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For immediate release: July 26, 2017
Calls for Increased School Funding, Desegregation
(Rochester) The Green Party candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor – Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee – were in Rochester Thursday to call for an overhaul of the state’s education policies, including more funding for high-poverty school districts; a move away from high stakes testing and privatization, including charter schools; and the election of a Governor who supports rather than attacks teachers, especially following the Janus decision.
Rochester is considered perhaps the worst school district in the state if not the nation. Among districts with at least 2,000 students, Rochester is worst at fourth-grade math and second-worst at fourth-grade English, beating only Syracuse. It has frequent school closings, forcing students and teachers to move from school to school. Since 2002, the district has closed 26 schools (including School 41) and opened 18. Eight percent of elementary school students passed the 2017 reading and math tests and the city's graduation rate remains the worst in the state.
Nationwide less than half the students displaced by closures end up in better schools, according to research from the Center for Research and Education Outcomes at Stanford University.Read more
For immediate release: July 25, 2018
Green Party Calls for Increased School Funding, Desegregation
Opposes High-Stakes Testing, Privatization, Charter Schools
(Albany) The Green Party candidates for Governor and Lt. Governor – Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee - were at the State Capitol on Wednesday to call for an overhaul of the state’s education policies, including more funding for schools in low-income communities; a move away from high-stakes testing and privatization, including charter schools; and the election of a Governor who supports rather than attacks teachers, especially following the Janus decision.
The Greens say the state should close the $4.2 billion cumulative shortfall in Foundation Aid funding that was intended to meet the requirements of the 2006 ruling in the Campaign for Fiscal Equity case. They say the should settle, not fight in court, the lawsuits from New York City/Syracuse parents and the Small Cities for full Foundation Aid funding.
The Greens favor home rule for school governance and elected school boards. They oppose the mayoral control that has been enacted in New York City.Read more
For Immediate Release: July 20, 2018
Green Party Candidates Call to Desegregate NY Schools - Oppose De Blasio’s Plan
Scrap Standardized Tests and Screening - Make All Schools Diverse with Gifted-Quality Curriculum for All
(Manhattan) Howie Hawkins and Jia Lee, the Green Party’s gubernatorial ticket, called today to desegregate all New York schools. The Greens said that the use of standardized tests for entrance to gifted high schools should be scrapped, and instead there should be a gifted-quality curriculum in all high schools.
They called for a “controlled choice” system of desegregation where families rank their preferred schools and students are assigned to schools using a formula to account for preferences while achieving socioeconomically integrated schools.
For immediate release: July 18, 2018
Hawkins Calls for State Action on Child Lead Poisoning
(Syracuse) Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, today called for statewide action to address the exposure of children to lead contamination.
Speaking in front of the Westside Academy at Blodgett in a Syracuse neighborhood with high levels of child lead poisoning, Hawkins called for state to adopt the more stringent federal safety standard (5 micrograms versus 10) for lead levels in blood tests; enact a statewide law that rental units must have lead-safe certification before renting; called for the state to adopt federal standards that would improve lead abatement practices; and require annual testing for lead in drinking water in schools (with remediation if needed). Hawkins said all levels of government needed to step up their enforcement and implementation of existing rules and programs related to lead poisoning.
Syracuse is the child lead poisoning capital of the nation. 40% of Syracuse children had blood lead levels between 5 and 10 micrograms per deciliter, while 16% had levels exceeding 10 micrograms per deciliter.
"It is inexcusable for Syracuse to have the nation’s highest child lead poisoning 46 years after the Surgeon General’s 1971 urgent recommendation to prevent and treat lead poisoning in children. Safe housing is a right. It's a crime to rent properties that poison children,” said Hawkins who lives in Syracuse.
For immediate release: July 13, 2018
Green Candidates Call for Social Ownership of Economy, Democratic Socialism
Support a Public Bank, Expanded Public Ownership of Energy, Public Housing, Single-Payer Health Care and Cooperatives
The Green Party candidates for Governor and State Comptroller called today for a variety of democratic-ownership initiatives, including a public bank, public ownership of the energy system, public broadband utility and worker cooperatives.
Howie Hawkins, the Green gubernatorial candidate and a long-time member of the Socialist Party, noted that “socialism is back on the table for public discussion after the broad support for self-styled democratic socialists in recent elections since Bernie Sanders’ presidential run. But as a long-time democratic socialist, I believe that the agenda needs to start with social ownership and democratic control of the key sectors of our economy, combined with a much expanded public housing program and creation of a single-payer health care system.”
Dunlea said expanding public ownership of energy was critical to winning the fight against climate change. The Governor did propose allowing the NY Power Authority to build and own renewables but this was rejected by the state legislature. Public ownership and control would increase community support and speed up local siting of projects, as has been true in Germany. NY presently only gets 4% of its electricity from wind and solar.Read more
For immediate release: July 12, 2018
Statement of Howie Hawkins on Guilty Verdicts in Buffalo Billion Trial
We Need an Independent Moreland Commission to Investigate Corruption within the Cuomo Administration
The guilty verdicts in the Buffalo Billion Trial are no surprise. The bid-rigging was obvious from the media reports on the trial.
Along with the Percocco conviction, it shows a systemic pattern of corruption within the Cuomo administration that demands an outside independent investigation. When the Moreland Commission began to ask questions about the relationship between his many major donors, especially from the real estate industry, and the contracts, subsidies, and regulatory favors he issued, he immediately moved to shut it down.
The pattern of bid rigging in the recent trial raises grave concerns about how many other bids were rigged by these and other pay-to-play contributors to Cuomo. For example, why did Cor Development’s Aiello and Gerardi, guilty in this case, get the former public housing project Kennedy Square in Syracuse in a no-bid, no-money-down transfer from ESD to SUNY Upstate Medical to Cor Development? All the people guilty in this trial, plus Cuomo and Percoco, were here in Syracuse to tout that deal.
It is time to reopen a Moreland Commission on Public Corruption and let it do its work without the governor shutting it down when it gets close to him. I believe Preet Bharara might be available.
For immediate release: July 12, 2018
Howie Hawkins responded to fellow candidate for Governor of New York Cynthia Nixon’s plan for ending voter suppression with support for her proposals but serious concern for what was left out.
“Early voting, automatic and same-day voter registration are important steps toward real democracy, but the most pervasive form of voter suppression is our ‘winner-take-all’ electoral system that silences many of those who manage to vote, and discourages millions from voting at all. Why vote when most districts are non-competitive because they are dominated by one party in our single-member-district, winner-take-all system,” said Hawkins.
The Hawkins campaign and the Green Party support Ranked-Choice Instant-Runoff Voting for single-member executive offices and Proportional Representation in legislative bodies. These voting systems are common in most of the world’s democracies.Read more
For immediate release: July 11, 2018
Howie Hawkins called on Governor Cuomo today to immediately repeal the NYS Department of Labor (DOL) regulation permitting employers to pay home care attendants on 24-hour shifts for only 13 of their hours on the job.
The DOL is holding a public hearing today on whether to make permanent the emergency regulation it issued last October in response to state court rulings calling the 24 hours work for 13 hours pay illegal.Read more
For immediate release: July 9, 2018
Hawkins Joins Syracuse Protest of Ivanka Trump
Says Trump Administration Guilty of Child Abuse
(Syracuse) Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, will join with other Central New York residents in protesting at Ivanka Trump’s Monday appearance in Syracuse. The protest, organized by the CNY Solidarity Coalition, Syracuse Students for Change, Syracuse Cultural Workers and others, will take place at Trump’s closed-door meeting at the P-Tech school at the Institute of Technology in Syracuse at noon,
“Ivanka Trump's visit to a school should not distract us from the child abuse that her father’s immigration policy is perpetrating with family separations, indefinite detentions, and deportations without due process of desperate people fleeing violence and seeking asylum. Her visit should not distract us from the profit-seeking privatization of public schools and the elimination of federal standards that protect the rights of children who are ethnic minorities, sexual minorities, or disabled, which Donald Trump's appallingly ignorant Education Secretary, Betsy Devos, is pursuing. If Ivanka Trump cared about children, she would be back in the White House convincing her father to change these extremely abusive policies toward children.,” said Hawkins.
“Ivanka Trump and her father are subjects of a complaint by the New York Attorney General’s office to the Internal Revenue Service and the Federal Election Commission for self-dealing and illegally campaign spending with Trump Foundation assets. If Governor Cuomo would just ask the Attorney General’s office to do a criminal investigation of these matters, under New York law the Attorney General could then open an investigation that would lead to the public release of Trump’s tax returns. The public interest would be served by releasing those tax returns. Ivanka Trump's PR stunt using one of our public school as a prop serves the interest of no one but the Trump crime family," added Hawkins.
Michael Sussman is the Green Party candidate for Attorney General.
For immediate release: July 6, 2018
Hawkins Calls on Cuomo to Empower AG to Investigate Trump
Urges Cuomo to Return $64,000 in Donations from Donald Trump
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that Governor Cuomo needs to stop protecting President Trump and authorize State Attorney General Barbara Underwood to formally investigate Trump and his foundation.
Hawkins also said that Cuomo needs to immediately return the $64,000 he has received in campaign donations from Trump. “We need a Governor who has some sense of ethics and principles, who doesn’t feel compelled to solicit money from every special interest that wants to curry his favor. He needs to stop collecting tribute from the fossil fuel industry, Wall Street and real estate industries who view a donation to Cuomo as the price to opening up the state’s piggy bank,” noted Hawkins. Hawkins has long advocated for a ban on pay-to-play campaign contributions and an enactment of a Clean Money full public campaign finance program.
On June 14, the State Attorney General filed a lawsuit against Trump and his foundation. The petition “alleges a pattern of persistent illegal conduct, occurring over more than a decade, that includes extensive unlawful political coordination with the Trump presidential campaign, repeated and willful self-dealing transactions to benefit Mr. Trump’s personal and business interests, and violations of basic legal obligations for non-profit foundations. “Read more