July 2011 Featured Activist Cheri Honkala

Vengeancia (updated Friday, May 16, 2014) Cheri Honkala “vows to serve the interests of the people instead of the interests of the banks by “Keeping Families in Their Homes” until the economic climate in Philadelphia changes….” Read more below.

Cheri Honkala's Campaign Seeks to Move Beyond the False Left/Right Paradigm

Cheri Honkala’s Campaign Seeks to Move Beyond the False Left/Right Paradigm

“Cheri Honkala was born into poverty in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She grew up watching her mother suffer from domestic violence that she quietly endured for fear of losing her kids. At the age of 17 her 19 year old brother Mark, who suffered from mental health issues committed suicide. He was uninsured and could not afford to get the help he needed. At the time of Mark’s suicide Cheri was a teenage mother living out of her car and going to high school. Despite her difficult upbringing she graduated high school…” Read more.

Published on May 11, 2013: “Official video for the song “Officer of Peace” from Wandering Monks’ album Jubilee. Filmed and edited by Jason Bosch. Officer of Peace played by 2012 Green Party Vice Presidential candidate Cheri Honkala. Scandalous banker played by Wayne Walton. The rest of the cast played by members of We Are Change Colorado and various other liberty-loving members of the Denver community. The Officer of Peace represents the people, not the bankers or the state!”

“The Democratic Party and its machinery are deeply entrenched in the heart of Philadelphia’s communities and that gives them an enormous advantage. Unfortunately they use that advantage to help elect too many candidates who are in the game only for themselves. But we can deplore that fact all we want. Unless and until we are willing to root ourselves in our neighborhoods as the Party has done, it’s going to be hard to turn our politics around.” Stan Shapiro, Philadelphia Neighborhood Networks

Cheri Honkala being arrested at rights event.

Cheri Honkala being arrested at rights event.

Honkala is a tireless advocate for the nation’s poor and homeless. She founded the local Kensington Welfare Rights Union (KWRU) and the national Poor Peoples Economic Human Rights Campaign (PPEHRC).

Honkala was included in Philadelphia Magazine’s list of 100 Most Powerful Philadelphians and was named Philadelphia Weekly’s “Woman of the Year” in 1997. Cheri Honkala’s run for Sheriff comes as a last resort to help people and families who have nowhere to turn after a corrupt Sheriff’s Office still can’t come up with millions of dollars worth of real-estate auction receipts.

Honkala vows to fight for the working class homeowner who has been left to live in the streets after the Wall Street financial class was bailed out.

Cheri Honkala with son, Mark; Always Working for the People

Cheri Honkala with son, Mark; Always Working for the People

“Yes, we are upholding the law—this higher law that says the poor people of Philadelphia

have the same rights as the banks do.”

-Cheri Honkala

Dear Fellow Green Party members,

Remember the excitement of the Nader/LaDuke 2000 campaign?  How about the enthusiasm generated when Matt Gonzalez ran for Mayor of San Francisco as a Green and damned near won?

I am writing to you because I think we have the opportunity to recapture that sense of momentum and optimism for our party by supporting Cheri Honkala for Sheriff of Philadelphia.

Cheri is a long-distance runner for social justice.  I have personally known of her work as an activist for years, and was pleased to learn she was turning her activism toward electoral politics.  When I learned she was running as a Green, I was thrilled!

Cheri is a formerly homeless mother who worked her way out of poverty. She went on to form the Kensington Welfare Rights Union, and has become a national leader in the fight for economic fairness in this country.  She has been profiled in The Nation, Mother Jones named her a “Hell Raiser of the Month and Ms. Magazine awarded her “Woman of the Year” in 2001.

And it’s not just her credentials as an activist that has me so jazzed—it’s her keen sense of strategy, her commitment to movement building, and the multi-racial coalition of organized labor leaders, peace and justice activists, young people, and Greens she is bringing together.

And get this—in Philadelphia the main job of the Sheriff is to serve evictions and foreclosures.  Cheri’s campaign message?

NO EVICTIONS!

NO FORECLOSURES!

EVERYBODY STAYS IN THEIR HOMES!

Sisters and Brothers, this is genius!  Cheri’s campaign provides a perfect opportunity to fight back against the so-called “austerity programs” that the leaders of the Democratic and Republican parties are trying to shove down the throats of Americans across the country, and to show that the Green Party offers a true alternative.

Even deeper, I think Cheri’s campaign can become the “signature” national electoral campaign for progressives of all stripes in 2011.  No other candidate of her caliber is likely to be running in a local race, her principal opponent is a typical corporatist hack, and her campaign captures the zeitgeist of the moment—which is to fight back against Wall Street and Big Banks and the elected officials of both establishment parties who are doing their bidding.

And the enthusiasm is already building!  At this years “Progressive Dialogue” hosted by the Independent Progressive Politics Network (IPPN), there was universal agreement that Cheri’s campaign had the potential to unite Greens, independents, and progressive Democrats.

Who thought this? Greens, independents, and progressive Democrats, that’s who!

So I ask that you join me in supporting Cheri’s campaign.

Eminent Domain? Cheri advocates the same "rights" for people!

Eminent Domain? Cheri advocates the same “rights” for people!

Make a donation at www.cherihonkala.com or mail it to Friends of Cheri Honkala c/o Hillary Kane, 5031 Catharine St. Philadelphia, PA 19143

And don’t stop there! Blog about her campaign.  Friend her on Facebook. Write Letters to the Editor to The Nation, Mother Jones, The Progressive and every liberal print publication you know.

Call in to progressive talk radio to describe her strategy, and challenge elected officials in your area to follow her example.

If you are able, travel to Philadelphia and volunteer.  They can find host housing for you, and I can personally attest to the hospitality and generosity that Cheri—and her entire campaign team—will offer to you.

Regardless of how you do it, please add your voice to the growing chorus that is already supporting Cheri. Let’s become so loud and enthusiastic that others hear and join us, and too positive and boisterous to be ignored!

Consider this– even though the corporate media has ignored us, the Green Party continues to grow.

Cheri’s campaign provides Greens a tremendous opportunity to continue that success.  Cheri demonstrates to ordinary Americans that Greens are serious, we are credible, and that we can make a difference.

The time is ripe.  Cheri is the right candidate at the right time with the right strategy.

Lastly–as Greens, we need to support Cheri so that other candidates of her caliber realize that if they join and support the Green Party, the Green Party will support them.

In solidarity,
David Cobb
2004 Green Party Presidential Nominee and proud initiator of the Ohio Recount that helped to spawn a new election integrity