Howie Klein writes:
Jovanka Beckles is the AD15 candidate whose election would bring to state government, and to national visibility, a uniquely successful local Progressive political model. Jovanka is a working-class veteran of the nation’s most Progressive city council, which has built the nation’s best record of winning elections and implementing successful Progressive policies, in the face of massive oppo-spending by global villain Chevron Corporation, in Chevron’s long-dominated ‘company town’ of Richmond California.
Remember that chant “Bernie, Bernie, Bernie?
There’s a new one now: “Nina, Nina, Nina”!
Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution, is coming to the East Bay to help us send to Sacramento and the Alameda County DA seat three corporate-free, people powered WOMEN.
No one is more eloquent than Nina Turner, President of Our Revolution. Her grandma told her about three bones in the body (Ask her!) -- she’s got all three!
Nina Turner brings a powerful message to the Bay Area Saturday, April 28th at Martin Luther King Jr. Middle School from 6pm-8pm.
Bernie Sanders’ presidential campaign was attacked as mostly “Bernie Bros” - young men operating on social media. Never true. Here are the new “Bernie Bros”– four WOMEN, dynamic, experienced, and out to help us take back our government!
No one is a more determined and successful champion of all kinds of voters than Jovanka Beckles, Richmond City Council person, now Assembly District 15 candidate.
Gayle McLaughlin has been leading Richmond and the East Bay for years. Now she’s going (for us) for Lieutenant Governor.
Pamela Price promises to be an innovative, corruption-free Alameda County District Attorney, and she and Jovanka have endorsed each others’ corporate-free agendas.
These four women are people-people. They listen carefully. They craft solutions creatively. They fight resolutely for all of us who want corporate money out of politics, who want medicare for all now, who want the broken justice system fixed.
Come, celebrate and support four women who are fighting for us!
Gayle McLaughlin launched her new book Winning Richmond: How a Progressive Alliance Won City Hall. The book is Gayle’s memoir of her 14-year career as an activist, city councilmember and mayor of Richmond.
Gayle will be signing books and singer/songwriter Patrick O’Malley will be performing. It promises to be a great time.
Steve Early’s provides a review and excerpt of the book in Counterpunch
On issues like promoting renewable energy or improving refinery safety, McLaughlin had, at most, only one reliable ally; when she was elected mayor in 2006, she was still the only Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) member on the council. “I was a working class person consciously representing the voices of many people living in a system dominated by the rich,” she writes. “One of the first things I realized was that I wasn’t going to get anything done without an organizing campaign on each issue.”
At its March 31, 2018 membership meeting, the RPA enthusiastically voted to endorse Melvin Willis for Richmond Mayor, and Eduardo Martinez and Ada Recinos for City Council.
Melvin Willis, Richmond’s current Vice Mayor, announced his intention to run in December and will be running against Mayor Tom Butt. Three Council seats are also up in November: those of Jovanka Beckles, Eduardo Martinez, and Ada Recinos. Jovanka is not seeking re-election in order to focus on her bid for Assembly District 15.
The vote occurred a few weeks after an RPA candidates night, during which RPA members had a chance to meet and get to know several candidates who were seeking the RPA’s endorsement. All candidates seeking endorsement were also asked to fill out a questionnaire and confirm that they would reject corporate campaign donations – the only “bright line” requirement of RPA electoral endorsement.
The RPA is thrilled to back such inspiring candidates with progressive values. Melvin, Eduardo and Ada’s campaigns will take a lot of work by the candidates and the campaign committees, and you can help starting now!
Many of you have already heard the story: A couple of weeks ago, Gayle went to Martinez to officially turn in all the filing paperwork for her candidacy for California Lt. Governor. When she arrived, the clerk asked Gayle where her check was, assuming that like all other candidates in this race she was just going to pay to get on the ballot. Gayle smiled and reminded the clerk that her supporters turned in over 14,000 signatures in lieu of the filing fee, something that shocked the clerk until they got confirmation from the Secretary of State’s Office.
Then there was more good news: at the recent California Democratic Convention in San Diego, many corporate-free progressive Democrats voted to block an endorsement of the big money candidates. Although Gayle is running as an independent and therefore not looking to be the Democratic candidate for Lt. Governor, what was telling was that there was not enough support for any of her Democratic opponents to win. Similarly, the Dems were not able to coalesce around a choice for Attorney General or Senator (Feinstein: you are officially on notice!)
Next up: statewide outreach driven by volunteers. This Wednesday, you are invited to come to the Bobby Bowens Progressive Center between 5:30-8:30PM for a text bank for Gayle McLaughlin's campaign for Lt. Governor. RSVP here to attend. There will be a phone bank on Wednesday, 3/14 at the same time. RSVP here to attend that one. If you can't make either, visit Gayle's website and scroll down under Volunteer to see all the options to host or attend events.
The RPA may be gearing up for Richmond citywide races, but one race that may go unopposed is the Contra Costa Sheriff’s race.
Judith Tannenbaum’s OpEd in the East Bay Times points out, “March 9 is a few weeks away, so there’s still hope that someone who better represents Contra Costa will file to run against the sheriff. However, even if Livingston runs unopposed, we must speak out against his record and speak out for a vision of public safety and justice that is more consistent with our values.” And excerpt of her OpEd is below:
My Word: Where are the candidates to oppose Contra Costa Sheriff Livingston?
Where is the sheriff Contra Costa County needs? Candidates have until March 9 to file for the June 5 election but, so far, only Sheriff David Livingston has signed up.
A sheriff, of course, runs the county jail system and decides how that system will operate. A sheriff can create a system based on the awareness that criminal acts are often a consequence of the racial and economic inequities that shape every aspect of life — from health care to education to workplaces to housing to transportation. A sheriff can learn from the people most affected by these inequities, listening to the personal stories that illuminate shared circumstances. And a sheriff can not only listen but also respond by providing alternatives to imprisonment, by recognizing that jail is no place for the mentally ill, and by offering the deep and substantive programming that encourages rehabilitation.
Or a sheriff can operate as David O. Livingston has, running our county jail system with the wrong-headed ideas and practices similar to those that resulted in three decades of nationwide mass incarceration.
For example, Sheriff Livingston contracts with ICE to hold immigrant detainees in the West County Detention Facility. At a time when SB54 is law and California a sanctuary state, this contract is a clear sign of how out of step our sheriff is with county and statewide values.
Click here to read the full OpEd.
This November, Richmond voters will be choosing its next Mayor, and as well as three City Councilmembers (Ada Recino’s, Eduardo Martinez’s and Jovanka Beckles’s seats are all up this year). The RPA membership has not yet made any 2018 endorsements for citywide races, but is gearing up now. At the end of the month, the RPA elections committee will make candidate questionnaires available to any candidates interested in seeking the organization's endorsement. As always, the RPA will not endorse candidates who accept corporate political donations.
In mid-March, the Richmond Progressive Alliance will hold a Candidates’ Night for members and the public to meet those running for citywide office. After a vetting process, the elections committee and Steering Committee will present a slate of candidates to RPA members at the March 31 membership meeting for vote. Stay tuned for more details!
Jovanka Beckles is the only candidate in all of the nine Assembly District 15 candidates who refuses corporate money and has a political track record to prove that she fights for the issues while holding elected office. Now, we need your help to ensure that Jovanka emerges from the June 5th primary as one of two candidates who will face off in the November election to represent us in Sacramento.
In June of last year, one mainstream candidate considered to be a frontrunner for AD 15 reported $200,000 in her coffers. She worked on Obama’s campaign and led Hillary’s California primary campaign. Not surprisingly most of her treasury came from consultants, PR firms, politicians - the political establishment. Her list of endorsements begins with Kamala Harris, Gavin Newsom, and Howard Dean.
That same June, Jovanka had just under $50,000 – all from individual supporters. Jovanka’s list of endorsements reflects the coalitions she has worked with to get things done over the years: union members, city employees, transit workers, students, Teachers, environmentalists, housing rights activists, criminal justice advocates, and many more.
Jovanka’s campaign, made up of tireless dedicated individuals needs you. We have a strong people powered campaign. Join us to phone bank, to walk precincts. We need you to promote Jovanka as your favored candidate. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kabir Kapur at (510) 915-1557.
Also, please donate as much and as you can as often as you can. Your donation will pay for lawn signs, literature and other campaign essentials. Together we can win our people powered, corporate money-free campaign.
On December 15, Richmond Councilmember Melvin Willis announced that he is running for mayor of the City of Richmond in the November 2018 election. The announcement was made at the Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) holiday party, to a joyful crowd of supporters.
“Many people have contributed to Richmond’s transformation in recent years, and we are thankful to all. At the same time, many challenges remain, and a much better Richmond is possible!” said Willis.
Melvin Willis, a community organizer with Alliance of Californians for Community Empowerment (ACCE), made history in 2016 when at 26 he became the youngest councilmember ever elected in the City’s history. He received the highest number of votes in the race, and his success was crowned by the passage in Richmond of the first Fair Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction law in California in 30 years, a ballot initiative at the center of his campaign.
At the announcement, Willis was flanked by Vice-Mayor Jovanka Beckles and Councilmember Ada Recinos. In addition to Beckles and Recinos, Councilmembers Ben Choi, Eduardo Martinez and two-term former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin have all endorsed Willis’ candidacy.
“Melvin has the values, the vision and the commitment to lead Richmond to a higher level of progress and to make it a better city for all our residents. He thinks globally and organizes and mobilizes locally. He is thoughtful, caring, gentle and generous. People know him and love him. Melvin is the best of Richmond,” said former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin.
During his announcement Willis stressed that the important achievements that have transformed Richmond over the past decade and are inspiring many other communities throughout the nation need to be defended against undermining measures at higher levels of government.
“As Mayor I will lead all those in Richmond willing to work to make our city better. Together we will sustain our accomplishments and keep folks in their homes, fight pollution, defend immigrants’ rights, improve our schools and libraries, and continue our progress in reducing violent crime. I will promote a community participatory process for the city budget. I will respond to the needs of our youth, I will focus on the creation of affordable housing, and my doors will always be open to every resident of our community to hear their thoughts and ideas,” Willis added.
Willis affirmed that his campaign for Mayor will be based on peoplepower and neighborpower, and free of corporate donations. He rejects the corrupting influence of corporate money and invites all residents to support a one-person, one-vote true democratic election.