Spartenburg, SC – Green Party presidential nominee Jill Stein visited the University of South Carolina Upstate on Tuesday to discuss her plan to create jobs by moving the nation toward renewable energy.
In front of a small but passionate crowd, Stein advocated for what she called the "Green New Deal," an emergency job-creation program that would lead the nation to 100 percent renewable energy by 2030.
"It's an emergency jobs program that will also answer the crisis of the climate," she said. "We call for not only green energy, but a green food system, a green transportation system and restoring our ecosystems as a critical part of our infrastructure. The Green New Deal is a win-win-win all around."
In order to solve what she calls the "climate crisis," Stein said a switch to green energy has to be made sooner rather than later.
"It's time to get ahead of this crisis and fix it while we can," she said. "It took us six months to transform the economy to a wartime footing. Well, we have a new war on our hands, and it's the war to stop climate change. What we're looking at makes Pearl Harbor look like small potatoes."
About 30 people attended Tuesday's event, many from outside of the area. Several attendees said they were fed up with Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton getting much of the attention nationally.
The two-party political system is the reason so much is wrong with the direction of the country, Stein said.
"People are standing up like we haven't seen in generations," Stein said. "We are a movement to change our rigged political system. That rigged political system has created this rigged economy that is throwing people under the bus."
Stein has focused her recent campaign efforts on young voters. She said they have been the ones to spearhead causes like civil rights, peace and women's rights.
She said it'll take a massive turnout of young voters to make the changes she has proposed.
Stein said she hopes to win the votes of the roughly 43 million people nationwide saddled with student debt by proposing to forgive that debt. She said if every one of those 43 million shows up to vote for her on Nov. 8, she can win the presidency.
"Who in their right mind would not come out to cast a vote to cancel their debt," Stein said.
Cianna Clinkscales, a USC Upstate junior, and Ashley Jones, a freshman, said they were eager to hear what Stein had to say.
Both were interested in what the candidate promised to do to lower the cost of college tuition and lessen the impact of student loans.
"I really want to listen to the views of everyone before I make a decision," Jones said. "The third party candidates have gotten a lot of attention in the past few months."
Jones said Stein could earn her vote if she puts the wants and needs of ordinary people above those of herself and the wealthy.
Jordan Higgins and Lanie Hernandez are two Stein supporters who plan to carry her cause into Election Day.
The pair made the trip from Asheville, N.C., to show their support for Stein and to talk to other college students about the issues she fights for.
"I would not morally feel right voting for the other two (Trump or Clinton)," Hernandez said. "I feel like she (Stein) is the best for me."
By Zach Fox
October 4, 2016