Fighting for Public Education

We all know that the current GOP tax “plan” is disaster for working and middle class families across the country, and particularly in California. The majority of Americans will see their taxes increase to foot the bill racked up through massive tax cuts for corporations and the 1%. For Californians specifically, it is the elimination of the widely used State and Local Tax (SALT) deductions that is going to cause working and middle class family’s federal taxes to increase. This increase will trigger what perhaps is an even more insidious result of this Tax Scam, it will leave less and less funds for our already underfunded K -12 public schools.

Due to higher federal tax rates, states and cities will be forced to reduce the tax burden on their constituents by cutting taxes like property taxes which make up a large portion of school funding across the country. Using the 8th congressional district in Texas as a model, an analysis by the Governmental Finance Officers Association (GFOA) estimated that the district could see a $306 million dollar increase in federal taxes, resulting in decreased state and local taxes that could hurt over $125 million in public education funding. This report shows that this tax bill is a disaster for all states.

Also in response to the $1.4 trillion dollar deficit this plan will create, there will could be cuts to the federal government’s 8% share of the $634 billion spent on education, in an attempt to “balance the budget” at the expense of our children's future.

We must join together and oppose this corporate attack on public education at every level. Instead of cutting the education of the future generation, we should be heavily investing in them. In a just and moral society every generation should be given all the opportunities to do better, than its predecessors. We cannot let corporate greed get in the way of fulfilling that promise. So today I ask you to join me in a fight for our youth’s education and future;

  1. Call your Congressman or woman and your Senators and demand they vote no on this disastrous tax bill, whose only purpose is to be the largest transfer of wealth from working and middle class families to the 1% and corporate donors. You can utilize this resource developed by Indivisible to fight against this Tax Scam.
  2. Support corporate-free candidates. Make no mistake that this tax bill was bought and paid for by the 1% and the GOP’s corporate sponsors. Only those who are powered by the people, can champion the people.

During this campaign I have traveled up and down the state winning the endorsements of many groups and championing corporate-free progressive organizing. If elected I will continue to do the same thing, building the people power necessary to fight for public education, healthcare and living wages and win at the state level, making California a model for the rest of the country to follow. It is your financial support that has allowed me to make these trips and build the movement we are starting for this Lt. Governor’s race.

We are gaining momentum and every single donation of $27 dollars fuels our fight. When we stand in solidarity and support corporate-free candidates we can have a future where we use tax reform as means of investment in lifting up our communities, not sucking the wealth out of them to line the pockets of those who already have it all. Donate today to support that future, a future that works for all.

Progress will win in the end, it is just going to take all of us standing together demanding it. Thank you for your support, and keep fighting!


Representation for the 99%

We are up against a Republican Party in the District of Corporations (D.C.), whose Tax “Plan” will eliminate the ACA’s individual mandate, effectively throwing 13 million Americans off of their coverage in the next decade. And not only do we have to fight to prevent that disaster, we then have to force the Democrats (in D.C. and California) to kiss their health insurance donations goodbye and finally make healthcare a right for all. Yet many Democrats still cannot part ways from that sweet corporate cash.

While there are differences between the two major parties that can be noted, on the matter of economics there is really just one major party, and their base is their corporate donors. Democrats will fight to save the Individual Mandate, which saves lives, but also saves corporate profits, perpetuating the wealth inequality that keeps wealth overwhelmingly concentrated at the top of society. The Republican party only exists to serve the business and donor class, so no progress can be expected from there.

This predicament is why I am running a corporate-free campaign, because the corporations already have their representatives, its time the 99% be represented. I will not settle for just protecting what little healthcare we have now, I will fight to see SB 562 passed, guaranteeing every single Californian healthcare like the right it is! Making our state yet again another model for the rest of the country, and making the days of Medicare for All come closer.

But I can’t do this alone. Running a corporate-free campaign for the people, takes the support of the people. While we can be and have been much more effective and strategic with our spending then corporate campaigns, it still takes hundreds of thousands of dollars to reach hundreds of thousands of voters.

I am asking that you dig deep and join us. We know our message for progress works, and with your donation today we can get it out there!

2018 is going to be an exciting year for progress, and I am grateful to be in the trenches fighting with you to make it happen!

Tax Cuts : Corporations don’t just want more, they want everything!

We know this already: The United States is ruled by corporations and the super-rich in the 1% who use their money to elect corporate-controlled politicians to the executive and the legislative branches of government.​

​We also know that the tax system has been rigged in favor of the wealthy, and against people whose income comes from wages. Wealth has been taxed at a lower rate than labor.

We also know that for many decades now, under both Democratic and Republican administrations, the ultimate consequence of the U.S. economy has been the transfer of wealth to the rich from the poor and middle class.

We are now witnessing the largest single transfer of wealth to rich from the poor and middle class. The Republican Tax Scam is the continuation and the deepening of the corporate war on working families to take all that we possess and reduce our existence to a bare minimum. The war on poverty is over; now we have the war on the poor and working families.

The pro-corporate GOP Tax Scam offensive deepens the transfer of wealth from working families to the rich experienced during every administration during the last 50 years. The Tax Scam will hurt most Americans, and especially Californians.

This is a $1.5 trillion dollar tax cut for the 1%. Californians would face the largest net tax increase, at $12.1 billion in 2027 alone. The plan targets an array of tax credits and exempt bonds that are utilized to build low cost-housing. The plan will eliminate deductions for local and state taxes. Working families will pay more, large corporations will pay a lot less.

Bernie Sanders said it well: “The overwhelming majority of the American people do not want to see tax breaks for billionaires and raising taxes for the middle class, and laying the ground for cuts to Social Security, Medicaid, and Medicare”

My entire political career has been corporate-free, because I am not elected to represent the 1% and corporations, I am elected by the 99%, and represent only them. And in Richmond that is exactly what we did when we passed a living wage of $15 an hour and the first rent control law in California for 30 years. We challenged Chevron to reduce pollution and to pay $114 million in additional local taxes to our city… and we won!

So I ask you today to support my corporate-free campaign so that I can take the fight for the 99% statewide. There are plenty of corporate candidates in my race, and we are seeing the results of their politics. Another future for California and our country is possible, and your donation of $7.27, $27 or even $99 dollars gets us one step closer to it.

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that is powered by the people, not corporations and the elites!

Thank you for your support!

My Speech at Town Hall for Progressive Democracy!

​Over this last weekend I was honored to join Nina Turner as a keynote speaker at Uphill Media’s Town Hall for Progressive Democracy, discussing the importance of building inclusive and corporate-free grassroots power. In Richmond I saw that when people get active and get organized, change is possible! People power is how we passed a $15 minimum wage, along with California’s first new rent control law in 30 years, and forced the oil giant in our city, Chevron, to pay millions more in taxes while limiting their pollution. It was truly an amazing experience to speak to so many passionate activists and organizers, I invite you to check it out!

The purpose of my campaign is simple: organize and build progressive corporate-free power across California. When I am elected, I will not stop! This movement is not about me, it is about us. It will take thousands of Californians actively fighting for change for us to create a California where we put people above profits.

On this #GivingTuesday, I ask you to dig deep and make this possible. On this day last year, folks like you gave more than $168 million dollars to amazing causes across the country. Imagine if just a fraction of that money went to progressive corporate-free candidates across the country!

This Giving Tuesday let’s not only support the causes we believe in, but the corporate-free candidates that fight for us. Your donation is powerful.

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that takes ZERO corporate cash!

Thank you for your support. Remember, when we fight, we win!

Keep the Internet Free!

On December 14th, the FCC will vote on the future of Net Neutrality. Which guarantees us access to all the wonders of the internet without the worry of Telecom giants like AT&T, Comcast and Verizon charging us premiums to access content, and blocking or slowing down connection to different platforms. It is solely because of this principle of equal access that we have seen the internet, which has been publicly funded from its inception, grow into our species greatest invention.

But this progress has not been profitable enough for the Telecom giants, who have been using their corporate profits to lobby DC and buy off our members of Congress, to finally gut Net Neutrality under the guise of “innovation” which conceals the fact that they want to make you pay for everything, as this graphic from Rep. Ro Khana shows very clearly.

This is the natural conclusion of Capitalism having the playground known as the American Campaign Finance system to play in. The monopoly-like leaders of industry use their wealth to buy influence to deregulate, which returns them higher profits that they re-invest into more lobbying and legal bribery, all at the expense of competition, consumer choice and our democracy.

Make no mistake that if the FCC votes to put Chairman Pai’s plans into action, which will kill Net Neutrality and block state governments from regulating Telecoms, it will be the result of hundreds of millions in corporate cash that have flooded DC.

As this story plays out it becomes clear very quickly that we ALL must fight and use our people power to defeat Verizon, AT&T and Comcast and keep our internet free, and there have been many who are leading the charge. I highly encourage you all to get active with Fight for the Future’s campaign to protect our internet through joining these two actions!

  1. Write and call your representatives:
  2. Protest your local Verizon store:

Along with this I need you to support corporate-free candidates, so we can break the massive influence that the Telecom industry and corporate America has over our democracy. Your $27 donation powers my campaign, and I promise not only will I do everything I can to help defeat this vote, but I will use every power I would have as Lt. Governor to protect our internet, small businesses and future innovations from AT&T, Comcast and Verizon’s greed.

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that takes ZERO corporate cash!

I am no stranger to taking on billion dollar corporations, and neither is our movement. When we stand together in solidarity and fight, we win. This is a battle we cannot afford to not show up to. Join me today and let’s make December 14th another victory for the people!


Keep it in the ground! - Ban Fracking!

To frack, the oil companies use 80 billion gallons a year of our scarce California water and they pump their waste, containing many cancer-causing chemicals, into protected aquifers supplying drinking water. Ten counties and our ocean are already suffering the consequences. We must ban fracking across the state.

Not only does fracking destroy and pollute our water sources, it is a massive contributor to climate change. Methane, one of the main resources extracted through fracking, traps more than 100 times the heat of CO2 in our atmosphere, proving that is not a sustainable alternative.

Just last year in California there was the Aliso Canyon leak that spewed 100,000 tons of methane into the atmosphere before being plugged, making it the largest leak in U.S. history. We can no longer bear these dangers which is why I am championing a statewide ban on fracking, and I ask you to join me.

The science is clear on climate change and as James Hansen said at COP23 this week; "We are entering a period of consequences and are in danger of being too late". We no longer have time to wait, the time for action is now.

This is the urgency that fueled the Protect Monterey County movement, that last November celebrated the victory of its  ballot initiative Measure Z succeeding at the polls. Measure Z bans fracking, wastewater injection and phases out new drilling in Central California’s Monterey County, one of California’s major oil-producing counties. Big Oil bullies like Chevron out-spent the movement  30 to 1, dumping over $5.5 million into the fight, and yet Protect Monterey County came out ahead.

The grassroots organizers of the Project Monterey County movement do much better than corporate-controlled politicians like Jerry Brown. Under the influence of corporations like Chevron, which contribute millions to Brown’s campaigns, the California governor has refused to cancel granting new permits for exploration, drilling and fracking. That’s why he was booed in Germany with the chant ”Keep it in the ground”.

This shows yet again that when the people get organized and fight, we win. I am no stranger to Chevron and its pals, having beat them once in Richmond, I am ready for round two as we fight to ban fracking across our state. But just as Protect Monterey County needed people power, I need you to be in this fight with me as well.

As Lt. Governor I will make it a priority to denounce fracking and to rally not only the progressives of California but all sane citizens and residents to achieve the end of fracking in our state.

Unlike most politicians, we are running a corporate-free campaign, choosing to be powered by the people. Every $27 donation my campaign gets, brings us one step closer to a statewide ban on fracking and to our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of December!

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that takes ZERO corporate cash!

The future of California and the world must be carbon and methane free, we have the alternatives, we just need to make the transition. It’s a big fight, but it is fight we can and will win. Thank you for being in the trenches of it with me!

California Needs A Public Bank. Our Money, Our Power!

I’ve got a history of tangling with Wall Street. Here in Richmond, we championed a plan to keep families in their homes by acquiring underwater mortgages through the use of the city’s power of eminent domain. The plan was to reduce the principals on these mortgages (in line with the home’s value) and then put the modified loans back in the hands of our homeowners, so they could avoid foreclosure. It is bold solutions like these that are needed. With political will and community pressure, we can stand up to the big banks, and we can take care of each other!

“Richmond, California Defies Wall Street to Help Homeowners,” the Huffington Post declared.

However, powerful financial interests went all the way to Congress to block us - to stop cities from protecting our people and communities.

Wall Street’s worst predators care what happens in this Lt. Governor election. They know that if we organize together, we can beat them in our cities, beat them in our statehouse, and, if we have to, beat them in Washington, DC.

Together we can take a bigger step for California - a public bank that WILL invest in people and communities. Our massive economy is ripe for a public bank. We’ll invest in our shared priorities: affordable housing, infrastructure repair, roads, schools, and hospitals - and we’ll save money doing it! A public bank will also allow us to stand up for California’s cannabis farmers and other non-traditional industries.

We have seen the success of a bank owned and accountable by the people’s government in North Dakota. The Bank of North Dakota was chartered in 1919 and stands as our country’s only public bank. In a wonderful article about the importance of Public Banks in every state after the Great Recession, Jonathan Tasini describes the BND model:

Mostly, BND’s money goes to businesses, farms, municipal projects, home mortgages and student loans. Because it isn’t charged with making money for private shareholders but with supporting North Dakota’s overall economy, it charges low interest rates — as low as 1% in some cases. Its modest profit is still substantial — about $1 billion over the past two decades. The profits are returned to the state’s general fund or to the bank’s assets, which is to say to the people of North Dakota. Because the Bank of North Dakota focuses on down-home projects, not credit default swaps or other high-risk financial schemes, it remained stable throughout the Great Recession.

A Public Bank of California would be a great way for us to use our money to invest in our communities, financing a plethora of public projects and kickstarting local businesses. And we’ll loosen Wall Street’s stranglehold on our neighbors. No more Wells Fargo selling us phony products!

Big banks know the threat a public bank poses to their interests and they have a proven track record of using their corporate cash to kill any efforts in that direction.

In 2012, the Legislature attempted public bank legislation with AB 2500, supported by CCISCO, PICO California, the Public Banking Institute, and some churches. The bill was killed by corporate controlled legislators influenced by the California Bankers Association.

This is why it is crucial that we elect corporate-free candidates at ALL levels so we can get the change the people want, not more scraps from the 1%. We hold the power to decide the future of our state and country, we just have to get active, fight for it and support fellow progressives who can champion our vision.

Your support means we can continue to organize Progressive Alliances throughout California, spreading the messages of this Lt. Governor campaign to our state’s diverse communities. Today, I ask that you not only get active at your local level but also dig deep to support my campaign with a donation of $27 or any amount. Your support gets my campaign one step closer to our goal of raising $25,000 by the end of December, allowing us to ramp up for our petition campaign!

Click here to make a contribution of any size to my campaign that takes ZERO corporate cash and will fight for Public Banking for CA!

We know that the public bank’s time has come as more cities and regions begin to explore their own versions, including Oakland, Berkeley, Richmond, the County of Alameda, San Francisco, and Los Angeles.

Thank you for your support, it fuels me in my determination to bring real progressive change to California and fight for policies like a public bank! Our Money, Our Power!


People are fighting back, and winning! Let’s rally for 2018.

This month’s elections were good news - we saw a power shift back towards the people as Republicans lost seats in Virginia and a diverse group of candidates won across the country under the Our Revolution and Democratic Socialists of America (DSA) banners.

We saw grassroots candidates defeating big-spending opponents, and big breakthroughs, like Danica Roem, an open transgender woman, defeating extremist Republican Bob Marshall, sponsor of Virginia’s anti-trans “bathroom bill.” Ravi Bhalla will become America’s first Sikh mayor after winning his race in Hoboken, New Jersey. Also in Virginia, young Marine Corps veteran Lee Carter - an active DSA member - defeated the Republican majority whip, with little support from the Democratic Party!

I am excited about these wins, and they give me hope for a clear future for progressives: It is time for the left to repudiate corporate funding of our elections.

Corporate-free elections is the distinction between lip-service to progressive values and trans-formative change in our political system. In California, I am organizing up and down the state to reach the thousand of activists who will help us reach the voters we need to win the Lt. Governor race. Our costs are low, but real. My goal is to raise $25,000 by December 31 to fuel this statewide travel and our signature-gathering campaign, which will kick off very soon.

Your support will keep the focus on free college, single-payer health care, and an end to harmful practices of corporations like Chevron and PG&E. Click here to give - and please dig deep to help me meet our goal! (If you would like to host a winter fundraiser, please email

If Philadelphia can elect a civil rights attorney as DA, if a public banking advocate can win in NJ, if Maine voters can reject their obstructionist governor to expand Medicaid, we can push even further by electing a corporate-free Lt. Governor of California!

As you can see from Lee’s video above, political independence means we can say a resounding “NO!” to corporate influence on our politics. Together, we can do this!

Click here to donate, and please sign up to volunteer for our California signature drive.

My 2018 Endorsements!

I am excited to announce my support of many strong candidates who are dedicated in their fight for the 99%!

First and foremost, I endorse Bernie Sanders for President of the United States 2020. I’ll do my share to help Bernie win.

I am also endorsing several corporate-free progressive candidates running in California based on their pledge to not take corporate money for their 2018 campaigns. They are:

David Hildebrand for U.S. Senate

Steven Jaffe for Congress, – CA12 San Francisco

Angelica Dueñas for Congress, –CA29 Los Angeles

Jovanka Beckles for Assembly, D-15 East Bay

Caney Arnold for Assembly, D-66 Los Angeles South Bay

Michelle Cassel Gomez, D-76  San Diego

Logan Smith, Santa Clarita City Council

Cesar Armendariz, Long Beach School Board

This list of corporate-free candidates includes Democratic Socialists, Democrats, Greens, and NPP candidates united in their progressive values and in the goals of elections and democracy needing to become free of corporate money.  They all agree that it is essential to elect representatives that serve the people of California and not the corporations.

I have decided not to endorse for the race for California governor 2018, at this time.

I hope that my support for these corporate-free candidacies helps their campaigns and inspires many corporate-free candidates to enter each and every local race in California cities, as well as the State Assembly and Senate races, and every Congressional District.

The future of California is progressive and only corporate-free elected officials will be able to lead us there.


Housing is a Human Right - Rent Control Now!

Access to safe and affordable housing without the fear of forced eviction is a fundamental human right. Yet, for too long our government has failed in ensuring this right to all of our fellow citizens. This failure has become a crisis worse here in California, where a third of all renters statewide spend more than half their income on rent.

The insufficient development of affordable housing and the concentration of development in luxurious and very profitable housing have caused affordable housing shortages. There is currently an estimated 1.5 million shortfall of low-income rental units across the state.

This affordable housing crisis we suffer requires a serious government intervention to prevent it from growing into a humanitarian disaster. It requires a massive financial investment by the State, the promotion of real low-income housing with tax incentives, higher taxes on luxury construction and the participation of State-owned land in ‘land trust’ developments.Low-income housing is a proven method of cooling off the market and keeping all housing costs in neighborhoods affordable.

But first, we must stop the bleeding. Cities must mobilize and pass local rent control ordinance like we did in Richmond last year. Council and voters passed the first rent control and just cause for eviction law in California in 30 years.

At the state level I will work with all true progressives to repeal the Costa Hawkins Rental Housing Act and the Ellis Act. Costa Hawkins has limited local government’s ability to enact rent control on over half of all units in California (newer buildings). The Ellis Act is used by landlords to change the use of a building and to get out of the rental business.

Immediately after these repeals, we must implement fair statewide rent control to combat greedy landlords from evicting low income tenants just to replace them with wealthier tenants for higher profits. We also need a ‘speculator’s tax’ that discourages landlords from keeping houses unoccupied.

We must get active in our communities, getting incorruptible corporate-free candidates elected to local rent boards and all levels of government.

Together, we can make a California where affordable housing is accessible and the fear of being homeless is non-existent. We simply need the political backbone for it. Thank you for standing strong with me today. We will get there!

In Solidarity,