Hawkins Offers Plan for NY Cities

Chris Caya, WNED

BUFFALO The two major party candidates in the race for Governor of New York seem to be getting most of the attention this election cycle.

But there are alternatives and one of them was campaigning in Buffalo yesterday.

The Green Party's gubernatorial candidate Howie Hawkins made several local appearances yesterday to discuss his agenda for rebuilding cities across the state.

"Whether it's murals in city hall, or child care or fixing up our sewers and water systems, it's better to take idle labor and put it to use creating wealth for the community and providing services," said Hawkins, outlining a public works program reminiscent to New Deal plans of the 1930's.

It's better, says Hawkins, "than to pay them unemployment, cash assistance, welfare and other forms of the safety net."

Talking to reporters inside Buffalo's City Hall, Hawkins said the plan would help strengthen urban areas.

A union member from Syracuse, Hawkins says 80 percent of the cost of the jobs program would come from savings not spent on assistance programs.

The Green Party candidate says he would stimulate the economy by expanding mass transit, clean energy and recycling programs.

Instead of capping property taxes Hawkins is proposing the state pick up the county's share of Medicaid, which he says would reduce county taxes by 45 percent.

"A single payer health care system would save New Yorkers, according to the state's own study, came out last year, $28 billion a year in 2019 compared to the insurance mandate that Congress just passed," said Hawkins.