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Green Party Opportunity with Progressive Voters? Green Gov Candidate Howie Hawkins Thinks So

Chris Bolt/WAER News

Gubernatorial Candidate Howie Hawkins says his Green Party has an opportunity to capitalize with progressive voters, many of whom did not want to back Democrat Andrew Cuomo in the recent primary.   Hawkins believes he is the best candidate for Governor in the upcoming November election at a time when the nation is going through a political shift, especially for democrats who supported Cynthia Nixon and her policies.

He notes several problems in Syracuse, including lead exposure, poverty, and housing, he wants to work on.  Hawkins says that homelessness has exploded since Governor Cuomo’s term in office. He also sees a pattern of segregation in New York State schools, specifically in Syracuse.  He further supports a sweeping health system, such as the single-payer New York Health Act that passed the state assembly earlier this year.  

Hawkins wants to have multiple debates with all the candidates leading up to the election, rather than just one.

 “Four debates in four parts of the state: New York City, Capital District, Central New York, Western New York; I’ll go for five; let’s have one on Long Island too. And there should be a different topic so we can really get into the policy, and the voters will know what their options are. Economy, government reform, climate and the environment, and social policies.”

Hawkins explains qualifications of other Green candidates in statewide races, how lead poisoning is an example of the current administration's failure to solve problems, thoughts about poverty, and the choice he presents to voters.


Hawkins has confidence that the Green Party is gaining momentum. He says voters who have previously voted for Democratic candidates would benefit more from voting for the Green Party. 

 “I think we’re on the verge of a breakthrough because the polling shows the majority of people are Progressive, particularly on the economic justice issues. It’s been that way for a while, but people are now more independent of the two parties and saying they want a third party.”

Hawkins notes his running mate, Jia Lee, Attorney General Candidate Michael Sussman, and Mark Dunlea for Comptroller are all well-qualified for each post.

Credit Chris Bolt/WAER News
Frank Cetera reminds voters there's a special election for a Councilor-at-Large seat, due to an appointment after last year's election.

Councilor at Large Candidate Frank Cetera also calls Syracuse and progressive voters to action.

 “I’m the one to be bold in this city council seat and to make the arguments and to stand up for the decisions that need to be made in order to move us towards a Syracuse that works for all of us.”

Cetera would work for better controls on police misconduct … and favors economic development for employee-owned businesses and cooperatives.  He also has ideas to aid the city’s budget for infrastructure and services.

“Continuing to speak out in favor of a one-percent tax for employees in the city of Syracuse so that we can maintain some of the finances that are leaving our city from the folks that live in the suburbs but work in the city, mostly in the high-paying Eds and Meds and other good jobs.”

Cetera is also reminding voters that there’s a special city-wide election for the Councilor-at-Large seat in November's election, after Michael Greene was appointed in January to the vacancy left by Helen Hudson when she was elected Council President.   Both Cetera and Hawkins are counting on more attention to their campaigns now that primary elections are is over … in which progressive voters flexed some muscle.

Chris Bolt, Ed.D. has proudly been covering the Central New York community and mentoring students for more than 30 years. His career in public media started as a student volunteer, then as a reporter/producer. He has been the news director for WAER since 1995. Dedicated to keeping local news coverage alive, Chris also has a passion for education, having trained, mentored and provided a platform for growth to more than a thousand students. Career highlights include having work appear on NPR, CBS, ABC and other news networks, winning numerous local and state journalism awards.