Philadelphia Weekly: 'Third-party candidates emerge as champions of the working-class'

From Philadelphia Weekly (read the whole article here):

Hugh Giordano, a 26-year-old, Roxborough native and food workers’ union organizer for UFCW Local 152, ran on the Green Party ticket against Democrat Lou Agre for a seat in the 194th. He lost, but garnered 18 percent of the vote (23 percent in Philly)—an unprecedented number for a third-party candidate. He may have his district’s attention, but Giordano and the Green Party of Philadelphia want everyone to know that when it comes to the ballot, three isn’t a crowd. What’s more, they’ve got heavy union support—typically an automatic vote for Democrats—to help them.

“They want you to be stupid,” he says of the “party button,” which essentially allows citizens to vote along party lines without looking at who’s up for election...

Giordano’s disgust with the system compelled him to approach union workers across the city. He wrote an open letter to them, and in it he blames both the Democratic and Republican parties for turning their backs on the working class: “Union brothers and sisters,” he wrote, “when any one of us becomes “fearful” or “controlled” by a political party—it’s time to step down and pass the torch on. WE are the voice of working people, and WE should be telling these politicians what to do; not the other way around...

And what began as a conversation on the local level has turned into a national movement in which unions are going Green.

This past fall, Tom Clements, South Carolina’s former Green candidate for the Senate, picked up the endorsement of the Greater Columbia Central Labor Council of the South Carolina AFL-CIO. Ben Manski, Wisconsin State Assembly candidate, won the endorsement of Madison Teachers Inc. Mark Swaney, who ran for a state representative seat in Arkansas, had the state AFL-CIO behind him. Howie Hawkins, a Teamster and former Green Party candidate for governor of New York, sent out a press release through the national Green Party, saying, “While Democrats cave in to wealthy corporate lobbies and campaign contributors, Greens are promoting Medicare For All and opposing plans by the White House’s ‘Catfood Commission’ to cut Social Security.” The list goes on.

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