The St. Petersburg local of the Green Party of Florida (GPFL) is proud to announce its endorsement of Farid A. Khavari, independent candidate for governor of Florida.
While Republican Governor Rick Scott and former Republican Governor Charlie Crist duke it out over how Florida is to manage its austerity budget, Khavari offers serious progressive solutions. The centerpiece of his campaign is the formation of a SuperBank that would refinance homeowner mortgages and student debt at drastically lower rates, pumping billions of dollars per year into the hands of ordinary Floridians.
Khavari’s plans work within the official rules of the system, but radically break the so-called “unwritten” rules — which are the ones that really matter. Khavari is unstinting in his insistence that we create real wealth, for real people, not speculative paper wealth like derivatives that ends up in the hands of Wall Street tycoons.
Specifically, just a few of the things he calls for:
•“a SuperBank that will not invest in crazy derivatives. It would invest in mortgages that would stay in the bank’s file until they are paid. We won’t pay huge salaries and bonuses. We won’t have fancy branch offices. The function of our SuperBank is to drive Florida’s economy, partly by enabling more people to buy homes, and partly by saving them so much money that our economy will prosper like never before.”
•“restoring the Everglades, and protecting our rivers, lakes, estuaries and springs … stop fracking or ‘dirty drilling’ for gas and oil in Florida … appoint a new head of the Department of Environmental Protection with enough sense to protect us from the toxic chemicals the oil and gas companies use. I will also support a ballot initiative to amend the Florida constitution to forbid fracking or any similar process in Florida forever.”
•“reduce the cost of college by 25% immediately, at no cost to taxpayers: enable students to earn a four-year degree in three years. We can do this by making many ‘prerequisite’ courses available online, with final exams in person at local high schools and colleges. This program can be implemented immediately and the cost will be offset by charging about $25 per course. Many high school seniors could enter college with a year of credits already completed and paid for.”
•“go a step beyond minimum wage [of $15/hour]. I want to give people a living wage. If you know how money is created, you know that we are already spending that money in terms of food stamps, in terms of jails, in terms of unemployment and many other social costs. Why can’t we guarantee everyone a living wage?”
At the center of all this, as mentioned above, is his SuperBank, which could go beyond just mortgage and student debt relief, to providing capital for real investments in the people of Florida.
As Khavari states in his interview on this website, “Only an independent governor can work fairly with legislators of all parties, while blocking the bills that serve only special interests.
An independent governor who is an economist with a plan, working for — and with — all of the people, can transform Florida’s economy for everyone. Whose Florida is it, anyway?”
We heartily concur. The St. Petersburg local of the Green Party of Florida says no to the Rick Scott/Charlie Crist sideshow. Farid Khavari’s candidacy, and beyond that, his election, would be good for the Green Party, and good for the people of Florida. We hope that the Green Party of Florida follows suit.