Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala on Third Party Politics
Bill talks to Green Party presidential and vice presidential candidates Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala about what they’ve learned about American politics. Stein graduated from Harvard Medical School to become an internist specializing in environmental health. She was a Massachusetts gubernatorial candidate in 2002, co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities in 2003, and represented the Green-Rainbow Party in state races in 2004 and 2006. Honkala is an anti-poverty activist and community organizer who co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. A formerly homeless single mother, Honkala became the first woman ever to run for Sheriff of Philadelphia in 2011.
Cheri Honkala is is representing the Green Party as a vice presidential candidate in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. A nationally-renowned advocate for the poor and homeless, Honkala was herself born into poverty in Minneapolis. As a single teenage mother, Honkala and her young son were homeless for a period while she finished high school. After graduating, she began working to help other poverty-stricken families and ultimately became a pioneer in the modern housing takeover movement.
Honkala co-founded the Kensington Welfare Rights Union in the neighborhood of Kensington, Philadelphia; and the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign. She has organized tens of thousands of anti-poverty activists in marches and demonstrations.
In 2011, Honkala became the first woman ever to run for sheriff of Philadelphia, and the only sheriff candidate in the nation to run on a “zero foreclosure” platform, pledging that as sheriff she would refuse to evict citizens from their homes if they were foreclosed on by big banks. Honkala was named Woman of the Year by Philadelphiamagazine in 1997, and in 2001 Ms. Magazine honored her with the same title. Other awards and recognitions include the Public Citizen of the Year Award by the Pennsylvania Association of Social Workers, the Letelier-Moffitt Award from the Washington Institute for Policy Studies, and the title “Hellraiser of the Month” by Mother Jones magazine in April 2005.
Dr. Jill Stein is representing the Green Party in the 2012 U.S. presidential election. A Harvard Medical School graduate who become an internist specializing in environmental health, Stein became an advocate for campaign finance reform in her home state of Massachusetts, working in 1998 with others in her community to pass the Clean Election Law. The law was approved by voters by a 2-to-1 margin, but was later repealed by the Massachusetts State Legislature on an unrecorded voice vote.
In 2002, Stein ran on the Green-Rainbow Party ticket to be governor of Massachusetts, an election ultimately won by Mitt Romney. In 2003, she co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities. Stein represented the Green-Rainbow Party again in 2004 when she ran for State Representative, and in 2006 in her campaign for Secretary of State. In the 2006 race, Stein won over 350,000 votes — the most ever for a Green-Rainbow candidate in Massachusetts.
In 2008, Stein advocated for a “Secure a Green Future” ballot initiative that called for moving the Massachusetts economy to renewable energy, and prioritizing the development of green jobs. The initiative won 81 percent of the vote in the districts that included it on the ballot.
Today, Stein’s presidential campaign focuses largely on moving towards a green economy, which she argues would provide the American economy with 16 million new jobs while making the environment cleaner and safer.
Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, and from Harvard Medical School.