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The first and only Democratic primary debate between Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his opponent Cynthia Nixon covered a lot of topics of interest for New York City residents. Geographically, the furthest upstate the debate got was the Tappan Zee Bridge....
Other candidates for governor, like the Green Party's Howie Hawkins, took notice.
“Most of the debate was about New York City. Those of us upstate were wondering if we're watching an election about where we live,” said gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins....
Hawkins says he would have liked to have seen more discussion on how property taxes should be reduced.
“They've been going up and up. The state is balancing the budget on the backs of local property taxpayers. Taxes upstate are the highest in the nation,” said Hawkins.
And Hawkins hopes that once attention turns to the general election, he and his fellow candidates from outside the two-party system will be invited to participate.
“What I hope and I hope the media will push this is that we have more than one debate. We should have a series around the state and let the voters really get a chance to hear what we all have to offer," said Hawkins.Read more
Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins says the lack of attention on upstate New York was a mistake for both candidates.
“It didn’t deal with infrastructure falling apart, and the property taxes going up and up, which is also a problem on Long Island,” Hawkins said.
In the 2014 Democratic primary for governor, New York City had the majority of voters by just a few percentage points.
51.8 percent of the vote came from New York City. 48.2 percent of the vote came from outside of the city.
“If candidates neglect upstate they will find themselves in trouble,” Hawkins said.
As an underdog in the race, Hawkins says he hopes to benefit from what he says was missing from the Democrats Wednesday night.
“I think it could be more open than people now think,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins says he feels one debate is not enough, that there should be a series of debates across the state so that New Yorkers can hear the candidates positions' on the issues that matter in their regions.
It's the summer of democratic socialism. It's a political label that's gained prominence following the presidential campaign of Bernie Sanders in 2016 and the successful primary bid of Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez. It's also one embraced by gubernatorial candidate Cynthia Nixon and her running mate, Jumaane Williams.
“I've always considered myself a democratic socialist. I think most Americans are democratic socialists. But we've allowed people to be afraid of certain words,” said Williams.
But Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins says Democrats who identify as socialists now miss the broader point: public ownership.
“They're missing a central tenant of the socialist tradition, which is social ownership of the means of production as a basis for economic democracy,” Hawkins said.
Hawkins has long identified with the socialist movement, saying it's one that cannot take place within a major political party.
“We can only liberate ourselves, and so we need an independent political party outside of the two-party system,” said Hawkins.Read more
The Green Party gubernatorial candidate's platform — calling for a bold approach to tackling issues like climate change and soaring healthcare costs — should interest many mid-Hudson Valley residents, he said.
“I think we’re standing with the people,” Howie Hawkins said Thursday, standing at Victor C. Waryas Park in the City of Poughkeepsie. “And even if they don’t consider themselves a lefty, or a progressive, or a socialist, or a liberal, they’re going to like where we stand on the issues... So, I think the sky’s the limit.”
Hawkins, a Syracuse resident who finished third in the 2014 gubernatorial race, said his goal in November's election is clearly stated in his campaign slogan: Demand More. That includes pushing the state to commit to working toward 100 percent clean energy by 2030.
Addressing climate change is among the campaign’s keynote issues, and Hawkins talked about the need for a “Green New Deal” to revitalize the economy by focusing on clean energy initiatives. He also voiced his support for a single-payer healthcare system.Read more
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party gubernatorial candidate, appeared in front of the Utica State Office Building on Thursday to talk economic development.Read more
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
Green Party candidates across the state say improving public schools is a priority.
Howie Hawkins and Lieutenant Governor Candidate Jia Lee were in Syracuse Thursday showcasing their education platform. Both are calling for district lines to be redrawn to provide more opportunities for all students.
They say urban schools are lagging.
"Who suffers the most?” said Lee. “In predominantly black and brown poor communities and that is part of systemic racism that we can no longer be a part of."
The candidates also came out against charter schools and high-stakes standardized testing. Both say those practices hurt urban districts disproportionately.