November 3rd, 2014 by Darin Robbins

A voter appeal for Howie Hawkins for Governor.

As we enter the last few days of this election season, I believe that it is vitally important to remind everyone of the political dynamics behind the Howie Hawkins for Governor campaign. Now more than ever, we need people like Howie Hawkins to really represent the 99% of New York and make this a state that works for all of its residents. Our current political and economic situation is one where Wall Street, oil companies, and the big banks control not only our state legislature but the Governor’s office as well. Andrew Cuomo is just as much a servant to the 1% as any Republican found in the state, thus starkly demonstrating that there is no real substantial difference between the two major parties. In fact, our current Governor is most likely to allow the dangerous practice of fracking in New York after this election if he wins another term. Therefore, there needs to be an alternative to the status quo. An alternative that bans fracking, fully funds public education, and makes sure that New Yorkers are able to earn a living wage. We are at a tipping point, and that is why we need Howie Hawkins, the Green Party, and the Green New Deal platform now more than ever.

The Green New Deal is a revitalization of the New Deal programs and Economic Bill Of Rights proposed by the FDR administration, and given a new dimension of sustainability in terms of infrastructure and ecological protection. This underlines the deep connection humans and their society have with their environment, to such a degree that if our environmental life support system fails then it is impossible to have a functioning economy. There are three elements to the Green New Deal that highlights this idea. A commitment to New York being free of fossil fuels by 2030 that would require a rebuilding of the state’s energy, agriculture, housing, and transportation infrastructure to make it more sustainable, which would create 4.5 million jobs and cut energy costs in half. A public jobs program like the WPA that is locally controlled so that the unemployed can be given jobs for community needs and rebuilding our infrastructure while also developing worker owned cooperative businesses. Enforcing the stock transfer tax and returning to the state income tax brackets of the 1970’s so that the rich pay their fair share, most New Yorkers will get a tax cut, and with the budget surplus use revenue sharing to give property tax relief for local communities. There are other planks to this platform, but these three examples show that this campaign and this movement is much more than business as usual. It is a point of view that truly empowers people. Neither Cuomo or Astorino will talk about these ideas because they both want to maintain the control of the 1%. Instead, they resort to bickering over which one of them is more corrupt. Howie Hawkins has only been talking about new ideas.

As this campaign has progressed, we have built strong support and enthusiasm across this state. We hope that this will translate into people truly voting for what they want rather than what they are told to fear. If we get at least 50,000 votes, then we maintain ballot status and are treated on the same level as the Republicans and Democrats in terms of election law. But if we get a higher vote percentage that is reflective of what we are seeing in opinion polls, then we have a chance to do something much more. We can make history by getting the highest vote total of any third party candidate ever in New York. And from there we have the potential of being the official third party of the state, getting more votes than either the Working Families Party or Conservative Party. Both of those parties use the current fusion laws to only put Democrats and Republicans respectively on their ballot line. Their strategy of supposedly pressuring the two major parties by always putting their candidates on their ballot lines is an absolute failure that in reality is nothing but surrender. A vote for the Green Party is a lesson in how real change occurs with a truly independent party that runs its own candidates. That is how the political and economic landscape of this country has changed, not through accommodation with the two major parties in the hope they would feel pressure to change. Things change when the status quo has its very existence threatened, whether that is through direct action in the street or putting forth independent candidates who will pull those issues from the streets into the halls of power. We have a very good chance to do something miraculous this year with a candidate that in many ways can be considered as the ideal Green candidate. Now is not the time to be apathetic or wait on the sidelines. We need your vote because things need to change. And the Green Party is the difference that makes a difference. Vote Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York.