On May 15th the Green Party of New York met in Albany to nominate candidates for statewide office. The Greens nominated Howie Hawkins for Governor, Gloria Mattera for Lieutenant Governor, Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence for US Senate, and Julia Willebrand for Comptroller, as well as a number of candidates for state legislature.
Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for Governor of New York, has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics since the late 1960s. Hawkins is running on a Green platform with planks including: Progressive Taxes; Reform Albany; Full Employment; Health Care for All; Clean Energy (ban hydrofracking, support public power); Good Schools for All Communities; Economic Democracy for Economic Renewal (establish a state bank); Sustainable Green Economy; Organic Food and Agriculture; Affordable Housing; Retirement Security; Workers Rights; Fair Elections (proportional representation, instant runoff voting, public campaign financing); End the "War on Drugs"; Reproductive Freedom; Gay Marriage; Peace (recall the NY national guard); Criminal Justice Reform (abolish the death penalty); Regional Planning; and Local Government and Grassroots Democracy. Emerging details can be found at HowieHawkins.com/2010.
At his website, Hawkins elaborates on why he is running and his campaign goals:
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…
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.
Gloria Mattera, a Brooklyn health care worker and activist who ran for Brooklyn Borough President in 2005 to oppose the incumbent’s abuse of eminent domain to benefit private corporations, received the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor.
Colia Clark, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement who worked with Medgar Evers and SNCC, was nominated as the Green candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Charles Schumer. Immigration reform will be a key focus of the Clark candidacy.
"As US Senator from New York, I will work tirelessly with my colleagues in the Senate and on Capitol Hill to address the failing economy, failing schools, failing infrastructure, crisis in energy, health care, food production and other areas of the USA socio-political economy," said Ms. Clark.
"The right of immigrants to live, work and have their families visit is a human right. NAFTA, CAFTA, Project Hope and other infringements on the right of workers in other nations is unacceptable and as Senator from NYS I will work on all fronts to cancel these hideous instruments of corporate power," added Clark.
Clark said she was strongly opposed to Sen. Schumer’s proposal to require a new social security card that includes bio-metric information like finger prints for every U.S. citizen. Clarke compared this to the slave passes that Africans in USA enslavement carried up to 1865.
"The right to privacy, the right to move about the nation freely without police intrusion is quickly becoming an endangered right. Any remnant of slave pass laws/ Apartheid pass laws must be challenged and defeated in the interest of freedom for NYS and the nation," Clark added.
Cecile Lawrence, a resident of Apalachin in Tioga County who has been active in the movement against hydrofracking and other health issues, will run for the Senate seat to fill out the term of Hillary Clinton.
Lawrence said that "We need to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan now and return the troops home in early 2011. The U.S. must cease its drive for empire and domination of the planet including the embeddedness of its military forces with corporations whose drive for access to the resources of other countries lead to the destruction of their environmental and socio-economic health. Corporations must be stripped of the artificial personhood granted them by an accident of the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting not in human personhood but in god-like status, since they never get sick, and can never die. Reform Wall Street, getting rid of the practices that led to the idea of ‘too big to fail."
Active in the fight against hydrofracking for natural gas in the Southern Tier, Lawrence added that "the focus of my campaign will be on health in all forms, the health of individuals, the health of the soil, air and water, the health of all life forms, the health of society. This goal cannot be met without the elimination of for-profit health insurance companies, the complete renovation of our food system, which has led to astronomical rates of obesity nationwide, and the elimination of this country’s attitude of control over other countries."
"We need to cancel all subsidies to CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operations) and rapidly phase out their existence nationwide. Transfer those subsidies to the development of small scale organic, permaculture, or biodynamic methods of farming at the state level. We should transfer all current federal subsidies to coal, gas, oil and nuclear to the development and installation of solar, small-scale wind farms disconnected from each other, ground source heat pumps and yet to be invented methods. We must ban all offshore drilling for gas and oil in U.S. waters," stated Lawrence.
Julia Willebrand, a long time environmental leader from Manhattan, was nominated to run for State Comptroller, a position she received 117,908 votes for 4 years ago.
Other candidates petitioning to be on the Green Party ballot include Anthony Gronowicz (NY-7) and Hank Bardel (NY-13) for US House of Representatives, John Reynolds for State Senate (NY-33), and 5 candidates for State Assembly: Walter Nestler (NY-76), Carl Lundgren (NY-82), Trevor Archer (NY-83), Daniel Zuger (NY-85), and Mike Donelly (NY-119).
Like all Green Party candidates, the New York Green Party’s 2010 candidates pledge not to accept money from corporations and corporate-sponsored PACs.
You can learn more about the Green Party of New York’s 2010 campaigns and how you can get involved at the GPNY website, http://www.gpny.org/ .