Green Candidate for Syracuse Mayor
Howie Hawkins has been an organizer for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics since 1967 when he got active in "The Movement" as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area.
Since moving to Syracuse in 1991, he has lived on the South Side where he has been active in the community on many issues. He is currently a Board member and the Treasurer for the Eat To Live Food Cooperative and for the Southside Community Coalition.
Howie works at UPS unloading trucks, where he is a member of Teamsters Local 317, He is also a supporter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, and the Labor Notes network.
A former Marine, he helped organize opposition to the Vietnam War. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leader in the anti-apartheid divestment movement to end US corporate investment in the system of racist labor exploitation in South Africa.
After attending Dartmouth College in the early 1970s, Howie worked in construction and helped organize a workers cooperative that specialized in energy efficiency and solar and wind installations.
He was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the Green Party in the US in 1984.
Howie moved to Syracuse to develop cooperatives for CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives that worked in the 1990s for a local economy that is cooperatively owned, democratically controlled, and ecologically sustainable.
Howie was active in the campaigns to establish the Citizens Review Board in the 1990s and the Living Wage Ordinance in the 2000s.
As the Syracuse Green Party's candidate for Mayor in 2005, Howie's campaign succeeded in putting public power – a city-owned power utility – on the city's agenda.
Howie has been a Green Party candidate for Common Council, Congress, U.S. Senator, and City Auditor. His vote has grown from 3% for Councilor At-Large in 1993 to a near win in 2011 with 48% of the vote for 4th District Common Councilor. In 2015, he received 35% of the citywide vote for City Auditor.
As the New York Green Party's candidate for Governor in 2010 and 2014, he campaigned for a ban on fracking, 100% clean energy by 2030, a $15 minimum wage, an end to Governor Cuomo's test-punish-and-privatize education agenda, and for progressive taxes and revenue sharing as the alternative to Cuomo's austerity budgets for schools, cities, and public services. In 2014, he received 5 percent of the vote, the most for an independent progressive party candidate for Governor in New York history except the 5.7% in 1918 and 5.6% in 1920 received by the Socialist Party candidates.
When the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, A. Philip Randolph, Helen Keller, and Norman Thomas re-established itself in 1973, Howie joined and remains a member. He is also a member of Solidarity, a democratic socialist organization that stands for "socialism from below," the self-organization of the working class and oppressed peoples.