Who's State? Our State!

The central political question of the 2016 presidential race was inequality - of all kinds.

But instead of the progressive populist working alongside us to create a utopia, we got a greed-mad demagogue who uses hate to whip up votes.

Did you know that in February 2017, Richmond became the first city in the nation to call on Congress to initiate Trump impeachment hearings? Gayle authored that resolution.

Take a minute to leave this post and open a new tab or window. In the search bar, write Gayle McLaughlin and add - in two or three words - one of the progressive issues most important to you. Odds on you’ll find that not only does Gayle have a perfect platform, she’s got the history of working on those issues!

Click to Watch Gayle’s New Interview with Jimmy Dore on the Jimmy Dore Show

Today, it’s not Bernie-Hillary-Trump. It’s one proven progressive in a primary field of 11. And in this Lieutenant Governor race, Gayle has united the progressive movement - she’s endorsed by 35 regional chapters of the Bernie-inspired Our Revolution and the national Our Revolution; the California Green Party and 11 of it’s chapters; the Democratic Socialists of America and 11 of its California chapters; the Peace & Freedom Party; Movement for a People's Party; Socialist Alternative; and many, many more progressive organizations. Gayle co-founded the Richmond Progressive Alliance, and as our Lt. Governor she will continue to organize throughout the state to ensure that every one of our communities have a voice in Sacramento.

Read Gayle’s corporate-free challenge to the big spending in this race - from the SF Chronicle.

Gayle needs your help to counter the two candidates who are trying to buy this election.

Will Eleni Kounalakis’ $10 million - most of it from self-funding and a $5 million super PAC funded by her father (Kounalakis runs the land development corporation founded by father Angelo Tsakopoulos - both are top Democratic donors) give her the job?

Will Cole Harris, a Republican hedge fund manager spending $250,000 or more on media each week - who says he also could spend $10 million on the race - come in second?

Orwill we rise up and put Gayle first, because she puts us first?

If you want to help Gayle win on June 5, here are three things you can do:

1) Click to donate $27, $99, $270 or more TODAY so we can increase our media spend to keep up with Kounalakis and Harris.

2) Click to canvass scores of friends who can vote for Gayle in just minutes using VoterCircle.

3) Email Volunteer Coordinator Jon Gilgoff at jon@gayleforcalifornia.org for packs of cards and window signs to distribute in your community (if you’d like a single item or t-shirts, please use Gayle’s online store).

Thank you,

Adriel Hampton
Gayle for California

Gayle's Socialist Campaign Covered by New York Times

The New York Times today covered the rising popularity of socialism with American voters and the accompanying surge of socialist candidates. Gayle is featured along with candidates from across the country, and with organizers from the DSA. She is endorsed by 10 DSA chapters in California, Our Revolution, Peace & Freedom Party (California's feminist socialist party), Socialist Alternative, and the California Green Party. 

Read the full article. 

A Progressive Candidate's Campaign Features Gayle McLaughlin

As a two-term Mayor of Richmond CA, Gayle led a successful grassroots movement to liberate her city from the grip of corporate giants and wealthy special interests. Her progressive transformation returned political power to their residents and local businesses and they defeated the oil giant Chevron’s attempts to buy our democracy.

Read the full post!

CounterPunch: Radical Mayors Leave Their Mark

Steve Early compares Richmond, CA, Mayor Gayle McLaughlin and the Richmond Progressive Alliance and Mayor Chokwe Lumumba and his Jackson, MS, coalition upon the release of new books chronicling two local political revolutions: 

Mississippi and California aren’t much alike but the demographics of Richmond and Jackson share one thing in common: both cities are 80% non-white and voter registration is overwhelmingly Democratic. In both majority minority communities, corporate Democrats of color long ruled the roost, thanks to strong backing from local developers and manufacturers, other downtown business interests, and socially conservative black churches.

Read the full article in CounterPunch. 

Get Gayle's book, "Winning Richmond," free with a donation of $20 or more to her campaign. 

Purchase "Jackson Rising."

Happy St. Patrick's Day!

During the second half of the 1800s, more than two-and-a-half million Irish citizens immigrated to North America. My grandfather was one of them: Peter A. McLaughlin. As an eight-year-old boy from County Tyrone, Peter traveled with his father Michael, a farmer, and mother Mag, and his brothers and sisters to America with a thousand other immigrants in the steerage class of the “City of Rome” ship to arrive to Ellis Island on June 1st, 1896. They were bound for Chicago and to a new life.

I don’t know exactly why my Catholic farming ancestors decided to leave Ulster, in the North of Ireland, and emigrate to start a new life in America, but they had been fighting to survive invasions, famines, and oppressive landlords for a thousand years. With hope they saw America as a new promise.

Today, I want to honor all the people of Irish descent in California who worked and work hard to support their families and improve our state, while respecting also the rights of all Californians.

I extend a special appreciation to those who stood for social, economic and environmental justice over the years and to those who promoted and sustained Irish culture and language. Few have done it, to my knowledge, like San Francisco’s Brian Heron (1941-2011).

Brian Samuel Connolly Heron was born in Dublin, Ireland, the grandson of James Connolly, the hero of the Easter Rising in 1916. Brian was a true champion of workers' rights. Here in San Francisco, he worked as a union organizer to help the exploited Chinese sweatshop workers. He worked alongside Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta in the United Farm Workers Movement, and with the International Ladies Garment Workers Union. Brian was nominated as Vice President of the Peace and Freedom Party, and helped organize the anti-war protest in Chicago in 1968 during the infamous Democratic National Convention. He was also a lifetime supporter of Native American rights, language, and cultural preservation. Brian was a founding member of the National Association for Irish Justice as well as the National Association for Irish Freedom, and founded the Center for Celtic Arts.

As we observe St. Patrick’s Day on March 17, let’s honor the legacy of Irish-American progressive patriots like Brian Heron, and let’s keep activating for a better California!

Paraphrasing James Joyce: “We are tomorrow what we establish today. Today we are what we established yesterday."

Celebrating Our Strength on International Women's Day

I recently became aware of a wonderful quote by Harriet Tubman, the leading abolitionist in the Underground Railroad:

“Don’t ever stop. If you hear the dogs, keep going. If you see the torches in the woods, keep going. If you want a taste of freedom, keep going.”

Tubman’s line still speaks clearly to us today, on International Women’s Day, reminding us to “never stop” fighting injustice and inequality in its many forms, as we challenge corporate control and work to create a truly democratic society for all.    

While she was best known for her efforts to establish racial equality, Tubman also fought for women’s rights alongside the nation’s suffragists, making her a forerunner of the modern feminist movement. As we celebrate this historic day in Women’s History Month, it is important to remember the victories we have won – and the many visionary as well as ordinary women who sacrificed to make our opportunities possible.  

We still have far to go. Sexism remains embedded in our economic and political systems, and in our society and culture overall. The Harvey Weinsteins and Donald Trumps who have spent decades grossly exploiting and abusing women are only now beginning to feel the limits of their power, thanks to our movements for social change.

But as millions more people stand up and proclaim #MeToo, both here and around the world, gender equality gets that much closer to becoming a reality. The #MeToo movement shows the degree to which women have reached a level of courage and confidence to speak our truths and reveal the history of repression and abuse we have felt.

As the Mayor of Richmond, in 2008 I started an International Women's Day event called Sisters in Solidarity, which brought together Bay Area women to network and celebrate our local, national and international accomplishments. This celebratory tradition continues more than a decade on, and this Saturday, March 10, Richmond will hold its 11th Annual Sisters in Solidarity event!  

The objectification of women in our society is still a daily fact. We are disrespected and harmed, both directly and in subtle ways, through advertising, entertainment, in the workplace, in the home, in the political arena, and in our daily interactions. Men, too, are harmed by this objectification.

On the other hand, when sexual relations, work relations, political relations and family relations are based on genuine respect and equality, our society and culture are greatly enhanced.

It will take the ongoing hard work of organizing to make sure that women achieve our due equal rights, and, as your Lieutenant Governor, I intend to do everything in my power to support gender equality – which includes supporting more women leaders in all areas of society.

Across our state, all of us must fight for pay equity, full reproductive rights, paid family leave, free childcare, zero tolerance for sexual harassment and abuse, and gender balance in political and social structures. There are many layers of systemic oppression that we need to overcome together, including sexism, racism, classism, homophobia, xenophobia, ageism, disrespect and abuse of children and youth.

International Women’s Day is an opportunity to celebrate who we are, how far we’ve come – and to remember that when we fight together, we win.

Please join my campaign for California: gayleforcalifornia.org/donate

The Delta Tunnels Are a Water Grab – Not a 'WaterFix'

There’s a lie going around Sacramento, and much of the state, that we can solve California’s water problems by building two hugely expensive, environmentally disastrous tunnels beneath the Sacramento-San Joaquin Bay Delta.

So instead of calling the Delta tunnels project a “California WaterFix” like the governor, bureaucrats and water agencies are doing, let’s call it what it really is: a water grab of epic proportion.

Priced at $16.3 billion, the outrageous cost alone should be enough to kill this project, which would reroute water 35 miles to the Delta pumping stations through 40-foot-wide tunnels buried 150 feet underground, before sending it further south. The whole point is to divert more water from the Sacramento River to the Central Valley and Southern California, most of it to be used for agriculture.

Water agencies were supposed to pay for this boondoggle, but so far they’ve balked, putting up just 40% of the costs. It’s likely the state will later raise taxes to pay for the tunnels and use voter-approved Water Bond money, from Proposition 1, to pay for habitat restoration, despite many promises to the contrary.

californiadelta.org highlights the many thriving communities that rely on California's Delta.

Now, in an effort to appease an angered public, Governor Brown and the Department of Water Resources say they’re fine building just one tunnel at a cost of $10.7 billion. But it’s not enough to cut the Delta tunnels project in half. As your Lieutenant Governor, I’ll do everything in my power to see this costly and ecologically disastrous project killed. Period.

For decades, we’ve been sacrificing the health of our Delta ecosystem in the interest of sending ever more water south. The cost of the tunnels plan to the Delta’s fragile ecology can’t be underestimated. Threatened chinook salmon, endangered smelt and other at-risk fish and wildlife are barely hanging on as freshwater gets furiously depleted and more saltwater enters the Delta. It’s our responsibility to ensure that these species have a fair shot at survival – something that won’t happen if the tunnels get built. The health of the San Francisco Bay Delta ecosystem is literally at stake with this project.

Delta landowners and family farms are deeply against the tunnels plan, as are many of the water agencies that are being asked to pay for it though they don’t stand to gain. The fact is, water costs for farmers who rely on the Delta could quadruple or more if the tunnels get built.  

As your Lieutenant Governor, I will be in a unique position, on the Agriculture-Water Transition Task Force and as a member of the State Lands Commission, to weigh in on giant projects like this one. And believe me, under my leadership the Delta tunnels will never see the light of day. Stand with me, landowners, environmentalists and local governments in opposing this costly and irresponsible plan!

California is not alone in facing a water crisis. Across the globe, corporations and big agricultural interests are busy privatizing, monopolizing and harvesting this vital, dwindling resource that every human needs to survive. And with the impacts from climate change sure to worsen in coming years, conflicts over water scarcity will only grow. That is why it’s time to put a stop to the water grabs right here, right now. Yes, California needs solutions to our chronic water shortage. But the Delta tunnels aren’t a “WaterFix” at all. They’ll only magnify the financial and environmental problems we’re already facing.

Please join me: gayleforcalifornia.org/donatetogayle

Now Is the Time To Ban AR-15s

I am asking you to stand with me and millions of other Americans to support and empower the student-led movement March For Our Lives.

The traumatized, courageous teenagers from Parkland, Florida who have stood up over the past week to condemn Donald Trump, lawmakers, and the NRA and gun manufacturing corporations that fund them, have won our hearts.

It feels like a moment of ‘no turning back.’  But in order to make real change happen – not just a ban on bump stocks, but outlawing the sale of AR-15s and assault weapons altogether – it’s going to take all of our voices speaking as one.

Congress has failed our young people.

As long as corporate gun manufacturers and their lobby agencies, like the NRA, are buying influence in Congress we, the American people, will continue to bury our young.

That is why I stand 100% behind the youth who are organizing the National School Walkout on March 14 and the March For Our Lives happening in DC and nationwide on March 24.

California has been making headway on regulating the purchase and firepower associated with these military-style weapons.

As your Lieutenant Governor, I will do everything in my power to protect Californians from gun violence.  Now, with the regularity we’re seeing of mass shootings by people carrying assault rifles, the urgency is upon us to act.

Our elected representatives need to know it is no longer acceptable to receive money from the NRA at the cost of losing our children like we did tragically last week. We must turn around on guns - and we can start with a renewed assault weapons ban that will work to keep instruments of terror like the AR-15 out of the hands of killers. In the words of Senator Bernie Sanders: “These weapons are not for hunting. They’re for killing human beings.”  We need tighter background checks as well.

And, we need to reignite a national conversation about the example that our government is setting.  With governmental use of violence so readily through police killings and through wars and military force, it should not be surprising to us that our children would imitate it.  Neither can we ignore ongoing U.S. arms dealings abroad, which fuels conflicts and civil wars that greatly harm civilians including children.  It’s time for shifting away from this culture of violence and cultivating a culture of peace as an example for our youth.

No issue hits us harder than the senseless slaughter of schoolchildren.  I run for political office to make a difference and to fight back in the face of injustice and tragedy.

Help me support the brave young leaders who have sparked a national movement, and together we can end the senseless gun violence that is tearing American families and communities apart.