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Jill Stein announces Cheri Honkala as her choice for VP

CBS News is reporting, in an interview with her, that Green Party presumptive presidential nominee Jill Stein has announced her choice for the party’s vice presidential candidate, to be approved at this week’s convention in Baltimore.  Cheri Honkala is the Stein campaign’s choice, a poor people’s advocate based in Philadelphia and the national coordinator of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign.

There was some speculation that actress and comedian Roseanne Barr, who is also running for the Green Party’s presidential nomination, would be the vice presidential candidate.  However, Stein has opted instead for Honkala, saying in an announcement, “Compelled by her own experience as a homeless, single mom, Honkala has spent nearly three decades working directly alongside the poor to build the movement to end poverty, and has organized tens of thousands of people to take action via marches, demonstrations and tent cities.”

Honkala herself stated, “It’s immoral that children are hungry and homeless in the richest country in the world. It’s time for the 99% to stand united to serve our collective human needs instead of selfish, corporate greed. The Green Party is the only one standing up to Wall Street, and Jill Stein’s Green New Deal is the best plan for saving this sinking ship. I’m honored to fight beside her.”

For the time being, Honkala is also coordinating ballot access efforts for the Green Party of Pennsylvania, which is in the process of working to collect over 40,000 signatures by the end of July. Honkala joined the Green Party in 2011, when she ran for Sheriff of Philadelphia on a platform of turning the Sheriff’s office from the department that evicts people to a social service working to “keep families in their homes,” as well as establishing community land trusts so that people living near vacant and abandoned properties can control them.  Honkala ran for Sheriff after labor organizer Hugh Giordano reinvigorated the Green Party of Philadelphia with his strong run for state representative in 2010.  The campaign proposal of addressing blight and vacant lots is part of a Philadelphia-wide political effort to address vacant land in the city in recent years.  Honkala is also consistently involved in efforts to prevent individual families from losing their homes to foreclosure and other work ensuring the basic survival of some of the most economically oppressed in Philadelphia.  The Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign also operates around the United States, and is part of various international poor peoples’ movements.

As mentioned earlier, Honkala has been an activist of one form or another, whether simply to ensure the survival of herself and her son in the Minnesota winter when she was homeless or organizing protests at the Republican National Convention in 2000, for decades.  Several documentaries have been made about her or her efforts, including “Poverty Outlaw,” and she was featured in the book The Myth of the Welfare Queen. Honkala has been named one of the 100 most powerful people in the region by Philadelphia magazine, as well as being named “Person of the Year” once by Philadelphia Weekly. Her son Mark Webber is an actor, director, and playwright who used his celebrity to help her campaign for Sheriff.  In that campaign, Cheri campaigned and organized in Philadelphia, as well as travelling the country to encourage progressives to leave the Democratic Party and encourage Greens to approach politics in a way that is more inclusive of and relevant to poor people.

press conference was held today to make the announcment, which has been posted on Jill Stein’s campaign website.

[Disclosure:  I was involved in Cheri Honkala’s campaign for Sheriff on many levels and this summer I have been part of the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, working on a farm they are organizing in the neighborhood where Honkala lives.  I am also a member of the Green Party of PA, was active in Hugh Giordano’s campaign, and have been collecting signatures to get the Stein campaign on the ballot there.]

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Green Party of Philadelphia endorses Richie Antipuna for City Commissioner

Press release from the Green Party of Philadelphia:

By Chris Robinson

Green Party members and friends met on May 26 to discuss their current and future elector campaigns and other actions designed to mobilize the voting public.

Cheri Honkala spoke about her campaign as the Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia, www.cherihonkala.com. She has opened her center-city campaign office. Honkala has gotten a good bit of publicity for her priority issue, ending foreclosures and evictions until the Iraq depression ends.

Honkala expressed pride in her election committee, especially campaign chair Jim Moran who is a member of Communications Workers of America. “Cheri Honkala personifies independent politics in Philadelphia,” said Moran, “and she is a beacon for like-minded folks around the country.”

The Greens met at Crossroads Coffee Shop, www.crossroadsrox.com, in Roxborough, and they were welcomed by Hugh Giordano, who ran on the Green Party ticket for PA State Representative in 2010. Giordano, an organizer for United Food and Commercial Workers, said, “Basically, I want to welcome everyone to our growing Green Party, www.gpop.org . We are now active in many different struggles for the people and for the environment. This has clearly resulted in an increased turnout at Green events.”

There will be a Green Night Out with Cheri Honkala on Saturday, June 4 at Singapore Chinese Restaurant, www.singaporevegetarian.com, and the Green Party has also endorsed the Anti-Fracking Rally and Lobby Day in Harrisburg on Tuesday, June 7.

The Greens then added to their 2011 ticket by unanimously endorsing Richie Antipuna for Philadelphia City Commissioner. Antipuna lives in Kensington, co-hosts “The Richie Antipuna Show” on cable, www.blip.tv/the-richie-antipuna-show, and expresses anger at the way working people are treated by the corporate Democrats who run Philadelphia.

“I honestly want to run for City Commissioner to show other regular people that anyone can run against the corrupt Democrats who control this city,” Antipuna told the gathering. “I remember when politicians walked around the neighborhood — even when it wasn’t election time! That’s the kind of Commissioner I plan to be.”

For more information on the Green Party of Philadelphia, please contact 215-243-7103 and gpop@gpop.com.

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Update on Cheri Honkala’s Green campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia

The Green Party of Philadelphia’s candidate for Sheriff, long-time activist Cheri Honkala, recently opened an official campaign office.  Other news from the campaign is also below, including a protest against the current Sheriff of Philadelphia resuming sheriff’s sales.

From the Daily Record, on the subject of her campaign’s office:

In celebration of the office opening, the campaign has released the first in a series of tracks contributed by artists from all over the country inspired by Cheri Honkala’s bid for Sheriff of Philadelphia and her promise of “Keeping Families In Their Homes” by halting all evictions based in foreclosure. The song entitled “My Name is Cheri Honkala” can be found at the campaign’s BandCamp page, www.cheri4sheriff.bandcamp.com, and can be downloaded for a $1 donation.

A slideshow to accompany the song featuring photographs from famous documentary photographer Harvey Finkle can be found at the campaign’s YouTube channel located at YouTube.com/Cheri4Sheriff,, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbbFJdZSQc8.

Supporters of the campaign can receive a print of one of the celebrated photog’s images that have documented Philadelphia’s activist community for decades with a $50 donation. Harvey Finkle was honored by the Bread and Roses Community Fund in 2009 and is actively documenting the Cheri Honkala for Philadelphia Sheriff Campaign.

From Philadelphia Weekly, regarding the sheriff’s sale protests:

Around 4:30 Monday afternoon, anti-poverty activist and Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala stands outside Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley’s Center City office. The veteran protester is joined by her son, Guillermo Santos, and a handful of supporters. She tells members of the press, some onlookers and passers-by that some day, she hopes we’ll all “live in a country that will make it against the law to throw families out on the streets, where people will stand up and say something.” She points at the office and tells the crowd that although 2,000 homes will be sold in sheriff’s sale the next day, “they haven’t even dealt with the corruption yet, in this office,” referring to $53 million the Sheriff’s Office hasn’t been able to account for.

Honkala has also been challenging the position of one of the several Democratic candidates running in a May 15 primary.  The candidate is generally seen as a reformer, and he would like to eliminate the office of sheriff entirely.  However,

Some critics of elimination, such as candidate Cheri Honkala say many sheriff responsibilities will be shifted to the courts if the office is eliminated, making it worse for those hardest hit by the mortgage crisis.

Finally, in a show of support from her hometown, a fundraiser is being held on April 29th in Minneapolis to benefit Honkala’s campaign:

Minneapolis – Artists Support Cheri Honkala for the “People’s Sheriff
Evictions and Sheriff’s-sale auctions of foreclosed properties are core issues for Cheri Honkala, this year’s Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia. Originally from the Twin Cities, the two years that Cheri spent in Minneapolis between 2007 and 2009 strengthened her already firm resolve to struggle for the rights of homeowners during the onset of the foreclosure crisis.

The April 29th benefit at The Blue Nile in Minneapolis is one of many being held to support the Green Party candidate for Philadelphia Sheriff across the nation. Honkala is calling for people all over the country to run for Sheriff and put an end to evictions based in foreclosure in their communities. The candidate has received an outpouring of support from artists across the U.S., including the donation and dedication of original music to the campaign from artists Sir Ben Marx (NC), Shamako Noble (CA), Mic Crenshaw (OR) and many others. The election for Philadelphia Sheriff takes place in November, 2011.

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Hugh Giordano and Labor Unions Challenge Status Quo

“We owe the Democrats and Republicans NOTHING, because they have done NOTHING for our members, for our contracts, and for the movement. How much longer are we going to support a bunch of failures?”

The Philadelphia Weekly has a post-election profile of Pennsylvania State Assembly candidate Hugh Giordano with an emphasis on the role Labor Unions played in the election:

It’s Easy Being Green (With Help of Labor Unions)

Hide your unions, Democrats, because the Green Party is coming to take them away.

Union support and third-party candidates don’t usually mix (especially in this union-backed Democratic stronghold), but a recent state representative race that you probably missed entirely suggests that that could change.

Hugh Giordano, a 26-year-old, Roxborough native and food workers’ union organizer for UFCW Local 152, ran on the Green Party ticket against Democrat Lou Agre for a seat in the 194th. He lost, but garnered 18 percent of the vote (23 percent in Philly)—an unprecedented number for a third-party candidate. He may have his district’s attention, but Giordano and the Green Party of Philadelphia want everyone to know that when it comes to the ballot, three isn’t a crowd. What’s more, they’ve got heavy union support—typically an automatic vote for Democrats—to help them.

“They want you to be stupid,” he says of the “party button,” which essentially allows citizens to vote along party lines without looking at who’s up for election. “It’s a way to control the voter. If you go in there and you think you’re a Democrat, you hit the Democrat button and don’t think about anyone else [in the two-party system]. Republicans and Democrats don’t identify themselves as voters. They identify themselves as a party. The party system is very slick.”
Continue Reading

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Greens fall short in campaigns for state legislature

Despite having a number of promising campaigns for state legislature in various states, Greens fell short of victory in every race – a few by painfully close margins. However, one former Green running for state legislature as an independent in Maine did win.

In Maine, Fred Horch of Brunswick finished with 34% in District 66, just 4 points (or 200 votes) behind the victorious Democrat. Anna Trevorrow finished 2nd with 31% in District 120, and Seth Berner finished 2nd with 28% in District 115.

In Massachusetts, Mark Miller of Pittsfield finished with 45% in a 2-way race in the 3rd Berkshire District.

In Wisconsin, Ben Manski finished with 31% behind Democrat Brett Hulsey, who had 49%. While Manski did better among voters who designated a candidate in the race, straight-ticket Democratic votes gave Hulsey the edge.

In Illinois, Jeremy Karpen finished with 35% to 65% for Democratic incumbent Toni Berrios.

In Pennsylvania, Hugh Giordano finished with 18% in a 3-way race.

In Maine, independent Ben Chipman won House District 119 with 54% of the vote. Chipman previously worked as an aide to John Eder, who became the second US Green to be elected to a state legislature in 2002. Chipman has also run on the Green Party line in previous campaigns. While not technically elected on the Green Party line, Chipman will no doubt be a voice for Green values in the Maine State House.

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14 Greens to Watch on Election Day

From Green Change:

Tonight, we will be focusing on the campaigns of 14 transformational Green candidates who are building the Green movement across the country. Some of these candidates are poised for history-making wins. Others are blazing the trail for future success by running party-building campaigns for statewide office.

14 Greens to Watch on Election Day

Jeremy Karpen for IL Assembly – Jeremy Karpen’s vigorous grassroots challenge to a Chicago Machine insider has earned him endorsements from the Chicago Sun-Times, Chicago Tribune, Chicago Teacher’s Union, Independent Voters of Illinois, and even Chicago Progressive Democrats of America. Karpen, a strong supporter of single-payer health care, affordable housing, mass transit, and progressive taxation, has run a clean-money campaign as part of his commitment to reforming Illinois’ notoriously dirty pay-to-play politics.

Ben Manski for WI Assembly – Ben Manski’s insurgent run has earned the support of Madison’s teachers union, the Madison Capital Times, and leading progressives including Jim Hightower, Medea Benjamin, and Thom Hartmann. The outgoing Democratic assembly member revoked his endorsement of Manski’s main opponent, a Democrat who left the Sierra Club to lobby for the coal industry. Manski is racing to the finish line with the support of a broad transpartisan coalition of elected officials, unions, students, newspapers, and activists committed to renewing Wisconsin’s trailblazing progressive tradition.

Gayle McLaughlin for Mayor of Richmond, CA – With a population over 100,000, Richmond became the largest US city with a Green mayor when Gayle McLaughlin was elected in 2006. Since then, McLaughlin has made Richmond a center of the emerging solar industry, fought successfully to increase taxes on the local Chevron oil refinery while lowering them for small businesses, and brought down violent crime with expanded community policing. Her supporters, including Green For All founder Van Jones, hope that her record of positive accomplishments in office will carry Mayor Gayle to victory.

Hugh Giordano for PA Assembly – Hugh Giordano is a union organizer from Philadelphia’s Roxborough neighborhood whose people-powered campaign has electrified the race for an open seat in a traditionally Democratic district. After a CEO won the Democratic primary with only 30% of the vote, Giordano’s strong support for public education, single-payer health care, and worker’s rights has gained him the backing of local unions and maverick Democrats and made him a contender for the win.

Dan Hamburg for Mendocino County (CA) Supervisor – In a county the size of Delaware on the coast of California, former member of Congress and Voice Of The Environment executive director Dan Hamburg is running for supervisor to build a vibrant, sustainable local economy and protect the beautiful natural landscape for generations to come. Hamburg finished first in the 4-way June primary, and has been endorsed by the third-place finisher as well as local unions and environmentalists in his head-to-head race against the conservative, developer-backed candidate who finished a close 2nd in the primary. Continue Reading

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Giordano going for the upset in Philadelphia

Pennsylvania Green Party candidate for 194th District State Representative Hugh Giordano, a union organizer from the Roxborough district of Philadelphia, has organized one of this year’s strongest Green state legislative campaigns and could score a Rocky Balboa-caliber upset against the city’s Democratic machine. Watch Giordano make his pitch for voter support to the Roxborough Review. Giordano’s final get-out-the-vote push is planned for this weekend, according to his facebook page. WHYY reports on the matchup between Democrat Pam DeLissio and Giordano:

DeLissio, the former CEO of Kearsley Retirement Community, has more than 30 years of business experience. She has some tough competition from 26-year-old Green Party candidate Hugh Giordano. The Roxborough native and union organizer said he plans to shake the system up by tackling public education, jobs, environmental policies and political corruption.

“Unfortunately, it’s broken up in Harrisburg,” said Giordano. “It’s full of big corporate money and I will not stand by and let lobbyists control politicians. They’re there to do a job and if they don’t do their job, then they should be thrown out. Continue Reading

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News from Hugh Giordano, PA Green for State Rep – 10/20

From the campaign of Pennsylvania Green Party candidate for 194th District State Representative Hugh Giordano:

WHERE WE’VE BEEN

Hitting the Streets. Over the last couple of weeks, Hugh Giordano and volunteers, including Mike Nance, Zach Pelchat, Kevin Nance, Donna Holsten and lots of supporters from unions, have been on the streets and at local train stations handing out campaign literature. People are still requesting lawn signs and volunteering to help at the polls on Election Day, November 2. “When I knock on people’s doors,” Giordano says, “they tell me how amazed they are because no other candidates have stopped by their homes to introduce themselves. I tell everyone that I will be back at their homes after I am elected, too. I want to keep the constituents involved, and I want to hear what people need in their neighborhood.”

Fundraiser for Wounded Veterans. On Oct. 16th, Giordano hosted a fantastic event at the Hattal-Taylor VFW Post and raised $1,000 to aid wounded veterans. “These men and women have courageously served our country, yet when they are injured, they have to beg for help. Veterans’ needs have been placed on the back burner for too long, and I will not allow this to happen when I become your elected Representative,” stated Giordano.

WHERE WE’RE GOING Continue Reading

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Green Change: 7 Green Campaigns to Watch

From GreenChange.org:

Here are seven growing Green campaigns to watch this week. Our Green candidates are the true leaders of the Green movement.  They are working hard for all of us, and need your help.  Please support them by donating and volunteering today. There are only 38 days until Election Day.

7 GROWING GREEN CAMPAIGNS

GAYLE MCLAUGHLIN FOR MAYOR (CA)

Gayle McLaughlin is up for reelection in Richmond, California, America’s largest city with a Green mayor. Her Green approach to development has drawn challenges from two conservative, developer-backed Democrats. McLaughlin’s first-term accomplishments include increasing tax revenue from the city’s Chevron oil refinery while lowering small business fees, hiring more community police officers, and making Richmond a center of the emerging solar industry. McLaughlin’s supporters include local unions, the trans-partisan Richmond Progressive Alliance, and Green For All founder Van Jones, who has said, “For those of us who are champions for a green economy, there is no more important race in the country.” Learn more about Gayle McLaughlin’s campaign for reelection and how you can help.

BEN MANSKI FOR ASSEMBLY (WI)

When Ben Manski declared his candidacy for the Wisconsin Assembly, the Madison Capital Times wrote that the “veteran Green Party activist and nationally recognized advocate for democratic reform, [has] entered the competition in the west side district where he cut his political teeth.” Since then, the former national Green Party co-chair’s campaign has taken off. Manski has won the endorsement of the teachers union, student groups, and 21 local elected officials. Leading Democrats are supporting Manski, in part because his opponent works for the coal and ethanol lobbies. A member of the Dane County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee said, “If Ben were 50% better than Hulsey, then I would support Hulsey because he is the Democratic nominee… but Ben is more than 50% better than Hulsey.” Manski has raised and spent nearly $20,000, and needs another $25,000 to pay for printing, mailing and radio, tv, and print advertising by October 15th. Learn more about Ben Manski’s insurgent campaign and how you can help.

DAN HAMBURG FOR MENDOCINO COUNTY SUPERVISOR (CA)

Dan Hamburg is running for Supervisor in the 5th District of Mendocino County, California. He was the first former Member of Congress to become a Green. Hamburg is Executive Director of Voice Of The Environment, and a committed advocate for sustainable, community-based economics. He finished first in the four-way blanket primary in June, and is now in a head-to-head race with a conservative, developer-backed Democrat, Wendy Roberts, who finished second. Hamburg has earned endorsements from SEIU Local 1021, the North Bay Labor Council AFL-CIO, and Jim Mastin, who finished third in the primary, as well as many others. Learn more about Dan Hamburg’s campaign and how you can help.

HOWIE HAWKINS FOR GOVERNOR (NY)

Howie Hawkins is a union Teamster who has spent decades organizing for peace, the environment, and social justice. Hawkins is the only candidate in the NY governor’s race to support single-payer health care, banning hydrofracking, and taxing Wall Street to invest in Main Street. He has been traveling New York State to build support for his “Green New Deal” proposal to stimulate the economy with green public works jobs. If Hawkins receives 50,000 votes, the New York Green Party will gain a ballot line for the next 4 years, enabling them to run candidates for peace, justice, democracy and ecology at every level of government. Learn more about Howie Hawkins’ campaign and how you can help.

JEREMY KARPEN FOR STATE ASSEMBLY (IL)

Jeremy Karpen is running for Illinois State Assembly in the 39th District, which covers Chicago’s Logan Square neighborhood. Karpen won 21% of the vote in 2008 against incumbent Toni Berrios, the daughter of gambling lobbyist and Chicago Democratic machine insider Joseph Berrios. This year, Karpen’s grassroots campaign and commitment to clean, progressive politics have earned him endorsements from Independent Voters of Illinois, Chicago Progressive Democrats of America, and the Chicago Tribune. Karpen needs money to get his message to voters and pull off an upset. Learn more about Jeremy Karpen’s campaign and how you can help.

ANNIE YOUNG FOR STATE AUDITOR (MN)

Annie Young is running for Minnesota State Auditor. She is one of the longest-serving elected Greens in the US, currently in her sixth term on the Minneapolis Park and Recreation Board. She is an advocate for using life-cycle cost accounting to make sustainability a key goal of the auditor’s office, which oversees more than $20 billion spent annually by local governments in Minnesota. Among Young’s supporters is renowned environmental and economic justice activist Winona LaDuke. If she earns 5% of the vote, the Minnesota Green Party will regain “major party” status. That means Minnesota Green candidates won’t need to collect petitions signatures to appear on the ballot.  “Major party” status will also help Green candidates meet political debate requirements. Learn more about Annie Young’s campaign and how you can help.

HUGH GIORDANO FOR STATE HOUSE (PA)

Hugh Giordano is running for Pennsylvania House of Representatives in the 194th District, which covers northwest Philadelphia and parts of Montgomery County. A union organizer who advocates for education, jobs, ethics reform and single-payer health care, Giordano is drawing strong support from organized labor and progressives unimpressed with Democrat Pam DeLissio, a CEO and management consultant. He has been endorsed by United Food and Commercial Workers Local 152 as well as Bill Morris, a Democratic union supporter who lost in the May primary. Watch the compelling video endorsement from “Mothers for Hugh.” Learn more about Hugh Giordano’s campaign and how you can help.