Introducing Green Howie Hawkins for President 2020


This is longish, but given it’s mainly policy positions, it’s fairly easy to scan, stop on topics you’d choose for closer reading.  Howie’s website is here.  He’s an actual anti-imperialist socialist candidate, and I like his socialist policies a lot:

Key Economic Sectors to Socialize:
Money

The national currency is a vital common resource that should be managed in the public interest. We must nationalize the Federal Reserve System as a Monetary Authority in the Treasury Department. The Monetary Authority will create all national currency (cash and electronic) free of any associated debt. New money will be credited to the account of the federal government as additional revenue to be spent into circulation in the economy in accordance with the federal budget. Banks will be prohibited from creating new money as loans. Banks will borrow or raise money for lending from savers and investors, including the Monetary Authority. People and businesses will borrow from funds in the banks’ accounts.

Big Banks

Socialize the big banks. The allocation of investments according to an economic plan requires a significant sector of public banks.
Big Oil and Gas. ExxonMobil, BP, Chevron, Shell, Koch Industries, and the rest will never reinvest their fossil fuel earnings in renewables instead of more oil and gas.

Power Utilities

100% clean energy means electrified transportation, manufacturing, and heat pumps for buildings. A rapid transition to clean power requires public power for lower costs and effective planning without obstruction by incumbent generators and distributors.

Health Care

A community-controlled national health service, delivering services largely through publicly owned clinics and hospitals employing salaried staff, and governed by a federation of locally-elected boards, will provide better accountability and cost control than a top-down Medicare-like national health insurance system paying mostly private providers to deliver health services.

Big Pharma

Big pharma has failed to serve the public interest as a profit-oriented industry. It has gouged consumers with monopolistic pricing. Its business model is centered on pushing addictive opioids and patent-protected medicines for chronic conditions. It has abandoned research and development of less lucrative short-term treatments, notably for antibiotic-resistant superbugs.

Arms Industry

The arms monopolies are characterized by influential warmongering and corresponding war profits, as well as price gouging and systemic corruption. They should be converted to nonprofit public enterprises.

Broadband

Establish a public broadband service as a not-for-profit public utility in order to provide universal access to a high-speed phone, TV, and internet service at lower costs and with net neutrality.

Online Platforms

Online platforms like Amazon, Facebook, Google, and Uber tend toward monopoly because people gravitate to the platforms that have the most users and information. These monopolies are abusing data collection and privacy, censoring content, and eliminating competitors through predatory pricing and buyouts. The remedy is a combination of antitrust action to divest tech conglomerates of multiple platforms and the conversion of some platforms to public utilities that serve the public interest.

Racial Justice

Ending racial oppression requires both race-specific remedies and universal economic rights that are guaranteed by government in a race-conscious way. We must strengthen and enforce antidiscrimination laws in the political, employment, education, housing, immigration, and criminal justice systems. We must take affirmative action to reverse the growing race and class resegregation of housing and schools. We must enact HR 40, the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act, to consider appropriate remedies for the impact of slavery and subsequent racial discrimination on living African Americans.  We must empower racially oppressed communities to practice self-determination through collective community ownership and control of public housing, schools, police, and businesses.

Racist attitudes can be deeply ingrained and slow to change. But we can disempower the racists by empowering oppressed communities so they are no longer subject to the decisions of the racists among employers, bankers, landlords, real estate agents, union business agents, lawyers, judges, police, and assorted professional-managerial gatekeepers, including politicians. Empowerment means democratic community control so that the masses of racially  oppressed people benefit, not merely a more “representative” professional-managerial class that simply replaces the white professional-managerial class in soaking up most of the funding in salaries, grants, and contracts. Our goal is equality, not “diversity” within the unequal social hierarchies of capitalism.

We must enact an Economic Bill of Rights to provide universal programs for economic security in a race-conscious way. Government would guarantee all people the rights of a living-wage job, an income above poverty, decent housing, comprehensive health care, a good education, and freedom from
discrimination. That is what the socialist leaders of the black freedom movement—A. Philip Randolph, Bayard Rustin, Martin Luther King Jr., and others—demanded as they moved “from civil rights to human rights.” With the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 1966 Freedom Budget, and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign, they demanded the implementation of FDR’s Economic Bill of Rights in a way that ended racial discrimination in education, employment, and housing. By linking racial justice to economic justice for all, we can build a majoritarian interracial movement of working people that can win these reforms. The Democrats have failed to do it for 65 years. The Greens will do it.

Urban Policy

The ecosocialist Green New Deal will rebuild and restructure our cities around egalitarian and ecological principles. Skyrocketing rents are driving working people out of their homes and communities. Sprawl development is a social and ecological disaster. Segregation by race and class has been increasing for decades, isolating the poor away from resources and opportunities and isolating the rich away in their gated communities.

We will campaign for an urban policy that will reintegrate urban amenities with the natural environment. It would promote walkable mixed-use neighborhoods, convenient and affordable mass transit, clean energy, urban agriculture, green manufacturing, and a massive public housing program that is high quality, mixed income, carbon negative, and scattered site across the city/suburbs divide. It will be a jobs program, a desegregation program, and a clean energy program as well as an affordable housing program.

Agriculture and Rural Reconstruction

Like the original New Deal, the ecosocialist Green New Deal will have a strong agricultural program. Chemicalized and industrialized corporate agribusiness is driving family farmers off the land, rural America into depression, and ecosystems to collapse while failing to end hunger and malnutrition. It is depleting water aquifers and soils and driving insects to extinction, all leading to the collapse of ecosystems and food production itself. We will campaign for a rural reconstruction program that revitalizes and reintegrates town and country. It will center around a Just Transition to Organic Agriculture and Green Manufacturing. Its elements will include:

  • a rapid phase out of biocides, chemical fertilizers, land grabbing, and corporate farms;
  • technical and financial assistance for converting to organic agriculture;
  • parity pricing and supply management programs that guarantee working farmers a decent income above production costs;
  • living wages and fair labor standards for farmworkers and other food workers;
  • land reform and a new homesteading program to give new farmers access to land and farming resources;
  • diversified green manufacturing in rural towns based on biodegradable agricultural feedstocks;
  • access to health services, high-speed internet, and mass transit;
  • the regeneration of living soils to draw planet-heating carbon out of the atmosphere and into the biosphere.

Peace Policies

Most Green New Deal discussions have focused on only two of the top problems of our time: the climate emergency and economic insecurity. If I run, I will also center our ecosocialist Green New Deal on the third existential threat: nuclear war. Capitalism’s competitive economic structure yields a conflict-ridden international system that generates endless wars. Sooner or later, wars will lead to nuclear annihilation if we don’t change the system and abolish nuclear weapons.

An enduring peace requires replacing capitalism with ecosocialism—capitalism’s nationalistic competitive militarism with ecosocialism’s international cooperative security. We will call for deep US military spending cuts and converting to a defensive military posture from today’s global military empire of over 800 foreign military bases. The savings will be a peace dividend to reinvest in a Global Green New Deal for economic human rights, clean energy, and regenerative agriculture around the world. The United States can make friends instead of enemies by using its wealth to be the world’s humanitarian superpower instead of its imperialist superpower. We will call for a recommitment to the recently abandoned arms treaties and to vigorous new negotiations for further reductions toward complete nuclear disarmament and for scaling back the world’s militaries to strictly defensive forces. We will oppose US military intervention for regime change and speak up for human rights wherever they are violated.

Immigration Reform

The inhumanity of US immigration policy came to broad public attention in 2018 with the news coverage of forced separations of young children from their families on the southern US border. These crimes against humanity only underscored the long-standing brutality of US immigration policy, which has treated people from Mexico and Central America in particular as cheap labor to be imported or deported based on US labor demand, like apartheid South Africa once used Bantustans.

We will demand open borders where movement between nations is free, like it is in the European Union. International borders should be authentic fair-trade zones where people are free to travel across borders for work, shopping, or recreation. The status of undocumented immigrants should be legalized and provide a timely path to citizenship. People crossing international borders would be required to present their identification at a border crossing. Only people wanted for criminal charges or terrorist organization affiliation would be detained. People who cross without checking in at a border crossing would also be detained and checked at an official border crossing. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection (BPE) should be abolished and replaced with a new immigration agency with personnel committed to the open borders policy.

Civil Liberties

Our civil liberties and political rights are under assault by an expanding carceral surveillance state. The US has the highest incarceration rate of any country in the world. Mass surveillance by the National Security Agency captures our electronic communications, including text messages, web browsing, emails, and international phone calls. Whistleblowers are bullied into silence by prosecutions under the 1917 Espionage Act. National Defense Authorization Acts since 2012 have included provisions to disappear US citizens into indefinite detention without charge or trial.

If I run, I will prioritize a freedom and democracy agenda, including an end to the war on drugs and the over-policing of minority communities, funding public defenders and legal services, bail abolition, speedy trial, open file discovery, ending warrantless surveillance, ending the persecution of whistleblowers, and ending preventive detention.

Democracy Reform

We do not have real political democracy, let alone economic democracy. To have a democratic society, we need to restructure government and elections. Voter suppression policies need to be reversed, starting with restoring the pre-clearance provisions of the Civil Rights Act. We would put in place automatic voter registration, same-day registration, extended voting days, Election Day as a National Holiday, and other reforms, including mandatory voting (vote or pay a moderate fine) as practiced in Australia, Belgium, and much of Latin America, with a None of the Above option that would trigger a new election if it wins.

Ordinary people have little power over the government decisions that affect their lives. They are reduced to begging representatives who are elected in an undemocratic electoral system. In addition to improving the elections to representative offices, we will campaign for a participatory direct democracy at the base of society. We will campaign for a grassroots democracy based on community assemblies open to all citizens like New England Town Meetings. Community assemblies would have legislative power over local affairs and the power to instruct and recall representative selected to larger scales of government. The federal government will promote community assemblies with a grant program for organizing and maintaining community assemblies.

In every district, the single-member-district plurality-wins system of elections denies political minorities legislative representation. It imposes the logic of lesser-evil voting, so people often vote against the candidate they fear most instead of for the candidate they prefer most. We will campaign for proportional representation in Congress and instant-runoff voting for president so the president is elected by a majority in a national popular vote.

The undemocratic US Senate violates the principle of one person, one vote and dilutes the voting power of people of color. We will campaign for a constitutional amendment to abolish the US Senate. In two of the last five presidential elections, the Electoral College has given us presidents who lost the popular vote. We will call for a constitutional amendment to abolish the Electoral College.

A relative handful of rich private donors dominate campaign financing. The Democrats’ proposal for partial public campaign financing on the matching funds model is a reform that doesn’t reform. It just adds some public money to provide cover for a system still dominated by private financing from wealthy contributors. We will campaign for full public campaign financing on the Clean Money model.

Big banks and corporations not only dominate elections with private financing, but they also have veto power over public policy because they can use a capital strike—withholding credit from government or offshoring jobs and money and blaming government—until the government capitulates. We will campaign for House Joint Resolution 48, the We the People Amendment, an amendment to the US Constitution to end corporate personhood by establishing that only natural human beings, not artificial corporations, are persons entitled to constitutional rights and by establishing that money is property, not protected speech. This amendment would undo the Buckley v. Valeo, Citizens United v. FEC, and McCutcheon v. FEC decisions and enable we the people through our elected representatives to publicly and fully regulate and finance public elections, as well as better regulate corporations.

We will campaign for a federal law for fair ballot access that requires each state to qualify a new party or any independent candidate for the ballot through a petition of no greater than 1/10th of 1% of the total vote cast in the district in the last gubernatorial election, with a 10,000 signature maximum.

Media Reform

Freedom and democracy depend on a well-informed population. Our First Amendment freedoms of speech and press have eroded under the growing concentration of ownership of both the traditional mass media and the new social media. These giant media and tech conglomerates are replacing hard news with gossipy infotainment, corporate indoctrination, and state propaganda. If I run, I will campaign for reforms to create a vital, democratic, and diverse media system, able to present a wide range of news, issues, and ideas in their full complexity, free from censorship by government or big business. Reforms should include a decentralized, democratic system of public funding of a diverse nonprofit, noncommercial media, including decommercialized, fully funded, and community-controlled public radio and television stations.

We must repeal the pro-conglomeration provisions of the Telecommunications Act of 1996, restore cross-ownership restrictions to reestablish media diversity in local media markets, and take antitrust action to break up the media monopolies. The Internet must be regulated as a public good and a basic right, open and accessible to all with net neutrality and personal privacy and data protected.

A vote for the Green ticket is a vote for:

An Economic Bill of Rights

  • A Job Guarantee
  • A Guaranteed Income Above Poverty
  • Homes for All through Public Housing and Universal Rent Control
  • Medicare for All
  • Free Public Education from Pre-K Child Care through College

Justice

  • Appoint Public Defenders to the Federal Judiciary
  • Fully Fund the Legal Services Corporation
  • Empower Racially Oppressed Communities and Disempower Institutional Racism through Community Control of Police, Schools, Housing, and Businesses
  • Open Borders—Fair Trade Zones with Free Travel for Work, Shopping, and Recreation
  • Legalization of Undocumented Immigrants with a Timely Path to Citizenship
  • Abolish Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Replace with a New Agency Committed to Open Borders Administration

Peace

  • No First Strike
  • Nukes Off Hair-Trigger Alert
  • Negotiations Toward Complete Nuclear Disarmament
  • Deep Cuts in Military Spending on the order of 50%
  • Transition from Forward-Based Imperialism to Home-Based Defense
  • A Global Green New Deal—Invest the Peace Dividend from Military Spending Cuts in Clean Energy, Regenerative Agriculture, and Basic Human Needs Around the World

Democracy

  • Instant-Runoff Voting for President
  • Abolish the Electoral College
  • Proportional Representation in Congress
  • Abolish the US Senate
  • End Voter Suppression—Restore Pre-clearance to the Civil Rights Act
  • Promote Community Assemblies with a Federal Grant Program
  • Full Public Campaign Financing
  • Adopt the We the People Amendment—End the Corporate Personhood and the Money Is Speech Doctrines

Progressive Taxation

  • lncome and Wealth Taxes
    • More Progressive Personal Income Taxes
    • Higher Corporate Income Taxes
    • A Graduated Wealth Tax
    • A Graduated Estate Tax
  • Eco-Taxes
    • A Progressive Carbon Tax with Rebates to Low-to-Moderate Income People
    • A Land Value Tax on Unearned Appreciation of Land Site Values Due to Social Investments
    • Severance Taxes on the Extraction of Natural Resources including Fossil Fuels, Minerals, and Timber
    • Steering Taxes on Emissions, Effluents, Solid Waste, Hazardous Waste, and other Pollution

From the #DraftHowie Tab:

(Note: This letter was written by Greens and progressive allies who want to see Howie step forward and run for president in 2020.)

From the Video tab:

His About Howie tab isn’t a long read, but you may enjoy these portions:

From the start, he was committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. He supported the Peace and Freedom Party in 1968, the People’s Party in 1972 and 1976, and the Citizens Party in 1980. Since that first national meeting in 1984, Howie has been a Green Party organizer.

When the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, A. Philip Randolph, Helen Keller, and Norman Thomas re-established itself as an independent party in 1973, Howie joined and remains a member. He is also a member of Solidarity, which promotes “socialism from below” and international solidarity because the fight for freedom against all dictators and imperialisms is worldwide and indivisible.

Howie was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear in 1976. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was also a leader in the anti-apartheid divestment movement to end US corporate investment in the racist system of oppression and labor exploitation in South Africa.

Howie moved to Syracuse in 1991 to develop cooperatives for CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives that promoted cooperative ownership, democratic control, and ecological sustainability in the local economy.

His Vision tab includes his (perhaps updated from the original) Green New Deal.  I like it, but groaned once again at ‘electric cars’.  Perhaps, like s many others, he hasn’t thought through the carbon footprints of the sources those battery plug-ins was generated?  But it’s a not a gift to capital sort of Green New Deal, nor a business-friendly one as are AOC’s and Extinction Rebellion’s.  Nor is it recommended by Avaaz (over 51 million hamburgers sold globally! Donate to ourmiracle recovery plan for our planet’ and sit back; your wallet may be slimmer, but we’ll be taking care of climate chaos for you!, nor is it sponsored by Green Capitalist Bill McKibben.  Satire alert; click to stand alone for further exposés:

What would it take in the US to get an actual (not DSA) socialist elected President?  A miracle of course, and it would necessarily have taken a massive revolution of higher conscience before it occurred.  In the 60s, some posited that it was afoot, and that with the anti-war movements and music, the ecological movements, an array of spiritual movements all burgeoning, that humanity was indeed moving in an upward spiral toward…a new enlightenment.  In my mind I can still see folks describing that spiral in the air with their fingers, hands held aloft.  It was not to be so; but then again with the global Occupy movements, Idle No More in Canada, those thoughts had come around again: You will not keep oppressing us!  But no; all gone now, at least formally; now some see the resilience of the Yellow Vests in Europe as such, but I’m not so sure that it’s so much a movement of higher consciousness, but rather a great response to citizens being thrown under the financial bus by their heads of state, especially under Macron.

Is it possible that some new epic disaster on the planet, or within Amerika could prompt such a revolution?  Or would it prompt, as many say, ‘those are the times of demagogues’.  But perhaps a wave of higher consciousness would be whispered from the whales and dolphins in the sea…up through the noospphere like voices from the gods and humans would…recalibrate and cry:

Vote Green for Peace, social justice, equality, and Anti-Imperialism!  We are all made of stardust, we are siblings with different colors of skin; we will not be divided in our Quest for Freedom from our Oppressors!  Out of NATO!  Out of Africom!  There is plenty of earth’s bounty for us to share, if Greed, Profit, and Competition weren’t the order of the day.

And yet even a third party getting on the ballot in some states is a monumental task now; as I remember it, Bruce Dixon had said in Texas, 175,000 signatures are required.  But mr.wd and I will throw Howie a couple tenners as soon as we can afford to; you may wish to as well.  

According to Wikipedia:  

“The 2020 Green Party presidential primaries will be a series of primaries, caucuses and state conventions in which voters elect delegates to represent a candidate for the Green Party’s nominee for President of the United States at the 2020 Green National Convention. The primaries, to be held in numerous states on various dates from early Spring into early Summer of 2020, will feature elections publicly funded, concurrent with the Democratic and Republican primaries, and elections privately funded by the Green Party, to be held non-concurrently with the major party primaries.

There will be 400 delegates, plus or minus two, elected to the Green National Convention. A candidate will need a simple majority of these delegates to become the party’s nominee for president in the 2020 presidential election. In addition, formal recognition is a requirement to be the Green Party’s nominee, (whatever that signifies)

Sadly, as it is now…both duopoly parties are war parties, CIA parties, with minor differences.

We are One (dunno why the original’sno longer on youtube); we believe in freedom!

Sweet honey in the rock – Ella’s Song (ella baker’s words)

(cross-posted at caucus99percent.com)

4 responses to “Introducing Green Howie Hawkins for President 2020

  1. Thanks for posting this so completely. Many policies indeed are very needed to set this country straight, so I would certainly be happy were they to become more than our heartfelt wishes. I’m not so sure about eliminating the Senate in favor of popular vote – we’d possibly lose some traction there in smaller states so to me the representation, were it to be a matter of equal representation and money out of politics scenario, is important enough to keep. Also on the electoral college, given a better scenario with respect to the above, I’d be dubious about a change. The crucial element for me is corporate control of Congress – all other issues there could go on the back burner as far as I am concerned. Corruption flows from that issue and it ought to be the one we home in on.

    In other words, those may be things we need to address – I’m not sure putting everything on the plate here is what should be done. Corporations and big money control this government. We, the people have no say. Everything flows from this.

    But that’s just me.

    Again, thanks very much, wendye. I am not optimistic about the coming election. I believe the whole system is so flawed, it would be a miracle if my vote got counted at all. Perhaps the Green Party should be finding ways to have dialogue and stay relevant without using wasted effort trying to get on the ballot this time around. I wish I had some good ideas about how to do that.

    • oh, bother; i just lost my whole comment, and i’ll need to re-write it later. but for now, i’m glad to see you here, and had kept meaning to write you since i hadn’t even seen you at b’s lately. i’d hoped that you were just busy growing your garden. so later, okay? i’ kinda trying to live-blog the new coup in VZ, and am harried w/ RL things and correspondence as well.

    • i actually cheered his end the senate, myself. six year terms bought by elites? you may be right about the electoral college, but he did make a case for it, imo.

      given his ecosocialist green new deal, i’ve been disappointed seeing him retweet stuff from capitalist ngo’s like 350.org, etc. but then his/their green new deal doesn’t mean that much to me, in any event. but at least unlike the others, they aren’t geared toward profit, which is exactly why the Climate Emergency became a thing in…2018? good grief.

  2. I’ll add a comment here about the BBC program currently on PBS – “Les Miserables”. I think it is relevant. The hero, Jean Valjean, is a deplorable, in our terms. Circumstances of brutal forms of justice strike heavy blows upon him and upon other people in his economic circumstances, yet somehow he becomes mayor. Not a perfect one, but his conscience overcomes his cruelty, too late for the hapless Fantine.

    A classic melodrama and following the classical storyline. But the reason I mention it is that BBC have made the dark anti-hero Javert actually dark, black in fact. At first, I found that distracting. I thought about him first as an actor, and oh good, there shouldn’t be a problem with race, see, this is a good thing. Then I thought, well, no, isn’t the fact that he is dark skinned muting my recognition of him as fanatical, consumed by the pursuit of the letter of the law – don’t I want to give him the benefit of his racial equality, think of him as more human than Hugo meant him to be? Wouldn’t I be more critical of him as played by a white person? Hugo meant to portray him as a man of wolf-like ferocity, although even a man of humility, as when he accuses himself of wrongly suspecting the mayor:

    “… All this was said in a tone of proud humility, a desperate and resolute tone, which gave an indescribably whimsical grandeur to this oddly honest man…” Ah, lots to say about the character of Javert, and Victor Hugo does say it.

    We shall see – the plot thickens! Much is lost and must be in the transfer from book to tv screen. Thanks, BBC; I am going back to the book. And one thing does, in literature and in world affairs, lead to another.

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