In April Kenneth Meija, a 26 year-old Green, participated in the primary for the 34th Congressional District of California. In a race with 20 other candidates, he was under 400 votes shy of coming in fourth. Greens in California are forced to participate in such primaries since the state only allows the top two voter-getters to advance to the general election.
Meija’s campaign emphasized five major themes: a fair and just economy for all; quality public education as a right; a welcoming pathway to citizenship; universal health care as a right; and housing is a human right.
Running in a heavily Democratic voting district, 17 of the other candidates were Democrats. His 1,954 votes represented 4.6% of the vote total, good for seventh in the field of 23. Meija raised approximately $55,000 from small donors. He spent the lowest amount per vote compared to any of the major candidates. The top two front runners raised over $1,000,000 combined.
Below are some of Meija’s personal comments on his candidate Facebook page:
It has been an amazing journey and we should be very proud of all the hard work we have done! We always knew it was going to be a tough race, especially running as the outsider campaign in a very low voter turnout special election (9.6 percent voter turnout so far). Nevertheless, regardless of what the final numbers are, WE HAVE ALREADY WON!
Because of YOU, WE were the most grassroots campaign that built this entire campaign from the bottom up without having to rely on money, paid staffers, the mainstream media, daily mailers, or any one person or endorsement to keep our campaign from running a strong campaign, ESPECIALLY representing a third party, the GREEN PARTY!
Being a 100% volunteer run campaign with no paid staff, campaign office, manager, treasurer, or anything. This was all US!
Being the ONLY campaign that went into the community and collected ALL 322 signatures to get on the ballot, while a majority of the other candidates paid the $1,740 filing fee. Our team collected 743 signatures with 488 being valid in the 3.5 day given time frame!
Having 21,000 supporters nationwide supporting our campaign and hundreds of volunteers who phone banked and knocked on doors locally (around 50,000 voters through direct voter contact)!
Having Dr. Jill Stein campaign for us by speaking at our rally in Los Angeles in March!
Having interviews with Progressive media outlets like Debbie Lusignan (the Sane Progressive), Steven Grumbine (Real Progressives), Tim Black, Jimmy Dore, Claudia Stauber, Anoa J Changa (Progressive Army), Caitlin Johnstone, and Truthdig!
Regardless of the final results, we always knew even if we had won, we would have to keep fighting and struggling, AND that is what we intend to do for the rest of our lives until we get that future we deserve and need, a future where healthcare, education, immigration, and housing are human rights and where we save our planet and future generations to come by moving towards 100% clean renewable energy.
I will continue to serve the community no matter what happens. I will also continue to build the local, state, and national Green Party because the people still need more options!