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Gregory Horn: Green Party Candidate for the 144th Assembly District

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Gregory Horn: Green Party Candidate for the 144th Assembly District

Gregory Horn is a Buffalo entrepreneur and small business developer who founded A-Z Home Restoration in 1995. He also serves as a junior partner of an efficiency consulting business called EcoLogic Home. A member of the Green Party since 1996, Horn is running for the Assembly seat recently vacated by Sam Hoyt. While Hoyt’s hand-picked successor—Sean Ryan—has the clout of the Democratic Party backing him, Horn intends to make it a race, rather than a coronation. The special election takes place on Primary Day, September 13. Visit hornforstateassembly.com to learn more about his campaign.

Why are you running for the 144th Assembly seat?

I am running to give voters the chance to elect an independent candidate. Many reject today’s political climate of major party bickering and gridlock as well as incumbency preservation mechanisms such as gerrymandered election districts, lack of term limits and out of control campaign spending. I want to represent the people of New York State, not corporations or special interests.

Where do you stand on the issue of hydro-fracking?

Its atrocious track record in terms of environmental protection is the reason the NYS Legislature and then-Governor Paterson imposed the moratorium, which Governor Cuomo has recently lifted. I am the candidate who will work to protect our drinking water. If the industry prevails, we will suffer permanent economic damage in addition to environmental devastation. We are living on a planet with rapidly diminishing resources and skyrocketing population growth. Clean, potable water is, increasingly, in short supply in many parts of the world, while in New York State, it remains an abundant but precious resource. Now is the time for New York State to become a global leader in alternative energy production and energy efficiency.

At the state level, what are some things that can help our struggling Buffalo school system?

We need to re-structure state mandates to ensure that the children who are at risk of “falling through the cracks” get the protection they need, without crippling the district with over-regulation. We need state funding but we need to maintain local control of our schools. A state takeover of schools as has been suggested, would shift the blame perhaps, but would not magically solve systemic problems that exist. Standardized testing, for example, may provide an indication as to the abilities of students, but it has not been shown to be effective for determining the abilities of teachers. It has, however, been shown to be effective for motivating school systems to game the results of their tests as we have seen recently in Atlanta, with 80% of the public schools’ teachers and principals implicated in the falsification of test results in order to maintain funding. Policies designed to ensure that even our poorest, most disadvantaged children have access to quality, free, public education, will involve thoughtful analysis and reform. They must not rely on the elimination of funding in response to poor performance.

What are your thoughts on election reform?

We must figure out how to remove the influence of money from our system of government, or else our government will continue to serve the interests of corporations and special interests, over the interests of the People. The importance of reform, including the public financing of campaigns can’t be overstated. A truly independent redistricting commission is also crucial. A limit of three terms should be imposed on all state and local offices.

How can a Green Party candidate win?

Essentially, I am running against the policies of the major parties, which, for example, have resulted in the poisoning our drinking water, the loss of vital New York State tax dollars through the funding of unnecessary military interventions, and the enormous loss of state revenue through rebate of the stock transfer tax. When the voters reject these failed policies and embrace, for example, campaign finance reform as a necessity, and conservation of the environment as the only sensible approach, the Green Party candidate will win.

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