Howie Hawkins of Syracuse announced his campaign for Governor of New York as a Green Party candidate in an Albany press conference on May 4th. The Green Party of New York will officially nominate candidates for statewide office at its May 15th nominating convention in Albany. If the Green Party candidate for governor earns at least 50,000 votes this year, the party will regain ballot status for the next four years, making it significantly easier to run candidates at all levels.
Video of Howie Hawkins’ campaign announcement from David Doonan:
Time Warner’s YNN network covered the announcement.
Here is Hawkins’ statement “Why We Are Running” from his campaign website www.HowieHawkins.com/2010 :
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The basic issue in this campaign is: Will our state government be for the people, or continue to serve the super-rich and the giant corporations?
We are running because we are on the side of the people.
We are running – we, not me – because I cannot win the goals of our campaign alone. I will not have the tens of millions of dollars for media advertising that the corporate-financed Democratic and Republican candidates will have. But organized people can beat organized money. As the candidate, I am one spokesperson for this campaign. But we all need to be organizers and spokespeople for this campaign with our family, friends, co-workers, and neighborhood and internet communities.
We are running because only a grassroots movement of people reaching people by word of mouth can swell to the critical mass we need to achieve our goals. Personal contact is far more influential and persuasive than 30-second TV and radio spots. Every one of us can win over tens or hundreds or thousands of voters by consistent, persistent activity over the course of the campaign.
We are running to offer a real alternative to the two-party system of corporate rule.The Democrats have replaced the Republicans in the State House and the Governor’s Mansion, and in Congress and the White House, but little has changed. The two-party system is a very sophisticated scheme for presenting the illusion of real choice when both major parties are funded by the same corporate, financial, and real estate interests. Whether the A Team of Republicans or the B Team of Democrats are in the majority, it is still corporate power dictating policy.
The ongoing Wall Street bailout is the greatest transfer of wealth in world history. If our schools were banks, they would have been bailed out. Instead the creditor class of wealthy elites is making the borrower class of working and middle class taxpayers pay for the whole bailout for their bad investments through higher taxes, lower wages and benefits, and cuts in public services. The catastrophic destruction of our climate and oceans is accelerating, but the incumbent fossil fuel and nuclear corporations still capture far more government subsidies than clean, renewable energy. Whether it is job creation, health care, housing, or the environment, the government sides with the corporate vested interests against the broad public interest.
The progressives and independents who voted the Republicans out and the Democrats in are now taken for granted by the Democrats in power, because these voters have no where else to take their votes. We are running to give these voters a place to go.
50,000 Votes Wins a Green Party Ballot Line
One key goal of our campaign is to build the Green Party as a powerful, well-organized alternative to the corporate state’s two-party system. With 50,000+ votes for the Green gubernatorial ticket – a very achievable goal – the Green Party wins a permanent ballot line and reasonable ballot petitioning requirements for the next four years, enabling us to contest elections at every level as we continue to build our movement. We are building this campaign county by county to leave in place a grassroots party organization that can carry on the movement for our policy platform after the November 2 election.
Putting Our Solutions into Public Debate
A second goal of our campaign is to move the policy debate in New York. We are going to present before the public – and make the mass media and corporate candidates deal with – our platform of solutions to the problems we face: progressive taxation and revenue sharing, fully funded schools, full employment, single-payer health care, renewable energy, a state bank to finance a sustainable green economic revival, clean government, proportional representation, and more.
Building Independent Power
We won’t be completely satisfied unless we win the office. But if that turns out to be beyond our reach in this election, every vote we win and every person we recruit to the movement builds our power. Our power is based on our political independence from the corporate interests and their political representatives in both corporate parties. Our votes cannot be taken for granted. We will make the politicians and the policy debate in the media and in our communities deal with our solutions. We will lay the foundation for winning future elections.
Join Us: Donate, Volunteer, Vote
This website is your resource to find out about campaign activities and our policy positions as they develop. Much more information and interactive features will be added as the campaign develops.
But before you leave this website today, however, please visit the three links that will connect you with the campaign:
Donate: Even a grassroots campaign needs money to print literature, mail fundraising appeals, pay organizers, and, yes, do some media advertising. We can go a long way if we can reach our minimum goal of $100,000. It will give us credibility with the media and debate organizers as well as fund an effective grassroots campaign. That will take a lot of small contributors, including you. Please contribute what you can and consider the recurring donation option for the course of the campaign.
Volunteer: Sign up and indicate your interests. We will get back to you and help you.
Green Voter Pledge: We are taking names. We want at least 50,000 voters pledged to vote the Green ticket by the election on November 2. We will remind them and help them get to the polls on Election Day. Sign the voter pledge and ask other supporters you identify to sign the voter pledge.
It’s up to us. Millions of New Yorkers are angry about the corruption and incompetence in Albany that is assaulting our standard of living to pay for the Wall Street bailout. The anti-incumbent mood is palpable. We can reach those New Yorkers. The people have enormous power if they use their political rights and votes. If each of us joins in to do our own part, we can build a powerful movement to put our government on the people’s side.
I look forward to campaigning with you. Together we will make a difference for the better.
May 3, 2010