posted on June 19, 2014 17:15
Howie Hawkins is running for governor for the second consecutive election on the Green Party tab.
A recent poll showed that a progressive candidate could cut significantly into the incumbent Democrat’s lead, giving that fresh option a chance.
Hawkins says he can be that candidate.
“We stand for progressive policies that benefit working people,” he said. “I think that’s what that poll says people are looking for. Those are the people who understand Cuomo’s been very conservative economically. He’s underfunded schools, he’s giving tax breaks to the rich and they’re looking for an alternative.
“Our problem is not that they don’t agree with us. It’s that they never heard of us.”
In Bergen Thursday afternoon before meeting with party members from the tri-county area, Hawkins outlined a six-point proposal to turn things around for the Empire State called the Green New Deal. It draws parallels to the Roosevelt domestic programs, but updates them for modern times seeking to bring jobs. For example, Hawkins supports giving unemployed people public jobs, similar to the WPA.
Hawkins says Cuomo’s problem is doing nothing about income inequality.
“The idea is: we give money to the rich and it trickles down; we have decades of evidence to show it doesn’t work. If we restored the progressive tax structure we had in the 70s, we’d have $30 billion more,” he said. “That’s about 21 percent more than we take in now and that would fund the Green New Deal.”
The other points as part of the Green New Deal include raising the minimum wage to $15 an hour, ensuring New Yorkers can make a living wage with single payer health insurance, working to limit segregation in schools, providing affordable housing and mass transit and cultivating renewable energy.
Hawkins also had strong words about hydrofracking. He said the job impact estimates for the controversial natural gas drilling process are greatly exaggerated.
“No one denies the environmental dangers of fracking,” he said. “What’s not being communicated well is the economic benefits of going to 100 percent clean energy by 2030 far outweighs any economic benefits we could get from fracking. The most outlandish estimates I’ve seen from pro-fracking flacks from the industry is 200,000 jobs. We’re talking about 4.5 million jobs over the next 15 years (with clean energy). A lot of those are manufacturing, a lot of those are construction; those are good paying jobs. You want an economic boom? Go with clean energy.”
You can find out more at HowieHawkins.org.