Cheri Honkala 197th Vote Supported by Greens
Lee McQueen of McQueen Press endorses Cheri Honkala: “Cheri Honkala will bring a good representation of the Green Party.”
Green Party maverick Cheri Honkala is running once again, this time in a short-term campaign for the 197th District of the General Assembly of Pennsylvania, which includes North Philadelphia and her home neighborhood in Kensington. Voting is scheduled on March 21st for the District which had to recall its earlier representative due to corruption.
Against the Odds
Cheri Honkala has been fighting against the odds all her life. From a troubled home, she knew early on what it is like to be homeless or to have to fight to survive in foster care. Somewhat like a modern-day Annie, she learned to use her gifts in leadership and organizing to lead poor people and guide them in fighting back against the system which tends to keep lower-income people issues marginalized.
Her organizing and leadership campaigns have included founding the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC). She used her groups to conduct outreach throughout Philadelphia. PPEHRC has purportedly grown to a network that includes 40 other organizations around the United States. These campaigns have drawn attention to the growing inequities for working class people at a time when union-busting, factory layoffs, and reduction in hours are commonplace. They’ve helped draw attention to the juggernaut of issues surrounding homelessness, including healthcare, unemployment, drug addiction, mental health, a culture of nihilism, and more.
Cheri Honkala’s watershed moment came when she decided to join the Green Party. Unlike the Democratic Party, which in the 90s under President Bill Clinton’s Welfare to Work program actually increased the duress that part-time workers faced, the Green Party’s key values including social justice and equal opportunity, nonviolence, ecological wisdom, decentralization, community-based economics, and future focus and sustainability appear to reflect the PPEHRC long-term goals better.
Honkala ran for Philadelphia Sheriff in 2011; and was invited to run alongside GP Presidential nominee Dr. Jill Stein as Vice-Presidential nominee in 2012. She also worked behind the scenes in the 2016 GP presidential campaign. For instance, she organized a massive protest for poor and/or disabled people at the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia in 2016. The march was designed spotlight the huge contrast, over 127 million dollars for the convention alone, being spent on politicians over the people.
The Green Party’s idealism officially precludes accepting corporate campaign donations, nevertheless, the idealism of Third Parties is politically nascent, since over 40% of voters are now registered as independent. There are signs everywhere that voters feel party change is necessary.
Qualifications and Experience
To learn about Cheri Honkala’s campaign for the 197th District visit Cheri197.com. At this website she outlines her stance on issues and her plans if she is elected. These are issues she has honed in her grassroots activism and leadership over the past 30 years. They include her philosophy that even in the age of neoliberalism, Philadelphia can still be “the city of Brotherly Love” as envisioned by the Quakers.
Cheri’s voice and speeches is an authentic one. Carl Gibson, leader of U.S. Uncut interviewed her repeatedly on the March from Philadelphia to Washington in Operation Green Jobs in 2013. No matter the time or the inconvenience or the tackiness of the surroundings, Cheri Honkala always responded with the poise and determination of an intelligent woman who has studied and vetted Green/Progressive political theory.
This is why she is endorsed in her most recent campaign by Our Revolution (the progressive Democratic offshoot from Bernie Sanders), by Dr. Jill Stein, by Green Party US, Progress for All, American Federation of State and County Municipal Workers District 47, and more as described by McQueen Press’s video (below).
Asian Green News (AGN) emailed the Cheri Honkala campaign on how she hopes to help Asian people in the Philadelphia community, however her campaign did not respond. Based on PPEHRC outreach to high school students with Asian Americans United (a Philadelphia-based organization which AGN donated to), she can try to better appear to cultivate AAPI support.
As a person with part-Native American (Cheyenne) and Finnish ancestry, Honkala does seem to have reached out time and again to Hispanic migrants (men and women of color) in her community.
Here is a video produced by Lee McQueen which is essentially a paean for the candidate: