The Green Party of Rhode Island, founded in March 1992 and one of the oldest Green Parties in the United States, will be visiting the Secretary of State’s office on June 27, 2016 so to submit their party’s candidate, expected to be Dr. Jill Stein, to be placed on the ballot in this coming election for President of the United States. Four long-time Greens, Glen Bennett of Warwick, Greg Gerritt of Providence, Kathleen Rourke of Providence, and Nick Schmader of Warwick, will be declaring themselves to be Electors to the Electoral College if the Green Party candidate for President wins the vote in Rhode Island this November.
Glen Bennett, who will be going to his first Green Party nominating convention this summer, noted “I am excited to start petitioning and we have seen an influx of volunteers as the time approaches to begin the effort. Dr. Jill Stein seeks to heal the ailing politics of the United States and is inspiring voters with a message of ecological healing, justice, and an economy that works in our communities, not just for the 1%.”
Dr. Stein, a native of Chicago who hails from Lexington, MA, has over a quarter-century experience in the medical field and is co-founder of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities. She has previously run for Governor of Massachusetts in 2002 and 2010, State Representative in 2004, Secretary of State in 2006, and was a candidate in the 2012 presidential election. She is currently, with Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party, bringing lawsuit under anti-trust laws against the Commission on Presidential Debates. Stein is currently already appearing on the ballot in 21 states and in the District of Columbia. According to Rhode Island state law, all those who desire to appear on the ballot must submit a petition with signatures to the Secretary of State to appear on the November ballot by September 9 at 4 pm. In May the Rhode Island Green Party nominated Dr. Stein out of a selection of candidates that were made available.
“I’m real excited and we’re looking to start petitioning here in Rhode Island very soon. We’re getting a constant stream of new volunteers. A lot of people who were supporting Bernie [Sanders] are starting to look at Jill very seriously. There was a national conference and it was all about Bernie but, as soon as you got outside of the main auditorium, into any of the little discussion groups, there was a lot of people talking about Jill! I think this is going to be a very interesting year politically and the Greens really have the opportunity to do something different,” says Gerritt, who previously ran for Mayor of Providence as a Green. “Jill Stein, the Green Party candidate, is running at about 7% in recent polls and Gary Johnson, the Libertarian Party candidate, is running about 11% in some polls. That is huge! Between the two of them, they’re equal to Ross Perot in the election!”
In a June ABC News/Washington Post poll, 70% of Americans viewed Donald Trump unfavorably and 55% viewed Hillary Clinton unfavorably. “More and more Rhode Islanders are rejecting the most unpopular and untrustworthy big party candidates for president ever,” says Gerritt.
In a May Data Targeting poll, 55% of Americans said they would favor an independent challenger to Clinton and Trump. It is obvious that a serious crisis of leadership has occurred within the two-party system. “The Republicans really have to wake up and change,” says Gerritt. “There is something wrong with the political philosophy of the party that controls Congress. So they have to implode! Of course the Democrats aren’t doing much better! They’re basically saying to all of their energized base ‘uh, go away or get co-opted‘ and this year people really have a place to go. Jill has done this before so she knows how to run a campaign and she’s got a great campaign on the ground.”
For more information or to get involved in the Stein petition drive or other Green Party efforts, email StateCommittee@rigreens.org.
[From a press release]