California's socialist and feminist political party urges you to:
Twelve propositions will be listed on the November 2020 general-election ballot in California. The Peace & Freedom Party formally announces our endorsements for voting on these propositions.
Proposition 14 – Bonds for stem cell research. NO. Bond financing profits wealthy investors at taxpayer expense.
Proposition 15 – Property tax. YES. Taxes commercial and industrial properties based on market value while keeping Prop 13 tax protection for housing and farmland.
Proposition 16 – Affirmative Action. YES. Repeals Prop 209 from 1996 that outlawed affirmative action.
Proposition 17 – Voting. YES. Gives the vote back to those released from prison on parole.
Proposition 18 – Voting. YES. Allows those who will be 18 by the general election to vote in the primary as well.
Proposition 19 – Property tax. No recommendation by PFP. Changes some property tax rules for transfers of housing ownership.
Proposition 20 – Law enforcement/incarceration. NO. Sends more to jail, stiffens penalties and reduces parole, when we should reduce prison populations.
Proposition 21 – Housing. YES. Changes state law to permit more local ability to control rents. Not perfect, but an improvement.
Proposition 22 – Business. NO. Would slash worker protections for app-based jobs to benefit the large corporations, i.e. Uber, Lyft, and Doordash, that put this on the ballot.
Proposition 23 – Healthcare. YES. Improves regulation of kidney dialysis clinics, forbids discrimination against Medicare and Medical patients.
Proposition 24 – Business. YES. Expands state consumer privacy protections, creates Privacy Protection Agency.
Proposition 25 – Trials. YES. End cash bail. Keep people from staying in jail solely because they don't have bail money.
Longtime San Francisco labor and anti-war activist Gloria La Riva (pictured at right) was chosen on August 1 as the Peace and Freedom Party nominee for U.S. President. The party’s state central committee cast 62 votes for La Riva and 3 votes for Howie Hawkins, with three abstentions. Anti-racist and disability rights advocate Sunil Freeman (pictured below at right) of Washington, D.C., was then chosen without opposition as the party’s nominee for Vice President.
La Riva received over two-thirds of the vote for the nomination in the March primary, but the State Central Committee’s action Saturday will officially place the La Riva/Freeman ticket on California’s November 2020 general election ballot. They will appear in a number of other states on the ballot lines of the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL) and the Vermont Liberty Union Party.
Gloria La Riva said “We are honored to be the nominees of the Peace and Freedom Party. We are running not just to represent voters, but to represent the millions without the right to vote: undocumented immigrants, permanent residents, prisoners and parolees who are unable to cast a ballot. This is their country too.”
Kevin Akin of Riverside, the new California State Chair of the party, reports that the ticket expects to get more votes in California than in any other state. “It’s a clear way for a voter to show support for peace, socialism, and the immediate needs of the working class.”
Peace & Freedom Party prospective vice-presidential candidate Leonard Peltier must withdraw from the ticket due to health issues. A statement from the Party for Socialism and Liberation (PSL), who are backing a Gloria La Riva/Leonard Peltier ticket for president/VP in Election 2020, read in part:
“Leonard’s health has seriously deteriorated in recent weeks, and the maximum-security prison where he is confined in Florida does not have the medical facilities he requires. He urgently needs compassionate release or commutation of his sentence that has now stretched to 44 years, as well as immediate transfer to a medical facility for proper medical treatment. [Leonard’s legal team and the PSL believe] that all focus must be directed toward his health situation and legal matters before him.”
Leonard Peltier, 75, is a political prisoner currently serving his 44th year in prison for a murder he did not commit: that of two FBI agents on the Pine Ridge Reservation in 1975. Leonard was tried and charged as part of FBI actions to destroy the American Indian Movement (AIM).
Activist, essayist and poet Sumil Freeman has been named the vice presidential nominee on the PSL-backed ticket headed by Gloria La Riva.
In an incredible statement to his supporters, Leonard wrote:
“I know this is a huge disappointment to you as it is mine, that I have to drop out of the campaign with Gloria La Riva. My medical problems are not getting any better. I need to try to get home or at least closer. If so, it would be easier to get out. So please, forgive me if I have disappointed any of you. I did not intend to. Nor was I dropping out because I did not believe in it. I’m seriously hurting. Just know I love you young people who support me. You’re awesome. Thank you for your support and love.
Activism has always been a central feature of the Peace & Freedom Party, and we’re proud to say that this spirit has continued among its members from the party’s foundation to the present day – but the present day is of course dramatically different to most before it. So what are the best methods for action in the time of coronavirus? Below, PFP state chair John Reiger makes a few suggestions.
I’m a longtime believer in being physically present at demonstrations. To actually take the time to put your body on the line is a sign of real commitment, commitment to the cause and to your own values. So it pains me to say that this pandemic time is probably not the best time to be out in the streets with lots of other people. Do it if you must, but please try to be safe, and please try to look for other ways to forward the cause.
• Auto Caravans/Parades
Here is a great way to be out in the streets without exposing yourself or others to pandemic dangers. Many groups have scheduled car “caravans” to protest or celebrate their causes. Join one, or schedule one yourself.
The following is a reprint of a timely piece by Raymond Nat Turner first run on the Oakland Socialist website in May of this year. Formerly of the Bay Area, now living in New York City, Raymond is calling himself “The Town Crier,” a.k.a. the Black Agenda Report’s “Poet in Residence.”
by Raymond Nat Turner
We’ll always need Race car drivers roaring
down streets where children chase balls; like
We’ll always need peaceful protesters pepper
sprayed like cockroaches; And
We’ll always need sleeping seven year-olds shot
while dreaming of dolls, sleepovers, tooth fairies;
We’ll always need children playing with toy guns
in parks executed before becoming “Hulk Hogans”
We’ll always need doors kicked in and our daughters
and sons slaughtered in wee hours—even if it is the
We’ll always need elderly parents whacked for
Accidentally pressing emergency alerts; like
We’ll always need mentally ill loved ones massacred
in our homes…
We’ll always need men rushing pregnant wives to
Hospitals shot for speeding; And fathers of six
Hustling too hard chokehold lynched;
We’ll always need young women who drive and
smoke, stopped and suicided; And mothers wearing
masks wrong wrestled down in subway stations—as
their 4 year-olds watch…
We’ll always need wallets mistaken for guns—Glocks
for Tasers; fleeing Black men shot in their backs; And
bridegrooms butchered, night before their weddings…
We’ll always need Tasered hearts skanking
in Reggae rhythms; And broken broomsticks
rammed up mens’ rectums for fun…
We’ll always need bruised, bloodied, disfigured
Faces—eyeballs dangling from sockets;
We’ll always need drugs and guns planted—
Growing into cases, concertina wire, COVID-19…
We’ll always need right hooves raised Testi-lying
To judges and juries of peers on the need for knees
on necks—56 licks or 41 shots—Served to Protect
The Peace and Freedom Party stands with the slogan "Tax the rich and their corporations." As socialists we want society as a whole to cooperatively own and manage industry, resources, and financial institutions. But as we point out in our article "Why Socialists Say 'Tax the Rich...'", we support efforts to increase taxes on the corporations and the wealthy to provide the services that people need now.
The California Budget and Policy Center has a new article on how the State of California has given corporations increasing tax breaks over the last few years entitled “Corporations Pay Far Less of Their California Income in State Taxes Than a Generation Ago – Even Amid COVID-19”, which is reprinted below.
Do you want to become an active member of the Peace and Freedom Party? Did you miss the chance to run for PFP Central Committee in the March 3, 2020 primary? You can still join or start an affiliated organization in your area.
We have active central committees in about 15 counties, including the major metropolitan centers and a few rural counties. In each of these counties, the local central committees welcome people who want to work to promote the issues and candidates of our party.
Anyone who is legally permitted to vote must be registered in the Peace and Freedom Party to become a central committee member. We can also appoint people to central committees who are unable to vote due to age, citizenship, or parole status.
Please get in touch with us. Let us know if you want to work with us to promote socialist solutions to problems at the local, state, and national level!
In 1998, Rodney Reed was wrongly convicted of murder and since then has been on Death Row in Texas. Five days before his scheduled execution on November 20, 2019, Rodney received a 120-day commutation of execution as attempts to gain a retrial continue.
Peace and Freedom Party recently passed the following resolution regarding Rodney Reed’s sentence and incarceration; PFP encourages everyone to sign The Action Network’s online petition on the matter. Full text of the resolution runs directly below.
Whereas there is strong evidence that Rodney Reed is innocent of the crime of which he was convicted in Texas, we support Rodney Reed speedily being given a new trial where his defense lawyers will have an opportunity to present evidence on his behalf that the lawyers at his trial did not present. The Fifth Amendment to the US Constitution guarantees Americans due process, and the Sixth Amendment guarantees a speedy and fair trial.
Our election systems give a guise of democracy but bipartisan election laws, huge amounts of private money, and the corporate media deny representation for a great many of us. The President is not elected by the people of this country. Instead, the president is selected by a majority of an Electoral College which is tilted to favor states which have much smaller numbers of people where each elector represents fewer people.