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"Shame on Andrew Cuomo for not coming here," said Green Party nominee Howie Hawkins in one of the evening's biggest applause lines. "The question in this election is this: Are we going to give Cuomo a free ride or are we going to demand more?"
...Hawkins called for big investments in education, renewable energy and roads, bridges and water infrastructure. He blamed both parties for not doing enough to address water quality and climate change. In the 2014 governor's race, Hawkins placed third after Cuomo and Republican Rob Astorino.Read more
Hawkins, a three-time gubernatorial candidate, offered up familiar proposals to anyone who's followed the candidate in previous campaigns. He proposed 100 percent clean energy in the state by 2030, a project he noted would create "thousands" of jobs, and vowed to address harmful algae blooms, lead and other contaminants in the state's water. Many of his proposals, he said, could be paid for by raising taxes on the rich.
"Shame on Andrew Cuomo for not coming here," he said in his closing statement.
"The question in this election is, 'What kind of message are we going to send? Are we going to give Cuomo a free ride or are we going to demand more?'"Read more
“Shame on Andrew Cuomo for not coming here," Hawkins said during his closing statement. "Shame on the broadcast networks and cable corporations for not broadcasting this discussion."
Outside, a man in a chicken suit with a "CUOMO" nameplate splashed across his chest chit-chatted with attendees as they entered the debate....
Hawkins, making his third run for governor as the Green Party candidate, touted his "Green New Deal" plan, which includes a pledge to move the state to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
"That can create hundreds of thousands of jobs in manufacturing and construction, and that can be done all over the state,” he said.Read more
The serious alternative is Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins, a socialist with a long history of activism on behalf of peace, justice, labor, and environmental causes. Hawkins argues that “We had half a million people vote for the progressive Democrats [in the primary], and I’m here to tell them that I’m Plan B when we get to the general election.” Hawkins is an able contender who earned 184,419 votes—almost 5 percent of the total—when he sought the governorship in 2014. The support Hawkins won that year far exceeded the 50,000 gubernatorial votes required to secure the Greens a New York ballot line for ensuing elections, and this year he is running with lieutenant governor candidate Jia Lee, a New York City public-school teacher and labor activist. Hawkins is right when he says, “The historic role of third parties has been to force issues neglected by the major parties into public debate—issues like the abolition of slavery, women’s suffrage, the 8-hour day, Social Security, and ending segregation. The Green Party has increasingly been playing this role.”
Polls put Cuomo way ahead of his Republican rival—the governor’s up by 23 points in the latest Quinnipiac survey—so attempts to portray Hawkins as a potential “spoiler” are cynical at best. Hawkins is a credible contender with a good message about contemporary politics—“Demand More”—and a strong vote for him helps the Greens keep their ballot line in the nation’s fourth-most-populous state.Read more
"Our campaigns have made a difference," Hawkins said. “We put issues on the table that otherwise wouldn’t be discussed."
Hawkins is seeking to push an agenda more so than win office in November.
In his previous bids for governor, Hawkins rallied against the natural gas industry, which he believes led to the state's fracking ban in 2014.
Hawkins is hoping his campaign will have a similar impact in this year.Read more
There was no discussion of climate change in the single Cuomo-Molinaro debate, which took place last week. It’s an unfortunate turn of events according to Howie Hawkins, the Green Party’s gubernatorial candidate, because New York could set the tone for the way the rest of the country reacts to the issue. “What we do counts,” Hawkins said, citing the size of New York’s economy compared to the economies of entire nations, “and we think what it does for the economy, besides what it does for the climate, will set an example that other people will want to emulate. Just like Franklin Roosevelt did some public employment when he was governor and it became a model for the jobs programs of the New Deal, I think we set an example [with a Green New Deal], we get ahead of the curve and other people are gonna want to follow our lead.”
Hawkins sees a transition to a green economy, part of what he calls a Green New Deal, as one of the many issues residents north of Westchester say have been ignored this year. “The thing about a serious climate action program is it’s a big economic stimulus, particularly upstate where you have to do a lot of energy installation,” Hawkins said, adding that the region could also become a manufacturing hub for green technology that could create jobs and be an example for the rest of the country....
The absence of climate change and what to do about it from the broader gubernatorial campaign also chills questions of whether even the proposals that Nixon pushed go far enough, or if something like the Green Party-supported New York Off Fossil Fuels Act is the right path for the state. That bill, sponsored by Assemblymember William Colton and state Senator Brad Hoylman (who also just wrote an op-ed calling on the state to pass the CCPA), both Democrats, would move New York to 100 percent clean energy by 2030, a necessary step in the face of the continuing climate crisis and what Hawkins said were insufficient proposals by Cuomo and Nixon, whose proposals both called for New York to use 50 percent renewable electricity by 2030.
“They want 50 percent clean electricity by 2030, but electricity is just 28 percent of the carbon footprint, it doesn't deal with transportation, industry, agriculture or buildings,” Hawkins said. You get 50 percent of that reduced, that's 14 percent really,” he said as a critique of both approaches.Read more