Election 2013 Candidate Statements

Every Green vote was a conscious vote 

Howie Hawkins

40% for a Green Party candidate where the Democratic Party threw everything it had into the race is nothing to be discouraged about. Our capacity in terms of volunteers, fundraising, and campaign skills exploded. We offered realistic and positive alternatives to a status quo that is failing.

Thank you to everyone who volunteered and donated. Please stay engaged. We need each other because there are serious issues in the city - from the fiscal crisis of the city, to the economic crisis facing the city's working class, to rising crime and violence, to schools being set up for "failure" and privatization. Unfortunately, these issues did not become galvanizing issues given the media blackout of the election and the failure of media and civic organizations not only to not organize mayoral debates, but to not raise holy hell about the mayor's refusal to debate and only offer such farces as her Twitter Town Hall on the daily newspapers website.

So the power structure got its people back in city hall because the people in the neighborhoods weren't aroused by a compelling election debate with serious media coverage.

The turnout citywide was a record low by far. Only in the highly contested 4th District, where Greens and Democrats were fully engaged in intensive canvassing of the voters, did the total vote remain as high as the previous mayoral election. Take credit for that.

Every Green vote was a conscious vote. Most of the Democratic votes were automatic default votes. The Dems are losing voters citywide, while the Greens are gaining. Syracuse remains a one-party Democratic city government, but it has a real and growing opposition from the Greens.

No matter how well organized a campaign and how much in line with people's interests and sentiments, the biggest factors affecting the result are often ones we can't control. So the results last night are not surprising given we had no larger forces working in our favor this year, no defining issue in the media that engaged all the voters in thinking, debating, and then voting on the alternatives offered.

I have a million ideas for how to change that and I'm sure you do. So we will meet, evaluate, plan our next steps, and get to work.

~ Howie Hawkins

 READ MORE to hear from Kevin Bott and Barbara Humphrey

I Feel More Strongly Than Ever

Kevin Bott

For as long as I can remember, the wish I've always made when blowing out the candles, or throwing a penny in a fountain, or seeing 11:11 on the clock, has been that I be used well in this life. I've wished for so long to be guided toward the place where I can bring the most light to the most people.

It's why I said 'yes' when I was asked to run for mayor, because I saw it as just another opportunity to shine some light... I lost the election last night, tying the Conservative candidate with 15%. Of course I have lots of thoughts and feelings this morning -- disappointment, exhaustion, second guessing, some relief... a bit of embarrassment if I'm being honest.

But mostly I'm feeling gratitude to have experienced this, gratitude for having come closer to my wonderful community of friends here, gratitude for having met more people in parts of the city I didn't know before. Gratitude that some people became excited about politics and democratic culture! I feel more strongly than ever that more people like me -- and like you! -- need to run for local office. If thoughtful, creative, concerned, "regular" people like us don't participate in the formal political arena, and speak up for the concerns of regular people, then the most important decisions about our own lives and about our planet will be made by others.

And after seeing some things from the inside of this game, I'm quite convinced that most of those "others" don't even understand, can't possibly relate, to the concerns of regular people, let alone "represent" them in the halls of power.... So thanks again, everyone, for all your love and support these past months. Thanks for putting up with Kevin Bott Facebook overload... I don't know what's next for me except that I will continue to remain open to being guided toward the place where I can shine whatever light I've been given to shine. I hope you'll all join me in shining yours, too, because the world really needs more light! Peace, my friends.

~ Kevin Bott

We Rattled the Walls of Power Last Night

Barbara Humphrey

Dear friends, supporters, fellow travelers down this most amazing journey. Thank you for your friendship, your support of time and money, and your vote.

I feel I let you all down and also (thanks Kevin for the right word) embarrassed, coming in a distant 5th of 5. I am from the Bronx, not Chicago or Boston. Even when the Yankees lost, they were generally a close second or third, rarely a distant fifth of 5! I feel I let you down because I won't be on the inside fighting for our fair share of state aid or against federal education mandates.

But I don't intend to stop fighting. We rattled the walls of power last night, but did not open any doors to get in. Our loss, but the fight goes on. Let's stay together--engaged and involved. And one more time--THANK YOU.

~ Barbara Humphrey

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commented 2013-11-07 17:20:41 -0500 · Flag
It’s nice to be thanked but it’s great to be challenged and energized by three green candidates that worked hard and put the issues before the citizens of Syracuse. I wish more had been listening but we won’t stop talking.
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