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The Green Party's statewide candidates are outlining major parts of their policy agenda today, including what they call "social ownership of the economy."
They want to create public banks, transition the energy system to public ownership, and encouarge more worker cooperatives.
If that all sounds like socialism to you, well, it does to them too.
But this is certainly not in response to the new wave of support for Democratic socialism.
Talking more about the policies are candidate for governor Howie Hawkins, and comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea.
BUFFALO, N.Y. — While prosecutors across the state attempt to prove bid-rigging connected to the governor's signature economic development initiative, two Green Party candidates for state wide office criticized the Buffalo Billion as a whole.
"We'll see what the trial brings out and what the jury says but on the face of it, it's corrupt because big donations in, contracts out, and it's hard to prove a quid pro quo but it looks obvious just on appearance," Green Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said.
Comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea said he is concerned about the reports he's heard thus far from the trial, primarily that the state's economic development arm allegedly consulted with preferred developers about major projects.
"The testimony we've heard so far, it was routine for the Cuomo administration to allow companies that had given him donations to literally write request for proposals," he said.
Dunlea said current comptroller Tom Dinapoli has been silent about the Assembly's failure this week to pass legislation to give his office more oversight of state contracts. He said if elected he would be more aggressive in his scrutiny of contracts like the ones currently at the center of the trial.
"The state Assembly refused to bring the bill up for a vote even though it had passed the Senate, mainly because the governor did not want to see more state comptroller oversight," Dunlea said.
Meanwhile, Hawkins believes the Buffalo Billion model is flawed in general. Standing in front of the Freedom Wall on Buffalo's east side, he said he was skeptical the economic development money has made it to the neighborhoods that need it the most.
"The struggling working class and minority communities, this trickle-down economics don't trickle down to us. It goes to the rich," Hawkin said.
The candidates are pushing an economic development plan they call the Green New Deal which involves investing money into public works, specifically projects targeting climate change and improving the environment.
"That will create jobs directly. It will put people to work. It will put money in these communities and it will build the economy from the bottom up," Hawkins said.
BINGHAMTON, N.Y. - The Green Party's candidate for Governor also appeared before the Broome County Courthouse steps along with the party's candidate for State Comptroller.
Mark Dunlea officially announced his run for Comptroller.
He says the main focus of his candidacy is to divest public pension funds from fossil fuels.
According to Dunlea, only 4 percent of New York State gets it's electricity from renewable energy and that he and Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins would support legislation to move to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.
Dunlea says climate change needs to receive more attention.
"The first issue is to really force the issue of divestment in climate change. I think it's the single greatest threat to humanity at this point and we're losing the struggle against climate change," said Dunlea.
Dunlea also cited a study done by Cornell and Stanford professors that showed a transition to 100 percent renewable energy would create 4.5 million jobs during construction and 58,000 permanent annual jobs thereafter for the energy facilities.
Between April 2014 and April of this year, the number of active registered Democratic voters in New York State grew 3.6 percent. Registration in the Republican party edged up about three-tenths of a percent. The Conservative and Working Families Parties both shrank, as did the Independence Party.
The Green Party, meanwhile, saw its registration leap 22 percent.
It’s hard to say why the Green Party’s membership—at 26,500, it’s still very small in the context of the state’s 11.3 million active voters—has increased that much since the last state election cycle. Maybe the Bernie Sanders candidacy made the Green’s brand of “ecological socialism” more popular, or maybe the matchup of Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump made the major parties more toxic.Read more
Howie Hawkins for Governor, Green Party of New York State nominee, on his goals for this election and thereafter at State Convention, May 19.
Gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins is using several methods to get the message out about his frustrations with the current administration.
Fresh off his arrest at a protest last week in Albany, the Green Party candidate was in Syracuse, Friday making his case for a massive expansion of public housing to make rent more affordable.
For immediate release: April 25, 2018
NEW YORK, 4/25/2018--Jia Lee, a New York City special education teacher of seventeen years, announced today that she will seek the Green Party nomination for Lt. Governor. She will make education the focal point of her campaign.
Lee, a public school parent, was the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) candidate for president of the United Federation of Teachers union in 2016. She has served as her school’s union chapter leader for over eight years. She has been active in NYC Opt Out and Change the Stakes, a grassroots coalition of parents, teachers and community members who are concerned with the destructive use of high-stakes standardized testing. In 2016, she testified before the U.S. H.E.L.P. Senate Committee on the re-authorization of E.S.E.A. (the federal Elementary and Secondary Education Act of 1965) on Testing and Accountability.
“As many of us have come to realize, teaching is a political activity now, more than ever. Public schools, our profession and our students are under attack by the state. As a public school special education teacher, the curriculum I am told to teach my fourth and fifth grade students, flies in direct contradiction with the realities we are living,” said Lee.
The Green Party will have a candidate for governor again. Howie Hawkins officially announced his campaign this year, after running in 2010 and 2014. And since the last campaign, Governor Cuomo has moved to the left, politically speaking, and his primary opponent, Cynthia Nixon, so far appears to be ever further to the left on many issues. But there are still plenty of issues where the Green Party's position is different. Joining us in studio to talk more about his campaign is Howie Hawkins.