Yosh Yamanaka, Gayle McLaughlin, Kshama Sawant, Maria Estrada, Matt Gonzalez
Saturday, 12 October, 1 p.m.
There were some corporate-free candidate successes in California and elsewhere in 2018, reflecting an expanding consciousness about the source of our main societal evils, corporate capitalism. The appeal of and the support for corporate-free candidates has expanded locally and nationally. The message of the Occupy Wall Street mobilization and education remains present and clear. Nevertheless, money continues to rule elections resulting in our pseudo-democracy, in which most elected officials end up doing what their corporate funders want, playing the “reform-game” and helping to keep alive a system which is feeding and rewarding greed, economic inequality, social oppression, environmental destruction and permanent war. Our electoral process is set up against the interests of working people.
Yosh Yamanaka has been an anti-war activist since the marches on the Pentagon in the 1960s. He has served on numerous non-profit boards including L.A. Friends of Tibet, Captive Daughters, the KPFK LSB, and the Pacifica Foundation. He currently serves on the Steering Committee of Our Revolution Long Beach. Yosh was also a Bernie delegate to the 2016 DNC.
Gayle McLaughlin is the former mayor (2007-2014) and city councilmember (2005-2007, 2015-2017) of Richmond California (pop 110,000). In 2003 she co-founded the Richmond Progressive Alliance and, as mayor, Gayle led Richmond into a significant progressive transformation. Currently, she serves as chair of the California Progressive Alliance.
Kshama Sawant is Seattle City Councilmember, a Socialist, a member of Socialist Alternative and a member of American Federation of Teachers 1789. She has fought tirelessly for the residents of her city on issues such as raising the minimum wage, for affordable housing, and for taxing the rich to fund public transportation and public education. She is currently running for re-election (November 2019) and as always, she does not accept a penny from corporations, CEOs, business lobbyists, or big developers.She will appear on video
Maria Estrada is an activist, on the board of the Native Women’s Unity Association, one of the founders of Compton for Bernie, the Director of LULAC de Los Angeles and a candidate for California State Assembly in the 63rd district running against Speaker Anthony Rendon. Maria takes no corporate money for her campaign and is a tireless advocate for strong, bold, and much-needed progressive issues based on social, environmental and economic justice.
Matt Gonzalez is the Chief Attorney in the San Francisco Public Defender’s office. He previously served as president of the San Francisco Board of Supervisors (while a member of the Green Party) and while in office was the main sponsor of measures that created the highest minimum wage in the country and which instituted rank choice voting for local elections in San Francisco. Although his campaign for mayor in 2003 fell short of victory (against now-Governor Gavin Newsom) he is credited with defending progressive values and mobilizing voters disenchanted with politics. In 2005 he cofounded a civil rights law firm, Gonzalez & Leigh LLP, and was trial counsel in a case that won a punitive damages verdict in federal court against an elected district attorney for abusing the powers of his office. In 2008 he served as Ralph Nader’s running-mate on an independent ticket (nominees of the Peace & Freedom Party in California). He has published opinion editorials and essays on a wide range of subjects which can be found at themattgonzalezreader.wordpress.com/