Interview with Green Party VP nominee Cheri Honkala

Cheri Honkala, Green Party Vice Presidential nominee was interviewed by Randy LoBasso of Philadelphia Weekly. She joined the Green Party in 2011 and ran for Sheriff, and garnered 6% in that election. An excerpt from the interview is below.

Last time we spoke about this race, before you were picked to be vice president, you mentioned you were a Jill Stein supporter.

The woman has a great deal of integrity. She’s very serious about running for president. It’s not a joke. It’s not something that’s just symbolic, and I think she has some really good ideas and she has really championed the issue around single-payer health care, Medicare and Medicare for all, for a very long time. Right now—and of course, myself, at many times in my life not having health insurance, and basically everybody I know not having health insurance or having substandard health coverage, she, for me, it was a no-brainer because she has really touched on an important issue, which is this question of health.

And health in the larger context. Other than just going to the doctor’s. She really has raised environmental issues that low-income folks have had to deal with living in communities where there’s various environmental problems and high rates of cancer and miscarriages and a whole host of other things. She understands the whole nutrition piece. And all of those things that are fundamental, that low-income families have to deal with.

What do you hope to add to that basic platform?

I think what I bring is a bridge to a whole different section of folks in this country, and those are the homeowners that are trying to hold on to their homes and inner-city youth and seniors that are living in nursing homes and the disabled. I really feel like I can help put the spotlight on some of these issues that aren’t being talked about in either the Obama or the Romney campaign and I’m really serious because Mitt Romney keeps acting like he’s talking to poor whites in America or like he cares about or supports their issues and he really doesn’t.

Many groups you’ve mentioned have often been taken for granted or known to vote Democrat. How do you expect to take on the Democratic Party if you start moving into those voting blocs?

Well, one, I really hope to stay alive in the process and that’s not a joke. Because some of the worst gangsters I’ve met have come from the Democratic Party and of course they aren’t going to be happy. For years—I know what it’s like to do voter registration in low-income communities and the Democrats get very angry when you’re doing that independent of their party because they want to make sure that they maintain a certain amount of numbers and that number doesn’t really grow unless it’s for whatever candidate that they want to have in office at the time. Because behind the doors that we knock on, people don’t know what is the Green Party, they don’t know there’s another choice. All they hear about is the Tea Party, but they don’t know that there are people who are raising a lot of these economic issues and they aren’t associated with the Tea Party; they are associated with the Green Party and they look just like them and we’re serious about making this a real viable party in this country.

Read the whole interview at PhillyNow: Q&A: Green VP Candidate Cheri Honkala Says She’ll Shed Light on PA Ballot Access

Cheri Honkala is National Coordinator for the Poor People’s Economic Human Rights Campaign, one of the country’s largest multi-racial, inter-generational movements led by the poor and homeless.

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