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Syracuse's Howie Hawkins launches campaign for governor

SYRACUSE, NY (WRVO) - Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins has announced his intention to campaign for New York’s governor race.

Hawkins and his running mate Gloria Mattera said their first order of business is to get the Green Party on the ballot.

The party lost ballot access in 2020 due to new requirements. Hawkins said he wants that law overturned, and he doesn’t plan to stop there.

"We're calling for ranked choice voting for executive offices and proportional representation in the state legislature,” said Hawkins. “The existing system excludes political minorities."

A major part of his platform will be what Hawkins is calling the Ecosocialist Green New Deal. He wants to see a stronger state climate action program that would lead to 100 percent clean energy and zero emissions within 10 years, and an “economic bill of rights” including in part a $20 minimum wage and tuition free public education from pre-K to college.

Hawkins also said he wants to focus on reducing crime through reducing poverty, which he calls a huge issue in upstate New York.

"I live in Syracuse,” said Hawkins. “The census data shows that we are number one in child poverty and family poverty. Rochester's number two. Buffalo's number six among the nation's cities of over 100,000."

Hawkins’ running mate Gloria Mattera, a public hospital worker in New York city, spoke about the ticket’s focus on health care.

"That will be another signature of our campaign, which is pushing for the New York Health Act as a way to move toward health justice, providing affordable, equitable, and high quality health care services to everyone in New York state," said Mattera.

Hawkins said over the next five weeks, members of the Green Party will be working hard to get the 45,000 signatures they’ll need to get on the ballot this November.