A Vote for Howie Hawkins and Alexander Meadows

The Teachout Democratic Party fallout continues. Progressive Democrats bail out of the Quinn/Duane political machine and endorse principles over politics. Hawkins and Meadows pick up support in their battles against Cuomo and Glick.

I am just back from a rally for Alexander Meadows where Green Party candidate for Governor, Howie Hawkins, endorsed Meadows in his run against 24 years-in- office Deborah Glick for NY State Assembly. Democratic District Leader Arthur Schwartz spoke, and endorsed the progressive candidates Howie Hawkins for Governor and Alex Meadows for NY State Assembly.

Explaining why he was endorsing non-Democrats for the first time ever, Schwartz spoke of his respect for Meadows’ work on Community Board 2 and in VID. He was joined by Allen Roskoff, President of the Jim Owles Democratic Club, who brought his club’s endorsement to both Hawkins and, most importantly, to Meadows. I also spoke of how the Village Independent Democrats (VID), where I am a member of the Executive Committee, after a fierce floor fight chose to be the first Democratic club in New York City to buck the party machine and endorse Hawkins. (The VID, Glick’s home club, despite heated opposition, endorsed

Glick.) Downtown Democratic Club (DID) followed VID’s lead and endorsed Hawkins. Hawkins gave a powerful impassioned speech which outlined his peoples’ platform that puts citizens’ concerns above the concerns of the 1%-ers and Wall Street. And to my ears he addressed local issues in a way none of our elected officials are bold enough to articulate, including a critique of how tax cuts for the rich, and for corporations, have slashed funds for education and health care, producing a mandate to close hospitals across the state, as was done with St Vincent’s, and have opened the way for a charter school movement which takes money away from public education.

In my speech I endorsed both Hawkins and Meadows and pointed out that Glick who started out as a progressive radical and out-lesbian has morphed into a back- room power broker and left her constituents’ interests outside the backroom. She was silent on the closure of St Vincent’s Hospital, and silent on the Spector pipe- line coming into the West Village and carrying toxic radon into every home. And like some old-line politico she took credit for the lawsuit that held back the NYU-ing of the Village when in fact it was students and faculty that brought the law- suit that she supported. Her most recent turn-her-back on constituents is her bill allowing the Hudson River Trust to both auction off and transfer the Hudson River Trust air rights to developers without any community input. Cuomo immediately signed it into law allowing fundamental changes to the entire west side shoreline. Now Glick champions herself as an anti- fracking warrior because she authored the Assembly- and Senate-passed moratorium on Cuomo allowing fracking in NY and giving him a pass on fracking during theelection. Glick was the last to the table of all local politicos on fracking. Her record shows she did not attend any of the public rallies and/or demonstrations organized by Occupy the Pipeline and SANE. Only after thousands marched on Albany did she wake up and realize her silence made her constituents angry with her and made her vulnerable in the upcoming election.

In an act of incumbent arrogance, Glick has refused to debate Meadows and answer for her actual record instead of just hiding behind empty faux progressive rhetoric. Her reason, she says, knowing full well the duplicity of her statement, is that she would not debate anyone who has not filed his campaign finance report as required under election law. The facts are, and she should know this if I do, Meadows, who is a first time candidate, did file and made a technical error and it was sent back to him to correct. Glick refuses to debate and answer for her actual record. What is she afraid of? Good-bye Deborah, and Welcome Alexander Meadows, a Democrat emboldened by the Teachout example to go outside the political machine and run independently for the sake of this election on his self-named Progressive Party line. Meadows clearly expressed a commitment to communicate and listen to the constituents of District 66. I am not fooled by the posing of the Working Families Party, or the Christine Quinn-led sham Women’s Equality Party – both are still votes for Cuomo. When asked at the endorsement rally why a vote for him was not a vote for the republican, Hawkins answered “Which Republican? The rich Republicans are supporting Cuomo and the others Astronio. I am the only real progressive candidate in this race.”

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