Earlier today, Jill Stein joined the picket lines at Amundsen and Lane Tech, two Chicago high schools. On her way from Ohio, she cancelled her morning appearances in Minnesota in order to visit Chicago teachers, parents, and students who have been engaged in a citywide strike since Monday.
The battle the teachers of the Chicago Public Schools are fighting is not one of their choosing. It is one which has been foisted on them by politicians who have been bankrolled by, and who therefore represent the interests of, the 1%.
Rahm Emanuel’s war against the Chicago Teachers Union is not about wages or benefits. It is about the future of quality public education in Chicago and beyond. President Obama and Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, with their “Race to the Top” initiative, are seeking to destroy the influence of the teachers unions, to reroute public dollars to corporate interests, and to undermine the core fabric of public education in America.
Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein is a staunch defender of public sector workers and for quality public education from pre-school through college. “Obama and Romney have made it clear that they think our kids don't need a quality education,” says Stein. “They expect middle class people to bear the tax burden, and are not willing to make the wealthy pay a fair share, in order to fund our schools. The situation in Chicago is about whether the superrich pay their share, or whether we have underfunded schools.”
Stein, a Harvard-trained physician who once ran against Mitt Romney for Governor of Massachusetts, is proposing a Green New Deal for America - a four part policy strategy for moving America quickly out of crisis into a secure, sustainable future. Inspired by the New Deal programs that helped the U.S. out of the Great Depression of the 1930s, the Green New Deal proposes to provide similar relief and create an economy that makes communities sustainable, healthy and just.
Stein grew up in the Chicago suburb of Oak Park, Illinois.