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Cheri Honkala

Anti-Poverty Activist and Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate

Cheri Honkala is is representing the Green Party as a vice presidential candidate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. A nationally-renowned advocate for the poor and homeless, Honkala was herself born into poverty in Minneapolis. As a single teenage mother, Honkala and her young son were homeless for a period while she finished high school. After graduating, she began working to help other poverty-stricken families and ultimately became a pioneer in the modern housing takeover movement.

Honkala co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in the neighborhood of Kensington, Philadelphia; and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. She has organized tens of thousands of anti-poverty activists in marches and demonstrations.

In 2011, Honkala became the first woman ever to run for sheriff of Philadelphia, and the only sheriff candidate in the nation to run on a “zero foreclosure” platform, pledging that as sheriff she would refuse to evict citizens from their homes if they were foreclosed on by big banks. Honkala was named Woman of the Year by Philadelphia magazine in 1997, and in 2001 Ms. Magazine honored her with the same title. Other awards and recognitions include the Public Citizen of the Year Award by the Pennsylvania Association of Social Workers, the Letelier-Moffitt Award from the Washington Institute for Policy Studies, and the title “Hellraiser of the Month” by Mother Jones magazine in April 2005.