"We won the ballot line. Now we aim to win our Green New Deal policies for New York State," Howie Hawkins said Friday, reflecting on the next steps for the Green Party after it passed the 50,000 votes for Governor threshold needed to secure a ballot line in New York for the next four years.
"We come out of this election much stronger than we went into it. We're bigger, better organized, and have new allies in the labor, community, peace, and environmental movements. We now plan to keep organizing, mobilizing, and pushing for a Green New Deal between now and the next state legislative elections in the 2012 elections. We will also be working at the national level on bringing our troops home, cutting the military budget, immigrant rights, protecting social security and curtailing climate change," Hawkins said.
"Cuomo never told the voters of New York State how he intends to resolve the state budget deficit. Our plan was to make the wealthy pay their fair share, including stopping the rebate of $16 billion to Wall Street speculators. When Cuomo's budget comes out in January, with massive cuts in education, health care, the environment, jobs and human services, the Greens will be helping to lead the protests," said Hawkins. "And we intend to push Cuomo to deliver on the issues of ethics and campaign finance reforms, same-sex marriage, closing the Indian Point nuclear plant, and nonpartisan redistricting."
Hawkins said that in the coming weeks the Greens will be incorporating the hundreds of volunteers for the campaign into county Green Party organizations and turning the campaign organization built during the campaign into an ongoing party organization for mounting statewide campaigns on the issues between elections. He said they will be holding discussion with allies in the social movements on how they can work together to advance the Green New Deal agenda
Their Green New Deal includes public living-wage jobs for the unemployed, a state single-payer health care system, fully funded public schools and colleges, a ban on hydrofracking, and a clean energy program based on energy efficiency, renewable generation, and mass transit.
To pay for the Green New Deal, Hawkins said the Greens would campaign for progressive tax reform, including the Stock Transfer (sales) Tax.
"We are going to fight the Cuomo's property tax cap which dooms our schools and other local services to deep cutbacks. We will demand that the state take over the county portion of Medicaid costs, which now equal 45 percent of counties property tax levy on average. And we will demand restoring the kind of progressive income tax we used to have in the 1970s, which will give 95 percent of New Yorkers a tax cut while generating $8 billion more in revenues by making the rich pay their fair share again," Hawkins said.
"The bipartisan consensus on deficit reduction through spending cuts is a recipe for growing deficits due to the economic stagnation and high unemployment they will cause. That's what got us into the Great Depression. Today it will prolong Great Stagnation. With consumer demand depressed by high household debt, high unemployment, and stagnant wages, business will not invest because the consumer can't spend. If government doesn't step up spending, we are headed for a vicious circle of depression and deficits," Hawkins added.
Hawkins also said that Green Party will use its ballot line differently than other third parties in New York have.
"The Greens are completely independent of the old parties. We will run our own candidates against the both major parties. We aim to become the third major party in New York with growing representation in local and state legislatures and executive offices. The other so-called third parties are just satellite parties of the major parties. They claim their cross-endorsements exercise leverage with one or the other of the major parties. But the message they give to the major parties is that their votes are captive and their demands can be ignored because they have no where else to go with their votes. Working Families voters are not going to vote Republican, so giving the Working Families line to the Democratic candidates sends the message that their votes can be taken for granted. The Green Party will give them somewhere to go with their votes," Hawkins said.
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