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Jill Stein at an Occupy Wall Street demonstration in 2012. (Photo: Paul Stein/flickr/cc)

Under Green Party Banner, Jill Stein Officially Sets Sights on 2016

Power to the People Plan 'would end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society'

Deirdre Fulton

Vowing to combat the "converging crises" of racism, militarism, climate change, and "extreme materialism," Dr. Jill Stein on Tuesday announced this week that she is running for president of the United States as a Green Party candidate.

In a campaign kick-off speech at the National Press Club in Washington, D.C. on Tuesday, Stein laid out the major planks of her platform, excerpted below:

Our Power to the People Plan lays out these solutions in a blueprint to move our economy from the greed and exploitation of corporate capitalism to a human-centered system that puts people, planet and peace over profit. This plan would end unemployment and poverty; avert climate catastrophe; build a sustainable, just economy; and recognize the dignity and human rights of everyone in our society. The plan affirms that we have the power to take our future back:

We have the power to create a Green New Deal, providing millions of jobs by transitioning to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030. 

We have the power to provide to a living-wage job and workers rights for every American. 

We have the power to end poverty and guarantee economic human rights.

We have the power to make health-care a human right through an improved Medicare for All system.

We have the power to provide education as a right and  abolish student debt.

We have the power to create a just economy.

We have the power to protect Mother Earth.

We have the power to end institutional racism, police brutality and mass incarceration. 

We have the power to restore our Constitutional rights. 

We have the power to end our wars of aggression, close foreign bases and cut military expenditures 50%

We have the power to empower the people.

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Stein, who also ran for president in 2012, talked about her candidacy in an exclusive interview with Democracy Now! on Monday. Among other things, Stein highlighted one major difference between Greens and the mainstream political parties: "We are part of a party that does not accept corporate money and that does not accept money from lobbyists nor from corporate CEOs or surrogates of corporations."

While Stein admitted to similarities between herself and Sen. Bernie Sanders, who is running for the presidency as a populist Democrat, she was hard-pressed to find overlaps between her platform and that of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. 

"With Hillary, you know, I think, across the board, Hillary is the Wal-Mart candidate," Stein said. "Though she may change her tune a little bit, you know, she’s been a member of the Wal-Mart board. On jobs, on trade, on healthcare, on banks, on foreign policy, it’s hard to find where we are similar."

Speaking of her economic priorities, Stein told Democracy Now's Goodman: "We are very focused on reforming the financial system, not only breaking up the big banks, but actually establishing public banks at the community, state and national level, so that we actually can democratize our finance. We can nationalize the Fed and ensure that it’s running for public purpose and not simply for private profit."

Watch the full Democracy Now! interview below:

A press release sent out by the Jill 2016 campaign notes that Stein's official entry into the 2016 presidential race coincides with the filing of a lawsuit against the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on Monday. That lawsuit, brought by the advocacy group Level the Playing Field and the Green and Libertarian parties, seeks to expand the 2016 general-election presidential debates to independent and third-party candidates. 

Stein—who was arrested, along with vice presidential candidate Cheri Honkala, trying to enter a presidential debate sponsored by the CPD in the fall of 2012—was reportedly "deeply involved in negotiations with Level the Playing Field to have the Green Party join as co-plaintiff in this suit."


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