Results for: Questionnaire for Prospective 2020 Socialist Party USA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates

Questionnaire for Prospective 2020 Socialist Party USA Presidential and Vice Presidential Candidates

 

This questionnaire is for individuals interested in seeking the Socialist Party USA's 2020 election nomination for President or Vice President of the United States at the party's National Convention being held October 25-27, 2019.
1)   Full Name
Responses (1)
Howie Hawkins

2)   Current Mailing Address (will not be published):
Responses (1)
[redacted]

3)   Telephone Number (will not be published):
Responses (1)
[redacted]

4)   Email Address:
Responses (1)
mobilize@howiehawkins.us

5)   Campaign Website URL (if applicable):
Responses (1)
howiehawkins.us

6)   Campaign Facebook Page (if applicable):
Responses (1)
facebook.com/runhowierun2020/

7)   I am Interested in Seeking the Socialist Party's 2020 Nomination for the Office of:
Response (%) Responses
President of the United States 100.00 1
Vice President of the United States 0.00 0
Either President or Vice President of the United States 0.00 0
Currently Undecided 0.00 0
8)   Will you personally be attending the October 25-27, 2019 SP National Convention in Newark, NJ?
Response (%) Responses
Yes 100.00 1
No 0.00 0
Uncertain at this Time 0.00 0
9)   Introductory Statement Please write a brief statement introducing yourself. Your statement should not exceed two paragraphs.
Responses (1)
Howie Hawkins is the original Green New Dealer, the first US candidate to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010. He became active in “The Movement” for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam in the 1960s as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. Repelled by the racism and warmongering he saw in both major parties, he asked, “Where is my party?” From the start, he was committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society. He supported the Peace and Freedom Party in 1968, the People’s Party in 1972 and 1976, and the Citizens Party in 1980. Since that first national meeting in 1984, Howie has been a Green Party organizer. He has been a member of the Socialist Party USA since shortly after it was founded in 1973. From 2001 to 2018, he worked as a Teamster unloading trucks at UPS. Before that, he worked in construction and as a co-op developer. Now retired, he remains a supporter of Teamsters for a Democratic Union, US Labor Against the War, the Labor Campaign for Single Payer Healthcare, the Labor Network for Sustainability, and the Labor Notes network. Howie’s articles on politics, economics, and environmental issues have appeared in Against the Current, Black Agenda Report, CounterPunch, Green Politics, International Socialist Review, Labor Notes, New Politics, Peace and Democracy News, Roll Call, Society and Nature, Z Magazine, and other publications. He is the editor of, and a contributor to, Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate (Haymarket Books, 2006).

10)   Question 1 How do you personally define socialism?
Responses (1)
Socialism means the movement for self-emancipation by working class and oppressed people. Socialism means democracy. Rosa Luxemburg: “There is no democracy without socialism, and no socialism without democracy.” Socialism means economic democracy through social ownership and democratic administration of the major means of production and distribution. Socialism means independent political action by the exploited and oppressed speaking and acting for themselves from below through their own political party. The socialist movement needs its own distinct message and identity as an alternative that is opposed to the capitalist parties, which in New York State means the Democratic Party, the Republican Party, and the ballot-qualified minor parties that routinely cross-endorse the candidates of the capitalist parties. Socialism means uprooting racism and all other forms of oppression, discrimination, and segregation based on ethnicity, gender, sexuality, immigration status, religion, disability, and other invidious distinctions. We can’t have working class solidarity and power without uprooting oppression based on various statuses within our class. The capitalist and professional/managerial classes have repeatedly promoted racism in particular throughout American history to divide working people and protect their own unearned income and other special privileges. The failure to prioritize anti-racist perspectives and practices, including respecting and supporting freedom movements initiated by racial minorities and other oppressed groups, has been the Achilles’ heel of American progressive reform movements throughout our history because it has divided and weakened our movements. Socialism means internationalism. International solidarity by the working class and oppressed people across borders is essential because the capitalist system is global and the fight for freedom, equality, peace, and the environment is worldwide and indivisible.

11)   Question 2 How long have you been a socialist, and how did you come to adopt a socialist perspective?
Responses (1)
I have been committed to independent working-class politics for a democratic, socialist, and ecological society since I was a teenager in the 1960s, when I became active in “The Movement” for civil rights and against the war in Vietnam. I was repelled by the racism and warmongering I saw in both major parties and asked myself, “Where is my party?” I supported the presidential tickets of the Peace and Freedom Party in 1968, the People’s Party in 1972 and 1976, the Citizens Party in 1980, and the joint Citizens/Socialist ticket of 1984. I have been a member of the Socialist Party since 1973 and was a founding member of the Green Party US at the formational meeting in 1984.

12)   Question 3 (a) Do you intend to run on the Socialist Party Platform and Statement of Principles (including systemic change based on social ownership, worker control, and production for use rather than profit)?
Responses (1)
Yes. My platform already calls for these things.

13)   (b) Is there any position taken in the Socialist Party Platform and/or Statement of Principles with which you directly or potentially disagree? If so, please specify each such position and how it differs from your own.
Responses (1)
No areas of disagreement. I would augment the Platform and Principles with my Ecosocialist Green New Deal platform and budget, here: https://howiehawkins.us/the-ecosocialist-green-new-deal-budget/

14)   (c) If you take any positions that differ from those of the Socialist Party, are you willing to make clear at all times that the Party’s position differs from your own?
Responses (1)
I don’t foresee taking any positions that are different from the Party’s positions but I will be clear if there are differences between the Party’s position and mine.

15)   Question 4 What, in your view, should be the primary goals or objectives of a Socialist Presidential/Vice Presidential campaign?
Responses (1)
1. The formation of a unified, broad left electoral coalition. 2. Supporting the growth of the grassroots organization and the local candidates of all the parties in the coalition, including Socialist, Green, and independent progressive state parties that support the ticket. 3. Recapturing the goals and values of socialism from the “socialist” wing of the Democratic Party, which is confusing New Deal liberalism with democratic socialism. 4. Advocating for independent left politics that is clear about socializing major industries including energy, transportation, manufacturing, finance, and health care.

16)   Question 5 To what extent do you feel that you can be an effective voice for bridging the connection between the struggle against capitalism and the struggles against racism, sexism, heterosexism, transphobia, national chauvinism, and other such systemic oppression?
Responses (1)
The identity politics of superficial diversity in the professional-managerial class that is promoted by the corporate neoliberalism of the Democrats has laid the groundwork for the Republican neofascist reaction exemplified in Trump that scapegoats immigrants, women, people with disabilities and ethnic, religious, gender, and sexual minorities for the growing inequality and economic insecurity in the working and middle classes that neoliberalism creates. We need race-conscious remedies (as well as gender-conscious and other identity-conscious remedies) to address the race-conscious injuries. As a retired construction worker and Teamster who has labored alongside workers of other identities, my class allegiance and solidarity have been demonstrated by a long record of organizing and advocacy. I know how to build diverse teams, and this is demonstrated in the composition of my campaign team, which is diverse in terms of race, gender, sexual orientation, age, and geography. Our collective work is demonstrated in our strong fundraising, press, and communications track record.

17)   Question 6 The Socialist Party’s Statement of Principles states that “[t]he working class is the major force worldwide that can lead the way to a socialist future – to a real radical democracy from below.” In what ways will your campaign take on a working class orientation?
Responses (1)
We have already done so, both in the formulation of our campaign team and in the policies we advocate. Our platform calls for the socialization of the major industries with worker and community control and production for use instead of profit.

18)   Question 7 Have you ever before run as candidate for public office? If so, please list the election year, office sought, and party affiliation/label (if any) of each prior political candidacy that you have pursued. Include any instance in which you have entered a party primary election or otherwise sought to obtain a political party’s candidacy nomination.  
Responses (1)
2000 US House of Representatives election (NY-25), Green 2004 US House of Representatives election (NY-25), Peace and Justice 2005 Syracuse Mayor, Green 2006 United States Senate election, New York, Green 2008 US House of Representatives election (NY-25), Green Populist 2009 Syracuse Common Councilor election (District 4), Green 2010 New York Governor, Green 2011 Syracuse Common Councilor election (District 4), Green 2013 Syracuse Common Councilor election (District 4), Green 2014 New York Governor, Green 2015 Syracuse City Auditor, Green 2017 Syracuse Mayor, Green 2018 New York Governor, Green I ran many of these campaigns with the endorsement of the Socialist Party USA.

19)   Question 8 Do you intend to seek the nomination of any other political party for your 2020 Presidential or Vice-Presidential candidacy? If so, please specify.
Responses (1)
Yes. I plan to seek the nominations of a broad coalition of left parties: the Green Party, the Peace and Freedom Party of California, the Progressive Party of Oregon, the Citizens and Labor Parties of South Carolina, and the Liberty Union and Progressive Parties of Vermont.

20)   Question 9 Do you satisfy the U.S. constitutional requirements for being elected president of the United States (i.e. are you a natural-born U.S. citizen, with at least 14 years of U.S. residency, who will be at least 35 years old on January 20, 2021)?
Responses (1)
Yes.

21)   Question 10 To what extent are you willing and able to travel during the campaign? Do you have any personal commitments that would significantly limit the amount of time you can dedicate to campaigning (i.e., family, school, work, etc.)?
Responses (1)
I am currently campaigning and traveling full time and will do so for the duration of the campaign.

22)   Question 11 What strategies and/or methods do you think would be most effective in promoting your campaign?
Responses (1)
Thus far, in addition to our website and social media presence, several outlets have published my pieces. I am also speaking to groups of Greens, socialists, and other leftists in town halls and community meetings. My campaign plans to publish two books on building a mass socialist left party, based on my previous writings and those of other prominent leftists. Being the first candidate in the US to campaign for a Green New Deal in 2010, and having the most developed and documented budget for an Ecosocialist Green New Deal, I believe I have a good angle to get major media coverage later in the campaign when the field narrows. We also plan to hold regional organizing training weekends to help campaign supporters learn how to canvass to build lists of supporters and to organize supporters into effective local organizations. These lists will be available for supporters to organize issue and electoral campaigns in their communities after the election.

23)   Question 12 Are you comfortable writing campaign statements, speaking to large audiences (including the media), and participating in debates when opportunities arise? Please elaborate on any experience.
Responses (1)
Yes. My campaign statements are available on my website. I have also had articles published this year by Against the Current, Black Agenda Report, CounterPunch, New Politics, Popular Resistance, and several online publications like Countercurrents, Dissident Voice, and Nation of Change. I have spoken in major televised debates, including against the neoliberal Democratic governor of New York, Andrew Cuomo. I have appeared on many public affairs programs, from Spectrum’s Inside City Hall in New York City to Democracy Now! and Chris Hedges’ On Contact on RT.

24)   Question 13 Have you developed any plan or strategies at this point for campaign fundraising?
Responses (1)
Yes. Our campaign has a robust email fundraising program, as well as a phone banking and text banking operations. We are raising money at public appearances. Our latest FEC financial report is here: https://howiehawkins.us/hawkins-campaign-submits-latest-fec-filing-this-is-what-a-green-working-class-campaign-looks-like/. We expect to qualify for the FEC’s primary matching funds program, which will match the contributions of every individual up to $250 per contributor.

25)   Question 14 What do you see as being the role of the party in the functioning of your campaign?
Responses (1)
We should institutionalize a process for collaborating on messaging and organizing. We should collaborate on policy statements and social media messaging. We will publicize the Socialist Party nomination in our literature, statements, and public appearances. We will encourage SPUSA members and Green members to work together to secure ballot lines in their states, not just for my campaign but also for other Socialist and Green campaigns.

26)   Question 15 What resources (financial, skills, contacts, etc.) do you bring to the Socialist Party's Presidential campaign? And what resources would you request or need from the Party?  
Responses (1)
Our campaign team has developed many resources in terms of ballot access knowledge, interface with various secretaries of state and the FEC, the fundraising program, tech and data skills, media contacts and messaging, and more. We hope some SPUSA members will become part of the campaign team. We hope the SPUSA will assist with ballot petitioning, social media messaging, phone and text banking, and street canvassing.