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Statement on the Killing of Eric Garner, Need for Justice and Accountability
The Hawkins-Jones campaign expresses their profound sympathy to the family of Eric Garner. This is a tragedy that should not have happened.
The Green Party joins in the call for a full investigation of the killing but is skeptical that an internal investigation will lead to true justice in the name of Eric Garner and those who came before him. Overly aggressive policing, including the repeated use of prohibited choke holds, continue with a minimal reprimand or no fault findings at all.
Those who killed Mr. Garner need to be held criminally liable for any improper actions as a deterrent to future incidents.
Though the use of choke holds by the police has been prohibited by internal rules since 1993, there were more than 1,000 complaints filed with the Civilian Complaint Review Board in the last 5 years alone. The number of unreported incidents is undoubtedly much higher. The Board substantiated only 9 of those incidents, indicating that it is inadequate to the task of having a meaningful impact on changing police behavior and practice.
Community residents want a police department that works with them to help protect their neighborhood. They need a police force that reduces violence, not contributes to it. And we need a police force that treats all our residents with respect regardless of their color, gender, sexual orientation, or nationality.
Hawkins Says Rather than Create Women’s Ballot Line, Cuomo Needs to Do More to Help Poor Women
Hawkins Would Eliminate WEP for welfare
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that Governor Cuomo's effort to create a Women's Equality Party (WEP) ballot line is a slap in the face to the many poor women he has neglected as Governor, especially women on welfare and minimum wage workers.
WEP ironically is also the NYC title of the forced work program for poor women on welfare - Work Experience Program. Hawkins said he would eliminate WEP and replace it with jobs.Read more
Casino interests have spent $11 million in the last two years on lobbying and campaign contributions, including $55,000 in contributions to Governor Cuomo’s campaign and $43,499 to Rob Astorino, according to a new report by NPIRG.
"Casinos prey on working people and depend on gambling addicts and problem gamblers for their high profits," noted Hawkins. "Cuomo wants tax cuts for his wealthy contributors, so he pushes gambling instead to raise needed state revenues."Read more
New York should join with the international community in calling for a immediate halt to the attacks in Gaza and Israel, and for the protection of all local residents.
There is never any justification for attacking civilians and the Green Party has always condemned any such action by any side.Read more
Hawkins Has Raised More Money So Far Than His Entire 2010 Election Effort
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, has raised more money for his campaign so far than he did during his entire 2010 campaign, when he finished 3 among 7 candidates.
Hawkins and Brian Jones, the Green's Lt. Governor candidate, have raised slightly more than $50,000 ($50,766), about $5,000 more than Hawkins' 2010 effort. He has more than 650 donors for an average contribution of $77. The median contribution was $35. Hawkins has voluntarily placed a cap of $2,600 on individual donations, the maximum allowed in federal elections. He does not accept contributions from for-profit corporations and businesses.Read more
Hawkins Says Astorino Afraid To Debate a Progressive
Renews Call for a Gubernatorial Debate Focused on Education
(Syracuse, NY) While Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said the he is glad that Republican Rob Astorino has picked up on Hawkins’ prior calls for a series of gubernatorial debates, Hawkins wants the debates opened to at least all ballot qualified parties.
Hawkins called for one of the debates to be focused solely on education. This would help ensure that voters are not confused by the Stop Common Core ballot line that Astorino and state Republicans plan to put on the ballot by petition. Hawkins has been endorsed by a number of teacher and parents organizations.Read more
Hawkins Calls "Stop Common Core" Ballot Line a Diversion, Calls for Gubernatorial Debate on Education Issues
(Syracuse, NY) Green Party gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins said today that Republican Rob Astorino's plan to run on a Stop Common Core ballot line is a “bait-and-switch diversion designed to channel legitimate concern over Common Core behind the Republican agenda of underfunding and privatizing public education.”
Chris Moss, Astorino's Lt. Governor running mate, was in Syracuse to promoting their Stop Common Core ballot line.
“This is bumpersticker sloganeering at its worst,” Hawkins said. “Voters shouldn't fall for this ploy to siphon off votes to the Republican column.”
Hawkins called on media and civic organizations to sponsor a gubernatorial debate focused solely on education as one in a series of debates.
“We know what Astorino is against. But what is he for?” asked Brian Jones, Hawkins' Lt. Governor running mate. “Astorino said he will release his ideas on curriculum reform in the fall. My state union federation, NYSUT, will make its endorsement in August. It's clear Astorino doesn't care what we educators think.”
Hawkins said that a debate focused on education would show that both Governor Cuomo and Astorino would underfund public schools, especially in property-poor inner city and rural communities. He said the high-stakes testing linked to Common Core is designed to fail public schools in disadvantaged communities and convert then into privately-managed charter schools.
“I want to fully fund public schools. We need to end the property tax cap and the Gap Elimination Adjustment, which has balanced the state budget on the backs of our children by cutting state aid to schools for the last five years. We need to stop competitive grants for school funding, which puts the poorer school districts at a further disadvantage. New York schools are the most segregated in the nation. Many are overcrowded. Class sizes are growing. That's hurting children's education. Politicians are blaming teachers instead of themselves for these conditions. Now a lawsuit seeks to take away New York teachers' due process rights under tenure rules. These issues, as well as Common Core, need a full debate,” Hawkins said.
“The biggest problem with Common Core is that it is linked to high-stakes tests that can be used to hold students back, deny diplomas, fire teachers, and close schools,” Hawkins said. “This test-and-punish regime needs to be replaced with a support-and-improve approach. We need qualitative assessments of students and teachers, not simplistic standardized tests designed more for the convenience of testing technology vendors than for educational objectives.”
“We need standards, but educators should design them, not private contractors with lucrative contracts. All the outsourcing for curriculum design and testing for Common Core is wasting public school resources,” Hawkins added.
Raise Minimum Wage to $15 an Hour, Eliminate Tip Credit
Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that as Governor he would eliminate the tip credit that reduces the minimum wage for tip workers, joining seven other states, including California.
"Food and other service workers shouldn't have to rely on tips to make ends meet. Many workers have part of their tips stolen by their employers," said Hawkins.Read more
Strong Action Needed to Clean Up Albany Corruption
Supports Statewide Ban on Fracking for Natural Gas
(Binghamton, NY) Howie Hawkins said today the epidemic of corruption that prevails in the State Capitol won't end until voters demand clean government – with their votes. Sen. Tom Libous is just the latest of nearly 30 state legislators indicted or pushed out of office for unethical behavior over the last decade.
Hawkins would reconvene the Moreland Commission that Cuomo just disbanded and empower it to complete its job. He would give it the funding it needs and the autonomy to let the commissioners hire staff this time without interference from the governor's office or the legislature. He would also establish an independent State Ethics Commission.Read more
Green Party: "Stop Common Core" Just Another Republican Push to Privatize Education
The Green Party today said that the effort by the Republicans to create a "Stop Common Core" ballot line was largely a fraudulent bait and switch effort.
"Rob Astorino is the Jimmy McMillan of education reform. He states the obvious -- Stop Common Core -- but still doesn't make any sense," said Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for Governor.
"They may stop common core but they will keep looting schools by underfunding public schools and pushing privately-managed charter schools and profligate contracts with testing firms," he explained.
"Stop Common Core needs to Start Getting Real about the need for quality, fully-funded, desegregated public education from pre-k to undergrad," added Brian Jones, the Green Lieutenant Governor candidate and a former NYC teacher. "To paraphrase Shakespeare (unless drama class has already been cut from the budget), "Privatization by Another Name Will Disenfranchise Just as Many." Perhaps they should just rename it 'we don't like teachers or unions'."