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WIVB TV, Albany: November 2, 2018
"We need to build public housing to deal with the affordability crisis. The rent is too damn high. Health care costs are going up," Hawkins said.Read more
Gotham Gazette: November 2, 2018
By David Colon
New York’s gubernatorial candidates (minus Governor Andrew Cuomo, who declined the invitation) took the stage at Albany’s College of Saint Rose Thursday evening for the second debate of the general election, but, unlike the first, one that did not once summon the name “Trump” and focused more on the intricacies of running the government.Read more
Cuomo and Molinaro aren’t the only candidates for New York governor.
In next week’s New York gubernatorial election, it’s the small-party candidates bringing some of the biggest ideas to the table.
Democratic incumbent Andrew M. Cuomo and Republican challenger Marc Molinaro might draw as much as 95 percent of the vote. They represent the established policies and politics of governance in New York. But the other three candidates may represent the policies and politics of tomorrow.
Green Party standard-bearer Howie Hawkins is an outsider whose ideas already have shaped the mainstream politics of the future. Hawkins, 65, of Syracuse, is running his third straight race for this office, but he’s been politically active for 40 years. He’s been preaching a “Green New Deal” that starts by using the transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030 as a jobs engine. To start, Hawkins wants universal health care, vastly increased public housing built at mixed-income levels, fully funded college and a “true” $15 minimum wage.
“I’m the last progressive standing in this race,” Hawkins said during a visit to Newsday’s editorial board.
Hawkins and the Greens have fought for the same things for eons, but they sound more mainstream each cycle. In 2010, Hawkins eclipsed the 50,000-vote threshold that gave the Greens an automatic line on state ballots. In 2014, amid fears of global warming, the Greens’ staunch opposition to hydrofracking increased environmental consciousness and helped Hawkins get 184,000 votes.
This year, who knows?
"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