7 Quick Facts You Should Know About the Green Party

7 Quick Facts You Should Know About the Green Party
Courtesy Of Jill Stein

There are others political party options outside Democrat and Republican. For instance, the Green Party has been around in the United States since 1984, hoping to make the country a more democratic, safer and cleaner one. They engage their party and others based on four pillars: peace, ecology, social justice and democracy. 

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Though you might not have heard, the Green Party's national convention is happening right now in Houston, Texas and ends August 7. If you're in the dark on what this political party is all about, here's a rundown of things you need to know.

1. They're not on the ballot in every state. As of August 1, they're only on the ballot in 23 states, with nine to 15 states pending.

2. They're an international party. The party has four regional federations, including in the Americas, Africa, Asian-Pacific and Europe. They meet in a Global Greens congress to set up ways to collaborate, with the next one expected later this year or in 2017.

3. They have ten key values. They include grassroots democracy, social justice and equal opportunity, ecological wisdom, non-violence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism and gender equity, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility as well as a future focus and sustainability. 

4. Presidential hopeful Jill Stein has a lot in common with Bernie Sanders. In addition to a single-payer public health program, she's invested in providing tuition-free public education, $15 minimum wage, legalizing marijuana and also enacting an emergency Green New Deal to change the tide on climate change and revive the economy.

5. Many blame the Green Party for George Bush getting elected in the 2000 election over Al Gore. Sixteen years ago, Green Party candidate Ralph Nader won 2.9 million votes, which gave Bush a significant advantage over Gore. Many fear that the same can happen in the 2016 election. For instance, if Sanders supporters end up voting for Stein, this can give Donald Trump an advantage over Hillary Clinton.

6. Stein is a Harvard grad. Stein, the Green Party’s presumptive nominee, received her undergraduate degree and her medical degree from the prestigious Ivy League school. She's currently working as a licensed physician.

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7. The party might not make it into the debates. Unless Stein climbs to 15 percent of the votes from her current position at 5 percent, she won't be invited to the televised debates with the other candidates.