Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Taking A Look At Howie Hawkins for New York Governor

I know. I know. The Green Party is just a fringe group with no real political muscle.  But, have you had a look at Howie Hawkins' platform regarding organic farming?  I took this from his web site:


Ban corporate-owned farms. Support family farms with price supports, credit, and tax relief. Financial and technical assistance incentives to convert farms to organic methods. Bypass corporate food middlemen by supporting farmer-owned processing and marketing cooperatives and consumer-owned food cooperatives. Full organizing rights and decent wages for farmworkers.

There was no link on this platform point, so I had to dig a little deeper.

I reviewed the questionnaire answers he offered to the Sierra Club in 2010. On it, he writes, "The Greens have also pushed for a ban on the planting of genetically modified crops in NYS. We were able to get legislation introduced in the state legislature in support of a five year moratorium on the planting of GMO crops."

On the Citizens Union for the City of New York questionnaire, he writes, "The public sector has to step up [to] make this happen, not with still more corporate welfare tax breaks and subsidies, but with public investment in a green industrial policy of investing in renewable energy, mass transit, green buildings, organic agriculture and clean manufacturing. These are the new means of production needed for a sustainable green economic recovery and future." (emphasis added) Hawkins made the same statement to Gannet on its questionnaire.

To the League of Conservation Voters, Hawkins said, "Make a major commitment to promoting sustainable organic agriculture in New York State to provide, without polluting our valuable water resources, quality food and the material feedstocks for industry to replace the nonrenewable, climate altering hydrocarbon economy with a renewable, clean carbohydrate economy where materials are recyclable or biodegradable." He also says he would, "Promote legislation and regulation to reduce pesticide and fertilizer runoff from farms, businesses, and residences into our waterways." Farm runoff is largely a factor related to factory farms and CAFOs, and not small, sustainable-run family farms.

Hawkins and the Green Party are after 50,000 votes in the upcoming election to secure the Green Party a guaranteed ballot line on state elections for the next four years.  Andrew Cuomo's victory is almost a certainty. Consider using your vote to help Hawkins and the Green Party and to continue the important dialog on the organic agriculture, sustainable farming, and the environment.