Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate for president, made a few stops in Colorado on Sunday.
She started things with a morning press event at the Whittier Cafe, where she talked about some of Colorado’s biggest issues, including gentrification, health care and fracking.
Stein highlighted ColoradoCare, the proposal to create a universal health care system, as one of the “exciting” things the state is doing, but she didn’t give her full-throated support.
“There are limits to what a state can do,” she said. “I applaud the effort from the state level to go as far as they can, but they cannot truly create the single-payer system because they’re not allowed to do so at the federal level.”
She said that a lack of federal support would make it difficult to achieve price efficiencies, among other concerns, but she said that ColoradoCare could “make price negotiation possible,” between the public and the health-care industry.
She added that Obamacare also “is not going to do it for us,” and promised a full statement on the topic later today.
Stein describes fracking, the oil-extraction method, as a danger to public health and the climate. Colorado’s voters in November could decide whether to allow cities and towns to put new limits on fracking.
Stein described it as “a system that allows individual towns and cities to protect their water supplies and air from this dangerous technology,” and criticized Gov. John Hickenlooper for being too friendly with fracking. He struck a deal in 2014 that essentially defeated anti-fracking proposals.
She wants an immediate ban on the development of new fossil-fuel energy sources.
“What we bring to this is the sense of national emergency,” she said, arguing that President Barack Obama has said too little about climate change and allowed the expansion of carbon polluters even while building up the renewable energy sector.
Asked about the economic impact of a fossil-fuels ban, Stein said that the Green Party would help people into new jobs.
“They must be assured that they won’t go without a job and without benefits,” she said, pointing to the state of New York’s program for coal workers.
On why she’s losing:
Stein may do a lot better this year than in previous years. She hit 7 percent support in a Quinnipiac poll in Colorado this month. In 2012, she picked up less than a half-percent of the vote here.
Still, the Libertarian candidate, Gary Johnson is doing significantly better, polling at 16 percent in Colorado in that last poll. That’s not good for either of them, because they won’t get on the debate stages without hitting 15 percent (respectively) in the national polls.
Stein said she’d be doing better if the media gave her more attention.
“The media’s supposed to be about informing and empowering voters,” she said. Both Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, she argued, have had billions of dollars worth of free media exposure through the news.
“I’ve had essentially zip. I consider it remarkable that we’re polling as well as we are without the media doing its due diligence,” she said.
On Clinton and Trump:
Trump is worse than Clinton, she said, but the “difference between them” is not enough to “save your life” or “save the planet.”
Her words for Trump included “outrageous, xenophobic, hate-mongering, demagoguery,” while she painted Clinton as a global-trade-loving, neo-conservative whose policies had set the table for Trump.
She also criticized Clinton for the Democrat’s support of a no-fly zone over Syria, arguing that it could start an air war between American and Russian forces.
“Gentrification has everything to do with the power of developers to decide the future of our community … to upgrade housing, but in the process to lock out our current residents,” she said.
“The main plank of our platform is what we call a Green New Deal. It puts money into the hands of communities, in order to create a sustainable economy, but also a sustainable society. … It provides resources to communities so that they themselves can decide what it is to be sustainable.”
That could include spending on healthy food systems, public transportation, safe sidewalks, bike paths, and public housing, she said.
“They’re not simply limited to the plans of a wealthy developer,” she added. She supports “low-cost public housing, ideally in mixed-income settings.”
Clinton also has called for new investment in city infrastructure, though she has put more emphasis on cities as the leaders, rather than the federal government. I haven’t seen any examples of Trump talking about gentrification.
On higher education:
Stein wants public higher education to be free, and she wants to forgive college debt.
“In my view, there is no investment that is worthy of our resources than our younger generation,” she said. “It’s also really clear that there is no more powerful stimulus package of our economy than to release the incredible power of an entire generation.”
Nobody actually asked about this, but Stein’s team decided to tweet today about that gorilla.