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: https://www.battleforthenet.com/
  2. Protest your local Verizon store: http://verizonprotests.com/

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 jon@gayleforcalifornia.org.)

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,

Gayle


Single-Payer for CA - Pass SB 562!

Walk into a doctor's office, clinic or hospital, anywhere in the U.S., get treated, walk out. Pay your taxes, all good.

Imagine that.

Instead we have a patchwork of care that makes health care uncertain while traveling or in an emergency ("Go to the nearest plan hospital"). And it's bloated by reams of insurance paperwork and uncertainty for providers as well.

There are really only two sides to the healthcare debate. Either you believe a government must provide healthcare as a right for all its citizens, or you believe private industry is allowed to profit from human suffering. We are on the side that believes it is a right, and we are entrenched in one of the most important fights in our history to guarantee it.

That is why it is critical for real progressive candidates to be powered by the people, not corporate America. Like every fight, it is only possible to win when we build locally and support corporate-free candidates to champion policies like SB 562. Today I ask you to make two important steps towards progress. Get active, mobilizing and organizing your community to demand Universal Single-Payer Healthcare. Second, support my campaign for Single-Payer with your time, filling out our Volunteer Form and building support across our state.

Together we can make Healthcare a right for ALL Californians through fighting and passing SB 562. Our victory will fuel Bernie Sander’s fight for Medicare-for-All nationally. Your action today gets us one step closer to American healthcare being as easy as:  pay your taxes, walk into a doctor's office, clinic or hospital, get treated and walk out.

In Solidarity,

- Gayle


Cutting our Shared Prosperity

Recently we have learned more of the details of the Trump/GOP tax plan.

It’s easy to pick away at the details of the plan -- realtors, homebuilders, and even Marco Rubio have problems with it.

This plan is completely aligned with Trump’s indignities toward working people, immigrants, women, basically anyone who doesn’t look like his cabinet of right-wing billionaires. It also thrusts into plain view the broken corporate-first ideology that’s crept into our government. Corporations will see their taxes cut from 35% to 20%. As we know here in California, corporations rarely pay all of their taxes and abuse every loophole that exists, as we have seen with Prop. 13.

Instead of cutting taxes on the rich and corporations, I believe it is about time they start paying their fair share. So unlike the priorities in D.C., my focus in California is ending corporate loopholes, fossil fuel subsidies and ushering in a Millionaires tax. These policy shifts will give us the revenue to invest in our state’s infrastructure, education and healthcare for every Californian.

I can be a part of this fight and champion progress because I am corporate-free, so my only obligation is to the people, not corporate overlords. If we get active, building local power, we can fight these disastrous tax cuts at the local, state and national level.

Every $27 donation, every volunteer and every endorsement gives my campaign the fuel to build that infrastructure and organizing power across the state. Focused on fighting for the 99% and holding the 1% and corporate America accountable.

When we fight, we win, and the gravity of this situation demands we fight!


Corporate Crime Reporter Covers our Corporate-Free Campaign for Lt. Governor

Gayle McLaughlin and the Corporate Free Campaign for California Lieutenant Governor

By Editor Filed in News November 6th, 2017 @ 2:24 pm (Click here to read original article at Corporate Crime Reporter)

Gayle McLaughlin, the former mayor of Richmond, California, has launched what she calls a corporate free campaign for Lieutenant Governor of California.

Gayle McLaughlin

As mayor, along with the Richmond Progressive Alliance, McLaughlin challenged Big Soda with a soda tax referendum, raised the minimum wage,  implemented a rent control law, confronted the city’s largest employer Chevron on its health and safety practices, and sought to use eminent domain to take over underwater mortgages.

Now she wants to take her brand of corporate free governance statewide.

She’s up against a corporate funded Democratic Party establishment in California.

“I’m running for Lieutenant Governor. It’s a corporate free campaign,” McLaughlin told Corporate Crime Reporter in an interview last week. “And I’m spreading the word about building progressive alliances to gain local political power throughout the state. My campaign is networking these progressive organizations. And with that we have the power to address the statewide issues that I’m also championing – like single payer Medicare for All, free college, taxing the one percent, progressive millionaires tax, an oil extraction tax, reforming Proposition 13, banning fracking.”

When you ran for office in Richmond, you were a member of the Green Party. Now you are an independent. Why did you change?

“I was registered in the Green Party throughout the years I was mayor and prior to that. I decided to switch to no party preference early in 2016 so I could vote for Bernie Sanders. When I saw the momentum that Bernie Sanders was creating, the movement building, all of the enthusiasm, I wanted to be able to vote for him. In California, you could vote for a presidential candidate in the Democratic Party if you are registered no party preference. You could not vote in the Democratic Party primary if you were registered Green Party.”

“Afterward, I decided to stay no party preference. We need to address the issues. People of different parties – progressive Democrats, Green Party members, the millions in California who have no party affiliation – we need to bring people together. This campaign allows me to deepen those relationships regardless of people’s party preference. That’s why I chose to stay no party preference.”

“I am finding that people want to unite around progressive values. That’s what I’m promoting, going up and down the state encouraging these progressive alliances. That’s what we did with the Richmond Progressive Alliance. We are an alliance that has people from various parties. We affiliate not based on parties, but based on values. People are receptive to it. People are fed up with the corporate controlled two party system. Many are fighting the good fight within the Democratic Party — they want to retake control of the party. Those are the Berniecrats that are fighting that battle. I support that battle. But I chose to stay outside the two party system. The outcome of reforming the Democratic Party is uncertain at best. But regardless of whether people are still in the Democratic Party, they still are very receptive to my message. They understand that my standing as an independent is important. They are embracing me. They are standing with me for all of the issues that need to be implemented in California.”

“At this point, party is not as significant. Movement building is key. At some point, every movement needs a party to represent it. At this point, we don’t know. Will it be a new party? What party would that be? At this point, it’s just coming together as progressives to keep our heads above water. And then we will swim together to shore and brainstorm what our party structure will look like. I am of the belief that now is the time not for party building, but for movement building.”

“Chevron has been in the city for over 100 years and greatly harmed the community’s health and the city’s reputation. People know that Richmond has this big refinery. And it limits our ability to attract new businesses.”

“The Richmond Progressive Alliance fought and won against $3.5 million of Chevron money trying to defeat us in one election in 2014. All of the Richmond Progressive Alliance candidates won our elections and all of the Chevron funded candidates lost. Our example in Richmond shows that it can be done. I’m taking this struggle statewide to make sure we get those corporations out of our state politics.”

Do you want Chevron to close its refinery and leave the city?

“Chevron has been here for 100 years. It’s not going to change. It’s not going to just leave. It has a great location on the bay. It’s full infrastructure is in place. No other community wants a refinery. There hasn’t been a new refinery in the United States since the 1970s. We don’t think Chevron is going to leave voluntarily. We want them to become the cleanest and safest refinery in existence.”

“Ultimately, we need to move away from fossil fuels altogether. That means that this giant oil refinery needs to switch to renewables or it will have to leave or go under.”

“But at this point, there is no indication they are leaving, so we are pushing for them to be the safest and cleanest refinery.”

“There was a major refinery fire in Richmond in 2012. Fifteen thousand residents went to hospitals for respiratory treatment. It was a major fire. And the City of Richmond is suing Chevron now. It was the first time in the city’s history where we sued Chevron. I was still mayor. We won. We got the votes to get the lawsuit. That litigation is ongoing.”

What are you seeking?

“We are seeking that Chevron changes its corporate culture to put the safety of our community first. It’s not only this 2012 fire, but there have been over a dozen major incidents since 1990. We want to stop this pattern of the refinery exploding every five years. We are not accepting that. But we also want compensation for the harm they have done to our community. The fire caused a lot of trauma. People were trapped inside the city. We had to shelter in place. Parents pulled their kids off the playgrounds. We all went inside. We had to tape up our windows with duct tape. We had to stay inside for hours. BART would not run into Richmond. The buses would not run into Richmond. People who lived elsewhere but worked in Richmond were trapped in Richmond. And people from Richmond who worked elsewhere could not get back into Richmond. Our city staff spent countless days, months over a year, holding community meetings, meeting with regulators. Our property taxes went down. There was so much damage to the city and the community. Compensation is in order.”

“The Cotchett Pitre law firm is representing us — the same law firm that represented San Bruno in connection with the pipeline explosion that killed eight people. They did a great job for San Bruno and we think they are going to do a great job for us.”

You said that PG&E had caused extensive damage to the people of California and you then went through their corporate wrongdoing, including when eight people died in the San Bruno inferno caused by a natural gas explosion. The company was convicted in that case of felony wrongdoing.”

You sent out an email to your supporters last week about PG&E about their crimes. You called on the state of California to revoke PG&E’s public franchise.  Do you want Chevron to close and leave?

There is a utility in Sacramento that is publically owned. You want to convert PG&E into a public company.

“Yes. In Sacramento, it’s called the Sacramento Municipal Utility District — or SMUD. It has been operating since 1947 as a public utility serving the people of Sacramento for decades. They have done a good job. They are not profit based.”

“PG&E puts its bottom line first above public safety. When you have a public utility like SMUD, there are no profits. Instead, it is operating a healthy and safe utility that is the goal and priority. I am calling for this. It’s about time to start holding this corporate criminal to account. For years, the evidence has pointed to the fact that this utility has not shown itself to be responsible. With all of the life being lost, it’s time to consider a truly public utility for the people of California.”


Join me in demanding Sheriff Livingston stop inhumane treatment of female detainees

Join me in demanding Sheriff Livingston stop inhumane treatment of female detainees

In response to a recent S.F. Chronicle report detailing horrendous conditions suffered by female detainees in the West County Jail in Richmond, today I sent a “cease and desist” letter to Contra Costa Sheriff David Livingston.

Despite massive opposition from Richmond residents and elected officials, the Contra Costa Sheriff’s office contracts with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for the use of the West County Jail to house people suspected of immigration violations.

According to the 11/2/17 article by Otis R. Taylor, Jr., female ICE detainees are held in jail cells with no toilets, forced to relieve themselves by urinating and defecating in their clothes or use plastic bags, are locked up for 23 hours a day with frequent cancellation of the one hour outside their cells, are given intolerable food, have a lack of basic health care services, and experience a terrifying environment with distressed inmates screaming and pounding on their cell doors.

Given the details of cruelty outlined in the article, my letter to Sheriff Livingston demanded he immediately terminate all violations of human and constitutional rights of ICE detainees in his custody. It read: “As a U.S. citizen, a resident of Richmond, a taxpayer and a former Mayor of Richmond, I demand that you immediately stop these intolerable conditions of detention and cease every abuse of basic human rights of the people detained in any facility under your jurisdiction.”  I also repeated my condemnation of the County’s contract with ICE, and demanded its termination.

This battle is hardly new:  During my first month as Richmond Mayor in 2007, I called for a moratorium on ICE raids and reaffirmed Richmond’s Sanctuary City status, ordering the Richmond police and all City employees not to collaborate with ICE.  I traveled to Washington DC in 2007 to testify to Congress about the trauma that ICE raids were causing Richmond families.

I encourage you to speak out!  Contact Contra Costa Sheriff Livingston and demand immediate correction of these abuses and the termination of the contract with ICE.  Please also reach out to members of the Contra Costa Board of Supervisors and the Contra Costa District Attorney to demand appropriate legal actions against the Sheriff.

The unconscionable treatment of immigrants by ICE and the need to promote justice for many other groups of vulnerable California residents are among the reasons why I am running for Lt. Governor.  A Better California is Possible!

 

Secretary to Sheriff Livingston (Susan Lyon)   slyon@so.cccounty.us

John Gioia john_gioia@bos.cccounty.us

Candace Andersen supervisorandersen@bos.cccounty.us

Diane Burgis supervisor_burgis@bos.cccounty.us

Karen Mitchoff SupervisorMitchoff@bos.cccounty.us

Federal Glover district5@bos.cccounty.us

District Attorney Diane Becton da-commentary-feedback@contracostada.org