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For immediate release: August 17, 2018
Statement of Howie Hawkins on the Passing of David McReynolds
(David McReynolds, the long time head of the War Resisters League, was twice the Socialist Party nominee for President. Howie ran for Congress on the Green Party ticket in 2004 when McReynolds was the Green Party nominee for US Senate.)
I will greatly miss David McReynolds, who died this morning. David was a longtime leader of the movements for peace and a socialist internationalism that opposes imperialism and authoritarianism East, West, or South. He was arrested in demonstrations opposing nuclear missiles in both the U.S. and Moscow.
I first met David in 1973 when I arranged for him to speak at Dartmouth College about ending the wars in Vietnam and all of Indochina and building an independent party of the left. David had just led the founding of the Socialist Party USA out of the ashes of the old Socialist Party of America associated with Eugene Debs, Norman Thomas, and A. Philip Randolph.
I immediately joined SPUSA while remaining a member of the People’s Party that had run America’s baby doctor, Ben Spock, and DC Statehood Party founder Julius Hobson for president and vice-president the year before. I got a hold of David through the People’s Party speakers bureau for which David was a featured speaker. Third-party leftists were talking about merging the People’s Party, SPUSA, and the post-SDS New American Movement.
Over the next 45 years, we were often at the same demonstrations together against aggressive U.S. wars, sometimes on the same panel about independent political action, and, in 2004, on the same Green Party ticket in New York State, David for U.S. Senate and me for U.S. Congress from the Syracuse area.
David was engaged to his last days, sending out environmental and anti-war news to his contacts. David’s was a long life – 1929-2018 – well lived.
For immediate release: August 17, 2018
Hawkins proposes ecological and progressive taxes to fund $100 billion subway fix
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that he would propose a multi-year $100 billion capital spending plan to fix the MTA in his first year of office.
Hawkins said that the $100 billion for these capital improvements should be funded by a variety of revenue sources, including congestion pricing, a carbon tax, land value taxation, and increased taxes on the incomes and stock trades of the wealthy.
The Fast Forward modernization plan proposed by transit authority president Andy Byford calls for $19 billion in capital spending the first five years and $18 billion more the next five years for a total of $37 billion. The Regional Plan Association estimated it will take another $62 billion to extend subway lines to the city’s unserved “transit deserts.”
“My administration will use ecological and progressive income taxes to fully fund a $100 billion capital budget to modernize and expand New York City’s public transit system. The new revenues will stabilize the operating budget and enable free or reduced fares, as many cities around the world are now doing. Lower fares will help struggling working-class commuters and serve as an incentive to use public transit and reduce the negative impacts of cars in the city,” Hawkins said.Read more
For immediate release: August 9, 2018
Dunlea Running for Comptroller to Push Climate Action, Divestment from Fossil Fuels
Hawkins says Green New Deal is path to full employment
(Poughkeepsie, NY) The Green Party candidates for Comptroller and Governor came to Poughkeepsie today to call for increased action on climate change which they say is the path to full employment.
Howie Hawkins, who finished third in the race for Governor four years ago with 5% of the vote, was one of the first political figures to call for a ban on fracking nearly a decade ago and his call for a Green New Deal has increasingly been echoed by other candidates and parties seeking office.Read more
For immediate release: August 9, 2018
Hawkins says Green New Deal will revive upstate economy
Says Cuomo’s corrupt, trickle-down, pay-to-play economic development as failed
Howie Hawkins the Green Party candidate for Governor, renewed his call for a Green New Deal to increase upstate jobs, wages, and business development. Hawkins also wants to lower property taxes by getting rid of the local property tax cap and replacing it with increased state revenue sharing with local governments.
“Cuomo’s economic development policy of tax cuts and subsidies for the rich and corporations has failed to revive the upstate economy. It’s the old supply-side trickle-down theory that has failed for 40 years. Cuomo has taken it to a new level of pay-to-play corruption, but upstate is still economically depressed,” said Hawkins.
The Green New Deal combines a transition to 100% clean energy by 2030 with targeted public investments directly into the energy, housing, transportation, and water and sewage infrastructure of struggling communities upstate. It will lower the costs of doing business by lowering energy, health care, broadband, and property tax costs to business.
For immediate release: August 7, 2018
Hawkins Opposes Proposed Board of Election Rules to Restrict Powers of Independent Enforcement Unit
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said he opposed the efforts by the Republican and Democratic leaders of the state board of elections to reign in the powers of its independent enforcement unit, presently headed by Rita Sugarman.
“The major parties have used their control of the Board of Elections primarily as a patronage mill and as a weapon against maverick and independent political candidates. The Board has been toothless in reigning in corruption and voter suppression in our electoral system. While questions have been raised about the independence of Sugarman from Cuomo, the solution is not to increase the control of the State Board of Elections,” said Hawkins.
The Green Party has long argued that the constitutional requirement that the Board of Elections be operated by the two parties with the highest vote totals for Governor makes a mockery of the concept of democracy. “Having two foxes guard the hen house means the hens will be eaten,” noted Hawkins.
The Times Union noted State Attorney General Barbara Underwood's office has submitted comments opposing the new rules, as have five former members of the Moreland Commission, who in a report before its shuttering by Cuomo recommended the creation of the independent office to bulk up longstanding lackadaisical election law enforcement.
A recent N.Y. Post article identified illegal corporate contributions above the $5,000 state limit received by several statewide candidates, including Democrat Andrew Cuomo for Governor, Republican Marc Molinaro for Governor, Democrat Jumaane Williams for Lt. Governor, and Democrat Latisha James for Attorney General. NYPIRG’s Blair Horner, who was quoted in the article, said, “This law has been routinely violated. I don’t know of anyone punished for doing this.”
For immediate release: August 7 , 2018
Hawkins: Solve Uber / Transit Crisis with Congestion Pricing; Temporary Cap; Worker Cooperative for Ride-Sharing; Financial Relief for Taxi Drivers, Increased Funding for MTA
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said New York needed to adopt outside-the-box solutions to its transit crisis. The City Council may vote this Wednesday to impose a temporary cap on ride-sharing services such as Uber.
“An effective transit system should be a key driver of the New York City economy. We need a Governor who is serious about fixing the subway system so they run on time with efficient service and affordable rates. We also need to address the congestion and pollution that grips much of Lower and Midtown Manhattan. And we need to provide a fair, living wage to taxi drivers and other for-hire ride services,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins noted that as the subway system deteriorates, more people are forced to turn to ride-sharing services, thus reducing revenues for the subways.
Hawkins says that while he supports a temporary cap on the number of ride-service drivers and cars, NYC needs more fundamental changes.
Hawkins, who has been endorsed by a number of socialist organizations, said the city should adopt a regulation limiting ride-sharing to worker cooperatives.Read more
For immediate release: August 4, 2018
Opposes Effort to Convert Cayuga Coal Plant to Natural Gas
Supports Ban on Fracking Waste in Landfills
Watkins Glen - Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called today for the Governor to reconvene the State Legislature to have them vote on the bill that would halt garbage incineration in the Finger Lakes. The Assembly Democrats refused to bring the bill up for a vote since they wanted to force the Senate Republicans to allow a vote to extend speed cameras at schools in New York City.
Hawkins also announced his opposition to converting one of the burners at the Cayuga coal plant to use natural gas, while calling for a ban on the landfilling of fracking waste.
Hawkins, a long time opponent of garbage incineration due to financial and environmental problems, has previously stated his opposition to the proposed Romulus garbage incinerator. More than half of all the waste landfilled in New York ends up in one of three landfills in the Finger Lakes.Read more
For immediate release: August 3, 2018
Statement of Howie Hawkins on DEC Rejection of Air Permit for CPV Plant
DEC’s decision to deny CPV its air permit renewal is good news. But the bad news is that after the election, Cuomo’s DEC could give CPV its permits upon re-application. This plant should never have been built. Not only did CPV bribe Joe Percoco to move the project along, not only do the gas and diesel emissions pollute the air, not only have residents already suffered respiratory problems from the test runs of the plant, but the plant would add 10% more to New York State’s total greenhouse gas emissions. Letting this plant go online makes going to 100% clean energy at least 10% harder.
For immediate release: August 2, 2018
Hawkins: NYS Should Take Over Spectrum for Public Broadband Utility
Syracuse – With state regulators demanding that Charter sell Spectrum, Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for New York governor, said today that New York State itself should take over Spectrum for its own public broadband utility.
A study by Harvard University researchers published earlier this year found that community broadband networks charge substantially lower rates than their private-sector counterparts. More than 750 communities nationwide already provide public broadband. New York would be the first state to provide public broadband.
New York State regulators want Charter to sell Spectrum because it failed to build out high-speed access to underserved communities and increase broadband speed, which were the regulators’ conditions for approving Charter’s merger with Time Warner Cable in 2016. Charter was expected to expand service to 145,000 homes in underserved rural or inner city communities within a four-year period as well as make its broadband services faster statewide by the end of 2018. The NYS Public Service Commission said last week that Charter had failed on both accounts and ordered Charter to sell Spectrum.
Standing outside Spectrum’s news and customer service offices in the converted New York Central Station building on East Erie Boulevard, Hawkins said, “New York State should take over Spectrum to jump start a public broadband system that provides high-quality service to all New Yorkers. Customers are unhappy with escalating costs and deteriorating customer service. A democratically-structured public broadband system would operate at cost for public benefit, not for the profit of distant shareholders. It would provide better service at lower cost and rapidly expand service the underserved rural and inner city communities.”Read more
For immediate release: July 31, 2018
Socialists Endorse Hawkins
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for New York Governor, received the endorsement of three socialist organizations this week: Socialist Party USA (SPUSA), Solidarity, and the International Socialist Organization (ISO).
When he announced his campaign in April, Hawkins declared he would campaign as an eco-socialist. “We need the economic democracy of socialism for real solutions to the crises of the climate, growing inequality, and political domination by the billionaire class. Capitalism’s blind, relentless growth is destroying the environment. Capitalism's exploitation of labor makes the rich richer and leaves the rest of us struggling to pay our bills and stay in our homes. Capitalism’s concentrated wealth translates into concentrated political power for the rich and the giant banks and corporations. These radical problems require radical remedies,” Hawkins said.
“I am encouraged to see more and more candidates like Bernie Sanders, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and now even Cynthia Nixon identify themselves as democratic socialists. Their policies, however, are really old-fashioned liberalism. They exclude a central tenet of the socialist tradition, which is to replace capitalism with a new and democratic economic system based on social ownership of the major means of production. But they have opened up a long-stifled discussion of socialism among progressives, and especially young people, for whom the status quo isn’t working,” Hawkins said.
“Socialism would employ the economic democracy of social ownership to distribute income more equitably according to labor contribution and to use economic planning to ensure a decent standard of living for all on an ecologically sustainable basis,” Hawkins said. "Socialism is not government programs as opposed to private enterprises. The key to socialism is democracy — democratic control of public enterprises and cooperatives in the private sector.”Read more