Dr. Jill Stein and Cheri Honkala, the 2012 Green Party presidential and vice-presidential nominees, marked the beginning of Earth Week by announcing a new Green Shadow Cabinet that will serve as an independent voice in U.S. politics, putting the needs of people and protection of the planet ahead of profits for big corporations. The Cabinet will operate in the tradition of shadow cabinets in other countries, such as the United Kingdom and France, responding to actions of the government in office, and demonstrating that another government is possible.
The Green Shadow Cabinet, which is viewable at www.GreenShadowCabinet.US, includes nearly 100 prominent scientists, community and labor leaders, physicians, cultural workers, veterans, and more, and will provide an ongoing opposition and alternative voice to the dysfunctional government in Washington D.C.. It is organized into six federal branches: Democracy, Economy, Ecology, Foreign Affairs, General Welfare, and Justice. Topics include the economy, environment and climate change, health and general welfare, democratization, rights of workers, wages and labor, community power, closing military bases, ending wars for resources and restoring the rule of law. Among the top priorities will be advocating for full employment through a Green New Deal and confronting climate change and the ecological crisis through a program of creating a carbon-free and nuclear free energy economy.
In honor of the launch of the Green Shadow Cabinet, members have issued public statements for Earth Week. These are available for republication at http://greenshadowcabinet.us/statements
Jill Stein said, “We are announcing this alternative government on Earth Day to emphasize the importance of confronting the climate crisis and also to show how it is interrelated with the economy, energy and the quality of life for all people. We will be urging policies that have the support of the American people. We’ve brought together leading analysts, experts and spokespeople on all the critical issues faced by the country and will provide a place where concerned citizens and journalists can come for independent and popular perspectives on the issues of the day.”
Cheri Honkala added, “It is time for the people to have a voice. We plan to listen to and empower people who are confronting the crisis of homelessness, poverty, lack of health care and poor education. It is time to give the voiceless a voice in the direction of the country.”
The Green Shadow Cabinet will represent the views of super majorities of the American people that are ignored by the corporate duopoly. A 2013 Demos Poll found that 68% of Americans believe that the government should provide jobs to all who want them and 78% believe that wages should be high enough so no family is in poverty. According to a 2013 Yale report, 88% of Americans say the U.S. should make an effort to reduce global warming, even if it has economic costs. And, for more than a decade polls have not only shown majority support for single payer, Medicare for all but when Massachusetts voted in 2008 and 2010 on the issue, 67% voted for single payer.
Margaret Flowers, a physician who serves as Secretary of Health, states “We will advocate for health coverage from birth to death through a national improved Medicare for all. This will not only empower people but will be the best path for business and reduction of government deficits. In addition, we will push for public policy in all areas that affect our health such as education, food and water, the environment and more.
Richard Monje, a labor leader from Chicago who is serving as Secretary of Labor said “Full employment with a living wage would provide a foundation for the American economy and dignity for working Americans. The Green Shadow Cabinet will make this issue a top priority.” Exit polls from November 2012 found that while 59% rated the economy as their top concern only 15% pointed to the deficit. The top economic issue for voters was unemployment.
Richard Wolff, Chairman of the Council of Economic Advisors, said that “when it comes to the economy, it is time for the United States to be investing in the economy to create good paying jobs and not to be pushing austerity with a mistaken focus on the deficit. In the longer run, we need to re make the economy to put in place worker self-directed enterprises that allow workers to build wealth and have greater control over their economic lives.”
“The top priority for the Department of Justice will be to restore the rule of law; that means prosecuting the widespread security fraud of the big banks and the environmental crimes of big business. We will also hold those responsible for torture and war crimes accountable and immediately release and provide compensation to the 86 people in Guantanamo Bay who have been cleared for release and not charged with any crime as a first step in closing what is becoming a death camp,” said Kevin Zeese who will be serving as Attorney General.