Howie Hawkins, 2017 Green Party nominee for Mayor of Syracuse, NY, presents his proposals for creating a broader, fairer, and sustainable tax base for Syracuse.
With a recurring structural deficit of $15-20 million and a fund balance projected to be about $20 million at the end of the current budget year, Syracuse is on the brink of insolvency. That could bring a state-appointed financial control board that could impose austerity budgets, or even push for dissolution of the city into a countywide metropolitan government on terms unfavorable to city residents along the lines proposed by the Consensus Commission.
“I want to be the next mayor of Syracuse, not its last mayor,” Hawkins said referring to the city’s fiscal crisis.
“The first priority of the next mayor must be to secure additional revenue for the city. If that is not done, all the other ideas and proposals we hear from the mayoral candidates are moot,” Hawkins added.
Hawkins received 48% of the vote in his 2011 run for 4th district councilor and 35% citywide for city auditor in 2015. He is one of the “Final Four” candidates for mayor of Syracuse in the Nov. 7 general election.
Hawkins was the Green Party candidate for Governor of New York in 2010 and 2014. In both races, he secured the Green Party a ballot line for the next four years by receiving over 50,000 votes. In the 2014 campaign, he received 184,419 votes for 5% of the vote, enough for the Green Party leap over the Independence and Working Families parties to take the fourth line on New York ballots. Even though Governor Andrew Cuomo as a candidate opposed or would not take a position on many policies Hawkins championed, Cuomo has since adopted several of them, including the millionaire's tax, the ban on fracking, the $15 minimum wage, and tuition-free public universities.