Howie Hawkins has been an organizer in movements for civil rights, peace, labor, the environment, and independent progressive politics since 1967 when he got active in "The Movement" as a teenager in the San Francisco Bay Area. Repelled by the racism and warmongering he saw in both major parties, he asked, “Where is my party?”
Howie was the Green Party candidate for Governor of New York in 2010, 2014, and 2018, each time receiving enough votes to qualify the Green Party for a ballot line for the next four years. In 2020, the Green Party nominated him to run for President.
Howie was the first US candidate to call for a Green New Deal in his 2010 campaign for Governor, which has been a central theme in all of his subsequent campaigns.
In 2014, he received 5% of the vote, the most for an independent progressive party candidate for Governor in New York history going back the labor-based Workingmen’s Party in 1830 and the anti-slavery Liberty Party in 1940 except for two Socialist Party candidates who received in 5.7% in 1918 and 5.6% in 1920.
While he has run for higher offices, Howie has long advocated that the Green Party build its political base from the bottom up with a focus on local elections, which the Green Party has pursued with Greens having won 1,341 local elections over the years, with 133 currently holding office, including four in New York.
Following his own advice, Howie has run for city council, mayor, and auditor in Syracuse. His vote grew from 3% for at-large councilor in 1993 to 48% for a district council seat in 2011. In 2015, he received 35% of the citywide vote for city auditor.
Howie is a socialist who believes self-organization, independent political action, and international solidarity by the working class and oppressed people for full political and economic democracy is the way to build a society of freedom, equality, solidarity, peace, and ecological sustainability.
Outside of electoral politics, Howie has been a constant organizer in peace, justice, union, and environmental campaigns.
When his draft number was called in 1972, Howie enlisted in the Marine Corps while continuing to organize against the Vietnam War. He remains a member of Vietnam Veterans Against the War as well as a member of American Legion Dunbar Post 1642 in Syracuse.
After attending Dartmouth College, Howie worked in construction in New England in the 1970s and 1980s. He helped organize a worker cooperative that specialized in energy efficiency and solar and wind installations.
When the Socialist Party of Eugene Debs, A. Philip Randolph, Helen Keller, and Norman Thomas re-established itself as an independent party in 1973, Howie joined and remains a member. He is also a member of Solidarity, which promotes "socialism from below" and international solidarity because the fight for freedom against all dictators and imperialisms is worldwide and indivisible.
Howie was a co-founder of the anti-nuclear Clamshell Alliance in 1976 and the Green Party in the US in 1984. In the 1970s and 1980s, he was a leader in the anti-apartheid divestment movement to end US corporate investment in the racist system of oppression and labor exploitation in South Africa.
Howie moved to Syracuse in 1991 to develop cooperatives for CommonWorks, a federation of cooperatives that promoted cooperative ownership, democratic control, and ecological sustainability in the local economy.
From 2001 through 2017, he worked as a Teamster unloading trucks at UPS. Now retired, he remains a member of Teamsters for a Democratic Union.
Howie's articles on politics, economics, and environmental issues have appeared in many publications, including Against the Current, Black Agenda Report, Capitol Hill Citizen, CounterPunch, Gotham Gazette, Green Horizons, International Socialist Review, Labor Notes, New Politics, Peace and Democracy News, Resist, Socialism and Democracy, Tempest, Truthout, and Z Magazine. He is the editor of and a contributor to Independent Politics: The Green Party Strategy Debate(Haymarket Books, 2006).