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Cuyahoga Falls — A receptive audience of nearly 300 people gathered Friday evening, Sept. 2, at the Natatorium to hear Green presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein's call to join her party's “movement for justice.”
Stein said voters are being told they have to choose the “lesser of two evils.” She called it a “race to the bottom” and predicted the next election will be worse.
“We'll have more of a racist, misogynist, homophobist, anti-Muslim-Islamaphobist,” she said. “All these things are absolutely unacceptable. Unfortunately Hillary Clinton is not solving the problem. All of the terrible things Donald Trump says, unfortunately, Hillary has a record for doing.”
Stein decried the cost of war, stating 44 percent of American's income taxes fund the military budget, adding the Obama administration has committed $1 trillion to build more nuclear weapons. She said right now America has 2,000 nuclear weapons on “hair-trigger alert” when she believes America needs to be dismantling nuclear weapons not adding more.
Stein said if elected she would cut the military budget in half. She said the fighting of American forces is causing the displacement of peoples around the world.
“Sixty-five million refugees are fleeing from America's wars,” she said. “You want to fix the refugee problem? Let's stop causing it in the first place.”
Stein also called for the decriminalization of marijuana and hemp and pardon anyone jailed for “using a substance less harmful than cigarettes or alcohol.” She also wants to see inmates have the right to vote.
Planks in Stein's platform also include a $15 living wage, clean environmental and climate justice.
“Climate injustice is inseparable from racial injustice,” she said, noting that people of color are the hardest hit and last to be helped. Stein said there are still 100,000 African Americans who have not been able to return to their homes since they were ravaged by Hurricane Katrina 11 years ago.
Andrew Jarvi and Joseph DeMare, Green Party candidates for U.S. Senate and U.S. Congress, respectively, also spoke at the rally that was billed as Stein's Cleveland campaign stop. An organizer of the rally said the venue was chosen because places in Cleveland and Akron were booked for Labor Day weekend events.