Approximately 200 people came out to Galería E.V.A on the Southside to support Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein, as well as state and local candidates in the 2016 election, which is less than a month away.

Supported by musicians, poets, and activists, Stein and the other candidates spoke on a wide range of topics such as the dangers of “Republocrats” controlling U.S. politics, working to eliminate fossil fuels by 2030, and instituting a Green New Deal to create jobs that help bolster the economy and work toward climate change.

Prior to Stein speaking in front of a standing-room only crowd inside the gallery, the Green Party candidate engaged in an interview with the Rivard Report. She said her four-city trip through Texas aims to provide evidence that the state isn’t as red as most people perceive it to be.

Green Party Presidential Candidate Dr. Jill Stein meets and greets Brandy Nealey and her daughter Olivia, 2 years old as Stein arrives to the event.
Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein meets and greets Brandy Nealey and her daughter Olivia, 2, upon arriving at the event. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

“Ironically, there’s a lot of interest in alternative (parties) here in Texas, where many of the locals say the Democratic Party doesn’t even try (to win),” Stein said. “They don’t present a progressive alternative. So there’s a big political space here and urgent needs. The crises of immigration, the fossil fuel economy, low wages, unaffordable health care, and student debt, are all very much in a desperate situation here.”

Stein said she is particularly passionate about immigration, as are many people living in South Texas. She added that the detention centers in the area are disgraceful.

“It’s a national scandal,” she said. “The idea that women and children are being detained, locked up, and families are being divided in a program that’s a part of a policy of deportation is a scandal.”

Stein argued that the current policy was started under the Clinton administration, and she went a step further to call the Democratic Party “the party of deportation, detention, and night raids,” and specifically mentioned deportations under President Obama’s administration.

“We think it’s very important to create a welcoming path to citizenship and actually get beyond the so-called comprehensive immigration reform, which has been dead in the water for about 10 years,” she said. “Those detention centers should be shut down.”

Stein also said that the record 15 million Texans who are registered to vote should look to her as the only candidate who, as she put it, “isn’t throwing voters under the bus.”

“Voters, young voters especially, already know that they’re just the latest cash cow in a predatory economy, locked in student loan debt,” Stein said. “And the jobs aren’t there. This recovery that we’re having is a recovery for the top 5%. But it’s not for everyday people, and it’s certainly not for Millennials. The main thing I would say to Millennials is that what you are waiting for is right here.”

Green Party Presidential Candidate Doctor Jill Stein discusses indigenous rights.
Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein discusses indigenous rights. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

She said that one of the major policies in the Green Party’s platform is to enact an emergency jobs program, much like the Green New Deal.

“The program will have jobs in renewable energy, sustainable food production, and public transportation. So we’d create 20 million good wage jobs,” she explained. “In this case, it not only fixes our economy but it also fixes the climate.”

She added that said jobs in South Texas would entail solar and wind farms, for the most part.

“There’s a potential bonanza of jobs here for solar and wind farms,” she said. “We consider this (an) antidote to NAFTA.”

Speaking to the 200 in the packed gallery, Stein credited the people in attendance in having the potential to spark a revolution come Nov. 8.

Green Party Presidential Candidate Doctor Jill Stein speaks in front of a full room of supporters.
Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein speaks in front of a full room of supporters. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

“Our time has come. We say that it’s time to throw the bums out who are standing in the way of the peaceful … green future,” she said. “Texas is a microcosm of the injustice all over the country because of the fossil fuel industry, the injustice along the border, the cuts to your state budget, and economic predators.”

Stein declared that her single-payer healthcare plan and free college tuition plan would be paid for with personal healthcare savings and the reduction in defense spending.

“We say it’s time for a new offensive in the Middle East. It’s called the ‘Peace Offensive,‘” Stein said.

After the rally, 24-year-old Monica, who didn’t want to give her last name for this story, told the Rivard Report that she hadn’t planned on voting until her sister informed her of Stein’s candidacy.

“I just thought, ‘I have Trump and Hillary so I’m not voting. My country’s gonna go to shit,’” Monica said. “The media only puts out Trump and Hillary, and they’re both liars. And after looking into it, I stand for everything Jill stands for.”

Stein visited Houston and El Paso before coming to San Antonio. She will wrap up her Texas tour tomorrow in Austin. In the latest poll data aggregated by USA Today, Stein is polling at 2.1% nationally.

(From left) Ellen Berky, Lauren Rangel, and Zane Nordquist listen to the speech by Presidential Candidate Jill Stein through the doors of Galleria E.V.A.
(From left) Ellen Berky, Lauren Rangel, and Zane Nordquist listen to the speech by presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein through the doors of Galería E.V.A. Credit: Scott Ball / San Antonio Report

James McCandless

Former intern James McCandless is a recent St. Mary's University graduate. He has worked with the San Antonio Current and Texas Public Radio.