Debate: Hawkins Calls for Green Jobs, Single Payer Health Care for All

Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, said tonight at the first Gubernatorial debate that state must focus more on providing jobs to all New Yorkers while protecting the environment and providing a quality education. (View the debate at or

Hawkins also said that he hoped that this would be the first of several debates involving all the candidates. Hawkins has agreed to participate in upcoming debates in Syracuse and Rochester, and we welcome the opportunity to participate in a proposed Oct. 28 debate in Buffalo.

Hawkins' Green New Deal echoes former New York Governor Franklin Delano Roosevelt's call for a bill of economic rights which included the right to a living wage jobs, education and health care for all Americans. Hawkins supports a state single payer health care system similar to Medicare that saves New Yorkers an estimated $28 billion annually by 2019 according to a recent state study.

"Our country faces the highest, most persistent unemployment since the Great Depression at the same time that we must confront the threat posed by climate change. It is not time for the failed solutions of the past, the same version of trickle down economics of tax cuts for the rich promoted by both major parties for decades that fail to create jobs. We need a massive public investment in renewable energy, energy efficiency, public transit, organic agriculture and clean manufacturing to give us some chance of mitigating the worst damages posed by climate change," said Hawkins.

Hawkins recently released a video asking where were the **** jobs.

Hawkins would help build a sustainable economy through local, democratic control of economic development investments; increased funding for mass transit; and more support for local businesses and worker cooperatives. Hawkins would also support the expansion of municipally owned power systems in the state, which would lower costs for households and businesses.

Hawkins would pay for his Green New Deal proposals through a combination of proposals to make the tax system fairer; right now the poorest New Yorkers pay more of their wages in local and state taxes than the wealthy do. First, stop rebating the $16 billion annually from the Stock Transfer Tax to Wall Street speculators; second; restore the progressive state income tax of the 1970s; this would raise $8 billion while giving 95% of New York taxpayers a tax cut. Third, raise $10 billion with a 50% bankers bonus tax. After eliminating next year's $8 billion deficit, the state would have a $26 billion surplus.

Hawkins would also reduce local property taxes by complying with the existing state law on revenue sharing [1]and by having the state take over the local tax contribution to Medicaid, which now equals 45% of counties' property tax revenues.

Among other issues, Hawkins is in favor of strengthening rent control laws; same-sex marriage; a stop to racial profiling and a reduction in the size of the state's prison population by ending the war on drugs, starting with the legalization of marijuana; support for organic agriculture and family farms; and a major cut in the federal military budget.

[1] Sec. 54 of State finance law requires the state to share 8% of its revenues with local government; instead it shares only 2% by passing repeated annual exemptions to the law.