A Green Party candidate for Governor came to Rochester Thursday to discuss his candidacy in front of East High School. Howie Hawkins chose that location because among his issues is the state of the educational system in New York.
The Rochester School District is under orders from the state to make major changes at East High because of poor performance. Hawkins, who lives in the Syracuse area, says the state is not doing enough to help districts like Rochester. He criticized the emphasis on high stakes testing and he says schools are underfunded.
"What we want to do is establish people's human rights to economic security and prosperity. We want to bring the fulfillment, the economic rights that were called for by the 1963 march for jobs and freedom, “ is how Hawkins describes his basic platform.
Hawkins is proposing what he calls a "Green New Deal" for the state, which includes proposals for tax reform and clean energy.
Hawkins ran for Governor in 2010, and although he didn't win, he did accomplish a goal of getting the Green Party an official ballot line for the next four years. Political parties need their candidate for Governor to win at least 50,000 votes to be recognized.