By Rachael Yadlowsky – Collegiate Staff
Green Party Vice Presidential Candidate Ajamu Baraka spoke Wednesday at Grand Rapids Community College about national issues and how to go about them.
“We represent a democratic choice,” Baraka said about the green party. “We provide that choice, we have a platform that we think is different from the two major parties. We want to bring that difference back to the American people.”
As a third party, Baraka said they are fighting for every vote and will continue to campaign. The party feels that Michigan is an important state and that they have a lot votes coming from Michigan.
Baraka listed many issues happening nation-wide that the Green Party wants to fix that he said no other party is discussing. He said the two major parties represent the past.
“The only change agents in this race is the Green Party,” Baraka said. He said that the only campaign that is talking about “real issues” like job security, medical care, the housing crisis and wealth inequality is the Green Party.
“If our supporters came forth and had the chance to compare Jill Stein (Green Party Presidential candidate) to Donald Trump or Hillary Clinton we would have been very competitive,” Baraka said, when asked if he believes that third parties could win an election.
The rally, or as Baraka called it a “conversation,” was just that. He discussed many of the issues that the Green Party wanted to fix and let the audience ask questions at any time. Baraka opened with how he has been talking to many of the party’s supporters and listening to their issues that the two major parties are “neglecting to address.”
“Seeing this really exposes the underdevelopment of democracy,” Baraka said.
He said that even though people are upset that the Democrats and Republicans aren’t addressing these problems, they feel happy to know that at least one party is talking about the issues.
Near the beginning of the “conversation,” Baraka invited four children from East Rockford Middle School to explain the goals of the Green Party. The middle schoolers were working on a project in school where they created a mock debate and were campaigning as the Green Party.
“I believe that these are the main pillars of the Green Party,” Larson Bukowski,14, said to the audience. “One is peace. Military action is too costly and the budget will have to be cut. The second would be ecology. Climate change is very real and dangerous. Then comes social justice and grassroots democracy.”
Baraka went on to speak about foreign policy and how the United States has dominated over so many foreign countries. He said they have so many treaties and policies that could be handled differently.
“Why is China our enemy?” Baraka asked, rhetorically. “Why is Russia our enemy?” The Green Party and other people in the nation believe that the U.S has enemies that don’t need to be enemies.
Baraka allowed people from the audience to step up and ask a question that could explain what else the Green Party had to offer. Issues such as medicare, drug wars, homelessness and racial profiling and other foreign relations dealing with the middle east were discussed to which Baraka confidently said how the Green Party would resolve them.