Jill Stein is a Harvard-educated doctor, a pioneering environmental health advocate, and an organizer for people, planet, and peace. She has helped lead initiatives to fight environmental racism, injustice, and pollution, to promote healthy communities, and to revitalize democracy. She has helped win victories in campaign finance reform, racially-just redistricting, and the clean-up of incinerators, coal plants, and other toxic threats. She was a principal organizer for the Global Climate Convergence for People, Planet, and Peace over Profit.
As a practicing physician, Jill became aware of the links between toxic exposures and illness emerging in the 1990s. She began to fight for a healthy environment, assisting non-profits and marginalized communities in combating environmental injustice and racism. She helped lead the fight to clean up the “Filthy Five” coal plants in Massachusetts, raising the bar nationally for a cleaner standard for coal plants. She helped close a toxic medical waste incinerator in Lawrence, MA, one of the poorest communities in New England. She played a key role in rewriting the MA fish advisories to better protect women and children, Native Americans and immigrants from mercury contamination.
Having witnessed the power of lobbyists and campaign contributions to block health, environmental and worker protections, Jill became an advocate for campaign finance reform, and worked to help pass the Clean Election Law by voter referendum. This law was passed by a 2-1 margin, but was later repealed by the overwhelmingly Democratic Massachusetts Legislature on an unrecorded voice vote. This sabotage of campaign finance reform by the Democratic Party was a pivotal event in Jill’s political development, strengthening her growing alignment with the Green Party.
In 2003, Jill co-founded the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities, a non-profit organization that fought for the health and well-being of Massachusetts communities, including health care, local green economies, environmental protection, labor rights, and grassroots democracy.
In 2008, Jill helped lead the “Secure Green Future” ballot initiative to move subsidies from fossil fuels to renewable energy and to create green jobs. The measure won over 81 percent of the vote in the 11 districts in which it was on the ballot.
Jill has received several awards for health and environmental protection, including Clean Water Action’s “Not in Anyone’s Backyard” Award, the “Children’s Health Hero” Award, and the Toxic Action Center’s Citizen Award. Jill has appeared as an environmental health expert on the Today Show, 20/20, Fox News, and other programs. She also served on the board of directors for Physicians for Social Responsibility.
She is the co-author of two widely-praised reports, In Harm’s Way: Toxic Threats to Child Development, published in 2000, and Environmental Threats to Healthy Aging, published in 2009. The first of these has been translated into four languages and is used worldwide as a community tool in the fight for health and environmental justice. The reports connect the dots between human health, social justice, a healthy environment and green economies.
Jill was born in Chicago and raised in Highland Park, Illinois. She graduated magna cum laude from Harvard College in 1973, and from Harvard Medical School in 1979.