Hawkins Brings Campaign to Long Island; Rallies Teachers, Parents

Hawkins Brings Campaign to Long Island; Rallies Teachers, Parents

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party nominee for Governor, will attend two house parties on Long Island on Sunday, June 22nd.

Both events grow out of the strong opposition to Cuomo’s education agenda. Hawkins has picked up the endorsement of several education reform groups, including the New York Badass Teacher's Association and United Opt Out. Members of the Badass Teacher’s Association are hosting the events in Plainview at 12 noon (Judy Ornstein, 20 Linda Ln.) and at 2 PM in Garden City (Jen Debler, 72 Transverse Rd.).

Hawkins will outline his campaign platform and discuss the recently completed state legislative session.

Hawkins was quite critical of the Governor’s lackluster performance in the recently completed state legislative session, which resulted in a lack of action of many critical issues such as the minimum wage, campaign finance reform, and the Dream Act. Lawmakers did agree to medical marijuana but only after a series of weakening amendments demanded by Governor Cuomo.

Hawkins supports fully funding public schools and opposes Cuomo’s push for high stakes testing, charter schools, and centralized control of the education system.

The Green Party candidate for Lieutenant Governor, Brian Jones, a teacher and union member from New York City, strongly criticized the temporary moratorium until 2017 on including student performance on Common Core-aligned test scores in the state-mandated teacher evaluation system. "The teacher evaluation moratorium just delays the implementation of a fundamentally flawed policy that is more about punishing disadvantaged communities than educating their children," Jones said.

"Teacher evaluations do not address the root causes of poor performance by students and schools in disadvantaged communities, which are poverty, segregation, and underfunding," Hawkins added. "High-stakes testing linked to Common Core is a set up. It is designed to fail our schools and privatize them into charters."

Hawkins and Jones want the state to opt out of Common Core and opt into individual assessments like the Performance Based Assessment Tasks (PBATs) used by 26 public schools in New York City. In 2011, 86% of African American students and 90% of Latino students from these schools were admitted to colleges.

Hawkins is calling for a Green New Deal that features the creation of 4.5 million jobs to fight climate change by building out a 100% clean renewable energy system for NYS by 2030. His energy program includes a ban on fracking for natural gas and a rapid phase-out of nuclear power. Hawkins opposes the proposed LNG shipping terminal at Port Ambrose, 15 miles off Long Island, and supports a wind farm for that location.

Hawkins would reduce property taxes through a single payer health care system (replacing Medicaid) and by restoring state revenue sharing with local governments its 1970s level. He opposes the austerity budgets and tax cuts for the very rich enacted by Cuomo.

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