Howie Hawkins and the Green Party want a different radically different than that of Governor Cuomo and the 1%.
Greens want a world based on putting the needs of all ahead of the greed of the few.
Howie is again seeking the Green Party nomination to run for Governor in 2014. He needs your support in building the campaign and spreading the message. Three years ago he finished 3rd out of 7 candidates, winning well more than the 50,000 votes needed to regain official party status for the Greens in NY, making it much easier for Green candidates to run. Cuomo relies upon the 1% to fund his campaigns. Howie relies upon us.
This time around he wants to get five times as many votes to compel the media, the public, and other parties to view the Greens – not the Democrats or its Working Families Party ally – as the independent voice of the left in New York politics. The widespread disaffection of progressives, teachers, public employees, Blacks, Latinos, and environmentalists from the Cuomo administration makes this goal a real possibility.
Howie has been an organizer for peace, justice, labor, and the environment since 1967. A former Marine, he helped organize opposition to the Vietnam War. In the 70s and 80s, he was a leader in the anti-apartheid divestment movement to end US corporate investment in the system of racist labor exploitation in South Africa. He was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the Green Party in the US in 1984. He is a member of the socialist organization, Solidarity. Howie works at UPS unloading trucks, where he is a member of Teamsters Local 317 and active in Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War, and the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare. He received 40% of the vote in his recent run for Syracuse City Council.
The Hawkins Agenda – Building on 2010
In 2010 Howie Hawkins advocated a program to build prosperity for all: A Green New Deal.
The Right to a Job. Provide living wage jobs for all through public investments in a sustainable future. A public job for any worker the private sector isn't able to employ – jobs for the public good, like education, parks, senior care, home repairs.
100% clean energy by 2030. This goal is essential to avert climate catastrophe. Its feasibility in NY is documented in a peer-reviewed study. Ban Fracking. Shut down Indian Point and all nuclear plants. A carbon tax. Mass transit and bikes rather than more cars and sprawl. Sustainable local organic farming. Divest public pension funds from fossil fuel companies. No new fossil fuel infrastructure, including gas pipelines and power plants; and no train and barge shipping of Bakken fracked oil and Alberta tar sands.
Recognize health care as a human right. Single payer. Improved and expanded Medicare for All for all New Yorkers. Covers all medically necessary services at less cost than private insurance. No copays or deductibles. Everybody in, nobody out.
The Greens Make a Difference - They Have Already Led the Way Forward
When Howie ran for Governor three years ago, the Green Party was largely alone in calling for a ban rather than a moratorium on hydrofracking for natural gas. A ban is now embraced by most grassroots activists and the bipartisan push for fracking has been blocked. A decade ago Green elected officials in New Paltz performed same sex marriages, helping to ignite the state and national movement in support.
Howie's theme of income equality in 2010 was amplified by Occupy Wall Street, a theme that is credited with changing the direction of the NYC Mayoral election. Elected Green officials across the country like Gayle McLaughlin in Richmond have provided leadership on such issues as housing foreclosures, corporate accountability, peace, and environmental protection.
Internationally, when countries take meaningful action on climate change and clean energy, like a carbon tax, it is because the Green Party pushed it as part of the ruling coalition. The Green Party is the international political leader on the issues of peace, fair trade, immigrant rights, and sustainable agriculture.
The Greens are an independent progressive party, not an appendage of the Democrats. The role of the Working Families Party is to Talk Left and Walk Right, delivering their votes to economically conservative Democrats like Cuomo. It's time to replace this charade of begging for reforms from corporate-funded politicians with an independent left that speaks and acts for itself and elects its own representatives to office.
The Cuomo Agenda – Austerity for the 99%, Wealth for the 1%
Andrew Cuomo (D/WFP/I) promised a different world than Howie. Austerity. Attacks on public employees, teachers, and unions. Corporate welfare. Tax-free zones for big business. Unfortunately, Cuomo delivered.
Cuomo's state budget for 2014-15 continues his austerity agenda.
Cuomo's "4 percent increase in school aid" is $1.3 billion short of what the 2007 Foundation Aid Formula calls for. The cumulative shortfall on Foundation Aid will hit $9.8 billion with Cuomo's 2014-14 budget. Cuomo's school aid proposal will force school districts, particularly those in inner cities and rural areas, to hike regressive property taxes, cut staffing and programs, and many will go broke.
Cuomo's budget keeps revenue sharing with local governments flat at a time when scores of local governments and school districts are headed for insolvency and a takeover by state Control Boards. Cuomo's tax cuts for the rich will be paid for by working people as cuts to their local schools and municipal services.
The result has been a radical redistribution of wealth and income from working people to the very rich.
The incomes and living standards of the working and middle classes have declined under this economic policy. In New York, inequality is the most extreme of any state, with the share of income going to the wealthiest 1% more than tripling from 10% from in 1980 to 30-35% in the years since 2007.
Cuomo did his best to derail the movement to raise the state minimum wage, striving to placate the business community. First he delayed. Then he phased it in over 3 years without indexing. Food tip workers were left out – and Cuomo has refused to convene a minimum wage board to give a raise to tip workers, despite being directed by the legislature to do so. He created a $40 million tax credit for companies like Wal-Mart and McDonalds to hire teenagers at the minimum wage. He has done little to halt the growing problem of wage theft, which costs low income workers in NYC alone a billion dollars a year.
Raising Up All New Yorkers
A revitalized public sector and public investments in housing, energy, environmental protection, mass transit, and public services are the fastest and cheapest ways to create good jobs for the 1.5 million New Yorkers who are unemployed or working part-time involuntarily.
Workers' Rights. Support workers rights to organize unions, to bargain, and to strike. Enact a full employment program featuring public jobs to meet critical needs for human services, affordable housing, mass transit, and clean energy. Pay for it by ending the 100% rebate of the $15 billion state stock transfer tax to Wall Street traders.
Restore revenue sharing to the originally enacted 8% of state revenues, a system created in the 1970s because state personal and business income taxes are more progressive than regressive local sales and property taxes and because many cities and towns are property tax poor because they host tax-exempt governmental, educational, and health care institutions that are the major employers and economic engines of their entire regions. Howie's home city of Syracuse will have exhausted its reserves by the end of the next fiscal year unless state revenue sharing is increased.
End hunger, poverty, and homelessness. Overhaul the state's welfare program to provide living wage jobs to those who need them. Increase investment in child care, education, and training. Strengthen the safety net for those who need it.
Free tuition at CUNY, SUNY, and Community Colleges. Rather than bailing out Wall Street banks, we should have bailed out student debt and homeowners and mortgages. It is time for NYS to face the problem that unemployment and poverty are much higher among people of color and those with disabilities.
We need far more investment in affordable housing, including subsidies for renters and stronger and expanded rent control. We need to improve the maintenance of public housing projects – and build new public housing that is high quality and mixed income.
Legalize: End The War on Drugs
It is time for New York to legalize, regulate, and tax marijuana, as Colorado and Washington state have done. Tens of thousands of New Yorkers' lives have been destroyed by convictions for nonviolent marijuana offenses. Drug abuse should be treated as a health problem, not a criminal problem. We should provide universal access to drug rehab through a cost-efficient, single-payer, public health plan that provides all medically necessary services to all New Yorkers.
Cuomo continues the war on drugs that feeds the mass incarceration industry. We should prosecute banks, corrupt politicians, polluters, and Wall Street criminals rather than the poor and people of color.
Build the Independent Left and Transform New York
Howie and the Green Party need your help. A donation of your time, your money, and your ideas. Democracy is participatory. Host a house party for Howie. Help organize a local Green Party. Write letters to the editor. Organize rallies, protests and forums. Educate your neighbors and co-workers. Demand change.
The Green Party is also looking for candidates for State Legislature this fall. Please consider running and engaging in the debate about the future of our communities and country.
Contribute today to change New York.
Yours in Peace and Justice, (organizations listed for ID purpose only)
Jill Stein, 2010 Green Presidential candidate
Dr. Alice Green, Center for Law and Justice
Stanley Aronowitz, Author, Labor Activist
Margaret Kimberley, Black Agenda Report
David McReynolds, ex-staff War Resisters League
Andy Coates, MD, Physicians for a National Health Program
David Doonan, Mayor, Greenwich NY
Mary Jo Long, Esq., Elected Officials to Protect NY
Mike Keenan, Treasurer, Troy Area Labor Council
Gloria Mattera, 2010 Lt. Governor candidate, PHNYP Metro Past president, IAM 1145
Jonathon Flanders, retired railroad machinist, AFL-CIO Board Member
P.S. Make checks payable to Hawkins for Governor. P.O. Box 562, Syracuse NY 13204. Or donate online at howiehawkins.org. The Green Party's financial independence is the basis for our political independence. Lots of small donations from lots of people is the only way working people have ever funded their own unions, cooperatives and political parties.
P.S.S: Save the date, Saturday May 17, for the Green Party of New York 2014 State Convention to, held in the Capital District at the Troy Sanctuary for Independent Media, where Howie will formally seek the nomination to run for Governor. Registered Greens will also be able to vote on an updated, 2014 state party platform. Please join us! Info at www.gpny.org