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Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein fights to make an ‘America that works for all of us’

Abbey Cutrer
Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein poses for a portrait on Monday, March 4, 2024, in the William T. Young Library at the University of Kentucky in Lexington, Kentucky. Photo by Abbey Cutrer | Staff

Editor’s note: The following information was gathered from a private interview with Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein and the Kentucky Kernel, as well as comments from a public meeting shortly after on March 4, 2024. 

Jill Stein isn’t just a Green Party presidential candidate but a mother, medical doctor and an advocate against what she said is the “mother of all illnesses” — politics. 

After graduating with a doctorate degree from Harvard Medical School and pursuing the professional field, Stein said she saw many cases of late stage chronic diseases that could be minimized by preventative measures. Nonetheless, in her attempts to do so, she found that the system was working against her rather than with her.

Stein decided to shift her work from clinical medicine to “political medicine,” launching her career in 2000 when she ran as the Green Party candidate for the governor of Massachusetts.

“I entered politics out of absolute desperation just seeing everything else fall apart from the climate to endless war to student debt, you name it,” Stein said. “Out of that desperation that we weren’t able to move things forward, I followed the advice of Frederick Douglass that ‘power concedes nothing without a demand, it never has and never will,’ so entering into this out of desperation, I came out of it with incredible inspiration.” 

Stein said she hopes to find ways to heal the “broken two-party system” and make “an America that works for all of us.”

“We have two political parties who are kind of being rammed down your throat, and you’re being told that you have to be good little boys and girls and vote the way you’re told,” Stein said at an event in the William T. Young Library (Willy T.) auditorium. “But what kind of chance does that give you for a livable future?” 

Stein’s campaign focuses on five main principles according to her website: a just economy, a new green deal, world peace and global human rights, equality for all and a real democracy.

In her efforts to help younger voters and students, Stein focuses part of her campaign principles on eliminating student debt by creating free access to public higher education.

“It’s a more complicated world and education,” Stein said. “In my view, it’s really a birthright, and it’s a necessary tool. And in addition, it creates job opportunities and many of them, so for all those reasons we need to be providing this to young people.”

In an open forum-like event at the library, Stein shared her campaign principles while also questioning the Democratic and Republican parties’s policies regarding student debt, livable wages and climate change.

Stein later opened the room to students and faculty to ask questions about current topics and also urged students to find opportunities within their community to advocate for these issues, telling the audience to find an issue that they connect with most and go from there. 

Broadcast by Giana Gallo

“It’s very challenging to work at the national level because it’s really diffused and it takes a lot of resources,” Stein said during the event. “It’s much more efficient to start in the community that you’re in with the issues that are really critical here.” 

Stein told the crowd at Willy T. how she appreciates students speaking out against the Israel-Palestine conflict and said that there are certain issues similar to this that young people can “push the envelope on” more so than anyone else.  

“We are the one pro-worker, anti-war and anti-emergency campaign,” Stein said. “We are the one choice that can bring those constituencies together which are especially youth-oriented during climate and war and student debt, all that. And against us, there will be four that are pro-war and pro-genocide.”

In a message to young and college voters, Stein said she wants these generations to know they are right in speaking up for their beliefs and are being supported and fought for through her campaign. 

“We really want to encourage you to keep acting with the courage of your conviction because in every generation, it’s always been the younger people who sat in for the civil rights lunch counter boycotts and all that,” Stein said. “It’s always fallen to young people to move us in the direction that we need to go and say ‘enough is enough’ when our world is being destroyed.”

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Abbey Cutrer, Editor-in-Chief

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    Don PrattMay 10, 2024 at 12:51 pm

    While I firmly believe in many of the principles of the Green Party, I’ve known members to be flaky, uninformed about local issues and disorganized. It’s sad!