(BUFFALO, New York)—Green Party candidate for New York Governor Howie Hawkins won the gubernatorial debate held in Buffalo on Tuesday night.
Mr. Hawkins opened the debate, saying, "I am running for Governor because I want to work for the 99% of us – our state’s working-class and middle-class people. We are over-taxed, under-served, and under-paid by a state government that has been bought by the 1%’s big campaign contributions. We can do better."
"The centerpiece of my platform is aggressive action to address climate change. I will create millions of jobs by building a 100% clean energy system by 2030. And let me be clear—unlike the Governor: I will ban fracking."
"I believe in a strong public sector, everyone's right to a useful job, a $15 minimum wage, affordable housing, quality health care, and quality public schools."
"Real solutions can't wait, and I will bring real solutions and real change for the 99%."
Answering questions with substance and going on the offensive against Cuomo for meddling with a federal fracking report, meddling with the Moreland Commission and his overall pandering to the 1% that funds his campaign at the expense of the working and middle class.
Howie Hawkins debate quotes:
On corruption: "We must end pay to play culture in Albany, have full publicly financed campaigns, and re-empanel the Moreland Commission."
On charter schools: "Our schools are struggling because of concentrated poverty and segregation...I'm for full funding of public schools. Charters schools are the cannibalization of our public schools."
On fracking: "Cuomo says he wants to wait for the science but he altered the federal fracking study to have the science say what he wanted. I will ban fracking. Cuomo should tell voters before the election if he'll ban or allow fracking."
On Common Core: "Common Core is test & punish, not support &improve, we need to end it and give decision making to teachers, parents and local school boards. They're the ones that know their kids. They're the ones that know what their kids need."
On marijuana prohibition: "I will legalize marijuana, regulate and tax it. We have an enormous problem incarcerating people for holding and using marijuana. We've targeted Blacks and Latinos disproportionally, and it has ruined the lives of individuals, communities and families. I would provide clemency for non-violent drug offenders."
On infrastructure: "We need to invest in mass transit. We need a public bank to reduce cost of financing investments in infrastructure."
Mr. Hawkins made a strong case to New Yorkers that he is the sole progressive on the ballot and that his New Green Deal is the fresh new vision that the state needs; that he is the only candidate looking out for the working and middle class.
Hawkins closed the debate saying, "I wish this was the first of several debates as we barely touched on the issues. I'm polling at 9%, record for a progressive third party candidate. But we can go much higher. I'm the only candidate who wants full employment, a $15 minimum wage, progressive tax reform that would give tax cuts to 95% of us. I will ban fracking and build out clean energy over the next 15 years to create millions of jobs. These policies are the policies that working and middle class people support."