The following is a series of letters to the editor that has, over time, expressed the political awakening of 2010 that can happen with the Howie Hawkins for Governor campaign in New York.

As we enter into a new decade, we must understand the great ideological divergence that occurred in the past decade. A politics of fear using patriotism as a weapon predominated, sacrificing democracy, civil liberties, and economics for the people. By last year, we reached a point where there are two mutually exclusive realities about America and the real question is not whether Obama is a dangerous radical or too liberal. He campaigned left-of-center and is now right-of-center. The vital question is whether we will see substantial change or a perpetuation of the status quo in the near future. This authentic question transcends the imaginary conflict between the Republicans and Democrats. For one thing that can not happen in our nation is a return to the past 30 years of corporate greed, environmental degradation, and weakening of democratic empowerment. Those who falsely propose that the current administration is socialist or communist are either willfully ignorant or deliberately lying. Their goal is not to save America, but condemn it to a seamless continuation of power regardless of party affiliation. The issues that people care about never went away, and the past year of business as usual proves that neither Democrats or Republicans will address those issues. This year, the Green Party in New York will run candidates for statewide offices, including Governor and U.S. Senate. Instead of doing the same thing expecting different results, voters can choose real change, new ideas, and begin to draw the line between the old America and the new America.

As seen in the healthcare debate and the recent Supreme Court decision that states that corporations have the right to donate to campaigns, the power of corporations is immense in our daily life. In the United States, a nation that began as a revolution against the first corporation of the British East India Company, we have slowly become accustomed to the idea that corporations have legals rights equivalent to human beings. But because corporations are centralized organizations created by a few that can gather much more resources than any citizen, they can perpetuate an inequality of power that can go against the will of the people in government and the economy. Those who work within corporations do not even have a voice since corporations, by their nature, are anti-democratic structures internally. Corporations internalize benefits through efficiency but externalize costs into communities, and are able to avoid public responsibility through corporate personhood. The Green Party has been the most consistent and constant critic of the undemocratic nature of corporate power, offering a real alternative of community economics through cooperatives, the self-employed, and local ownership of sustainable businesses. In a time where our state is facing massive budget problems that exacerbate local budget problems, the Green Party’s candidates for statewide office understand that the economy must be rebuilt community by community in a democratic and just manner. This year, a vote for a Green for Governor is for something beyond business as usual in order to create a better New York and a better America.

New York, like other states, is in crisis. The state government is failing, unable to fix the budget or repair the economy, and neither Democrats or Republicans are offering any solutions. Now, more than ever, New York needs a real alternative that is committed to the working people and communities of this state. The Green Party is that alternative, fighting for democratic solutions and an economy that is just and sustainable. And Hawkins is the man for the job, someone who has been politically active for decades without being a career politician. He co-founded the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and co-founded the Green Party in the U.S. in 1984, as well as working and writing on issues of cooperative economics and independent politics for many years. A truck unloader for UPS in Syracuse, Howie Hawkins understands the needs and concerns of everyday New Yorkers. New York can no longer wait for the same old politicians to do something different when all they do is maintain the status quo and stay in power. In fact, insanity can be defined as doing the same thing and expecting different results. When we vote for the Democrats or Republicans, we get the same results yet expect otherwise. Election day in November gives voters a chance to choose something truly new. Stop the madness, vote Green for a change.

This is an election year, and many people are dissatisfied with incumbents. This apathy is not because there is no need to be politically engaged, but rather because those in power perpetuate the status quo, regardless of being a Democrat or Republican. The time to act is now. I’m voting Green this year because we need new ideas in New York, especially at this time where there is gridlock in government and a failing economy. Innovation is required that will rebuild local economies, create job stability, and give new sustainable priorities within our state budget. The Green Party has demonstrated that they take these issues seriously, and this year in their statewide campaigns they are talking about the real issues. Local business ownership instead of abstract financial speculation. A statewide ban on the hydraulic gas drilling of the Marcellus Shale that would ruin communities and the environment, while offering appropriate renewable energy sources as an alternative. A real single-payer healthcare system for New Yorkers that authentically empowers patients and doctors instead of insurance corporations who only care about profits. You won’t find either the Democrats or Republicans talking about these things, and time has shown that you won’t get real change by voting for either one of them. Howie Hawkins is running for Governor as part of a people’s movement to solve our problems through real democratic change rather than corporate power and compromised politicians. I’m voting Green this year because I want a better New York for everyone.

It is obvious that people are dissatisfied with the way things are going, and they have every right to be. A state budget deficit has cascaded to budget deficits in local communities. People need jobs but are faced with an economy dependent on financial speculation that fails to provide economic empowerment or security to everyday people. It has become obvious that large energy corporations do not care about the environment or the people who need that environment. As time has passed, it becomes self-evident that neither the Democrats or Republicans are willing or able to deal with these problems that threaten the fabric of this nation. When citizens realize that the Gulf oil spill, mountaintop removal in West Virginia, and hydrofracking of the Marcellus Shale are all symptoms of corporate greed as well as realize that those in power are already paid for by Wall Street, then the only vote that is not a wasted vote is one for the Green Party. Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, is campaigning on a budget surplus by enforcing the stock transfer tax, a state bank like that of North Dakota in order to supply business loans for communities, job creation in sustainable infrastructure and renewable energy, and a statewide ban on hydrofracking. Cuomo and Lazio will never talk about these real solutions, but they will expect your votes nonetheless. It is time to put that dissatisfaction into action, and vote for the real alternative to business as usual. Vote Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York.

In November, voters must realize who is the best choice for New York and our collective future. Cuomo is part of the political establishment and two-party system that is so intimately tied to Wall Street and large corporations that his pronouncements about reform really ring hollow. Lazio is just a more overt reflection of Cuomo as a product of Wall Street. Paladino has anger and outrage but has nothing of substance in terms of policy, and instead wants to revert to a time where workers and the poor would have less power. These are not the choices we need. On the other hand Howie Hawkins, the Green Party candidate for Governor, realizes that our state’s economy needs to be rebuilt from the bottom up and separated from any type of abstract financial speculation. For example, Hawkins supports enforcing the stock transfer tax in order to create a $7 billion budget surplus without having to cut essential services. He also understands the need for community-based employment offices that can supply people with public service jobs when the private sector fails to employ people. He advocates the creation of a state bank as in North Dakota that can invest directly in local businesses. Finally, Howie Hawkins is the only candidate calling for a statewide ban on the harmful hydrofracking of the Marcellus Shale. If we want a future with both job stability and sustainable communities, the choice is clear and Howie Hawkins is the answer. The time is now.