Howie’s Speech to Delegates at the Green Party Convention

This speech was given at the Green Party US Presidential Nominating Convention on Saturday, July 11, 2020.  The speech took place before the delegates cast their votes to make Howie and Angela the Green Party US nominees for president and vice president. 

Hello Green Party Delegates.

I want start with some thank yous. Thank you to all the Greens who have persisted – through some negativity, but particularly through the difficult circumstances of this Covid pandemic – to conduct our Green primaries and this convention.

You’re volunteers. You’ve worked hard. You should be proud of yourselves and you deserve our thanks.

Thank you to Angela Walker for stepping up to be my running mate. Angela is a veteran labor and racial justice activist who will be a great messenger for the Green Party

And thank you to the over 4,000 campaign contributors who this week qualified our campaign for federal primary matching funds.

We’ll now have another $200,000 that we’ll plow back into ballot access to get the Green Party on all 52 ballots – the 50 states, DC, and the advisory vote in Guam.

And now Green Party moves forward, standing on the shoulders of Jill Stein, and her running mates, Cheri Honkala and Ajamu Baraka.

They brought the Green Party to another level in 2012 and again 2016.

Jill always says, “We have to vote like our lives depend on it, because they do.”

That is even more true today, as we face a host of life-or-death issues.

The Covid pandemic shows us that the two governing parties are presiding over a failed state.

With 4% of the world’s population, we have 25% of the world’s Covid infections. We are on pace to have a quarter of a million Covid deaths by the election.

Trump has just given up. Covid won. Trump is a loser.

But where the hell is Joe Biden? He lives within commuter distance of the White House press corps. He can command their attention. He should be holding news conferences and pounding away at what we need now – a test, trace, and isolate program to suppress the virus, like most other organized countries around the world.

The silence of Biden, and the political leadership of both major parties, on demanding an emergency test, trace, and isolate program, is complicity in hundreds of thousands of unnecessary deaths.

The failure of the two-party corporate state is why the Green Party now has to step into this political vacuum and advance real solutions to the life-or-death issues we face.

Like the centuries-old pandemic of racism and police brutality we are now protesting in the streets.

Reforms to policing techniques are good but not enough. When the police police themselves, they get away with murder. We demand community control of the police.

Defunding the police is not enough. We demand defunding the military, too. Only then will we have enough resources to invest in the jobs, housing, schools, health care, and public services that are needed in racially-oppressed communities that been segregated, discriminated against, and exploited for generations, right up to present day.

The climate meltdown is a life-or-death issue. Jill Stein put the Green New Deal, the signature issue of the Green Party in the 2010s, on to the national agenda.

But the Democrats have taken the slogan and watered down the content.

We are here to campaign for the full-strength Green New Deal, for zero-to-negative carbon emissions and 100% clean energy by 2030.

Our ecosocialist Green New Deal will create 38 million jobs. In the midst of this Covid economic depression, we now need the Green New Deal for economic recovery as well as climate recovery.

Inequality is killing us. After 50 years of stagnant wages and growing economic inequality, working class life expectancy is going down.

We will enact an Economic Bill of Rights to end poverty and economic despair, including a job guarantee, a guaranteed income above poverty, and Medicare for All.

The Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists has moved its Doomsday Clock the closest it’s ever been to midnight.

We will take peace initiatives: a 75% cut in military spending, withdrawal from the endless wars, pledge no first use of nuclear weapons, and disarm to a minimum credible deterrent.

And on the basis of those tension-reducing peace initiatives, we will go the other eight nuclear powers to negotiate mutual and complete nuclear disarmament. We will go there with the support of the 122 non-nuclear nations who agreed to the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons three years ago this week.

The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons received the Nobel Peace Prize for that achievement, but hardly anybody in this country even knows that.

None of the major party candidates have talked about this issue. It should be a top campaign issue and we’ll make it one.

These are life-or-death issues. The two-party corporate state has failed. It’s time for the Green Party to provide the real solutions.

Our lives depend on it. We’re running out of time. And real solutions can’t wait.

So let us now unite and support our Green candidates – up and down the ballot – with all we’ve got to give.

Thank you.

Howie Hawkins 2020

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