ALBANY — Green Party candidate for governor Howie Hawkins on Wednesday offered one of the freshest — and probably most comprehensive — proposal in the race.
The liberal candidate who registered a surprising 9 percent in Wednesday’s Quinnipiac University poll said New York is the most segregated state in the nation according to housing and school statistics. The way he would address that issue which isn’t part of this year’s election debates would encompass much of his platform:
“We need to have a new public housing program that is different from the old ones,” he said an Albany news conference. “Instead of the old high rise, concentrated projects that tend to put minorities in poor communities and increase segregation, we should have ... smaller scaled scatter sites [with] mixed income so middle class people see this as a good option.”
He said that would take down the walls of segregation today, which he said isn’t based on racial bias, but by class.
But his proposal wouldn’t stop there.
“We can also make it a clean energy program by having them have solar rooftops, green roofs, micro-wind and building materials that sequester carbon,” said Hawkins, who works for a trucking firm in Syracuse. “So it would be a jobs program, and affordable housing program and energy program as well as a desegregation program.”
He said white families “would be happy to have Barack Obama on one side and Eric Holder on the other, but they don’t want the problems from the ghettos and barrios coming in.
“So I think what it takes is political leadership to reassure people that bringing us together would be a positive for all of us,” he said.