FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
(Syracuse, NY – June 22, 2020) The Hawkins/Walker Green Party presidential ticket released their Economic Bill of Rights today, which they say is a program to end poverty and economic despair in the United States.
Howie Hawkins for President and Angela Walker for Vice President are the presumptive Green Party nominees. Over the weekend they won more Green Party primaries, which secured for them a majority of pledged delegates for the Green Party national convention to be held online on July 11.
Their Economic Bill of Rights makes it the responsibility of the federal government to guarantee six economic human rights:
1. A Living-Wage Job
2. An Income Above Poverty
3. Affordable Housing
4. Comprehensive Health Care
5. Lifelong Free Public Education
6. A Secure Retirement
In their statement they explain how a job guarantee can be implemented through a WPA-style public jobs program and an income guarantee through a negative income tax. They call for a massive expansion of public housing to secure the right to affordable housing. They support Medicare for All and federal funding to secure lifelong tuition-free public education from pre-K through post-secondary university and technical education. For a secure retirement for all, they propose a doubling of Social Security benefits.
The Economic Bill of Rights is integral to the candidates’ Ecosocialist Green New Deal, which also includes a Green Economy Reconstruction Program to transform all productive sectors of the US economy to zero-to-negative greenhouse gas emissions and 100% clean energy by 2030.
Hawkins was the first candidate in the US to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010. The Green New Deal has been the Green Party’s signature issue in the 2010s, with their 2012 and 2016 presidential candidate, Jill Stein, running both years on the theme of A Green New Deal for America.
In 2010, coming out of the Great Recession, and now in 2020 as the country plunges into the Covid-19 Depression, Hawkins views the Green New Deal as an economic recovery as well as a climate action program.
“We need a multi-trillion dollar public investment in public enterprise and planning to convert our economy to 100% clean energy on the timescale that the carbon budgets of climate science demand. It is also how we are going to climb out of this economic hole. The dogmatic blind faith of both the Democrats and Republicans that private enterprise alone will lead a recovery and make the energy transition is a recipe for a long depression and a climate catastrophe,” Hawkins said.
“We are picking up the torch from the black freedom movement in the 1960s who made these demands for an Economic Bill of Rights at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, the 1966 Freedom Budget they submitted to Congress, and the 1968 Poor People’s Campaign. They had picked up the torch from President Roosevelt who called upon Congress to enact an Economic Bill of Rights in his last two State of the Union addresses in 1944 and 1945. Every Democratic president from Roosevelt to Obama has had majorities in both Houses of Congress for at least one two-year session, but they have never enacted programs to secure any of these rights. It is going to take the Green Party to make these rights a reality,” Walker said.
Hawkins, 67, of Syracuse, New York, is a retired Teamster. Walker, 46, of Florence, South Carolina, is a truck driver.