Green Party

WAER file photo

Even with Election Day in the books, Syracuse City government still has at least one more seat to fill.  Helen Hudson has been elected Common Council President and the public won’t get to vote on the seat she’s leaving behind. A similar situation was met with controversy in 2015. The Green Party’s recent Councilor-At-Large candidate, Frank Cetera wants to make sure that it’s handled differently this time around.

Scott Willis / WAER News

The local elections on Tuesday aren’t expected to generate much activity at the polls, so it’s probably no surprise the Green Party has a plan to change that.  They’re calling for "Inclusive Democracy" to increase turnout and civic engagement.  Mayoral candidate Howie Hawkins illustrates his point.

"Did you hear there's an election Tuesday?  A lot of people out here, as we knock on doors and make phone calls, they're like what?  We had a presidential election last year.  What's this year?"

Scott Willis / WAER News

Both the Onondaga County Democratic Committee and the Green Party are hoping frustration with the national political climate will work in their favor on election day.   

Democrats are optimistic that they have a slate of candidates that will make inroads in the county legislature.  Republicans hold a supermajority with 13 of 17 seats.  The committee has fielded five candidates to challenge GOP incumbents, and two others to seek open seats held by outgoing republicans.  That’s more than in recent memory.  Chairman Mark English says larger forces are a motivating factor.

file photo / WAER News

Green Party Candidate for Syracuse Mayor Howie Hawkins pointed to the crumbling condition of the Westside Academy at Blodgett today as an example of the inequality of education in the city. Hawkins scolded the Joint School construction board for failing to make the school a priority, leaving families uncertain about the future. 

Scott Willis / WAER News

Green Party candidates for Syracuse mayor and common council are rallying support for a universal health insurance plan that’s now one vote shy of support in the state senate.  The New York Health Act is a single public payer system financed by progressively graduated taxes on payrolls and non-payroll income such as capital gains and interest.  Mayoral candidate Howie Hawkins says federal funds for Medicaid, Medicare, and the family and child health plus programs would be folded in, resulting in savings for all but the wealthiest New Yorkers.

Chris Bolt/WAER News

A fourth candidate has entered the race for two Councilor-at-Large Seats on the Syracuse Common Council, that will be contested this November.  Progressive politics that oppose a conservative Congress and President might play a role in the local election.  The Green Party locally has run numerous candidates for a range of positions in City Hall, including this year's candidacy for Mayor by Howie Hawkins.  None has broken through to get elected yet.  

Chris Bolt/WAER News

The Syracuse mayoral race grew to a total of 10 candidates Thursday after the Green Party’s  Howie Hawkins officially declared his plans to run.  He last sought the office in 2005, and says some of the ideas in his platform have since been picked by the last two mayors.  Hawkins calls his strategic vision for the city “Sustainable Syracuse.”

The chair of the Green Party in Onondaga County says a metropolitan government is needed to address segregation, poverty, and economic stagnation.  But Howie Hawkins says the model proposed by the consensus commission would only amplify those problems. 

He agrees with consensus that the recommendations to consolidate 16 functions of government like road maintenance and public safety can probably be done now and relatively quickly to provide better infrastructure and services.

http://gelfny.org/

Syracuse advocates for renewable energy are urging Governor Cuomo to ramp up his efforts to reach a more sustainable New York. Mark Dunlea of the Green Education and Legal Fund says he is pleased that Cuomo recognizes climate change as a serious problem, but…

“Unfortunately, what he has proposed to date in terms of the state’s climate action agenda is not enough to really avoid catastrophic climate change.”

fpwa.org

  Many New Yorkers are getting a raise starting today.  Overall Minimum Wage jumps…with an even higher boost for fast-food workers.  The issue is likely to get more attention this year.

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