- Climate Change
- Women and Girls’ Survival
- Community Based Economics and Economic Justice
- Health Care for All
- Federal Tax Reform
- Foreign Policy
- Immigration Reform
- Community Peace/Stopping Police Violence
My top foreign policy issue is survival of women and girls, with millions dying every year from lack of family planning, discrimination in food supply, killings and torture for choosing a husband, genital mutilation, sex trafficking, and inadequate education. I will advocate increasing our international aid to women's non-governmental organizations. Second, I support true sustainable development – renewable energy, tree planting to restore ecosystems, and local crops not cash exports.
Our single most important foreign policy issue is our second campaign priority, survival of women and girls worldwide. The facts of women and girls’ suffering around the world are so overwhelming it is difficult to take in at once. Child abuse is rampant, and 39,000 girls are forced into child marriages every day. Millions of women and girls die each year from lack of family planning, discrimination in food supply, killings and torture for choosing a husband, genital mutilation, sex trafficking, and inadequate education. The list seems endless and we often turn away in hopelessness.
Yet, there has been progress in many countries and cultures from dedicated work of nonprofits and aid programs. Girls and women are beginning to speak up around the world to defend their right to survive and thrive. It takes just $50 to send a girl to school in many countries, and investing in girls’ education is the quickest, proven way to bring social progress to communities. We can reduce this holocaust of women and girls through significant increases in international aid to local, community, women-run programs. One of the Green Party’s 10 Key Values is Feminism and Gender Equity, and I consider it “the moral issue of our times” after the climate change threat to all life on Earth.
The second priority is true sustainable development, by supporting through our foreign aid:
renewable energy for reliable local electricity;
tree planting to provide and stable ecosystems such as the Green Belt Movement in Kenya which restores dry rivers and groundwater; and
- locally appropriate food production instead of export crops.
Empowering people to provide adequate food, shelter, and energy for themselves and their families is the most effective means towards peace. We should not be supporting massive $10 billion high tech projects, for instance through our World Bank votes, that benefit elites in other countries and the multinational corporations. The basics of our stable, peaceful society in the US (relatively speaking) are the same building blocks of peace in other societies – food, water, education, equality, justice and freedom, particularly for women.
I will oppose the US’s quiet, nearly invisible support for huge, polluting projects by multi-national corporations and oppressive governments, through votes in the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund. The US recently supported a $5 billion loan guarantee to construct a new large petroleum refinery, when the same loan guarantee could have been supported building many solar panel factories instead. I will publicize these backroom deals that are major drivers of pollution, dis-empowerment of local communities around the world, and which waste precious funds needed now for renewable energy and sustainable agriculture.
If we think foreign aid is expensive, consider that we spend just 3¢ a day on all peaceful development (education, human rights, democracy, anti-corruption, equality) through our State Department’s Agency for International Development (AID), for every $1 spent on violent conflict resolution, through our Department of Defense. Preventing wars is much cheaper than fighting them. And the most peaceful countries in the world are those with the highest equality and protection for women. Survival and equality for women and girls is the quickest, most proven, cost-effective way to peace and sustainability.
We should not use torture. It is illegal here in the United States, and does not become ethical at a different latitude and longitude. Torture makes a cruel hypocrisy out of every value we stand for by saying our excellent values as a nation are only for when it’s convenient to have those values. It undermines all our foreign policy goals. Our values are our greatest asset, and they must be unshakeable to inspire trust and cooperation of millions more people than can be dealt with through rendition and torture.