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News Conference at National Green Party Meeting
Press Conference for Green candidates at the
Green Party's 2014 Annual National Meeting in St. Paul, Minnesota
Statement by Howie Hawkins, Green Party candidate for Governor of New York
30 years ago right here, at Macalester College in St. Paul, I participated in the first national meeting called to organize a Green Party in the United States. I have been a Green Party organizer ever since.
Four years ago I was the Green candidate for Governor of New York. I finished 3rd out of 7 candidates.
This year I am polling more than four times higher, with 6% in the last two polls. That would be the highest vote for an independent progressive gubernatorial candidate in New York history. We are closer in the polls to the Republican candidate, Rob Astorino, than he is to the Democratic incumbent, Andrew Cuomo.
Two earlier polls indicate we can go much higher. An unnamed Working Families Party candidate running independently would receive 24% of the vote, equal to the Republican and only 15 points behind Cuomo. But the Working Families Party cross-endorsed Cuomo again.
I am a working Teamster with a name, Howie Hawkins, and my running mate for Lieutenant Governor is a union teacher with a name, Brian Jones. We believe we are the ticket that those 24% of the voters are already looking for.
Cuomo is vulnerable. A 7,000-word investigative report by the NY Times this week detailed allegations that Cuomo's operatives interfered with a commission that he set up to investigate political corruption – and then abruptly shut down nine months later. Among the allegations are that they tried to suppress subpoenas to Cuomo allies. Over the last 15 years, more than 30 New York state legislators have been indicted, convicted, or forced to resign for unethical behavior. Now Cuomo's political operation may be caught up in this public corruption, with U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara continuing the investigations started by the commission.
We are campaigning for a “Green New Deal for New York.” We will establish as economic human rights a decent job, a living wage, quality health care, a good education, affordable housing and public transit, and sustainable clean energy. We will pay for it by restoring the progressive taxes and revenue sharing New York had in the 1970s, which would increase state revenues by about 20% while giving 95% of New Yorkers a tax cut.
We will replace Cuomo's failed trickle-down policy of tax cuts for the rich with a bottom-up wage-led economic policy. We will ban fracking and build a 100% clean energy by 2030. We will build scattered-site public housing in the cities and suburbs that is racially integrated, mixed-income, clean energy positive, and carbon negative. We will build public transit systems across and between all of New York's cities and suburbs. These projects will create good jobs, affordable housing, clean energy, and reduce New York's highest-in-the-nation residential and school segregation by race and class.
We will end Cuomo's test-and-punish regime for schools of high-stakes testing that is designed to privatize public schools into charters in disadvantaged segregated communities. We will institute a support-and-improve approach of qualitative individual assessments of students and teachers, fully-funded schools, and ending double segregation by race and class.
We believe this is a winning platform and we are running to win.