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Binghamton, NY; 9/21/18
Howie Hawkins Says Green Party is the Progressive Choice in November
NY Times: Planet is Doomed; Solution - Vote Green
Howie Hawkins, a retired Teamster from Syracuse, kicked off his general election campaign in Binghamton today by saying he was Plan B for the 500,000 people who voted for Nixon last week as well as for other voters who think Cuomo is liberal.
Hawkins was joined by Green Comptroller candidate Mark Dunlea, who wants to divest the state pension fund from fossil fuels, as well as increase budget transparency and cut down on public corruption.
“Cuomo cannot solve the simplest of problems, like finding one day for federal, state, and local primaries or making sure that children are not exposed to lead contamination, a huge problem is many of our communities. When he can’t solve problems like this, there is no way that Cuomo can solve climate change and income inequality,” said Hawkins.
Hawkins vowed to end the culture of corruption that dominates the State Capitol, with two of the Governor’s top aides being convicted for corruption, including a case involving the Buffalo Billion. Joe Percoco was sentenced to 6 years in prison for corruption including the CPV power plant (whose permit Hawkins wants vacated). Over 50 New York State officials have been convicted or forced to resign since 2000 for improper activities.
Hawkins plans to appeal to progressives who voted for Nixon, Williams, and Teachout in the recent primary. He called on them to support the Green gubernatorial ticket of Hawkins and Jia Lee, as well as Michael Sussman for Attorney General and Mark Dunlea for Comptroller. Hawkins said that the Green candidates are veteran activists who come out of progressive movements and are the most qualified for their offices.
With an increasing number of scientists, government bodies, and the media warning that the future of human civilization is imperiled by accelerating global warming and climate change, the Green Party wants New York to set a goal of 100% clean energy by 2030.
“The NY Times Magazine recently argued that most life on the planet is probably doomed due to the inability of politicians to set aside partisan bickering to launch an emergency mobilization to avoid the worse of climate change. The clear solution is to vote in the Green Party because we are committed to doing what is needed to avoid climate chaos,” stated Mark Dunlea, the Green Party candidate for State Comptroller who wants the state to divest its pension fund from fossil fuels.
“The good news is that we largely know how to move to 100% clean energy while creating millions of jobs, cutting deaths from air pollution, and lowering energy costs. All we need is the political will to act and the Greens have that in abundance,” added Dunlea.
“Nixon urging Cuomo to get behind the Climate and Community Protection Act, which the state Assembly has passed three times, is ironic because it mostly codifies Cuomo’s own energy policy. We need to fight for passage of the New York Off Fossil Fuels Act, a plan for 100% clean energy by 2030, with the same sharp focus we had on the fracking ban in 2014,” Hawkins added.
Hawkins, who is campaigning as an eco-socialist, said that now that the primary is over, there needs to be a much more open discussion about what being a progressive means in New York rather than the narrow debate during the Democratic Party primaries.
“While I certainly agree we need to end the Trump presidency as soon as possible, the gubernatorial election needs to focus on real solutions for New York’s problems,” added Hawkins.
Hawkins proposes four regional debates (NYC Metro area, Capital District, Central NY and Western NY), each focused on a topic: The Economy, Government Reform, The Environment and Climate, and Social Policy, including education, health care, criminal justice, and civil rights.
Hawkins and the Greens support the single-payer NY Health Act and a range of ethics and criminal justice reforms, including ranked-choice voting and proportional representation, full public campaign finance based on the Clean Money system used in Arizona and Maine, term limits, bail abolition, speedy trial, marijuana legalization, and Sanctuary State policies to protect immigrants .
One issue where Hawkins disagreed with both Nixon and Cuomo was the Governor’s property tax cap, which has done nothing to reduce sky-high local property taxes but has prevented local governments from funding needed services and improvements. Nixon wants to tweak the tax cap. Cuomo and Molinaro want to make it permanent. Hawkins wants to repeal it and instead have the state pay for its unfunded mandates and restore revenue sharing with local governments to 8% of state revenues so local governments can cut regressive property taxes.