Howie Hawkins Announces Campaign for Green Party Nomination for President

Posted By Kevin Zeese

Hawkins Releases Budget for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal 

Howie Hawkins announced in Brooklyn today that he is seeking the Green Party nomination for president.

The centerpiece of Hawkins’ campaign for president is an ecosocialist Green New Deal. He is calling upon the nation to declare a climate emergency and mobilize a crash program to convert the economy to 100% clean renewable energy with zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. He said that will require social ownership and democratic planning of key sectors, including energy and railroads.

“The climate crisis is an existential threat to humanity. Real solutions can’t wait. We need World War II-scale mobilization to address this threat. It requires an immediate nationwide ban on fracking and new fossil fuel projects. Instead, we must mobilize our capital and know-how for rapidly building out a clean energy system. It will create millions of jobs and build economic prosperity as well as climate protection,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins’ announcement comes on the heels of a surge in votes for Green parties in the elections for European Parliament over the weekend. “The European Greens campaigned for a Green New Deal of climate action, social protections, and strengthened democracy. The Green New Deal is the program of hope that we can rally around to beat the ultra-right’s program of fear based on racism, xenophobia, religious bigotry, fact-free irrationalism, and authoritarianism. It’s how we beat the politics of Trumpism,” Hawkins said.

During his announcement, Hawkins released a blueprint and budget for an ecosocialist Green New Deal that he intends to advance as the standard against which the presidential campaign debate on the Green New Deal should be measured.

The budget covers a broad range of economic and environmental policies and programs, with their costs, the jobs created, and the sources of funding. The bottom line numbers show nearly 23 million new jobs created, including nearly 6 million manufacturing jobs, by investing about $2 trillion a year in reconstructing the energy and other productive systems for ecological sustainability over the next 20 years. A multi-layered web presentation of the budget that provides documentation and background information is on Hawkins’ campaign website at

“It is great that Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and the Sunrise Movement succeeded in putting the Green New Deal into the national spotlight. Unfortunately, they took the brand but watered down the content. Then the Democratic leadership shot it down anyway. Our full ecosocialist Green New Deal is what is needed to avert a climate catastrophe and to reverse the growing economic and racial inequality in the United States,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins noted that the failure of the Democrats’ Green New Deal to ban fracking and all new fossil fuel infrastructure means their program fails to address the climate crisis. “New fracking wells and pipelines, fracked-gas power plants, and fracked-oil transportation means the country will be locked into another 40 years of fossil fuel dependence and greenhouse gas emissions. That leads to a climate holocaust,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins’ Green New Deal: An Economic Bill of Rights and a Green Economy Reconstruction Program

Hawkins said his ecological Green New Deal encompasses both an Economic Bill of Rights and a Green Economy Reconstruction Program.

The Economic Bill of Rights covers a job guarantee, a guaranteed income above poverty, a $20 minimum wage, Medicare for All, homes for all through public housing and universal rent control, and tuition-free public education from pre-K through college.

The Green Economy Reconstruction Program will rebuild all sectors of production for ecological sustainability. Its headline goal is 100% greenhouse gas reductions and clean renewable energy by 2030 to avert dangerous climate change. It recognizes that 100% by 2030 is not possible without reconstructing all productive sectors for sustainability, from agriculture and manufacturing to transportation, waste management, urban infrastructure, and habitat restoration.

Hawkins’ Green New Deal intends to rebuild American manufacturing from its machine tool core out to the manufacturing of intermediate and consumer goods.

“We want to build clean zero-waste Green New Deal factories in every congressional district,” Hawkins said. “We are going to revive the economies of the Rust Belt, inner cities, and rural America by developing public enterprises and worker cooperatives to do this work. We will link the Green New Deal factories to the larger economy through publicly-owned and democratically-planned systems for renewable energy, universal broadband, and electrified rail transportation.”

Hawkins said an ecosocialist approach is mandatory in order to quickly develop and coordinate the manufacturing enterprises needed for ecological conversion of the economy.

“Exxon and the Koch Brothers are not going to reinvest their fossil fuel profits in renewables. Big Oil must be nationalized. Just as the federal government took over or built a quarter of US manufacturing capacity during World War II in order to turn industry on a dime to build the ‘Arsenal of Democracy’ that defeated the Nazis, we need to take the same kind of positive government action in order to defeat climate change,” Hawkins said.

“We will do one important thing differently this time,” Hawkins added. “We will spread the wealth created through this program by turning the industries we build over to the workers as worker-owned cooperatives instead of giving them away to the superrich and their giant corporations as the US did after World War II.”

Hawkins said a primary goal of his campaign will be to build up the Green Party. He announced a 50-state organizing plan to ensure the Green Party is on the ballot in all 50 states and Washington, DC. He said ballot access is the prerequisite for building the party from the bottom up. Statewide ballot qualification is required for local Green candidates for municipal, county, state legislative, and US House seats to simply be on the ballot.

“The United States cannot credibly influence other countries to promote democracy and human rights until it sets a good example. Ballot access laws in the United States are the most restrictive by far of any electoral democracy in the world. American progressives need to take up the fight against party suppression as part of the fight against voter suppression,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins also called for other major pro-democracy reforms, including a ranked-choice popular vote for president and proportional representation in Congress.

The Hawkins campaign will hire organizers to support Green Party local chapters, down-ticket Green candidates, and expanding the party base, particularly among low voting sectors of the working class, youth, and people of color.

Hawkins also outlined a range of other policies he will campaign for, including the demilitarization of US foreign policy, seeking the abolition of nuclear weapons, reparations for African Americans, the legalization of marijuana and a decriminalization and harm reduction approach to other drugs, and amnesty for immigrants and open borders on the model of the European Union.

Hawkins explained that it is necessary for the Green Party to run a strong presidential candidacy in 2020 because “the Democrats and Republicans do not represent us. They are not providing real solutions to the problems we face. The capitalist parties do not represent the working class majority. The Democrats hesitate to impeach Trump despite his obvious record of crimes and corruption. They join with Trump in supporting a coup and possible military attack against Venezuela. Both parties support a continually expanding war budget for a global military empire. Both parties have done nothing for the last 45 years to stem the increasing economic and racial inequality.”

“We have real solutions—and real solutions can’t wait until after 2020. The climate crisis won’t wait. The crises so many working people face every month to pay for groceries, rent, utilities, medical bills, and tuition and student loans can’t wait either. If the Greens don’t run, our solutions will not be raised,” Hawkins said.

Hawkins was a co-founder of the Green Party in 1984 and the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal when he ran for governor of New York in 2010. He has three times polled enough votes to give the Green Party ballot status in New York, finishing third each time. He has also ran for US Senate against Hillary Clinton in 2006 and for local office many times in Syracuse, New York, where he has polled between 35% and 48% in his last four races. A retired Teamster, he has been an activist for civil rights, peace, unions, and the environment since the 1960s.

After making his announcement in Brooklyn, Hawkins headed off on a 10-day barnstorming tour that will take him to campaign events in Virginia North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Missouri, and Ohio.

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About Kevin Zeese

Kevin Zeese is a public interest attorney who has worked for economic, racial and environmental justice as well as peace since graduating from George Washington Law School in 1980. He co-directs which works to build the independent movement for transformational change. Zeese co-hosts, Clearing the FOG a radio podcast which airs on We Act Radio, Progressive Radio Network, and other outlets.  He is recognized as a leading activist in the United States in the series Americans Who Tell the Truth. Zeese was an organizer of the Occupation of Freedom Plaza in Washington, DC in 2011.  He serves as president of Common Sense for Drug Policy and is a co-founder of the Drug Policy Foundation, now known as Drug Policy Alliance as well as a former director of NORML. He is a co-founder of Health Over Profit for Everyone which seeks to put in place National Improved Medicare for All. Zeese is an advocate of Internet Freedom and is a leader of the campaign for Title II Net Neutrality to ensure equal access and treatment for everyone on the Internet.  Zeese served on the steering committees of the Chelsea Manning Support Network which advocated for the Wikileaks whistleblower and is on the advisory board of the Courage Foundation which supports Edward Snowden, Julian Assange, and other whistleblowers. Zeese is an election integrity advocate who a co-founded TrueVote Maryland which led a successful campaign to end the use of paperless voting machines in the state.  He has been active in independent and third party political campaigns including Peter Camejo for governor of California served as press secretary and spokesperson for Ralph Nader in 2004 and as a senior advisor to Jill Stein in 2016.  He ran for the US Senate in 2006; the only person ever nominated by the Green, Libertarian and Populist Parties of Maryland and the only person ever nominated by the Green and Libertarian Parties for a statewide office. Zeese served as Attorney General in the Green Shadow Cabinet.

15 thoughts on “Howie Hawkins Announces Campaign for Green Party Nomination for President

  1. fred stein

    Climate change is real. It is called winter, summer . fall and spring. Once there was an ice age than there wasn’t then there is………….sounds like a Donovan song………………..”Once there was a mountain, then no mountain then there is………………….Global Warming people want to control everything you do.Worse than communism.

  2. Tony From Long Island

    Some guy said ” . . . . . .Global Warming people want to control everything you do.. . . . . ”

    Quite possibly the dumbest post I have read in a LONG LONG time. . . .. and I read Drumph’s Twitter feed . . .so the bar is low . . .

  3. Don J Grundmann

    Fred Stein – You are quite correct. The religion ( not science in the slightest ) of so-called ” Global Warming ” ( GW ) is a fantastic Social Engineering scam by The Plantation Masters ( those who rule us ) to permantly enslave ( even more than they are/do already ) humanity by cutting off access to the energy sources by which they could lift themselves out of poverty. They are the same Force which finances the Green Party in order to organize the dumb and stupid people so as to form a political movement which will be used as a battering ram to justify the enslavement and economic collapse which will be produced by the total insanity of the ” Green New Deal.” I believe that P.T. Barnum stated that ” You will never go broke betting on the stupidity of people.” Exhibit A as proof of the accuracy of that statement are those who claim that ” The sky is falling!!!!”; i.e.; that the lie/hoax/fraud/scam of GW is true.

    Don J.Grundmann, D.C.
    Chairman, Constitution Party if California, the last party which believes so much in TRUE science that we have a standing $1,000 bet on winning ANY debate via exposing the total lie of GW ( but ALL GW religious believers are too cowardly to accept the challenge ).

  4. Steven Kelly

    Climate crisis is real. Talk to people experiencing 40-50°C heatwaves; talk to people facing water and food shortages. More importantly; talk to the climate scientists that can show CO2 emissions far exceed the 400ppm that was deemed to be upper safe limit; when it was 280ppm in pre industrial times. More climate crisis gases than in over 1million years. Talk to the climate striking students that worry about the future.
    We will run out of fossil fuels so why not get sustainable energy sources sooner rather than later? Future generations depend on us.

  5. Jon Olsen

    Fred, colossal climate change in the history of Earth was in each case CAUSED by something. This time around it is rampant capitalism and its disregard for the role played by ecological balance and respect for Nature’s bounty. Indigenous people have understood this relationship for millennia.

  6. dL

    Climate change is real. It is called winter, summer . fall and spring.

    Of course, seasonal weather changes as a function of the angle of tilt of the earth’s axis is not what is meant by a change in climate.

  7. Jim

    Steven Kelly – You know that global warming has only increased the average temperature of the earth by 1.4 degrees Fahrenheit over the last 140 years? That’s too small of a change for anyone to notice during the course of a lifetime just by walking outside. If there are 50 C heatwaves now, then there were probably 49 C heatwaves in 1880.

  8. Jim

    Jon Olsen “Indigenous people have understood this relationship for millennia.”

    Indeed. That’s why indigenous people did rain dances, prayed to fertility goddesses, and practiced human sacrifice to control weather patterns like El Nino.

  9. wolfefan

    I’m glad to hear this. I appreciate the 10 Key Values of the Green Party, although I don’t agree with the way they are always applied. Nevertheless, I think Hawkins is an experienced and articulate candidate who knows how to run a large campaign. From an outside perspective, I think he would be the best Presidential candidate the Greens have had in a long, long time.

  10. Fernando Mercado

    I’m considering writing an article about Howie Hawkins, favoritism, and how Third Party’s usually pick Presidential Candidates.

    Would any of you be interested in that?

  11. Pingback: Howie Hawkins 2020 and Third Party Presidential Nominations | Independent Political Report

  12. Stephen A. Verchinski

    To Fred Stein.
    Respectfully I will agree with you regarding GW control by the members of the Democratic Party as candidates for the Presidency. They, from AOC to Bernie Sanders have a belief that simply by taxing and having a select committee (commissars) will come up with the plan for reindustrializing our way out. I believe, as a great many Greens that that way is frought with patronism and favoritism.

    I as a Green believe in We the People. It fits our four pillars especially Constitutional participatory democracy. How so? Well economically the market pricing mechanism is not working for the Democrats and Republicans. The attempts at carbon tax (cap and trade or tax and distribute for govt special projects) has been a failure nationally as tried in individual states. Grants are inconsistent and legislative subsidies are unequally applied ( if you have enough money for a Tesla or other electric EV for one example) Greens like myself who have looked at successful models globally have seen countries with a high degree of government trust. Those have both grown GDP and government satisfaction while reducing consumer costs and reducing GHG emissions. But, thats not a model that fits our country with our diverse climate biomes and local economies. Even more important is lack of trust in our commissars/ committees. (U.S. trust in our government is at an all time low of 14%)

    So, what fits? Well, I personally look to a full monthly fee and dividend system that runs with local and individual choices. The fee is imposed on all the carbon sources (yes, even the military and agriculture that the Dems wanted to exempt from the start in their Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Bill proposal) We the people then have choices to make and the freedom to do so whether as individuals or as communities ( think of the rural electric coop in Taos who just went 100% renewables) That keeps us making choices that keep us involved in our communities, or not. You have the freedom to continue paying the fee for climate and enjoy your 120′ luxury motor yacht or find another behavior. Its still your choice.

    As for our military, reductions can also come from repurposing our troops. I am pragmatic enough to know you cannot just take our “regulated militia” and shut them down. It failed in Iraq under Bush’s, J. Paul Bremmer, Viceroy of Iraq and it would destabilize us as well.

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