larger industrial spaces in the area Schlakman saw this a key piece of legislation.

            Ian Schlakman, Green Party candidate for City Council District 12, feels strongly about the ordinance. GRIA President Ryan Flanigan’s words in the official release from the association regarding the reversal of the ordinance reflects his feelings: “We remain optimistic that our corner stores will again become an active and vital part of our community as in days past.”  As the City Councilman for the 12th District, Ian Schlakman would work to reintroduce this ordinance which has massive support from the Greater Remington community.  Ian Schlakman will introduce a bill supporting this ordinance, with a possible expansion of rezoning efforts in line with the needs and desires of the Greater Remington community and into other parts of the 12th District.  Bringing new corner stores to our blocks is a high priority.  Residents need them, and are voicing their concerns for them, and as the 12th District City Councilor, Ian Schlakman will do all he has in his authority to assure that the ordinance is renewed, and progress can be made to bring flourishing businesses to the Greater Remington area, which will benefit our community economically and socially!

From the office of Ian Schlakman - Green Party Candidate for City Council District 12 - July 20th 2016 - web: ian12.com - phone: 410-996-4848 - twitter: @ischlakman - FB: fb.com/IanSchlakman