Howie Hawkins declares

On the steps of City Hall today, Howie Hawkins declared his candidacy for the 4th District Council seat on the Syracuse Common Council with the following statement:

Six Reforms Syracuse Needs

The Larger Forces Affecting Syracuse's Sustainability

Four years ago, as part of my campaign for mayor, the Green Party presented a statement and graphic depictions of "Sustainable Syracuse: The Green Alternative to Destiny USA" (see syracusegreens.org/election2005/sustainablecuse.html).

{Q}In that statement, we said, "Destiny may fail economically. What then?"

It looks like "then" may be now.{Q} We went on to say:

"An economy dependent on tourism and consumerism is at the mercy of market forces beyond its local control. Between the unsustainable record-level US trade deficit, soaring federal budget deficits, and record-level US consumer indebtedness financed by housing bubbles in many regional US markets, it is not good timing to bet Syracuse's economic future now on tourists and consumers."

I point this out not just to say, "We told you so," but also to underscore three conditions we addressed back then that have only gotten worse in the last four years:

1. The debt overhang dragging down the national economy in which Syracuse tries to revitalize its city economy.

2. The mounting evidence for catastrophic climate change and the peaking of oil production, which will raise the costs -- and perhaps the very availability of -- food and fuel in the years ahead.

3. The high poverty levels in Syracuse, which a US Census survey in 2005 found to be the third highest overall -- and the very highest in the black community -- of any central city in the 100 largest metropolitan areas in the US.

Debt, Climate Change, Peak Oil, Poverty and Syracuse's Future

The debt overhang in the economy -- household, corporate, and government -- is even greater than it was four years ago. The payments by the 90 percent who are debtors and taxpayers to the top 10 percent who are creditors is why we face a long, slow recovery at best.

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