Announcement Speech Text

Dr. Jill Stein Announces Formation of Exploratory Committee For 2016 Presidential Bid

Remarks as prepared for delivery at The National Press Club
February 6, 2015

Good morning. Thank you for being here today in this historic moment, as a movement for democracy and justice is sweeping the planet.  People are rising up, calling for an America and a world that works for all of us. We’re told we are in a recovery, when in fact we are in an emergency. And the political parties that got us into this mess are utterly incapable of getting us out. 

So the American people are leading the way forward, and the demand for deep change has grown to a fevered pitch.

Young people are leading the courageous Black Lives Matter movement to end police militarization and racist violence, and calling for an end to the extrajudicial murders of so many African American children and parents – like Trayvon Martin, Michael Brown, Eric Garner and more.  Families and teachers are mobilizing to keep schools from closing and to simply keep public education in existence. Momentum is growing against abusive high stakes testing that forces poor kids down the deadly school to prison pipeline. The fight is building against predatory mass incarceration, that holds one in three African American men hostage to our vast prison state. Workers are fighting for living wages and the right to a union. Students are demanding an end to college debt that’s crippled a generation. Hard-working immigrants are standing up for a humane path to citizenship, not simply a 3 year deferral of deportation. Frontline and Indigenous communities are leading the resistance to toxic fossil fuels that threaten to disrupt civilization as we know it in our lifetime. And the list goes on. 

Because this movement is alive and well in our communities and in the street. It marks the coming of age of a new generation. So it’s time for a generational shift in our national vision. We’ve had enough of rule by the economic elite, with their cult of cut throat competition and their religion of greed. We’ve had enough of corporate capitalism that puts profits ahead of people, planet and peace. These deranged values have dominated media, politics and the economy for decades. It’s now clear for all to see where they lead - to extreme inequality, to economic despair, to racism, endless war and climate catastrophe. 

It’s time for a new way forward with a new society, a new economy and new energy and food systems. The old politics is collapsing, and the political vacuum is begging to be filled. That vacuum was plainly seen in the 2014 midterm election, which was not a victory for Republicans but a defeat for Democrats. 2014’s record low turnout reflected profound disillusionment with both parties. 2016 provides an incredible opportunity to fill that political vacuum and surge forward.  

The voices of resistance and transformation deserve to be heard loud and clear in this election. That’s why I am announcing today the formation of an exploratory committee for the 2016 presidential election. 

We will use this exploratory campaign to reach out to young people, to workers, employed, underemployed and discouraged, and to front line communities, immigrants, and communities of color. Our campaign will reach out to women, seniors, Indigenous nations, LGBTs and all who’ve been abandoned and betrayed by the Democratic and Republican parties. We will offer a campaign in service of the justice they deserve.  

The Green Party can do this because we’re the only national party that isn’t poisoned by corporate money. In 2012, we emerged as the nation’s leading progressive party challenging the status quo. Now we are building on that.

We will lift up the bold solutions the American people are calling for:  

20 million living-wage jobs, in an emergency Green New Deal to enrich communities not corporations, end climate change and make wars for oil obsolete;

Health care as a human right, not a means tested entitlement like Medicare, not a subsidized profit center for predatory insurance like Obamacare, but a Medicare for All system to provide quality care for all while saving trillions by streamlining the massive health insurance bureaucracy;

Quality free public education as a human right, and an end to runaway school privatizations and closings, to high stakes testing, and student loan debt.

An emergency transition to a green economy powered by 100% wind, water and sun by 2030;

A welcoming path to citizenship for immigrant residents, and an end to predatory trade deals and political interventions that created the surge of immigration to start with;  

An end to the racist war on drugs and school to prison pipeline. And a end to the militarized police, surveillance and prison state, and radical reduction of America’s prison population;   

An end to Wall Street bail outs and “too big to fail’ banks ;

And foreign policy based on diplomacy, international law and human rights, rather than global military and economic domination;

As we test the waters, we can plan the campaign of a lifetime, for this moment of historic transformation. 

In closing, I invite you to visit jill2016.com. Connect with us. Volunteer. Make a donation to make this work.

This is the time to come together. Solutions are in our hands. Justice is in our hands. Democracy is in our hands. Together we can create a world that works for all of us, and ensure that People, Planet and Peace will prevail. It’s in our hands.