If there's one issue Green party candidates Morris Shanfield and Simon Ribeiro agree on, it's that the government should pull U.S. troops out of Iraq and Afghanistan immediately.
The two candidates will face off Feb. 2 in the Green party primary for the 9th Congressional District seat. The seat is held by Democrat Jan Schakowsky of Evanston.
Shanfield, 76, a retired journalist and peace activist from Chicago, says his purpose in running is to promote Green party issues. His campaign platform focuses on creating jobs and getting the country out of the current financial crisis, ending ongoing U.S. wars and saving the biosphere.
Shanfield proposes borrowing late U.S. President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's World War II industrial mobilization policies to create a new, renewable jobs/industrial complex focusing on green initiatives.
He compares today's 10 percent unemployment rate to the 10 percent rate on Dec. 7, 1941. With the subsequent military mobilization, unemployment fell to 1 percent by the end of 1942.
"This time let's do it to produce electric cars and sustainable energy systems," Shanfield said. "With 20 million unemployed, there's a lot of people in quiet desperation in this country."
Ribeiro, 28, an Evanston schoolteacher and swim instructor, says his foremost campaign issues include getting universal health care coverage for all Americans, advocating for a national central bank and currency while moving away from the current Federal Reserve system, and settling the Arab-Israeli conflict while ending the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.
"One of my main reasons why I wanted to run for this office is people can't afford health insurance," Ribeiro said. "I'm concerned about being fiscally responsible. If you look at all other countries that have universal health care, they actually spend less money per capita than we do currently."