Boston DSA Candidate Questionnaire 2020

Section 1. Candidate Information

What is your name?

Howie Hawkins for President
Angela Walker for Vice President

What is your personal story? Why are you seeking this office?

We are two workers for the White House because we need a better class of people in there.

Howie Hawkins is a retired Teamster in Syracuse, New York. He has been an organizer in movements for civil rights, peace, unions, and the environment since the 1960s. He was the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010. New York has enacted reforms that he alone among the candidates championed in his three runs for Governor of New York in 2010, 2014, and 2018, including a ban on fracking, a $15 minimum wage, paid family leave, and a millionaires tax.

Angela Walker is a truck driver in Florence, South Carolina. She is a veteran labor and racial justice activist. As legislative director of Amalgamated Transit Workers Local 998, she led her local’s participation in the Wisconsin Uprising and the Occupy movement in 2011. She received 20% of the vote running as an independent socialist for Sheriff of Milwaukee County in 2014 on a program of fighting poverty to fight crime. She was the Socialist Party USA candidate for Vice President in 2016.

What movements are you connected to in your community, and what is your level of involvement with them?

Howie is serves on the board of the Southside Community Coalition in Syracuse, New York, which is developing and operating cooperatives, nonprofit housing, and educational and cultural programs in a predominantly very low income African-American neighborhood to increase access to fresh food, affordable housing, and broadband service. He also participates local veterans organizations, including American Legion Dunbar Post 1643, Vietnam Veterans Against the War, and Veterans for Peace.

Angela is new to Florence, South Carolina but still communicates with and supports the Milwaukee community movements she was involved in, including Amalgamated Transit Union (ATU) Local 998, Milwaukee Teachers and Educators Association (MTEA), and Occupy.

How do you differ from your opponents in this race? (if any)

We are anti-racist, anti-imperialist, feminist, ecological, and democratic socialists.

Donald Trump doesn’t care about us. He only cares about himself and is grossly incompetent.

Joe Biden is a lifelong neoliberal warhawk and environmental ignoramus.

Any additional information about you we should know?

We are the nominated presidential ticket of both the Green Party of the United States and the Socialist Party USA.


Campaign Information

What is your website?

howiehawkins.us

What office are you seeking?

President and Vice President of the United States

Describe the district you’re running to represent.

The United States is a two-party corporate state where the capitalist class sponsors and funds politicians to promote the neoliberal capitalism and neoconservative imperialism this ruling class favors. The majority of people are way to the left of the ruling class, particularly on economic class and environmental issues like Medicare for All, raising the minimum wage, taxing the rich, and a Green New Deal. The working class majority, disproportionately people of color and young, is alienated from the two-capitalist-party system of corporate rule. They vote in low numbers. They are the mass base for an independent left party to become a major party and force in American politics.

What is the best method to contact you? (will not be made public)

[email protected], 315-200-6046

[email protected], 414-218-4786

Who is your campaign manager, and how can we reach them? (will not be made public)

Andrea Merida, [email protected], 303-550-0677

What is your fundraising goal? (will not be made public)

$800,000

What groups will you refuse money from? (e.g., developers, police unions, health care lobbyists & executives, fossil fuel executives & lobbyists…)

We do not accept contributions from for-profit businesses (including proprietorships and partnerships) or from corporate-sponsored PACs.

We will accept contributions from the PACs of democratic people’s organizations, including labor unions, cooperatives, party committees, and peace, environmental, and community organizations.

What is your win number? (will not be made public)

We expect a higher voter turnout than in 2016. The highest projections for 2020 assume a 70% turnout of 235 million eligible voters, which yields 165 million votes. To win in a competitive three-way race with turnout this high, we would have to win about 60-70 million votes.

The biggest group of such voters would come from the 100 million voters who did not vote for president in 2016. They are disproportionately working class, people of color, and young. They are our primary voter target. The second biggest group of voters we are targeting is progressive Democrats who don’t want to settle for Biden, the neoliberal hawk.

We recognize that it would take an unprecedentedly massive and rapid shift of new voters and progressive Democrats into our column to reach 60-70 million votes in 2020.

Accordingly, we have three other win numbers to measure our progress in building an independent left party.

1. A million votes for socialism, 100 years after Debs came close. It would a be first in the US and affirm the presence of the new socialist movement. We expect to achieve this win.

2. 1% to 5%, depending on the state, secures a state ballot line for the Green Party for the next election cycle. In Massachusetts, that win is 3%. We expect to win this goal in at least 25 states.

3. 5% of the national popular vote qualifies the Green Party for a public campaign grant in the 2024 presidential general election, which will be a prorated portion between 5% and 25% of the popular vote of the little over $100 million dollar grant that goes to parties that receive over 25%. So that grant would be between $20 million and $100 million. The closest the Green Party has come to this goal was with Ralph Nader in 2000 with 2.7% of the vote (2.9 million votes). With Trump collapsing and Biden not appealing to progressives, we think this goal may be within reach.

How many doors will you knock? (will not be made public)

We don’t have a national number yet and, with the social distancing guidelines in the Covid-19 pandemic, much of our one on one voter outreach will be phone canvassing. We are organizing campaign committees in every state that will set their own goals based on their capacities and the capacity of the national campaign to help them. Our focus in August is ballot access petitioning is about a dozen remaining states.

What efforts are you making to include the voices of marginalized communities in your campaign?

We take affirmative action to recruit members of marginalized communities into the leadership of the campaign.

The original senior advisor to the campaign, the late Bruce Dixon, was African American. He was the most influential person in convincing Howie to run. No one person can replace the knowledge and experience of electoral campaigns and the political wisdom that Bruce brought to our campaign.

Ajamu Baraka, who also serves as a senior advisor, is African American.

Angela Walker, our vice presidential candidate, is African American and queer.

Andrea Merida, our campaign manger, is Latina.

Patricio Zamorano, our Spanish-language media coordinator and Spanish-speaking campaign surrogate, is Latino.

Serena “Rahzie” Seals and Nikeeta Slade, leaders in Black Lives Matter Syracuse and the Syracuse Green Party, are advising the campaign on policing and racial justice issues. Both are African American. Rahzie is lesbian and Nikeeta is queer.

Cora Santaguida, our call center manager, is bisexual.

Gini Lester, our ballot access compliance manager, is queer.

Robert Smith, our media coordinator, is gay.

AJ Reed, our help desk coordinator, is nonbinary.

Diane Moxley, our New Jersey state coordinator, is a woman.

Angel Torres, our Arizona state coordinator, is Latino.

LaBeau Kpanedou, our Florida state coordinator, is African American

Jeremy Writt, our Tennessee state coordinator, is African American.

Ashley Frame, our assistant to Angela Walker, is a woman.

Rose Roby, our scheduling and logistics coordinator, is bisexual and Jewish.

The campaign is actively recruiting and interviewing African American and other people of color for state coordinator and field organizer positions.

Any additional information about your campaign setup we should know?


Relationship with DSA

Are you a socialist?

Yes

Are you a member of DSA?

No

Are you running as a Democratic Socialist? (even if using the Democratic party’s ballot line)?

Yes

Are you willing to share your campaign data (including VAN/CRM) with DSA?

Yes

If elected, will you agree to accountability meetings with DSA? Will you be a voice for our movement in your office?

Yes

Anything else we should know about how you plan to interact with DSA during and after the campaign?


General Questions
Do you support:

Bernie Sanders for president? Have you publicly endorsed?

No

The human right to free abortion on demand?

Yes

The abolishment of private prisons, ending cash bail, and ending the prison-industrial complex?

Yes

The demilitarization of the police?

Yes

The nationalization and public ownership of utilities including energy?

Yes

Housing for all, and ending homelessness?

Yes

The ending of the Israeli oppression of the Palestinian people, including supporting the BDS (Boycott Divestment Sanctions) movement?

Yes

The welfare of sex workers, including but not limited to full decriminalization?

Yes

The elimination of Pay-as-you-go legislation?

Yes

If necessary, please elaborate on any of your answers above. Also, is there any additional information you would like to share?

Although we consider that Bernie Sanders was clearly the best that the Democrats offered in their presidential primaries, it is not appropriate for us to endorse candidates in other parties. We want to go much further than Sanders toward democratic socialism: not just taxing the rich to fund progressive social and environmental programs, but socializing the major means of production to democratize the economy and therefore politics as well. We also advocate a much stronger anti-imperialist peace initiatives than Sanders did, including a 75% cut in military spending, bringing US troops home, adopting a defensive military posture, pledging no first use of nuclear weapons, disarming to a minimum credible nuclear deterrent, and, on the basis of those tension-reducing initiatives, negotiating complete and mutual nuclear disarmament among all of the nuclear powers.


MA State House Questions
If running for a federal office, you may skip this section.

Will you sign the Voters Deserve to Know Pledge? (www.ActOnMass.org/pledge)

Yes

Do you support the restoration of the right to vote for incarcerated people in Massachusetts?

Yes

Will you work to increase transparency in the State House and distribute the power of the Speaker if elected?

Yes

Will you work to improve and make our public transportation free at the point of service?

Yes

Do you support lifting the ban on rent control and enabling local options for tenant protections (H.3924)?

Yes

Do you support undocumented immigrants being able to procure a driver’s license (S.2061)?

Yes

Do you support a ban on new fossil fuel infrastructure?

Yes

Do you support the Fair Share Amendment?

Yes

What policies would you support to address the climate crisis in Massachusetts?

A state public energy system as a federation of local public power districts governed by publicly elected boards, that in turn elect a state public power board. The public power system would plan and operate electric and gas utilities as well as a state fuel corporation for wholesale distribution of oil and gas during the transition to 100% clean energy, with the earnings reinvested in clean renewable power generation.

Public banks to finance clean energy projects, including upfront financing to retrofit buildings with heat pumps and induction stoves to replace gas and oil for heating and cooking, to be paid back over time with the savings from cheaper fuel-free renewable electric power sources.

What policies would you support to address police violence against communities of color and those who are experiencing homelessness? Also, what policies would you support in light of the overtime scheme and ticket quota scandal?

Community Control of the Police by commissions that are publicly elected, or selected by lot like juries, with the power to hire and fire police chiefs, set polices and budgets, and investigate and discipline police misconduct. Defund the Police: Transfer police department resources to meeting social needs, like homes for the homeless, drug treatment for the addicted, and medical services for the mentally ill. State Attorney General investigation and prosecution of police violations of civil rights, including bodily injury and death.

If necessary, please elaborate on any of your answers above. Also, is there any additional information you would like to share?

We support the Ranked-Choice Voting Initiative on the Massachusetts ballot in 2020. We support ranked-choice voting for executive offices to eliminate the spoiler dilemma and for legislative bodies for proportional representation from multi-member districts.

We support full public campaign financings on the Clean Money model of equal campaign grants to all qualified candidates as the voters of Massachusetts approved in 1998 and the Democratic-majority legislature sabotaged by refusing to fund it.

We oppose the sham reform of matching funds that Democrats now promote because it leaves unlimited private donations untouched and the matching funds increase the disparities between low- and high-financed campaigns.


US Congress Questions
If running for a state office, you may skip this section.

Will you be a co-sponsor of Bernie Sanders’ Medicare for All bill (S.1129) and the nationalization of healthcare?

Yes

Will you be a co-sponsor of Ilhan Omar’s Housing For All bill (H.5244), including national rent control and guaranteeing a right to housing?

Yes

Will you be a co-sponsor of Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez’s Green New Deal bill (H.Res.109), and the banning of new fossil fuel infrastructure?

Yes

Do you support the abolishment of ICE and the Department of Homeland Security?

Yes

Will you be a co-sponsor of Ayanna Pressley’s The People’s Justice Guarantee (H.702)?

Yes

Will you vote against increases to the defense budget?

Yes

Do you support a pathway to full citizenship for all undocumented immigrants living in the United States?

Yes

Do you support the full withdrawal of US military personnel from Iraq and Afghanistan?

Yes

Do you support the ending of arm sales to Saudi Arabia?

Yes

Will you be an advocate for the full denuclearization of the US military?

Yes

What are your thoughts on the commission to study and develop reparation proposals for African-Americans (HR.40) and would you be a co-sponsor?

We support reparations for African Americans. We support the enactment of the Commission to Study and Develop Reparation Proposals for African-Americans Act (H.R. 40/S. 1083) as the first needed step to give African Americans the opportunity to say what they want from a reparations program.

We believe a reparations program should include both individual and collective reparations. Individual reparations are needed to close the 10-to-1 racial wealth gap between Black and white families created by slavery, segregation, and discrimination down to the last decade when Black America lost half of its wealth due to predatory lending and foreclosures and fraudulent robo-signing home theft by the banking and mortgage servicing industries.

Individual reparations are not enough if the intersecting system of racism and capitalism is not replaced with a democratic socialism. Black people will still be spending their money in capitalist businesses whose racists in the professional/managerial and owning classes profit from racism. They will continue to discriminate, exclude, and exploit Black people and reproduce the racial wealth gap.

Collective reparations are also needed to build Black power. Collective reparations demands were made in the Black Manifesto that former SNCC chairperson James Foreman prepared with the assistance of the Detroit-based League of Black Revolutionary Workers and was adopted by the National Black Economic Development Conference (NBEDC). It was first delivered in Riverside Church in May 1969 and sparked the modern reparations movement. The Black Manifesto demands included funding a National Black Labor Strike and Defense Fund, a National Welfare Rights Organization, a southern Black Land Bank, and Black publishing, printing, and TV and radio broadcast industries.

The ruling in Pigford v. Glickman (1999) for compensation for Black farm and land loss due to more than a century of racial discrimination by the US Department of Agriculture against Black farmers has been very slowly and incompletely implemented by the USDA. The USDA must be restructured and its racists cleaned out. Restoring Black land and farms must be part of the reparations program.

The Bush, Obama, and Trump administrations have all conducted war crimes ranging from drone strikes on US civilians to the use of depleted uranium. How would you hold past administrations accountable and what policies would you advocate to stop such atrocities?

The failure of the Obama/Biden administration to prosecute, and in some cases to stop prosecutions of, Bush administration officials for wars of aggression, torture, murdering non-combatants in custody or by drone strikes, the use of outlawed weapons, and illegal surveillance and invasions of privacy let many of these officials come back in the Trump administration to commit more such crimes.

We would appoint an Attorney General committed to prosecuting war crimes and crimes against humanity by previous administration officials under the War Crimes Act of 1996, the Uniform Code of Military Justice (UCMJ), and international laws. These prosecutions should include crimes against humanity committed by immigration agencies against migrants as well as crimes committed in relation to US wars and covert operations abroad and at home.

We would have the US join the International Criminal Court and accept its jurisdiction in prosecuting US war criminals.

We would recognize the “universal jurisdiction” of national courts around the world to prosecute individuals for serious crimes against international law, including crimes against humanity, war crimes, genocide, and torture. We would extradite such alleged criminals where we believe the court proceedings are legitimate.

What should the United States immigration policy be?

The first act is to free the detained immigrants, let the migrants on the Mexican side of the border in, unite separated children with their parents, and help these people find housing, jobs, and the services they need.

We favor amnesty and legal status for all immigrants.

We support open borders, similar to the policy within the European Union. People should be free to go back and forth across borders for work, shopping, vacations, and residence. People would check in at border crossings and unless there is a court-ordered warrant for their arrest, they would be free to go about their business.

If necessary, please elaborate on any of your answers above. Also, is there any additional information you would like to share?

Inequality kills. After 45 years of stagnant wages and growing economic inequality, working class life expectancy is in decline in the US. Inequality is a pressing life-or-death issue for working people as much as Covid-19, the climate emergency, and the new nuclear arms race are.

We are campaigning for an Economic Bill of Rights to end poverty and economic despair. The rights would include a job guarantee, a guaranteed income above poverty, affordable housing, Medicare for All, tuition-free public education from child care through college, and a secure retirement by doubling Social Security benefits.


Final Thoughts

Is there anything else we should know about you or your campaign?

In the interest of building solidarity on the independent left and mounting the largest possible vote for an ecosocialist alternative, we are also seeking the nomination where possible, or the endorsement, of several ballot-qualified independent progressive state parties, including the Peace and Freedom Party of California, the Aloha Aina Party of Hawaii, the Grassroots-Legalize Cannabis Party of Minnesota, the Progressive Party of Oregon, and the Progressive Party of Vermont.

What else should we have asked you in this questionnaire?

None of the major party candidates have addressed the new nuclear arms race. 122 nations agreed to the text of the Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons three years ago. The International Campaign for the Abolition of Nuclear Weapons got the Nobel Peace Prize for that achievement. But hardly anybody in the US even knows that because the leadership of the two-capitalist-party system supports the US nuclear modernization program kicked off under Obama and continued under Trump. This should be a top campaign issue and we are trying to make it so.

Any other feedback you would like to leave about this questionnaire?

Thank you for including us.

Howie Hawkins 2020

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