Written By: Amanda Vieira
On November 4th, third party candidate Jill Stein visited Montclair State University to hold a Town Hall Meeting before the anticipated Presidential Election on November 8th. The meeting was scheduled to start at 6:30P.M but began 15 minutes later because participants arrived late. The event coordinators were giving out free t-shirts and pins given to the public with the words “Defend the Republic,Fight the Empire, Vote Jill Stein” and “People, Planet & Peace Over People, Vote Jill Stein”.
The meeting began with the Founder of the Environmental Club of Montclair State University, Stephano Castro, giving a small introduction of the Third Party and why it is so important to vote for Stein. The next speaker was Erika Jacho, a candidate for the Board of Education of Belleville who discussed her struggles on growing up as an immigrant and then becoming an American citizen. After thanking the Green Party for supporting her, Jacho introduced Reverend Seth Kaper-Dale, co-pastor of the Reformed Church of Highland Park who has been selected as the Green Party of New Jersey’s 2017 Gubernatorial candidate. He discussed the reason he wants to run for state government in one simple quote that ignited everyone in the room: “The last shall be first.” Kaper-Dale then focused on various aspects on those who are last but will be first such as homeless children, undocumented families, global refugees, felons having the right to vote, muslims, Hurricane Sandy victims, LGBQT communities, the environment, public school teachers and students, and finally union workers. After discussing what he would do for the state of New Jersey if he becomes governor, he introduced third party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein to the Stage. At least 350 people from various ages attended Friday’s Green Party event in hopes of meeting Stein and to listen to a different view of politics. The room roared with applause and people chanted “Jill not Hill”.
Once Stein thanked everyone for coming she talked about both Republican and Democratic parties calling them “Spoiler Parties.” She proceeded to ask who in the room was a Bernie Sanders supporter and if they could stand up. Half of the room stood up and she thanked them for all coming together. She then said to the crowd,
“You do have the power to transform the system.”
Stein later discussed student debts and proclaimed that if she were to go into office, that would be the first item in her agenda unlike the other two candidates.
“Bail out the students just like the Republicans and Democrats bailed out the crooks in Wall Street,” she said.
This brought people on their feet and they all screamed “ Jill not Hill.” The topic then rested on Donald Trump with Stein saying “We don’t need your freaking wall, we just need to stop invading other countries.” Stein explained this would be the solution for diplomatic issues.
After discussing what she would plan to do if she became President, she went on to answer questions from various students and adults from different areas in New Jersey. The Q&A began with a black lives movement question. The questions then turned to student loans, public housing, working with Congress and climate change. The event ended with Stein asking for a group selfie and proceeded to take selfies with each person present or gave them an autograph.
Jill Stein’s main objective at this moment is to receive at least five percent of the national vote because then the next Green Party candidate could potentially receive millions of dollars in matching funds from the government to strengthen their campaign and reach more voters. Some of candidates that spoke before Stein stayed and talked to each person including WMSC 90.3.
“I am overjoyed to be here tonight… I hope similarly to dream and to hope and to cast division that is based on what we really want to see in the state,” Reverend Seth Kaper-Dale said.