Green Party U.S. Senate candidate speaks, sings about movement building

GLENS FALLS, NYRobin Laverne Wilson, the Green Party challenger to U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., frequently broke into soulful song during her campaign speech in Glens Falls.

"I said, 'We're running, we are running for our lives,'" she sang at one point. "Because when our grassroots get connected, and our grievances collected, we've got the power to correct it."

Wilson, a singer, actress and political activist from Brooklyn, said her campaign is about more than just the Nov. 8 election.

"I'm here to be encouraging as well as encouraged. We have to remember this moment is not just this moment, and the real work starts Nov. 9 no matter what happens," she said to an audience of about 40 people at a potluck dinner Sunday evening at Rock Hill Bakehouse Café.

Wilson calls herself an "anti-'Kumbaya' candidate," a reference to the folk song commonly sung around campfires by church and scouting groups.

To build a movement, Wilson said, the Green Party must reach beyond its inner circle and establish a wide dialogue.

"I want us to talk to and not at each other and start thinking about what is it that I individually, what is it that we as a Green Party, what is that we as an entire community, can do going forward to break down the silos," she said.

"We cannot continue to silo ourselves while we rail against the system that silos us out of it as well," she said. "That's why I say, 'I'm running for our lives.'"

Wilson is one of four candidates on the ballot in the Senate race.

The others are Schumer, Republican Wendy Long and Libertarian Alex Merced.

Wilson said the Senate race is not receiving the public attention it merits.

"We all know he (Schumer) is one of the most powerful people in politics today," she said. "And we also know that the current dog and pony show that is the presidential politics is meant to distract you from all the other races that are equally important."

Wilson said she brings a variety of perspectives to the race as a black woman from the working class who is the daughter of a combat veteran.

"I think that I live in a multitude of intersections on a day-to-day basis," she said. "That means that whatever you are going through I can probably relate to it. And that's why I say, 'I am running for our lives.'"

The Post Star
By Maury Thompson
October 24, 2016