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Jill Stein
Jill Stein by Gage Skidmore.jpg
Jill Stein in March 2016
Member of the Lexington Town Meeting
from the 2nd Precinct
In office
Personal details
Jill Ellen Stein

(1950-05-14) May 14, 1950 (age 74)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political party Green
Other political
Democratic (formerly)
Spouse Richard Rohrer
Children 2
Education Harvard University (AB, MD)

Jill Ellen Stein (born May 14, 1950) is an American physician, activist, and political candidate.

In 2023, it was announced that Stein would help run Cornel West's 2024 Green Party campaign for president, challenging President Joe Biden. After West withdrew from the Green Party to continue his campaign as an independent, Stein launched her own campaign for the Green Party's 2024 presidential nomination.

Early life

Stein was born in Chicago, Illinois, the daughter of Gladys (née Wool) and Joseph Stein. She was raised in Highland Park, Illinois. Her parents were descended from Russian Jews, and Stein was raised in a Reform Jewish household, attending Chicago's North Shore Congregation Israel.

In 1973, Stein graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College, where she studied psychology, sociology, and anthropology. She then attended Harvard Medical School and graduated in 1979. After graduating from Harvard Medical School, Stein practiced internal medicine for 25 years at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Simmons College Health Center, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, which are all located in the Boston area. She also served as an instructor of medicine at Harvard Medical School.

Early activism and political career

As a physician, Stein became increasingly concerned about the connection between people's health and the quality of their local environment, and decided to turn to activism in 1998, when she began protesting the "Filthy Five" coal plants in Massachusetts. Since 1998, she has served on the board of the Greater Boston chapter of Physicians for Social Responsibility. She received Clean Water Action's "Not in Anyone's Backyard Award" in 1998 and its "Children's Health Hero Award" in 2000, Toxic Action Center's "Citizen Award" in 1999, and Salem State College's "Friend of the Earth Award" in 2004.

Stein coauthored two reports by the Greater Boston Physicians for Social Responsibility, In Harm's Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development (2000), and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging (2009). In Harm's Way report republished in the peer-reviewed Journal of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics in 2002.

Massachusetts politics

Jill Stein
Stein at a protest against coal-powered energy production

Stein began her political career by running as the Green-Rainbow Party candidate for governor of Massachusetts in 2002. Her running mate was Tony Lorenzen, a high school theology teacher. She finished third in a field of five candidates, with 76,530 votes (3.5%), far behind the winner, Republican Mitt Romney.

Stein then ran for state representative in 2004 for the 9th Middlesex District, which included portions of Waltham and Lexington. She received 3,911 votes (21.3%) in a three-way race, ahead of the Republican candidate but far behind Democratic incumbent Thomas M. Stanley.

In 2005, Stein set her sights locally, running for the Lexington Town Meeting, a representative town meeting, the local legislative body in Lexington, Massachusetts. Stein was elected to one of seven seats in Precinct 2. She finished first of 16 candidates, receiving 539 votes (20.6%). Stein was reelected in 2008, finishing second of 13 vying for eight seats. Stein resigned during her second term to again run for governor.

At the Green-Rainbow Party state convention on March 4, 2006, Stein was nominated for Secretary of the Commonwealth. In a two-way race with the three-term incumbent, Democrat Bill Galvin, she received 353,551 votes (17.7%).

Jill Stein Candidacy Rally February 2010
Jill Stein announcing her candidacy for governor in February 2010

On February 8, 2010, Stein announced her second candidacy for governor. Her running mate was Richard P. Purcell, a surgery clerk and ergonomics assessor. In the November 2 general election, Stein finished fourth, receiving 32,895 votes (1.4%), again far behind the incumbent, Democrat Deval Patrick.

Presidential campaigns

Stein was the Green Party's nominee for president of the United States in the 2012 and 2016 elections.

During her campaigns for president, she campaigned on the theme of a Green New Deal which included a number of reforms to address climate change and income inequality, as well as civil and political rights reform. In 2012, Stein received 0.36 percent of the popular vote; in 2016, she received 1.07 percent of the popular vote.

Historian and scholar Jon Wiener on his podcast Start Making Sense with guest Green Party candidate Jill Stein
Stein with Jon Wiener, The Nation writer and host of the political podcast Start Making Sense in 2016
Jill 2016
Jill Stein's presidential campaign logo, 2016

On November 9, 2023, Stein announced her bid for president on X, (formerly Twitter) citing her main priorities as being anti-war, paving the way for a Green New Deal, Universal Healthcare, and ending what she characterized as "genocide in Gaza".

Political positions


In her various political campaigns, Stein supported industry nationalization and guaranteed employment.

In 2015, Stein was critical of official employment numbers, saying that unemployment figures were "designed to essentially cover up unemployment," and that the real unemployment rate for that year was around 12–13%. In February 2016, she said that "real unemployment is nearly 10%, 2x as high as the official rate."

Green New Deal

Referring to President Franklin D. Roosevelt's New Deal approach to the Great Depression, Stein advocated a Green New Deal in her 2012 and 2016 campaigns, in which renewable energy jobs would be created to address climate change and environmental issues; the objective would be to employ "every American willing and able to work". Stein said this plan would end unemployment and poverty. Asked how the funds of the Green New Deal would be distributed, Stein said that it would be "through a community decision-making process" but that the details remained to be worked out.


Stein supports the creation of sustainable infrastructure based on clean renewable-energy generation and sustainable-community principles to stop what her party sees as a growing convergence of environmental crises in water, soil, fisheries, and forests. Her vision includes increasing intra-city mass transit and inter-city railroads, creating complete streets that safely encourage bike and pedestrian traffic, and regional food systems based on sustainable organic agriculture.


Stein said she would fund the start-up costs of the plan with a 30% reduction in the U.S. military budget, returning U.S. troops home, and increasing taxes on stock-market speculation, offshore tax havens, and multimillion-dollar real estate, among other things. In 2012 and 2016 she cited a 2012 study in the Review of Black Political Economy by Rutgers professor Phillip Harvey showing that the multiplier economic effects of this "Green New Deal" would recoup most of the start-up costs of her plan.

In September 2016, Stein said she would consider using quantitative easing to establish a universal basic income or a Medicare for all package.

Financial Reform

Stein called the Wall Street bailout an unconscionable waste. In 2012, Stein opposed the raising of the debt ceiling, saying that the U.S. should instead raise taxes on the wealthy and make military spending cuts to offset the debt.

In 2016, Stein said that she supported a new 0.5% financial transactions tax on the sale of stocks, bonds, and derivatives, and an increase in the estate tax to "at least" 55% on inheritances over $3 million.

Banking Regulation

During her 2012 and 2016 presidential runs, Stein called for "nationalizing" and "democratiz[ing]" the Federal Reserve, placing it under a Federal Monetary Authority in the Treasury Department and ending its independence.

She supported the creation of nonprofit publicly owned banks, pledging to create such entities at the federal and state levels. In a 2016 interview Stein said she believed in having "the government as the employer of last resort". When asked what this entailed, she said that the idea was not yet fully developed but that a position paper was forthcoming. Stein's 2016 platform pledged to guarantee housing but did not offer specifics.


Stein has argued for "free higher public education".

Stein opposes charter schools and has been critical of the Common Core, saying that teachers rather than "corporate contractors" should be responsible for education.

Technology in Education

Stein feels that the move towards computerized education in kindergarten was bad for young children's cognitive and social development, saying, "We should be moving away from screens at all levels of education." She argues that increasing computerization benefits only device manufacturers, not teachers, children, or communities.

Health effects of Wi-Fi

In a question-and-answer session, Stein voiced concern about wireless internet (Wi-Fi) in schools, saying, "We should not be subjecting kids' brains especially to that ... and we don't follow this issue in our country, but in Europe, where they do, you know, they have good precautions about wireless. Maybe not good enough, you know. It's very hard to study this stuff. You know, we make guinea pigs out of whole populations and then we discover how many die." Stein later said, "take precautions about how much we expose young children to WiFi and cellphones until we know more about the long-term health effects of this type of low-level radiation."

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), "no adverse health effects are expected from exposure to [Wi-Fi]".

Debt forgiveness

Stein favors canceling all student loan debt, saying that it could be done using quantitative easing and without raising taxes. She has described quantitative easing as a "digital hat-trick" or "magic trick that basically people don't need to understand any more about than that it is a magic trick". According to Stein, the Federal Reserve could buy up student loans and agree not to collect the debt, thereby effectively canceling it. Stein has drawn parallels between her student loan proposal and the Wall Street bailout, saying that the US government bought up Wall Street debt and then canceled it. When asked why her plan includes canceling upper-income individuals' debt, Stein responded that higher education "pays for itself" and that education is not a "gift," but a "right," and a "necessity."

Electoral reform

Stein is critical of the two-party system, and argues for ranked-choice voting as a favorable alternative to "lesser evilism". Calling for "more voices and more choices", the Stein campaign launched a petition demanding that all candidates appearing on a sufficient number of state ballots to be theoretically electable should be invited to participate in the presidential debates.

In September 2016, Stein announced support for lowering the voting age to 16, in line with many other Green parties worldwide.

Energy and environment

Stein says that climate change is a "national emergency" and calling it "a threat greater than World War II." Stein has written: "We need climate mobilization comparable to what the US did after WWII." She has described the Paris Climate Agreement as inadequate, saying it will not stop climate change. She has said that she would "basically override" the agreement and create a more effective one.

Stein wants to "treat energy as a human right".


Stein proposes that the United States shift to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

Fossil Fuels

Stein supports a national ban on fracking on the grounds that "cutting-edge science now suggests fracking is every bit as bad as coal".

Nuclear Power

Stein has spoken against nuclear energy, saying it "is dirty, dangerous and expensive, and should be precluded on all of those counts." In March 2016, she tweeted, "Nuclear power plants = weapons of mass destruction waiting to be detonated." In 2012, Stein said, "three times more jobs are created per dollar invested in conservation and renewables. Nuclear is currently the most expensive per unit of energy created."


Stein says that she will "ensure that any worker displaced by the shift away from fossil fuels will receive full income and benefits as they transition to alternative work." She has further argued that moving away from fossil fuels will produce substantial savings in healthcare costs.

Stein has argued that the cost of transitioning to 100% renewable energy by 2030 would in part be recouped by healthcare savings, citing studies that predict 200,000 fewer premature deaths as well as less illness. She has noted that when Cuba lost Soviet oil subsidies it experienced plummeting diabetes (down 50%), CVD (down 30%) and all-cause (down 18%) death rates.

Foreign and defense policy

Stein takes a non-interventionist approach to foreign policy. She has also been critical of America's "expanding wars" and accused the United States of currently "bombing seven countries," which Politifact rated as a true statement.

In 2012, Stein favored maintaining current levels of international aid spending.

Military Spending

Stein wishes to cut U.S. military spending by at least 50%. and would close US overseas military bases. She has said that they "are turning our republic into a bankrupt empire". She wants to replace the lost military jobs "with jobs in renewable energy, transportation and green infrastructure development" and to "restore the National Guard as the centerpiece of our defense".

Use of Force

According to Stein, the United States should use force only when there is "good evidence that we are under imminent threat of actual attack". When asked by the Los Angeles Times editorial board whether that standard would have prevented US involvement in World War II, Stein answered, "I don't want to revisit history or try to reinterpret it, you know, but starting from where we are now, given the experience that we've had in the last, you know, since 2001, which has been an utter disaster, I don't think it's benefited us." Stein criticized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, U.S.-led War in Afghanistan and U.S. involvement in the Saudi Arabian-led intervention in Yemen.

Weapons Use

Stein wants to remove U.S. nuclear weapons from foreign countries.

Stein has been sharply critical of the use of drones, calling them a human rights violation and an "illegal assassination program" saying that they are "off target nine times out of ten."


When asked whether US should withdraw from all of its mutual defense treaties, Stein answered that the treaties need to "be looked at one by one", mentioning NATO in particular.

On the subject of NATO, Stein has said that NATO has violated international law in Libya, and that it is part of "a foreign policy that has been based on economic and military domination". When asked whether she agreed with Ajamu Baraka's description of NATO as "gangster states", Stein answered that she would not use Baraka's language but that "he means the same thing I'm saying".

When asked by The Washington Post about NATO's role in protecting the Baltic states against Russia, Stein responded: "At this point, I'm not prepared to speak to that in detail" but said that NATO has not followed its stated policy after the fall of the Berlin Wall not to move "one inch to the East". She further argued that there has been provocation on both sides and that a diplomatic approach is necessary. Stein has said that NATO fights invented enemies in order to provide work for the weapons industry. Stein accused NATO member Turkey of supporting Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, saying that "we need to convince Turkey, our ally in theory, to close its border to the movement of jihadi militias across its border to reinforce ISIS."


Jill Stein advocates "a welcoming path to citizenship for immigrants."

Public health

Stein is in favor of replacing the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) with a "Medicare-for-All" healthcare system and has said that it is an "illusion" that Obamacare is a "step in the right direction" toward single-payer healthcare.

Stein has been critical of subsidizing unhealthy food products and of "agri-business" for its advertisements encouraging unhealthy eating. She has said that due to agri-business, Greeks no longer have the healthy diets they once did.

GMOs and pesticides

Stein supports GMO labeling, a moratorium on new GMOs, and the phasing out of existing GMO foods, unless independent research "shows decisively that GMOs are not harmful to human health or ecosystems". Speaking of the health effects of foods derived from GM crops, she has said: "And I can tell you as a physician with special interest and long history in environmental health, the quality of studies that we have are not what you need. We should have a moratorium until they are proven safe, and they have not been proven safe in the way that they are used."

Commentators have criticized Stein's statements about GMOs, writing that they contradict the scientific consensus, which is that existing GM foods are no less safe than foods made from conventional crops. Among the critics was Jordan Weissmann, Slate's business and economics editor, who wrote in July 2016: "Never mind that scientists have studied GMOs extensively and found no signs of danger to human health—Stein would like medical researchers to prove a negative."

In Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging (2008), Stein concludes her section on pesticides by saying: "[M]any but not all studies find that acute high-dose and chronic lower-dose occupational exposures to some neurotoxic pesticides are linked to an increased risk of cognitive decline, dementia or Alzheimer's disease."

In 2000, Stein and her coauthors wrote, "Twenty million American children five and under eat an average of eight pesticides every day through food consumption. Thirty-seven pesticides registered for use on foods are neurotoxic organophosphate insecticides, chemically related to more toxic nerve warfare agent developed earlier this century." They further noted the ubiquity of these pesticides in the home and at schools, citing Schettler et al. for the claim that "the trend is toward increasingly common exposures to organophosphates. For example, chlorpyrifos detections in urine increased more than tenfold from 1980 to 1990."

Space exploration

In 2012, Vote Smart reported that Stein wanted to "slightly decrease" spending on space exploration. She favored maintaining current levels of spending on scientific and medical research. In 2016, Stein said NASA funding should be increased, arguing that by halving the military budget, more money could be directed towards "exploring space instead of destroying planet Earth."

Personal life

Stein is married to Richard Rohrer, who is also a physician. They live in Lexington, Massachusetts, and have two sons.

See also

Kids robot.svg In Spanish: Jill Stein para niños

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