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Dunlea Calls for As. Speaker Heastie to Allow Vote on Bills to Increase Oversight of State Contracts, Economic Development
For immediate release: June 11, 2018
Mark Dunlea, the Green Party candidate for state comptroller, today called upon Assembly Speaker Heastie to bring to a vote several bills that would restore Comptroller oversight of state contracts and economic development programs that have been part of the recent corruption scandals involving the Governor’s office.
“The Comptroller is elected to be an independent fiscal watchdog to protect the taxpayers of New York from fraud and waste. It was wrong for the Governor and state lawmakers to have stripped away the Comptroller’s oversight over SUNY and CUNY contracts. DiNapoli should have fought harder against this. And with Cuomo raking in massive campaign contributions from special interests profiting from state contracts, it is critical to increase oversight and accountability over Cuomo’s multi-billion dollar corporate welfare programs,” stated Dunlea.
Cuomo and the Legislature approved a measure in 2011 that prevented DiNapoli from reviewing contracts at SUNY and CUNY ahead of time. Shortly afterwards, Cuomo announced a billion-dollar initiative to bring a solar power manufacturing facility to Buffalo. The head of the SUNY Polytechnic Institute is the key defendant in the corruption trial about to start over the alleged rigging of the Buffalo Billion contract.
“Cuomo opposes these common sense accountability reforms because they would disrupt his pay-to-play campaign financing machine, which is under scrutiny in trials and investigations related to contracts and regulatory favors awarded to campaign contributors like Competitive Power Ventures, COR Development, LP Ciminelli, and Crystal Run Healtcare,” said Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for governor.Read more
For immediate release: June 7, 2018
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called today for a repeal of the state’s property tax cap. He called instead for cuts in property taxes by increasing state aid for schools and revenue sharing for local governments.
Hawkins blasted both Democratic candidates for governor for supporting the 2% property tax cap.
“Tax cap is a campaign sound bite, not a sound policy. There is nothing progressive in Nixon’s call for an easier voter override of the cap. The cap still freezes the inequities in funding schools and local government services between low- and middle-income communities and affluent communities. It still institutionalizes rising property taxes,” Hawkins said.
Democratic challenger Cynthia Nixon called this week for a 60% school board override followed by 50% voter override of the cap as a reform of Governor Cuomo’s tax cap, which requires a 60% override vote by both boards and voters.
“The progressive solution is to cut New York’s property taxes, which are the highest in the nation outside of New York City. The progressive solution is a tax shift from regressive local property and sales taxes to progressive state income and stock transfer taxes. Then the state should use those revenues to provide adequate and equitable school funding and to pay for the state’s unfunded mandates on local governments with increased revenue sharing,” Hawkins said.Read more
For immediate release: June 5, 2018
(Albany, NY) Green Party candidates Howie Hawkins for Governor and Mark Dunlea for State Comptroller joined with other health care advocates in calling for single payer health care as part of their annual lobby day.
“Universal health care is a human right” said Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor. “The Green Party for decades has been calling upon the state to enact a single payer health care system to save money by providing universal health care while eliminating the enormous costs and waste associated with private insurance,” stated Hawkins.
Dunlea noted that he has called for years for the state comptroller to document the savings associated with a single payer healthcare system. NY Health would eliminate the need for counties to help finance the state share of the Medicaid program. Many counties say that their entire local property tax bill goes to pay for Medicaid, which is increasingly used to pay for long term care for senior citizens. Dunlea, the long-time Executive Director of the Hunger Action Network of NYS, was a co-founder of Single Payer New York.
While Governor Cuomo said last September that a state single-payer public health plan would be a “good idea,” he failed to include it in his proposed state budget. The State Assembly has passed single payer the last three years. However, it has not come up for a vote in the state Senate even though almost a majority of Senators sponsor the bill. While Hawkins faulted Cuomo for his failure to include single payer health care in his budget, he called upon Cuomo to push for a vote in the state Senate this year in order to get Senators on the record before they face voters this fall.Read more
For immediate release: June 4, 2018
Jia Lee, a New York City school teacher and the Green Party candidate for Lt. Governor, called today for the State Senate to reject the bill (S8301 / A10475) on state school assessments and teacher evaluations that has already passed the Assembly. The bill, expected to be voted upon in Senate committee this week, has been promoted by the NYS United Teachers.
“This bill is all smokes and mirrors. It does not eliminate using student scores on standardized tests to evaluate teachers. Instead, it just makes the use of such scores subject to collective bargaining. It keeps the ranking of schools by test scores in place,” said Lee.
Lee said that the ranking of schools by test scores is used to justify public school closures and privatizations as charter schools. Lee said that the main reason why schools fail is poverty and a lack of adequate education funding. 82% of schools closed are in high poverty communities. 59% are in predominantly Black and Brown communities while only 4% are in predominantly white communities.
“If the goal is to improve the quality of our education system, we should address the systematic underfunding of our schools by $4.2 billion. This underfunding has led to the loss of veteran, experienced educators; custodial staff and basic supplies, leaving us with crumbling infrastructures. We have lost physical education, arts and libraries, special education, and English as a New Language programs. While more resources are devoted to administration," Lee added.
"If we want to improve public education, we have to address our policies that results in income inequality and segregation, including access to affordable housing, healthcare, and a livable wage," Lee concluded.
Hawkins Releases Statement on Fiscal Policy; Continues Fast in Solidarity with Displaced 85 Bowery Tenants on a Hunger Strike
For immediate release, May 31, 2018
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for governor of New York, is fasting again today with tenants displaced from 85 Bowery who are on a three-day hunger strike outside City Hall in New York City.
Hawkins was disgusted yesterday to see the city, which gave the tenants a permit to conduct their hunger strike on the sidewalk outside City Hall, revoked its permit to allow a couple of port-a-potties the tenants paid for to be placed on the sidewalk during the three-day hunger strike.
“It just shows the De Blasio administration has no respect for working-class tenants who are being driven out of the city by the conversion of affordable housing to luxury units in buildings like 85 Bowery. De Blasio is more concerned to please the real estate landlord and developer interests who finance his political campaigns. He’s no progressive,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins also released his unpublished response to Richard Brodsky’s Albany Times Union column asking gubernatorial candidates for their proposals on fiscal policy in light of higher than expected state tax revenues:
Hawkins Fasts in Solidarity with Displaced Bowery Tenants on a 3-Day Hunger Strike Calls Housing a Right, Not a Privilege, at Rally outside City Hall
New York City, May 29, 2018 – Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for governor of New York, is fasting all day outside City Hall in New York City in solidarity with hunger striking tenants from 85 Bowery who were forced out of their building in the middle of a cold night in January.
Speaking at the 11:00 am rally this morning to launch their three-day hunger strike, Hawkins noted that “Hundreds of thousands of working-class New Yorkers have lost their homes in the last decade due to the foreclosure crisis, rent decontrol, the destruction and privatization of public housing, and harassment of tenants by landlords who want rent-regulated units vacated so they can convert them to high-rent units.
Hawkins spoke to the rally about how nine members of his extended family in Syracuse were forced out of a project-based Section 8 building in Syracuse called Kennedy Square. The project was demolished and the land handed over by New York State to COR Development in a no-bid, no-money- down deal. COR is the politically-connected developer with officers who were found guilty or facing trial for bribery, fraud, and bid-rigging in collusion with top officials (Joe Percoco) in the Cuomo administration. No affordable housing was built to replace the 409 units in Kennedy Square.
“We must end the displacement of tenants from affordable housing like Kennedy Square and 85 Bowery. Decent housing should be a right, not a privilege only for those who can afford it. That means strengthening tenants’ rights, expanding rent control, and building more public housing,” Hawkins said.
NY Should Join CA to require new buildings to include solar, renewable energy
For immediate release: May 29, 2017
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called upon the Assembly energy committee to approve legislation that would halt Cuomo’s anti-solar provisions adopted last year by the Public Service Commission.
Mark Dunlea, the Green candidate for State Comptroller, said that state should followed the lead of California, which recently required all new building by 2020 to include solar power in their design.Read more
Green Party Nominates Howie Hawkins for Governor and Jia Lee for Lt. Governor, Mark Dunlea for Comptroller, Michael H. Sussman for Attorney General
At its state convention in a Rensselaer church on Saturday, the Green Party designated Howie Hawkins for Governor and Jia Lee for Lieutenant Governor.
For Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse, it will be his third consecutive run for Governor. Hawkins finished third with 5% of the vote in 2014. Hawkins has been an organizer in progressive movements since the late 1960s and was co-founder of the Green Party in the U.S.
Lee is a public school teacher and parent in New York City. She is a leader in the Opt Out movement against high-stakes testing. A UFT chapter leader, she is active in the Movement of Rank and File Educators, which ran her for UFT president in 2016 where she came in second with nearly 11,000 votes.
The Green ticket will campaign for longstanding Green demands for single-payer health care, 100% clean energy by 2030, fully-funded public schools, legalization of marijuana, and public campaign finance.Read more
For immediate release: May 18, 2018
Michael H. Sussman, an attorney from Orange County, proudly announces that he is seeking the Green Party nomination for New York State Attorney General. Sussman is a 1978 Honors Graduate of Harvard Law School and has been one of the Hudson Valley's most prominent civil rights and trial lawyers since the 1980's when, as lead counsel for the Yonkers Branch of the NAACP, he helped end racial segregation in the City of Yonkers public schools.
The Green Party of New York's convention will be held Saturday, May 19 at Rensselaer Presbyterian Church, 34 Broadway in Rensselaer, NY. Programming for rank-and-file Greens, including guest speakers Vijay Prashad and Dr. Alice Green, will begin at 11am. Statewide candidate nominations are scheduled to begin at 2:30pm.
For immediate release: May 15, 2018
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, called on Governor Andrew Cuomo to cancel what the governor announced last Friday as a “security and solidarity” trip to Israel.
“The live ammo shooting of unarmed Palestinian demonstrators by Israeli soldiers, killing scores and wounding hundreds, should be condemned by all. Cuomo should cancel his trip to Israel to demonstrate his rejection of this unjustifiable massacre,” Hawkins said.