The Green Party Vice Presidential candidate, Cheri Honkala, will be giving a speech at Webster’s Bookstore and Café, 133 E. Beaver Ave., today to discuss the Green Party and her anti-poverty work.
Douglas Mason, a Centre County Green Party volunteer and Penn State adult learner in the GO-60, said Honkala wants students to know that the party is concerned about students and their ability to pay for school.
The Green Party’s presidential candidate, Jill Stein, has proposed a strong platform on education that would help students pay for their education from first grade through college, he said.
“[The Green Party] wants students to know they are concerned about student debt, given the current economic condition,” Mason said.
More specifically, Honkala will be talking about her work in the fight against poverty for the past 25 years, Mason said. She has spoken at the United Nations, as well as at a conference in India about poverty, he said.
Since she was once homeless, Honkala is interested in helping those who have lost their homes, Mason said. Honkala has also worked to provide support to those whose homes were in danger of being taken by big banks, he said.
Green Party Media Coordinator Scott McLarty said Honkala is so passionate about ending homelessness that she and Stein participated in a protest against home foreclosure. The protest occurred in August in Philadelphia, where the two were arrested during the protest, he said.
McLarty also said Pennsylvania is very important to Honkala because she is a resident of Philadelphia.
The Green Party believes students, such as those at Penn State, are important because they are the future of the country, McLarty said. He said the Green Party wants college students to graduate with a prospect for jobs and without excessive debt, he said.
“The Green Party is made up of young people and fresh ideas,” said McLarty.
The Green Party is a real and a healthy alternative that is not being offered by Gov. Mitt Romney and President Barack Obama, McLarty said. The party does not take money from corporations in the way Romney and Obama do in large quantities, he said.
“The future of this country depends on the Green Party or something like it,” McLarty said.
Penn State College Democrats President Drew McGehrin said the Green Party’s candidates don’t have as much name recognition. However, he said the visit could raise awareness that there is a third-party candidate.
Honkala’s visit to State College would inform Penn State students of another option they will have at the polls, McGehrin said,
But Chairman of the Penn State College Republicans Jordan Harris said the visit may attract a few votes, but it wouldn’t turn the tide of the election.