Jill Stein, environmental-health advocate and Green Party presidential nominee, wants to put people over profit. She sees the corporate lobbyists and politicians from both parties passing legislation that harms people and the planet and is determined to do something about it.
Stein graduated from Harvard in 1973 and from Harvard Medical School in 1979. She practiced and taught medicine for 25 years, which gave her an inside view of the health issues caused by environmental damage.
Her increasing concern for people’s health, as well as the health of the environment, led her to activism and she helped preserve a moratorium on new toxic trash incinerators in Massachusetts. She has founded and worked with a number of non-profits that focus on strengthening communities through increased local support, developing renewable energy, and providing environmental responsibility education.
Her environmental activism led her to propose a “New Green Deal,” which will allow the U.S. to convert to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030. This proposal will also create millions of jobs in public transit, renewable agriculture and conservation. She also wants to establish a $15 an hour federal minimum wage.
While working with non-profits and small communities, Stein noticed how lobbyists and corporate interests continually sacrifice the welfare of people and the environment, for the sake of profits. This led her to advocate for campaign finance reform. She is the only candidate running who hasn’t received money from a Super PAC – something that has helped attract many disenfranchised Bernie Sanders supporters.
Campaign finance reform isn’t the only parallel between Stein and Sanders. She believes that education is a human right and wants to abolish student debt, while providing free schooling from kindergarten through university – something that sounds pretty damn good to those of us with student loan payments to look forward to.
Stein supports expanded rights for women, LGBTQ individuals, and indigenous people’s rights. This includes preventing unconstitutional government surveillance under the Patriot Act, protecting whistleblowers, ensuring a woman’s right to choose, legalizing marijuana and treating the drug problem as a health issue rather than a criminal one.
Stein wants to cut military spending by 50 percent by closing over 700 foreign military bases, ceasing financial and military support of human rights abusers and by ending U.S. interventionist policies. She also wants to end the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan by completely removing U.S. troops and contractors from those countries, as well as stopping the use of drones for assassination.