Green Party's Stein Walks With Poor While Democrats Party
Philadelphia -- On the day before the opening of the 2016 Democratic National Convention, as top Democratic Party members settled into swank hotel suites around Philadelphia, Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein spent much of that day interacting with the homeless and others in one of Philadelphia’s poorest communities.
Stein, a physician, walked the streets of Philadelphia’s Kensington section, hosted by anti-poverty activists in that community.
Kensington is a community where poverty in certain sections exceeds 57 percent. The unemployment rate in Kensington averages 19.1 percent, a figure that is nearly five times the current national average. Kensington is also a community with high levels of drug addiction and numerous drug sale locations. Stein stopped at an intersection in Kensington known as one of Philadelphia’s top drug sale/use locations.
“Kensington is what too much of America looks like,” Stein said. “In America today most people either live in poverty or are near poverty. This must change! Government today works for the wealthy special interests and not in the interests of most people.”
Stein’s trip through the impoverished Kensington was not a photo-op. Stein has spent time in that predominately Hispanic community on previous visits to Philadelphia. Further, none of the hundreds of mainstream media reporters in Philadelphia for the DNC showed up to shadow Stein. The mainstream media has failed to extend coverage to this third party candidate remotely comparable to coverage given to presumptive Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump.
The time Green Party candidate Stein spent in Kensington constituted a stark contrast to top leaders of the Republican and Democratic parties. Top Republicans disparage areas like Kensington pillorying poor residents for causing their poverty. Top Democrats, on occasion, express empathy for those living in severely impoverished communities like Kensington but do very little to address the structural inequities that keep people mired in poverty.
“I live here 365-days a year. I see the problems of this community everyday and it seems that no one cares,” Kensington resident Bernard Gur told Stein as she walked through a notorious drug area. “Police will lock up a person for having a small bag of dope but they can’t arrest the person who has killed two women down here recently.”
Stein started her day in Kensington at ‘Clintonville’ – a tent encampment of homeless on a vacant lot that was erected largely to shame the Democratic Party for spending more than $60-million on DNC functions while over one quarter of Philadelphia’s residents struggle in poverty. Philadelphia has the highest poverty rate of any large city in America. The Philadelphia-based Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign erected the ‘Clintonville’ encampment.