Gary Yarus: A Closing Argument for Jill Stein

Imagine a political party ”really” wanting America governed progressively. Imagine its platform stressing social justice, human and civil rights, peace, disarmament, and other populist policies. The two-party duopoly may say they support progressive values but upon closer analysis they are actually spurned.

Presidential candidate, Dr. Jill Stein of America’s Green Party believes another United States is possible but another party is necessary.
She fully embraces the Green Party’s ’Green New Deal’ platform. The Green New Deal is the only detailed program from any political party for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future.
Inspired by FDR New Deal that helped us out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the ’Green New Deal’ will provide similar relief and create an economy that makes our communities sustainable, healthy and just.
Here are some but not all of the policies Dr. Stein and the Green Party proposes.
Dr. Stein believes our country cannot truly move forward until the roots of inequality are pulled up, and the seeds of a new, healthier economy are planted. Thus she supports an economic bill of rights that ensures all people:
1. The right to employment through a full employment program that will create 25 million jobs by implementing a nationally funded, but locally controlled direct employment initiative, offering public sector jobs when private sector jobs are not available;
2. Workers rights including the right to a living wage, to a safe workplace and to organizing a union without fear of firing or reprisal;
3. The right to quality healthcare achieved through a single-payer Medicare-for-All program;
4. The right to a tuition-free, quality, federally funded, local controlled public education from pre-school through college;
5. The right to decent affordable housing, including an immediate halt to all foreclosures and evictions by creating a federal bank with local branches to take over homes with distressed mortgages and either restructuring the mortgages to affordable levels, or renting the homes by expanding rental and home ownership assistance;
6. The right to accessible and affordable utilities, expanded Internet for all, and public transportation through democratically run, publicly owned corporations that operate at cost and not for profit;
7. The right to fair taxation distributed in proportion to earnings and one╒s ability to pay. In addition, corporate tax subsidies will be made transparent by detailing them in public budgets where they can be scrutinized, not hidden as tax breaks.
Dr. Stein’s second priority is to convert our present economy into a new, sustainable economy that is environmentally sound, economically viable and socially responsible by:
1. Investing in green business by providing grants and low-interest loans to grow green businesses and cooperatives, with an emphasis on small, locally-based companies that keep the wealth created by local labor circulating in the local community rather than being drained off to enrich absentee investors;
2. Prioritizing green research by redirecting research funds from fossil fuels and other dead-end industries toward research in wind, solar and geothermal;
3. Providing green jobs by providing 16 million jobs in sustainable energy and energy efficiency retrofitting, mass transit and regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture, and clean manufacturing;
Thirdly, there also needs to be real financial reform. The takeover of our economy by big banks and well-connected financiers has destabilized both our democracy and our economy. It╒s time to take Wall Street out of the driver seat. Real financial reform will:
1. Relieve the debt burden holding back the economy by reducing homeowner and student debt burdens;
2. Democratize monetary policy to bring about public control of the money supply and credit creation by nationalizing the private bank-dominated Federal Reserve System and placing them under a monetary authority within the Treasury Department;
3. Break up the over-sized banks that are too big to fail;
4. End taxpayer-funded bailouts for banks, insurers, and other financial companies;
5. Restore the Glass-Steagall separation of depository commercial banks from speculative investment banks;
6. Support the formation of federal, state, and municipal public-owned banks that function as non-profit utilities.
Lastly, Jill Stein knows we won╒t get these vital reforms without a fourth and final set of reforms to give us a real, functioning democracy. Just as we are replacing the old economy with a new one, we need a new politics to restore the promise of American democracy by:
1. Revoking corporate personhood by amending our Constitution to make clear that corporations are not persons and money is not speech. Constitutionally guaranteed rights belong only to living, breathing human beings not to chartered corporate artificial entities;
2. Enact a voter bill of rights guaranteeing us a voter-marked paper ballot for all voting, requiring that all votes be counted before election results are released, celebrate our democratic aspirations by making Election Day a national holiday, bring simplified, safe same-day voter registration to the nation so that no qualified voter is barred from the polls, do away with so-called winner take all elections in which the winner does not have the support of most of the voters, and replace that system with instant runoff voting and proportional representation systems which most advanced countries now use to good effect.
Also, replace big money control of election campaigns with full public financing and free and equal access to the airwaves, guaranteed equal access to the ballot and to the debates for all qualified candidates;
3. Strengthen media democracy by expanding federal support for locally owned broadcast media and local print media;
4. Protect our personal liberty and freedoms by repealing the Patriot Act and those parts of the National Defense Authorization Act that violate our civil liberties, prohibit the Department of Homeland Security and the FBI from conspiring with local police forces to suppress our freedoms of assembly and of speech.
5. Rein in the military-industrial complex by reducing military spending by 50% and closing U.S. military bases around the world, restoring the National Guard as the centerpiece of our system of national defense and creating a new round of nuclear disarmament initiatives.
The Green New Deal is a campaign that will not end on November 6th.  If Jill Stein wins five percent of the vote in this election, the Green Party will automatically be on every presidential ballot in 2016 and will receive $20 million in public finance funding. So your vote is powerful. Do not waste it on the lesser of two evils provided by the two-party duopoly. Jill Stein and the Green Party represent America╒s true progressive alternative
I will be making a well-informed, pragmatic, principled vote for Jill Stein and an agenda I think best for my country. Casting this vote is my civic responsibility. Will your vote be based on the same principle?
I encourage you to do the same by making the right choice, whatever that may be.

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