Announcing ‘Gayle Force’ Corporate-Free Candidates in San Diego

Today, I’m announcing “Gayle Force,” a slate of candidate endorsements that I hope helps to support and invigorate all Californians fighting to end the corporate control and domination of our democracy and all its institutions, including political parties.

The Gayle Force endorsements of candidates for offices from school board to Congress include those from different parties and many backgrounds with one unifying theme: to stand against the pernicious influence of corporate greed in our elections. It’s not enough to say that we oppose Citizens United and the Koch brothers, we must be true to our convictions by running truly corporate-free campaigns!

It is also imperative that progressives of all parties - and of no party (that fastest-growing voter demographic in California, which will soon surpass Republican registration!) - work together to grow the corporate-free political revolution. As a co-founder of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, I have spent the past 15 years advocating for corporate-free candidates and public officials - and Bernie Sanders’ presidential run accelerated that movement like we never thought possible!

I will be in San Diego this weekend to join hundreds of progressive Democrats who are fighting within their party for change, and I will share the message that the corporate-free political revolution requires us to work together - progressive Democrats, Greens, Peace and Freedom, and those of us with no party affiliation - to build the future that we know in our hearts is possible. People First, Every One of Us Together!

If you will be in San Diego for the Democratic Party Convention - and for those of you who live in the area -- please RSVP to join me at Union Kitchen & Tap Gaslamp for an informal discussion of this growing corporate-free movement! I would like to share more with you about these great Gayle Force candidates, in person!

As our people-powered campaign grows, we plan to lift up all Gayle Force candidates with advice and community for grassroots success. If you are affiliated with one of the campaigns and would like to join our #Gayle-Force channel in Slack, if you would like to volunteer to build this movement, or, if you are a corporate-free candidate who would like an endorsement, just reply to this email.

Thank you! And now, the list!

Senator Bernie Sanders for President of the United States 2020!

David Hildebrand for U.S. Senate

Ruben Major for Secretary of State

CD5 Jason Kishineff for Congress

CD12 Stephen Jaffe for Congress

CD25 Jess Phoenix for Congress

CD29 Angelica Dueñas for Congress

CD30 John Pelzer for Congress

CD34 Kenneth Mejia for Congress

CD43 Miguel Zuñiga for Congress

SD 34 Jestin Samson for State Senate

AD15 Jovanka Beckles for Assembly

AD45 Ankur Patel for Assembly

AD66 Caney Arnold for Assembly

AD63 Maria Estrada for Assembly

AD70 Rachel Bruhnke for Assembly

AD54 Steve Dunwoody for Assembly

Melvin Willis for Richmond Mayor

Ada Recinos for Richmond City Council

Eduardo Martinez for Richmond City Council

Logan Smith for Santa Clarita City Council

Tara Sreekrishnan for Cupertino City Council

Omar Vasquez for San Jose City Council D7

Shay Franco-Clausen for San Jose City Council D9

Monica Montgomery for San Diego City Council D4

Corinna Contreras Vista City Council

Kenji Yamada for Concord City Council

Cesar Armendariz Long Beach School Board

Finally, your contributions make it possible for me to do this organizing work up and down the state. Please chip in today to help spread the word to California’s millions of progressive voters - each $1 allows us to call or text 60 voters.

 >> Click Here to Pitch In <<

Worker Co-ops: Bringing Democracy to the Workplace

It is truly remarkable that while we have society that claims to uphold democracy, we have managed to leave it out of the place where most spend the majority of their lives… the workplace. The truth is, majority of businesses are structured in a way that is the antithesis of democracy. The decisions flow down from wealthy executives, after being affirmed by a wealthy board of shareholders, through a layer of bureaucratic management systems that then dictates the delivery of those goals to the bulk of the employment, the workers. Workers whose labor produces almost all of the value, yet see a ever shrinking piece of the pie and constantly find themselves at the mercy of those at the top.

If the executives and their shareholders, in their quest for higher and higher profits each quarter, decide that outsourcing the jobs to another state or country is more profitable, they can do so and the workers are left helpless. Leaving the communities and families that relied on those jobs wiped out because while capital can always move, labor cannot.

One solution to this all to common situation is simple; run the businesses as worker owned cooperatives. I visited Mondragon, Spain, in 2010 when I was mayor of Richmond, to learn more about this alternative economic model. Mondragon is known as the world capital of worker-owned co-ops. The Mondragon co-op strategy began in the 1950s and has grown to become a federation of 120 co-ops with over 74,000 employees. It is now a multi-billion dollar business in Spain. And very importantly, the workers actually make their own decisions with the principle of one worker, one vote. Instead of a small handful of likely already wealthy owners reaping in the fruits of labor, the workers can decide how they share the profits they created. When the company is doing well they can give themselves raises, and better hours and when times are tight, everyone could choose a cut to still keep the doors open, and retain employment. Worker co-ops are revolutionary because they give people economic control of their communities, which creates healthier and more successful communities.

In Richmond we began looking into worker co-ops and local activists got the ball rolling by creating the Richmond Worker Cooperative Revolving Loan Fund. This fund looks to provide low interest loans to individuals looking to start a cooperative in Richmond. Often getting this financial support from private banks is difficult, even though co-ops have a record of being more productive than traditional businesses.​ As Lt. Governor, I will fight to provide funding for worker co-ops across the state, and one of the best ways would be through the creation of a Public Bank of California.

Far too often our ideas are treated as giveaways, and freebies, even though this is the farthest thing from the truth. Instead of giving more goodies to corporations, we are investing in our communities and giving them the opportunity to succeed. That is what my corporate free, people first movement is about, and we are exciting the 99% across California with that message. People are ready to have someone who represents them, not the donor class. Your donation is what expands our reach and will allow us to turnout the hundreds of thousands of voters we need to win in June. Every dollar you give allows us to text and call 60 voters. Contribute today and power our outreach!

Donate $1 to reach 60 voters!

Donate $10 to reach 600 voters!

Donate $100 to reach 6,000 voters!

Donate $1,000 to reach 60,000 voters!

Or, donate any other amount!

Thank you for your support!

Black History and People of Action

Frederick Douglas said: "I prayed for freedom for twenty years, but received no answer until I prayed with my legs". He escaped slavery and became a resistance leader. Harriet
 told us: "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". Frederick and Harriet reached freedom and helped many others reach it. They took action.

There were also those who turned around to fight their oppressorsDuring my first year as Mayor of Richmond in 2007, I introduced a proclamation honoring the Black heroes of Harper’s Ferry (1859) and all those who fought against slavery and all those still struggling for liberation. African-Americans Osborn P. Anderson, Dangerfield Newby, Lewis Leary, John Copeland, and Shields Greenjoined the military invasion of Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, led by John Brown and a small group of radical abolitionists, calling for slave insurrection, the end of slavery, and full control of their own destinies.

The actions of these brave freedom fighters became one of the most moving arguments for the end of slavery. Most of them died in the insurrection, except for O.P. Anderson, who escaped and later joined the Union Army as an officer. 

Lucy Parsons was a 6-year-old slave girl in Texas at the time of Harper’s Ferry. She grew up to become an amazing American labor organizer. Lucy and her husband Albert were leaders in campaigning for the eight-hour work day. Although Albert was tried and executed in 1887, Lucy never stop organizing, speaking, denouncing, writing, and demanding justice for working folks.

These true heroes are often excluded or erased from our history, yet their stories connect well with many subsequent struggles, all the way to today’s Black Lives Matter movement. During Black History Month I honor those brave Black men and women who rose up and fought oppression. I invite you to do the same. Let us be Californians of action against all injustice. “Don’t ever stop,” as Harriet said.

Reviving King’s Movement - Poor People’s Campaign at 50

Yesterday, Feb. 12th, Fight for $15 members walked off the job and joined protests against poverty wages and unsafe working conditions across the country. These fast food workers rallied in Memphis, where 50 years ago sanitation workers went on strike with the support of Martin Luther King Jr.

This moment also marks the rise of a “new” Poor People’s Campaign, a revival of King’s movement dedicated to ending what he called the triads of evil: racism, militarism and poverty. The campaign began with King in 1968 and these actions during Black History Month and upon the 50th anniversary of the sanitation strike that cost King his life should awaken us all to the work left to be done.

You can join The Poor People’s Campaign here.​​

Last week when I spoke at the San Francisco Occupy Forum, I was thrilled to see activists promoting this renewal of the Poor People’s Campaign. Organizers of the campaign come from poverty advocacy and activism, the clergy, and other centers of moral leadership. They aim to achieve campaign goals through organizing, voter registration, power building, and nonviolent direct action.  

In Richmond we utilized the same tactics to build the people power necessary to pass our $15/hour legislation, and we are bringing this spirit to our Lt. Governor campaign. The truth is, we are grappling with more than just a broken economic system, we are dealing with a broken spirit that has been a result of militarism, capitalism and racism. The elites have used every tool possible to divide us and while we fight for crumbs they run out the back door with the loaf. Instead of seeing our shared struggles and working to lift each other up across the board, they want us to be focused on “getting ours” at the expense of one another. The goal of King’s Poor People’s campaign was to re-ignite our spirit and bring back radical solidarity and love for one another. Yesterday’s rallies were a step in that direction again, and it should serve as an inspiration to all of us.

Right now in Sacramento those elites still have the say, they use their corporate cash and ill-gotten gains to bribe politicians and further stack the deck. If we want to bring the spirit of radical solidarity and love into our government and make Sacramento work for the people, we need a corporate-free revolution in June. My campaign is building the movement to do just that, and I need your help to organize and spread our message. There are hundreds of thousands of Californians ready to hear our vision, and your donation of $7, $27, $50 or even $99 allows us to reach them.

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

We are living in revolutionary times, and no one can sit on the side lines. It’s one hell of a fight, but I know we are going to fight like hell!

Bernie’s Our Revolution Endorses!

I am SO proud of our team’s incredible work and thankful for your support today as I announce the new endorsement of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ and Nina Turner's Our Revolution.

I’m honored to join the likes of civil rights leaders Ben Jealous, running for governor of Maryland, and Joe Salazar, running for attorney general of Colorado, and my Richmond Progressive Alliance (RPA) ally Jovanka Beckles, candidate for Assembly in California’s 15th District, I’m thankful to the 34 local chapters of Our Revolution that advocated for this endorsement!

With the support of Bernie and Our Revolution, we are going to win this race and take the people’s movement to Sacramento. For too long, corporate contributions and lobbyists have set the agenda in the Capitol - it’s time for thousands upon thousands of us across this beautiful state to say “No” to corporate rule and “Yes” to our shared power.

In addition to meeting with Our Revolution chapters, my priority in this campaign has been to share the RPA story throughout the state, encouraging communities to create their own progressive alliances. Several of these corporate-free community alliances have formed since I began touring the state! The RPA model firmly rejects corporate money and influence, and builds political power by organizing communities impacted by pollution, crime, unaffordable housing, and low wages. I am proud to have blazed the trail as Richmond’s first corporate-free mayor, and together with the RPA, we successfully reduced violent crime by 75%, passed a $15-an-hour minimum wage, and passed the first local rent control law in California in 30 years. I am eager to share this success with California, working with local communities and corporate-free candidates at every level.

I would love to have your support today to help us get the word out about this important endorsement - we know that Our Revolution’s support will help us win, and that we must make millions of voter contacts along the way!

Your donation today keeps the political revolution growing in California!

Public Banking: Getting Wall St. out of California

In the aftermath of the Great Recession, we in Richmond found ourselves in a situation all too familiar across the country; our residents were facing foreclosures due to the predatory practices of Wall Street at an alarming rate. Our response to this crisis was very different: Instead of towing the line and allowing our neighbors to be thrown into the streets while the culprits were bailed out, we decided to take action and bail out Main Street. We championed a plan to use our powers of eminent domain to acquire underwater mortgages, whose principals we would then reduce to be in line with the home’s actual value. These modified mortgages would be handed back to our residents, keeping families in their homes, preventing foreclosures and restoring equity for the homeowner, while also stabilizing our neighborhoods.

While this plan would have been good for the 99%, it was not good for Wall Street, who took their influence all the way to the District of Corporations and got Congress to block us. The corporate officeholders did their donors’ bidding, and stopped cities like Richmond from protecting our people and communities.

The big banks scrambled to protect their interests, because they know what can happen when we stand together and fight - we win. Once we regain the economic control of our community, we regain our independence and that is the worst fear of powerful financial interests. Right now there is one meaningful way we could achieve this; the creation of a California Public Bank.

Public banks give states and municipalities the lending mechanisms of private banks, without the high fees and interest rates, predatory practices and toxic investments in fossil fuels, arms and private prisons. They work by collecting deposits through public institutions and resources such as; tax revenue, and state pensions, while taking no deposits from private persons. These banks can then issue low interest loans to the government, and others to fund public priorities like; affordable housing, infrastructure, education and job creation through programs like worker co-op startup funds. It is estimated that this system can save 50% on infrastructure projects through removing the big bank’s profits from the equation.

In California, a Public Bank could provide us a system to gather tax revenues from and provide stability to the cannabis industry. Maximizing the economic positives from our recent legalization of marijuana. Tackling climate change is a top priority for me in California and Public Banking could also provide us the funds necessary to invest in a renewable energy revolution statewide, like we did in Richmond.

Since the inception of the Bank of North Dakota in 1919, North Dakota has served as a steady example that Public Banks not only work, but are extremely stable. Being our country’s only state-owned bank and free of Wall Street’s grip, North Dakota was the only state to walk away from the Great Recession unscathed.

We too can free ourselves from Wall Street, if we organize and fight for a corporate-free revolution in 2018. The Big Banks and their corporate buddies care about what happens in this Lt. Governor’s race, and they have a reason to worry. Our people-first campaign is gaining momentum. Thanks to the hard work of over 175 volunteers across the state, we collected over 14,000 signatures from 46 of our 58 counties to get my campaign on the ballot. We are just getting started, and your support will help us reach hundreds of thousands of voters over the next few months. Your donation of $27, $50, $99, or any amount, today provides my campaign the resources to organize California for real change! Will you join me and continue our momentum?

Donate $27 to say “No!” to Wall Street!

Donate $50 to say “Yes! Our Money, Our Power!” to a California Public Bank!

Donate $99 to reach 260 voters!

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

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

Investing in our Future

A few days ago, I met with UC Berkeley students. The plans by the UC Board of Regents to raise tuition for students again was high among their concerns. I stated that this is exactly the opposite of what I stand for – free public college! I do not and I will not support tuition and fee hikes.

Students are rightfully outraged that the Board of Regents would consider raising tuition, considering that the​ Board has given significant raises to high-level administrators, and that last year’s audit shows it paying excessive salaries and mishandling funds, as well as hiding away $175 million in budget reserve funds.

I believe the UC Regents have an obligation to be strong advocates for students and to lobby the legislature for more money. Instead, under the board’s watch, California’s state legislature cut state funding per UC student by more the 50 percent, while leaving many corporate interests untouched and untaxed.

The mobilized students successfully were able to postpone the vote on the tuition until May. But they and all of us need to keep up the pressure, both on the Board of Regents and on the legislature.

As Lt. Governor I will fight to invest in our future and make public higher education tuition-free for all Californians. We can fund this initiative through taxing the highest income earners in the state. We need to start making the 1% and corporations pay their fair share. Being the only corporate free candidate in this race, I vow to always put our students ahead of corporate interests. When we invest in our future and in our state, we lift up our state!

We are building a serious movement to bring real change to California, and it is only possible because of your support. We are currently in the midst of our “Words for Gayle” campaign, trying to raise the $6,250 necessary to get a statement on the ballot in June. Each word is $25 a pop, and this statement allows us to show voters my campaign’s vision is a real alternative to the corporate status quo politics of Sacramento. The more people who hear about our fight for tuition-free college and healthcare as a right, the more people who will support us with their vote on June 5th. Can you join us and sponsor a word, or many, with your donation today?

I Will Sponsor a Word with $27 Today

I Will Sponsor Four Words with $99 Today

I Will Sponsor Six Words with $150 Today

I Will Sponsor 11 Words with $270 Today

I Will Sponsor the Ballot Statement with Another Amount

Thank you

About My Friend, Gayle

Gayle McLaughlin and I were co-founders of the Richmond Progressive Alliance, 15 years ago. We have always believed that friends and neighbors organizing locally was the key to reach local and global transformation, and Gayle’s Lt. Governor campaign is part of the evolution of our corporate-free movement. This progressive vision also goes beyond our state - we believe in standing in solidarity with our sisters and brothers across the globe who are struggling against oppression and sometimes dealing with horrific natural disasters.  

For example, as Mayor of Richmond, Gayle introduced a resolution of solidarity and commitment to help facilitate contributions to the Haiti relief effort during the devastating earthquake in 2010. During her mayoral years, Gayle also publicly expressed support for the resistance of the Haitian people against oppressive coup regimes, wrote letters of support for the release of Haitian political prisoners, and honored the fight of the Haitian people for dignity and empowerment. Taking such stands helps bring communities closer together and builds bonds of support.

Today, we face the grim rule of Donald Trump and corporate control of our federal government. We see the face of hate as Trump attacks immigrants and their countries of origin with obscene language. The forces for greed and hate will do everything they can to divide us. Still, we have much hope. And I want to share a new statement of support for Gayle from Pierre Labossiere, co-founder of the Haiti Action Committee:

I support Gayle McLaughlin for Lieutenant Governor of California because as a two-term Mayor of Richmond, CA she has been a visionary and courageous leader. Her dedicated work and consensus-building skills around pragmatic policies and programs have improved the quality of life for the city's residents.

Mayor McLaughlin's exemplary tenure was guided by her vision and core values of a world of justice, peace, economic well-being and respect for all. As a Haitian immigrant, I also greatly value her consistent, unwavering support for the rights of immigrants and refugees. Under her leadership, the city of Richmond had become well-known for its solidarity with people struggling for the respect of human rights on the local, national and international level.

California needs Former Mayor Gayle McLaughlin for Lieutenant Governor.

We’re fighting many millions of dollars and nine competitors to elevate the people’s voice. And we are facing a deadline next month to pay $6,250 for a ballot statement of Gayle’s vision. If you are able, please sponsor a word ($25) or two today - click to give:

Thank you,

Juan Reardon
Campaign Manager

Time to Protect our Neighbors!

I call on all California police departments and sheriffs offices and all their law enforcement personnel to obey the State of California law prohibiting cooperation with federal agents of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) when they pursue and capture our undocumented residents without warrants. 

I call on all Californians to mobilize in each community to protect all working families regardless of their immigration status. Let us use community creativity to respond in opposition to ICE raids in California, orchestrated by a president and attorney general who are demonstrably hostile to our immigrant brothers and sisters. 

Let’s be alert and ready to respond peacefully to protect our neighbors.  This is not the time to be on the sidelines.


Gayle McLaughlin
Former Mayor of Richmond, CA
Candidate for California Lt. Governor

MLK Day of Service in Los Angeles

Today, I participated in an MLK Jr. Day of Service by joining L.A. Works and fellow volunteers in restoring and beautifying Lincoln High, an institution serving some of the most vulnerable beneficiaries of the DREAM Act, in hopes that their contribution will dignify a space in which all Americans are seen as equals.