Cheri Honkala, Green candidate for Philly Sheriff: ‘We have to get very serious about building some kind of independent political motion in this country’

The Green Party’s national convention was this past weekend and my absolute favorite candidate in the country this year – the election is November 2011 – gave an inspiring speech there, introduced by David Cobb.  The quote in the title is from that speech, as are those below.  The full video is posted below, as well.

“We will together send a message across this country that it was the Green Party that stopped foreclosures in America!”

“This coming year we have over a million families who are going to lose their homes.  We have an opportunity in Philadelphia, a historical place, to make history.  We have an opportunity to grow the Green Party like never before, to speak to those million people who are going to lose their homes, and to say, by voting for Cheri Honkala, on the Green Party ticket, foreclosures stop.  They stop NOW!”

“Many years ago as I sat in an abandoned property that I had to take over with my little boy at the time, because the shelters were full in Minneapolis–and so I decided that I would go and take over an abandoned house in order to keep me and my son from freezing to death…because I decided that it wasn’t up for negotiations whether me and my son were going to freeze to death.  Well it’s not up for negotiations for any of the men, women, and children who are going to have their homes stole[n] from them this next coming year.  The foreclosure crisis, this next year, with a million people going to lose their homes, is a preventable Katrina – it’s up to us to stop it, and stop it now.  Help me in my election, spread the word, vote for Cheri Honkala on the Green Party ticket, and let’s take back America!”

THIS is the economic populism – the genuine populism, not the faux corporate stuff so common these days – we’ve been waiting for.  It’s the real deal, it’s real independent politics, and I am so genuinely proud to be working on this campaign.  I hope those of you reading will join me.

Cheri Honkala at the 2011 NY Green Fest from Jason Bosch on Vimeo.

Cheri Honkala’s Green campaign for Sheriff of Philadelphia

[Originally posted at IndependentPoliticalReport.com, hence the somewhat dry tone about a campaign I actually have been slightly involved in.  The Green Party of Philadelphia will also be nominating candidates for other offices this Thursday, and we’ve been keeping busy with fracking protests, a May Day event, a monthly dinner, among other things.]

The Green Party of Philadelphia’s candidate for Sheriff, long-time activist Cheri Honkala, recently opened an official campaign office.  Other news from the campaign is also below, including a protest against the current Sheriff of Philadelphia resuming sheriff’s sales.

From the Daily Record, on the subject of her campaign’s office:

In celebration of the office opening, the campaign has released the first in a series of tracks contributed by artists from all over the country inspired by Cheri Honkala’s bid for Sheriff of Philadelphia and her promise of “Keeping Families In Their Homes” by halting all evictions based in foreclosure. The song entitled “My Name is Cheri Honkala” can be found at the campaign’s BandCamp page, www.cheri4sheriff.bandcamp.com, and can be downloaded for a $1 donation.

A slideshow to accompany the song featuring photographs from famous documentary photographer Harvey Finkle can be found at the campaign’s YouTube channel located at YouTube.com/Cheri4Sheriff,, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FbbFJdZSQc8.

Supporters of the campaign can receive a print of one of the celebrated photog’s images that have documented Philadelphia’s activist community for decades with a $50 donation. Harvey Finkle was honored by the Bread and Roses Community Fund in 2009 and is actively documenting the Cheri Honkala for Philadelphia Sheriff Campaign.

From Philadelphia Weekly, regarding the sheriff’s sale protests:

Around 4:30 Monday afternoon, anti-poverty activist and Sheriff candidate Cheri Honkala stands outside Acting Sheriff Barbara Deeley’s Center City office. The veteran protester is joined by her son, Guillermo Santos, and a handful of supporters. She tells members of the press, some onlookers and passers-by that some day, she hopes we’ll all “live in a country that will make it against the law to throw families out on the streets, where people will stand up and say something.” She points at the office and tells the crowd that although 2,000 homes will be sold in sheriff’s sale the next day, “they haven’t even dealt with the corruption yet, in this office,” referring to $53 million the Sheriff’s Office hasn’t been able to account for.

Honkala has also been challenging the position of one of the several Democratic candidates running in a May 15 primary.  The candidate is generally seen as a reformer, and he would like to eliminate the office of sheriff entirely.  However,

Some critics of elimination, such as candidate Cheri Honkala say many sheriff responsibilities will be shifted to the courts if the office is eliminated, making it worse for those hardest hit by the mortgage crisis.

Finally, in a show of support from her hometown, a fundraiser is being held on April 29th in Minneapolis to benefit Honkala’s campaign:

Minneapolis – Artists Support Cheri Honkala for the “People’s Sheriff
Evictions and Sheriff’s-sale auctions of foreclosed properties are core issues for Cheri Honkala, this year’s Green Party candidate for Sheriff of Philadelphia. Originally from the Twin Cities, the two years that Cheri spent in Minneapolis between 2007 and 2009 strengthened her already firm resolve to struggle for the rights of homeowners during the onset of the foreclosure crisis.

The April 29th benefit at The Blue Nile in Minneapolis is one of many being held to support the Green Party candidate for Philadelphia Sheriff across the nation. Honkala is calling for people all over the country to run for Sheriff and put an end to evictions based in foreclosure in their communities. The candidate has received an outpouring of support from artists across the U.S., including the donation and dedication of original music to the campaign from artists Sir Ben Marx (NC), Shamako Noble (CA), Mic Crenshaw (OR) and many others. The election for Philadelphia Sheriff takes place in November, 2011.