“The Republicans and Democrats each talk about the election of the other party as the end of the world; maybe they’re right,” said Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein last night, as the first winds from superstorm Sandy buffeted her on the windy expanse of Boston City Hall plaza. Stein made her remarks at a 350.org vigil during a brief campaign stop in her home state. She heads to Texas tomorrow to support the Keystone XL pipeline Tars Sands Blockade.
Scientists tell us that we now have access to five times more fossil fuels than we can afford to burn without triggering catastrophic climate change.
“If President Obama’s ‘all of the above’ energy policy is pursued, it’s ‘game over’ for the climate,” said Stein. “Romney once was honest about climate, but now is parroting industry lines. Hurricane Sandy is not the first warning we’ve had; let’s not let there be another such warning before we act decisively to move to a new green economy.”
Stein noted that the recent events sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates were the first set of presidential debates since 1984 in which global warming was not mentioned. In response, over 2500 climate activists have signed a statement of support for Dr. Stein and criticizing the failures of the political establishment. Seehttp://www.jillstein.org/climate
Meanwhile, drought has blighted 60% of the corn crops in the U.S. and wildfires have turned thousands into refugees. The Arctic ice cap has lost 75% of its ice and dangerous methane gas is seeping out from melting subterranean deposits.
“The President and his Republican challenger are so firmly in the service of the gas, oil, and coal industries that they want to accelerate our plunge down the path of destruction,” said Green Party vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala, adding that, “The only vote that will count for action on climate change in this election is a vote for the Green Party.”
At last year’s climate conference in Durban, South Africa, the White House’s team worked to delay the effective date of any international climate treaty until 2020. This will mean eight more crucial years of inaction that scientist universally agree could prove deadly for the planet. In fact, the President is proposing to spend 32 times more on his latest Wall Street bailout initiative, known as Quantitative Easing III, than he is spending on renewable energy.
Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala are the only candidates talking about addressing the climate crisis head on by pushing for a 100% renewable carbon neutral economy, with full employment. The Green New Deal that they are proposing would create 25 million jobs in sustainable energy, agriculture, transportation, and manufacturing infrastructure, as well as in social services and public education.
“When we show that we take the climate crisis seriously enough to vote for the Green option, the power of democracy will be unleashed, and our political system will finally respond to this growing threat,” said Stein.
About Jill Stein
Dr. Jill Stein is a mother, physician, longtime teacher of internal medicine, and pioneering environmental-health advocate.
She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports, In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, andEnvironmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009. The first of these has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide. The reports promote green local economies, sustainable agriculture, clean power, and freedom from toxic threats.
Her “Healthy People, Healthy Planet” teaching program reveals the links between human health, climate security, and green economic revitalization. This body of work has been presented at government, public health and medical conferences, and has been used to improve public policy.
Jill began to advocate for the environment as a human health issue in 1998 when she realized that politicians were simply not acting to protect children from the toxic threats emerging from current science. She offered her services to parents, teachers, community groups and a native Americans group seeking to protect their communities from toxic exposure.
Jill has testified before numerous legislative panels as well as local and state governmental bodies. She played a key role in the effort to get the Massachusetts fish advisories updated to better protect women and children from mercury contamination, which can contribute to learning disabilities and attention deficits in children. She also helped lead the successful campaign to clean up the “Filthy Five” coal plants in Massachusetts, an effort that resulted in getting coal plant regulations signed into law that were the most protective around at that time. Her testimony on the effects of mercury and dioxin contamination from the burning of waste helped preserve the Massachusetts moratorium on new trash incinerator construction in the state.
Jill has appeared as an environmental health expert on the Today Show, 20/20, Fox News, and other programs. She was also a member of the national and Massachusetts boards of directors of the Physicians for Social Responsibility. Her efforts to protect public health has won her several awards including: Clean Water Action’s “Not in Anyone’s Backyard” Award, the Children’s Health Hero” Award, and the Toxic Action Center’s Citizen Award.
Having witnessed the ability of big money to stop health protective policies on Beacon Hill, Jill became an advocate for campaign finance reform, and worked to help pass the Clean Election Law. This law was approved by the voters by a 2-1 margin, but was later repealed by the Massachusetts Legislature on an unrecorded voice vote.
In 2002 ADD activists in the Massachusetts Green-Rainbow Party approached Dr. Stein and asked her to run for Governor of Massachusetts. Dr. Stein accepted, and began her first foray into electoral politics. She was widely credited with being the best informed and most credible candidate in the race.
She has twice been elected to town meeting in Lexington, Massachusetts. She is the founder and past co-chair of a local recycling committee appointed by the Lexington Board of Selectmen.
In 2003, Jill co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization that addresses a variety of issues that are important to the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities, including health care, local green economies, and grassroots democracy.
Jill represented the Green-Rainbow Party in two additional races – one for State Representative in 2004 and one for Secretary of State in 2006. In 2006 she won the votes of over 350,000 Massachusetts citizens – which represented the greatest vote total ever for a Green-Rainbow candidate.
In 2008, Jill helped formulate a “Secure Green Future” ballot initiative that called upon legislators to accelerate efforts to move the Massachusetts economy to renewable energy and make development of green jobs a priority. The measure won over 81 per cent of the vote in the 11 districts in which it was on the ballot.
Jill was born in Chicago and raised in suburban Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973, and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Jill enjoys writing and performing music, and enjoys long walks with her Great Dane, Bandita. Dr. Stein lives in Lexington with her husband, Richard Rohrer, also a physician. She has two sons, Ben and Noah, who have graduated from college in the past few years.
Where we stand on the issues
Thank you for your interest in learning more about what Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala will do on taking office.
We urge you to read about Jill and Cheri’s Green New Deal, the centerpiece of their campaign. The Green New Deal is an emergency four part program of specific solutions for moving America quickly out of crisis into the secure green future. You can read all about the Green New Deal by clicking here.
- Enact the Full Employment Program which will directly provide 25 million green jobs in sustainable energy, mass transit, sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing, as well as social work, teaching, and and other service jobs.
- Provide grants and low-interest loans to green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the community, rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors.
- Renegotiate NAFTA and other “free trade” agreements that export American jobs, depress wages, and undermine the sovereign right of Americans and citizens of other countries to control their own economy.
- Provide full protection for workplace rights, including the right to a safe workplace and the right to organize a union without fear of firing or reprisal by passing the Employee Free Choice Act.
- Support the formation of worker-owned cooperatives to provide alternatives to exploitative business models.
- Make the minimum wage a living wage.
- Oppose two-tier wage systems.
- Ensure equal pay for equal work, ending discrimination based on race, gender, or generation.
BUDGET AND TAXES
- Reduce the budget deficit by restoring full employment, cutting the bloated military budget, and cutting private health insurance waste.
- Eliminate needless tax giveaways that increase the deficit.
- Require full disclosure of corporate subsidies in the budget and stop hiding subsidies in complicated tax code.
- Rewrite the entire tax code to be truly progressive with tax cuts for working families, the poor and middle class, and higher taxes for the richest Americans.
- Reject cuts to Medicare and Social Security.
- Stop draining the non-profit sectors of our economy in order to give tax cuts to the for-profit sectors.
- Relieve the debt overhang holding back the economy by reducing homeowner and student debt burdens.
- Ensure the right to accessible and affordable utilities – heat, electricity, phone, internet, and public transportation – through democratically run, publicly owned utilities that operate at cost, not for profit.
- Maintain and upgrade our nation’s essential public infrastructure, including highways, railways, electrical grids, water systems, schools, libraries, and the Internet, resisting privatization or policy manipulation by for-profit interests.
- Establish a 90% tax on bonuses for bailed out bankers.
- Break up the oversized banks that are “too big to fail,” starting with Bank of America.
- Create a Corporation for Economic Democracy, a new federal corporation (like the Corporation for Public Broadcasting) to provide publicity, training, education, and direct financing for cooperative development and for democratic reforms to make government agencies, private associations, and business enterprises more participatory.
- End bailouts for the financial elite and use the FDIC resolution process for failed banks to reopen them as public banks where possible after failed loans and underlying assets are auctioned off.
- Bring monetary policy under democratic control by prohibiting private banks from creating money, thus restoring government’s Constitutional authority.
- Let pension funds be managed by boards controlled by workers, not corporate managers.
- Regulate all financial derivatives and require them to be traded on open exchanges.
- Require banks to use honest bookkeeping so that toxic assets cannot be hidden or sold to unsuspecting persons.
- Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks.
- Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation. This means nationalizing the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve Banks and placing them under a Federal Monetary Authority within the Treasury Department.
- Establish federal, state, and municipal publicly-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities and focus on helping people, not enriching themselves.
- Provide tuition-free education from kindergarten through college, thus eliminating the student debt crisis.
- Forgive existing student debt.
- Protect our public school systems from privatization
- End high-stakes testing and stop punishing students and teachers for failures of the system in which they work.
- Stop denying students diplomas based on tests.
- Stop using merit pay to punish teachers.
- Provide complete, affordable, quality health care for every American through an improved Medicare-for-all insurance program.
- Allow full access to all medically justified contraceptive and reproductive care.
- Expand women’s access to the “morning after” contraception by lifting the Obama Administration’s ban.
- Roll back the community drivers of chronic disease, including poor nutrition, health-damaging pollution, and passive dirty transportation.
- Avoid chronic diseases by investing in essential community health infrastructure such as local, fresh, organic food systems, pollution-free renewable energy, phasing out toxic chemicals, and active transportation such as bike paths and safe sidewalks that dovetail with public transit.
- End overcharging for prescription drugs by using bulk purchasing negotiations.
- Ensure that consumers have essential information for making informed food choices by expanding product labeling requirements for country of origin, GMO content, toxic chemical ingredients, fair trade practices, etc.
- Impose an immediate moratorium on foreclosures and evictions.
- Offer capital grants to non-profit developers of affordable housing until all people can obtain decent housing at no more than 25% of their income.
- Create a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages, and either restructure the mortgages to affordable levels, or if the occupants cannot afford a mortgage, rent homes to the occupants.
- Expand rental and home ownership assistance and create ample public housing.
- Create a binding international treaty to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide to levels deemed safe by scientific analysis to reduce global warming.
- Phase out coal power plants to end their unacceptable harm to the climate, health and the economy.
- End mountaintop removal in Appalachia.
- Redirect research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in renewable energy and conservation.
- Build a nationwide smart electricity grid that can pool and store power from a diversity of renewable sources, giving the nation clean, democratically-controlled, terrorist-proof energy.
- Phase out nuclear power and end nuclear subsidies.
- Stop hydrofracking to prevent devastating pollution of groundwater, destruction of roads from the transport of millions of tons of toxic water, and the threats of earthquakes recently determined to be caused by drilling and disposal of fracking water in seismically unstable regions.
- End Federal subsidies for “clean coal” — an expensive, carbon intensive, unproven technology promoted by the coal industry public relations campaign.
- Halt all drilling that poses a threat to public lands or water resources.
- Halt the Keystone XL pipeline and bring the tar sand oils under a comprehensive climate protection treaty.
- Issue an Executive Order prohibiting Federal agencies from conspiring with local police to infringe upon right of assembly and peaceful protest.
- Repeal the Patriot Act that violates our constitutional right to privacy and protection against unreasonable search and seizure.
- Repeal the unconstitutional provisions of the National Defense Authorization Act that gives the president the power to indefinitely imprison and even assassinate American citizens without due process.
- Oppose the Online Piracy Act and all other legislation that would undermine freedom and equality on the Internet.
- Pass the Equal Rights Amendment to forever end discrimination based on gender.
- Eliminate the doctrine of corporate personhood with a constitutional amendment to clarify that only human beings have constitutional rights.
- Implement marriage equality nationwide to end discrimination against same-sex couples.
- Expand federal support for locally-owned broadcast media and local print media.
VOTING RIGHTS AND DEMOCRACY
- Enact the full Voter’s Bill of Rights guaranteeing each person’s right to vote, the right to have our votes counted on hand-marked paper ballots, and the right to vote within systems that give each vote meaning.
- Abolish the electoral college and directly elect the President.
- Get the big money payoffs out of politics by implementing public funding of election campaigns.
- Reverse the Citizens United ruling to revoke corporate personhood, and amend our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech.
- Restore the right to run for office and eliminate unopposed races by removing ballot access barriers.
- Require the use of auditable, hand-counted paper ballots in all local, state, and federal elections.
- Guarantee equal access to the ballot and to the debates to all qualified candidates
- Eliminate “winner take all” elections in which the “winner” does not have the support of most of the voters, and replace that system with instant runoff voting and proportional representation.
- Provide equal and free access to the airways for all candidates, not just those with big campaign warchests.
- Enact statehood for the District of Columbia to ensure the region has full representation in Congress, and full powers of self-rule.
- Restore voting rights to ex-offenders who’ve paid their debt to society.
- Require that all votes are counted before election results are released.
- Replace partisan oversight of elections with non-partisan election commissions.
- Celebrate our democratic aspirations by making Election Day a national holiday.
- Bring simplified, safe same-day voter registration to the nation so that no qualified voter is barred from the polls.
- Protect our right to vote by supporting Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr.’s proposed “Right to Vote Amendment,” to clarify to the Supreme Court that yes, we do have a constitutional right to vote.
- Protect the legitimate exercise of local democracy by making clear that acts of Congress establish a floor, and not a ceiling, on laws relating to economic regulation, workers rights, human rights, and the environment.
PEACE AND FOREIGN POLICY
- Cut the bloated Pentagon budget by 50%.
- End use of assassination as an instrument of U.S. foreign policy, including collaborative assassination through intermediaries.
- Increase our energy security by reducing our nation’s dependence on oil.
- Demilitarize U.S. foreign policy to emphasize human rights, international law, multinational diplomatic initiatives and support for democratic movements across the world.
- Restore the National Guard as the centerpiece of our defense.
- Create a nuclear free zone in the Middle East region and require all nations in area to join.
- Oppose attacks on nuclear facilities.
- Ban use of drone aircraft for assassination, bombing, and other offensive purposes.
- End the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, withdrawing both troops and military contractors.
- Make human rights and international law the basis of our policy in the Middle East.
- Join 159 other nations in signing the Ottawa treaty banning the use of anti-personnel land mines.
- Close some 140 U.S. military bases abroad.
- Initiate a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives.
- Create millions of green jobs in areas such as weatherization, recycling, public transportation, worker and community owned cooperatives, and energy-efficient infrastructure.
- Adopt the EPA’s new tougher standards on ozone pollution.
- Promote conversion to sustainable, nontoxic materials.
- Promote use of closed-loop, zero waste processes.
- Promote organic agriculture, permaculture, and sustainable forestry.
- Grant undocumented immigrants who are already residing and working in the United States a legal status which includes the chance to become U.S. citizens.
- Halt deportations of law-abiding undocumented immigrants.
- Repeal the deceptively named Secure Communities Act.
- Improve economic conditions abroad to reduce flow of immigrants, in part by repealing NAFTA.
- Demilitarize border crossings throughout North America.
- End the war on immigrants, including the cruel, so-called “secure communities” program.
- Repair our communities rather than dump resources into the prison-industrial complex.
- Work to eliminate laws tying judge’s hands with mandatory sentencing requirements.
- Immediately legalize medical use of marijuana and move to permit general legal sales under suitable regulatory framework.
- End the ineffective and costly War on Drugs and begin to treat drug use as a public health problem, not a criminal problem.
Presidential campaign, 2012
In August 2011, Stein gave indication that she was considering running for President of the United States with the Green Party in the 2012 national election. She wrote in a published questionnaire that she had been asked to run by a number of Green activists and felt compelled to consider the possibility after the U.S. debt-ceiling crisis which she called “the President’s astounding attack on Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid—a betrayal of the public interest…”. In the survey, she suggested that she would announce her intentions by the end of September 2011. Stein later stated that she would announce her intentions on October 24.
On October 24, 2011, Stein launched her campaign at a press conference in Massachusetts, saying, “We are all realizing that we, the people, have to take charge because the political parties that are serving the top 1 percent are not going to solve the problems that the rest of us face, we need people in Washington who will refuse to be bought by lobbyists and for whom change is not just a slogan”.
Stein’s decision to enter the presidential race was encouraged by a mock election at Western Illinois University where she fared well. The mock election featured the Green ticket of Stein/Mesplay, Democratic ticket of Obama/Biden and Republican ticket of Romney/Ryan, with Stein capturing an impressive 27% of votes, Romney getting 33% and Obama getting 39%. Encouraged by this success, she decided to run to try to win. During an interview with Grist, Stein said:
If I can quote Alice Walker, ‘The biggest way people give up power is by not knowing they have it to start with.’ And that’s true, for the environmental movement, the student movement, the antiwar movement, health-care-as-a-human-right movement—you put us all together, we have the potential for a Tahrir Square type event, and [to] turn the White House into a Green House in November.
Stein became the presumptive Green Party nominee after winning two-thirds of California’s delegates in June of 2012. In a statement following the California election, Stein said, “Voters will not be forced to choose between two servants of Wall Street in the upcoming election. Now we know there will be a third candidate on the ballot who is a genuine champion of working people.”
On July 1, 2012, the Jill Stein campaign reported it had received enough contributions to qualify for primary season federal matching funds, pending confirmation from the FEC. If funded, Stein would be the second Green Party presidential candidate ever to have qualified, with Ralph Nader being the first in 2000.
On August 1, 2012, Stein, Honkala and three others were arrested during a sit-in at a Philadelphia bank to protest housing foreclosures on behalf of several city residents struggling to keep their homes. Stein explained her willingness to be arrested:
The developers and financiers made trillions of dollars through the housing bubble and the imposition of crushing debt on homeowners. And when homeowners could no longer pay them what they demanded, they went to government and got trillions of dollars of bailouts. Every effort of the Obama Administration has been to prop this system up and keep it going at taxpayer expense. It’s time for this game to end. It’s time for the laws be written to protect the victims and not the perpetrators.
On October 16, 2012, Stein and Honkala were arrested after they tried to enter the site of the presidential debate at Hofstra University while protesting the exclusion of smaller political parties, such as the Green Party, from the debates.
Along the lines of President Franklin D. Roosevelt‘s New Deal solution to the Great Depression, Jill Stein advocates a “Green New Deal“ in which renewable energy jobs would be created to address climate change and environmental issues with the objective of employing “every American willing and able to work”. Citing the research of Dr. Phillip Harvey, Professor of Law & Economics at Rutgers University, as evidence of the successful economic effects of the 1930s’ New Deal projects, Stein would fund the plan with a 30% reduction in the U.S. military budget, returning US troops home, and increasing taxes on areas such as capital gains, offshore tax havens and multimillion dollar real estate. Stein plans on impacting what she sees as a growing convergence of environmental crises in water, soil, fisheries and forests, through the creation of sustainable infrastructure based in clean renewable energy generation and sustainable communities principles such as increasing intra-city mass transit and inter-city railroads, creating ‘complete streets’ that safely encourage bike and pedestrian traffic and regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture.
- Medea Benjamin, co-founder of Code Pink and Global Exchange.
- Noam Chomsky, author and activist.
- Matt Gonzalez, Vice-presidential candidate with Ralph Nader in 2008, lawyer, activist
- Chris Hedges, Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist and war correspondent.
- David Swanson, author and activist.
- Kevin Zeese, activist and attorney.