Jill Stein: A candidate goes to jail

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein has written an editorial in the Philadelphia Inquirer about her experience of being arrested and sent to jail with running mate Cheri Honkala following a protest against unjust foreclosures. From the article:

When I decided to run for president of the United States, spending the night in a Philadelphia jail cell was not part of my strategy. But I and my running mate on the Green Party ticket, Cheri Honkala, found ourselves in handcuffs this month after we refused to leave the Philadelphia building housing the regional headquarters of the mortgage giant Fannie Mae.

We were there to support two women whose families faced unjust evictions by Fannie Mae, as well as the eight million other families who have faced foreclosure at the hands of Wall Street.

Read the full article at the Philadelphia Inquirer.

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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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Cheri Honkala, Green for Philadelphia Sheriff, interviewed on PressTV

Philadelphia Green Party Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala was recently interviewed on PressTV. Here is an excerpt of the interview, which is available on PressTV as both video and text:

Philadelphia, where I live, was just named the poorest city in the country. And we have children that go to bed every day in our country that are hungry. We have over 3 million homeless people. And like I said earlier, every 7 seconds a family is losing their home now in this country.

There is no reason for that; we have the ability to provide people with the healthcare. We have the ability to provide everybody with all the necessities of life. We just have a serious problem, we have one political party in this country and that represents corporate America. We don’t have a political system that represents the people, and that is the only reason that I have decided to run for Sheriff.

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Campaign news and more endorsements for Green Party candidates running in the Nov. 8, 2011 general election

From the Green Party of the United States:

WASHINGTON, DC — Green Party candidates have continued to receive endorsements in local races across the US.

59 Greens will be on ballots in the November 8, 2011 general election. Ten Greens have been elected to public office in elections held earlier this year, out of 34 candidates who competed.

Green candidates in St. Paul, Minnesota, received several endorsements. For the first time, St. Paul will use Ranked Choice Voting (also called Instant Runofff Voting) in City Council elections, which will increase the chances of a Green election victory.

TakeAction Minnesota, a progressive grassroots coalition, has endorsed Jim Ivey for Ward 2 (http://iveyforsaintpaul.org) and Bee Kevin Xiong (http://xiongforsaintpaul.org) for Ward 6 in City Council races.
http://www.takeactionminnesota.org/_assets/document/St._Paul_City_Council_Endorsements.pdf
http://iveyforsaintpaul.org/news/jim-ivey-endorsed-takeaction-mn

United Food and Commercial Workers Local 1189 has also endorsed Mr. Ivey and Mr. Xiong.
http://www.ufcw789.org/newsletter/vol2issue5.pdf
http://iveyforsaintpaul.org/news/united-food-and-commercial-workers-endorse-jim Read the rest of this entry »

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Profile of Brian Rudnick, Green for Philadelphia City Council

Newsworks recently published an article about Brian Rudnick, a Green Party member who is running for Philadelphia City Council in the 8th District:

It’s 4:30 p.m., and Brian Rudnick’s campaign office swarms with staffers. About 15 field workers, many area college students, criss-cross the cozy, second-floor space on the 7100 block of Germantown Avenue in Mt. Airy, chatting and grabbing a quick bite before hitting the street to canvass.

With weeks to go until Philadelphia’s general election,  the independent candidate for City Council has assembled a small army to help spread the word that the Eighth District ballot box will feature two hopefuls, a choice, in 2011.

Read the full article at Newsworks.

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Cheri Honkala, Green for Philadelphia Sheriff, interviewed by YES, endorsed by NOW

Yes Magazine has published an interview with Cheri Honkala, the Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia:

There’s a new sheriff in town—or there could be soon. Cheri Honkala, a single mom, sometimes homeless, who launched one of the country’s biggest multi-racial movements led by the poor and homeless, is running for sheriff of Philadelphia.

Her platform? No evictions. No throwing people out on the street because of a financial crisis that they didn’t create. Her slogan: “Keeping families in their homes and protecting the ‘hood.”

Read the interview with Cheri Honkala at Yes Magazine.

In other news, Honkala has received the endorsement of the National Organization for Women.

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Cities with multiple Green candidates in 2011 elections

In 2009, Green candidates won 35% of municipal elections that they entered. Given this figure, it’s not hard to see that with more Greens running in more local elections around the country, the Green Party could become America’s third major party in the course of a few election cycles. Here’s a shout-out to cities where Greens are leading the way by running more than one candidate in 2011 elections, roughly arranged by population. Will your town be next?

Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

Cheri Honkala, Philadelphia Sheriff

Brian Rudnick, Philadelphia City Council District 8

Baltimore, Maryland

Bill Barry, Baltimore City Council District 3

Douglas Armstrong, Baltimore City Council District 14

Tucson, Arizona

Mary DeCamp, Tucson Mayor Read the rest of this entry »

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Phily Greens Oppose Stop & Frisk

From the Weekly Press (Philadelphia) comes this piece from Chris Robinson, a Green Party organizer in Philadelphia:

Greens Oppose Philly’s Stop-and-Frisk
Weekly Press
• Wed, Aug 10, 2011

By Chris Robinson

“My father said if you are ever stopped by the police, you say, “Yes, Sir – No Sir.” Tell the officer what’s in your wallet. Don’t, don’t make no sudden moves and don’t run. Just get through whatever the situation is,’ Nutter said. ‘Those lessons stuck with me.’” [See, Philadelphia Daily News, June 22, 2011, page 3.]

During 2005, Philadelphia’s police made 102,319 pedestrian stops. When Michael Nutter became Mayor of Philadelphia in 2008, he ordered an increase in pedestrian stops under a policy commonly called “Stop-and-Frisk.” By 2009, pedestrian stops by police had increased 148 percent to 253,333. Of that total, 72 percent of the victims were African Americans, but only 8 percent of those pedestrian stops resulted in an arrest.

I, for one, would like to know what we should call the other 92 percent of those pedestrian stops. Were those 233,066 citizens “harassed by the police?” Were they “intimidated by the police?” Or should we say, “Their rights under the U.S. Constitution were violated?”

The Green Party has a history of opposition to stop-and-frisk. Under the heading “Racial Discrimination,” the Green Party national platform says, “We condemn the practice of racial profiling by law enforcement agencies, which are guilty of stopping motorists, harassing individuals, or using unwarranted violence against suspects with no other justification than race or ethnic background.”

At a Philadelphia City Council hearing on December 14, 2010, Green Party leader Hugh Giordano, who had run for PA House of Representatives, made it clear that stop-and-frisk targets, urban, minority and young citizens. “This law is a form of Jim Crow law,” said Giordano, referring to discriminatory laws used to maintain segregation of the races. “It attacks a certain group of people, and the numbers and testimony shows it.” Giordano also criticized Philadelphia’s City Council for allowing stop-and-frisk to continue unabated.
Read the rest of this entry »

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Philadelphia Green seeks help to get on City Council ballot

Kaitlyn Foti reports at Chestnut Hill Patch:

Chestnut Hill resident Brian Rudnick is hitting the street, trying in a short amount of time to get the signatures he needs to get on the ballot this November.

Rudnick decided late in July that he wanted to switch from a write-in campaign as the Green Party candidate for the 8th District City Council seat.

The Green Party candidate, and Chestnut Hill resident, has only a few days to gather 750 signatures.

…“There is a strong and determined minority that thinks the city should have a two-party system at least. Because the Republicans are so weak, we hardly have a two-party system. That second party could be the green party,” Rudnick said.

…As for the chances for the Green Party, he said, “They are a political force, and their values are peace, social justice, grassroots democracy and non-violence, and what I seek to exemplify in my life and as a council person.”

Read more at Chestnut Hill Patch or at Rudnick for Philadelphia City Council.

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Green Party’s 2011 Annual National Meeting will feature Green candidates from New York and other states, as well as anti-hydrofracking leaders and other Green activists

A press release from the Green Party of the United States, including a list of 2011 candidates who will be at the event:

The meeting will take place August 5-7 at Green Fest in Alfred, western New York; Greens will begin planning for the 2012 elections, including the presidential race; Elizabeth May, Canadian Green member of Parliament, and economist David C. Korten to speak via Skype

Theme of the meeting: “Building a Green Economy — No War. No Coal. No Gas. No Nukes.”

Media credentialing page: http://www.gp.org/forms/media (also linked here: http://www.gp.org/committees/media/kit.shtml)

WASHINGTON, DC — The Green Party of the United States will feature an array of candidates and guest speakers at its 2011 Annual National Meeting at Alfred University in Alfred in western New York, from Friday, August 5 to Sunday, August 7.

The meeting will take place at the fourth biennial New York Green Fest, “a gathering of folks interested in exploring the politics and practices that will help enable us to live in a sustainable world, and sharing a weekend of good discussions, good food, and good music” (http://nygreenfest.org).

Among the speakers will be leaders in the campaign to ban hydrofracking (hydraulic fracturing), an environmentally destructive and dangerous technique for accessing gas in the Marcellus Shale beneath Pennsylvania, New York, and other states (see http://nygreenfest.blogspot.com/2011/07/hydrofracking-activists-join-green.html and http://gp.org/greenpages-blog/?p=2440). David Cobb, 2004 Green nominee for President, will speak on the need to abolish corporate ‘personhood’ and restrict the political power of corporations (see http://www.movetoamend.org).

Elizabeth May, Canada’s first elected Green Party member of Parliament, will speak to Greens at the meeting by Skype. David C. Korten, economist, co-founder and board chair of YES! Magazine, and author of ‘When Corporations Rule the World’ and other books (http://livingeconomiesforum.org/author-bio), will also address the meeting by Skype.

“There are many people throughout the US, including Green elected officials and community activists, who are thinking, talking, planning, and working for a sustainable energy economy despite lack of broader government engagement,” said Peter LaVenia, co-chair of the Green Party of New York State (http://www.web.gpnys.com). “Many of them will be coming to the meeting in Alfred or will speak to meeting participants via Skype. Alfred is the perfect place for Green Fest (http://www.alfred.edu/campus/going-green.cfm).”

Several Green candidates from New York and other states will attend the meeting, speak at press conferences, and be available for interview. At least one candidate for the Green presidential nomination, Kent Mesplay, will be present. A preliminary list of candidates who plan to attend the meeting is appended below.

David Doonan, Green Party member and mayor of Greenwich, New York, will also be at the meeting.

For a list of presenters and other speakers at the meeting, with short bios, visit: http://nygreenfest.org/presenterbios11.html

For a draft schedule of panels and forums, see http://nygreenfest.org/detailedschedule.html

Green Party leaders at the meeting will begin organizing for the 2012 election season, including the presidential race. The party will nominate a candidate for the White House at its 2012 national convention. The 2011 meeting in Alfred will also feature Green Party panels, workshops, meetings of the Green National Committee, and other events.

The meeting is open to the media and public. Press conferences will feature Green candidates for public office from across the US, with a special press conference on Friday, August 6, for women candidates hosted by the party’s Women Caucus (http://www.gp.org/caucuses/women/index.php). Journalists are encouraged to register ahead of time, at the Green Party’s media credentialing page (http://www.gp.org/forms/media). Registration for media will also take place on site during the meeting.

Alfred is about 80 miles from Rochester and 90 miles from Buffalo. For directions to Alfred University and Green Fest, see: http://nygreenfest.org/directions.html

GREEN CANDIDATES at the Green Party’s 2011 Annual National Meeting

Mike Bernhard, for Town Board member in Afton, New York.

Audrey Clement, for Arlington County Board, Virginia, in the 2011 general election (http://www.AudreyClement.org). Ms. Clement is a member of the Green Party’s national steering committee.

Joe Duffy, for Alderman in Hornell, New York. Mr. Duffy is chair of the Steuben County Green Party.

Howie Hawkins for Common Councillor of Syracuse, New York. The Green Party of New York State regained ballot status in 2010 as a result of Mr. Hawkin’s Green campaign for Governor.

Cheri Honkala, for Sheriff of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania (http://www.cherihonkala.com) in the 2011 general election. Ms. Honkala founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the national Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign. She was included in Philadelphia Magazine’s list of 100 Most Powerful Philadelphians and was named Philadelphia Weekly’s “Woman of the Year” in 1997.

Cecile Lawrence, candidate for the Tioga County Legislature (District 3), New York, , in the 2011 general election. Ms. Lawrence, who will conduct a workshop at the meeting, was the Green Party’s candidate for US Senate from New York in 2010. A member of Tioga Peace and Justice, she testified at hearings towards the passage of the New York State Managed Care Bill of Rights.

Kent Mesplay, candidate for the Green Party’s nomination for President (http://www.mesplay.org). Dr. Mesplay also sought the nomination in 2008.

Anita Rios, candidate for City Council in Toledo (District 4), Ohio, in the 2011 general election. Ms. Rios ran for Lieutenant Governor of Ohio in 2006 and 2010 and is former of the Green Party’s national steering committee.

Jay Sweeney, for Supervisor in Falls Township, Pennsylvania, in the 2011 general election (http://www.jaysweeney.org). Mr. Sweeney currently serves as Auditor in Falls Township.

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In endorsement letter, 2004 Green presidential candidate David Cobb calls Honkala for Sheriff campaign ‘the “signature” national electoral campaign for progressives of all stripes’

The letter of endorsement, as posted on the campaign website of Cheri Honkala for Sheriff of Philadelphia:

Dear Fellow Green Party members,

Remember the excitement of the Nader/LaDuke 2000 campaign?  How about the enthusiasm generated when Matt Gonzalez ran for Mayor of San Francisco as a Green and damned near won?

I am writing to you because I think we have the opportunity to recapture that sense of momentum and optimism for our party by supporting Cheri Honkalah for Sheriff of Philadelphia.

Cheri is a long-distance runner for social justice.  I have personally known of her work as an activist for years, and was pleased to learn she was turning her activism toward electoral politics.  When I learned she was running as a Green, I was thrilled!

Cheri is a formerly homeless mother who worked her way out of poverty. She went on to form the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, and has become a national leader in the fight for economic fairness in this country.  She has been profiled in The Nation, Mother Jones named her a “Hell Raiser of the Month and Ms. Magazine awarded her “Woman of the Year” in 2001.

And it’s not just her credentials as an activist that has me so jazzed—it’s her keen sense of strategy, her commitment to movement building, and the multi-racial coalition of organized labor leaders, peace and justice activists, young people, and Greens she is bringing together.

And get this—in Philadelphia the main job of the Sheriff is to serve evictions and foreclosures.  Cheri’s campaign message?

NO EVICTIONS!

NO FORECLOSURES!

EVERYBODY STAYS IN THEIR HOMES!

Sisters and Brothers, this is genius!  Cheri’s campaign provides a perfect opportunity to fight back against the so-called “austerity programs” that the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties are trying to shove down the throats of Americans across the country, and to show that the Green Party offers a true alternative.

Even deeper, I think Cheri’s campaign can become the “signature” national electoral campaign for progressives of all stripes in 2011.  No other candidate of her caliber is likely to be running in a local race, her principal opponent is a typical corporatist hack, and her campaign captures the zeitgeist of the moment—which is to fight back against Wall Street and Big Banks and the elected officials of both establishment parties who are doing their bidding.

And the enthusiasm is already building!  At this years “Progressive Dialogue” hosted by the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN), there was universal agreement that Cheri’s campaign had the potential to unite Greens, independents, and progressive Democrats.

Who thought this? Greens, independents, and progressive Democrats, that’s who!

So I ask that you join me in supporting Cheri’s campaign.

Make a donation at www.cherihonkala.com or mail it to Friends of Cheri Honkala c/o Hillary Kane, 5031 Catharine St. Philadelphia, PA 19143

And don’t stop there! Blog about her campaign.  Friend her on Facebook. Write Letters to the Editor to The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive and every liberal print publication you know.

Call in to progressive talk radio to describe her strategy, and challenge elected officials in your area to follow her example.

If you are able, travel to Philadelphia and volunteer.  They can find host housing for you, and I can personally attest to the hospitality and generosity that Cheri—and her entire campaign team—will offer to you.

Regardless of how you do it, please add your voice to the growing chorus that is already supporting Cheri. Let’s become so loud and enthusiastic that others hear and join us, and too positive and boisterous to be ignored!

Consider this– even though the corporate media has ignored us, the Green Party continues to grow.

Cheri’s campaign provides Greens a tremendous opportunity to continue that success.  Cheri demonstrates to ordinary Americans that Greens are serious, we are credible, and that we can make a difference.

The time is ripe.  Cheri is the right candidate at the right time with the right strategy.

Lastly–as Greens, we need to support Cheri so that other candidates of her caliber realize that if they join and support the Green Party, the Green Party will support them.

In solidarity,
David Cobb
2004 Green Party Presidential Nominee and proud initiator of the Ohio Recount that helped to spawn a new election integrity movement

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Green candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia, Cheri Honkala, part of successful coalition against anti-homeless bill

From Philadelphia Weekly:

Several area groups, including Project H.O.M.E. and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign [which Honkala helped to found and organizes - RL] came to Dilworth Plaza today to protest Bill 110386. The bill, introduced by outgoing Councilman Frank DiCicco, would amend Philadelphia code pertaining to sidewalk behavior, allowing police to “cite or remove persons who are homeless without the currently mandated system of warnings and engagement with an Outreach Team.”

Speakers including Sister Mary Scullion of Project H.O.M.E., Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell and Green Party Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala, spoke mic-less to a crowd of about 80. Many in the audience were homeless…

When asked why he was holding the bill, [Councilwoman] Blackwell said she believes he thinks it would fail and he was worried about the protests. “He knows we’re here,” she said.

honkalasnc

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Honkala for Sheriff campaign in Philadelphia expects thousands of small donors, legal challenges, and more

From the Philadelphia Public Record (H/T to Chris Robinson):

Neither Democrat State Rep. Jewell Williams (D-N. Phila.) nor Republican Joshua West may be aware, and most voters won’t know until the week before Nov. 3, Cheri Honkala, the feisty, nationally renowned crusader for the homeless, will be also seeking the office for Sheriff, on the Green Party ticket…

If she is elected, she believes it won’t be long after she will find herself escorted to prison by State Troopers wearing the badge of the County Sheriff. She states that is because she refuses to evict families from their homes due to foreclosure.

“It is understandable,” she says. “The laws, that proscribe what the Sheriff must do, go contrary to what is morally right for the poor, who are being thrown out of their homes, mostly with no fault of their own and without representation…”

“I expect to see thousands of small contributions from like-minded people throughout the country. We have seen scheduled for us, as of now, 56 house parties across the country. President Obama gathered in millions that way, and though I don’t have national press all the time, I have had enough that I now serve as a symbol for the thousands who find themselves in financial straits,” said Honkala.

She knows the pain, since her “own baby sister, a homeowner of 20 years and a full-time SEIU worker, lost her home. Her husband had been laid off for six months. They applied for all the relief programs, but the bank refused to modify the loan, doubling the mortgage, since she was forced to refinance.”

Honkala has been arrested over 200 times, all for civil disobedience, plus resisting arrest, assaulting police officers. “I was found guilty of obstructing the view of the Liberty Bell, by bringing in a half dozen homeless families and placing them between the bell and the public. I had to report daily for six months to a federal probation officer and I have a stay-away order from Independence Park.”

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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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