SEIU Local 200 United

2015 Online Candidate Questionnaire

SEIU Local 200United represents nearly 15,000 members in human service agencies, public sector, colleges and universities, and sub-contracted services. Our history is one of activism and fighting for social justice; therefore, we take the endorsement of candidates very seriously.

Howie Hawkins

Green Party candidate for Syracuse City Auditor

1. Do you support a workers' right to organize a union? Yes


2. Would you advocate for neutrality during an organizing drive? Yes


3. During an organizing campaign, do you believe public monies should be prohibited from use to coerce or intimidate workers? Yes


4. Do you support a minimum wage increase to $15.00? Yes


5. Do you support a living wage ordinance for your County or City? Yes


6. Do you support economic plans that create local jobs that pay a living wage? Yes


7. Do you support good strong public services (public schools, municipal government)? Yes


8. Do you support public workers benefits, such as pension and health insurance? Yes


9. Do you support tax breaks to corporations and the wealthiest Americans? No


10. Would you cross a strike or picket line? No


11. What three (3) issues do you feel are the most challenging to our community?


Fiscal Fairness, Class/Race Desegregation, Good Jobs


Please use the following space to explain any of your answers above.


Fiscal Fairness: The City of Syracuse does not have the fiscal resources to provide fully funded schools and other public services under the current tax and revenue sharing system. We need restored revenue-sharing from the state, an end to the property tax cap, a more progressive state income tax structure, and retention rather than rebate of the Stock Transfer Tax.


Class/Race Desegregation: Greater Syracuse is one of the most segregated metro regions in the nation by race and class. The fragmented municipal jurisdictions enforce the segregation of fiscal resources, housing, and schools. We need a metropolitan government and school district in order to desegregate fiscal resources, housing, and schools. The best predictor by far of student performance is the socioeconomic class make up of the schools. The current policies of high-stakes testing, scapegoating teachers, and privatization into charter schools have failed to improve student performance. The only proven program for improving struggling schools is to desegregate them by race and class and provide adequate funding. The city of Syracuse will not have decent schools, or the fiscal resources to provide the public services its residents deserve, until the schools and tax bases of the metro region are desegregated. Anything short of this is not serious about addressing the problems concentrated in the inner city.


Good Jobs: City tax breaks in the city for the Carousel/Destiny shopping mall and high-end condos downtown have not created good jobs, except for construction workers temporarily. Economic incentives should be targeted for business development that creates good sustainable jobs, especially for worker co-ops where workers own their own jobs and receive the full fruits of their labor. Privatization of public services and reduction of public sector jobs in the city have destroyed many good jobs. The city needs to reverse privatizations and fight for fiscal fairness so it has the resources to revitalize its public sector and its good jobs.

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