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Hawkins Calls for Expanding Public Housing, Making it Mixed Income; Says Public Subsidies for Private Housing Development Are Rife with Pay-To-Play Corruption
For immediate release: May 4, 2018
Syracuse - Green gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins stood in front of a demolished public housing site in Syracuse to call for a massive expansion of public housing as a way to make housing affordable in New York State. Hawkins also advocates for an expansion of rent control statewide.
Hawkins also said that existing public subsidies for private housing development invites pay-to-play corruption, enriching wealthy campaign contributors while doing little to make housing affordable for low- and moderate-income New Yorkers.
"Quality, safe public housing puts downward pressure on private rents. It compliments rent regulations in cities that have them. New public housing should be built in the cities and the suburbs as high-quality, mixed-income, humanly-scaled, scatter-site, green-building projects," Hawkins said.
"This new public housing program will be a jobs program, a desegregation program, and a clean energy program as well as an affordable housing program. These high-quality projects will improve the quality of life in every community in which they are built," Hawkins said.Read more
Where: Site of the former Kennedy Square public housing project on S. Crouse Ave. between E. Water and E. Fayette streets
Who: Howie Hawkins and former Kennedy Square residents
Howie Hawkins will lay out his case for a massive expansion of public housing as the only way to make low-to-middle income rents in the larger rental market affordable. He will explain how that centerpiece of his housing policy complements his other housing policies, including rent regulations, inclusionary zoning, and fair housing enforcement.
Hawkins will criticize Governor Cuomo’s 10-year, $20-billion affordable housing program for being fiscally wasteful and an invitation to pay-to-play corruption because it conveys public money to private developers and landlords whose first allegiance is to their private interests, not the public interest.
Hawkins will speak at the site of the former Kennedy Square 400-unit public housing project, which was torn down in 2013 in a no-bid, no-money-down deal that turned Kennedy Square over to a joint venture owned 75% by COR Development and 25% by SUNY Upstate Medical University. Six people involved in that deal — David Smith, Alain Kaloyeros, Steven Aiello, Joseph Gerardi, Todd Howe, Joseph Percoco — are now answering for various pay-to-play crimes, including padding a state salary, bribery, honest-services fraud, wire fraud, or other crimes.
Nothing has been built at the Kennedy Square site. No affordable housing units were built in Syracuse to replace the 400 units lost. The site is now the parking, equipment, and materials staging area for construction across E. Fayette St. for an upscale apartment complex with rents ranging from $1,400 to $2,500 per unit.
Hawkins will also address the reconstruction of public housing proposed by the Syracuse Housing Authority for the Pioneer Homes/Central Village area and how that kind of mixed-income, mixed-use public housing design should be extended into the land that will become available if the Community Grid option, which Hawkins supports, is chosen for I-81 reconstruction.
Green Party gubernatorial candidate, Howie Hawkins, called Cuomo’s efforts a “publicity stunt,” noting the legislation was introduced the same day climate change activists held a protest at the Capitol urging Cuomo to “Walk the Talk on Climate.”
“While he likes to proclaim himself as a national leader on climate change, he is flooding the state with imported fracked gas, giving billions of dollars to old nukes, and is getting only 3 to 4 percent of the state’s electricity from renewables,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins supports statewide plastic bag ban legislation that couples with a fee on paper bags, similar to legislation in California. He says that the fee is vital to ensure that consumers do not simply turn to paper bags.
“We should be not be harming our environment, spending our tax dollars and littering our communities solely to protect the profits of the plastic industry,” Hawkins said.
For immediate release: May 3, 2017
Friday, May 4, marks the final court day for the “Albany 55” for their arrests at Cuomo Walk The Talk On Climate Event at the Capitol Building following Earth Day. Visuals and press conference planned outside the courthouse.
Albany, NY - Court began this Monday for the 55 people arrested at the Hall of Governors inside the Capitol Building on April 23rd in protest of Governor Cuomo’s lack of climate action. Court will take place at Albany City Court at One Morton Ave. in Albany at 9am on Friday, 5/4, marking the final day. All defendants will be available for questions.
To recap, the April 23rd event saw a march of 1500 people from Sheridan Hollow, the site of a fracked gas power plant proposal to generate energy for the Empire State Plaza, to the Capitol Building on as part of the "Cuomo Walk The Talk" day of action. Governor's seat candidates, Democrat Cynthia Nixon and Green Party's Howie Hawkins as well as Karenna Gore, daughter of former Vice President Al Gore, participated in the protest.
Actor and activist James Cromwell was also among the 55 people arrested at the Hall of Governors in a non-violent act of civil disobedience, demanding Cuomo to stop all fracking infrastructure, move to 100% renewable energy, and make polluters pay.
Facebook event for the Court Support DatesQuotes by arrested residents:Howie Hawkins, Syracuse, New York: "I participated in the sit-in outside the Governor's office because the science says that industrial states like New York have to get to 100% clean energy by 2030 if the world is to avoid runaway climate change and climate catastrophe. Governor Cuomo's goal of 50% of electricity from renewables by 2030 is far too little, too late."
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor in NY, was interviewed after appearing in Albany Police Court. Hawkins was one of 55 people arrested at the state capitol at a climate change protest. In addition to climate justice, Hawkins discussed May Day, worker rights and immigration issues.
ALBANY — While Democrats and Republicans continue to be the dominant party designations in New York, third parties also play a pivotal role in the state's political structure.
Actress and activist Cynthia Nixon has been nominated by the Working Families Party and is seeking the Democratic line this fall, while Dutchess County Executive Marc Molinaro is the Conservative Party's pick and appears close to clinching the Republican nod. The grassroots Green Party has tapped Howie Hawkins as their candidate for governor for the third time.
While Nixon and Molinaro were competing for headlines and Hawkins was in the news after he was arrested protesting a gas storage facility on Seneca Lake, a number of intriguing figures seeking to unseat Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo have slipped under the radar, getting little or no press coverage so far in this election cycle....
For immediate release: May 1, 2018
SYRACUSE, 05/01/2018—Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that he would make New York the national leader in advancing worker and immigrant rights.
Hawkins, who participated in May Day events in Syracuse, is a retired member of the Teamsters. He has long advocated making New York a Sanctuary State for immigrants and undocumented residents by enacting the Liberty Act. He campaigned for a $15 minimum wage, with indexing, in his 2014 Gubernatorial campaign, along with the Farmworker Bill of Rights. He has long advocated for stronger union organizing rights (including card check union recognition and a Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act to require a just cause for termination from employment).
Hawkins' platform (http://www.howiehawkins.org/issues) outlines numerous proposals on worker and immigrants rights, including the NY Dream Act; Drivers Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants; and expansion of the Liberty Defense Project by increasing funding for legal services to immigrants to $20 million. He opposes cooperation by New York officials with the anti-immigration efforts of the Trump administration.Read more