Student debt, single-payer healthcare, environmental protection are topics Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein plans to discuss during a rally in downtown Santa Barbara this weekend.

Stein plans to explain her campaign platform, speak about the current two-party political system and allow third party candidates access to the presidential debates during her visit in Santa Barbara, according to a news release.

The rally will begin at 9:30 a.m. Saturday at De la Guerra Plaza, 15 East De La Guerra St. The event is free and open to the public. 

Stein is stumping in California along with her running mate Ajamu Baraka to raise awareness of the need to reform the electoral process to allow 3rd party presidential candidates full access to the ballot, event organizer Catalina Treviso said.

The event will open with a blessing from Chumash elder Diego Cordero followed by a Native American ceremony performed by the Danzantes of Santa Barbara.
Stein will be introduced by Ben Manski, her 2012 Green Party campaign manager. 

She is scheduled to speak at around 10:15 a.m., Treviso said.

Local activists, organizers and artists will speak about their work in the community and begin forging networks of solidarity and support with one another, Treviso said.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein will visit Santa Barbara to talk about her ideas on student debt, health care and environmental protections.

Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein will visit Santa Barbara to talk about her ideas on student debt, health care and environmental protections.  (Courtesy photo)

Closing remarks will be provided by UCSB graduate student and Green Party member Emily Williams, and UCSB Professor and Climate Justice leader John Foran.   

A public forum will follow to address issues of community concern, Treviso said. 

The Green Party nominee was unable to participate in the presidential debate between Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and Republican candidate Donald Trump earlier this week because she did not meet the 15 percent polling threshold required, according to her campaign. 

“(This) presidential campaign shows that the electorate is more diverse than can be represented by two parties,” said former Santa Monica Mayor and Green Party of California spokesperson Michael Feinstein.

Stein, a Harvard graduate and physician, was also the Green Party’s 2012 candidate for president. 

Her campaign is centered around the Green New Deal, a plan to stimulate the American economy and allow the country to become 100-percent dependent on clean renewable energy by the year 2030, according to her website.   

This will be Stein’s fifth California appearance during the campaign, after she held rallies across Southern California, including major cities such as Los Angeles, Oakland and San Francisco.

The Green Party of California is guided by the values of the green movement, whose principal values are rooted in environmentalism, sustainability, community based economics and social justice.

Since the GPCA’s beginning in 1990, 345 Green Party representatives have been elected to public office.

Noozhawk staff writer Brooke Holland can be reached at Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk, @NoozhawkNews and @NoozhawkBiz. Connect with Noozhawk on Facebook.