Jill Stein Launches Campaign for President (UPDATE)
October 24, 2011 in Presidential Campaign
(BOSTON, MA) Jill Stein, a physician and former Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate, announced today she is running for President of the United States to provide an alternative to the “Wall Street parties” on issues such as jobs, universal health care, peace and climate change. She is seeking the nomination of the Green Party of the United States.
Speaking to a gathering at the historic State House in Boston, Stein declared that voters have lost confidence in the Democratic and Republican leaders who have given the nation “massive bailouts for Wall Street, layoffs on Main Street, declining wages for workers, wars for oil abroad, and attacks on Medicare and Social Security.” She further noted that “They’re privatizing education, rolling back civil liberties and racial justice, plundering the environment, and driving us towards the calamity of climate change.”
According to Stein “we need people in Washington who refuse to be bought by lobbyist money and for whom change is not just a slogan.”
The centerpiece of Stein’s Green New Deal is a commitment to “end unemployment in America” by direct Federal action to create the jobs needed to end the “Bush/Obama recession”. Stein dismissed President Obama’s “Wall Street-first” approach to job creation as fundamentally misconceived – since it is too small and gives money to the financial elite in hopes that they will decide to create jobs. Stein said that ending the “Bush/Obama” recession needs direct action to create jobs since unemployment is a major obstacle to business recovery. Her plan would create 8 times more jobs than the current Obama jobs proposal.
Stein said that it’s time for the United States to “catch up with the rest of the developed nations” and provide health care for all through a Medicare-for-all system.
Noting the crushing debt burden facing students forced to take out loans for their college education, Stein called for forgiving existing student debt and providing free education for all students, calling this “an investment in our future that will pay off enormously.”
Stein also called for ending home foreclosures and requiring banks to adjust mortgages to reflect the current market value of homes.
In explaining how she came into politics, Stein cited her experience as a medical doctor and as a parent, seeing a broken health care system and an epidemic of preventable diseases in children driven by community conditions including pollution, poor nutrition, inadequate recreation and poverty. “I spent years working to persuade elected officials to act. Slowly I realized that in order to persuade elected officials, you need to shower them not with information, not with heartfelt human concerns and cost saving solutions, but rather with bundles of big campaign checks.” At that point, Stein decided that she had to run for office.
Stein noted that many of the health concerns of youth that first caught her attention are now compounded by a vast array of problems – unsafe streets, inadequate schools, unaffordable college, and a severe lack of jobs. “People ask me why I keep fighting political battles in a rigged system. The answer is simple. I keep fighting because when it comes to our children, mothers don’t give up.”
Calling climate change ” the greatest threat confronting our generation,” Stein noted that “Presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama have all refused to act to bring carbon emissions under control, even as extreme weather patterns and rising temperatures inflict increasing damage worldwide. The time for foot-dragging is over. We’re going to put this issue back on the table.”
Stein said that she was inspired by young people who were taking the lead in the Occupy Wall Street movement at more than 1500 sites across the country. “Just like in the civil rights movement, when the young people stand up, the nation changes forever. If more of us take a lesson from them, we’re going to be an unstoppable force.”
As the candidate of the Green Party, Dr. Stein expects to be on the ballot in at least 42 states that represent over 90% of the voters in America. She also expects to qualify for presidential primary matching funds.
Jill Stein was born in Chicago and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. She, graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. Dr. Stein lives in Lexington, Massachusetts with her husband, Richard Rohrer, also a physician. She has two sons, Ben and Noah.