ELECTIONS

Green Party selects Howie Hawkins as 2020 presidential nominee

Jul 12, 2020, 7:11 AM | Updated: 11:38 am
Howie Hawkins...
The Green Party selected Hawkins and running mate Angela Nicole Walker during its national convention Wednesday. (Photo via Howie Hawkin's campaign website)
(Photo via Howie Hawkin's campaign website)

Howie Hawkins — a New York environmentalist and American trade unionist — has officially won the Green Party presidential nomination, securing his name on the November ballot. The Green Party selected Hawkins and running mate Angela Nicole Walker during its national convention Saturday. 

The ticket won 205 delegates through national primaries before winning the nomination during the party’s virtual convention. 

“We are honored to officially be the @GreenPartyUS nominees for President & Vice President,” Hawkins tweeted. “Thank you to Greens around the country who voted for us in the Green primaries! Thank you to our donors and volunteers!”

Who is Howie Hawkins?

Hawkins is a co-founder of the Green Party and previously ran as the party’s nomination for New York governor in 2018, 2014 and 2010 — falling to Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) each time.

Overall, the Green Party candidate has run for various offices on 24 occasions — all unsuccessful.

He also ran as the Green Party vice presidential nominee on Minnesota ballots — on the ticket with Jill Stein — in 2016. However, this was an accident as Ajamu Baraka was actually Stein’s running mate. 

Stein, who was the Green Party nominee in the two previous presidential elections, did not run again in 2020. 

Hawkins has been endorsed as the 2020 presidential candidate by the Socialist Party USA and Solidarity US, according to the nominee’s campaign website. 

Where Hawkins stands on the issues

Howie Hawkins announced his candidacy for the 2020 presidential race May 28, 2019. His campaign primarily focuses on promoting an eco-socialist Green New Deal — calling himself the “Original Green New Dealer — and supporting “independent working-class politics.”

“I have decided to run because so many Greens and independent progressives and socialists have urged me to,” Hawkins wrote in his declaration of candidacy. “We have conceived of a campaign designed to grow the Green Party rapidly as we move into the 2020s and provide real solutions to the climate crisis, the new nuclear arms race, and ever-growing economic and racial inequality.”

The environmentalist has played prominent roles in anti-war, anti-nuclear and pro-worker efforts since the 1960s. 

Eco-Socialist Green New Deal

Hawkins was the first to propose the Green New Deal in 2010, advocating for legislation that addresses climate change and economic inequality. A decade later, Hawkins has used the deal as the central theme of his campaign.

The deal has gained momentum in the last few years within Congress, being included in a pair of resolutions sponsored by Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) and Sen. Ed Markey (D-MA). 

If elected, Hawkins said he would promote 100% clean energy by 2030 — partly through a ban on fracking and new fossil fuel infrastructure. He also promotes public ownership and planning in energy, manufacturing and transportation. 

Hawkins heavily endorses zero-waste manufacturing and recycling, as well as achieving zero-to-negative carbon emissions within the next decade. 

Social Justice

Hawkins’ campaign focuses on the decriminalization of drugs and mass incarceration. Part of this includes implementing policies that legalize marijuana and increase the accessibility of drug abuse treatment. 

“Drug abuse is a health problem, not a criminal problem,” Hawkins wrote on his campaign website. “Criminalizing opioids contributes to the carnage of fatal overdoses. Addicts need help, not incarceration.”

His policies champion abortion rights, student debt relief and the legal status for undocumented immigrants. Changes like these will require major reform, the candidate said, including federal action against white terrorism and local police misconduct. 

Additionally, the Green Party nominee endorses the Fair Labor Standards Act, the Equality Act and the Equal Rights Amendment. 

Economic Bill of Rights

Through his campaign, Hawkins is pushing for an Economic Bill of Rights — providing economic security. As part of this, he promises a job guarantee and a $20 minimum wage indexed to inflation and productivity.

Beyond that, Hawkins is campaigning to end poverty through a guaranteed income above poverty. 

Other campaign promises within the Economic Bill of Rights include: 

  • Affordable housing through universal rent control and public housing
  • A comprehensive health care for all 
  • Lifelong, tuition-free public education 
  • Secure retirement 

“Real solutions can’t wait”

The Green Party candidate is relying on a sense of urgency to push his campaign to the White House. The only road to change, Hawkins said, can’t wait for President Donald Trump to be removed in 2020. 

Hawkins strongly supported the move to impeach the president in December, calling Pres. Trump “the most unpopular president in history.” 

“The campaign will not succeed if we don’t build a movement of activists and donors to take our organizing and solutions to the people,” Hawkins wrote on his campaign website. “Please join us now. The climate, peace, and our life expectancies can’t wait.”

The candidate urges voters not to rely on Republican or Democratic nominees, who he said ignores strongly-advocated proposals — for example, abolishing the Electoral College and replacing it with a ranked-choice voting system. 

“We will be damned if we wait on the Democrats while the planet burns,” Hawkins said. 

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