In 2000, 2.8 million people voted for Ralph Nader as the Green Party presidential candidate. Jill Stein is running for president as the standard bearer of the Green Party in 2016. She has no chance of winning. Her motivation for running—and the motivation of those who would vote for her—can only be explained by a combination of self-gratification and the belief that simply making a statement is important in today’s national politics.
Stein graduated from Harvard Medical School and practiced internal medicine for 25 years. She became an activist protesting coal fired power plants in Massachusetts and later served on the board of the Boston chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. She advocated for campaign finance reform in Massachusetts. She is a musician who has recorded several albums in a folk-rock band, Somebody’s Sister.
Stein ran unsuccessfully for governor in Massachusetts in 2002 and again in 2010, finishing both times in last place. She ran for state representative in 2004, losing to the incumbent candidate in a three-way race. She lost the race for Secretary of the Commonwealth in 2006. She was elected to serve in local government as a Town Meeting Representative in Lexington, Massachusetts in 2005 and 2008. She first ran for the presidency as the Green Party’s candidate in 2012, receiving 0.36 percent of the vote (about 470,000 votes). In August, 2016, she was nominated to run again as the Green Party candidate along with Ajamu Baraka as her vice-presidential running mate.
Baraka is an associate fellow at the Institute for Policy Studies and was the founding director of US Human Rights Network, an organization that seeks to apply international human rights standards to the United States. An outspoken opponent of the death penalty, he serves on boards of several organizations dedicated to human rights advocacy.
The next chapter is tracking six focus issues during the current presidential election process. TNC has summarized the positions of the major party presidential candidates: Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Where does Jill Stein stand on these issues?
Do you favor immigration reform that includes a pathway to citizenship?
Stein opposes deportation and favors immigration reform including a path to citizenship. She supports the DREAM Act. She believes that “predatory U.S. foreign policy” has driven the wave of “refugees” to the United States and that “we are then criminalizing these refugees once they come here by detaining, deporting, and night raiding them.”
On health care:
Do you support the ACA and efforts to improve or expand it?
Stein favors a single-payer health care system. She believes that the ACA is fatally flawed and appears to support repeal of the law, calling Clinton’s support for the ACA “a critical mistake.” She would replace the ACA with a “Medicare for all” plan.
On the Iran Nuclear Deal:
Do you support the nuclear agreement with Iran?
Stein supports the Iran nuclear agreement, and sees it as a step toward nuclear disarmament. She favors “better ties” with Iran.
On Climate Change:
Do you believe that human activity is largely responsible for climate change and do you favor regulation of emissions?
Stein has proposed a “Green New Deal” to address climate change and stimulate the economy. “She has adopted a goal of 100% renewable energy by 2030, calling for a “mobilization” that would create “20 million new jobs. She has called climate change “an emergency expounded by racial disparities.”
On the Minimum Wage:
Do you support increasing the federal minimum wage?
Stein supports raising the federal minimum wage to $15 per hour.
On campaign finance:
Do you support campaign finance reform?
Stein’s Power to the People Plan calls for public campaign financing and “abolishing corporate personhood.”