Green Party candidate Jill Stein makes a stop in El Paso


Michaela Román

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate campaigned at Café Mayapan on Oct. 14 in front of a crowd of more than 200.

Christian Vasquez, Copy Editor

Green Party presidential candidate, Jill Stein, visited El Paso Friday, Oct. 14, along with other Texas Green Party candidates while touring across the state as part of a final effort to get their names out. At a packed Café Mayapan, Stein railed against the idea of voting for the lesser evil, militarism in the Middle East and advocated for a “Green New Deal.”

“This is what democracy looks like, and you are what democracy sounds like, and you are what democracy acts like,” said Stein as she entered the stage to a crowd of hundreds.

The cheering crowd was a mix of Green Party supporters, undecided voters and people simply curious about the Green Party. Before Stein took the stage, Raneem Karboji, a sophomore pre-nursing major, was curious about the policies Stein represented.

“I just wanted to see what Jill Stein had to say about some current issues,” Karboji said. “I’m looking into it right now and I’m still undecided.” 

Others, frustrated with the mainstream candidates, heard about Stein and the Green Party, but did not know their exact policies. Rene Mateos, a UTEP alumni who got her degree in marketing, said she heard about the event from a friend.

“I was going to vote for Bernie (Sanders), but he left the race and I was pretty sad when he did,” Mateos said. “I see Trump and Hillary and I always thought the same: Hillary is a liar and I don’t trust her. Trump—he’s just for himself.”

Stein blamed the mainstream media for her absence in the national presidential discussion.

“The media does not want this on the airwaves, obviously, because it threatens their whole monopoly on things,” Stein said. “The American people not only have a right to vote; we have a right to know who we can vote for.”

Stein advocated for a complete reform for the education system. This included getting rid of charter schools and standardized testing, which she compared to a test of income levels.

The most widely recognized part of Stein’s education platform is to abolish student debt and to create tuition-free higher education. She said that the number of people who have student debt is enough to win a three-way presidential race.

“We know that it pays for itself. There is no excuse not to be offering free college or community college or technical school, we know that for every dollar that we as taxpayers put into free college that we as taxpayers get back $7 in return,” Stein said. “And while we’re at it, by the way, we have an entire generation of young people who are locked into student loan debt. Well, if we bailed out the friggin’ bankers who crashed the economy, it’s time to bail out their victims.”

While Stein did not mention it at Friday’s speech, she has also previously said she would use grants to desegregate schools that have been segregated by class and lack of funding.

When talking about the presidential debates, Stein brought up a statement by Clinton during the second debate–calling for a no-fly zone over Syria.

Pundits and political junkies alike stress that Clinton’s no-fly zone will inevitably increase tensions with Russia and might lead to armed conflict. Stein expressed a similar, albeit exaggerated, case.

“A no-fly zone means that we are declaring war on Russia. We are two nuclear-armed powers and we have 2,000 nuclear missiles on hair-trigger alert,” Stein said. “The former head of the Soviet Union, Mikhail Gorbachev, just stated last week that we are at the most dangerous moment ever in the history of the planet.”

On the environmental issues, the Green Party advocates for what they call a “Green New Deal,” which calls for 100 percent renewable energy in the U.S. by 2030.

The transition, the party’s site says, will create 20 million jobs and include a massive investment into public transit, sustainable agriculture and restoration of infrastructure and ecosystems.

“The core of our proposal is an emergency job program that ensures everyone has a good wage, living wage job, as part of solving the emergency of the climate crises,” Stein said.

She chastised Clinton for supporting fracking and that carbon dioxide emissions have been accelerating under President Obama.

Throughout the speech Stein also discussed police brutality and the Black Lives Matter movement, the animosity between the two mainstream presidential candidates, the lack of inclusion of third parties in the race and the failure of foreign policy in the Middle East.

“In order to support a woman in this race, you do not have to be a corporatist, an imperialist and a militarist—that’s really contrary to the basic values of feminism,” Stein said over the roaring crowd chanting her name.

After Stein’s speech and during the Q&A session, Karboji asked Stein what she would do about the expansion of Israel into Palestine.

“The reason I asked that is because other campaigns are not expressing that enough, I was pro-Bernie until he left and I was looking for options as to who would kind of give an exact explanation of what they would do,” Karboji said. “I thought Jill Stein provided a really good answer.”

Stein answered that her administration would discontinue the financial support of countries that violate human rights and international law such as Israel, Egypt and Saudi Arabia. Stein stated that the U.S. spends $8 million dollars per day on the Israeli army, which according to PolitiFact is actually somewhere around $8.5 billion a day, but since the Israeli budget is scattered throughout various U.S. departments it is difficult to know the exact number.

“Yes I intend to vote for her,” Karboji said.

Mateos had a similar turnaround. She was pro-Bernie before he dropped out of the race and was looking for another candidate who is, in her view, an honest politician.

“She was touching really important points in today. She was speaking the truth about everyone’s situation, actual situation, like the Native Americans, the African-Americans, the Hispanics, that’s what matters, at least to me,” Mateos said. “Honestly I heard about her before. I didn’t know what her ideas were about, but now I’m a 100 percent sure I want to go green.”

During the speech Stein mentioned a Fox News poll that showed Stein with 11 percent among Independent voters. However, at a national level Stein has 2 percent, according to, and has not gone higher than the 4.8 percent she held in June. While still at a lower level, the recent polls are higher than the numbers in 2012 during her last presidential run, when she reached 0.36 percent of the popular vote.

Stein understands her position, but feels her mission is important enough to continue running despite the odds stacked against her.

“Don’t be fooled by lesser evil, don’t for a minute think that you have to drink that Kool-aid, this is a Hail Mary moment. The clock is ticking in this election,” Stein said. “We’re not just deciding what kind of a world we’ll be, but whether we’ll have a world or not going forward.”