On May Day, Hawkins Calls for a Right to A Living Wage Job, Make NY a Sanctuary State

On May Day, Hawkins Calls for a Right to A Living Wage Job, Make NY a Sanctuary State

For immediate release: May 1, 2018

SYRACUSE, 05/01/2018—Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said today that he would make New York the national leader in advancing worker and immigrant rights.

Hawkins, who participated in May Day events in Syracuse, is a retired member of the Teamsters. He has long advocated making New York a Sanctuary State for immigrants and undocumented residents by enacting the Liberty Act. He campaigned for a $15 minimum wage, with indexing, in his 2014 Gubernatorial campaign, along with the Farmworker Bill of Rights. He has long advocated for stronger union organizing rights (including card check union recognition and a Wrongful Discharge from Employment Act to require a just cause for termination from employment).

Hawkins' platform ( outlines numerous proposals on worker and immigrants rights, including the NY Dream Act; Drivers Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants; and expansion of the Liberty Defense Project by increasing funding for legal services to immigrants to $20 million. He opposes cooperation by New York officials with the anti-immigration efforts of the Trump administration.

Our nation of immigrants needs a just immigration system that won't allow the ruling elite to divide working people. That means halting deportations, passing the DREAM Act, and creating legal status and a path to citizenship for hard-working, law-abiding undocumented immigrants. Immigrants are essential to our economy and enrich our communities,” said Hawkins.

As Governor, Hawkins says he would direct the Labor Department to increase its efforts to crackdown on Wage Theft, which costs low-income workers in the state more than a billion dollars a year. The labor department collects less than $30 million annually in restitution. He supports enactment of the SWEAT Act to enable workers who win wage theft awards to place liens against the companies.

Jia Lee, the Green Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor, said, "Cuomo has accepted millions in campaign contributions from anti-union lobbyists and Wall Street hedge funders who seek to profit from the privatization of public education in New York State. It is time to eliminate negotiations that accept any measure of school privatization. Public school educators understand that our working conditions are inextricably linked to student learning conditions. We need strong unions to support a strong democratic education system.” Lee, a public school teacher and parent active in NYC Opt Out, was the candidate of the Movement of Rank and File Educators (MORE) for president of the United Federation of Teachers in 2016.

"We need stronger unions and more workers organized into unions in order to promote the interests of the vast majority of New Yorkers who live by their labor. We need a stronger and united labor movement to stand up to the power of Wall Street and the wealthy at the State Capitol. New York leads the country in income inequality. Too much of the wealth that workers create goes into the pockets of the billionaire class,” said Hawkins.

Hawkins has long championed a Green New Deal, which includes a commitment to 100% clean energy by 2030 along with a public job guarantee. “I intend to revive the New Deal tradition that began in New York with political leaders like FDR, Frances Perkins and Robert Wagner who championed workers rights, setting an example that the rest of the nation then followed when the New Deal went national. And then we will 'green' the New Deal by building a sustainable green economy and economic democracy," said Hawkins.

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