By Howie Hawkins
May 5, 2020
I am happy to announce that Angela Walker of the South Carolina Green Party has accepted my invitation to be my running mate for vice president.
Angela Walker is a veteran working-class activist with decades of experience working for racial and economic justice in social movements, unions, and as an independent socialist candidate.
I first met Angela Walker Chicago in August 2014 when we both spoke on a panel on independent left political action at the summer school of the Solidarity, a socialist, feminist, anti-racist organization. I was running as a Green for governor of New York and Angela was running as an independent socialist for Milwaukee County sheriff.
I saw Angela again in Chicago the next year in May at the Left Elect conference in Chicago, where we were both among the speakers. That conference was a sponsored by a coalition of Green parties, independent progressive state and local parties, and independent socialist groups.
In her presentations at both of those conferences and in talking with her, I was impressed by Angela’s ability to convey her message in plain language that people understand and with a conviction that people believe. She will be a great messenger for the Green Party.
Angela has been an activist since she was a teenager when she successfully organized students to get black history classes into the curriculum of her Bay View High School in Milwaukee. As a public transit bus driver and Legislative Director of her Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) local in Milwaukee, Angela was a leader in the Winter-Spring 2011 Wisconsin Uprising against Gov. Scott Walker’s union-busting attack on the collective bargaining rights of public employees. In the Fall of 2011, Angela played a leading roles in Occupy Milwaukee and the Milwaukee chapter of Occupy the Hood, which sought to represent the interests of oppressed people and bring people of color into the Occupy Movement.
In 2014, Angela ran as an independent socialist and Black Lives Matter activist for sheriff of Milwaukee County, Wisconsin. Her opponent was the incumbent David Clarke, the cowboy-hat-wearing conservative Fox News pundit who had been appointed sheriff by a Republican governor and re-elected three times as a Democrat. Angela won 20% of the vote with the message that the best way to cut street crime and violence was to fight poverty and economic frustration with living wages, affordable housing, grocery stores in food desserts, and good health care and public transit. She pledged no cooperation with ICE on the detention of immigrants without court-ordered warrants.
Angela already has experience running for vice president. I was not at all surprised when the Socialist Party USA picked her as their vice presidential candidate in 2016.
When I reached out recently to Angela in Florence, South Carolina, where she now lives working as truck driver, she told me, “How could I not say yes to running? The Green Party is in a great position amplify the people’s power, and we’ve got to encourage people to use their power. If not now, when?”
The United State has become a failed state in its response to the coronavirus health and economic crisis. Trump is inept and Biden is invisible. Angela will help the Green Party fill this vacuum of leadership and point us in a better direction. Angela will help the Green Party reach the working people, the people of color, and the young people who are the base the Green Party needs to become a major party and force in American politics.