Northeast Times

Green Party taps local anti-poverty advocate for VP

Start­Frag­ment

Barack Obama has Joe Biden. Mitt Rom­ney is rumored to be con­sid­er­ing Con­doleezza Rice. And Jill Stein has se­lec­ted Cheri Honkala as her vice pres­id­en­tial run­ning mate.

Stein is the pres­id­en­tial nom­in­ee of the Green Party, which held its na­tion­al con­ven­tion last week in Bal­timore. She beat out act­ress/comedi­enne Roseanne Barr for the nom­in­a­tion.

Honkala is a long­time lead­er with the Kens­ing­ton Wel­fare Rights Uni­on. She was the Green Party’s can­did­ate last year for Phil­adelphia sher­iff. She was en­dorsed by the Na­tion­al Or­gan­iz­a­tion for Wo­men Polit­ic­al Ac­tion Com­mit­tee and re­ceived 7 per­cent of the vote run­ning on a “no evic­tions” plat­form, pledging to help fam­il­ies in fore­clos­ure stay in their homes.

Stein is a doc­tor who ran for Mas­sachu­setts gov­ernor in 2002. She re­ceived 3.5 per­cent of the vote in a race won by Rom­ney.

In se­lect­ing Honkala, she labeled her the na­tion’s lead­ing anti-poverty ad­voc­ate. Honkala, a former home­less single mom, is na­tion­al co­ordin­at­or for the Poor People’s Eco­nom­ic Hu­man Rights Cam­paign.

“Cheri Honkala has shown tre­mend­ous per­sever­ance and lead­er­ship, des­pite re­mark­able odds,” Stein said. “Her self­less­ness and demon­strated ca­pa­city to in­spire make her the per­fect vice-pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate to help me re­claim demo­cracy.”

Stein re­ceived more than 200 re­com­mend­a­tions for run­ning mates. Honkala beat out, among oth­ers, Barr.

The pres­id­en­tial can­did­ate’s Green New Deal plat­form in­cludes a halt to fore­clos­ures and evic­tions, tu­ition-free col­lege edu­ca­tion and pledges to end un­em­ploy­ment and cre­ate 25 mil­lion jobs.

“It’s im­mor­al that chil­dren are hungry and home­less in the richest coun­try in the world,” Honkala said. “It’s time for the ninety-nine per­cent 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.”

••

Al Tauben­ber­ger, pres­id­ent of the Great­er North­east Phil­adelphia Cham­ber of Com­merce and the Re­pub­lic­an can­did­ate in the 172nd Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, op­poses a pro­posed rate in­crease by the Phil­adelphia Wa­ter De­part­ment.

The de­part­ment, which has raised rates the last three years, is call­ing for a 28.5-per­cent in­crease over the next four years. It would raise $316 mil­lion.

Tauben­ber­ger test­i­fied last week at a pub­lic hear­ing at Holy Fam­ily Uni­versity. He notes that City Coun­cil passed a meas­ure cre­at­ing a bal­lot ques­tion for this Novem­ber that will ask voters if they sup­port cre­ation of an in­de­pend­ent body to re­view wa­ter and sew­er rates.

As for the cur­rent pro­pos­al, a hear­ing ex­am­iner will make a re­com­mend­a­tion to Howard Neuk­rug, com­mis­sion­er of the wa­ter de­part­ment. The in­crease is sched­uled to be im­ple­men­ted on Oct. 1, and the Nov. 6 vote will not af­fect it.

“It’s a slap in the face of voters,” Tauben­ber­ger said. “I think the wa­ter de­part­ment should wait.”

On Elec­tion Day, Tauben­ber­ger will vote to cre­ate the in­de­pend­ent body.

Tauben­ber­ger faces fresh­man Demo­crat­ic Rep. Kev­in Boyle.

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Wil­li­am Dun­bar, the Demo­crat­ic can­did­ate in the 177th Le­gis­lat­ive Dis­trict, be­lieves that the state’s new voter iden­ti­fic­a­tion law might have an im­pact in his race.

Dun­bar is chal­len­ging Re­pub­lic­an Rep. John Taylor.

Fig­ures from the Pennsylvania De­part­ment of State in­dic­ate that 18 per­cent of Phil­adelphia adults — about 186,000 people — do not have a photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion is­sued by PennDOT.

“The voter ID bill could pre­vent thou­sands of res­id­ents from vot­ing in a race that could be de­cided by a couple hun­dred votes,” Dun­bar said. “Con­sid­er­ing that there is ab­so­lutely no evid­ence of the fraud that Re­pub­lic­ans de­signed this bill to stop, it is clear that the voter ID law is a blatant and cyn­ic­al at­tempt to steal elec­tions.”

Taylor voted for the law.

Dun­bar wel­comes voters with ques­tions about the new iden­ti­fic­a­tion policy to vis­it his cam­paign of­fice at Al­legheny Av­en­ue and Tulip Street.

Sup­port­ers of the law note that voters can re­ceive a non-driver’s photo iden­ti­fic­a­tion card free from PennDOT. Voters can also show pass­ports, mil­it­ary and col­lege ID cards and gov­ern­ment em­ploy­ee photo cards.

The law, sup­port­ers say, is meant to pre­vent fraud at polling places. They point out that cit­izens have to present photo ID when board­ing air­planes, open­ing bank ac­counts and en­ter­ing many build­ings.

Stephanie Sing­er, chair­wo­man of the city elec­tion com­mis­sion­ers’ board, plans to share, with the NAACP, Pennsylvania Voice and the Pennsylvania Voter ID Co­ali­tion, a list of Phil­adelphia adults without a PennDOT photo ID. ••End­Frag­ment 

You can reach at twaring@bsmphilly.com.

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