Holy Friday in Gaza

Another Gaza massacre took place Friday as tens of thousands of Palestinians protested peacefully at the Israeli wall against their collective incarceration in Gaza, which can only be called the largest concentration camp in the world.

The protesters were calling for the right to return to their homes and lands, and an end to the Israeli occupation, the many violent attacks by Israel, and the ethnic cleansing (“Nabka” in Arabic) of Palestinians ongoing now for seven decades.

In response to the demonstrations, at least 15 Palestinians were shot dead and 770 were wounded by Israeli military sharp-shooters who chose violence to disperse the tens of thousands of people engaged in a non-violent protest.

I remain outraged by the brutality Israel has unleashed on Gaza through its siege by land, sea, and air, and the three military offensives it has carried out in recent years. I remain sickened by Israel’s targeting of homes, schools, UN shelters, mosques, ambulances, and hospitals.

Today again, I am heartbroken and repulsed by the number of civilian Palestinian protesters killed and wounded in another one-sided slaughter by Israel.

Although it is happening in a land distant from California, this violence by Israel impacts us directly – as human beings and as citizens of the U.S. We know that Israel’s violence against Palestinians would be impossible without America’s defense of Israel on the world stage, and its funding of Israel with over $3 billion annually. I reject and condemn this violence by Israel against the Palestinian people, and the U.S. sponsorship and funding of these violent crimes. Palestinians, like people everywhere, have the right to protest their conditions and demand change in their lives. It is unjustified to use lethal force against protesters when they pose no imminent threat.

Moreover, it is appalling that the United States on Saturday blocked a draft UN Security Council statement urging restraint and calling for an investigation of clashes on the Gaza-Israel border. It is also outrageous that media coverage has been so profoundly biased. As stated by the U.S.-based Jewish Voices for Peace:

“Much of the media coverage thus far refers to ‘clashes’ at the Gazan border, an inaccurate and biased description of the Israeli military’s violent response to nonviolent protest. We call upon the media to accurately portray the lopsided reality of thousands of unarmed protesters on their own land facing a military force armed to the teeth and explicitly permitted to use lethal force."

My heart is broken by the violent meanness of spirit of Israel. As an American I feel shame for the cover and support our country gives to such crimes. As an activist and a dreamer for a better nation I send my sorrow and my solidarity to the People of Gaza, and I add my voice for a transparent and independent investigation of this massacre.

An Update, April 8...

About Gaza killings

The New York Times, not particularly a pro-Palestinian paper, clearly defines the Palestinian protests that have taken place in Gaza over the last two Fridays as non-violent protests.

Nevertheless, their protests met with unjustified lethal force by the Israeli government. Twenty were killed and 700 wounded by bullets. I, along with many in the world, have condemned this slaughter of unarmed civilians.

The Romans killed many unarmed protesters in Judea during Tiberius' day. The killings of unarmed protesters should stop once and for all and human rights be respected by all nations.

Sadly, radical pro-Israel activists also attacked me when I authored a resolution against the Gaza sea blockade as Mayor of Richmond. I believe in the rights of all human beings, and presently the Israeli Army is showing grossly disproportionate force against the Palestinian people. This is something I hope more politicians will speak up on!


Transformative Cities Project Names Richmond Model “Utopia”

From the get-go, we’ve said that one of the the goals of this organizing campaign for Lt. Governor is to stimulate the formation of progressive alliances throughout the state – now, and when I am elected. We know that when passionate progressives come together to steer their communities, amazing things can happen.

It’s also not enough to organize at a city level. Here in California we know that we must repeal Costa-Hawkins in order to expand local-level rent control. We must tax millionaires and corporations to rebuild our public schools. And we must tax fossil fuel extractors to fund a swift shift to 100% renewables.

We’re fighting every day, for our state and for each of our communities, which is why I was overjoyed to learn that Transformative Cities and the Transnational Institute have recognized the work of the Richmond Progressive Alliance in their new “Atlas of Utopias” report. Richmond is among just three U.S. cities to earn this recognition – and the only one in California!

A “utopia” refers to a place of ideal perfection, especially in laws, government, and social conditions. Richmond is not there yet, but we are moving fast towards it. I am happy to be acknowledged for our collective ongoing work, and I invite you to build locally progressive corporate-free tools of transformation.  

Please click the image below to read the report on Richmond:

“What is inspiring about this project is the articulation of different parts of the community, against a common enemy: Chevron; innovative policies [like] “community policing”; the “authentic relationship” between voters and the elected government; and the public/legal strategies used to force renegotiation of housing loans,” said Atlas of Utopias evaluator Erick Palomares.

As co-founder of the RPA and two-term mayor of Richmond during this transformation, my message to you is: We can repeat this success statewide. California is one of the world’s largest economies, but a staggering amount of that wealth goes right to the top. Working together, we will transform this state and every one of our communities.

I hope that you will read about all 32 of the amazing communities awarded by the Atlas of Utopias project. And let’s take this inspiration with us to the Capitol!

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


Why I Support These 7 Corporate-Free Candidates for Congress

Last month we launched Gayle Force, an alliance of dozens of progressive Californians running bold, corporate-free campaigns up and down the ballot in 2018. I’m thrilled to stand with these inspiring people as we fight to free money from politics and reclaim true democratic power for the 99%.

The seven people I want to introduce you to today are all running for U.S. Congress, and come from many different backgrounds. However, they all have one thing in common: They’re committed to defeating corporate influence at the ballot box and setting us on a truly progressive path to the future.

It takes people from all parties to grow the political revolution that Bernie Sanders sparked in his historic run for the 2016 presidential nomination. Whether you’re a Democrat, Green, Independent, Peace and Freedom, Libertarian, Republican or other party affiliation, the Gayle Force message is this:

We can only win the world we want by demanding change, building a movement, and electing the people who can deliver. Stand with me in supporting these candidates and helping spread their message – OUR message – through your communities.

5th District - Jason Kishineff

Jason Kishineff was part of the activist movement opposing the Vallejo Marine Terminal and Orcem cement plant due to the health and environmental risks they posed to his region. Running in California’s 5th district to represent Napa County and parts of the greater North Bay, Jason vows to “continue the political revolution” started by Bernie Sanders and make the 5th “one of the most progressive voting districts in the state, and do it without corporate money.” Prison reform, universal healthcare, free higher education and a liveable minimum wage are among his top issues. You can learn more and donate to his campaign at kishineff.org.

12th District - Stephen Jaffe

Attorney Stephen Jaffe has worked for decades fighting for employees’ rights, and has led more than 50 jury trials. Now he is challenging House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi for CA’s 12th district in San Francisco. Protecting immigrants, passing single payer healthcare, expanding affordable housing and ending all dirty energy subsidies are top campaign pledges. “I’m running in CA-12 because it’s time for the 99% to be truly heard,” says Stephen. Learn more and donate atjaffe4congress.com.

25th District - Jess Phoenix

Geologist Jess Phoenix is founder of the educational nonprofit Blueprint Earth, which brings minority college students to the Mojave Desert to study desert ecosystems. Jess is running in CA’s 25th district of northern L.A. and Ventura counties because, she says, “education, scientific research, disaster preparedness, critical parts of our communities like roads and bridges, national parks, and wildlife are all under assault.” Tackling climate change head on, passing common-sense gun reform, establishing Medicare for All and investing in jobs of the future are among Jess’s priorities. Learn more and donate at jess2018.com.

29th District - Angelica Dueñas

A daughter of Mexican immigrants and a mother of five, Angelica Dueñas has been active with the Los Angeles Tenants Union, the campaign to recall CA Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon, and the Democracy Project Los Angeles. Angelica is running on the Green Party ticket to represent the 29th district in southern California. A former delegate for Bernie Sanders at the 2016 Democratic National Convention, Angelica supports Medicare for All, a humane path to citizenship for immigrants, a “Green New Deal” jobs program and ending Citizens United, among other goals. Learn more and donate at angelica4congress.com

30th District - Jon Pelzer

Jon Pelzer is a small business owner and long-time Democratic activist who grew thoroughly disillusioned with the party because “business as usual has failed”. John is running in the 30th district with L.A. and Ventura counties, and counts among his progressive priorities establishing a living wage, affordable housing, single-payer healthcare and free college tuition. “To accept the status quo is to accept a future that will be morally and financially bankrupt. I am running for Congress to free our voice from decades of special interest control,” says John. Learn more and donate at pelzerforcongress.com.

34th District - Kenneth Mejia

A 27-year-old first generation Filipino-American, Kenneth Mejia is an accountant by day and an activist in his free time, working with the L.A. Tenants Union, the Wilshire Center Koreatown Neighborhood Council, and as a founder of “We Can Make a Difference” providing volunteer services for homeless and low-income people in the community. Kenneth, who is running as a Green in the 34th district of L.A. County, says of his campaign: “We believe that healthcare, education, and housing are human rights. We believe in criminal justice reform, a welcoming pathway to citizenship, and grassroots democracy in our political process. We believe in protecting our environment over profit and that we should transition to 100% clean renewable energy by 2030.” Learn more and donate at mejia4congress.com.

43rd District - Miguel Zuñiga

Miguel Zuñiga is a father of two and a 22-year-long Costco employee who served as a Bernie Sanders delegate at the 2016 DNC. Miguel is running as a Green in the 43rd district seat of south L.A. County “for the simple reason that neither party is presenting the middle class and the poor. We’re the only campaign talking about homeless prevention. We’re taking a stand against gentrification. We need to shift the ratio of renters to homeowners.” Learn more and donate at crowdpac.com/campaigns/miguel-zuniga

These are all outstanding candidates running gutsy, grassroots campaigns to bring progressive California leadership to Washington. Gayle Force is just getting started. It’s up to all of us to help put wind in their sails and make sure that not only a huge slate of progressives run in 2018 – but that they win!

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

 


Single-Payer Foes Open $2 Million Super PAC

Single-payer Medicare-for-All foes are taking no chances on the Lt. Governor race in California, and they’ve found a wealthy candidate to be their vehicle for opposing health care reform.

On Thursday, wealthy Sacramento developer Angelo Tsakopoulos donated $2,020,000 to a super PAC for his daughter, Eleni Kounalakis, who is running for Lt. Governor. The super PAC is sponsored by the California Medical Association, which opposed the California universal health care bill, SB 562, saying it “would dismantle the healthcare marketplace and destabilize California’s economy.”

We know that what’s destabilizing California’s economy is unequal access to care and medical bankruptcies!

This level of outside spending is rare for a Lt. Governor race, and we have to combat it. Eleven candidates are running for Lt. Governor – and only one, Gayle McLaughlin, has the proven record of people-first leadership to do the job.

Please join Gayle with a donation of $27 or more TODAY to help her stand up for single-payer health care and the people’s agenda.

 


It’s time to build mass public transit in California

Less and less Californians are loving their cars. This is particularly noticeable with the younger generation. Getting stuck in traffic for hours and the awareness of what we are doing to the environment are two huge reasons. However, there remains a sense to a great extent that we’re stuck with our cars and our long commutes. But are we really? I think there are alternatives, and as your Lieutenant Governor I’ll be committed to exploring and, more importantly, expanding those alternatives.

The fact is, traffic in California is at an all-time high, our cities and freeways feel clogged 24/7, and the climate crisis itself demands that we find new solutions to our growing transportation needs. How do we do that? By shifting from our current car culture to more robust public transit.


Other states and countries have shown that the transition is not only possible, but that it improves people’s quality of life dramatically – freeing up our roads, ending countless wasted hours behind the wheel, and improving the very air we breathe.      

Of course, when it comes to public transit there are many forms it can take. California’s high-speed rail project, known as the Bullet Train, is one proposed solution.  Yet the potentially $100 billion cost of this project is astronomical.  Even Governor Jerry Brown has acknowledged there is little hope, under today’s administration, for any federal help with this cost.  I am keeping an open mind to this project if such funding becomes available under a new administration.

There are other innovative projects that merit consideration also.  One of these projects is the Hyperloop​ being designed by Elon Musk, who promises that this travel infrastructure can be built for far less money than the Bullet Train. Much more study needs to happen to determine both the cost and the viability of such a project. However, one of Musk’s Hyperloop models is currently being explored to connect Cleveland and Chicago​.

On a smaller, more immediate scale, we need to make mass transit systems more available in our urban centers.  Light rail already operates in cities like Los Angeles, San Diego, San Francisco and other California cities. These systems could be expanded and improved, and more of our cities could build such systems.  Ultra-light rail systems are possibilities for urban centers as well and should be researched, tested and considered.  I am confident that most Californians will choose to build smart, clean public transit systems in their cities, especially alongside the creation of a California public bank​​ that will save taxpayers 50% on such infrastructure projects.

Of course, we need to upgrade current urban rapid transit systems and consider more bus rapid transit (BRT), hybrid and electric buses, and sustainable ferry transport.  And let’s not forget to create more safe bicycle and pedestrian paths.  While not mass transit per se, getting more people on bicycles and walking also moves us away from our massive car culture, and provides healthy exercise to boot.

Finally, we need to make sure we build affordable housing in and around public transit to make it convenient and readily accessible.

All this will bring us into a 21st Century paradigm shift away from California’s car culture into a new and promising mass transit culture.


As your Lieutenant Governor, I will chair California’s Commission for Economic Development, giving me a unique and powerful platform to push for greater investment in our state’s mass transit infrastructure. Think of how many jobs will be created if we roll up our sleeves in a statewide effort to make mass public transit a reality. And think of the millions of more jobs that people will be able to access using public transportation instead of spending hours each day behind the wheel.

This is part of the future that I envision for our state. With your help we will build it together. Stand with me in demanding that we create better mass transit for our cities and communities. It’s time to get to work.

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


Make Donald Trump a Catalyst for Change

Donald Trump’s first visit to California is about two things: division, and greed.

The official reason for Trump’s visit is to examine prototypes for a new border wall. This wall would cost tens of billions and will never be built. But what it represents is hatred and fear. Trump is a bigot, and Mexican immigrants are his target today. We must stand united as Californians to oppose these vicious attacks on our solidarity.

The other reason for Trump’s visit is campaign fundraising. Trump is expected tonight at a $250,000-a-plate Beverly Hills fundraiser.

More than 58,000 people are unhoused in Los Angeles.

We know our country is badly broken when a reality TV star president wins on building a border wall and comes into our state to wine and dine with heirs and corporatists while the poor sleep on the sidewalks.

I am an anti-corruption candidate. This is because so many of our troubles as a nation stem from abuses of power by corporations. This is a multi-generational fight, and it’s not about businesses, it’s about greed. Collective efforts are how we take care of each other and build a society - but the horrible divisions and inequality we are experiencing are the result of greed-driven corporations that will go so far as to elect and support a Trump to get more.

Trump can raise up to $250,000 a head at a Beverly Hills fundraiser while people sleep on the streets outside because he is giving the 1% and the corporations everything - even $1 trillion in tax cuts!

OpenSecrets reports that donors from Walt Disney Corporation - Anaheim Disneyland avoids millions in taxes each year since a statewide property tax freeze in 1975 - gave Trump more than $5 million in his last election.

While collective efforts can build great things, corporate greed takes the efforts of huge communities of people and turns their labor into dangerous leaders like Trump and those who fund him.

Corporate greed under Trump has ended Net Neutrality protections. It wasn’t the hundreds of smaller ISPs who wanted this - it was a handful of megacorporations that want to regulate the internet themselves, to make as much money as possible at the cost of the consumer.

Energy companies also love Trump. While big name brands stayed away from Trump when it looked like he wouldn’t be president, now that his “drill, baby, drill” brand of politics is back in power, and former Exxon CEO Rex Tillerson and a klatch of generals in charge of foreign policy, they will give and give big (don't think they'll be dissuaded by Tillerson's outster today - CIA chiefs are good for oil oligarchs, too). California’s oil companies already save hundreds of millions in taxes each year by avoiding a state severance tax on their extraction wells. And they’re jumping at the chance to drill off our beautiful coast.

Trump is at home with the media, and for all the attacks various hosts hurl at him day in and day out, the corporate media - right and “left” - are at home with Trump. All the outrage and strife Trump stirs up has made the corporate media very, very rich.

Today, let’s turn our outrage at Trump into determination for a corporate-free political future. Things are pretty grim, but we know that together we can turn this darkness into dawn.


LA Progressives Shares Gayle's Story

Today, March 12th, 2018, Steve Early wrote about Gayle in LA Progressives. Discussing her background, the growth of the Richmond Progressive Alliance and the transformation of Richmond. Here are a few highlights from Early's "A Working Class Mayor Is Something To Be":

"Blue-collar Richmond was once notorious, in the Bay Area, for its street crime, gun violence, poverty, and pollution. During McLaughlin’s two terms as mayor, the city acquired a far different reputation—for battling Big Oil, Big Soda, Big Banks, and the landlord lobby. Today, this majority minority community of 110,000 is cleaner, greener, safer, and more equitable because it hired a top-notch city manager and police chief, boosted the minimum wage, adopted rent control, curbed police misconduct, defended immigrants, and sought increased tax revenue and environmental justice from its largest employer, a Chevron refinery."

"Once elected, too many would-be reformers don’t want to break with business as usual or build anything other than a personal fan base for future electoral campaigns. In contrast, McLaughlin never stopped being a movement-builder. The result is a durable, city-wide political formation, with its own elected leaders, a dues-paying membership, a year-round, multi-issue organizing program, and candidates who run as a slate, committed to a common progressive agenda. Whether they are Democrats, Greens, or independents, all RPA candidates run “corporate-free.” They refuse all business contributions, relying instead on Sanders-style small donors and local public matching funds."

"Anyone else of modest means—a tenant, a worker, a union or community organizer—who hopes to succeed in electoral politics against the usual well-funded foes (i.e., lawyers, doctors, bankers, developers, and other multi-millionaires)–will be much inspired by McLaughlin’s compelling personal story."

Read Steve Early's full article in LA Progressives here


SCOTUS Decision On Immigrant Detention Is An Outrage

Tuesday’s reactionary ruling by the Supreme Court, allowing law enforcement to arrest and indefinitely detain immigrants without a right to bond hearings, is an international disgrace.

But what might be just as disgraceful is the deafening silence we’ve heard from the Democratic Party leadership in response. Nada. Zero.

The 5-3 decision in Jennings v. Rodriguez doesn’t just apply to undocumented immigrants, but to asylum seekers and people with permanent legal status as well. Yet the Democratic Party leaders are so worried about alienating their centrist voters in November that they can’t find the stomach to defend the basic democratic rights of people fleeing wars, extreme poverty, or making the final steps toward full U.S. citizenship. It’s even more disgraceful knowing that our country’s military and economic policies bear some heavy responsibility for the forced migration we have seen over the course of decades.

This ruling puts millions of immigrants at risk of imminent arrest and detention – something we as Californians cannot tolerate. Stand with me in clearly, and unequivocally, denouncing the Supreme Court’s decision to strip immigrants of their legal right to bail.  

The timing of the SCOTUS decision couldn’t be more ominous. This week, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrested more than 150 undocumented immigrants in Northern California. The number might have been higher had the Oakland mayor and immigrant advocacy groups not alerted the community about the impending raids on Saturday night.

As your Lieutenant Governor, I will demand that all California police departments and sheriff’s offices, and all their law enforcement personnel, obey California state law prohibiting cooperation with ICE agents and continue to oppose ICE's persecution, capture and indefinite detaining of our residents without warrants – and without the right to bail.

Now more than ever it is time to protect our neighbors! I call on all Californians to mobilize in each community, city and county to defend all working families regardless of their immigration status. We must use the most creative and determined means at our disposal to respond to the illegal ICE raids happening across our state.

Stand with me by pledging peacefully to protect our neighbors. We can only rely on ourselves, our communities, and our sense of doing what is right. This is no moment to be on the sidelines: Human lives, and the American promise itself, are literally at stake. Together we can stand up to Trump’s tyranny and reinstate our values through our actions.

Let’s not be silent like the leadership of the Democratic Party. Let’s be loud and in active solidarity like many local officials and grassroots citizens are doing, and make it clear that all men and women have certain unalienable rights, and that among them is the right to liberty, bail and a fair trial.

The U.S. Constitution is for all people on our soil.

Please join my campaign for California: https://gayleforcalifornia.org/donatetogayle/


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
davidforcalifornia.com

Ruben Major for Secretary of State
rubenmajor.com

CD5 Jason Kishineff for Congress 
kishineff.org

CD12 Stephen Jaffe for Congress 
jaffe4congress.com

CD25 Jess Phoenix for Congress 
jess2018.com

CD29 Angelica Dueñas for Congress 
facebook.com/Angelica4CA29

CD30 John Pelzer for Congress 
pelzerforcongress.com

CD34 Kenneth Mejia for Congress 
mejia4congress.com

CD43 Miguel Zuñiga for Congress 
facebook.com/MigZforCongress

SD 34 Jestin Samson for State Senate 
facebook.com/jestinforsenate

AD15 Jovanka Beckles for Assembly
jovanka.org

AD45 Ankur Patel for Assembly 
ankurforassembly.com

AD66 Caney Arnold for Assembly 
voteforcaneyarnold.com

AD63 Maria Estrada for Assembly 
facebook.com/MaDoloresEstrada

AD70 Rachel Bruhnke for Assembly 
rachel4assembly.org

AD54 Steve Dunwoody for Assembly 
facebook.com/dunwoodyforcalifornia

Melvin Willis for Richmond Mayor
melvinwillisforrichmondcitycouncil.com

Ada Recinos for Richmond City Council

Eduardo Martinez for Richmond City Council
richmondgreens.net/eduardo

Logan Smith for Santa Clarita City Council
smithforsantaclarita.com

Tara Sreekrishnan for Cupertino City Council 
tara4cupertino@gmail.com

Omar Vasquez for San Jose City Council D7 
omarvasquez2018.com

Shay Franco-Clausen for San Jose City Council D9
shayforsanjose.com

Monica Montgomery for San Diego City Council D4
voteformonica.org

Corinna Contreras Vista City Council
facebook.com/RepresentVista

Kenji Yamada for Concord City Council 
kenjiforconcord.wordpress.com

Cesar Armendariz Long Beach School Board 
facebook.com/CesarForLBSchools

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!

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Thank you for your support!