A California Economy for the People

As we look to 2018, we face a Republican Party that has unmasked the wholesale greed that fuels its existence. There is no starker symbol of this greed than Trump’s declaration, after the GOP Tax Scam vote, to wealthy partygoers at his coastal resort this Christmas: “You all just got a lot richer!”

Rest is required for us to resume the fight. I hope that your holidays have been full of the community and support we need to take back our state and our country from the bought politicians who are slowly killing us.

The GOP’s votes last week pushed into law the largest tax overhaul in the last three decades. The 1% and corporations are the greatest beneficiaries. To say this will cause inequality to skyrocket is a understatement; this is one of the largest redistributions of wealth in our history. Even after raising taxes on the majority of Americans, eliminating Obamacare’s individual mandate (which will lead to 13 million Americans losing their healthcare in the next decade), and eliminating graduate students’ ability to write off their tuition, there will still be an estimated budget deficit of as much as $2.2 trillion dollars! And we’ve no doubt that the Republicans will respond by swooping back in to cut what little benefits we have left, effectively taking every last crumb from us to give the elites the entire loaf.

We cannot rely on politics as usual to save us. Corporations give broadly to both major parties, and here in California, despite a supermajority of Democrats in the the legislature, pharma, oil, and finance lobbyists still run the show. Our governor, a staunch Democrat lauded for cap and trade legislation, was recently booed at the Bonn, Germany climate summit for inaction on actually stopping fracking and offshore drilling. California is NOT taking the steps required to curb corporate greed!

My corporate-free, nonpartisan candidacy for Lt. Governor is about taking the fight TO the corporations, not just resisting them. I am working to organize hundreds of communities throughout the state for progressive change - already, we have have won the formal endorsements of 30 Our Revolution chapters throughout the state, along with many other organizational chapters from the Green Party to the DSA, and the Peace and Freedom Party and Movement for a People’s Party. Many eyes are now open - the GOP’s extreme attacks on the people of this country, the crass nature of our current president, all of these injustices are creating a new political awareness. We must seize this moment for real, people-focused change!

How can we do this? First, everyone running for federal office must pledge to “repeal and replace” this terrible tax bill. Second, here in California, there are clear policy goals we can organize for that will return wealth and power to the people of our state:

Corporate Prop. 13 reform. About a third of California corporations benefit from unfair tax breaks under a law that was advertised as protecting seniors. It’s time to end this corporate tax system that lets Chevron take advantage of benefits meant for struggling homeowners! Local governments and our public schools will see $9 billion in returned revenues with this reform.

Oil extraction tax. Oil companies spend tens of millions buying politicians, but here in California they skirt the kind of taxes that benefit Alaska and Texas. How is this possible! First we ban fracking, then we tax extraction, progressively higher each year, using those revenues to fund the shift to renewable energy.

Tax the rich. I will organize for a progressive tax increase that goes up 1% for each million in taxable income, up to 12% above current rates. This “Fair Share tax” will raise billions for education and infrastructure in California.

Your donation of any size today says, “I agree, it’s time to fight back with policies that benefit the 99%!”

It is clear that if we actually want an economy that works for the people, we have to get corporate cash out of our elections. Any politician who takes thousands or millions from corporate PACs cannot be a true people’s representative.

My entire political career has been corporate free and that is how we built Richmond Progressive Alliance which now holds a supermajority on Richmond’s City Council. If we want living wages for workers, healthcare as a right, and corporations to pay their fair share, it’s time to make a stand - corporate-free, or no money from me!

You are the fuel for my campaign, and our momentum is growing. The conditions are set for the political revolution in 2018.

Please click here to make a contribution of any size to my people-first campaign!

Thank you for your energy and support!


Wishing you a joyful December 25th!

We are approaching December 25 and many throughout the world are preparing to celebrate Christmas.  People will be reflecting on the story of Mary and Joseph searching for a room in Bethlehem to give birth to a baby who would become Jesus, the carpenter and teacher of Nazareth.  That homeless family gave birth to their child in a stable, just as many in California and our nation have come to spend night after night outside in the elements with no home in which to lay their heads.

This is a crisis demanding a response from us immediately. According to the federal Department of Housing and Urban Development, over the past two years California's homeless population has shot up 14 percent to over 134,000, which is the most by far of any other state and represents 31 percent of all the individual homeless people in the U.S.  This is a disgrace for the 6th largest economy in the world!

We in the Richmond Progressive Alliance, with many of our allies, protested from day one the criminalization of the homeless imposed by the corporate-controlled Richmond City Council that preceded my being elected to office. We finally succeeded in abolishing all the local laws prohibiting persons lacking a home from sleeping in public places.

But decriminalization is not a solution for homelessness, it is just a starting point. Preventing people from becoming homeless is another essential strategy and that is why we in Richmond passed the first new Fair Rent Control and Just Cause for Eviction law in California in 30 years. We also created a Homelessness Task Force to respond to the needs of homeless individuals and families for homes, jobs, health care including mental health care, and social programs. We need more; we need regional and statewide solutions.

As Lt. Governor, I will address homelessness statewide in various ways and am eager to hear ideas and strategies from others:

  • Pass Single Payer Medicare For All to end financial crises for folks who are ill
  • De-criminalize homelessness
  • Establish statewide rent control and just cause for eviction
  • Eliminate Costa-Hawkins Rental Housing Act and the Ellis Act
  • Establish a speculator tax [Very high taxes on empty houses]
  • Use state and city properties for temporary shelters
  • Invest state land for a land trust system to build affordable housing
  • Create a State Public Bank and direct it to prioritize financing of low-income housing
  • Introduce universal minimum income
  • Improve public transportation and public education
  • Increase mental health services for all who need them, particularly the homeless
  • Create a statewide office of housing and homelessness to advise policy

We Californians can break ground for a new era - one based on justice, solidarity, kindness, compassion and caring for each other.  As Lt. Governor, I will work with all of you to assure our state puts people first!

May each and every one of you experience the joy of this season in your own way, and remember that we are all sisters and brothers in the struggle for justice.  Together we can build a better future for all!

Corporate-free    People First!


Living Wages for Workers Now!

It’s no secret that for the last 40 years, working and middle class families have gotten a bad deal in our country. Despite continued inflation, increasing costs of living and massive growth in productivity, wages have stayed flat. In fact, when adjusted for inflation, US workers earning the federal minimum wage today have less buying power than minimum wage workers nearly five decades ago. In 1968 workers earned, in inflation-adjusted dollars, $10.90 an hour, over 3 dollars more than today’s federal minimum wage of $7.25 and still more than California’s minimum wage of $10.50 an hour, which is still not even close to what a living wage should be in California.

We live in a much wealthier country than we did in 1968, but instead of that growth being shared amongst workers it has been re-distributed to the 1%, driving us to the highest level of income inequality in recorded human history. Not only is this bad economics, it is beyond immoral. No person deserves to live in poverty, especially when they work 40 plus hours a week juggling 2 or 3 jobs and still failing to make ends meet. That is no failure of those individuals, but the failure of capitalist system run by vultures.

That is why in Richmond I fought hard with my Richmond Progressive Alliance counterparts to raise the local minimum wage to $15 bucks an hour by the end of 2018, tracking inflation every year thereafter.  As Lt. Governor I will fight to increase the minimum wage and move toward a true living wage for all Californians. We must ensure there is system where the 99% share fully in the fruits of their labor, not just left with the crumbs from the 1%.

But I cannot do this alone, in order to bring dignity and security back to workers it is going to take a movement, as it did in Richmond. In that fight I learned that such a movement can be built quickly when we organize inclusively, focusing on policy not party affiliations and free of corporate control. That is why today I ask you to join my corporate-free campaign with a donation of $15 dollars, to show solidarity for a future where every worker gets the dignity of earning a living wage.

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

Thank for your support and Season’s Greetings to all! A better California is possible!

Jaffe's Email for Gayle!

Thank you for your amazing support for my campaign! The support that has continued to flood in from across the country tells me that we are ripe for change! Doug Jones won in Alabama and now Paul Ryan wants to resign - wow.

I’m running against the top House Democrat because we desperately need to reform the Democratic Party. I’m committed to fighting for progressive change from within the party, but whether it’s independent Bernie Sanders or the movement for a People’s Party, I also support and respect those working for change in their own way.

Ultimately, we need a massive people’s movement that is corporate-free and focused on the needs of the 99%. We need a living wage, affordable housing, and protections for local businesses instead of multinational corporations. There is so much work to do!

That’s why today I am asking you to support my fellow progressive Gayle McLaughlin. Gayle is the former two-term mayor of Richmond, CA, where she co-founded the Richmond Progressive Alliance and has won victory after victory for her community. Gayle and her community won against Chevron, which spent millions to hold onto control of the Richmond City Council. Instead, Gayle and the RPA took five of seven seats as grassroots, corporate-free candidates. Even Bernie Sanders took notice, visiting Gayle and RPA in 2014 to support their work.

Today, Gayle is running for Lt. Governor and has won the endorsement of 28 Our Revolution chapters - more than any other candidate in the country.

I often find myself sharing a stage with Gayle and her candidacy as part of the “Progressive Surge” that is sweeping across California. In fact, her campaign is working to bring the RPA model to hundreds of communities throughout the state - and a new San Francisco Progressive Alliance has just launched. [Name/Friend], we truly are building a progressive revolution in California.

Will you join me in supporting Gayle’s organizing campaign? As a corporate-free candidate, every small donation helps.

Your donation of $7 or more will help Gayle McLaughlin continue to organize communities across the state for Progressive change.

Would you like to learn more about the RPA model? Watch this video with Gayle and other RPA members:

Thank you,

Stephen Jaffe

The fight for a free internet is not over!

As you may know, on December 14th the FCC spearheaded by former Verizon lawyer Ajit Pai voted along party lines to repeal Net Neutrality protections and attempt to bar states from enacting their own rules. Going against 83% of Americans who favored keeping a free and open internet. Though the 14th was a win for the AT&T, Verizon and Comcast, it is by no means the end of our fight. There are 3 steps to continuing the fight;

First, multiple states attorneys general, over 17 including California, have joined together in a lawsuit against the Commission to preserve the net neutrality rules. Free Press Action Fund is also moving to the sue as well, learn more and support their campaign here.

Second, more cities can invest in building their own publicly owned municipal fiber and broadband networks like Chattanooga, Tennessee has done. This local investment and control, allows not just better coverage, but also expands coverage to communities that lack access. While also allowing the public to pay less and fight to get more rules where they see fit.

Lastly, on the federal scale, we can take the fight to Congress. Demanding our representatives use the Congressional Review Act to overturn the FCC’s disastrous decision. Join Battle for the Net and call your representative today, demanding they take action here.

​Already in California over 2 million residents, in predominantly rural communities and communities of color, lack any broadband access whatsoever. And almost 20 million receive coverage from ISPs who have track recorders of violating rules, and now have a open field because of the repeal. This repeal does not only hurt consumers, it hurts small providers who cannot compete with the Telecoms cartel.

​​Last Thursday’s vote was yet again another step in the corporate war on our democracy, and was bought and paid for by AT&T, Comcast and Verizon. But I am no stranger to taking on corporate giants, having fought Chevron in Richmond and won. That battle taught me that when we stand in solidarity, building corporate-free movements that fight for the 99% we can win.

As Lt. Governor of California, I will not only fight for net neutrality at the state level, but lead the charge for municipal broadband, where we control our access. My priority is expanding high quality internet access to EVERYONE, not to secure the Telecom giants monopolies.

It is your support that has grown my campaign. Already we have over 120 activists and groups ready to collect signatures to get me on the ballot and are have the most Our Revolution chapter endorsements of any campaign in the country! Every donation of $27, $50, $99 or even $270 dollars fuels our momentum for a people-powered campaign that will put the 99% before corporate profits.

Donate today and join this movement, together a better future is possible!

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, and for being with me in this fight for net neutrality, for it is fight we must win!



Take Action Today: #ReplaceNAFTA

“Free trade” agreements like NAFTA have been a disaster for America’s working and middle class families by destroying unions and causing massive offshoring of good American jobs.These agreements are solely a result of corporate-cash buying off our representatives. We can not afford any more corporate giveaways like this, and today we have a chance to fight them.

NAFTA is up for renegotiation and Senator Sanders, along with workers and union leaders, are at the capitol today demanding Trump end this deal that has been a giveaway to big corporations at the expense of American jobs. Instead, we demand that NAFTA be replaced with a real New Deal that will create jobs here and rebuild so many communities that have been destroyed by corporations’ ideas of “free trade.”

You can join Sen. Sanders and other leaders in this day of action by calling your representatives and making it clear that we want people and the environment prioritized over corporate profits. We must stand strong with our brothers and sisters in labor. No more lip service, we need real action!


As the daughter of a unionized carpenter, I understand the importance of strong unions. Now more than ever, we need strong unions to reduce inequality and protect workers. I have been and will continue to lead the charge to protect our workers, and your support makes my chances of bringing the fight to Sacramento all the more successful.

The two main parties sold workers out when they turned to big corporations to fund their operations - winning this fight will take the strong efforts of corporate-free progressives. Your donation of $27 dollars today is not just to support me, but to support building a movement that is pro-labor and pro-human.

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

Together we can bring back a society where people can earn a living wage and work with dignity and security. Thank you for your action, and for your support!

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!